Mental Illness and Becoming a Parent. Will it make or break you?

Being a 25 year old unmarried mother to a beautiful, strong, smart 3 year old daughter has so much judgement attached. Nothing about being a young mom is easy, especially when you look even younger than your age (people tell me I look anywhere from 14-17 on a daily basis. Then add mental illnesses to the mix and it a whole lot of trusting my gut, always putting Sky first, while keeping myself healthy, all while feeling as though I am still not good enough or that she deserves better. Not only do I have mental illnesses, a toddler whose biological father is not in the picture (luckily, I have an amazing bf who sky thinks of as her father. She actually told everyone [more like yelled] that “he isn’t joey he is daddy now!” ) but I work full time as an EMT.

Four years ago I faced an extremely difficult decision and I choose the harder but much more rewarding option and kept my baby. I didn’t care whether I was doing it alone or if her father wanted to be involved, I didn’t care, all I knew was I was meant to have this baby. Once this decision was made I knew I was going to have to make some major life changes, and I was 100% willing to do whatever it took. I was willing but I wasn’t aware of the emotional stress I’d endure or how hard it would be. I had only been out of treatment for about 10months at this point and still was struggling. This made telling my dad extremely difficult, not only was and is my biggest fear in life disappointing him but I wasn’t at a place where I was, or at least seemed, healthy enough.

Long story short, I ended up deciding to move 2 hours away where I didn’t know anyone and the only support I had was my mom. I hadn’t lived with my mom since I was 7, other then weekends. All my family lived close to my dads, I even moved away from the babies father. I needed to do this myself, I wanted to do it myself. I wanted to change my lifestyle and be the best mom I could be for this little human I was bringing into this world. I got two jobs and worked all the time to try and make money for when she arrived.

I saw a high risk pregnancy doctor, my eating disorder doctor, an obgyn and they all told me the same thing “if you were healthy enough to get pregnant you’re healthy enough to carry a baby, as long as you are willing to do what you need to and gain the proper amount.” In the beginning the body changes were extremely hard for me to not get obsessive over. Then the hormones messing with my moods, worsening my depression, and heightened anxiety at times. I had her a month early but she was completely healthy and perfect. The happiness I felt the first time I held her is something I will never be able to explain. She was my light. She was my light at the end of this dark tunnel I was stuck in for so long.

She is my bright blue sky, my best friend, my mini me and I owe my life too her. She will forever come before me and that is not because I have to but because that’s what she deserves.

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