This is a delayed blog post from October 2017.
If you’re thinking of spawning, when is the right time to have kids? It’s a question that I think is answered by both the head and the heart. We have a team of heads and hearts working on the answer to that question for us, which adds to the complexity of said answer, compounded by the grief associated with prior loss.
After we had Hugo, we were told to wait at least a year before attempting pregnancy. That’s the medical wait time – the mental and emotional wait time were yet to be determined.
My gut was sometimes saying yes, and sometimes saying no. It got to a point where my husband was saying an excited yes, and my gorgeous Rachel was saying yes, but only when I’m ready. This sudden realisation that we as a team had moved on from what seemed to be a vacuum of introspection with no conscious timelines had some very real mental and physical health consequences for me.
All of a sudden my level of healing had consequences that affected others. The crux of it is: I went from the narrative of “I am enough just as I am, however I feel” to “I am not enough” in a matter of minutes – all self-inflicted of course. My team were so supportive.
Queue a few months where I felt as though my mental health was delaying things, the culmination of which was a diagnosis of depression after a week and a half of being unable to physically move, swiftly treated by a SWAT team of caring medical professionals. My god that was hard. It’s the first time I think I’ve ever really experienced depression, a hollow state devoid of any feeling – I lost the ability to animate my face when speaking. I was blunted. This happened about a fortnight before Hugo’s first birthday, which is hardly a coincidence.
At the same time, I had a routine appointment with my rheumatologist who treats my Lupus. I was so sure that the debilitating fatigue was the consequence of my disease – it was just so physical. So, I was excited to get treated and free from it.
She said that my Lupus is the best it’s ever been, and suggested that my symptoms may be the result of depression. I was shocked that a rheumatologist would suggest a mental health diagnosis, but so thankful she did. I jokingly said “ah damn, if it was Lupus I could have just taken a pill!”, to which she questioned my distinction between mental and physical health medication. Bloody hell. This lady is worth her weight in gold – so caring, and the epitome of a good healthcare professional.
So off I trotted to my equally amazing GP for a firm diagnosis and treatment plan. I am pleased to report that the depressive symptoms evaporated over the next fortnight with the help of counselling, medication and some amazing friends and family. I wouldn’t say that things have returned to “normal”, but treatment is necessary right now, and I just have to keep listening to loved ones who never cease to remind me that even when at my most vulnerable, I am enough.
If you are looking for a good book on the topic of vulnerability and “enough-ness”, I highly recommend “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brene Brown <3