Thursday, 16 August 2012

I had a mental health midwife

Back when I was pregnant a time which only felt like yesterday but was actually only just over 3 months ago - yes I know it's gone quick! I had a mental health midwife, that was until I became 'normal' and hit the home run without needing one. You see my pregnancy really wasn't a straight forward time for me, anyone that's read my blog over the last year knows this. You think it couldn't of got any worse, but it did. Let me fill you in on something I never felt ready to share with you until now.

You see I could of easily just named this post 'my hormones are crazy'. Like crazy which needs to be said in bold, capital letters like this
CRAZY. They were crazy enough to actually have a midwife dedicated to them, though putting it as crazy seems to be a understatement. Mention the word 'hormones' to my husband and the look on his face will tell you all you need to know, about how that word has been such a strain on our lives. I've been wanting to write about this for so long now but have not been quite sure how to put it into words. How do you explain to people your hormones are a problem, people expect you to be hormonal when you're pregnant but how do you explain to them that yours really are a rather bad case?

I guess a good starting point would of been to say it was bad enough to see a psychiatrist and a midwife each week for them, to help keep a eye on my mental state and to work through these hormones. This on top of my health was something which put the home birth that I wanted into question, I was not only seeing a consultant thanks to my SVT but because of those hormones. What I was going through was real, it was something which they noted as a condition. Only now after I've come out of the other side I wonder if I had something wrong with my hormones which linked everything up? What if the hyperemesis gravidarum had something to do with it as well as my abnormal fast heartbeat? Maybe they should of tried piecing these together to see what they came up with.

Let me tell you how these hormones effected me. At first they made me depressed, really depressed. It came out of nowhere and I didn't know it had started the moment we conceived. This completely changed me and I was going to go and seek professional help as this started to effect me big time. I became very self conscious and the simple reflection of me had me distraught. I didn't want to go into work because of this image issue I suddenly developed with myself. This stuck around for the first half of my pregnancy, the doctor diagnosed me with pre-natal depression.

Of course then the sickness started, the horrendous sickness where I was doing nothing but being sick day and night. I couldn't eat or drink, the moment a glass of water was bought to my lips I would knock it aside to be sick instead. We tried various medication but in the end I just had to keep visiting the hospital to be put on a drip. This would perk me up until it wore off and then it was back to the beginning. The only weight on me at this point was the baby growing inside of me, despite everything though he was always healthy. Even in the last couple of months where they kept scanning me as they were concerned about his size, there was nothing at all wrong with him. And he shoved two fingers up to that tape measure by being born weighing 7lb 13oz.

Once this had finally subsided, it never vanished but did settle. This is where the hormones REALLY came to play. It made me angry, think PMT each month and triple it. But make it the worst kind of PMT where you want to lash out at your husband for the simplest of things. I didn't just want to though, I did. Our relationship was put on the rocks by this, the man didn't know how to be around with me. He didn't even want to be around me half of the time thanks to these hormones. These hormones changed the person I was. They changed my relationship, this man who I loved so much became my human punchbag. When he would say something wrong I would launch myself at him, it was like I had turned the incredible hulk. I would hit out, instead of using my words I would use my hands. When I'm calm I just realise that he's just being a typical man, a typical person and why don't I just walk away? Why do I have to react and why do I have to react in such a way?

I knew part of me was still being sane as I would never lift a finger to him whilst the toddler was around and neither would I ever lay a finger on my toddler. I guess that was why it took me so long to seek help and admit to what was going on, I didn't want anyone to think I could harm my child. The man knew this isn't me, he knew who the real me, the pre-pregnant me. The one without hormones which I guess is why he put up with it. I guess it was on a day where my hormones were starting to settle where I was just horrified at what was going on, I booked a emergency doctors appointment who set the wheels in motion for me to receive help.

Getting that help was the best thing I could of done as well as the right thing. The best part of getting that help was that the midwife who was assigned to come out to me to especially talk about the way I was feeling, reassured me that I wasn't the only one who was like this and experienced this in pregnancy. obviously she didn't give me details of other people but knowing that this wasn't just me helped in a way. Towards the end of the pregnancy the hormones started to die down and we were able to enjoy what little of the pregnancy we had left. I just cant believe my pregnancy was spent in this way. It was like living a horror movie, I just didn't know what was going on. The pregnancy we tried for and succeed with just wasn't going right. I didn't bond with this pregnancy until the end, It was only then that I had started to face up those things you should be doing when pregnant like thinking of baby names and shopping for baby clothes.

So yeah not only did my health suffer in pregnancy but my mental health also suffered too, for these reasons Dylan's pregnancy has left me traumatised in a way that whenever I think about it, I cry. It really was a testing time and something which has left me scarred. We want a third, we really do but I don't know how I can handle another pregnancy if it was to be like my second. I hear about people being traumatised by labour and how that puts them off doing it again, but not pregnancy. I guess my fears about being pregnant is a blog post within itself. As much as I despised being pregnant with him, Dylan has become my world along with his brother. It may not of been smooth sailing but he certainly was worth every minute of that pregnancy. Though it's safe to say I certainly wont be pregnant again anytime soon.