The dark side of pregnancy: How anxiety and depression ruined the most important time of my life

My story should consist of what should’ve been one of the happiest times of my life, but it wasn’t.

Having a baby should be one of the best experiences in life but it doesn’t always go that way and that’s okay.

It all started with falling pregnant with twins in May, I never thought I would be so worried about losing the baby. I would always look at dates and check the percentage of miscarriage at that stage, if I felt a twinge in the day.

I know it sounds really odd but I really needed something to take my mind off this pregnancy otherwise how the hell could I go through 9 months of worry?

July came and I sadly started to bleed, this resulted in me losing one twin early on and the fear and anxiety of losing the other one set in. From then on it felt like I was trapped in my mind and no words could make it seem better.

Autumn came and went with more worry, hospital visits and stays.. at one point I remember the consultant saying “We need to get to 24 weeks, then the baby might survive in neonatal care, before then we can’t help you.”

Those words stuck with me and I was then spiralling into a depression, willing the baby to stay a bit longer.

After a few weeks the danger seemed to pass. I went back to work and that seemed to help my anxiety as I could focus on something else. Even though on the outside I looked fine, inside I was crumbling at the slightest thing and waiting for more trouble.

This in turn affected my sleep and I would wake every hour, sometimes I just couldn’t get back to sleep as my mind kept racing – something that still happens to this day.

Christmas was actually quite relaxed and everything seemed happy with the baby until Boxing Day. I noticed the movements had slowed down so I decided to make a note of this. It got worse and worse so I went into hospital and they confirmed that the CTG results weren’t great and that I should have steroids in case the baby had to be delivered.

I mean, how much more could I hide away inside my head without bursting? I really needed this baby out.

We’d found out we were having a little girl and I was having checkups at the hospital every week to make sure her heartbeat was fine. They were satisfied but unsure as to why suddenly I didn’t feel much movement. I like to call this a mothers instinct, and it should NEVER be ignored.

Night time was awful, I would wake up 3 times and cry at the thought that I couldn’t feel the baby.

I would cry out for my husband to help me get her to move. I’m sure that was my anxiety kicking in full steam now. I was inconsolable at times and imagining the worst, researching into stillbirths constantly and clinging to hope.

It was eventually decided I would be induced at 39 weeks, so Sunday 7th Feb I hoped my labour would begin.

After the date was given, I felt so relieved and ready for this ordeal to be over, my mind needed to settle as I felt very unwell.

I was induced around 7:30am which in my opinion was painful but I was ready for anything, within an hour I felt back pain and cramps which was odd. The midwives just thought it was nothing so I waited. By 9am I couldn’t stand as I was in more pain, I wasn’t allowed any pain relief and I do believe that the midwives thought I was making a big deal.

The pain became more intense and every 4 minutes, the midwife kept saying “You’re not in labour, it’s in your head”. That in itself was the wrong thing to say, I knew what my head was saying and I knew in my heart that something was wrong. My baby had stopped moving altogether.

1pm came and I took the pessary out and I was okay for about half an hour, but then the pain surged and by this point I was holding onto the bed asking for any pain relief they could give me. Again I was ignored.

“If you’re in labour I’ll get you examined but this will take hours or even days so you need to calm down,” I was told.

I was examined and was found to be 2cm which is nothing in labour terms but they said they weren’t sure why I was in so much pain. They told me they would get me checked over.

As soon as the midwife went off I felt like I needed a wee. And then suddenly, it felt like my waters had broken. Only to my horror my husband came to see me and looked like he was about to faint… all I could see was blood dripping off the bed.

Within minutes I had a crash team sounding the alarm and getting me to delivery. The pain was so intense, all I wanted to do was push. I thought I was screaming so loud, but it was later revealed that I didn’t make a sound and kept passing out.

The pain was trapped in my head.

The sad part is I can still remember this, trying to call out to people but nothing coming out, a recurring nightmare.

As soon as we get round there I was examined and found to be 9cm (within 40 minutes) and was surrounded by a whole team of midwives and surgeons putting drips into my arms, trying to stop the blood.
The baby’s heartbeat had dropped dramatically and I remember the worried faces and the scream to get me in, so I was rushed to have a category 1  C-Section.

This in terms means the mother and baby’s life is in demise so from when the call was made the baby had to be out within 30 minutes.

I don’t remember much of this. I was in such a dreamlike state that I saw my nana and another mystery woman at my bedside (this I believe is my husbands mum who passed away very young).

Recovery was hard and I received a formal apology the next morning from the midwives for not believing me. My head and heart were right and all that “it’s in your head” really highlights that anxiety and depression is still not understood.

Cut to today where my beautiful daughter Winter Marie who is 8 months old, I still suffer with depression and anxiety and even nightmares about that day. I still worry about her and sometimes I still think that I can’t cope.

I then have to remember that we are just human, these thoughts and feelings are normal and no I’m not mental. I just have a very active mind and realise that I should focus on what’s positive!

I don’t believe my anxiety will ever totally leave me, but I’m learning to cope and live with it and just get through each day.

This experience has made me stronger and ready to face life in a different way.

Author: saffdoll

Licensing fashion designer and mum to my beautiful daughter Winter

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