Most women will admit to being scared when they found out they were pregnant for the first time, especially if the pregnancy was unplanned. For Edith Bowman, however, being pregnant was particularly frightening — because it meant that her own life was in jeopardy. Four years ago the 33-year-old Radio 1 DJ learned she had a bicuspid, or two-way, aortic valve instead of the tricuspid valve of a normal heart. The heart defect means that the already-sizable cardiac strain of carrying a baby is only magnified for Edith, whose heart must work that much harder to maintain an adequate blood supply for both she and her baby with boyfriend Tom Smith.
The baby wasn’t planned and Tom and I were both shit-scared, frankly, when we found out. Then I went to my [doctor] and got even more frightened. There are so many things women are told they can and can’t do, like it’s an illness, when actually it’s a really joyful time.
The most obvious impact the defect has had on the pregnancy is the unilateral decision by Edith and her doctors to forego a natural delivery. Childbirth would simply prove to be too taxing on her heart, Edith says.
I’ll have to have a Caesarean because no one, including my own heart specialist, sees the point in putting my heart through unnecessary stress. Childbirth carries the risk of causing deterioration in a bicuspid valve so it’s just not a good idea. But I’m not one of these women who is desperate for a natural birth, so I’m fine with it.
The high-risk pregnancy has meant lots of extra ultrasounds for the couple. Doctors are monitoring the status of the baby’s heart as well because the condition is hereditary and is passed along in 10% of all cases. Edith says she and Tom will soon learn the sex of the baby — who is due in June — but even that happy occasion seems to have been overshadowed by the worries surrounding the pregnancy.
We get to find out the baby’s sex later this month but I’m like, there are really more important things to worry about right now than the color of baby clothes.
Edith and Tom, of the indie music group The Editors, have been dating for two years.
Source: Daily Mail