I’ll start right at the beginning.
I went to the loo, and came out with a little white stick that said ‘positive’. I then done this a further 6 times! I was in utter shock. This was not in my 5 year plan.
I was still studying in University at the time, and working part time. Living with my parents, and spending all my money on new outfits or the latest iPhone. Not exactly a responsible adult at this point.
The minute I saw that positive sign on all 7 pregnancy tests, I began to panic. And here my anxiety and depression journey began!
I grew up in a matter of seconds. No more getting drunk every weekend, and spending money like water. It was time to save my money for the little baby growing inside me. The anxiety didn’t really feel like anxiety at this point. I just thought I was over cautious at everything in life. Everything I done, was for the baby. Even when it came to eating. Anyone who knows me, knows I love my food. But I lost a stone through this pregnancy, and it was unbelievable. I didn’t even look pregnant until 27 weeks!!
Anyhow.. this is just a little background of my journey! The anxiety didn’t really hit until my little girl was born.
Yes, the dreaded post-natal depression hit me like a brick wall. I’d had a difficult time in labour. My little girl was born at 37 weeks, after a very long 7 days in hospital. I’d gone through 3 rounds (which overall is 9 rounds of a pessary and many many sweeps) of the induction process. The reason I was admitted to hospital is because my baby girl wasn’t growing as well as she should have been. Well anyway, long story short I then had a planned C-section after steroid injections. It was a ridiculously long process, and I was extremely tired of being in hospital. All I wanted was to see my baby girl.
As soon as she was born, that cry melted my heart! All I wanted to do was hold her, and I couldn’t. I had been given anti-nausea medication as I was all over the shop. So I was shaking like a leaf. But the nurse plonked her on my chest as I was going back to the ward for the baby to touch Mammy’s skin. However, this was not the heart felt moment that I had imagined. I was numb from the breasts down, and highly uncomfortable.
I sat on the hospital bed, with all my family around me. My perfect little girl at the end of my bed. But I couldn’t touch her. I was absolutely petrified. I kept using the same excuse – ‘I’m scared I’ll hurt her with me shaking from the medication’. But this was far from the truth. This was my first feeling of true anxiety. And I will never forget it for as long as I live.
I didn’t hold, touch, feel, smell my gorgeous little girl until my partner fell asleep during the night time. He was an amazing father from the second she was born. Took control of the situation, and of course he knew what I was going through. He didn’t question me or force anything, he just helped. And I will be eternally grateful for that. As babies do, she started to cry. My partner was sleeping for the first time in over 15 hours, so he wasn’t budging! I panicked. So I done it! I picked her up, and run out to the nurses station begging for help. Within seconds she was calm, and that is where I knew I was going to be okay.
After that everything seemed okay for a little while… well, so I thought anyway!