Mental Illness and Pregnancy

by Alisia on June 4, 2013

“I’ve debated telling this story. I’m afraid of being judged and perhaps even… yelled at.  But my story is just as important as yours. My story is the one that no one talks about. My story is about being pregnant with a mental illness.” -B 

My story starts a good 10 years ago, when I was officially diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. In a nut shell, Borderline Personality disorder is all encompassing. Its not usually diagnosed, and some psychiatrists don’t even believe its exists. It includes things like fear of abandonment, mistrust, harmful thoughts, and fast moving emotional thought process that I have no control over. I have very little control over what I think, do, and how I react to things emotionally. Medication makes things easier, but these things will always be a struggle for me. Anyways… 

At that time I had no future. The world was dark. No one cared and everyone else was a hypocrite. I had no future. And honestly it was only a matter of time, before the drugs, alcohol, and cutting caught up to me. Sooner or later… and I didn’t care that much. 

Then I met my husband. He held my hand and offered me a choice. Did I want to continue being miserable, angry and alone, or did I want the future he was offering me? With a career, and a home and maybe even a baby? I had always wanted a baby. If I wanted that, I had to start medication. That was my choice. I was tired of all of it, and I had nothing to loose, so I chose him.   

I was stable for 3 years. Properly medicated with regular therapy and we both felt it was time to have a baby. We wanted a baby and we knew it would be hard. We knew it would be hard because of my illness, but we decided as a team to take the risk. We wanted a baby boy. Maybe it was selfish to want something so badly, especially since I knew I would not be able to go off my medication. My psychiatrist assured me it was safe though, so we quadrupled my folic acid intake to counter act the medication I was already on. And within a few weeks I was pregnant! 

We were thrilled. Nervous, scared. We were parents. There was life growing inside me!!! 

This lasted all of 2 weeks. Then I got sick. 

Typical pregnancy symptoms I was told. They will pass, “you have life growing inside you”. Not so simple for someone like me. For the first 3 months, I was so nauseous I couldn’t eat. I lost 15lbs. Luckily I had enough to spare. Something as simple as not being able to eat was hard for my mind to accept. I cried often. 

The second trimester was worse. “Its ok, it’ll pass, its just part of being pregnant, you have life growing inside you!!” I had a migraine for 3 months straight. Nothing I did alleviated the pain. It only went away when I was sleeping and I wasn’t sleeping all that well either. I cried because I was in pain and tired. 

Please don’t misunderstand. Of course I had moments of elation. Every time he moved. Every time we listened to music together and he danced. We still dance! He amazed me. He was growing inside me and it truly is an amazing thing!  These moments gave me the strength to carry him longer then I wanted to. These moments were very special for me. 

The third trimester, although relieved by the fact that finally after 12 weeks my migraine had went away and I was able to eat again, now the depression kicked in. I hadn’t slept in God knows how long, I was miserable every single day, I ached everywhere I could hardly move. I cried every day because I felt so sick of life. My mental illness had taken over my thought processes, and more then once I threatened to cut my baby out of me! People thought it was funny for me to say that. “You have life growing inside of you. It’ll all be worth it in the end.” They all said. But I had never had a baby before, I didn’t know what they meant, and as far as I was concerned at that point, nothing was worth the pain I was feeling physically and emotionally. I was so unhappy and so depressed and my thought processes were so disturbed. I felt bad for how I was feeling because I knew my son could tell. Every time I cried he got quiet and I knew he knew how I felt about him. So I also felt ashamed. I should love my baby. I grew him and he’s special, but I didn’t. I didn’t even like him anymore! He had put me through a lot already and I was very angry at him.  

At 40 weeks 2 days I called my doctor and begged him to induce me. Once again stating that I was totally serious about cutting him out myself. He finally obliged  and I was scheduled for an induction the next day. I was so incredibly grateful! The induction worked and within a few hours I was in full labour! 

It hurt like a bitch but I was so happy to finally be in the final stretch of things. Morphine, epidural yes please!  

Time is a daze but I think I was in labour for about 14 hours before I started pushing. The nurse has mentioned that I could up the epidural so I did and by 9:00am I was ready to start pushing but I couldn’t feel anything so I did the best I could. 

My doctor showed up and tried to vacuum. It didn’t work, it fell off 3 times and baby wasn’t bugging. Finally he concluded that baby was stuck and we had to have an emergency c-section. Up until this point I was doing fine. My mood had elevated for obvious reasons and I was in the home stretch! This baby that had been tormenting me for 40 weeks would soon be out and maybe then we could start our relationship over.  

