How many of us have friends or people in our lives like this?  Who are happy to hang around when everything is sunshine and rainbows, but who magically disappear or distance themselves at the first sign of a raincloud?

I’ve started putting my phone list together for the baby’s arrival (in case my mobile dies, or I forget it, or it gets hidden by Miss G or any other number of scenarios I’ve had run through my head).  As I was starting to write my list yesterday, I was flipping through my contacts and I thought about how some of these people haven’t been there for me recently.  It made me wonder if I’ve been pushing people away, but upon reflection I don’t think I have.

Some of these people used to ring or SMS me all the time, and now nothing, or else it’s very rare.  I know life goes on and people get caught up living their own lives, but it makes me ponder what has happened in that I don’t matter so much to them anymore.  Maybe it’s my black dog making me think that way, but sometimes I feel so lonely.  I know there are so many people eagerly awaiting the arrival of the baby, even though it’s number four.  And then there are those who rarely ask how I’m going or how my pregnancy is going, and you know they’re not sincere when they actually do.  Fair enough, I know my life isn’t exactly in the same realms of excitement as yours right now but it just makes me realise that I have some toxic and fair weather friends in my life who I need to distance myself from.  Because otherwise it hurts.

Instead, I’m going to focus on those who still love me even though I’m broken.  Yesterday was a flat day.  I’d had a migraine the night before and this transcends into anxiety for me for a couple of days postdrome.  I’d had fun at music with one of my best friends and our kids, and when I got home I spent a couple of hours wishing that our lifestyles didn’t mean that we would soon be saying goodbye, not knowing when I’d see her again.  Not the best thing to be pondering on a cold, anxiety-sprinkled day.  I just hope once we move away that we still message eachother on facebook fifty times in twelve hours!

So while I wondered if and when yet another friendship would fade away, my mobile rang.  I assumed it would be another telemarketer, they seem to have no problem in speaking to me while they flaunt their wares like some cheap floozy.  I didn’t even look at the caller ID before I answered, the only reason I did answer is because I couldn’t handle my continuous ringtone and I was fumbling for the ‘reject call’ button.  I’m certainly glad I did, because the voice on the other end was D.  D has been one of my best friends for years: in fact my birthday will mark 11 years since we first met.  He’s a part of my family, Miss D’s Godfather and one of the few people who has stood beside me through thick and thin.  From drunken clubbing days and sleazy guys (trying their luck with both of us!), bad relationships on both sides, him approving of and becoming great friends with my husband,  four pregnancies… he’s my penguino.

D has been away in the boonies for the past few weeks, playing Man vs Wild but one of my other best friends (who happens to be his girlfriend since they met at Miss D’s second birthday, best matchmaking ever!) has been checking in on me.  (I love you K!)  So it was nice to receive a random call from D, when I know usually he’s stressed out with work.  It was so wonderful to speak to someone who makes me laugh, and who I share so many inside jokes with.  And best of all, he was genuinely concerned about how I’m going.  He has no idea that by the time we ended our conversation, my mood had completely flipped around.  I was on cloud nine for the rest of the evening, which was boosted even more by a chat with Miss K (who will be arriving in a few weeks to be one of my support people when it comes time to birth the baby), a discussion with J about the delectable Mr Moran, and topped off by my wonderful husband going out to buy me a mint Aero.

So today while I ponder my list I’ve been thinking.  And I’ve reached a decision.  I’m not including anyone on my Announcement List who hasn’t bothered with me in the past couple of months.  I’m not wasting my energy and efforts on them anymore, I’m tired of keeping some friendships going when they’re probably better off just fading away.  I need to stop caring, because it’s obvious they don’t.

Besides, why do I need people like that taking up space in my life when I have the kind of  friends who will weather any storm with me?



I know, I know.  I’m a slack blogger.  But by the time the princesses are in bed I’m ready to shut my eyes myself! I’ve been feeling absolutely exhausted the past few days, so I think the third trimester fatigue has well and truly kicked in.  Thrills.

