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Epilepsy Blog Relay: A New Mom with Epilepsy

This post is part of the Epilepsy Blog Relay™. Follow along all month!

Abby on becoming a new mom

My Prior to having my baby girl, Emma, I had many conversations with my neurologist.

After the baby arrives

I was shocked when he seemed more concerned about my health after the baby was born than during my pregnancy.  He was monitoring my levels very carefully during the entire pregnancy, but when I would meet with him, he would always ask me about my plan for after the baby came.

At that point, I really had not thought that far ahead.  Because my pregnancy was so incredibly difficult, I really was focused on just getting through each day.  Each time I visited the doctor, I would give my husband and my mom (the two people who know everything) an update.  There was always a recurring theme of every doctor’s visit.  What is the plan for after?  Are you getting a night nurse? Will you have help?  How will you ensure you are getting enough sleep?

Related: Epilepsy Blog Relay: Epilepsy and Pregnancy – what to expect

Finally, we made the decision as a family and came up with a plan for my mom to come stay for the first four weeks after Emma was born.  As the saying goes, nothing ever goes according to plan.  And, of course, this didn’t either.

Emma made her surprise arrival November 18, 2019, four and a half weeks early.  She was healthy and happy, but the hard work was about to begin.

Let the feedings commence

Because Emma was so early (and I was bottle feeding because I DID NOT want my medicine passed on to her for any longer than it needed to be), we had to feed her every two hours.  It was unbelievably hard, and there were no breaks.  As soon as we finished one feeding, it was time to start the process all over again.

Our story is not unique.  I think most people need help when they have a baby.  But, don’t be afraid to ask for it.  When you have a newborn at the house, it is especially difficult to sleep, but do not be afraid to take care of yourself too.  Having a seizure and being out of the game for two to three days is going to be way more difficult than taking that extra two to three hours for a nap while getting a little help from a family member or friend.

Thank you, Mom

Last, but not least, thank you to my mom.  Every single night for six weeks she was on duty for half the night, except for a couple nights here and there, where we called in even more help!

And best of all, we made it through the newborn stage seizure free!

NEXT UP: Be sure to check out the next post at livingwellwithepilepsy.com for more on epilepsy awareness. You can check out any of the Epilepsy Blog Relay posts you may have missed.

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Contributing Writer

Abby Gustus Alford was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 12 after multiple grand mal seizures over six-mos. She has a BA from Purdue and her Master’s from Northwestern.

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