After 12 years of being single and working professionally, I married 3 years ago and unfortunately lost our baby at 26 weeks. Birth, funeral, the lot. I have then, through post-natal depression, been off work for 8 weeks, and have been made redundant from a job I held for 14 years. Anyhow, I looked on the bright side: never been out of work for nearly 25 years, time to relax! Which I started to do. I then found out I was pregnant again. We were both overjoyed but this soon deminished when a scan proved the baby had not developed.
Once again I was admitted to hospital for a procedure. I have been slow to ask for help but since last October have been seeing a counsellor, which does help me, but I keep having terrible low moods and then I hit the bottle. A couple of days later I come out of it thinking, %u201CWhat the hell are you doing? I am at my wits end as to how to get out of this so-called depression. Is it usual? Because I feel so threatened by everything at the moment and cannot see a way forward. J
Thank you for your letter. I'm sorry to hear that you have lost two children. For any woman their babies not being able to survive is a dreadful blow, and though you were able to hold a funeral for the first child, often this does little more than lance the boil to let the grief out. Miscarriage is often a trigger for low mood, and compounded as it is by the change in your work situation, it's hardly surprising that you feel depressed. The feelings of being threatened and fearful of the future are a natural response to such tough times but they will pass.
I am glad that you are seeing a counsellor, and that this is helping. Overcoming these multiple blows will take time so please be patient and gentle with yourself. Here are some ideas which may help too. You will know which, if any, are relevant to you.
Both pregnancy and miscarriage result in hormonal disruption. I don't know whether you've talked things through with your doctor but it could be that she will be able to suggest medication which will help you rebalance your hormonal system so that you feel more able to tackle the underlying practical and emotional difficulties. This approach could also mean that you do not feel the urge to drink to blank out your low moods. While the drink may block them temporarily, the ill-health attendant on drinking bouts will also pull you down and could be dangerous to yourself and to any future pregnancies.
It's also common with miscarriage for the mother to blame herself, although there is seldom anything she could have done to prevent it. Guilt is part of the normal bereavement process and is often exacerbated when it has to do with children. It's not necessarily rational, but it is extremely common.