Sophie became pregnant by accident and faced some serious health challenges after having her daughter.
“I was 30 when I became pregnant, after living with a diagnosis of idiopathic PH since I was seven.
I was advised when I was transferred into adult services that it would be better not to become pregnant, so my husband went onto the waiting list for a vasectomy. It was during this time I became pregnant – and it was very much an accident.
I contacted my medical team straight away and I was looked after by a cardiologist at the same hospital and department I worked at as a nurse.
My pregnancy was very good, and I had no problems. I was consultant-led through my antenatal time who liaised closely with the cardiologist I was under.
When my daughter was around ten weeks old, I started to feel unwell, but I was due to get married so put it down to the stresses of organising the day and being a new mother – and I just tried to get on with things. I had a lot of fluid onboard and despite not really eating, my wedding dress had to be taken out.
After the wedding, I rang the nurses for help as by this point I couldn’t even put a tray in the oven without feeling short of breath. It turned out my right ventricle wasn’t moving very well so I was given intravenous therapy and thigs settled down a little.
Three years later things became bad again, and transplant was mentioned. I saw a new consultant and my medication was adjusted and I have felt fabulous since.
It was difficult during those periods of illness, and I remember sitting in hospital wondering whether I would even get out to see my daughter start school. When we experience milestones in her life, I feel so lucky.
I got through it because of the sort of person I am. Even as a child with PH, my parents sent me to the same clubs as my brother, I played sports at school and lived a normal childhood. My mentality was that my condition hadn’t stopped me before – so I just got on with things.”