Pregnancy was a breeze! Arthritics tend to go into remission during pregnancy and I was one of those people who felt so well.
I am going to keep this short because otherwise the blog becomes a lot about me and not about all the things out there that are useful and helpful.
Basically we had been trying a year, we decided if something didn't happen soon we would have to go back onto the medications we had had to come of for conception and instead of the baby game we would travel the world and all things non child related and probably moan about school holidays and too many children about at our hotel etc. We both were in a lot of pain and were quite moody during conception time,hardly a sexy atmosphere!
In the states they allow the use of an arthritic drug to be used during conception and pregnancy (Anti TNF) but NICE ,sensibly, likes to play safe and the drug is just too new for Brits to allow it during these stages. I was off all painkillers too during this time, what a nightmare.
May the 31st 2010 arrived, we were due to have a load of friends over and were both in agony, I decided before they all came I would do a test and if it was negative we would both take a shot of Anti TNF that same afternoon and top up with powerful painkillers! Out came a tesco test and two lines appeared! I was shocked! So shocked I told Mark who rushed out and brought two top of the range tests, both positive, we cried, I never thought something so normal and happy would happen to me. It did! Trust me any arthritic women, I have yet to see anywhere, anyone write that it is difficult to get pregnant with arthritis. So don't worry and be-careful and plan pregnancy and parenthood.You may be keen to have a baby but planning is an absolute must for imminent parenthood for any parent with a physical disability.
3 months of pain whilst my body adjusted to only steroids was difficult. I had to stop Tramadol (a painkiller that has addictive properties to a child in the womb), Anti inflammatory, Indomethacin had to go as well (too complicated to explain why that has to stop but if you are on it the doctor will go on in detail to you about it). Anti TNF was still of course out of bounds ! Month 4 and wow, "now that's what I call a miracle cure"!
I had to see a consultant specialist who was excellent, although to be honest I think he was expecting an exciting patient and really my pregnancy was just so normal. I am tiny but 12 year olds are having babies now so there were no big shakes with my pregnancy. I really won't bother going on any more about this because it was completely a breeze.
Just to end that Christopher was born on the 30th of Dec 2010 at 35 wks by an elective C section. I had to have a general anesthetic because my spine is curved and getting an epidural into my spine is just impossible. My neck doesn't flex back so I had to be intubated, prior to anesthesia, via fiber optic tubes sent down my nose and throat whilst I was awake.The anesthetist was so fantastic as he gave me enough morphine to wack me out whilst all this went on. At 1pm on the above date my little boy who was 5lbs and sleepy from morphine, was born to a very happy Mummy and Daddy Jephcott.
My parents came to visit around 3pm, I can only imagine this was as big a day for them as it was for Mark and I because here was their daughter who they had spent months and years in hospital with, nagging at me to keep walking when I was crying in pain etc here she was living a normal life, happily married with a healthy baby.