I really didn’t think I could have a child or even wanted a child.
I have Schizoaffective disorder, but I also was (and still am after my pregnancy) on medications which affected my fertility and could’ve affected the health of my baby through pregnancy.
I did it, though. I worked with a team of doctors to help me through pregnancy. I worked with a psychiatric obstetrician, a psychiatrist, a therapist to help me with the slew of things that come with a high risk pregnancy. A pregnancy considered high risk due to my mental health issues. I really went through this, and I truly came through it beautifully.
What makes me different from other parents who don’t deal with psychiatric issues?
There’s a lot.
One thing is, I feel my amount of empathy I have both serves a purpose as well as is productive. I’ve become extremely empathetic to my son’s emotions and needs, but I also have this sense over being overprotective, that while for any parent has its cons, I’ve learned it has taught me well to keep him safe through the newborn stage.
Another thing is, love. Because of how I grew up as a child, which wasn’t horrible, but was extremely problematic with one parent, I learned what to do and what not to do with concerning my issues with my child. I realized I cannot put my issues or anxiety upon my child. I knew that children are more deserving of love than a lot of what some are given. I was ignored as a child by my mother quite often and I learned I didn’t want that to translate to how I raised my own child. Something which contributed to my ill mental health quite a bit; the neglect from a mother. I don’t want to be like my own mother in many ways.
A third thing is, understanding. I can see where things went wrong for me when my genetics and environment raised it’s ugly head into giving me mental health issues. I can see that if my son has issues when he’s older, I can try to help him, and I can understand the issues he faces in the future. I will know where to go and what to do in a time that may be hard to understand for him and other people.
I learned a lot from this last year of raising my first child. One of these things, doesn’t particularly always fit into mental health but it can contribute to ill mental health. I don’t want my child to go through that, if that’s possible.
Genetics are one things, but if I can set up the environment for it to be fruitful and free from ill-standing possibilities, I will try my hardest.
Also having the second parent there is much needed. While divorce nowadays isn’t always the parent’s fault, it’s something I’m hoping to avoid. For now, the father and I are free from travesties. I hope to keep it that way.