I was very active, but I was doing everything I needed to get a baby in March 2021. A protest ensued as my friends were like, aI guess you''re one of those moms that the baby just falls out of and then you crack on it.a
I was clinging loads and my age was deteriorating. I looked at my sisters who both have two children, and I thought, aHow can they be doing so fine with two babies, and I have one baby, and I''m not eating?a I thought Iad made a terrible mistake, and I became extremely sick of being a mother. I also started to get outraged thoughts like, aWhat if I hurt my baby?a Just utterly depressing stuff.
So I confronted my doctor and a public health doctor and admitted, aI''m concerned. I don''t know what''s going on. I''ve never met an experienced psychiatrist before. Help.a They referred me to a psychiatrist who diagnosed postpartum anxiety immediately.
A psychiatrist asked, aHow would you feel about taking medication?a And my first response was an immediate no. I asked, aCan I not do yoga and meditate and talk to a counselor?a She said, aYeah, absolutely. Those are all other things to do.a So off I went to meditate my way out of a mental health crisis with a three-month-old baby who was not sleeping.
I thought aOK, it was named, and I fully understand it, and I am now aware that intrusive thoughts are just thoughts and they don''t mean anything. A But I just got worse.
I had remained focused on near panic attacks over the next three months. I would be gasping for breath trying to talk to my husband. I was in constant turmoil. And my day-to-day functioning was very poor. I wouldnat eat lunch, I wouldnat shower. Emptying the dishwasher would be a rut.
I''ll still take medication.
I am a parent of two people who work in mental health and I read all of my records during my time as a lawyer. I guess I just thought, aSome people have mental health problems. I feel sorry for them. #MentalHealthAwareness.a
I felt like a failure. And I thought that if I took medication, I''d be ill.
I was physically ill without knowing how I responded to it or how I treated it.
I had finally taken the medication at the point where I was unaware that my psychiatrist recommended it. I couldn''t sleep. My mind was racing. I was afraid I might be losing my mind, like I''m losing your mind. To take the journey from feeling like a capable, high-achieving person to being completely self-described a it''s just the most frightening thing that''s ever happened.
I even worried I was feeling too happy when I received the medication. Like, aAm I overdosing? AHave you met normal Shauna? A million things are being done!a
I had these back-to-myself moments. Three weeks after the meds kicked in, I made ice cubes by freezing water inside plastic gloves. I''d have frozen hands in the punch bowl. I was so happy. It was so simple. I didn''t do anything a few weeks ago and everything was a mess. It was like night and day.
One of my momsa groups saw posts about it, and texted, aWhat the actual f*ck? I haven''t showedered in three days.a She was also really unhappy, and it was making her feel like other mothers were kind to seeing me nailing being a mom!a I said, aOh, I''m on antidepressants!a Now she''s on antidepressants.
When I walked out into the world that I was struggling with mental health, people who I thought were so together would reply, aOh, actually, following this big incident in my life or this stress period, I was on medication for a while. now I try to do the same.