At the beginning of 2009 we spoke to my psychiatrist about the possibility of me having a child. After he outlined all the complications due to my bi-polar, epilepsy and medications I had as good as accepted I’d never be a mother.
When I discovered in March that I was pregnant the challenge began. I knew, however, that if I believed in myself, had people who believed in me and the right support, the challenge would become a dream come true. Erika, your belief in me and invaluable support was definitely part of a dream that made a wonderful thing happen.
I was aware that I could become manic when in labour. I was concerned that if I did, the medical staff would not follow my wishes, as they would find it difficult to know what I said was sound versus manic. It was for this reason I very much wanted to have a birth attendant with me at this critical time. I wanted to be taken seriously.
- A. To ensure someone was with me who knew what are some very personal choices when in labour.
- B. Evenmore so to give me the extra help to prevent going into a manic relapse – it’s amazing how helpful excellent support is, not to mention belief in me, just like you gave me.
You did all that for me Erika. Better still you did it without stigma and that means a lot to anyone with a mental illness. Thank you for not turning me away when I told you about my mental illness (the first attendant I approached did). Thank you for believing in me when I told you I knew my condition well, understood it’s triggers and how to quickly nip them in the bud with the help of someone else. Thank you for taking the time to learn my emergency procedures – this probably was the reason they weren’t needed. Thank you also for doing your usual job in providing comfort and support to me, in the most painful and trying times, during my labour. Being able to cling onto your hand and hear your encouragement was great. Following your suggestions for positions sure helped!
I’m sure the reason I had no problem with my bipolar during my pregnancy, whilst giving birth or after, was largely due to your help. My dream, my miracle, my sunshine couldn’t have come into this world so smoothly without your belief in me and excellent support, help and skills.
Yours sincerely, Carolyn