First pregnancy and OCD
Buttercup53 · 30/05/2018 08:28
This is my first pregnancy, not entirely unplanned but I became pregnant significantly faster than I thought I would. Was sure that it would take at least a few months to get pregnant, but it happened straight away.
I’m about 8 weeks now, known since 5. I guess by other people’s standards so far my symptoms have been okay - really nauseaus but it goes on and off, and I’m absolutely shattered. Had abdominal pain for the first week which lead me to have an early scan and everything is fine.
I’m just finding this really hard. I hate being tired all the time. I have severe health phobia which is linked with my OCD, and I wake up every morning dreading that I’m going to be sick. Each minute drags by - the last 3 weeks feel like they’ve lasted 3 years. All I can think about is the dread of getting sick. I have considered not having kids at all because of the phobia, I thought therapy had gotten me to a place where I could cope with it now, but obviously not. I don’t want to leave the house, and when I do I become so exhausted I have to come home. I don’t know how to cope with work - I work somewhere very demanding, if you’re not at 110% then you just can’t keep up. My employers have been really understanding so far, but I can’t keep taking the mick with time off and flexible hours for the next 30-odd weeks.
I’m not sure what I’m looking for here. I just feel down, and scared of my OCD getting bad again. My thoughts flip between ‘I’m going to be sick’ to ‘I’m terrified of giving birth’ to just feeling nothing at all. Not happy, not excited. Just nothing. My DH has been amazing, doing everything for me, but I can tell my negativity is bringing him down, he’s so excited.
It’s like I want someone to say to me ‘on X date, you will feel fine’, but I know no one can do that. I guess what I’m asking is if anyone else has struggled mentally so early on; maybe if someone else who has OCD has experienced pregnancy and can tell me what they did to stay positive.
NotSoThinLizzy · 30/05/2018 08:33
Hello not ocd but my morning sickness went away at about 13 weeks. I found ginger and lemon to help when I couldn't stomach anything. You could also go to gp and ask for nausea tablets 😊 you will get through it and congratulations
LapinR0se · 30/05/2018 08:35
Get more therapy and support. 40 weeks is a long time to be feeling like this and the hormones can really trigger flare ups of underlying anxiety/depression/OCD
Buttercup53 · 30/05/2018 09:03
I’ve stocked up with lots of ginger flavoured stuff including tea, I’m hating the smell of ginger at the minute but when I can force it down it does help. I also take vitamin B complex. I have always struggled with nausea during my periods, I worry that if I mention how sick I feel to the dr but tell them I’ve not actually been sick, they won’t give me anything. I’m still waiting for my first midwife appointment but I’ll definitely mention it when I go. Thank you.
Buttercup53 · 30/05/2018 09:05
I’m seriously considering it, I need this time not to be dragging as much as it has. Been up for three hours so far today, and it feels like it should be lunchtime now, time is going so slowly. I’m still waiting for my first midwife appointment but I’m going to tell them about my MH history and how I feel now, and I hope they’ll offer something that’s not just anti-depressants (I’ve been on them before, they help a bit, but increase nausea). Only problem is the waiting list for my local therapist office is about 6 months which is way too long.
artio87 · 01/06/2018 01:40
Hi there. I don't think I'm OCD but I'm struggling with mental health as well, and have done so especially in the first trimester (I'm 18 weeks now). Just wanted to send some mental support your way...
First of all, even if it doesn't feel like it at the moment, it will pass. Try to keep that in mind. And also, go easy on yourself, you're making a human! Don't feel bad for feeling tired, try to accept it and work around it. Find a few Netflix or Amazon Prime series you like and start binge-watching (without feeling bad about it!!) to pass the time and get your mind off of worrying.
I felt all kinds of terrible in the first trimester and even though I still have bad days, the good ones are slowly but surely piling up again. On top of the 'morning' sickness subsiding, most women also get their energy back in the second trimester.
Pregnancy related sick days are treated different than normal sick days, as in you shouldn't lose your job over them. There's some info online about it if you're worried about that. And again, you're making a human and your body is adjusting to that, don't make yourself feel bad about it. In my first trimester I cried nearly every morning before work, and in the end thoughts like, I'll go and try and if I can't do it anymore I'll just go home, got me through it day by day.
