Daisy had her first child a few years after being diagnosed with PH and is now pregnant with a second.
“I was 25 when I was diagnosed and one of my first questions was whether I could have children. Straight away, I was advised not to.
I wasn’t in a relationship at the time, but a few years later I met my partner. I always knew that despite that initial conversation at diagnosis, I would re-visit it, and my partner said he would support me in whatever I wanted to do.
I spent about a year looking into surrogacy, but I wanted to explore every avenue before giving up on having a child of our own.
I spoke to my specialist centre about what I wanted to do, and they did some research on my behalf, speaking to other centres and obstetricians, which went on for about two years. Eventually I was told a pregnancy was something they wouldn’t be able to support me with.
I went to see an obstetric physician and she told me she would support me. I was a firm believer that everyone’s PH is different, and I steered clear of all the horrible statistics out there on the internet. I was always clear that I knew my body and what it was capable of.
I continued to see the obstetric physician and made lots of different drug changes. My specialist centre was also involved the whole way through. Once my obstetric physician gave the go-ahead and provided evidence of some women she had worked with, my PH doctors were happy to move forward.
I was induced at 37 weeks and had no problems with delivery. I was kept in hospital for six days because my son was in special care due to jaundice and a small hole in the heart, but all was fine. I was also kept in case of complications because of my PH, but there was nothing.
When my son was a year old, we decided to try for another baby. I come from a big family, so I had always wanted to have lots of children. We started the whole procedure again; changing my drugs and having a further right heart catheter to check that I was well enough to go through it all again.
I’ve just had my 12-week scan and my baby is healthy and well so far. My partner and I do talk about all the risks and potential complications, but I am really lucky that my PH is well managed, and I am in WHO functional class one.
I feel that as long as I have the support in place, I will be ok. And if at any point during the pregnancy I was at risk I would put myself and my family first.
I find it difficult talking to other people with PH about my experiences because I know their lives are very different to mine. My advice is to vocalise your thoughts and feelings with your doctors and let them know it’s something you are really serious about. But listen to the counselling; I have been able to do it, but I do feel incredibly lucky.”