How is possible that at 18 weeks pregnant I am already experiencing Mummy guilt? There are two reasons. The first came about at what I thought was going to be a routine asthma review.
Last Friday afternoon, I had a routine asthma review. The day after my review, my asthma became worse due to a cold I had getting on to my chest which is just typical. When I arrived for my appointment, the receptionist told me that I needed a doctor’s appointment to discuss my recent blood tests. Luckily, I managed to get an appointment after my asthma review.
I am taking folic acid and vitamin D and I was told that I needed blood tests in order to receive more. I was advised to take this while pregnant. My vitamin D levels are low. But is it any wonder when I live in the UK? We don’t get enough sun.
When looking through my notes, the doctor found that I was on paroxetine. She said that I shouldn’t be taking this when pregnant. I felt so sick, anxious and let down. As soon as I knew I was pregnant I saw my GP so I could discuss my medication. I was told paroxetine would be fine to take. To then be told that fluoxetine is a safer SSRI made me feel so guilty. I have been risking my baby’s health and it could have been avoided. Paroxetine has an associated risk of heart problems in babies during their first few months. The only reassurance I have is that each and every scan we have had, our little girl has had a strong, healthy heart. I have been taking fluoxetine since Sunday and I see my midwife a week today. I need to book an appointment to see the GP next week so they can see how I am doing.
The other reason I feel guilty is my lack of appetite and nausea which seems to have got worse again rather than better. I have been making a conscious effort to eat healthy. Yet thanks to morning sickness (which by the way, happens any time of day) I threw up all the grapes I had managed to eat. I worry that my little girl isn’t getting enough nutrition to grow and be healthy.
I think I am dwelling on things a lot more than I normally would. As I mentioned earlier, I have been physically unwell. I am finally starting to feel better. Although I don’t work much, I do have a routine; going the gym, seeing family and friends, walking Walter. All of this has gone out of the window. I have been stuck in the house. Thankfully, I have Dom in a few hours and the sun is shining.
I would like to thank the GP I saw this morning for helping to contribute to my already overwhelmingly low sense of worth.
It is hard to open up to yet another new GP; to have to tell my story for the umpteenth time. I woke up exhausted and couldn’t face eating. The GP asked if I work when I explained I had come in as I have anxiety and depression. I explained about providing respite for Dom. He then asked what I do in my spare time. I said about going the gym. I was told that working would be a good idea. The way the GP said it made me feel pathetic, like I am bringing my anxiety and depression on myself. I didn’t see the point in explaining about Walter as I felt so shitty.
I talked about the recurrent suicidal ideations. He said there was no point changing my medication. I am being referred to the crisis team which was probably one of the only positives of my appointment. I also have some sleeping tablets as I am struggling big time to sleep. I should hear from them within a week. The GP didn’t even ask me when I should come back in for another appointment.
Dave phoned me after my appointment. He told me to focus on the positives and that it is a step in the right direction. I am hoping that an assessment with the crisis team will be useful. Part of me is embarassed that it has got to this point.
It annoyed me that I was made to feel useless as I am not really working. The GP said that I need to keep distracted. So work is the only thing that can provide this distraction? I do want some form of job. But when I can’t function at a basic level most days, working is the least of my worries.
Emma is now on her way back to Brisbane. We both cried a lot in the airport last night. I cried all the way home in the car too.
I don’t feel I have many people in my life that I am truly connected with. I can be myself with Emma and vice versa. She saw me at my lowest and didn’t freak out and run a mile. She helped me so much and brought so much goodness with her these past few weeks.
I am at my GP tomorrow. Unfortunately my GP is off on long term sick now until the new year. I am having to see a random GP and I am worried. I have a number of things I want to discuss. But I know full well that I will completely shutdown if I am not taken seriously.
I will leave you with a photo of the card Emma left on my kitchen fridge. She made sure that I didn’t read it while she was here. Emma brought with her a polaroid camera and made a photo collage for our wall using the photos she took. This is referred to in her card:
So on Tuesday night I broke down. I felt overwhelmed, frustrated, tired and incredibly low. I ended up uttering the sentence, “I hate my life” to Dave. I’ve never said anything like this out loud to anyone. I’ve never wanted to voice these thoughts. I don’t want people worrying about me, especially Dave. We had a long chat. Dave is such a level headed person and he helped me calm down eventually. Dave and I decided that I have waited long enough for NHS counselling. We decided to try getting counselling via my Dad’s work.
My GP appointment on Wednesday afternoon was actually quite productive. The doctor I saw was very good. She was really supportive and took what I said seriously. She asked me to fill in a questionnaire of some sort. I can’t remember the name of it but I got a score of 22 which is high.
I was honest about my insomnia, how run down I am and how I am avoiding being around people. The doctor suggested upping my dosage of Citalopram from 30mg to 20mg. I am now taking it when I get up rather then before bed. She also gave me sleeping tablets for the next month. I have an annoying rattle sounding cough and as I am asthmatic the doctor listened to my chest. Thankfully, my chest is clear. I have to go for blood tests because of how ill I am getting. She mentioned something about my thyroid and how that might be impacting my low mood. Luckily, my GP surgery can do the blood tests on Wednesdays so I have an appointment on Wednesday morning before the gym. I explained how I want to be more settled before going to Australia. She wants to see me again before I go. I am seeing her again the week before Dave and I fly out.
The sleeping tablets are slowly having a positive impact. My usual lying awake for hours on end has decreased dramatically. The past two nights I haven’t woken up during the night. Although I am still not getting enough sleep right now, I woke up at 8.30am on Thursday and 9am this morning. This makes a pleasant change to 7am!
I experienced high levels of anxiety at the gym last night. I am not sure if this is due to the increased medication dosage, switching to taking it when I wake up or something else entirely. I was on the verge of tears before the start of bodypump. The anxiety did subside gradually during the classes. My appetite is virtually non existant since increasing the dosage.
On Wednesday afternoon I have my first counselling session. I am entitled to six sessions which my Dad’s work are paying for. I feel like I will be able to get a handle on my depression and anxiety and actually start recovering. I am going to ask this counsellor for my notes at the end of my last session with her so that when I actually get to see an NHS counsellor I can continue making progress. For the first time in I don’t know how long I haven’t felt anxious today.