Each journey in pregnancy and beyond is different. We hope to share real stories from real parents to help break down the stigma, fear, shame, guilt that so many struggle with. These feelings are often barriers to seeking care and support for what you’re going through. It is our ultimate hope that you know you are not alone in how you feel and we are here to help you get Better.
The following is an interview with Shayna.
BB: Did you know anything about mental illness being a possibility associated with pregnancy and postpartum?
Shayna: I had heard stories in the past but I wasn’t fully aware of how common it is. Honestly the little I did know came from stuff I saw on tv.
BB: What did you experience and when did it take place (during pregnancy/after/ BOTH)?
Shayna: I experienced it 9 weeks after giving birth. I woke up in the middle of the night to feed the baby. I fed and changed him and put him down. Then it was as though someone had shut my lights out. I had very scary visions that ran through my head like a movie screen. My anxiety was through the roof. I couldn’t settle down, I didn’t want anything to do with my kids and I was terrified to be left alone. I went to my OB or called daily. They changed my medicine time after time and nothing was working.
BB: Sometimes, when we look back, we can see “signs” of illness approaching/beginning. Were there any signs of this for you?
Shayna: I can look back and see that my anxiety and worry level was up my entire pregnancy due to complications during pregnancy and birth.
BB: Did you receive any treatment for your illness? If so, what kind? Did it help?
Shayna: After battling for 3 weeks with my OB changing meds and nothing working I finally told her I did not want to go home. They had to do something with me. She sent me to a local crisis stabilization center where I checked myself in voluntarily and was kept there for 5 days.
BB: Is there anything that would have helped make a difference for you when you went through this experience?
Shayna: I really wish my Dr. had sent me to a specialist right away. Unfortunately I don’t think (and this is my opinion) that my OB should have changing medications over and over again. I think if I had seen the right Dr. right away things may have been different and I may not have been admitted into the CSU.
BB: What do you want other Moms & Dads to know?
Shayna: I want other moms and dads to know that, yes this is so so scary and for so long I felt like a complete monster that didn’t deserve my children for thinking thoughts I thought. It took me a long to time to understand I am not a monster. This is beyond your control and it IS OK to ask for help!
BB: What do you want medical providers to know?
Shayna: I want medical providers to educate pregnant mothers on these topics so they are fully aware of signs and symptoms. I want providers to assist in getting rid of the stigma.
Do you have a story you would like to share to let others know they aren’t alone?
Email us at: Contact@BetterBeginningsFL.com