Where do I start?
Well, the most important news is that as of this July, I will no longer be a part-time Mum. Lovely Boyfriend and I are expecting a little Viking boy (and if you’re surprised, multiply by a hundred and you’re close to how surprised we were!).
Being pregnant with recognised mental health conditions has its drawbacks. I came off my medication as soon as I found out (13 weeks; I’d put the tiredness, weight gain and intermittent nausea down to the lamotrogine we were trialling!). So far, I have to say pregnancy agrees with me and is the best cure for depression I’ve found to date!
The recurrent depressive disorder finally knocked on the head (after roughly 18 months; the usual run for me), it’s just been the odd up and down BPD or hormone swing lately, and I’m dealing with them quite well.
I will detail things in future blogs, but the best thing I’ve found for my BPD is the STEPPS programme (systems training for emotional predictability and problem solving). It’s a 20 week course, very practical and useful.
Where I’m having the issues is, as always, with the stigma. The midwives went into panic mode, stuck me on the red (panic stations) pathway and the consultant obstetrician wrote in my notes (where I could see) “increased risk of PND and postpartum psychosis”. Umm…no, not really.
We also have to explain to other ” concerned ” parties that this pregnancy is, at the same time, exactly the same and completely different from my two previous pregnancies. I had no issues after having Maximus, and the first few weeks of Minimus’ life were fantastic (I want that same birth again please!). I had the same MH conditions then as I do now, merely undiagnosed and untreated with no therapy or skills to utilise! The only reason things went wrong after Minimus was that she had reflux and food intolerances, leading to virtually no sleep for several months (whilst trying to amuse a toddler Maximus). As a result, my mood dipped and they put me on an SSRI. As the years since have demonstrated, those BL&&dy SSRIs are probably the main culprit in my suicidality over the years!!
Given that I’m many years through therapy, incredibly aware of my own personal manifestations of depression and BPD (which I now like to call EID; Emotional Intensity Disorder), have the backing and support of my psychiatrist and CPN, and have a medication plan in place for post-birth if needed….I’m tired of being judged badly because I volunteered my conditions to a midwife!
This on a day when a Tory MP thinks it would be a good idea for people with MH conditions to wear a wristband, and following all the negative fall-out from the tragedy of the Germanwings crash.
Relax people; I’m only having a baby!