It is the worst thing you can ever imagine. You are on an airplane sitting next to your baby when it starts plunging to the ground and you lose cabin pressure. Four oxygen masks drop from the ceiling and you put yours on before your babies as you are instructed. You never thought you’d be here but you crash to the ground and survive, as does your baby. But now you have to pick up the pieces and protect and heal your child at the same time.
That is what it feels like to lose a loved one while pregnant. You want to whale and shout and scream. And then you want to keep things calm for the baby because you don’t want to lose it.
Before I found out I was pregnant I was on Xanax and Ambian and barely making it one day at a time. When I found out I was pregnant I dropped the drugs and swore I would forget my father died until this baby was born. I had my psychiatrist on speed dial and had her call in a prescription for Xanax the day before I gave birth so I would have it.
They would tell me to take long walks, meditate, or do yoga. But if you have ever had severe anxiety you know those things rarely do much. My focus was on the baby. And by that I mean keeping calm and healthy so she would be healthy.
The moment she came out I broke down. I was sad about everything mostly that my dad would never meet her. And then the expected PPD set in. I expected more windfall from that terrible crash and here it was. I was a mess and still am. Now the post partum is better but I feel like I have a million tears to cry but can’t. I want to avoid it all and at the same time just go to therapy and get it over with. I just want to be the person I was before this happened.
Two friends I know lost people in their pregnancy and asked me what I did. I explained I put the baby first by suppressing my emotions. However it also meant putting me first by getting on pregnancy safe medications like Zoloft. And not nursing so I could be properly medicated right away after birth. They were hesitant about medication but I believe it is part of taking care of yourself and you not being depressed leads to a healthier baby. They drink coffee; I don’t think the Zoloft is the kicker. You have to take care of you and put your mask on first. Get on proper medications, go to therapy, and make time for exercise, whatever you may need. A child needs a healthy happy mom. And you can be that by taking the channels that feel right to you. But it is your job to survive this. And take care of them along the way