Introducing our guest blogger:
We are delighted to introduce our guest blogger to you! She is none other than experienced counsellor and my good friend, Judy Dransfield. She generously shares her wealth of wisdom and grace as she counsels and supports people from all walks of life, facing a gamut of life’s challenges. In this article, that she is exclusively penning down for us, Judy will be sharing on the emotional well-being of mums-to be.
The anticipation of a new life coming into being raises emotions that can be great, terrifying or somewhere in between.
I am a grandmother, stepmother, mother, wife, daughter, aunt, niece, counsellor, friend and woman. I have given birth to one child, step parented three more, one of whom lived with his father and I from when he was eight years old, gained more sons and daughters from various places, which has resulted in me having the joy of being grandmother to eight grandsons and twelve granddaughters, ranging in ages from 23 years old to six months old.
I was not supposed to have children, due to damage I had incurred as a child. I had been on the Pill for many years and my doctor wanted me to take three months off. He assured me that the chance of me becoming pregnant was extremely small, but if I wanted to take other precautions in the interim, to do so. I remember telling my husband that I was pregnant. When he asked me when, I told him it had happened the night before. Strangely he had trouble believing me, however, seven weeks later, I asked my doctor to ring my husband to let him know that I had been correct.
I had feelings of joy and despair. I didn’t want to carry a baby and then lose the baby. I also despaired at the 24/7 ‘morning’ sickness that I suffered through my whole pregnancy. I was under a specialist to ensure that the opportunity of having my own child was maximised. I continued to work, having to excuse myself from meetings to throw up. Breath freshener was my friend. As time went by, I became very scared of giving birth to a baby. I listened to negative talk, whilst contrasting this to the potential possibility of becoming a mother by giving birth to a child. Unfortunately, I didn’t seek advice to get the true facts. My specialist was a bit weird and this put me off asking for his advice. As I was aged 34, he referred to me a ‘geriatric mother’! He also emphasised the risks to myself in having a child, never mind the child itself.
I am sharing this part of my story to let you know that I suffered severe anxiety during my
pregnancy, which I could have avoided. I kept it hidden and told no one about it.
I would suggest that:
● You find a midwife or specialist to whom you can relate and feel comfortable with.
● Check out all information to ensure that it is accurate.
● Form a network of women in the same situation.
● Attend ante-natal classes and join a coffee group
● Share your fears and any negative feelings openly with people you trust.
● Get help when you need it. That takes strength and courage. Do it for yourself and your family.
I was fortunate in that I gave birth at 37 weeks to a beautiful daughter. Was it easy? No! Did I have an easy birth? No. Would I do it again? Most definitely. My advice would be to enjoy your pregnancy to the greatest extent that you can. It is a special and privileged time.
If this brings up anything for you, please seek help. I would be happy for you to email me as well on email@example.com. If I am not able to help you, I will certainly direct you to the right place for any issues that you may have.
Masters (Counselling) (Honours), MNZAC, ACC Registered