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  1. #1
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    Default Not like the movies...

    Hi all.

    I wasn’t sure where this would fit. I love this website and forum, but with Pre and Post Natal Depression being such major issues, or mental health in general, I’m surprised there is no specific section for these matters.

    I have bipolar disorder but am managing that, on medication (safe one of course). I don’t have Pre or Post Natal depression but I am concerned I could develop it. I have had three breakdowns in my life. My mum had PND when she had me. I don’t want to be defeatist but I do think there is a very real possibility that this could happen for me.

    I am also really scared of the whole pregnancy and birth process. When I say scared, I believe I have a full blown phobia. This has been massive for me to get to this point (I am now 1-2 weeks pregnant). I was scared ever since I found out where they come out of and what’s involved. And not that I was ever the maternal type, but any time I ever thought about if I want kids or not, I never got to really asking myself that because of my fear of childbirth and all those fun procedures. I thought that if I ever want kids then I can adopt or foster.

    Then I got married and after a rocky start we were generally smooth sailing, and talking about whether we should or shouldn’t have kids. I really tried to be open and trying my best to put my fear aside.

    Last year I saw a gynaecologist who gave me some guidance, arrange blood tests, any outstanding vaccinations, and an external ultrasound to make sure all my organs were healthy and that I had lots of eggs etc. Bloods came back fine and ovaries etc fine. She also said that the “internal procedures” pre birth (ultrasounds etc) are recommended but not compulsory and that I can still get external ultrasounds, even though I won’t see as much as with an internal.

    I was really emphatic with her that if I went down this path, then I definitely wanted a C section, possibly under general anaesthetic. I feel ashamed writing this because I feel others will read it and think I am just over the top. She said she could get me a C section no worries, anaesthetic is an option but I need to ask her more about what is required to justify the use, ie note from psychiatrist about my phobia or whatever.

    So anyway, hubby and I have tried for over a year, but when I say tried, what I really mean is, I tracked my ovulation when I felt like it, and we are both low drive these days (partially due to both on meds) and so we weren’t heaps strict.

    But we were busy last month like 4 times during ovulation and it happened.

    I am not unhappy or regretful but I am really scared. I feel bad because I have friends and even relatives who had a lot of trouble conceiving, went through IVF, really really really wanted this for themselves, and here I am freaking out because I successfully became pregnant. I am 32 and some of these cousins are younger than me.

    Also, in the last few years particularly, I have had family members and well meaning friends, pastor etc giving me little prods about the baby thing, when you gonna have one etc. I feel like it’s partially for them, so they can feel okay based on me doing what they think I should do. If I never had kids, maybe I would have some regret later in life, but I ultimately would have made that my choice if that’s how it turned out. And so right now, I just have to remember that this is my choice to be pregnant and not because of pressure from other people. This is part of the reason I am not feeling good about telling them yet. Because I know they will be happy, for me yes, but also for their own reasons, like they can relax now because I’m having a baby and therefore my world is complete. They will be happy because of that but not concerned about how massive of a decision this was for me and the fear I will be experiencing throughout my pregnancy to the birth. Or the potential for PND or a breakdown (I have had 3 major breakdowns in my life and a fourth is not out of the range of possibility).

    And not that I am stressing yet but I am so far from the bonding thing too. I dunno if I bonded with my mum that well. Not that I hold it against her, but I swear, I am alien to bonding with children. Never pined to be a mum really. I did desire to adopt a child for a while, but I wondered if that was another aspect coming into it of wanting to rescue someone from a life that might not be good for them and to give them the love they crave. Not bad desires. But maybe not feeling the bonding thing is my strong suit, perhaps its best that I didn’t adopt, as I hear it’s harder.

    Anyways. Sorry for the essay. Just so much on my mind and I don’t feel like I can really talk to anyone.

    Still freaking out about telling people. We’re planning to tell our mum’s this Sunday. I know you’re technically not supposed to til 13 weeks but we felt to tell the immediate fam now. I know they are gonna gush at me but I really need my emotional space….

  2. #2
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    oh hugs sweety. firstly, if you really need your emotional space right now, I would wait until you are ready. have you had a chat with your dr about coping strategies etc and maybe try to put a plan in place? pregnancy the first time IS both exciting and scary as you don't know what to expect. stay on this forum and ask as many questions as you like hun, there are lots of us to help. xo

  3. #3
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    Hey OP, hugs and congrats to you I'm sure it wasn't easy to open up about how you're feeling.

    I felt scared when I first found out I was pregnant (due any day now!) and part of it was a "fear of the unknown". My mum gave me a book by Kaz Cooke "up the duff" which helped me a lot because I could get some information but not overload like what you get from Dr Google.

    I'd recommend talking to your healthcare providers, GP/gyno etc, about your fears because they are in the best position to advise and help. Don't feel like you have an obligation to tell family/friends your big news until you feel it's right and you don't have to wait until 13 weeks either. I found that talking with family has helped a lot during this pregnancy.

    In any case, remember that you're embarking on an amazing journey, healthcare is really good in Australia and that you have lots of support around you from your DH, family and friends. Take care, deep breath and relax!

  4. #4
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    Hi QuietSoul,

    I too have Bipolar disorder and completely understand the reservations you have about pregnancy. We are TTC at the moment, and I feel scared about it, especially after what I went through last time. But pregnancy is a scary thing, for most people! If you read through this forum there are so many people worried about various aspects of pregnancy, all kind of things. I think how you are feeling is completely natural!

    My last pregnancy was ok mentally, but I did get postnatal psychosis and had to spend 8 weeks in hospital afterwards. My doctors have told me I have an enormous risk of having this again. However, last time I didn't know I had bipolar, I was diagnosed after the birth. The great thing is, because we now know the risk, we can put in measures to try and reduce it.

    I'm not sure where you live, but here in Perth we have a special antenatal mental health clinic which specialises in supporting those with a mental illness throughout pregnancy. I would recommend asking your GP if there is anything similar in your area. With a service like this you will get the extra support you need. I believe they see you from an earlier stage in pregnancy, support your medication choices, and keep a careful eye on you after the birth. Talking to a counsellor/psychiatrist/psychologist about your feelings would also be helpful.

    Congratulations on your pregnancy though! In terms of telling people, it is totally up to you and your partner and what you feel comfortable with. If you want a little more time to process everything it is totally ok to wait a few weeks until things have settled more.

    Good luck


 

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