My Mum (part 2)
So now – My mum was 28 and prescribed Amitriptyline – a tricyclic anti-depressant by her doctor – it was called tryptizol at the time. My guess is she was having trouble sleeping and was anxious and depressed. Her hopes and dreams were fading because my parents loved each other so much and wanted so much to have a family. How many times did she see her doctor? He chose the easiest solution at the time for him – a pill to make it all better – to make it all go away. Or he chose a pill to make her go away and free him up to concentrate on his other patients. Whatever his motive – times were different then (or were they?) and the long term affects of some of these medications were not perhaps understood. Certainly a G.P. would not have had the time to listen to Mum talk about all her problems even if Mum was able to identify in herself what her problems were. I do know that he said to her that life would be very boring without its “ups and downs”.
Mum identifyed to me that giving up her job was a mistake. Her job gave her confidence in herself and it also meant she didn’t have time on her hands to worry about things as much. Any of us with depression who have had periods of unemployment can all relate to the problem of having too much spare time and losing our confidence because we are unemployed. My dad was working as a Draughtsman and studying to be a Structural Engineer.
At this point – around aged 28 – my parents were both that age – they decided to put themselves forward for adopting a baby. If they couldn’t conceive naturally then they were determined to have a family and give a parentless child a home. Even in 1962 this was a stressful process. Many checks were done before they were identified a being suitable adoptive parents. So to their joy they were given a little baby boy aged 5 months old in 1964. That went well for them so that in 1966 they were given a little baby girl aged 6 weeks old to complete their family. That little baby girl was me. When I was 6 months old my parents joined a brand new church which had just opened close to their house. So Dad was working, Mum was looking after my brother and I and housekeeping and they both had joined a new church – Lutheran in denomination – though they weren’t Lutherans at the time my parents were both protestant in faith so that joining a Lutheran church was not too much of a challenge for them. Lutheran is very traditional and strict and previously they had attended a Presbyterian church which is also traditional and disciplined.
My mum was still taking Amitriptylene throughout this time. It seemed to help. However she never at any time had any form of therapy at all to help her understand why she was such a worrier and how she might manage her anxiety and at times depression. At first, living on a new housing estate Mum felt isolated. Eventually she made friends there. Friends who were also looking after their small children and not out at work. Also – through the church my mum made friends – some of whom she still sees in a social situation – almost 50 years later. And some of the friends she made in the neighbourhood she also still sees 50 or more years later!
Then – for my parents – a wonderful thing happened. Mum got pregnant after almost 8 years of marriage! This must have been a happy time for them both. I cannot remember as I was only around 2 or younger than 2. My brother was around 4. Mum’s waters broke when she was only 7 months pregnant. She was taken into hospital. There were problems. My mum was put under anaesthetic and given a casearian section. Their little baby boy was born. He died two hours later whilst Mum was still asleep. The midwife christened him whilst he was still alive and called him John. My dad did not see the baby, my mum did not see the baby, but apparently he was beautiful. In those days they didn’t take a photograph and the parents did not get a chance to say goodbye and hold their baby. It was discovered that baby John had a hernia in his diaphragm which pushed air up and pushed the heart and lungs upwards and this made him struggle to breathe once he had been born.
How sad for my parents for this to happen. And how sad for the family as a whole. A much wanted baby taken so cruelly and unexpectedly away. Up until this point the pregnancy had been running along smoothly and there was no indication that there might be anything wrong with the baby.
Whilst mum was still recovering in hospital, Dad, on his own, attended the funeral of baby John, whos name had now been changed to Simon John. When I picture that it is very sad. What mum has told me about her time in hospital when she realised her baby had died is also very sad. It brings me to tears talking about it and even thinking about it. Even though I was adopted – that baby would still have been my brother and he would be 44 this year. Yes we were adopted but my parents loved us as their own – they were very ethical and moral and I don’t believe that we would have felt any less loved just because mum and dad had a natural child as well. Still, it wasn’t to be.
Obviously this must have been a very sad time for my parents to say the least. However they soldiered on. Dad continued working, Mum continued with the routine of looking after us and we all still attended the local Lutheran church.
Posted on April 30, 2012, in mental health and spiritual awareness and tagged adoption, Amitriptylene, anxiety, baby's funeral, caeserian section, confidence, depression, diaphramatic hernia, ethics, faith, loss of a baby, Lutheran church, morals, Presbyterian church, sadness, soldiering on, unemployment. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.