Sparkles & Stretchmarks: A UK Parenting & Pregnancy Blog: I'm Not OK

Monday, 16 March 2015

I'm Not OK

Please excuse the change in vibe for this post....

I guess when you're nearing the end of a pregnancy, it's not really the done thing to admit that things are less than perfect...

I'm very much the kind of person who likes to pretend as much as possible that all is well, even when it's not.

I don't like people to know when I'm struggling...I like to paint a happy face on and pretend all's well for as long as possible....usually until it's SO not ok that I can't fake it anymore through sheer exhaustion, and then I crumble spectacularly and end up having screaming panic attacks, deleting social media accounts, and trying to remove myself from the big bad world as much as I possibly can.

The thing is...pregnancy isn't a massive cure-all for every negative emotion. In fact it probably makes a lot of them a bit worse.

On top of feeling whatever way you're feeling, you also end up feeling guilty for daring to feel're pregnant after all! You should be happy! You should be excited! 

Should be....should be...should be...

Well what if I'm not?

What if I'm struggling?

Anxiety doesn't disappear suddenly because there's a baby in your womb.

If anything it spends 9 months building up and up....especially when your anxiety is like mine and is centered around death, and health and all the nasty things that you can't control in life...

I spend 9 months having my ears perk up every time I hear a mention of someone dying in childbirth, or a baby dying at full term....and every time I hear one of those stories, my brain stores it away ready to throw it back out at me at some inopportune moment...usually at around 4 am when nobody else is awake and it can thoroughly consume me.

As I've discussed many times before on of my biggest anxiety triggers is child birth....the thought of natural labour sends me into panic, and is the reason I waited until I was 30 before even thinking about ever having a baby. 

So today, when after weeks of chasing I was FINALLY given my c-section date....only to find that its a whole 24 hours before my due date...I was hit by massive panic again.

I'd been told it would be done at 39 weeks...but oh no. According to the very unhelpful midwife on the end of the phone, there's no "obstetric reason" to do it early.

No there's not an obstetric reason....

The reason is that from now, for the next 23 days, I will have MULTIPLE panic attacks every single day....I won't sleep properly....I won't eat properly...I won't function properly....I'll be depressed...and I will be a nervous wreck....because I'll be constantly worried about going into labour early, and what will happen if I do, and if I'll die and if the baby will die.

And these midwives and anybody else can try to tell me all day long all about how unlikely that is and how irrational it is...but it doesn't matter.

To my overactive brain...the words mean nothing and they will do nothing to stop the fear and the panic.

And so the last 9 months that I've spent trying to reassure myself that it will be ok, because I'll have a c section at 39 weeks and it will go smoothly like last time and nobody will die....have been undone in the space of a 2 minute phonecall with someone who couldn't care less.

So no...there's no obstetric reason.

But there is a mental health which will see me on the edge every single day for the next 3 which will leave me unable to function properly for the next 3 weeks...which is unhealthy for me. Which is unhealthy for this baby. Which is unhealthy for my existing son.

And those 3 weeks of extreme anxiety and stress, on top of god knows what might actually occur with regards to birth, are surely far more likely to leave me with post natal depression than if I wasn't experiencing this....but that doesn't matter....because that's not an "Obstetric reason".

On top of this....I'm worried about having a second baby. I'm worried about managing my time. I'm worried about managing my finances. I'm worried about how Tyne will adapt. I'm worried about how I will adapt.

I'm worried because I'm self employed and instead of being able to wind down my work load in the last few weeks before the birth, I'm having to increase it because I need the money...and instead of being able to plan time off after the birth, I'm worried because I know I won't be able to do that.

I'm worried because it's already hard with just one child.

Is it ok to even admit that?

Tyne is's not his fault...but it's hard to manage a house and a full time job and a toddler...and I feel like nobody really understands that just because my job is from home, it is actually a full time job...infact it's more than that, I spend WAY more than 40 hours a week working....just because it's done from home doesn't make it any less work or any easier.

I honestly couldn't tell you when the last time I had a day out without Tyne was....and that sounds awful, coz why should I want one?

But its his birthday soon and I need to sort out presents without him with us....there's a baby coming and I need to buy things without him with us...and sometimes I just think it would be nice to have an afternoon out with Jon, just us to have some chill out time.

My parents are visiting right now, and they looked after Tyne today...but I have so much work to catch up on and so much housework that needs to be done, that the day is spent catching up and then its over. There's no time for relaxation or fun.

I feel very isolated right now.

I feel like nobody understands.

I don't have many friends, and I'm really not the kind of person who finds it easy to reach out and ask for help....but sometimes even when I try to do that it just makes me feel all the more lonely...

I've been worrying and crying about this c section thing all day, but there is really nobody to talk to about it when other people (at least those I know) don't have these anxieties and don't understand how all-consuming it is to me.