For birth fear, I have read the book 'Mindful Hypnobirthing: Hypnosis and mindfulness techniques for a calm and confident birth' and it really helped me! Don't get put off by the title... I found it very soothing and nurturing, and I'm actually a little excited now about giving birth. It comes with downloadable MP3 tracks which are great to fall asleep to by the way, no matter how busy your mind is with worrying.
I used to be absolutely terrified of vomiting as well... And of course I ended up vomiting daily for a while in my first trimester. Looking back though I think the fear of it was so much worse than it actually happening. I remember being a teenager and being terrified about getting morning sickness if I ever get pregnant... So many years of worrying for a few weeks that are already behind me now. And the whole thing cured my fear of it too ha ha... The only thing that would keep my morning sickness somewhat at bay was constantly eating tiny amounts of whatever it was I felt like I could stomach that day. I had to start eating straight after I woke up or I'd be dry-heaving after half an hour... That's a bit graphic sorry (skip this next bit if you're feeling squeamish), but I was terrified of eating as I didn't want to throw anything up, but if you have to throw up straight after you eat, it doesn't actually taste terrible. Also I ate things I thought were easy to throw up, like porridge or grapes, and made sure I drank a little with eating too. That took the fear out of it a little bit, and if it did happen it wasn't so bad... Plus I always carried a pot (yes...) or at least plastic bag around with me just in case it happens when I'm out and about. I always had time to get away actually, but it helped taking the fear out.
I know getting mental health help is a nightmare in itself right now, but I'd recommend signing up for that therapist asap. My GP told me that they should fast-track pregnant women (hasn't worked for me yet, but you might get better luck!) and even if that doesn't work, in 6 months time you will be glad you signed up now.
I wish you lots of strength, keep reminding yourself that it will pass, take it one moment at a time, and don't beat yourself up for feeling tired/sad/worried/too much or not enough. xxx
Buttercup53 · 01/06/2018 18:43
This is such a kind, thoughtful response - thank you. My mood is fluctuating all over the place. When I wrote this I couldn’t stop crying all day. Today my mood is actually really good, and I feel positive. I just find it worrying that I my outlook flip flops so frequently, and I go from being excited to a blank nothingness. I have my midwife appointment booked now so I’m going to bring it up when I see her - might be worth going back on sertraline if they think this could get any worse.
I’m goinf to get the book you’ve recommended as I think that will really help me, childbirth has always been one of my big fears, so I guess now really is the best time to confront it.
Buttercup53 · 07/06/2018 16:24
Just wanted to update this thread to say that I've been referred for counselling. I had my first midwife appointment today, I told her how I was feeling and it was like a physical weight was taken off my shoulders. She said that my local service will prioritise me because I'm pregnant, and that I should start having weekly therapy in a couple of weeks. I'll also have a consultant appointment along with midwife appointments to keep track of my mental health, so I'm feeling well looked after right now.
LapinR0se · 07/06/2018 18:49
That’s wonderful news. Thanks for coming back to update us. I wish you all the best with the pregnancy
Jrking · 14/07/2018 23:14
Hi, I wanted to message to say I’ve just posted under mental health about ocd in pregnancy. I too am in my first pregnancy and struggling with ocd. It’s incredibly difficult and overwhelming at times. I’m nearly in my third trimester and it’s continued to be tough throughout but there are some things that I think help.
One is staying away from googling things, I think that can be very damaging. It’s great you’re going to have therapy. CBT for OCD has great results so hopefully you will have behavioural therapy. Re sertraline, it’s a personal choice if you decide to go on them. I did at 13 weeks as the risk is lower then. I was told by numerous professionals that untreated mental health is more dangerous to a baby than treated mental health. And sertraline does help, it helps to dial down the compulsions and intrusions. But it’s incredibly tough for a few days for a lot of people. I found it very hard for the first week. But I got through it and so would you.
I have found this book amazing ‘dropping the baby and other scary thoughts’. It’s actually written from a post natal perspective but is incredibly useful when pregnant if you struggle with intrusive thoughts. It’s used by lots of psychologists which I am myself and as a clinician and patient I find it great.
I hope you get the support you need and do have a look at my post under mental health!
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