They said C-section and everything changed. Now I got scared. I turned to my husband and said, “can you call my parents?” Now I was crying, for the first time throughout the entire labour. I had prepared myself for everything except that. Everyone told me that I had the hips to birth a baby, but my baby was now stuck between them and was not coming out on his own.  

So they did the c-section and everything went smoothly. I was embarrassed because I was laying on the table completely naked and exposed. Nothing covered except my head, but I felt like I didn’t have a choice. I pushed it down like I had pushed all my feelings and emotions down for so long and just let them do what they had to do. 

They tugged and pulled and the anesthesiologist commented over and over again, “just a little bit more tugging.” I guess baby was really stuck. I felt my body move with each tug, but they eventually got him out and he cried and we were happy. I was so happy he was finally out! 

My husband held him for the first half hour while they stitched and stapled me up. My parents came right away because the C-section was a shock to them too. Apparently my mother was hysterical, “my baby is being cut open!!!”. So they held him too. I don’t remember if they held him before me. I wasn’t opposed to it. I guess I was happy. I was more relieved. 

The one thing I remember is how invasive the nurses were. They wanted to put me on Demerol so I would stop shaking because of course by this time my body had gone into shock. My OB said no right away (the one good thing about the entire experience) and just put me under a heated blanket. Within half hour my shaking had stopped. 

As the nurses cleaned me up, my body completely numb and still fat from pregnancy, one of them commented on my scars. I have about a dozen that are noticeable because of my mental illness and the first thing I thought was, didn’t you read my file?  Must I explain this to you? But I quickly did. Calmly. It was not what I needed to hear, nor was it something I wanted to explain at that precise moment. I mean I had just had a baby literally ripped from my body. Clean me up and keep your comments to yourself! 

newborn after cesarean

Well from here on in, nothing went right. I didn’t sleep for 4 day, because they insisted on having a bright night light on all night long. I was exhausted! Baby wasn’t eating and was unable to nurse because my milk refused to come in.  I looked and felt like shit and this baby would not stop crying! We supplemented. We had to. 

Because of all the drugs, my face broke out in cold sores. I’m prone to them to begin with, I get them quite seriously actually but this time, I had over a hundred! I had them in my eyes, on my cheeks, on my nose, my chin. The glands in my neck had swelled up so much I could hardly move my head, and since the herpes virus can actually kill newborns, I was restricted in how often I could hold my baby. Needless to say, we did not bond..

Now the depression hit a high. We were finally home, still not breastfeeding, or sleeping. I couldn’t move because of the surgery, he was crying because he was so hungry. I was crying because in my mind, I was a failure. I couldn’t birth my baby, I couldn’t feed my baby, I couldn’t even hold my baby. I said to my husband, “if your’e holding him, who’s holding me? ” And I meant it! I felt so incredibly alone and shameful. I thought often of just stuffing the baby in the freezer. Often. If it wasn’t the freezer it was the washing machine… Often. And that scared me.  In my screwed up mind, this baby was the cause of everything bad that had happened for the last 42 weeks of my life and if he just wasn’t here anymore… I felt horrible. What made me feel worse was the fact that I knew he knew exactly how I felt and it was obvious that he didn’t trust me.  

I still cried every day. It was a very difficult time for my husband. I put on a brave face for all the family that came to visit us, but as soon as we were alone everything fell apart…. 

So here’s where the story gets better.

We were sitting on the couch one night, just hanging out watching tv. He was 2 weeks old, and I just looked at him. This was the first time I had actually just looked at him. He looked back and I said, “there is something so familiar in your eyes.” As I looked harder, I realized he had my eyes. I was looking into a mirror! My heart melted. I said, “I guess you aren’t so bad…maybe this isn’t your fault.” And his glare did not faultier. “Can we start over?” And turned his head and started rooting, “You want to try just one more time?” So for the first time I nursed him.

He latched and he drank big gulps and he looked at me and I could tell that for the first time he forgave me. He understood and I promised him then that no matter what I thought, no matter what the voices told me to do I wouldn’t do them. He trusted me now and I couldn’t betray that. The thoughts haunt me on a daily basis even now but he trusts me and he loves me and he cuddles me and he forgave me and now he doesn’t even remember and as time goes by, the thoughts dwindle and they aren’t as strong. That night I fell in love with my son for the first time. He looks just me, so how couldn’t I love him.  

