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Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Due to be a Gandmother

I am due to become a grandmother in July.

This is my sons fiance and I am worried I will start to have flashbacks and nightmares again when the baby is born. I am currently back at work working part-time for a cleaning company. I am doing some voluntary work for the nhs doing admin work at a doctors surgery. I am also currently studying towards a diploma in Psychology/health and social care and mental health and community. Generally, I am feeling well in myself at the moment. I was wondering if anyone else had such problems?

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Hi Poulson,

I'm afraid that I'm not in a similar situation but I just wanted to say that it is difficult for me seeing close family members pregnant and I do often feel jealous of people who have a "straight forward" time (well as straightforward as it can be having your life turned upside down forever!).

It sounds like you have lots of positive things going on in your life right now, you're busy and you say that you are feeling generally well in yourself right now, so maybe your worries will not come to anything? I suppose that the difficult thing with mood and emotions is you can't control how you respond to things. Maybe there is support you could access, for instance counselling support, or visit your GP? Do you have anyone you can confide in? I have one particular friend who I have known for a long time and who visited me in hospital who I can talk to about anything but it's sometimes difficult to find people who can understand mental health issues.

Best wishes, and I hope that you are able to enjoy your new grandchild in amongst everything else.

Hazello

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Dear Poulson,

It sounds like you are keeping very busy and productive! I don't have experience of flashbacks (my own illness was just four years ago) but I am sure you will be able to manage your anxieties and enjoy being a grandma.

As Hazello suggests, a supportive partner or friend could be really helpful here. As could some self care exercises - whatever you find beneficial to your mood / relaxation e.g. Exercise or cooking or watching a film.

Take care of yourself and don't worry if you find you can't (for example) visit the hospital. Do what you can and don't rush things - the bond with your new grandchild will be there for years, so if you can't join in too much with the very early weeks they won't notice at all... :)

Many congratulations and all best wishes to you and your son and daughter in law,

Kat x

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I have been a grandma once and am due to be again. I have flashbacks, but as these other ladies say, it could make a big difference when you have more to do in your life. Mine is pretty boring right now. What has helped is having my child who survived this problem as well as me understanding fully well and supporting me knowing if I had not done some things right when she was a baby, she may not be here; but here she IS with a five year old son, here her sister IS expecting a little girl, which will be my second grandchild. It's not easy, but life wasn't supposed to be easy, was it? We are champions. We have already won. Moms 1, death zero.

I have a few poems about my experience, here is one:

CORDS AND CHORDS

There are ties in our lives

Like shoelaces,

You can trip if they are not tied.

Most ties we can name

Are made by cords

Of one type

Or another.

It is odd, and sometimes sad to think

Of the cord that is spelled

Differently,

The vocal chord.

Where would we be without it?

Where indeed.

Has anyone ever thought,

I’m sure they have…

Just because you are able

To speak doesn’t make it say

What you mean especially when

The only thing you can think of

Is to scream.

There is only one cord that is

A real cord I wanted to mention

Here really,

The one that is placed with God’s intention

In mother and child’s belly.

That again I wish to be thankful for

And use my vocal chords

Not to scream, but praise Him forevermore.

Easter Sunday 2007

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My mum does. She takes extra medicine in these times and is fine

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