As told to Laura Jackel.
Birth: there's nothing quite like it, and it's clear no two birth stories are the same. Which is why we're asking everyday women and some of our favourite celebrity mums to share theirs, in Mamamia's My Birth Story series.
This week we profile Marie*, an IT specialist and mum of a three-year-old son and five-month-old daughter.
Together for eight years, Marie and husband Tom were fortunate to fall pregnant on their second attempt. After their initial excitement at becoming parents-to-be, Marie began feeling very unwell.
“I had pelvic girdle pain throughout and hyperemesis gravidarum,” Marie says.
“Coupled with the constant pain and nausea, I was also working in a particularly toxic and unsupportive workplace. I spent the last six weeks bedridden in the lead up to my son’s birth. It was not a great pregnancy!”
Watch: Questions about childbirth, answered. Post continues below.
As someone diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Marie wanted to discuss the implications of pregnancy with her GP. He advised her to go through the public hospital system because of their mental health support services.
“My bipolar disorder is controlled - I haven’t had an episode in more than eight years; I see a psychiatrist regularly and take medication, but I still wanted to get the best advice for myself and my baby.”
While she was told that thankfully her medication was safe to continue taking while pregnant, Marie felt otherwise unsupported.
“My husband was wonderful but it felt like I had no continuity of care medically speaking. I saw a different doctor or midwife every time I went in for an appointment, and I was 12 days overdue before they agreed to induce me!”