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Yvonne's story

During my pregnancy with our second child, I was feeling really stressed and anxious. We both were – my husband Luke and I – but I felt alone. Even with the support of Luke and our friends and family, I felt like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders. I felt that I was losing my way. The anxiety was overwhelming.

Luke and Yvonne

I was worried about the pregnancy, how my son was coping and the balance of work and my family life. I was also suffering with severe nausea and sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum) and had to have additional ultrasounds as my medical team had concerns over the growth of the baby. I cried a lot!

My midwife could see I was experiencing perinatal anxiety and suggested I visit my GP and ask about emotional support services. Two weeks later, my GP referred me for my first appointment with a clinical psychologist at Raphael Services. It was only then, when I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), that I was able to understand my anxiety and start to manage it.

The psychologist identified that my stress and anxiety stemmed from my first pregnancy, when I went through a very traumatic labour. She explained what was going on in my mind and helped me find ways to put my thoughts and emotions back in order.

She also helped me communicate more effectively with my family and, most importantly, with Luke, who had also been struggling emotionally, as well as physically. He’d suffered with nausea and fatigue almost daily during the pregnancy, but despite a series of tests and a subsequent diagnosis of lactose intolerance, he couldn’t shake it off. It was only after he too was referred to Raphael Services that we got to the root of the problem when he was also diagnosed and treated for PTSD. He’d been having flashbacks to the trauma of the birth of our first child and was bottling up his anxiety.

Raphael Services helped restore my faith in clinicians. I’d convinced myself the problems during the birth were the fault of the medical staff at the time, so Raphael Services spoke to my medical team, explained what I had been through and recommended a planned caesarean for the birth of my next baby – a recommendation I fully supported.

The whole process enabled me to better prepare mentally for the arrival of my second child, and also aided my recovery. I was so happy after the birth. It was a much easier delivery and we were both in a better place emotionally and mentally thanks to the support from Raphael Services and our family.