I blog this first post with a sense of excitement, vulnerability and dread. I’ve been wondering about writing this for some time but now seemed as good a time as any. I’m venturing into having baby number 2 this May and so a lot of the memories feel a little fresher with the thought of doing the baby thing again. In this post I will tell you the outline of my story and then the blog will vary between my own continuing journey as a mum with PND and also ways of helping ourselves and finding help when you are struggling.
So where to start… In June 2012 I had a baby girl, we’ll call her Tigger (she has endless bouncy energy!), from this point on. She was perfect and I was so excited about becoming a mum. The labour was ok (as far as labour goes) however after suffering a third degree tear I was rushed to theatre and after a spinal and much stitching was delicately holding my baby girl again. I will share more of my birthing story in another post but it’s safe to say I experienced the shock that so many others experience at the loss of dignity and the difference between my expectation and the reality of what bringing Tigger into the world looked like.
I remember needing the toilet in the early hours of the next morning and not knowing whether to leave my newborn baby in the room while I went or whether I needed to call a midwife?! I had ideas that social services might be called if they found I had disappeared, safe to say that tiredness had set in I think.
I had so much love for my little one and it wasn’t for some time (about 6 months) that I began to wonder if there was something wrong as the feelings of exhaustion, loneliness and anxiety just would not budge. Why did I feel like this? What did I have to feel sad about? Why when I have so much support and love around me, do I keep crying and feeling so low? I tentatively began to ask the question am I depressed?
Next, life happened, my grandad passed away suddenly and as my Nans’ primary carer, it was not only incredibly upsetting but also logistically difficult to work out how we could best look after Nan. As a close family, we all pulled together and without sounding too melodramatic, our own needs were buried. There was also a reason to be sad so when I felt low and tired there was a reason so I carried on. My nan also passed away that year so it was a very sad and also hectic year. It wasn’t until the Christmas, 18 months after my little one had arrived, that I felt like something was going to break. I could no longer see light at the end of the tunnel and thing seemed so hard. This was when I first sought help.
So there began a journey I never expected. It has been and continues to be challenging and distressing but has also shown me so much both about myself but also about the pressures we heap upon ourselves and others when we become mums. I hope on this blog to explore post-natal depression and how it affected me and also provide ways of you seeking the help you need if you are feeling low after having a baby.
I blog with a hope I guess. Hope that telling my story may help someone, hope that support will increase for mums experiencing PND after having their babies and always with a hope that in the darkest of winters, spring will always appear.