(TW – Pay attention, this is a sensitive subject. And i rarely give content warnings.)
Patty and her husband had tried so hard to get pregnant, with fertility planning, then treatment including IVF. They’d had false readings and miscarriages.
So when baby Tristan came along, they were nervous, but oh so thrilled. More Mark than Patty though. Patty was a basket case of nerves. Always expecting something might go wrong during the pregnancy, she actually got worse, even in the hospital.
The nurses and doctors couldn’t slow her down or calm her down. And they actually had a care team meeting to see if they should keep her in longer than 24 hrs. But the psych intern said she was just suffering from the blues and discharged her.
But by the next day, even Mark could tell something was wrong. He made Patty tell him what was going on in her mind, when he found her pallid and hysterically crying in a closet, with the baby clutched desperately in her arms.
Patty said there was someone banging at the windows and doors, calling to her to give them the baby. Saying she wasn’t fit to have him and they needed to save him.
But Mark had been home and heard nothing. Nothing at all, but Patty pacing back and forth, trying to soothe the baby during a crying jag.
Mark called the hospital and they urged him to bring Patty and the baby in to emerg.
So he did. He told Patty the car ride might help the baby and her calm down. If someone was out to take the baby, they might see they were making an effort and ease up.
She agreed, mostly because he insisted.
The car ride was a terror. Patty was looking over her shoulder and begging him to go faster. He refused, which made her more upset. She talked faster and faster. She was pivoting back and forth and almost screaming in his ear.
It was a good thing Mark was a fairly stable man, or her distress might have had him upset too. Don’t get me wrong, he was worried about his wife. But he was less than five minutes away from the ER dept. And help.
Mark waited till the last moment to turn into the lane for the ER, so Patty wasn’t tipped off.
And a couple orderlies were waiting outside for them, to assist. Trust me it was necessary. Patty was unable to be reasoned with or soothed. The psych intern came running out and gave her a needle. It took a minute for her to calm down. But it did occur, finally. It was a long minute. And the orderlies put Patty in a chair, and Mark followed with the baby in his car seat.
The ER doctor ordered labs and a head scan and they settled down to wait. A nurse came and looked at the baby, and drew a bit of blood from him as well. Patty had been weepy, but she dozed under the sedative.
The psych intern and Mark spoke outside the door. He got a quick education about post partum psychosis, and how her history might have triggered this. But they wanted to be sure, hence the labs and scan.
A few hours later, there was no finding in the baby’s labs and Patty’s were fine too. But she was rousing, and getting distraught again. The intern topped up her dose. And soon she was able to be soothed again.
So they went with that as a diagnosis and admitted Patty to be further evaluated.
And Mark called his mom to come take the baby home so he could stay with Patty at the hospital. He wanted to know she was settling down and coming back to reality before he left her.
It took a few days for Patty to be herself, but the hospital held her for a few weeks. They didn’t want her having another episode at home. There was no telling who would be harmed if that happened.
Patty received meds, and talk therapy. The baby and Mark came to visit her for about an hour twice a day her whole stay.
Patty had trouble holding the baby at first. She was afraid to get attached to Tristan. Convinced someone intended to take him from her. She trusted Mark and his mom. So Pamela stayed with the baby till Patty could come home. That helped Patty a lot to calm down and work on her therapies.
Finally Patty was allowed to come home. Pamela had some cake and balloons in the kitchen to welcome her.
And the new family settled into their new life together. With Pamela staying over till the doctors were pretty sure Patty was over the worst of it and would be safe with Tristan.
Pamela moved back home, but she and Patty’s mom took turns staying with Tristan while Patty went to her treatment appts.
But it did look as if things would be ok. Everyone was on team Tristan, and Patty knew that. It was actually sinking in.
Deep into her soul.
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