As a psychiatric nurse, at times you feel you should be superhuman and immune to experiencing mental health difficulties. Always the supporter, rather the person who needs the support. I decided to connect online with fellow mums-to-be, connecting via social media gave a sense of togetherness. I downloaded the calm app, used mindfulness and breathing techniques to work through it. I started to structure my day and keep myself distracted with my children. I got to a place where my anxiety levels were manageable.
The staff used my phone to FaceTime Rich
We had made the decision not to tell our family and friends when my c-section had been arranged for. At the time we didn’t want anyone to worry. Rich’s Dad had Covid-19 and his symptoms were worsening. The negative media coverage was unsettling and constant changing of guidelines.
The morning of my c-section, Rich felt helpless. He was concerned about my anxiety levels and had his own worries about myself or Elodie contracting the virus. I knew that the birth was important to him and that my two young sons would occupy most of his attention when I went into hospital. So I felt it was important he had someone to talk to during the day. I contacted two of our friends and asked them to ring him throughout the morning, just to check in.
The birth couldn’t have been more different to I had imagined. The environment and the staff wearing full PPE initially felt very intimidating, but the maternity staff were able to put me at ease. They were so attentive, caring and informative. Each step of the way, they were reassuring and put my anxieties about complications at ease. When I was in theatre, the staff used my phone to FaceTime Rich. Rich tells me that he felt overwhelmed with emotion but grateful he was able to talk to me and the health professionals. He said this provided him with emotional support and making him feel somewhat present during the experience.