At the 12 weeks scan I seen horror in the junior doctors face, she said "Oh everything looks to be okay, but I need a second opinion on something." A consultant came in, did a quick scan and said the words I will never forget. “You had two babies, but now only one, everything looks good” and left. With his carefree attitude, I took this to be common and went on my way. Little did I know the turmoil it would cause later on down the line.
Apart from extreme sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum) that caused me to lose four stone, my pregnancy up to 30 weeks was trouble free, until the midwife measured me two weeks ahead on the growth chart. This lead to having a growth scan. The scan showed I was behind in growth and that baby was measuring small, one was rebooked for 10 days when I would be 32 weeks. 32 weeks came round and after the scan all the consultant could do was scratch his head. He said “Baby is measuring even smaller, I’m admitting you. I will have a chat with the other consultants, in the mean time I want you to have steroid injections for baby’s lungs as we will deliver early with possible move to Antrim”. Panic and fear consumed me. I’m not a sick person, the only time I ever needed to stay in hospital was to have my tonsils removed. No one could tell me anything and I assumed the worst. Having close family members who where mentally disabled added even more fear.
The next five weeks where the most challenging I ever faced. Tests where run morning and night After 2 weeks I was allowed home during the day on day release, but having to return to the hospital in the evening. At 36 weeks they booked induction. The maximum estimated birth weight going by scans was 3lb. One gel and shortly under five hours of labour I shocked every consultant and midwife by having a natural delivery and a extremely healthy baby boy weighing 6lb 4oz, who received a APGAR Score of 9. Later that day we where finally allowed home. Everything was perfect and I could put it all behind me. Or so I thought.
Darragh's first year was a blur. Darren worked away so he never saw what I was going though. I was crafty and I hid my irrational thoughts and feelings from everyone. I painted on a face and a smile when needed. No one saw how I sat up watching my son sleep, the tears that choked me because all I could think about was how I rejected my pregnancy, the worry that something had to happen. Doctors told me my baby was sick, my body was failing, he was going to be so small. They didn’t have me in hospital all that time and run all those tests that cost god knows how much money for there to be nothing wrong with my son,. Something had to be wrong. The guilt escalated out of control. I had lots of family offer help but I had it in my own head that I would be a weak mother to accept it by not being able to care for my own son. I wouldn’t even let anyone clean his bottles, I had to do every little thing. On the lead up to his first birthday, every night I would rock him to sleep sobbing my heart out thinking I didn’t deserve him.
Shortly after his birthday in a strange twist of events, people started making comments on how much of a live wire Darragh was and I should thank my lucky stars I didn’t have two. I never told anyone bar my mum and husband that was carrying twins. This planted more little seeds that grew way out of proportion. Every time from that moment on all I could think about was he could of had a twin brother or sister, does he know, is that why he is so unsettled at times? Then I came across a article on-line about absent twin syndrome. I think that was what tipped me over the edge.
April was when everything got too much and I totally cracked. All I can remember is rolling through our bed, bawling my eyes out and Darren shouting at me "What is wrong with you?"
At the point, I wanted to end it all. The only thing stopping me was that I knew no one could ever love or care for Darragh the way I could. I came clean to Darren and agreed I needed to see a doctor. Of course the doctor wanted to prescribe me medication. My gut roared at me and I asked If I could try the natural approach. She seemed shocked, most people just accept the tablets.
Looking back the constant battles I had with myself where crazy. It really is like there were two of me in my brain battling it out. Even after visiting the doctor I felt so ashamed so guilty that I let it get this far and so embarrassed that I had a mental illness. Typing this has brought back so many emotions. My next blog will cover how I kicked PND's ass in true goddess worrier style.
If your reading this and need help or support please don’t leave it too late.. You too can kick ass like a true goddess worrier, our bodies are amazing and we all have the ability to self heal, its just knowing how to tap into it.
You can read more of Kirsty's story on her blog The Alternative Hippie.