Owning up to needing psychiatric support when you were pregnant is scary stuff. Everyone has a perception of mental health, none of it is flattering. I don't think I was at major risk but between appointments with my lovely psychiatric consultant, a psychiatric nurse and also a CBT counselor, I ended up with almost weekly appointments. These completely saved me as I had regular panic attacks through the early stages of pregnancy (I lost my job at 8 weeks pregnant, just after the spotting had stopped) and without my psychiatric support I don't want to think about the state I would have been in.
I was also mixed up about the support. On the one hand it was amazing to finally have this help but on the other, I was scared that they would think I was a danger to myself or my son and take him away when he was born. I still live with a remaining fear that this will happen. That my mental health will mean I won't be allowed access to the person I love more than anything in the world.
Alongside all of this, we also were referred to a genetic counselor due to various things. This is not really much fun. There's not much to say but it meant I awaited our 12 and 20 week scans with a fair amount of dread.
As a result of all this, I utterly refused to buy maternity clothes, despite not fitting into my jeans from a ridiculous 8 weeks. Lets not even talk about the enormo-boob situation. Even the sonographer told me, not unsympathetically, to stop doing my jeans up with a hair band....
|Me at 24 weeks|
I found it all so intimidating - how did I know what buggy I needed and for what occasions. And cots, cribs, bassinets, co-sleepers, moses baskets, hammocks - all that just for sleeping. I frequently just wanted to yell "I Don't Know, Stop Fucking Asking Me Stuff". I'm a perfectionist and making such important-seeming choices just threw my anxiety and paranoia into overdrive. If there is anything more likely to trigger a row than a hormonal, anxious pregnant woman, a department store, over-priced buggies and a confused father-to-be, then I don't know it.
|At 27 weeks|
Want to know what happened next? Final part in the series coming soon!