I keep having moments during the day where I think, “I need to write/blog/ramble about that” but then I forget.  Maybe I need a notepad or something!  I know one of the things I wanted to write about was a bit negative: ie competitive people, those who exaggerate, etc etc.  But hell, it’s a Saturday night and I want to write about happy things.  Maybe not fluffy clouds, and lollipops and rainbows, because those days, although they’re happening more and more frequently… well I think I’m still scared of jinxing it.  So instead this is going to be an absolute fluff post, about things that make me, me.  Things I enjoy, love, and miss.  Not family and friends, because it goes without saying that I love those people more than anything.

But things like, the beach.

Like this beach.  None of this Bondi Beach rubbish where it’s overcrowded and the beautiful people fight it out for the smallest bikini or biggest triceps.  The pictured beach…. now that’s perfection.  I don’t go very often at the moment, but if you go first thing in the morning when it’s peaceful then you see people meditating.  What a perfect way to start the day.

Then there’s sewing.  I haven’t been doing it for very long (about a year), but I love it! There’s something so therapeutic about it, and satisfaction at finishing a piece.  This if course goes hand-in hand with fabric.

It’s my secret addiction.  When the girls go to sleep I spend ages googling and drooling over it.  No idea why, I just love the different textures, colours, prints…. I could spend hours in Spotlight and Lincraft!  I would love to have my own online fabric store.

I also love drawing.  just still-life, with lead.  I haven’t done it for ages, simply because once I start sketching I want to finish.  And with young children that’s not possible, they like to interrupt.  So my drawing has been sorely neglected.

Books, books, books.  None of this e-book/kindle or whatever it is.  I love a book where i can turn the pages and feel the weight in my hands.  The pictured book, is one of my absolute favourites.  I had an old hardcover version when I was younger.  No idea where it came from, but the pages were falling out, and it was that funky dusty-red hardcover.  I have no idea where that book is now.  My cupboard has two shelves filled with books that include biographies, chick-lit, murder mysteries…..

Following on from the picture above, I love horse riding.  Obviously it’s out of bounds right now, and with a newborn it’s just not practical.  I’m not as diehard as I used to be, other priorities! But my eldest daughter loves it too.

‘Ace of Cakes’ and other cooking shows, whether they be about cake making or otherwise.

Crystals and gemstones.  Yes, I might be weird but I find them fascinating, and choose to have a bit of faith that they may help and heal.  When we were trying for number three princess, I bought a honey jade pendant.  That month, we fell.  Who knows if my honey jade had anything to do with it, but you never know! My Mum bought me a piece of rose quartz that I carry with me, and I finally got around to ordering my own amber necklace which I’m now wearing proudly.

I also love Summer, ancient Egyptian and Greek history, cats, antiques, social networking (aka Facebook), forums, music, rugby union (go the Brumbies and Wallabies!), tattoos, roses, dragonflies, and massages.

So there you go.  A ramble filled with picture-overload and no mention of anxiety.  Except for now.  Oh well.

(My Thing For Me today was to have a midday sleep.  It didn’t happen.)

The past two days have shown me how much I value my healthcare providers, and that they really do care about how I’m going.

Yesterday I had my antenatal mental health appointment at the hospital.  S (my midwife) and D (social worker/counselor) are fantastic.  I value my visit with them every month.  S has done so much for me, from the moment I first met her.  She was my advocate and understood completely my fears surrounding the arrival of this little one, and was the first to suggest a social induction.  She then set me up with an ob who she knew would support me.  Not only that, but she remembers the little things.  She knows I’m anxious about the effect Cipramil will have on the baby, and went out of her way to speak to a paediatrician, and print out articles and information for me so she could give it to me yesterday.  She does an examination every time I see her, to reassure me that baby is doing well.  She gives me information regarding my rights and things I can negotiate on when it comes time to bring baby into the world, even if it ends up being an induction.  Next month is the last time I will see her unless she’s working when I give birth, so I want to get her a thank you.  Any ideas?

D has also been wonderful.  When she found out we’re most likely moving interstate a few weeks after baby’s arrival, she said she will contact the local hospitals to link me up with support.  She could quite easily walk away, but she won’t.

Then today I forgot I was expecting a visit from L, the perinatal psych until she buzzed our intercom.  I apologised for forgetting, and explained that my youngest isn’t well.  It wasn’t a drama for her at all, she said she’d be in contact with me soon and less than 20 minutes later she called me from her office! We spoke about how I’m feeling, and she rescheduled for next week.

