When Leo was about two years old, Hugh and I started chatting about having another baby. We always thought we would have two (me, three) children. However, after having gone through postnatal depression (PND), we were both fearful of trying. I was terrified about getting PND again, particularly after working so hard to overcome it and, Hugh was concerned he wouldn’t be able to see me go through it again. In the back of my mind, I didn’t think I could survive it again.
However, as time went on the desire, to grow our family grew stronger. So, together, we started the process of putting measures in place to lower the chances of PND reoccurring, given I was living with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD). One measure was the increase of therapy sessions. At my therapy sessions, we started to work towards what life might be like if we did get pregnant again, and, then the challenges of being a mum to two children whilst living with GAD. We also explored what would happen if PND reared its ugly head again.
We also met with an outstanding Perinatal Psychiatrist who provided us with written advice on the risks of the reoccurrence of PND, what may occur if left untreated, implications of GAD and treatment pathways. Hugh and I went away after that meeting feeling very well informed and for a time, we weighed up our options. In the end, we felt supported enough to start the path of having another baby.
In the middle of 2017, we were ecstatic to find out we were pregnant with a little baby girl. My pregnancy was uneventful which was a blessing. As a preventative, given the risks of developing PND again, I increased my therapy sessions, I regularly saw my GP who was always so supportive and encouraging, and, my OB checked in on mental health at every appointment. There were points throughout my pregnancy whereby I had feelings of impending doom which I explicitly told my OB at one appointment to which he wrote to my therapist and GP with my approval. It was so comforting to know that lines of communication were open with all medical professionals.
The birth of Lily was everything I had of hoped for. I was supported by two midwives from the moment I walked into the labour ward and then a third in my later stages of labour. My OB kept checking in on me periodically and when I became too anxious, I asked him stay and he did until I gave birth. I had a few days in the hospital setting and then was transferred to a hotel for the remainder of the stay – AMAZING!
Unfortunately, I experienced postnatal depression again and in my next post, I will tell you all about that and about life with exuberant baby Lily. Stay tuned for PART TWO where it gets a little bit tricky but it has a lot of hope. Love and Smiles xxx