Pregnancy Update

Hi peeps, I have a bit of an update and just wanted to share how things have been going with people who get it. Things have been pretty rough. Sorry for the whinge.

I am 20 weeks pregnant now, and expecting a girl. Everything about the pregnancy has been completely normal and healthy, but my mental health has been rocky for the last two and a half months. I'm one week shy of the gestation I was at when my son was born, and there is a lot of anxiety about that and about losing this baby too even though everything is fine. Also, I noticed myself getting a bit depressed at about 10ish weeks, and my psychiatrist started me on a low dose of sertraline, but I still got really unwell really quickly and had to be hospitalised for a few weeks because I started having delusions and command hallucinations to self harm. So now I've been out of hospital for a couple of weeks and I still feel like shit, still have no motivation to do anything or take care of myself, and also the unreasonable anxiety about losing the baby. My meds are ridiculously sedating, so I'm not even sure I could do anything even if I wanted to. My partner has taken the last month off work to care for me, and my mum is coming over from the UK in a couple of weeks to stay as long as she can until after the baby is born. I'm feeling like a complete failure for not staying well and for needing so much support already. I've also lost any confidence I had that I'd be ok once the baby's born, because I'm already psychotic and she's not even here yet. It's like I'm just doomed to being a shit mum because I can't even sort out my head. So many people (and colleagues!) told me not to bother getting pregnant again because it was too "risky" and I'm terrified to have to tell them. Hospital brought up a lot of trauma too that I didn't realise was there about the psychotic episode after my son was born because I was in the same place and had the same doctors. I don't really know what the question is here, just needed to say it and maybe get encouragement that I'm not doing as shit a job as I think?

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  • Sending you hugs! Remember the PANDA Australia National Helpline are a great source for another understanding person to share the journey. They have women who have been there, who have been trained to support us.

    loveDEb

    PS Also if you want to join us Aussies on Facebook to share the road, send me a message!

  • Hello Cicerenella

    Thanks for your update. I'm really pleased to read under another thread that your 20 week scan went well and your baby is healthy and growing well, which must be such a relief.

    It sounds like you have been having an awful time lately. I didn't have psychotic thoughts before my sons were born but I can relate to how frightening command hallucinations to self harm were for me. Thankfully you are very self aware to know when you need help.

    I'm sure your mum's visit will give you lots of support and build your confidence. Try not to judge yourself so harshly. You're definitely not a failure and have had a lot of courage to come this far. Some days, with the effects of medication, it was so hard for me to even get out of bed and my family had to help with self care so you're not on your own there.

    You're doing a great job ..... take it easy. We're all here for you. xx

  • One of my friends, no mental health history, has extreme anxiety re her current baby not surviving as the last was stillborn. Apparently its a very normal reaction. Unfortunately our brains are wired to have hallucinations etc too so its much harder. Be kind to yourself, its tough...you are doing a great job. Im glad you have some support, but do you have anz face to face mum support of other mums whove grieved a loss of baby?

  • I had a lot of support initially from SAFDA, which is an organisation attached to the genetic counsellors at one of the hospitals here. They help parents who have (or choose not to have) a termination following a diagnosis of an abnormality. I started going to their group meetings about six months after my son died, and found it ok, although I felt very isolated by my mental health problems. A few friends were really good and supportive, one had a stillbirth almost twenty years ago, and one had an ectopic pregnancy a few weeks after my own loss. I eventually ended up seeing a psychologist who specialises in perinatal mental health, and she was excellent. I'm thinking of going back to see her now.

