I'm 33 and just had the dream of having a baby come true.
As a young girl I always dreamt I would be a Mom in fact I was a mini Mom to my two younger siblings. Yes I am bossy wink emoticon. Growing up I pictured having a family, cooking, cleaning and being the best Mom I could be. There was always something different about me, I worried more than a child should, I had fears of getting AIDS and wanted to be perfect. I washed my hands repeatedly and wouldn't sleep if I had an exam. My parents thought it was a phase. Some years were ok and my compulsions were almost non existant.
I met my now husband when I was 16 and fell madly in love. We talked about the future and even picked names for our future children. We grew up, moved in together and looked forward to what was in store for us. Everything was great at first until my winter hit. I became an anxious, obsessive, sad shell of myself. I quit various jobs, shut out friends, and hid my internal hell from my husband. I didn't leave the house most days. I couldn't bare to be out it was too scary. I had horrible intrusive thoughts and wondered what kind of a person I really was. It felt like I was drowning. A few years went by before I broke down and told my husband what was happening in my mind. I thought for sure he would run and I would end up in a mental ward. At that point I was so distraught I didn't care. I wanted my head to stop spinning. I was 24 and finally started meds, got a diagnoses of OCD and started therapy. After a few months I was doing pretty well. I was getting out of the house and learning how to live again. I was almost myself again. We wanted to start a family so I proposed and two weeks later we were married. I decided to go off my meds to start a family. Big mistake. I slowly unraveled and years went by and I was mentally worse than ever before. I was angry, and spent my days washing my hands 8 or more hours a day. I couldn't sleep and when my husband got home from work I took out the pent up anxiety on him. I would yell and ask him to wash his hands, wash his clothes and do all sorts of illogical things. This went on for years.
I was now 28 years old. Just when we wanted to give up and divorce I got word that a wonderful girl I went to high school with had been killed helping someone after a car accident. This tragedy knocked me down but also in time lifted up my will to get better. I went and got the medication that helped me prior and slowly dug myself out of the hole I was in. I started to live again. I was happy and looking forward to the future. My marriage got back on track but I gave up on the dream of children. I thought being on medication wasn't an option well pregnant and going off meds was not in the cards for me. I accepted that we would be a childless couple. I got a job and started going to various comedy shows, and made new friends. I knew something was missing and that my husband was meant to and wanted to be a Dad. He was willing to give up his dream for me and that broke my heart.
I made an appointment with my Dr. and asked if being on medication was even possible while pregnant and to my surprise he said it was. I was referred to reproductive mental health at BC Women's Hospital and met with the Psychiatrist to discuss what the risks were. I was given the green light to try to get pregnant and three months later I was. When I got the positive result on the pregnancy test I cried like I've never cried before. I was beyond happy and equally scared. I wanted this for so long and it happened. My mental health was great all through my pregnancy and even after a terrifying delivery that resulted in my son having to be resuscitated.
The love I felt for this beautiful little boy was overwhelming. It has been almost a month since I delivered, I'm doing ok and still checking in with reproductive mental health. Some days I feel shitty and like I'm not as good of a Mom as I could be but I challenge those thoughts and realize I am doing the best I can. Babies cry, housework doesn't get done and my hair is a mess but when I see my husband with my son I know that I made the right choice. I will not let OCD run my life and rob me of the joys and challenges of motherhood. Mental illness is part of me but not all of me.
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