Some days for me are harder then others. My son is my reason now. My reason to stay strong, to take my medication and to go to therapy. He needs me  to do these things not only for myself but for him. Every time I look into his milk chocolate eyes, my eyes,  I’m reminded of where I was, where I could be and where I am now I’m more confident as a mom and more secure as a woman, and its all because of him. I’m so lucky. My husband has been incredibly supportive throughout this entire journey and I have him to thank as well. 

I still don’t know how I’m going to explain things to him as he gets older. Why I need to take medication, what the scars mean, why I get so angry sometimes or cry uncontrollably, and why I can’t control certain aspects of my emotions. I don’t know. But I figure I’ll just take every day as it comes. As a blessing. I grew him inside me. He’s mine and regardless of how I felt about him in the beginning, its not how I feel about him now. He’s the absolute love of my life and I tell him every single day. 

mother and son

pregnancy and mental illness

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{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

Kerrianne June 5, 2013 at 12:49 am

I can understand why that story was hard for you to share but you have amazing courage to be able to write that and share your story. Pregnancy is not easy for anyone but for you I can only imagine how hard it was for you. I really want to congratulate you on finding a way through and sharing your story. Your son is gorgeous and I’m so glad that you were able to bond with him. Thank you for sharing your story, I’m sure you aren’t the only one who has gone through a pregnancy with a mental illness and its great for stories like yours to be out there, you never know who you have given hope to that what they aren’t the only ones who are feeling and going through what you have. You may have just shown there can be light at the end of the tunnel and that what they are feeling (with work of course) can be managed and they can still love and care for their children. xx

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Tc June 5, 2013 at 3:10 am

You and he are just beautiful!

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kara June 5, 2013 at 10:15 am

wow mama thank you for sharing. I cried when I got to the part where you finally bonded with him. this is a powerful story and you are so brave and inspiring! you and your son are just beautiful also :)

don’t ever feel ashamed of who you are or where you have come from. without your past you would not be YOU!!!!

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Jennifer June 5, 2013 at 10:16 am

I applaud you! I know it may not feel like it now, but what you went through is nothing to be ashamed of. I also have borderline personality disorder, as well as PTSD. I have been off of meds for years, but since becoming pregnant with my second child, I have been struggling with my emotions in very similar ways, although admittedly not as bad. It must have taken so much strength to share your story, but please know that you are an inspiration to so many others! Guilt is one of the worst things we have to deal with and it helps so much to know that we are not alone. Much love to you Mama, and please remember… Your scars are your battle wounds. They are a symbol of the triumph that you have gotten to this point!!! It’s what I tell my older daughter when she asks… :) <3

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Fellow BPD Mom June 5, 2013 at 10:17 am

Thank you for sharing your story. I have also been diagnosed with BPD. Being a mom has seemed to help, but the badness is there sometimes still. Hopefully my daughter will grow up perfectly normal. She does have a wonderful daddy.

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Misti June 5, 2013 at 10:25 am

beautiful story :)

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Ash D. June 5, 2013 at 10:31 am

Thank you so much for your story. To even imagine the pain you were going through, throughout your pregnancy and those first few weeks, I don’t want to. Stay strong mama, he is beautiful, and he is yours. Kudos to your husband as well. I don’t know too many men that would help a woman through something like that and continue to. Hold on to him and enjoy your beautiful family!

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Alison June 5, 2013 at 10:33 am

I am so glad you have shared your story with the birthing community. Your story, like many others, is the story of despair and hope. Mental illnesses are hard, but with pregnancy hormones it is even harder. It can be done, you can be a great parent, and you can raise a great child. I am a former foster mother, and currently a doula (birth and post-partum), a nanny, a mother, and soon to be a grandmother. I also have a mental illness, and though not as wicked, it is still there and rears its ugly head. I struggled and know that mothers struggle with bonding and breast feeding, as well as the every day things we must accomplish. Please just remember that there is help out there to get you through what ever you are facing. Thank you again for sharing your story.

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mary June 5, 2013 at 10:36 am

absolutely and beautifullly honest testimony!! wow… tears!!! you and your sons’ picture is an expression of the healing that comes with honesty!! Have you considered sharing this with N.A.M.I. ?? This is a testimony of healing, hope and honesty! sooo proud of you!!

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Delisa June 5, 2013 at 10:38 am

Thank you for your story!!!!! My sister has this and just had a baby. I feel like you just helped me understand her so thank you!!