  • Yes good psychologists are the best for understanding and helping when no one else can

  • No no no! Your going to do great ! We deserve to be mommas ! We don't get things we can't handle! And when the baby is born the doctor can up your meds and you'll know what to look for and what might possibly happen and know what to do. It's okay to be scared I'm scared too but there's going to be much more knowledge this time around and everything is going to work out. You will get through it ! Keep your confidence up momma just always be positive. I wish you the best happiness with this pregnancy. Think this "I am strong, I am worthy of another baby, I am a good mom, I take all the precautions to keep me and my baby safe, I have done nothing wrong, weather I get ill or not I deserve this baby, I know what to do, and I can do this !! " screw the people that think having another baby is too risky it's already happened and there's no shame. Just because we are ill doesn't mean we can't have happiness we've always wanted and deserve. You are not a failure we didn't do this to ourselves and we're stronger than other moms because the journey is a little harder for us but we make it happen and we can make it ! I hope you cheer up I can tell you are so strong. Don't let others knock you down ! Best of luck to you keep going strong !

  • Hi Cinderella

    I agree with everything that the others say

    It's so easy to doubt yourself and feel like you are doing a crap job

    It took me months to regain my confidence as a mother after PP

    Remember none of this is your fault and you are such a strong person to even have got this far

    You will get through this and it will be all worth it in the end

    I wish you the very best of luck with the birth of your daughter xx

  • Sorry you have been having such a tough time. Thinking of you and I hope that things improve- you've been through so much but you've survived and you can keep on surviving.

    Your wee one will one day come to understand the sacrifices you have made to bring her into the world and I'm sure she will be in awe of the strength you have shown/will show. Most mums just have to deal with a baby but we've got to do it with minds that are sabotaging our efforts.

    It's not a failure to ask for help or to use the supports around you, we humans are designed to function best as part of communities.

    Part of my problem has always been that I judge myself as a bad mum but I have way too high expectations of myself. If you're ill, you're ill, it's not your fault and perhaps you need to try to alter your expectations.

    Eg being a 'good' mum might be eating your meals and taking your meds,if you're at a stage to be able to do these things! I'm pretty well recovered but still working on this area. for instance debating getting a cleaner because still beat myself up for not doing housework. Although currently typing this mid way through a blitz of my bedroom... should really carry on as currently can't get into my bed for the stuff!

    Hazello

  • Hello, so sorry reading your story. I have many things to say but think much of it has already been said. I wanted you to know I am in adelaide, had a very severe ppp after baby #1 and got through well with baby #2. I went public 2nd time and was under perinatal mental health team at Fmc as well as amazing gp and psychiatrist. They were in no rush to discharge me (in fact I was begging to leave) and followed me up daily with phone calls for a few weeks (mental health team) and midwife visited me at home frequently for 7 weeks. I was much better supported 2nd time around (private first time). Thinking of you and the awful time mental health is giving you. Please, it is not your fault. You have no control over what has been dealt to you. No guilt. No shame. Keep us updated and look after yourself x

  • Hi Cicerenella,

    I'm sorry you're having such a hard time of things! I think most of this has probably been said, but just to reinforce what others are saying. None of us has control of our health, no matter how much we might try, and it's not always possible to stay well. It is absolutely no reflection on you, or what you're going to be like as a mum. You're not a failure. In fact, you're getting through some really hard stuff, and still battling on and that is a credit to you. You're baby isn't going to see your illness, and it won't matter to her how much support you've needed, you'll still be the only mum she wants.

    All the best. XX

  • Hi Cicerenella

    How are you feeling now?

    So sorry that you're going through this. Don't for a second think you're going to be a shit mum, you're going to be an amazing mum cos you're super strong! Look at what you've been through already and you're still pushing through. I think extreme anxiety after all you've experienced is completely normal. It sounds like you're very aware of what's going on and you have some good support around you, so you'll be ok. Don't worry about telling your colleagues, it's none of their business, they don't need to know and this is not something you have control of. You're braver than any of them and you're going to come out the other side and be a happy, loving, capable mum.

    Sending you lots of hugs. xo

  • Thanks everyone for being so kind. I wish that the people around me were as understanding and supportive. I'm just making lots of little goals at the moment - like I have my social worker visiting every second day during the week, so I force myself to get up and shower and be ready to meet with her and then I spend the next day resting. I think I'm going to ask if I can go in to the cmh centre for my friday visits so that I am leaving the house more. I have an appointment with the obstetrician in two days, and I am looking forward to that a lot.

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