I had hyperemesis (severe vomiting) throughout my pregnancy, which I found really, really tough. That and the anti-sickness medication turned me into a zombie. I was in bed for 22 hours a day, indeed I only got out of bed for those two hours a day because I have a toddler who needed input from me. The experience left me feeling utterly lost, unable to cope and severely depressed. I had no idea how I would manage a newborn when I couldn’t look after myself. I remember feeling I was failing at everything – including brushing my teeth properly. How could I possibly manage a newborn!? And during a pandemic when we were already isolated?
My baby was born well and healthy and the hyperemesis lifted immediately. I felt like myself again in many ways but some of the fear remained with me – especially because it was so difficult to see people with lockdown restrictions and covid spreading everywhere. What I really needed was a support network around me, but I felt so isolated and had cut people off while I’d been ill and depressed because I’d had no energy and nothing to say. A friend, who is also a midwife, talked with me about things I could do to help myself, and another friend recommended Breathe Melodies for Mums. I knew that making music with people and singing in particular can be such a powerful tonic and that it’s good for mental health. However, the reality was I still felt like a zombie, and a very emotional one at that, because I wasn’t getting much sleep. I wasn’t sure I could or should physically attend.