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Brittany June 5, 2013 at 10:39 am

THANK YOU! Thank you so much for sharing your story! I too, have BPD. When I gave birth to my first child, I was un-diagnosed and un-medicated. I didn’t know what was wrong with me, why I was feeling that way, why I was unable to bond with my baby. His birth was also traumatic, 72 hours long and followed by severe depression.
I am now pregnant with my 2nd baby. My doctors took me off of my medication since I was pregnant and I have been just terrified. Your story gives me hope that things can turn around for me and that I am not alone in my struggle.
Thank you so much!

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Liz Paparella June 5, 2013 at 10:39 am

Thank you for your candor . By opening up your story you give people struggling with these same issues HOPE. Your son is beautiful and I am so happy for you !

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Michelle June 5, 2013 at 10:42 am

Thank you so much for sharing. I relate to every single word you wrote and it came at a time I really needed to hear it. Thank you for letting me and anyone else know they are not alone.

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Jacqui June 5, 2013 at 10:44 am

What a beautiful birth story:-)

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VikingMomSD June 5, 2013 at 10:57 am

WOW! Thank You for sharing your positive and honest story. I am a Special Ed teacher that has worked for many years with high school students with mental health struggles. Yes, I have even worked with students with Personality Disorders, which is very real. My advice to you, my dear, is when he is old enough to start asking questions be honest with him. It will also help to keep a consistant and planned routine in both of your lives. Change is not easy, and change will come, so having a consistant routine will root you both. Keep up with your therapy, medication and support team aka Husband.
See, I relate with many of my students because I too quietly struggle with Depression and PTSD, but I too have two beautiful children and a wonderful suppportive husband.
Thank You for sharing. We need more brave souls like you.

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S. Day June 5, 2013 at 11:00 am

It took incredible strength to share your story. I am 7 months pregnant, diagnosed PTSD years ago and am prone to suffer from severe depression. Getting pregnant right now was not in my “life plan” for a multitude of reasons and I took it so bad. I just came out of my depressed fog recently ( I am scared not for good ), my boyfriend was over the moon and less than supportive of my depression, crazed hormones, etc. at first. It wasn’t really his fault, he just did not know how to cope with his sweet, grounded love acting nuts and staying in such a dark place for so long. Everything scared me, everything made me nervous, everything made me think I would be a horrible parent. The funny part is, I raised both of my sisters and have taken care of children since I was very young. I knew what I was capable of and I knew I would be a great parent…it’s just no one really tells you or talks about what happens to people who have chemical imbalances, mental health issues, and the like. No one tells you that the hormones WILL make you CRAZY, no one tells you to prepare for the crazy thoughts, the horrible thoughts that invade your mind when those lovely life making hormones happen. It’s sad and scary that it is not talked about more. I too have scars from years of trying to self medicate and forget what made me this way. I cringe when I look at them, I cringe when others look at them, some aren’t so bad and can be explained away, others…there is nothing you can say. People know, and they judge. I don’t know what I will tell my son when he is old enough to ask, I will figure that out along the way. You are strong and just have to keep pushing yourself. That’s how I get through, I love my son, I am grateful for his life growing inside of me, and I am grateful for the wonderful man that even though he didn’t get it, he stuck through and is the best ever for it. My prayers are with you and your family. Thank you for sharing.

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Roberta June 5, 2013 at 11:13 am

You are strong, brave, courageous, and amazing! You are an awesome mom! Thank you for sharing your story with the world! Mental illness is not something that you ask for. My mother and my sister both live with it. You are the very best mother for that beautiful boy! You will teach him so many things that he would not learn if YOU were not his mother. Things like compassion, mercy, and acceptance of those that are different! I believe that God is the giver of all life and that He chose You to be the mother of that handsome boy. Thank you for being so courageous and sharing your survival story. May The Lord bless you and keep you strong!

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Brandi June 5, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Your comment made me cry. Thank you for saying such beautiful things. I try so hard. And I believe what you say. He will be a better man for everything I will be able to teach him. Hes so compationate already. So forgiving. So unconditional in how he feels…..

Sharing this has been really overwhelming for me….

