I was so pleased to see that Sports Relief are raising awareness about mums AND dads who have experienced maternal mental health issues, it's something that is very close to my heart.
Almost four year's ago I gave birth to my beautiful and cheeky little girl Darcie. Unfortunately, I didn't have a very positive birthing experience. Actually, I had such a traumatic birth it lead to me developing a mild case of PTS and anxiety. To cut a long story short, I was induced due to worries that my placenta was failing and the induction process overstimulated me so much so that both me and Darcie became very distressed. So a very dramatic emergency c-section (where I was put to sleep) entailed.
Of course, this had a massive effect on me. At the time I was so out of it, I didn't really understand what was happening. My memories are as follows...
I hear an alarm.
I look over at Jamie.
He is crying.
They tell me to "kiss him goodbye".
I hear a midwife say "Kay, we need to perform an emergency c-section to make sure you and the baby are safe".
I remember being wheeled, very quickly, down the corridors.
I enter the theatre room and all I remember was focusing on the light above me.
They paint iodine on my stomach.
I suddenly panic that I can feel them do this and shout "Why am I not asleep?".
The anaesthetist then tells me I will be soon.
The next thing I wake up in a recovery room asking what the hell happened.
To this day, I still don't really know what went wrong. There is something I find even more upsetting, was how my husband must have felt.
I remember him looking so scared. I had only ever seen him cry twice in the whole of our relationship. Once when his nan passed away and another when his mum became seriously ill. So at the time I did think "shit, this must be serious.".
He was left on his own in the delivery room the entire time. I just asked him how long for as I write this and he said, "it felt like the longest wait of my life".
His words that summed up the experience include, worried, scared, alone and something that surprised me was guilty. Guilty that he had made me pregnant, that he had put me in this situation.
This is the first time he has said these words to me and it has really shocked me.
Jamie felt so alone that he called my mum, he couldn't get his words out so I think my mum also may have had a panic attack too! I feel angry that he was left alone in that situation, no-one to console him, to tell him it would be ok. It must be so very frightening to see a loved one go through a traumatic birth knowing full well there is nothing they can do.
Luckily, Jamie is a tough old cookie and this hasn't left him with any scars. But for those men who find it difficult to overcome, must find it a difficult thing to discuss. I'm so pleased that more and more people are starting to discuss the male side of maternal mental health issues, I feel a lot of men put walls up around them when it comes to mental health issues - and this needs to stop. I feel now that more and more women are feeling more confident about talking about their experiences, I hope that now men can do the same in order for them to seek support if they need to.
So well done Sports Relief, such a great campaign.
Mummy B xoxox