Vidya and Adil’s story
Vidya and her husband Adil adopted a baby after deciding it wasn’t safe to have their own.
“I was told not to get pregnant at the same time I was given my diagnosis, before I even understood what PH was.
Adil and I were engaged at the time and about to get married, so it was a really big shock to learn we couldn’t have children. I knew Adil loved kids so I wondered if he would still want to be with me. I was questioning everything.
My GP was very helpful in terms of helping me find the right contraception and was supportive too.
Later that year attended a patient day organised by my specialist centre, where we met other young couples in the same situation. Some said they were exploring the idea of starting a family, so we started to consider it too.
We went to a local fertility clinic and they said they would not be able to support us through a pregnancy, and a consultant said the same thing.
Adil did a lot of research online, because obviously we had been told that mortality rates are not the best for mums with PH. He said he didn’t want to be left on his own with the baby and would rather have me. We eliminated the idea of getting pregnant and started to explore different options instead.
As part of the adoption process, you are asked at the start what other options you have explored, to see if you are ready. So, we were able to tell them everything we had done, and all the advice we had been given not to get pregnant.
I always kept my PH team informed about what was going on. I would say they were 50/50 in terms of supporting the decision to adopt.
Some of my family knew about our decision, but I didn’t tell my father because he gets anxious and I knew he would worry. Because of the Asian culture, we got a lot of questions about why we weren’t having a child of our own.
Strangely, at that time a lot of Bollywood stars were adopting so it helped our situation. We were pleasantly surprised by the reactions of some of the older generation, like Adil’s Grandma. People were more accepting than we thought they would be.
When we were approved for adoption, we were very specific about wanting a baby as young as possible so that it would grow up knowing that mummy has a health condition and can’t do as much as others. We were worried an older child wouldn’t understand.
Because of this, it took a long time to find the right match. At times we got really disheartened about how long the adoption process was taking but what kept us going was knowing we had each other and that eventually we would have a family. Now we have a son.
I have a strong support network with lots of family. I continue to work but do have to be off sometimes for long periods of time. I still send my little boy to nursery though during these times to keep his normal routine, and because I would be exhausted looking after him at home when I’m ill.
Mine and Adil’s mothers come and play with him and have him overnight sometimes. When I am in hospital Adil relies heavily on family support to look after him so that he can visit me, as my specialist centre is so far away from home.
My advice to others considering adoption is to talk to your specialist PH team about it. Be honest about being able to look after a child but be realistic too. Adil and I focused on keeping me going and that is why we wanted to adopt.”