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Roberta June 5, 2013 at 5:48 pm

I speak truth. Your story will possibly my make more women empowered to share in their struggles. All to often we as women want to hide our insecurities and pretend like everything is perfect. Women who share in your pain need to be encouraged and built up by other women. That is my goal. I may not struggle with mental illness, having a mother who does has made who I am today, compassionate, forgiving, kind, accepting, and slow to judge those I meet. I am not without struggle though. I am constantly questioning myself as a mom. It’s hard for many of us. I promise to pray for you and mothers like you who are not yet strong enough to share. You my sister , are a blessing to women like me. I can be here for you to encourage you if you need it. Just let me know! Sincerely, Roberta

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Jenny June 5, 2013 at 11:21 am

I definitely understand, at least in part. I was a cutter for ten years before my now husband said that I needed to stop if we were going to have kids. He didn’t mean it as a threat or ultimatum but out of love for me and my body. I am lucky though in that I only have about half a dozen very visible scars but those can be easily lied about; I couldn’t imagine being in your situation where even a nurse could comment so openly. Stopping for me also didn’t happen all at once and I knew that when my pregnancy hormones started to wear off after each birth that the temptation would be the strongest.

Thanks again for sharing. I am glad your lifelong road to recovery involved you getting a child.

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Katie Ireland June 5, 2013 at 11:27 am

Thank you for sharing your story. You are so strong;) Which is good because you have to be strong to be a mamma!!! You are both so beautiful!!!

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Gabriela Abraham Estévez June 5, 2013 at 11:29 am

Thanks so much for sharing this. If you could do it, every woman can. You’ll explain everything to your son one day and he will feel so proud of you. You are a brave, strong and beautiful woman!

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Erin Duncan June 5, 2013 at 11:34 am

Thank you for sharing your story. I suffer from anxiety and depression and my pregnancy has been a struggle. I’m still in it at 21 weeks, and it can feel insanely lonely at times. It’s comforting to know I’m not alone :)

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sarah June 5, 2013 at 11:35 am

what a strong a beautiful person you are! you are a true inspiration. thank you for sharing your story with us, it will stay with me forever. xxx

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Brittney W June 5, 2013 at 11:35 am

I echo Kerrianne’s comment completely! You are not alone and I am glad you found strength, perspective and love through this experience <3.

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Carrie June 5, 2013 at 11:43 am

Hello– I found so much encouragement reading your story. I’ve been through pregnancy with mental illness, and I can identify with so much of your message. You are a strong person. And your strength will turn to compassion for others, and you will help others in their darkest hours. Blessings.

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jmelson June 5, 2013 at 11:50 am

Wow! what an incredible story. How heart wrenching that you felt so alone. Pregnancy is bad enough at times with the hormonal rages, no wonder you felt as you did. I’m so sorry you were afraid to tell your story , but I feel that just getting it out will not only help you but others that have the same feelings but were afraid to speak out. Thank you for sharing.

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AMC June 5, 2013 at 11:52 am

Thank you so much for sharing your story. It brought tears to my eyes (both happy and sad). I am so sorry for what you went through and how dismissive others seemed to be of your struggles. People expect pregnant women to be glowing and happy, and they forget we’re still human. Of course you had trouble bonding with your son because anyone would if they had to deal with the same sickness, depression and pain that you did. Though I don’t have any experience with mental illness, my birth was similar to yours: long labor, emergency c-section, the fear, the shaking, the difficult recovery, the sleeplessness, not being able to breastfeed. I feel like I want to give you a hug because I know exactly how hard that was. I’m so glad your story had a happy ending though. Lots of love to you and your beautiful boy. He really does have your eyes. :)

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sarah June 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Thank you so much for being brave and sharing your story. You are doing a great job and sound like an amazing mom. Be strong! God has got His hand on your life. :) Also, sounds like u have a one in a million man! They are rare and so very special. I’m sure you know this. :) God bless you

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Jenny June 5, 2013 at 12:17 pm

That story brought tears to my eyes. I’ve never left a comment on anyone’s page before, but this really compelled me to do so. Thank you for your courage to tell your story, you are strong and beautiful!
Stand proud Mama! Much love to you and your family!

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Tanya A June 5, 2013 at 12:19 pm

You are brave and strong to share this story. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been, but you are an inspiration and a comfort to other mothers who have felt out of control, helpless, and angry with their baby (for whatever reason).
I am so glad your story has a happy ending and that you and your son are so close! Stay strong, mama!

