So this was a big one for me. Having had OCD since I was 11, having kids is something I always thought would probably be beyond me. The very thought of having to look after another person who would be completely dependant on me – when at times I wasn’t that capable of looking after myself – seemed ridiculous. I can even remember having a conversation with my husband before we got married where I explained that children may be completely off the cards for me and he should know that before we went any further. Luckily for me, he was OK with that but I guess a lot of people wouldn’t be.
As time went on however it became apparent to me that kids were something I did really want and so I set to work sorting myself out. It took two years, a course of anti depressants, 12 weeks of CBT therapy and a lot of hard work and communication before I felt ready to go for it. At this point I was pretty in control of my OCD and I felt the strongest I had for years.
For someone with OCD, pregnancy is a minefield – so to speak. Pregnancy brings with it an endless list of things that can go wrong and all when you’re in a heightened emotional state – in fact I understand that many people actually develop OCD during this time. I don’t know how many times my partner had to say to me ‘You just have to have blind faith that everything is going to be OK’ and unfortunately it is a bit like that. It was a tough time but each day passes and you move forward. I wrote a list every time I had an OCD thought that I couldn’t dismiss straight away whilst I was pregnant, I have just counted back and there were 74! I did have the support of a counsellor through my pregnancy and even though this could be seen as scary in some respects I actually found it reassuring.
However as tough as the pregnancy was, I got through it and I now have the most amazing little boy who makes every day worth while. I hardly have time to think about OCD thoughts anymore, I’m so busy looking after him. There has never been an easier way of grounding myself and being mindful in the moment because he demands it of me. I never would have imagined beforehand that I would of coped with giving up my routine of full time work – the thing that always used to work best at grounding me – and spending long periods of time at home – something that always used to terrify me beforehand. It just goes to show you don’t know what you are capable of until you try. I had to go on a long journey to get there but it was worth every step to be where I am now.
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