Before my daughter was born I had all these ideas of what kind of mum I would be…..I would do tummy time every day, I would teach my children to sew and cook and all about the bugs in the garden……..pretty much pinterest perfection!!!
I was properly excited, when she napped I would teach myself to knit and sew (to make all those perfect pinterest outfits) and I would take her to coffee shops like people do on facebook smiling through our babychinos!! Oh how wrong I was!!!
The day my husband went back to work my gorgeous baby screamed at me from 8.35am until about 6pm!! I tried to breast feed her but I was bleeding and she wasn’t getting enough milk, I remember calling a midwife and crying with the pain and being told “that’s what being a mum is”!!! I wondered what I had done!!!
I didn’t have any friends in the area so rather than lovely bouncing playdates and wonderful coffee mornings I stayed at home with my screaming baby, I would literally walk to the local shop every day just to speak to someone.
I hated it……I would sit feeding my babycrying because I literally had no one to talk to and couldn’t do anything because not only did she never stop screaming or feeding she also nevernapped……in fact her first proper afternoon nap was when she was 2 – at 2 and half she gave them up.
My chest felt really heavy all the time and day by day the cloud hanging over my head felt worse and worse, I was desperately lonely and suddenly had nothing to talk about so even when I did speak to people I felt stupid and boring.
Then one day after about a year, out of nowhere the cloud went away, it didn’t go gradually just one day I remember feeling better.
Fast forward to 2015 and the arrival of our gorgeous second baby. At the time he was born we were having some rather testing behavioural issues with our toddler due to health complications…..throw into the mix a baby who sicked up through his nose every 5 minutes and our house was fairly stressful.
We knew that PND coming back was a possibility – we didn’t appreciate how much worse it could be!
PND made me angry and upset all the time. I could smile and be the fun one when I was out but I was hiding how rubbish I felt.
I felt like the worst mother alive…….Nothing made me smile anymore, I shouted at the kids, I argued with my husband, I hid in rooms to cry and I lay awake most nights crying at how useless I was at being a mum! I had this awful feeling of concrete sitting in my chest looking at my beautiful children playing and wondering if they would be happier without me.
I would watch them sleep and wonder if it would be better if I just popped on my shoes and walked in front of the trucks that thunder past our road.
This time I admitted defeat I told the midwife how badly I was struggling and she did a test on me called the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale………I was pretty high (even after I lied about suicidal thoughts!) I was referred to the doctor who gave me anti depressants, I absolutely didn’t want to take them (and never did) because I didn’t want to be stuck on them years later.
I was also referred to counselling (not really my cup of tea but I was willing to give it a go) I was told appointments were 6 months away and I would need an hour without my children present to have a telephone assessment.
If I had an hour without children I would be catching up on grown up telly with a hot cuppa!!! I gave up and told them not to worry. There was no further support I could receive.
It has taken 2 and half years for me to start feeling better and seeing fun in things again and I am only just getting there – I still have days where I feel low but they are much fewer and farther between nowadays.
PND has robbed me of some of my life and taken away precious moments with my children, its made me feel angry, isolated, stupid and embarrassed to ‘be me’.
It all sounds so ridiculous to write because my life is lovely, none of us are significantly unwell, we have a beautiful home and life, the kids have amazing friends and so do we…….it all feels a bit selfish but I couldn’t stop how I felt.
If you feel anything like I have done talk to someone, it really doesn’t matter who…..your best friend, your family, or a counsellor because its too much of a life wasted feeling like this.