Sorry for the delay, had a week full of appointments from meeting with my psychiatrist to meeting a family outreach worker part of the prevention team, the health visitor meet and greet and then therapy, Aquanatal and then just to top it off, I had to have a root canal at the Dentist #FML
Due to my mental health issues, I was referred to the Perinatal Mental Health service in Leeds for an assessment. It understand why as the Perinatal Mental Health Service provides specialist input to women experiencing significant mental health difficulties during pregnancy and the first year following a child’s birth.
The service also provides inpatient care at the Yorkshire and Humber Mother and Baby Unit if I was to get Postpartum psychosis . During this appointment, there was a discussion about medication. I was under the impression that the medication I was on was going to be okay to breastfeed on but it was highlighted that it could be an issue. I was given information about the drug that I was taking which was written by a drug company. As you can imagine it was so high level that it included all the risks from a sore throat and cough to the potential that baby could stop breathing! It also includes results of all clinical trials that had taken place relating to pregnancy and breastfeeding while taking the drug.
I understand that they would need to cover their own backs in case someone was to have a side effect and they could sue but why would you give this to someone who is a worrier? Someone who always thinks of the worst possible situation? I read the information from cover to cover about a million times trying to work out in my head the likelihood of something happening to me and mentally preparing myself for that. To summarise from what I read, there is a problem with my meds and might not be able to breastfeed as between 15-50% of the drug could get into my milk! Whether this would be like that for me, you never know so I am already worried. I am wanting to breastfeed as it is known to be so much better for babies and want to give Liberty the best possible chance in life. So in order for it not to be transferred into my milk I would stop taking it!! Sounds like the perfect solution however VERY dangerous!
After getting over the drama about my medication, I have to admit that this appointment was one of the worst mental health appointments I have ever attended. I think it was because I sat there and had to discuss my past, previous life choices and be educated on situations that could happen following Liberty’s birth. The one question which I will never forget was whether or not I would want Liberty to be taken away from me if I was to get ill in order to get better. (even now that though disturbs me). Following on from the assessment which last 2 hours, recommendations would then be made with regards to the most suitable solutions to ensure that I was kept well. I would have to wait for these recommendations to come through before I could attempt to make my own plans to help keeping myself well.
While waiting for the letter of recommendations to be received, I started to think about it all to try and process it in my head. The overall feeling with all of this is that I am so scared! Scared that something might happen to me! I never thought it was going to be this hard. It is not as easy as making a plan for preference when it comes to labour, it’s so much more than that! It’s about creating plans to prevent an episode such as Postnatal depression or postpartum psychosis following Liberty’s birth. Therefore the plans about labour need to be mental health led. THEN Once the mental health plan is out the way then I can decide how I would like Liberty to arrive. WHAT A NIGHTMARE!
So far I have met with the following people who will be actively involved in mine and Liberty’s care:
- Community Mental Health Worker
- Health Visitor
- Family Outreach Worker
Having meet and greets with all of the above, I have come to the conclusion that all the people and departments that are involved in my care are individual jigsaw pieces and need to all come together to create the picture of me and Liberty! As I have mentioned above, it is all so overwhelming! I have researched each and every one the above to gain an understanding of where their piece fits but I feel that it is all too much. Who do I call what issue?!
In one of the appointments this week, I was informed that a letter had been received which stated the recommendations and that a meeting was going to be planned to take place on 11th July 2018. first things first, I wanted to get to the bottom of the whole meds and breastfeeding issue as still experiencing issues with conflicting information about whether there would be an issue breastfeeding, this was tasked to one of my team to get me the real honest answer. Hopefully that would be provided at the meeting.
Once I have the recommendations, I will share these with you. One of the recommendations that I am aware of relates to adding an additional drug to help stabilise my mood. Yet again, this would cause an issue with breastfeeding so do I just let the breastfeeding dream go as seems to be causing no end of problems. The meeting is just under 2 weeks away so in the meantime, I need to look at what I can do to help stay well and ensure that I don’t lose my voice amongst all the people who want to speak for me for my best interests.
TO FOLLOW: Labour plans – thinking that water births are the way forward