I have three children and conceived naturally with all three. I was under consultant-led care for all of these pregnancies as the initial concern was the pressure on my lungs as the baby grew bigger and pushed my diaphragm up. I had natural and uneventful labours with all three babies.
The impact PCD had on my pregnancies:
I fell pregnant in 2003 with my eldest and was 21 years of age. This was not a planned pregnancy and therefore I was happy that I had managed to conceive as I had been made aware as a teenager that I could have potential difficulties with fertility. In 2008/2009 my husband and I decided to try for another baby and it took over 2 years to conceive my second child. I discussed this at length with my chest consultant and it was viewed that the difficulty with conceiving was likely because in late 2009 and into 2010 I had pneumonia that took me almost 6 months to recover from. I did fall pregnant at the start of 2011 with no IVF (In vitro fertilisation) help although this had started to be discussed.
My third pregnancy was planned however after taking a long time to conceive with my second child, my husband and I agreed we would try for 6 months only and if it didn't happen it wasn't meant to be. It happened quite quickly and this was an uneventful pregnancy.
Through all three of pregnancies I don't think PCD impacted on me negatively. My best 3 ever lung function test results have happened when I was pregnant which is a crazy coincidence and I have joked with my consultant that maybe the pregnancy hormone needs to be used to help PCD patients!
My advice would to others starting a family would be that PCD doesn't necessarily hold you back and if you do experience difficulties to speak to your healthcare teams as they were really supportive and looked at different options when I was struggling to conceive.
- names have been changed to protect identity of the writer