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Anyone with antenatal anxiety please read

(27 Posts)
Sleeplessinnorthlondon Wed 30-Dec-15 07:24:47

Dear mumsnetter,
I spent most of this year pregnant and at my wits end with anxiety and in particular that my anxiety was harming the baby. I googled everything under the sun, scared myself silly, spent money we'd saved for the baby and then more on credit cards seeing specialist psychiatrists when NHS couldn't help, (Barnet made my first appt for coming Jan!!!) then counsellors and finally v helpful cbt. Mumsnet was my absolute lifeline and posted once to say baby born and well but came on here for first time in weeks during comedy long feed and saw woman going through something similar and had to share some things I wish I'd known. 1. Telling doctors honestly how low you are won't make them take the baby away. I was almost sectioned at one point and it was made clear to me at the time that they still wouldn't have removed the baby, they only do this if you are at risk of harming the baby not yourself. I tried and tried to get social services or other intervention and was impossible so depressing as that is also hopefully reassuring on reflection that even the worst antenatal anxiety is not grounds for them to even considered taking child. 2. In many many cases (definitely mine) the anxiety is in some way linked to your hormonal state and is going to lift when you give birth. Everyone told me this, I didn't believe it, they were right. Straight after birth I felt my mood lift and eight weeks on feel exhausted, overwhelmed and so so happy. There isn't a huge degree of understanding as far as I can tell about why this is but gp explained just as some women get hideous sickness, others get hideous anxiety and it very often really does stop just as quickly 3. You're not alone. I wish I could tell you help is out there, we had to pay for ours as in my area it wasn't but be honest with gp, see what you can get and please please remember this is far more common than I ever realised and it will end!!! I am going to name change to something pretty recognisable only as want to draw line under what was a difficult few months big account still same so you can pm me from this or post here and will track (if don't reply pm as sometimes alerts don't work!!!) but for me mumsnet was total total lifesaver. So many women have been through similar things and come out the other end and you will too. Wishing anyone going though tricky pregnancy strength and courage and here if you have any questions at all. Thanks again to the wonderful mumsnetters who helped me get this far, and here's to a wonderful 2016 xxxxxzx ps - below is a photo of my baby to help reassure you that my own gp's reassurances that all the articles I read (even from
Harvard etc) about anxiety harming the baby had yet to be proven let alone accepted by wider profession and that in his forty odd years of seeing patients like me (again, this is common) he'd never seen a case where the anxiety had been passed on were sound! Sorry, long sentence, still aleepless but cheerfully so!!! Xxxxx

bittapitta Wed 30-Dec-15 07:38:38

This is lovely, thanks for sharing your story

MavolioBent Wed 30-Dec-15 07:46:33

I was just thinking of you and wondering how you were doing. Am so pleased you are doing so well. Belated congratulations grin

sepa Wed 30-Dec-15 08:06:24

I'm so glad you posted this and your feeling so much better. I can't believe the turn around in you and this strongly comes across in your post that you are so much better than the place you where a couple of months ago.

Congratulations on your smiler. He is a little cutie flowers

ThenBellaDidSomethingVeryKind Wed 30-Dec-15 08:10:21

Many many congratulations. I posted a few times on your previous threads as your experiences resonated so much with me - so so glad to hear you're feeling better. Your little one is gorgeous

Whoknewitcouldbeso Wed 30-Dec-15 08:10:48

Oh bless you. I was on most of your threads, sometimes thoroughly exasperated, most of the time just trying desperately to cheer lead you to the end. I am so delighted you are feeling better now and your baby is absolutely gorgeous and perfect wink

Fugghetaboutit Wed 30-Dec-15 08:19:25

Oh how lovely to hear from you! I was wondering how you were.

So pleased to hear your anxiety has gone and you're happy. Congratulations flowers it's so good of you to come back and tell others who might be suffering your story.
I'm due any day to give birth at Barnet too smile

SkiptonLass2 Wed 30-Dec-15 09:37:50

I'm so, so pleased for you! After all you went through, you have your happy ending and a gorgeous little one. Brilliant. This has made my morning smile

cheerfullysleepless Wed 30-Dec-15 10:59:54

Thank you all so so much - there really aren't words for how grateful I am to you all and no exaggeration to say I don't know if we'd both be here without you. Mumsnet is just brilliant sometimes and we will both be forever grateful to you xxxxxx

3littlebadgers Wed 30-Dec-15 12:53:34

Yey that's great news sleepless, I remember your previous thread. smile can I ask if your anxiety effected the birth at all? They're inducing me on the 26th (previous stillbirth) so I'm on an official countdown but a little bit scared of how my anxiety will transfers into the labour and birth.

cheerfullysleepless Wed 30-Dec-15 13:04:01

Hello badgers!!! My birth was a dream, absolutely stress free!! He came two weeks early so that sort of helped as wasn't expecting it which obviously you will be but once you're in the swing of things you're so preoccupied by what your body is doing you don't have time to become anxious as you're too busy!!! Had first contraction in johnlewis bedding dept at eleven and he came out at quarter to nine in uclh. Was planning on epidural etc but moved too quickly after they'd said at first was too early for epidural but found water and gas and air far more helpful than ever imagined!!! You are going to be fine, whatever happens however scary it's so active and real all the what ifs you have time for now with your anxiety don't get a look in- huge huge love and luck xx

MagpieCursedTea Wed 30-Dec-15 13:06:02

I'm so glad to hear you're doing well, I remember your threads. You have a beautiful baby! Congratulations thanks

BitchPeas Wed 30-Dec-15 14:01:15

Congratulations on your beautiful baby flowers I remember your threads and am glad everything's going well.