Not long after I received a call from B (my community mental health nurse).  She said that she’d spoken to L and my resheduled appointment would clash with my appointment with her, so she rescheduled my appointment with her (B) for the following week.  Oh my, healthcare providers who communicate with eachother! I was so overwhelmed, and it makes me so grateful that I have such a wonderful team of professionals who are doing everything they can to help me recover!  They’re all worth their weight in gold, and I just wish I could show them how much I appreciate their support, care and understanding.  I tell them all the time, but I don’t feel like it’s enough.

They’re absolutely amazing, wonderful people and it’s because of them I’ve come this far.

(My Thing For Me Today was a shower all by myself again, bliss on my sore back!)

Wow, I can actually say that I’ve had a few good days! The weekend, not so much.  But this week, yes! Yes I have SPD, and I have no Zofran, and my kids have all been sick, and I didn’t sleep well last night….. but I’ve coped! The anxiety tried to creep in with palpitations and a tight chest, but I beat it!

I was worried how I’d go this week.  On Saturday I had a bad backache and pain in my side, and later that evening I had spotting so I ended up at the hospital for monitoring.  All was fine with the baby, but they couldn’t find the cause of my spotting.  The spotting continued on Sunday, but was gone by Monday.  I was stressed at the time, but no lingering anxiety three days on!  I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that a friend took me instead of husband (who stayed home with overtired children), if he’d come with me I think his stress would have made it worse.  Instead I had the beautiful J with me who got to hold the CTG in place, and who was making me laugh.  I appreciated that so much!  I owe her so much, something for me to think about!

Last night before my shower I felt my pelvis give way.  The pain was excruciating.  It felt like someone had taken a saw and was cutting me in half.  I managed to hobble into the shower to get the hot water onto my back, then husband sent me to bed.  It’s still so, so sore today (takes me a while to negotiate our stairs) but when I spoke to Mum and she asked what I was going to do, I said “Suck it up and get on with it.”  Wow.  Usually I’d wallow in self pity, but I have three kids who need their mama so I’m trying to take it as easy as I can while still getting things done (should have defrosted something and popped it in the slow cooker to make life a bit easier but didn’t cross my mind until a couple of hours too late!).  Now that my youngest is asleep, and Miss D is having lunch and watching a show I’m taking the opportunity to pop my feet up properly.  And while I’m resting, I’m feeling and watching my precious baby kick and shake my belly.  I feel content. And it’s a nice place to be, even if it is only fleeting.

(My Thing For Me today is to finally open and use the delicious Clinique Body Butter I bought a couple of a week ago.  Just a few minutes of pampering my poor aching body after my shower tonight, it will be bliss!)

Yet again I’m slow with the updating.  But I did have someone special staying for a couple of days, so I wasn’t online much.

How am I feeling? I’m exhausted.  But it had been a couple of great days.  I saw my nurse B on Friday, and had a good talk.  We just spoke about how I’ve been feeling, how I’m going on my AD dose, and about the things I have to look forward to for the rest of the year (some big things happening!).  She also spoke about how we’re still waiting for someone who will talk to Miss M and D, about how they’re feeling.  Miss M has had a shocking time at school this year, and it makes me feel like a bad mum that I haven’t been able to fix that for her even though I’ve spoken to her teachers.  Thank goodness she’ll be out of there soon.

Otherwise, not much else.  My Ondansetron has gone missing, which means I’ve spent today vomiting.  Not sure if I pulled something or if the baby has changed positions (Mum told me I’m looking bigger today), but I had shocking back and right side pain today.  I’ve spent the afternoon in bed, taking the pressure off my right side and it seems to have helped.  I also got a little doze in which was nice.  It means I feel shoddy now, but it was like heaven at the time!

As for my Things For Me, I have managed to do a couple.  I managed to have a shower uninterrupted (usually my youngest wants to come in too and makes her feelings known if she is denied!), and tonight if my stomach behaves, I have some chocolate to enjoy.  Oh I hope my hyperemesis settles for this evening!

So that’s about it.  A bit of a poor update, but I’ll focus on something I’ve been thinking about tomorrow.


