It's hard to describe all the emotions that come with being pregnant again after a NICU baby. Fear. Insecurity. Worry. Guilt.
My son, Arthur, was born full term but with an unknown genetic condition that causes developmental delays, hypotonia and neurological differences. Falling pregnant again wasn't easy and we had loss. When we finally hit the 12 week mark, we struggled to feel excited. There was so much unknown. As Arthur's condition is undiagnosed, I couldn't have a CVS or bloodtest to determine if the baby has the same condition. Instead, I've had multiple scans and MRIs at a London hospital (not our local one). Each time I dread what they might find, and ultimately we won't know for sure until the baby is born. Every different doctor on our team has asked what we would do if baby had the same condition. Would we terminate for medical reasons? It's not something I ever thought I'd have to consider (especially not alone due to covid-19 hospital restrictions)
I worry that I'm being selfish having a second baby. Will I still give Arthur enough attention? Will the baby have enough attention? Could I manage if baby has the same condition? Am I doing the right thing?
The hardest part is talking to other people about this pregnancy, especially those who have no experience of NICU or having a disabled child. We're asked questions like "will this baby be normal?". We're expected to be excited and it's hard to put into words what we're feeling. And then I feel guilty for not being excited. I can't wait to meet the baby, but I'm so worried too.