3littlebadgers Wed 30-Dec-15 15:50:01

Thanks sleepless, you and your birth sound amazing smile and your little boy is gorgeous and smiley too x

Paperblank Wed 30-Dec-15 18:56:32

Such a lovely post Sleepless

I remember your posts and feeling that I just wanted to give you a RL hug and tell you it would all be fine once your precious bundle arrived.

He is definitely a bonny boy - utterly gorgeous.


changename54 Wed 30-Dec-15 19:41:24

I'm so glad to hear of your happy ending. I've name-changed since the summer, but was on several of your threads as part of the army of women standing behind you, desperately willing you on.

What a lovely, smiley, contented boy he looks. Congratulations to you and your DH; you must have had a lovely first Christmas as a family of three.

Hopefully your post will give some reassurance to others who find themselves in a similar position.

PinkPlaid Thu 31-Dec-15 00:20:06

What a beautiful baby - huge congratulations!

Can I ask what you found to be most helpful in tackling your anxiety? I'm really struggling and am sorely tempted to go back on citalopram - which has helped me with panic attacks in the past. I'm 32 weeks though so desperately trying to hang in there and stay drug-free. I see a hypnotherapist but, to be honest, it's a bit like putting a sticking plaster on a broken leg!

Any advice on coping techniques hugely appreciated - and congrats again - it's so heartening to hear that you feel well again. It gives me hope x

cheerfullysleepless Fri 01-Jan-16 13:36:12

Hello pink - for me it was cbt and breaking the day into chunks and saying I only had to get through that chunk eg commute to work, pile of laundry etc. I worked out in cbt that my most anxious times were early morning and viewed everything dimly then so developed technique in cbt of writing fears down when they came eg for me my anxiety will mean my baby is anxious and will never smile then rather than bottling it dismissing them saying I will deal with this at seven pm tonight which was a time I was generally calmer - I find it's good to allow twenty mins each day to talk through fears but outside that time stay busy. Meds help lots of people and if gp thinks sensible go for it, but for me cbt was best. The main thing to remember is that thoughts cannot hurt you or bubba. Hang in there!!!! Nearly there!!! Xxxx

FluffyPersian Fri 01-Jan-16 17:33:54

Congratulations sleepless, I'm so happy for you smile I think I posted on your thread as I had massive anxiety / antenatal depression and could totally identify with what you were writing.

My journey ended with a termination due to being suicidal and not being able to secure a C-section before 15+ weeks and sadly the uncertainty and worry about being forced to give birth vaginally was too much for me.

I'm currently undertaking counselling and saving for a private C-section to potentially try again, however I appreciate the hormones (God, they're so, so bad, aren't they?) may make me feel very low again, so I am far more aware I need to ask for help sooner and be totally honest with people about how I'm feeling.

I'm so pleased to read your post and so happy to hear that everything is going well - I still think there's an expectation on women that pregnancy is 'happy and exciting', when all I felt was terror and anxiety throughout.

I wish you all the best for the future smile

JE1234 Fri 01-Jan-16 17:36:45

Congratulations, I'm so glad you are doing well after all the fears you had flowers

RevsDeCub Fri 01-Jan-16 17:37:51

So glad to hear this sleepless, your little boy is gorgeous. All the best for 2016!! Xx

PinkPlaid Fri 01-Jan-16 20:54:45

Thank you for getting back to me on what helped, cheerfully - I'm also trying cbt to get through the day at the moment. It's great to see you've come through this.

FluffyPersian, I'm so sorry to hear that you weren't able to secure a c-section and that you were feeling so bad. I am finally seeing a consultant on the 15 Jan to request one - I'll be 35 weeks by then so they've palmed me off till so close to my due date I may go into labour beforehand. I'm really frustrated and anxious about this and dread what might happen.

I told my midwife a few weeks ago that, if I could turn back the clock and have never got pregnant, I would. I'm finding it too hard and all their talk of thinking about the 'beautiful baby I'll be holding at the end of it' is not helping in the slightest.

If I can just get through the next few weeks and deliver the baby the way I want to (c section), I'll be straight onto the meds again. Can't stand feeling like I'm dying anymore. It's driving me slowly mad.

FluffyPersian Fri 01-Jan-16 23:11:56

Pink - I really hope you get what you want. My utter fear was going past 24 weeks with no guarantee... and then being told no. I can honestly say I wouldn't be alive if that happened as I'm so, so terrified. I don't think the midwife or Consultant midwife were purposefully blocking it, however they couldn't get me an appointment with the consultant until I was 15.5 weeks and did make it very clear it wasn't guaranteed I'd get one.

After looking up the Hampshire hospital that Id been assigned to C-section percentage rate.... and finding out they were very proud of their 'Very low section rate'... and the woman being interviewed was the consultant I'd be seeing, I convinced myself they wouldn't have said yes.

I didn't feel it was a 'beautiful' anything and sadly couldn't bond at all with the baby, despite desperately wanting to and feeling like a freak for not being able to join in with the MN ladies on the antenatal thread (who are all lovely)....

You've done so, so well to get to get to 35 weeks - I honestly never realised how mentally traumatic pregnancy has the potential to be, so I really hope the last few weeks are as stress free as possible for you. In a few weeks you'll have an amazing baby, just like sleepless smile

BlurtonOnKites Sat 02-Jan-16 02:11:52

This is the loveliest update I've ever seen, I'm so happy for you and your gorgeous boy xxx

GhostOfChristmasPresents Sat 02-Jan-16 02:49:24

Fantastic news! So lovely that you thought to cone back and share your experience with others. I may have a slight tear in my eye, and I only lurked on your threads as had nothing useful to add to other people's advice flowers

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