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Pregnancy, Mental Health & Covid 19

Where to start?!

Hi Everyone. I really do hope you’re keeping well. It is such a weird time for many at the moment.

There’s been lots of times so far since my last blog that I’ve wanted to write during pregnancy but withheld from it.

Pregnancy is a very uncertain time in general and I’ve definitely experienced some highs and lows of this. Yet here we are, faced with even more uncertainty. If there’s one thing that’s certain in life, it’s uncertainty. Something I, having suffered/suffer from, anxiety, (where having some level of control helps) and being bereaved by suicide, have often struggled with.

However, my urge to write was stronger today and I looked to my love of writing down words to express how I’m feeling and to help me to cope and it has.

As many know, having lost mum, who I was exceptionally close to, means becoming a mum is extremely important to me.

My pregnancy has been super special so far. It’s been beautiful. I’ve been and I am in love with my bump and the little being nesting inside. My growing seed. I’ve had minimal discomfort if any (feel like I need to touch wood here and cross everything, people get scared of jinxing things but as I mentioned before I wouldn’t write anything if I needed to be that careful and I want to remember the good times!), and am now in the lovely stage of feeling the daily bubbling sensations of seed’s movement, which comforts, reassures and soothes my being. My sleep is becoming impacted which is something that can hinder mental health but I’ve signed up to a lifetime of that (and worry as children will bring) so there we go!

Most of the time, I’ve been in great headspace too. Maintaining peace with my body and in my mind. Loving the growth of my belly as I prepare for motherhood. Something that really does excite me.

On my 20 week scan we hit a hurdle as parents to be, when we found out there were some (treatable) problems with our babe. I’m not going to go into what on here, I don’t feel ready, but it was a real shock.

My husband and I supported each other beautifully during this time. It was emotional. I was and I am so deeply proud of us as partners. The weather the day we found out was representative of the feelings and thoughts that followed in the days ahead. Rain, cold, bursts of sunshine, rainbows, grey sky, hail, rain… repeat.

Seeing each other vulnerable and going through what we were and what we are, was different to anything we’d encountered in our almost 11 years together.

Sure, we’d helped each other individually through ups and downs. My husband learned of my anxiety and depression very early on in our relationship and grew to become one of my biggest supporters and he does this so well when I go through bouts or episodes. There’s been times I’ve been there for him too when rock bottom hit or he began to unpick some of his own road blocks in life. Yet never had we yet faced something like this together, processing difficult news about our own beautiful creation. We coped/are coping through love, cooking, cleaning, walking, talking about it, not talking about it and simply being together in each other’s presence. I cried. A lot. There were some dark humour moments. A lot.

It was a Friday and we both agreed to work from home on the Monday and Tuesday after the weekend to be there for each other whilst we began to digest our news.

This was about 2 weeks before ‘working from home’ were in the thoughts of many because of the coronavirus and then a few days away from government guidance and advice. Therefore our mindsets and bodies were already experiencing some of the common feelings and behaviours that many in lockdown now are. Yet they came from a more natural place than a recommended one of withdrawal, solitude, needing to go back to basics regarding self care such as washing, preparing food and drinking water. It was and is a strange time. During which, our perspective shifted. Suddenly all the materialistic things didn’t really matter. All we cared about was our seed. Kubbie, we call them, a mix of my husband’s name with mine, suggested by a friend and it makes me think of a little bear cub!

Now it’s not just us in our bubble of what we went / are going through. It’s all of us. Together, in being alone. Many without privilege. Without shelter, without safety. Without basics. That’s another, more difficult and painful angle I’m sure others have posted on. People are coping in different ways. Emotions are heightened. Charged. Overwhelm is overwhelming.

Whatever your status, this time is challenging in a different way. Health care professional, parent, sibling, someone living alone, with a disability, a young person, a child … the list is endless.

We’re all navigating this surreal time.

I’m lucky I am able to work from home and can be paid (again with the touch wood thing…). My job is one I love. One I have chosen. One that is emotionally taxing at times and I’m a natural empath and caregiver so it can take its toll. I’m not so natural on the tech front so I’m adjusting to this new wave of constant online communication. I like old school ‘text’. It took me ages to get whatsapp and ages to get a smart phone when all my friends had them before me. Let alone adapt to using it everyday to keep in contact for both work and personal use which can feel exhausting. Yet this is also a such privilege. We can stay in touch. See faces. I am lucky and I am grateful for this.

We’re all facing our own challenges regarding covid 19, keeping well or living with being unwell, emotionally and physically.

Being pregnant is still beautiful to me right now and my kub keeps me going. Yet I find myself sometimes caught up in a blur between understanding what my emotional response to this situation is, my ‘normal’ pregnancy hormonal responses, and digesting/accepting/processing the news about our little seed alongside the ever changing covid 19 government guidance, including that around my antenatal care and the unknown. Whilst my mental health had and has been so much better, I still take medication for it to help stabilise and I am aware that I am more vulnerable to emotional dips and slips.

I am taking things day by day which helps.

I find myself being better able to breathe after typing this. Getting it down.

Do what you can and what you need to during this time.

Personally, I’m responding well to support that has come more from acknowledgement and non judgemental listening than from anyone wanting to ‘cheer me up’ or ‘quick fix’ me. Typing is sometimes easier than talking if that’s what I’ve been doing all day for work through meetings. Yet of course I want to see my loved ones. I’m learning balance.

Walking – whilst we are still able to go out has been an incredible help and we have been going daily. My husband and I called it ‘twalking’ (cringe I know) along time ago, because it had some special effect on what it enabled us to share together rather than if we were just sat on the couch in conversation. Gratitude too – before we sleep we share 3 things from the day that we are grateful for. No matter how hard that day is.

I do hope you are coping too and not judging yourself if you don’t feel you are doing this ‘productively’ or ‘healthily’ yet…or ever. It’s early days. You are worthy of support. Do let people know what helps you.

This is of course my personal journey and set of circumstances and my little blog helps me make sense of how I am doing, and it feels good to write.

Lots of love during this time,

Abs x 💛

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