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Feeling watchy! Saturday February 21, 2015

I have two beautiful sons and a lovely husband. Life was galloping along nicely. So I was shocked to get pregnancy-related psychosis recently (apparently affecting around 1 in 1,000 mums). When I asked for professional help my symptoms had passed, but I have access to great support should I need it. I believe other mums aren't so lucky given the postcode lottery for such services.

Despite experiencing terror during my psychotic episode there were enjoyable times. At one point, having lost my inhibitions, my usual reserved self was singing operatic-like at home, no longer caring about neighbours. Normal for Katherine Jenkins perhaps, not for me! I became the voice. I released sounds I never knew I could.

I now sing (never the right words!) and dance along to the radio each morning while my oldest finishes his cereal. He likes taking his time. We look at each other with, I like to think, a mutual adoration (or he's thinking 'She's embarrassing!?'). Either way, we smile and laugh. My littlest is possibly silently wondering what kind of family he's arrived into?! My current favourite song, 'Hey Brother!' (I only know this lyric!), is by Avicii. I challenge you not to sing along, mount your imaginary horse and bound across a pretend beach. My son even grabs some reigns for this!

My eldest is now 3. I learn so much from him. Like recently, watching TV with a drink of milk ready for his wash, stories and bed (not really liking milk - or 'mick' as he says - TV is a bribe!). I went to turn it off. He suddenly declared "I'm still feeling watchy!". He'd wanted more TV! I think how children develop is amazing. My son generally approaches life without inhibition. He just goes for it, even inventing words! He's in good company. Bill Bryson's Shakespeare biography says he was a prolific word inventor to.

Soon I see a psychiatrist (specialising in mums). I'm apprehensive. What will she say about my experience and how will I feel?

Anyway, feeling 'bathy' and 'chocolatey'. Off to get one and eat some!

A Moodscope member.

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Anonymous Sat, Feb 21st 2015 @ 6:49am

What a heart-warming blog. It reminds me of when I met my husband who spoke English as his second language. Seeing him frowning I asked why? His reply made me laugh as he told me " I'm concentrated " to which my immediate response was " Well, we'd better dilute you!" Of course he meant "concentrating". It's great to have a giggle at amusing use of language.

Hopeful One Sat, Feb 21st 2015 @ 8:13am

Hi Jen - thank you for giving us a first hand description of what a peuperal psychosis ( it's medical name) feels like. I had read about it but now I am grateful to you for being so brave and filling in a gap in my knowledge. Many women do not recover as you thankfully did and have done terrible things to their infants during a severe episode if not quickly recognised and treated. The words children create can ,apart from being endearing, can sometimes be better than the original in my opinion. My son, when he was small, called butterflies flutter-byes.

Anonymous Sat, Feb 21st 2015 @ 8:15am

Ah, that's lovely! I used to work with nursery-age children, and it was so heart-warming when they came out with funny sayings! One of my favourites, which I still use myself was from a little girl: I was completing a task with her where she had to say whether th object was round, square etc. she pointed to the next one and said 'it's a roundy turtle'' .....and of course, it was a round circle! But now...probably much to my amusement only, all circles are roundy turtles! Oh I'm so excited now, I hasve so many in my head that my daughter couldn't pronounce that to us, are hilarious! Thank you Jen, you've brought a big smile to this roundy turtle face! Good luck with your counselling - Karen x x x

Anonymous Sat, Feb 21st 2015 @ 9:23am

On the 'way out the door' to weekend with recently married son. You sound lovely - wonderful attitude - I still say I learnt more from my children than I taught them. This balanced parent/child relationship (now my 2 boys grown up) is what has enabled them to be independent lovely people (who invite Mum and Dad to stay :) ) It's good. if feasible to know a doctor, so they know you when well - so helpful if you were unwell. Every happiness to your family, Yes, I've been there too and all is well. x

Eliz Sat, Feb 21st 2015 @ 11:52am

Hello Anon at 9.23 am Thanks for sharing your experience. I am a single parent to two girls aged 13 and 11 years respectively. It is so hard! But I really liked your response, found it helpful.

jen Sat, Feb 21st 2015 @ 9:02pm

Thanks for your comments. That made me smile!

jen Sat, Feb 21st 2015 @ 9:17pm

Thanks for taking the time to comment on my post. Glad to have spread a little more awareness.Yes most people, including myself before my episode, sadly only know of the most extreme cases of this condition. Raging hormones and sleep deprivation it seems can be key factors (and not a good combination for many people!). So it's possible that more mums experience symptoms of some description than perhaps gets reported. I am certainly finding this from friends and extended family when what's happened to me this time gets mentioned to them. Aw lovely word from your son to.

jen Sat, Feb 21st 2015 @ 9:21pm

Thanks Karen. And happy to have helped reignite some old memories!

jen Sat, Feb 21st 2015 @ 9:33pm

Thanks Anon.I saw a totally new GP who just happened to be great with mental health (and I might have seen him sooner had I not mistrusted everyone around me!). The care available generally for this in my area seems really good (it also said so in a newspaper article I found rating NHS trusts.....but improving maternal MH care is obviously an issue in other areas). And really good to hear of someone getting through something similiar.Thanks for sharing

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