There is really very little I can say in this post, that I haven’t already written about in Baby Baby Baby and One Pink Line. Since developing Proliferative diabetic retinopathy during pregnancy, and losing a lot of my sight, it has appeared unlikely that I would be able to have another pregnancy without risking complete blindness.
However, earlier this year, my husband and I made the decision that we would like to try and have another baby. It is something that we both want, and it appeared that perhaps my condition was improving. My left eye that had been operated on last year appeared stable, and although there was still residual blood spots in my right eye, we were hopeful that if the same operation was performed on that eye, there was a chance that the risk of blindness from a susequent pregnancy may be much lower than originally thought.
If we prepared for this pregnancy, knowing all the risks, under strict monitoring, we really believed it could be done. Perhaps even start trying towards the end of the year. We were excited, hopeful.
Just over a week ago, I went back to the eye specialist, all prepared to talk to him about our plans to try and conceive, and the possibility of scheduling an operation on my right eye. We went through the usual process, drops in my eyes, testing the sight, then he looks in them with his fancy medical equipment. He sits back in his chair, and writes his notes. And he tells me that there are further hemorrhages in my left eye, on the outer sides, that’s why I can’t see them yet, and I will need further laser to try and prevent more bleeds. My left, operated on eye. My right eye has grown more abnormal blood vessels, in the centre of my retina, despite the copious amounts of laser therapy I have had. They just keep growing. The Dr explains that there is only so much laser he is willing to do, as every round of laser causes scarring to the retina. It’s a balancing act, between the laser getting rid of the abnormal blood vessels and trying to minimise the damage the laser itself is doing to my eyes. He tells me that if the vessels are not hemorrhaging then it might be safer to leave some of them there, as opposed to risking permanent damage from the laser.
And I know. I ask anyway- “So, if I was to get pregnant again, the vessels would hemorrhage?” Without a doubt. And I know. The time has come that I need to be realistic. My body, my eyes, will not handle another pregnancy. My condition has deteriorated even without the stress of pregnancy. The specialist is not sure how much more laser my eyes will take. Hopefully, enough that I will regain enough sight back to be able to drive. Enough sight to be able to lead a normal life, to be able to see my daughter grow up.
As much as I want to wallow, and cry, and lament about how unfair it is, (and trust me, I have already, a little!) I need to count my blessings. I have a beautiful, healthy daughter. I am a mother. I am more blessed than many women, who are desperate for a child and are unable to conceive, or who have carried a child, but not been able to bring them home.
I am not blind, despite it having been a real possibility when I was pregnant. In fact one specialist said that I probably would have lost my sight if my daughter hadn’t have been born two months early. Now there was a real blessing in disguise!
I am sad, desperately sad, that I will never carry another child, that I will never have another baby. However the only way I can move forward, is to not let the sadness blind me (pardon the pun!) from the fact that I am truly blessed. Not let the sadness be stronger than the gratefulness I feel for all that I have in my life. I will count my blessings every day, every time I look at my daughter. xx