My pregnancy with Isaac was relatively easy. Morning sickness lasted around a month and eased off after the 12 week mark, I kept to date with all my OB appointments like clockwork, did all my blood tests and scans on time, discovered at the 6 week mark that I had pregnancy induced hypothyroidism so I started my thyroid meds nice and early and didn’t miss a dose. I was super cautious. 2 miscarriages will do that to you though; every anxious visit to the bathroom had me fearing the worst.
Fast forward 39 weeks, and what I assumed to be the start of my labour turned out to be an antepartum hemorrhage, thus after being induced and labouring for 14 hours to no success an emergency c-section was necessary. There was definitely a sense of failure that overcame me when I was told I needed a c-section, truth be told I was shattered. “You’ll feel better once your out of hospital and back home” said a dear friend, who shared with me her post partum woes, assuring me that it was completely normal to feel like your emotions have just gone through a spin-cycle in the washing machine.
Isaac cried. He cried and cried and cried. And slept and fed and cried. And slept and fed and cried. And slept and fed and cried some more. His screams and high pitched shrills pierced through my heart and soul. Was he in pain? Was his milk disagreeing with him? Colic? Silent reflux? Was something wrong? With him? With me? Why couldn’t I soothe him? Two weeks, four weeks, six weeks passed and it was the moment I found myself weeping heavy tears as I nursed him to sleep that I knew that this was more than just the post baby blues.
Thankfully my maternal health nurse had given me contact details at my home visit for a psychologist in my area who specialised in post-natal depression. That phone call to book my first appointment would turn out to be the first BEST decision I made as a new mother. Not the decision to breast feed or bottle feed, or which organic formula he would drink, or BPA free plastic cutlery he would use, or 1000 thread count cotton bed linen he would sleep on, but the decision I made to recognize that mentally motherhood and I were not seeing eye to eye, I needed emotional help and strategies to get me through one of the hardest things I’ve ever experienced. At the end of the day a happy mum = a happy baby.