But I have a good reason.  My husband got back from a couple of months away for work.  I was quite anxious last night and tonight.  Last night was because I was waiting for him to come home, and tonight I think it’s because my routine is so out of whack.  While husband was away, my evenings were busy but organised.  They consisted of making dinner, then dishes, followed by wiping down every surface, then sweeping and mopping the floor and taking out the garbage.  Finally we’d all have our showers, the girls would go to bed and I’d settle down for the night in bed with my laptop and tv remote.

Tonight husband made dinner, swept the floor, took out the garbage and did the dishes.  I feel out of sorts! I loved being able to put my feet up and have an early shower, but I’m so used to doing it all at night that it’s thrown me for a loop.  Plus the baby has now reached that ‘making mama uncomfortable’ stage, which isn’t helping.  The Braxton Hicks are starting to get on my nerves, and I’d love to be able to breath properly!

One of the ways my anxiety comes out is via Obsessive Compulsion.   I wash my hands so often, and I know my anxiety has been bad because my hands currently look sunburnt, and are starting to peel.  Tomorrow I’m going to try restrain myself from going to the sink every five minutes.  This morning was good because we had music, so I was nicely distracted.  I need more distractions (like having kids isn’t enough to keep me busy!).

Because I missed last night, I didn’t manage to write down My Thing For Me.  But it was to watch Offspring, while I waited for husband to get home.  Which I did. 🙂  I love that show!  I didn’t think of anything for tonight, but I did have a lovely, relaxing shower so can that count?  Tomorrow I’d really like to do some sewing, so I’ll see how I go.

Sorry that this post seems to be such a shambles tonight, with not really any rhyme nor reason.  I’m multitasking by watching Master Chef as well, tomorrow I will try to focus more.


I wasn’t too sure what to write about today.  Today was an average day, I’m looking forward to tomorrow hopefully being better.  Then I thought, maybe I should describe what it feels like to be suffering from anxiety and depression.  Well, the best that I can anyway.

Matthew Johnstone wrote a book called “I Had a Black Dog.”  He uses a black dog to describe depression, and his illustrations perfectly describe how it feels.

It’s hard to find motivation to even brush your teeth, you can cry for no reason, all you want to do is sleep, and the darker the room the better.  You no longer find things amusing, your appetite disappears, and you hate yourself and what you’ve become (this is based entirely on my experience, I know it affects everyone differently).  Johnstone suffered depression himself, and describes various ways in which people are affected by the black dog, until it comes to ‘heel’.

Having gone through postnatal depression with my first two, I thought I would recognise the signs with my third, and seek help if I needed it.  Easy, right? I’d done it twice before, and had turned out fine.  What I wasn’t prepared for, was the anxiety.

I’ve suffered from anxiety on and off since I was a teenager.  I think a lot of it stems from a fear of death.  When I was a young child, I saw a daddy longlegs spider on the wall.  I told my parents, and my Mum told me it was dead.  Dead? What is dead? “It’s when your heart doesn’t beat anymore, and you’re no longer alive.”  I remember crying hysterically.  I didn’t want to be dead, I wanted to stay with my parents and brothers forever.

My first experience with ‘human’ death, was the loss of my Uncle when I was 12.  He passed away at 37, due to cardiomyopathy.  We were all devastated, but I don’t think I ever grieved properly.  I didn’t feel like I had the right to, after all it was my cousins’ dad and I was only his niece.  A few years later, I started dreading dusk and nighttime.  I felt like I couldn’t breathe, that I had something stuck in my throat.  I was convinced if I went to sleep I wouldn’t wake up.  I lived for Daylight Savings, when we would get light for longer.  This went on for a while, but eventually petered out.  Thank goodness.

Unfortunately I chose to go into a profession, that brought me back face to face with death.  I nursed people who were dying from cancer and other diseases/illnesses, I laid out those who had passed away for the morgue.  I experienced the loss of a pregnant woman (and her baby who was only a few weeks away from viability), of a man with three young children…. so many people.  I was so naive, but ignorance can really be bliss.

Why have I written about this?  Because whenever my anxiety is present, it’s a fear of dying, and of leaving my kids behind.  Not seeing them grow up, not being there for them, for all of their milestones.  I’m their mother, I’m meant to always be there to protect them.  But I know life doesn’t always work out that way.  I know, I’ve seen it.