There are so many other things going on in the back ground that I'm already depressed about....things I can't even talk about because I'm TOO depressed about them and I KNOW that other people just won't understand.

So like I said...please excuse the change in tempo for this post...I'll have my All's Fine Smile plastered back on soon and we can all pretend that everything is perfect again....but for tonight, I haven't got the energy.

Sometimes it's not all ok at all.

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  1. It's hard, really hard, when you don't have the support from friends, family, even the midives, I know I was the same with my two girls. I had anxiety in my second pregnancy about losing another organ as I had to have my gall bladder removed after having my first child because it caused a lot of issues for me. It was totally silly that I was worried about it but at the time was completely real and scary for me but no one could understand that it was eating me up inside. I really hope that there is someone somewhere that you can talk to and get some support. I think we all kind of muddle through our lives the best way we can and I'm sure that you will be fine when you see your little baby in your arms. Sending you hugs. xx

  2. Oh I actually really feel you pain. I don't suffer as much as you do with the anxiety but I definitely have changed since having a baby. I haven't many friends who understand and I can't remember the last time me and hubby had an hour just us two. My little boy is nearly two, I have no help at all as my parents live in Australia and I try and blog and run a business from home. Like you no one actually understand how difficult it is to keep all those balls in the air without having all the added extra you have of the next baby and of course how you are actually feeling. It's always ok for it to be not ok if that makes sense. We are all human, and sometimes we just need to say enough. I hope things go smoothly over the next few weeks. And I genuinely hope you start to feel a little better. Sending hugs.

  3. Oh Hayley! I read this in the middle of the night in one of those sleep deprived post loo breaks but wasn't with it enough to comment, so wanted to come back and comment this morning. I know your panic, in my first pregnancy my C section was scheduled for the day before my due date, because it took so long for them to decide that I could have one. THEN on that day they had an emergency twin delivery and sent me home, asking me to come back in 2 days. They did however say that time (and also this time) that if my waters go or I start having contractions to get to the hospital and they will perform the C section anyway. I was also told that generally only 9% of women go into labour before their c sec date, so 91% of us will get our C section as planned. Please try not to worry about it, although I know it is hard when they say annoying things like 'no obstetric need' etc, and you are right, mental need is as important! the brain is an organ of the body after all! If you want to DM/ or even text me then just shout for my number, I'd be happy to chat if you ever need to! In the mean time please just try and relax, enjoy your time with Tyne and don't work too hard (easier said than done I know!) L x

  4. Aww I don't know what to say but didn't want to read and run without saying I really felt for you whilst reading this. Hope your feeling more positive today :/ anxiety sucks. I have family/friends who suffer and it is a horrid thing. As for the 2nd child thing that's all natural to worry, but things will all fit together and you will find your way. Some days will feel like like you are failing but when your feeling positive you'll look back at them days and they make you feel stronger...if that makes sense.

  5. Oh sweetie. You've got it tough for sure at the moment, I have an awful fear of childbirth too and will be having c sections when the time comes, I'm feeling quite ill at the thought of being told it won't be til the day before my due date! I can't imagine how you must be feeling. I really hope it all works out for you, best wishes for everything.

    Jess xo

  6. It IS ok to say you're not ok. I am not ok - I have panic attacks every day at the thought of this baby being premature and ending up in special care again. No obstetric reason is neither here nor there and I am shocked that that was used against you. A mental health reason is a valid reason, and 39 weeks is an acceptable stage to deliver you if it's better for baby AND YOU. Please hang in there lovely, we are all thinking of you, and you are doing a great job. It is hard when there are so many things fighting for your attention, really hard. But Tyne is a lovely, well adjusted little boy and that won't change when baby comes. You know where I am if you need a chat, or even a coffee and cake date! xx

  7. Hi Hayley, I just wanted to comment on your post as I didn't feel like I could read and then not comment. I just want to send you some love to say I am thinking of you. I suffer with anxiety, it's not something I talk about much on my blog, although I do talk about it occasionally- but I don't think it is as severe as yours. But I wanted to say I get in a small way where you are coming from in regards to your c-section. My first little girl was born by c-section and I spent my entire second pregnancy panicking about the fact that I would be pressured into having a natural birth when I wanted a c-section. My midwives were really kind in the end though- that midwife should have been more understanding. It's also ok to say you are not ok, and that you have worries about when the baby arrives- I had the same. It is hard being a parent to a toddler and then throwing a new baby into the mix- but I promise you the worries are worse than the actually doing it. When your baby is here, I can promise you it will all fit into place. Yes you will still have hard days, we all have those regardless of how many children we have, let's face it parenting is bloody tough at times. But I remember a friend telling me that it's way way more than double the feeling of love, but not double the hard work. It's hard but it's not as hard as you think it will be- and seeing your children that you created interacting together- that's the best thing in the world. Sending you love, hugs and hoping that the next few weeks goes quickly for you. xx


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