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#CPAW ’16 – Maintaining Normality – Gemma’s Story

Some one said to me 2 days after having baby as I was sat in my room at the hospital eating breakfast crying

“aww are you crying because you have cancer!”

My response was

“no I’m crying because my baby is not with me”

For me when I was first diagnosed at 23 weeks pregnant they said my baby would have to be born by c-section and was not able to have my breastmilk!

That killed me, with having two other children that were born healthy and were both breastfed.

Gemma SteeleI had a great feotal medicine Doctor who put me in touch with Mummy’s Star and also to the milk bank and the local infant feeding team. Luckily my milk was tested and safe to use for a month until I started treatment again. It was a fight and the hospital wouldn’t give us donor milk so I was so pleased I managed to use my own breastmilk.

My oncologist is great but her focus was always about me. But for me it was important for me to think of my baby first I needed to keep her safe.

One thing that sticks out to me is that you see a lot of hospital staff and they don’t read your notes before so they come out with things that can upset you if you don’t stand back from it “is it safe to have treatment whist pregnant” honestly would they be doing it is it wasn’t!!

I was helped by Mummy’s Star lots having conversations on the phone so I could talk things through and the forum on Facebook is fab. Let’s face it! This doesn’t happen to many people and it helps you not feel alone as there are others there with advice, support and can share their experiences

My Aurora was in the NICU and they were fantastic with us. It’s the place I felt the most normal. They all knew our situation but they didn’t push for information and I felt I was treated like a normal mum.

Gem x

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