I might be perfectly fine, feeling good.  Then I’ll be struck with a migraine.  Oh god, it’s an aneurysm.  I’ll find a freckle I’ve never seen before: melanoma.  A sore leg? DVT.  This then triggers my anxiety.  I’ll try to deep breath through the fear, and if I’m lucky I’ll succeed and I’ll only be feeling on edge, restless and spacey with heart palpitations.  But if I’m unlucky, it will become a panic attack.  I’ll become dizzy and lightheaded, and I’ll feel icy cold.  I’ll shiver, vomit, my arms and legs will tingle, and the overwhelming fear that I’m about to die consumes me.  After all, my body has gone into fight or flight mode, with no idea what it’s hoping to either face or flee from.  Is it any wonder the physical effects are so extreme?

I dread panic attacks.  But I also dread my anxiety.  It’s exhausting.  I can’t describe the exhaustion.  At my last meeting with both my psychs and my nurse, they asked what I would love to be doing right now.  “Sleep.  I just want to sleep.  I’m so tired.”  L, one of my psychs said that my exhaustion could be a result of my pregnancy but because my iron levels and all were fine, she was betting on it being as a result of almost constant anxiety.  She described my anxiety as a beach ball.  It’s like being in a pool, and my anxiety (beach ball) is bobbing around beside me.  So I try to push it under the surface.  But it’s exhausting having to keep your arm constantly tense to keep the anxiety beach ball from coming to the surface.  I knew exactly what she meant: I carry my tension in my neck and shoulders, my husband always comments on the knots and how tight my neck is.  But the tension is right through my body.  My poor body is so worn out from both my mental symptoms, and growing my baby, as well as my hyperemesis.  It needs rest.

And because it needs rest, I’m going to sign off now and keep my fingers tightly crossed for sleep.  Deep sleep.


(Last night I said I would have a mugful of Milo.  I ended up having chocolate Sustagen as my midwife wants me to drink it to try put on some weight, so that still counts right?

Tonight, I’m going to do some meditation before I go to sleep.  I love meditating.  Good night).

The hardest thing about mental illness, apart from how much it hurts, is worrying about what those near and dear to you will think.  Forcing out those words, “Something isn’t right, I need help” are the hardest words I’ve ever had to say.  I found it easy with Miss M and Miss D, maybe because it was so mild.  It started when they were a few weeks old each time, and I spoke to my GP.  With Miss G, it was hard.  So very hard.  It was an emotionally hard pregnancy and birth, but after she arrived I felt on top of the world.  I thought I’d escaped the black dog this time.  But at 3 months postpartum, it all came crashing down.

We moved interstate, away from my family and my friends.  I knew noone, we were quite isolated and I was counting down to our return trip for Christmas.  It arrived, and I loved every second of our trip.  Leaving afterwards, I cried as we drove away from my parent’s house.

We got back into the swing of things back home, but I started experiencing heart palpitations at night.  I didn’t think anything of it, but then one night I woke up and was convinced I was going to die then and there.  I was vomiting, feeling icy cold and was dizzy.  I went in the shower, which didn’t do much, then returned to bed where my husband woke up.  He tried to calm me down, but eventually I fell asleep hugging my baby.

This became a regular occurance.  I had become a bit obsessive-compulsive during my pregnancy (I was the same with Miss D) but things got out of control.  If I dropped any of the baby’s clothes on the floor, they had to be rewashed even if they were clean.  No one was allowed to touch her dummy, unless they’d washed their hands.  I didn’t sleep because I was constantly making sure she was breathing.  It got to the stage where I had panic attacks if I left the house, so I wouldn’t go anywhere apart from to drop Miss M off at school.  I wasn’t brushing my hair, or getting out of my pyjamas, or eating.  The end result was a trip to my GP mid-panic attack and a trip to ED.  Referrals, home visits from the CAT Team, and eventually a stay in a Mother Baby Unit.  I was put onto Efexor, and eventually I felt like me again, bar not being able to cry (thanks Efexor).  But I survived.

Throughout all of this, and even now, I have such wonderful people around me.  I’m sure I frustrate them at times, but no one ever tells me to suck it up or to get over it.  They just listen.  And they continue to love me even though I’m broken.