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cori June 5, 2013 at 12:20 pm

beautiful and courageous story. thank you for sharing :)

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heide June 5, 2013 at 12:23 pm

your story couldn’t have come at a better time for me. thank you for being so brave and sharing your life with me. I too have mental illness bipolar/ borderline. I have struggled for years and years seems like an eternity 3 years ago I became pregnant the first couple months were extremely rough emotionally on top of being tired my partner was still partying and having people over late while everyone else was carrying on with their life as usual here I was alone, feeling guilty about bringing a child into the world with a mom that is super emotional, laying on the bathroom floor crying for hours when my partner and mother in law are reminding me that my baby can feel my distress. I didn’t want that so the guilt cycle and feeling uncontrollable urges to hurt myself continued. I was determined to have a natural home birth and found serenity in the last few months with my baby. when my due date came and went I was thrown into being afraid of doctors intervention if I went to long in my pregnancy…. my midwife assured me everything would work out. a few days later I went into labor…. at home walking, meditating being in our water tub slowed my contractions so the only comfort I found my midwives said I needed to get out…. this continued for 4 days. 2 days into labor my water broke and I continued in a excruciating amount of pain. with the support of my partner and mom I tried and tried.. he touched me in the tub and kissed me so delicately we were one… it was the most profound love I have ever experienced in my life… on the 4th day my babys heart slowed and I had to be rushesd to the hospital where I was told I needed an emergency c sect. this devastated me but I was blessed with a doc that had a huge heart. so jan 8 which is my birthday our daughter was born….. we bonded and I held her for days…
but not being able to sleep or get comfortable as you know after having your stomach completely cut open took its toll on me and my moods. my partner I know he loves her very much would not get up to help me and complained about dishes piling up one day… I would explode into tears in the middle of the night because I was a zombie and he would tell me things like oh god all I need is another baby right now suck it up….. while struggling with not being able to have this birth experience right of passage and being a failure I was a mess… unfortunately my partner does not understand anything about mental illness and believes I can control my rage/ insanity and would say things like you should be happy… because of your selfishness we almost lost our daughter and now we have a huge medical bill… needless to say not a lot of emotional support was given by him after this breathtaking experience we shared together during my labor I had other expectations of our love and thought we would be so close… we are not. I have broken things in rage, hit him and have said so many hurtful things to him including (this is hard to admit)…. your daughter hates you and on and on… I wish he knew how much I want to just be loving and loved… im not on medication because I have tried so many they didn’t work for me… I too cut myself and have horrible scars and feel completely abandoned… I do love my daughter more then anything in the world she is my saving grace and my reason for living…
do you have any suggestions for my partner to read or movies to help in understand this is not what I want to live with…. anything I can say to him to help in know that I love him and our family, im afraid I will lose everything…. how did your husband cope and help you thru this. my partner feels helpless and thinks I need to deal with this on my own.. there are just so many things he says and does to make this worse because he doesn’t understand. he is amazing and I love him wholeheartedly… thank you for helping me not feel alone… blessings to you and your beautiful family…

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Amy Butler June 5, 2013 at 12:27 pm

You are AMAZING!!!! Thank you for posting your story! I am 43 mother of 2 girls and have dealt with the same horror as you. Fortunately I had my girls before it escalated so I never had to go through pregnancy dealing with this.

We never know why we suddenly have courage just out of nowhere….. well today I can tell you…… I NEEDED YOUR STORY TODAY! I am suffering from a seizure disorder from a severe head injury. (car wreck 1 yr ago) Since then both of my daughters have gotten married and one is a new mom and the other daughter is due next month. I can assure you there’s no doubt in my mind that they love me as unconditionally as I do them. My girls grew up with me as me and my sons-in-law have seen if first hand and I am just their MOM like any other kids. Your son will feel the same way. Don’t worry today about explaining something 2o yrs from now because between now and then you are his “1st girlfriend” and he loves you. Peace from an “old” you that has survived! :)

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Kate June 5, 2013 at 12:28 pm

WOW, wow, wow, I am literally in tears. I could feel all the emotions you wrote about. Thank you for sharing your story. I am amazed by your strength, even in your weakness. I wish more people would talk about this type of struggle. Blessings to you and your beautiful boy.

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Brandy June 5, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Thank you for being brave and strong enough to share your story. You have had to go through so much more then most and are an amazing woman & mother. Your sons is beautiful and the love in both your eyes is truly apparent.

