My Pregnancy With High BMI & Mental Health Past During Pandemic

By Julia Bridgwater 

I’m Julia. I’m mommy to a beautiful girl, Luna Delphine, who happens to be my little lockdown baby. She is my absolute world but our journey to get to where we are now hasn’t been too easy. I think anyone would agree, becoming a mother for the first time is not easy and comes with a lot of challenges. But having becoming a new mother during lockdown was definitely an experience!

being pregnant with high bmi and mental health issues

My pregnancy was classed as high risk. This was mainly due to my BMI being above 35. But also due to my mental health. I have quite sever mental health issues that I have dealt with for many years. Now as you can imagine, this was quite scary, as a first time mother I didn’t know what to expect with anything, but to hear your baby was at ‘high risk’ was terrifying to me.

First Time Pregnancy Classed As High Risk

We were consultant led instead of midwife lead which in a way made me feel more comfortable as I knew we were being monitored.

I was also offered growth scans every 4 weeks starting 28 weeks. This was great! More monitoring! However, due to Covid, my husband was not able to attend appointments with me! This is when my pregnancy really started to affect my mental health.

How My High Risk Pregnancy Was Even More Affected By My Mental Health

The anxiety caused from attending appointments alone was horrendous, and wearing the masks made me panic so much as I am slightly claustrophobic. 

Baby was measuring quite big on the growth scans and we were told that she would be around 10lbs. When I got to 38 weeks they told me she would be here any day and head was engaged so we had a sweep. This was not painful as I had been told and was so happy as I was told I was in slow labour and 2cm dilated! Great news?! No… I went back to midwife again at 39 weeks, still 2cm and then at 40 weeks, still 2cm! 

Every time having a sweep which was doing nothing! So I was sent back to consultant at the hospital. He decided that induction would be best as I was very uncomfortable at this point and I wasn’t progressing from 2cm. I was booked in for induction on the 11th June 2020 (41+1).

My Birth Story - How My Natural Birth Plan Happened But With Struggles Down To My Size

On the 8th June at 4am I started having irregular contractions. We went to the hospital who said I was still 2cm but the contractions were a good sign, they couldn’t admit me until I was 4cm and my husband wouldn’t be able to join till then anyway so we went home. 

At 4pm on the 9th the contractions were getting very painful and I just couldn’t get comfortable at all so we went back to the hospital. I was still only 3cm but the contractions were now regular. 

They monitored baby and the gave me another internal to see if I’d progressed and my waters went, I instantly went to 4cm and the contractions changed and became more intense. We were sent to the delivery ward and my husband finally could attend with me!

How I Felt I Had No Say in My Own Birth Due To My Weight & Mental Health Past

This is when I felt my treatment became poor. My plan was to have a hypnobirthing labour and as natural as possible. I was told baby had to be continuously monitored which meant I was now bed bound until baby was here.

 I hated this as all I wanted to do was move around to ease the pain but wasn’t allowed. At one point I begged to go to the toilet but they wanted to monitor baby so put a catheter in which caused unnecessary added pain (and lasting damage) I was then told I may have to have a c section as they kept losing baby’s heart rather. This was purely down to my size as was here to keep the monitor on. 

I really didn’t want an epidural but was convinced to incase of c section. This didn’t work… it numbed my right knee! That was it! So completely pointless anyway and against what I wanted. They then put a clip on baby’s head to monitor which came of a few times and caused a lot of stress and panic!

My Body My Birth

Luckily regardless of all this I got my natural/vaginal birth I wanted and baby Luna Delphine made her entrance on the 10th June 2020 at 00:25.

I was most definitely treated very differently due to my weight and mental health and feel that I had no say in my care plan.

birth story

My Second Pregnancy & Miscarriage

Just 5 months after giving birth to little Luna I was pregnant again…. We wanted a big family and definitely wanted them to be close in age so we’re so thrilled when we discovered this. 

However, it wasn’t meant to be. At 8 weeks pregnant just before Christmas 2020 we suffered a miscarriage. This was the absolute worst experience of my life. Again my treatment was extremely poor and due to Covid my husband couldn’t be with me. 

I spent 3 days in hospital away from my baby Luna who was still breast fed so I had to rely on pumping and away from my husband who was also suffering with this huge loss.

 I won’t go into too much detail but due to my weight and mental health I was yet again bullied and felt completely alone and out of control.

My Advice To Other Moms Who Aren't Feeling In Control Because Of Their Body Size Or Their Mental Health

I want to spread awareness to other women, they need to know that it’s their body and they are in control! Yes listen to drs advice and take it on board but you have every right to accept or decline anything! A woman should never feel pressured or bullied into any situation regarding the birth of their baby. 

Trust your body and trust your momma instincts! 

I am now due my rainbow girlie, Rosalee Patricia on November 10th 2021. I am high risk again however… I will be in control this time

Read more experiences shared by real moms 

One Comment Add yours

  1. Rob says:

    I have the pleasure of knowing this lady (JuJu, you are a legend always and forever).

    I just want to say how incredibly proud of you I am, not only for being an incredible mommy to Luna, but the fact you are now helping other moms see the truth behind what you went through.

    Don’t ever change, and while I haven’t seen you in some years, I truly wish you and your little family the very best of future, because you really deserve it.

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