My husband, who holds me when I’m crying or sad.  Who goes out to get me what I’m craving at 9pm at night, because he wants me to be happy, even if it’s just an Aero bar that makes me smile for 30 seconds.  Who works so hard because he thinks being able to give me everything I’ve ever desired will help make me better.  Who tells me he loves me, and that he’s mine for as long as I’ll have him.  He’s a wonderful husband and an amazing daddy, I wonder how he puts up with me.

My parents.  I know I’m truly blessed to have a Mum and Dad who would do anything for me.  They never got angry even when I called them at 2am in the morning, because Mum knows how to talk me down from a panic attack.  She took time off work to come and look after Miss M and Miss D while Miss G and I were in the MBU.  And she organised a little party for when I came home.  Even now, she knows when I’m feeling flat, and she has no idea how much it means to me when she asks how I’m feeling.  I feel like I’ve disappointed her, but she still has that unconditional love and is the one person who can read me like an open book.  I love her for that.  My Dad, well I don’t think he really gets it, but he is still there if I ring and Mum isn’t there.  We used to not be very close, but I feel like our relationship has improved, I know I can tell him anything and even though he’s not really an emotional person, he’s there for a hug when I need it.

My beautiful, beautiful friends.  My beloved T, who is like the sister I never had.  She is always there for me, no matter what is going on in her life.  She is the person who encourages me to keep on going, the positive influence in my life.  J, who I haven’t known long but who I already consider to be one of my best friends.  I know I can be myself, I can whinge about being tired or celebrate a good night’s sleep.  She has brought a spark into my life in only a few short months, and introduced me to positive distractions, as well as being a pseudo-Aunty to my kids.  I know I can waltz through her gate at any time and she’ll welcome me with open arms.  She’s one special person!

D and K, who always check up on me, and who worry even when they shouldn’t! D#2, I would never have been able to come off Efexor if it wasn’t for her encouragement, support and countdown.  And E, and B, and the other few people who know what I’m going through.  I really am lucky.  They might not all know what it’s like, but they cheer me on from the sidelines and encourage me when I make one more baby step.  They let me cry, and throw a tantrum and listen when I ask, “Why me?” Never do they tell me that there are people worse off (I know this, and it doesn’t help people).  I love, love, love them all.

My health care providers.  B, who calls me when it’s a week or so between our appointments and organises activities and other referrals that she thinks will be useful.  She’s amazing.  L, who is my shoulder when it comes to debriefing about Miss G’s arrival and what followed.  Who gives me strategies and ideas (like my blog), that will hopefully help in my treatment and recovery.  Dr W, who knows how much I hate taking medication at any time, let alone during pregnancy, but who reassures me whenever he can.  S, who wants to be there when he baby is born, who reassures me that I’ll be okay and I’m in great hands at my hospital.  J and D, who provide community support and extra counselling.

See?! My life is full of wonderful, wonderful people.  I can’t imagine how people without support ever recover.  You need those shoulders and those ears, and those open arms.  You need a fridge covered with numbers that you can call, at any time.  These people celebrate the little milestones, and help me shake off the lows and backward steps.

I love you all, and can never ever thank you enough.


(My Thing For Me tonight is to have a nice big mugful of Milo!)

I’ve tried once before to start up a blog, but couldn’t ever get up the nerve to actually publish anything.  Why?! Probably because I’m a coward and I’ve been scared to break the taboo.  Up until now I’ve done nothing to bring awareness to perinatal anxiety and depression.  After my last experience I vowed I’d try to make a difference, but that vow was replaced by a need to forget what I had experienced.  After all, you don’t want anyone to think you’re a psycho or an unfit mother.  Amazing how common mental illness is, yet perinatal anxiety and depression is still very much ‘Secret Women’s Business.’  Sad, but true.

So, what lead to this blog? I think my anxiety and depression kicked in this time from the moment I got my Big Fat Positive.  We wanted another child and were trying, so I can’t even blame it on it being unplanned.  But seeing those two lines appear, and confirming again and again…. my heart raced and I felt sick.  I was scared to tell my parents, but I didn’t have any reason to.  I wasn’t worried about logistics, or my other children being jealous, nothing.  It was just this fear.