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Tracey a.k.a. KidLit June 5, 2013 at 12:45 pm

No judgment here. No anger. Totally understand. Sadly, I felt the same way when my last was born via C-Section. They held her over me and I wanted nothing to do with her. She might as well have been someone else’s kid. There was nothing there and I felt horrible. I had a horrible pregnancy. I was told she too would be stuck if I tried to birth her vaginally because of her size. Truth was, she wasn’t that big. However, she was so tied up in her cord, we would have been surgery bound even if we had tried. Due to a strange alignment of odd circumstances, I ended up laboring up until I was 9 cm dilated before I was prepped for surgery. By that time, I was tired, frustrated, and in a lot of pain. Added to the horrible pregnancy and off the charts emotions due to mental illness (bipolar here) equals a recipe for emotional disaster. Luckily, while in the recovery room, I had an angle of a nurse swooped in and help me breastfeed. I was still numb from the neck down and she became my hands for me. She latched her on and held her in place. All the appropriate emotions came flooding into place. She has been a Diva from day one, but I love her more than life itself.

You are not alone. Anyone who judges, just doesn’t understand. Shame on them for not being able to see beyond their on comfort zone. Be proud you told your story. Stand tall and know you made at least one person feel better about their story. ;0)

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Megan June 5, 2013 at 12:54 pm

I totally cried reading this! Thank you for sharing!! It touched home for me. I had a pregnancy and birth with a mental illness but I was able to “cure” it by healing my badly damaged gut using the GAPS diet (eventually… it takes a while and my son was older). Maybe it could provide some relief for you as well? This was a very amazing story!

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Tessa June 5, 2013 at 1:13 pm

I can sympathize with you. I had thoughts and actions with my first two that haunted me for years. My daughter is 14 now but I don’t forget. You are strong for posting this. The most healing thing for me was finally admitting and talking to others about what I went through. Mine was NO WHERE as bad as yours but it was bad enough that I still have to be medicated to this day. As long as you continue along the healing path your on an continue to speak out you will help heal yourself and others along the way. We all need to know that even with mental illness we can raise happy healthy children. Keep it up.

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Amanda June 5, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Thank you for writing your story. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder about 5 years ago but I have not been on my meds for a year now. My husband, doctor and I agreed I should stop taking them because we wanted to get pregnant. Fast forward a year, many mental breakdowns and several fertility treatments, and now I have decided to get back up on my meds. I don’t know if I’ll ever get pregnant, but I know that feeling like a crazy person everyday is not helping.

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Ch C June 5, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Wow, you are an AMAZING woman! Your strength is astounding and he is lucky to have a Mom like you.

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kristy d June 5, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Thanks for sharing your story. You are a very brave, strong woman and mom.

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Jess Dee June 5, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Thank you for sharing your story. The fact that you were able to get through all that shows how STRONG you are. It’s also inspiring for future mothers, me especially. I have GAD and PTSD and I am so worried about getting pregnant and how I will be able to handle all the new emotions on top of that. Just reading your story gives me hope that it can and has been done. It was very courageous of you to tell your story as well. All these qualities make you a good mom. You are a good mom.

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Bethany June 5, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Thank you for sharing. I imagine that when your son is able to understand concepts like depression and anxiety saving this post and allowing him to read it would be a good way to start an honest conversation. It is clear that you have made the choice to love him. That will come through to anyone who reads it.

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Nina Tarpley June 5, 2013 at 6:34 pm

With my first baby it took me 6 months to finally get to the point were I could look at my daughter and tell her that I loved her & liked her. I felt so guilty for having the c-section so not breastfeeding wasn’t an option. It was like I couldnt let myself love her. I wouldnt sleep because I thought she would just die because I didnt want to hold her or talk to her so I would actually wake her up during the night or during the day when she was sleeping alittle longer than usual and feed her until she was full again and fall back to sleep. I loved breastfeeding. It was like for the time during the feeding I could be okay with her and that I loved her. She was a good baby when I look back on those days, it was my mind that wasnt okay. Even though the doctors told me to keep taking my Anti-depressants during and after my pregnancy, I just couldnt do it. People really started thinking I hated her when I refused to give her those flu shots and stuff… this story brought me to my knees in crying… thank you and being brave and sharing..

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Renee June 5, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Please know that you are not alone ~ I am Bipolar and also suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder amongst other diagnoses. If you ever feel like you need someone to talk to please feel free to email me. I am 61 years old and have been suffering from mental illness for a long time. If it helps I have two beautiful and wonderful daughters who have gone through a lot with me over the years ~ it has been rough on all of us but we have made it as a family. For a while we were not because they did not understand, especially when I overdosed ~ I am not sure how much they really understand why I go through the moods swings, the depression, feelings of self-worth, but at least they are there for me. They have both just had a baby within the past two years and I worry about what my grandchildren will think as they grow older and if I end up in the hospital again as I have been in and out of them many, many times. Keep your head up ~ you have a beautiful son and he will love you for who you are and because you are his beautiful mommy who is always there for him when he needs you. Take care, and remember you are definitely not alone. God Be With You

