The health drama continued to plague me with constant blood tests and treatment reviews as we settled back into Tokoroa. I had a great family doctor, medical specialist at the hospital to monitor my thyroid, as well as the support of the Phipps family, the Harnett family and the family of St Marks Church providing love and assistance in so many ways. Mid way through the year I suffered with some sort of stomach virus and was unable to keep any food down for a few weeks and eventually was admitted to hospital for hydration and nutrition….only to discover that I was pregnant. OOps, with all the changes in medication and monitoring of my thyroid function the basics of my reproductive system had been overlooked. This was a major drama as my current medical regimen had not been tested for its compatibility with pregnancy … and so the balancing act began.
During this time my Mum had fallen ill in PNG with malaria and was medevaced back to New Zealand for treatment. Mum and Dad were in the process of returning to set up a business in Rotorua and Mums illness fast tracked their travel plans. In the September we all co located to Rotorua into the house Mum & Dad had purchased.
For me it was a very self centred year with two small children, that thyroid thing and a new pregnancy to keep me busy. We became involved in the local kindergarten, found a new family doctor (the awesome Mike Newman), developed relationships with medical, obstetric and paediatric specialists…. and realised that living (and working) with your parents, as a young family, is not as easy as it looks. We moved out.
I had regular medical supervision during my pregnancy, that included blood tests and scans, and often resulted in admission to hospital to keep the needs of my pregnancy and the hormones of my thyroid balanced. My due date varied across a 6-week window from mid late December to Early February and as the earliest date came and went frustration added to my woes. I was advised that baby may have a rocky start to life and to be prepared for baby to need specialist care at birth – but it was only in later years that i realised how perilous this pregnancy really was for us both.
Luckily the time spent in hospital (about 50% of the last trimester) was under that watchful eye of Sister Lowe who facilitated agreement between my specialists, had plenty of tissues and promoted friendships among her patients. One such friendship was with a first time rural mum expecting twins and was a permanent resident of “D-Floor” of Edward Guy wing at Rotorua Public Hospital. Allyson and I got to know each other on my recurrent visits as we made the most of each others company as a distraction from the boredom and created as much fun as our enforced bed rest allowed, much to the displeasure of Sister Lowe.
Little did I realise the impact that Allyson was going to have on my life.