As most of you know, I lost my mom to cancer when I was 22 weeks pregnant with Hudson. When Hudson was 3 months old I was diagnosed with severe Post Partum Depression and anxiety. I documented my journey with PPD here. It has been two years and three months, and it has not been easy. With the help of a brilliant and supportive psychiatrist and medication, I was able to face my demons and fears head on. And then I became pregnant with our second.
I had no idea how hard it would hit me, not having my mom with me for the second time on this pregnancy journey. ” One day at a time” is the thought that I woke up with every morning. I have been strong, until I reached 22 weeks. It’s like I was transported back into a time capsule, reliving every single day leading up to and living every day after her death. The silence on the other end is deafening. The longing is heart wrenching. The pain has deepened. And the question “Why?” had popped again. Loosing a loved one os never easy, especially when you lose that someone without having to prepare for it. I am reminded of the conversations, my mom and I had a few weeks before she passed. She was going to help me with my hospital bag, and move in with us, for the first two weeks after the baby was born. Just to help us settle down. We settled on a name for our baby girl (at the time we were told Hudson was a girl) Her name would have been Emery Catherine . I have always loved the name Emery. A very prominent University in the States and Catherine, after my mom.
I had my first follow up session for 2019 with my psychiatrist in February this year. My biggest concern was obviously taking medication during my pregnancy. I also felt like a failure. I had made so much progress, dealing with the loss of my mom, issues dating back to my childhood, and facing my biggest competitor, myself. Back at square one, is where I found myself. Back in that dark corner, that kept on pulling me deeper and deeper into its grasp. Back to knowing that the person I needed the most was taken away from me once again.
Before seeing my Doctor, I reached out to a few women, whom also suffered from PPD, and asked them about taking medication while pregnant. All of them, said that it was the best thing that they could have done. To be a supportive and present mom for them toddler and also to take care of their unborn child. Research has shown that if you suffered from PPD in your first pregnancy, chances are high that you will suffer from it again. PPD is not something you just snap out of, and I’ve voiced my opinion on this multiple times. My Doctor and I sat through research papers and he went through everything thoroughly with me. That is what I needed to hear. The facts, and updated research on taking anti-depressants while pregnant. I walked out of the consultation room feeling much more confident, but also that I was in control of the situation and not letting it control me.
You are not alone
If you have found yourself in the same position that I have in the last few weeks, know that you are not alone. Mental wellbeing during pregnancy is so important, and a topic that is always not discussed because of fear of rejection and non acceptance. Brining a new life into this world is hard. It brings on so many changes, irrespective if its your first, second or third pregnancy. It is normal to have fears, worries and feeling anxious about the arrival of your baby. Anyone can have a mental health condition- it is not something that you should feel ashamed of. The first is step is to know when to seek help. If you have been feeling worried or anxious for more than a few weeks, seek help. If negative thoughts consume you daily, seek help. Losing interest and hope in the things you love? seek help. If you are suffering from any of the following: panic attacks, obsessive and compulsive behavior, then seek help. It is so important to have a support structure in your life, and your husband, or partner is the best person to convey your thoughts and feelings to. Consult your GP or your Gynaecologist and express your fears to them.
It will be ok
I know that my mo is smiling at my from above, and that she is so proud of the Mom I have become. My kids will know who she was and the same values that she instilled upon myself and siblings will be passed onto them. Always remember this. With time one learns to accept, but the pain and heartache grows stronger and deeper with every single passing day.