For more than three decades, most of my closest ones know and agree in one term about me. That I am a cheerful and so talkative person. Always laugh, happy and positive-thinker. Little they know that I kept the dark sides to my private time.
Fast forward to these past years, when I had been married for quite long without a child yet, and during those years I did things that upset my closest ones. I started to questions myself, "why did I do those stuff without any hesitation at one moment, did not think about a single effect that might attack me back in the future". "Why I sometimes (in public) act so happy and as bright as a blue sky cheerfull no mattet what happened, while in another event I could easily heartbroken, felt so down and gloom, cried for hours in silence?", "Why did I easily switched from a hopeful and an optimism individu to a pessimistic and even skeptical?", "Why there were times when I was so excited to start a project then easily looked away the next day?", "Why was I easily switched my focus or frankly say: easy to lose focus at one point or task?" "Active in one part, super stiff at else", and so many more questions.
A decision made. I should find the answer. A short journey I guess, because the very first visit took was to an appointment with a friend, who is a Psychiatrist. After few discussions (prefer to use this rather than examination) she suggested that I had to start an early treatment of Bipolar Disorder. It was a good news for me. Because finally I have an answer about all those ups and downs periods.
We agreed on taking this treatment one step at a time. Started with prescription, welcome Mood Stabilizers. But I did not take the medicine right away. Something hold me back. I thought it was just me fighting my ego. Again, I questioned myself "is this me, do I have to walk through this?"
Just weeks later, I found out that we were expecting a baby. A news that we've been waiting for almost ten years. It was a great news, for most people. Not me. I went down to my gloomy view. "Is it okay to continue this pregnancy?", "should I start the treatment first?", "should I tell the doctor about this?", "are we going to be okay?". And the utimate question was "Am I going to become a good mother?"
Without hesitation, I decided what I believed as the best thing to do: keep going on and not telling anyone about the Bipolar treatment.
It might be the hardest part in my life, the early pregnancy stage. I got Hyperemesis Gravidarum, an excessive vomiting and lost my appetite of anything. I did not eat any food for three months, and should get hospitalized for few times during that time. Sometimes I was so excited and happy, that I would "at least smile" to my family, but mostly I withdrawn from anyone, including my parents and husband. I spent days stayed in bedroom, with all the curtains down, ignoring whatever happened in the house, no contact with anyone, turned off my phone 24hours, vomit all the time.
There are moments when I cried alone, questioning my decision to keep the baby. The sickness got me real bad, that even doctors keep telling me almost every day to "get ready for the worst". They had me to do USG every few days, just to check if the baby was still there or perhaps, as they said, gone.
I never informed my Psychiatrist about this pregnancy. While at the other hand, I never mentioned anything about Bipolar to the Obstetrician, or at least to let her know that I am in early diagnose of it. I just shut my self and kept everything. I just thought, at the early days, if my Psychiatrist knew, she might tell me the dangerous of getting the medication during pregnancy, or the risks if once I started taking the pills theb stopped it, or also how the pregnancy will cause a higher risk of relapse. What I thought during those days, that we have been waiting for our baby and now finally arrives, nothing can block my way.
I used to search through every references I could get when it comes down to decide for a product, a medicine, even to shop online for a pair of shoe. So did I when I searched through Bipolar Disorder. But never did I took a note on the part of Bipolar during Pregnancy. I thank myself for not reading those part back then. The risk of a relapse time will increase few times higher when a woman with Bipolar Disorder got pregnant. Also, there is a big chance of it to affect the fetus' growth and even would acquired it. I could tell that the relapse part was trully happening. There were moments where I was so excited with the baby coming, and started to imagine what my future days will be. But there were also times when I just laid there in the dark, so afraid that I might loose the baby any minute, my mind was full of what bad things could happen, so I did not want to prepare for a name. Because I might not get the chance to hold the baby, so why should I bother to do so?
Apparently, there was a good point that I decided to switched off my gadget and stayed awat from the internet for a while. Beside, nobody knows about that part, so what they saw only a woman, a mother to be, who struggled a hard stage of pregnancy. That's all.
If the struggling was not hard enough, the family only thought that it was normal, just another morning sickness part. The Obstetrician and the midwifes just told me, everything is normal and fine. Well, I could not expect more, because no one knew about my condition. But it also like a truth revealing to me. That nobody will ever know or guess or at leasr notice, that we have problems, we have issues. Because what people see, is only what we show them. Not so much people would do more to try to look more deeper inside others feeling or condition. If we smile, they would think that we are okay. If we sad or cry, they would just think "oh, it's nothing, let her alone".
Especially for a pregnant woman. One doesn't have to battle Bipolar Disorder to get medical attention and moral support. Because every steps taken is hard and full of stress. Don't wait until someone cry out for help.
Thank you for reading, this is a first person perspective.