Today I thought i’d write about my struggle with Pre & Post natal Depression.
So here’s a little bit of background on the situation before having my little girl i went through a couple of miscarriages. I spent a lot of time at the hospital during miscarriage two. I saw so many doctors and nurses my whole mind was a war zone, I spoke to a doctor who was like you can get pregnant but the likelihood of being able to carry a baby to term will be slim. At first i was devastated, i didn’t want to be around anyone and the thought of being around children turned my stomach. So i adopted the mindset of I do not want children ever. It got to the stage not long before finding out i was pregnant i actually went to the doctors and was like i want to be sterilised which i got you’re too young and you’ll regret it. How right they were.
When i found out i was pregnant i was terrified all i was thinking is its gonna end the same as the others so i just might as well not get attached. I was terrified telling my boyfriend we had only been together 4 months and i was going through a world of emotions. I found out a few days before him I lived in Poole and he lived in Portland and i wasn’t seeing him till the next day and i needed that me time before i could find the courage to tell him. When i finally got to his i was a mess and it was the first thing i needed to tell him. We got into his room and i broke down ( my mind was thinking hes going to go nuts) He didn’t he was amazing. The first thing he said was ” We’re going to keep it” and i was like right ok. I then told him in more detail about my past and he was just so supportive he held me until he knew i was ok. We told his mum and my dad on Christmas day (probably wasn’t our best plan – it wasn’t best received on one part)
So that was it we made that decision to become parents – I had a scan at 8 weeks because there was a point my doctors thought it could be ectopic. Thankfully it wasn’t but i still had a few weeks before the next scan & every day i was thinking is today the day i’m going to lose my baby? It was awful i remember waking up every day full of dread and this actually continued all through my pregnancy. I was so ill during my pregnancy not just mentally but physically, the morning sickness was the worst! I spent 8 and a half months cuddling my toilet I spent a lot of time in hospital for all sorts of madness and whilst i was happy that my baby was healthy. I felt so unhealthy.
Waking up every day thinking is my baby going to make it, will she love me? am i going to be a good mum? am i even cut out to be a mum i mean i cant even keep a plant alive. I had thoughts like these and sometimes worse every single day but i felt i couldn’t open up to anyone about them. I remember going through a stage of looking up adoption agencies because i felt she would be so much better with someone else. I’ve never actually told anyone about that because I just had fear people would treat me like i was some type of monster. These feelings lasted pretty much up to the last day of my pregnancy – I had planned a home birth because i have a massive fear of hospitals (I’ll explain that another time) but it didn’t go to plan i went into labour around 3am and after hours of trying to get her out she decided to turn around at the last second. I got rushed to Poole Maternity hospital for her to be bought into the world via forceps. I was in such an internal war with myself at this point. “Well done Kerry you cant even give birth properly” She came into the world at 20:07 on July 30th and after 20 odd minutes of being given oxygen because both of our heart rates dropped i finally got to hold my little girl. Now i know people always say oh once shes here and you hold here there’s just that feeling of love. For me there wasn’t. there was fear genuine fear. I didn’t know what to do, or even how i was meant to feel for this little human that had been placed upon my chest. I felt proud of her but i don’t know if i felt love. As time went on i grew to love her for sure shes my best friend and mini soul mate but im not going to lie and tell people i fell in love with her straight away.
I felt trapped i knew becoming a mum i would have to give up so much but reality really hit, my body was aching my heart was aching and my anxiety over the situation was not getting any better. As time went on and we went home the thoughts and the fear got worse. I became slightly withdrawn in how i spoke and what i said. I told people what i thought they wanted to hear.
When she was about 3 weeks old and the sleep deprivation kicked in my previous thoughts of she would be better without me slipped back in. I finally opened up to my boyfriend and if anything it made me feel worse. Finally admitting to another person how i was feeling about this small little legend made my heart sink because it was out there and i could never take it back.
I thankfully dont have those types of thoughts anymore about her my battle is now with myself im just not ready to reveal that part yet..
The thing I’ve learnt about pre&Post natal depression is its cruel, it makes you think things and feel things that make you want to die on the inside and sometimes all together. Our minds are the most weird and wonderful contraptions but i dont understand and never will understand how one organ can make us feel so shit about something so precious.
My battle with PND is likely to be a long one but at the end of it because there will be an end i can come out with a smile on my face a rad little girl and say i made it.
Every day is a battle and one day it could be won.
Post Natal Depression Helplines & Charities
“Around one in every ten new mothers experience postnatal depression.”
PANDAS : Helpline 0843 2898401. Provides telephone support, online information and local support groups for pregnancy depression and postnatal depression.
APNI (Association for Postnatal Illness) Helpline: 0207 386 0868. Provides telephone support and online information on postnatal depression.
MIND: Helpline 0300 123 3393. Mental health charity providing information, support, local groups and an online chatroom
Local support groups may also be available. Check out what’s on offer at Netmums or ask your GP.