1 in 5 mums deal with postnatal depression, its something that needs to be discussed more openly and with less judgement. You’re not alone ❤️
Something wasn’t right from day one. I woke up after giving birth feeling weak and scared. Two days later I sat and wondered if I had enough money in my bank account to just leave. A week later I sat in my sisters car just sobbing. A month later I asked my mum to adopt Jack so I could kill myself.
I coped with it by hurting myself, I loved Jack and I was scared I’d hurt him if I didn’t do it to myself. I’d punch walls until my knuckles bled, I’d dig my finger nails in to my hands and arms until I drew blood, I’d slap myself so hard on the head I’d go dizzy.
I loved him, I think. But I didn’t know. I felt no connection. I thought he was adorable and lovely and amazing. Just not for me.
I soon realised something wasn’t right, and went to my GP to discuss it. I was dismissed by three separate doctors at the practice before I got the help I needed. Every single one put it down to my age, that I wasn’t ready, but I was ready. I’d spent 8 months counting down the days until he was here. I’d left my relationship and moved back in with my Mum so he would be safe, I worked and saved my money so he could have nice things when he got here. I pictured every part of his perfect life and I couldn’t wait to meet him.
But things don’t always happen the way you want them to. I had a traumatic birth, he wasn’t crying when he was born, he couldn’t latch on, we were kept in the hospital for 4 days postpartum… it was a rough time.
At the same time I was coming to terms with the fact I was a single mum and it was all on me which is overwhelming at best. I was still coping with PTSD from my abusive relationship. I’m prone to depression. Pretty crap stuff.
I was just dismissed as a young Mum regretting her choices. I knew I wanted him from the moment I saw the two lines on the pregnancy test, there was no regret in sight, just fear.
Post natal depression is an illness, it doesn’t matter if you have the most amazing birth experience in the world, it doesn’t matter if you’re 14 or 44, it doesn’t matter if you’re single or co parenting or married, it doesn’t matter if you’ve fallen pregnant by accident or if you’ve done 19 rounds of IVF waiting for your bundle of joy. It doesn’t give a shit, if you have it, you have it. And no circumstances are going to change that.
I wish I was taken more seriously. I was already feeling pretty fucking awful as it was. I think I was coping pretty damn well considering the circumstances. He was fed, and bathed, and loved. There is no need to make people feel worse than they already do by dismissing their feelings.
Look at me now, 2 years down the line and he’s my little best mate. We do everything together and I’ve never felt love so strong. Even though he’s going through his ‘terrible twos’ at the moment and can throw some pretty good punches, I still love him and I love being his mum. I just needed that extra bit of help.
If you’re feeling this way, talk to people. Your situation will improve I promise, you just need that little bit more time (and maybe some antidepressants).
If you know someone feeling this way, listen to them. Don’t dismiss them based on your own opinions. My situation could have been a lot worse if not for those close to me being understanding and loving.
If you or someone you think is suffering from Postnatal Depression visit the PANDAS Foundation UK for more information and possible help.