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I had my first child in December 1999 – it was a very stressful and long labour resulting in an emergency c-section as my son was in distress. All ended well but I was very scared to have another child. Eventually I got up the courage as I approached 40!
Having had a miscarriage in March 2004, I discovered I was pregnant again in January 2005 I was very nervous of a repeat. Thankfully all went well and I was very well and excited until 25 weeks. Suddenly I woke up one night breathing fast, sweating and feeling as if I was choking. I had a couple of other ‘attacks’ over a few nights – it escalated until I was scared to sleep.
I would lay awake worrying, I was sure I was going to die and baby too. I tried to explain my fears to others – but got the stock ‘ you should be excited’ statements and little understanding. I got more and more tired and very low, terrified of the long nights, anxious and stressed. I didn’t want to see people but forced myself to carry on for the sake of normality and my 5 year old son. I looked on the Internet and found The Depression in Pregnancy web site, read it and felt reassured I was not alone, it gave lots of positive information.
I exchanged a number of emails with Delphi, founder of depression-in-pregnancy.org) and was very reassured to learn that I had no higher probability of pnd than any other new mothers – this was great news as I was very worried my fears would continue after the birth too. Delphi also arranged for a Support Advisor from the local Hospital to contact me, She came round to my home to discuss my fears and took me around the hospital – we especially visited the Operating Theatre where c-sections are performed – this particularly helped to address my concerns.
My doctor prescribed anti-depressants – I did not want to take these as the side effect leaflet scared me and arranged at my own expense (as my doctor had a 4 month waiting list) to see a counsellor – an ex mid wife, she helped me to express my fears and talking really helped me. After the birth (another emergency c-section!) I was elated. My daughter is now 15 weeks old. I am very happy and the stresses have all melted away.
I remain very thankfull to this service for giving me hope and an explanation for my fears and supporting me so well where no other support was available.
This story has been reproduced by kind permission of the author.