I’ve suffered hyperemesis for all four of my pregnancies.  For those who don’t know what it is, it is more than morning sickness.  It is unrelenting.  It renders you useless, you end up in hospital on IVs despite people telling you to eat dry biscuits or to try ginger.  Oh how you’d love to shove that ginger…. but that’s an entirely different vent! Anyone who has suffered hyperemesis will tell you that the mental and emotional side of it lasts well beyond the birth of your baby, when physically everything goes back to normal.  This time I started vomiting at 5 weeks.  I already had a script for Ondansetron (lovingly prepared by my GP when she heard my history), and I spent most of that first 14 weeks lying on the lounge, hugging my sick bowl.  Gradually it lessened, but even now I need that magical wafer to get me through the day.  I spoke to my Mum at 11 weeks, and said I was feeling flat but I was sure I would pick up once my hyperemesis either disappeared or became manageable.


That time came, and I found I was still constantly on edge.  Snappy, becoming reclusive, and the exhaustion was indescribable.  I was in tears several times a day, I couldn’t sleep, didn’t want to eat the little that I could actually handle.  I knew something was wrong, but kept putting on my happy face whenever my husband or anyone was around.  Acting cheerful sucks, when you just want to crawl into bed and sleep your life away.

My turning point came when I went to one of my antenatal appointments.  The midwife felt my belly, and then pulled out the doppler.  I remember being so excited to hear the heartbeats of my other children, it’s such a reassuring and beautiful sound.  But this time I felt nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  I felt empty.  No connection.  Who cares that the heartbeat is perfect?  But yet again I put on my smile and pretended that I was excited.  Even when the midwife asked me how I was feeling, “Oh I’m fine! I feel great!”

I got home, feeling so guilty and sad.  Rang my husband and my Mum, everything is wonderful and perfect.  My husband got home from work, we had dinner and he went in the shower.  I bit the bullet, and rang my Mum.  I told her how I felt.  And she listened.  She always listens.  My Mum is absolutely amazing.  She told me to call the antenatal clinic first thing in the morning.  I told my husband I wasn’t feeling like me.  He told me he knew I wasn’t, but he was waiting for me to say something.  I had another sleepless night, then rang the clinic at 8am when they opened.  I asked if I could make an appointment.  The woman on the line told me if I was feeling concerned I could always come to the birthing unit.  I tried to explain it wasn’t physical, but she transferred me through to the birthing unit.  The midwife who answered asked what was wrong, and I promptly burst into tears.  She managed to get out of me what was wrong, and tried to transfer me through to the actual clinic, but the connection disconnected.  I decided to just give up, but less than five minutes later I received a phone call.  A midwife had phoned me back, and best of all she listened to me.  She told me I’d done the right thing, and decided to put me in contact with the social worker/counselor.  The SW called me that afternoon, and we had a long chat.  Long story short, I saw her a few days later and she connected me in with the Acute Mental Health Team.  They rang me every night to see how I was, and I saw a psychiatrist who started me on 10mg of Cipramil.  The AMHT are only for short term, while I waited for my referral to go through to the Community Team.

I’m now under the care of the Community Team, as well as the Perinatal Mental Health Team (which is a branch of Community), and the Antenatal Mental Health Team at the hospital.  I have two psychiatrists looking after me (Dr W and L, who used to be a midwife), as well as my nurse B.

So how am I feeling now?  I’m up and down.  My Cipramil was recently increased and I feel a bit more positive.  I have wonderful people (both medical and personal) who are always there for me.  But most of all, I’m excited about meeting my little one! This is my biggest breakthrough!

L came to see me today, and stayed for two hours.  We discussed a few things (will put them down in another post), and she suggested I keep a journal or a blog.  The aim of this is to get out all of my thoughts and feelings, and I also have to think of one thing each day which is solely for me.  And I MUST follow through! I must answer to my blog.  So there you go.  This is what has brought me here.  I hope I’ll be able to look back in a few months and I’ll be in a better place in my mind.


(By the way, my first Thing For Me today was to eat Cheezels and caramel biscuits once the kids were in bed so I didn’t have to share.  And I did it!!!)