But I love her so much

As I mentioned in my first blog, I was diagnosed very late with my postnatal depression. This was partly circumstantial, partly because I didn’t know what feelings were normal after having a baby and partly because I loved my baby so much and felt I had a really good bond with her. Strange thing to say?

My ideas about post-natal depression were very different to my experience of it. In my head someone with PND hadn’t bonded with their baby, felt they wanted to harm their baby perhaps and/or could not cope in anyway with the change that had occurred. Although these can be indicators, this is definitely not a complete picture of all post-natal depression, there are lots of other indicators as well.

My experience was different. I bonded with Tigger right away, I loved her so much and my PND manifested itself in anxiety around whether as a mum I was good enough, whether decisions I made on her behalf with regards to food, sleep, things we did etc were going to have a huge impact on her life. Anxiety was a massive factor at the beginning along with a massive lack of confidence in my skills as a mum. Most mums feel ill-equipped in those first few days but this feeling continued for me and my anxieties were so out of proportion.

I also felt very little joy or had little interest in things I had always really enjoyed previously. I began to find it difficult to go to places I didn’t know something I had never struggled with before. I’ve always been a vivacious, fun-loving and outgoing individual with lots to say (too much sometimes) and a love of trying new things so this new me did not sit well. I also felt consistently tired but again this seemed normal for a new mum and everyone says how tired you will be or how tired they are but I now know that the fatigue was part of me being unwell.

Despite, all these things it took me at least 7 months before I began to worry about my mood. Seems silly now as it sounds so obvious but it’s funny when you are in it, there is a new baby to take care of who completely depends on you and you are desperate to look like you have adapted to mothering well, it’s easy to ignore all the warning signs.

You can find some of the warning signs here on the MIND website and also tale to someone on the PANDAS helpline if you are concerned at all about how you are feeling. Don’t feel that it can’t be you, don’t struggle in silence just share with someone that you are a little concerned about yourself and ask for help. Believe me I know this is hard but you will feel better for not being alone in it and remember spring will appear.

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7 thoughts on “But I love her so much

  1. Lovely post, and I think it is so right to point out that PND doesn’t always have anything to do with how you feel about your baby. That was my preconception… Thanks to the media for that one.

    I cried a lot, and it was late for me too… Over 5 months (my GP made it worse by not referring me when I asked so delayed my treatment by 3 months!!).

    We all experience it differently and I think that the more stories are out there, the easier it is for women to see it xx

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment. So true and such a shame you didn’t get a referral quicker. Hope you are doing well now 🙂

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  2. I can relate so well too this as I too have recently accepted the fact that I have PND, and LM is now 9 mths. I suffered almost exactly the way you did and only realised that this wasn’t ‘normal’ when I realised I couldn’t remember the last time I had really laughed, like I had had a sense of humour transplant! Great post to raise awareness that PND isn’t always as straightforward or simple to self-diagnose! Thanks for linking with #MaternityMondays xx

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