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Grace June 5, 2013 at 8:26 pm

I understand, all of it <3 all i remember thinking was, do i HAVE to take him home? :( it took two weeks also. he is my angel and the light of my life at 19 months old. Here's my story-

I've heard it said, 'a man falls in love when he sees his child but a women falls in love when she finds out she's pregnant'. This was not so true for Luis and I. He was excited and in love with our little person far before he was Nicolas. I on the other hand, did not feel much of anything towards the baby I was carrying.
I never doubted I would be a good mother, never. I knew what were the right things to do and I knew I would do all the right things if I ever had a child. And that was a very big if! I always imagined myself traveling all over the world, visiting museums, seeing the most breathtaking historical sites and eating all kinds of wonderful foods. I thought I would complete years of school and have some great job. You know the kind where you smile shyly when people say, oh my gosh thats so cool; buy secretly you think to yourself, yah I know.
Nothing has really changed. And well, everything has changed. I still want to go everywhere, see and do everything. My adventures spirit has not left me just yet! I wish never to have a day go by where I feel like I missed out on something the world had to offer, not one day!
So needless to say, I would smile politely when people remarked about how excited I must be to be expecting. Old women at work would tell me about their grandchildren with such pride in their voices. Fathers were proud to come in to get all dressed up to give their little girls away. New mothers would tell me how incredible it was to be a mom. And of course the other pregnant girl who could not be more excited to be a mom that would talk forever! You know the mom you already know your going to hate at school because she just seems so perfect, yah those girls! But again and again, I would smile.
On the inside I wasn't smiling, I was screaming in fear!
What is wrong with me?
Why aren't I that excited about my child?
Was this a really bad idea?
Will I love this baby?
The day had arrived, labor pains! Finally! Oh on a side note, I think that birth is very likely the most beautiful thing on the plant. So although I was still afraid to actually have my child, I was so excited to take part in what I consider life's greatest miracle. And eventually, there he was. My miracle had arrived! He was so tiny and he had so much hair! I was supposed to instantly fall in love, wasn't I?
It was about two weeks later. Luis had gone back to work and the visitors stopped, we were finally alone. Just Nico and I. I remember it like I was yesterday.
God I hope I always remember it like it was yesterday…
I was changing and dressing him and then it happened. I feel in love! I don't know what it was or why it happened right then, but it did. Like nothing else in the whole world mattered. I sat down in the rocking chair, cried and rocked him. Thank god I wasn't broken. I waited so long to feel that way! And what seemed like a job became a calling. And all those things that I knew I had to do for my son, became all these things I wanted to do! Everyday we have adventures together. I watch him discover new things, people and sounds. I love, love, love his gummy smile! And uh, his laugh! Nothing else in the world compares.
Do you see what just happened, 'cause I do. I became one of those girls; the ones you hate, the ones I hate. Oh how funny life is and how grateful I am I took this trip, went on this journey of motherhood. And I am so glad I don't have to wait to travel around the world to witness breathtaking beauty. It sleeps next to me!

<3, Grace

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Megan June 5, 2013 at 8:28 pm

You are a strong woman, and now, mother. Thank you for sharing your story.

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emily June 5, 2013 at 8:34 pm

You are beautiful, and very brave and amazing to share your story. The more people like you who put it out there, the more stigmas we can tear down about mental illness. I am the child of a schizophrenic mother. I’m 35 years old. She loves me with every shred of her being, and was the best mom (and still is, even in my adult life) she could be to me, despite everything she’s been through. She LOVES me, fiercely. Her love is bigger than state hospital stays, long periods of psychosis, and abject poverty. I just want you to know that despite your illness, with the strength of love, your mothering through even the roughest, darkest periods, will be what your son knows and what guides him. Nothing else matters.

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Cathy June 5, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Thank you for sharing your story despite your fears; It took a lot of courage and because you didn’t let fear stand in your way, I’m sure that your story will help others and that makes you one hell of a Lady, you are strong, and courageous and might I add, very beautiful with a gorgeous Baby Boy who most definitely looks a lot like his Mommy. You keep up the courage and you can face anything that comes your way…be proud, because we all are of you! God Bless you, and your beautiful Family!

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Alissa June 5, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Thank you for sharing your story. You aren’t alone.

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Walker Karraa June 5, 2013 at 8:41 pm

As a woman who has battled demons, and gotten to the other side, dear one…you effing rock!

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