Postnatal Depression – F*ck you!

When I was pregnant with my first baby, I cannot tell you how excited and overjoyed I was to go from believing that I could never have children, to carrying a little miracle in my tummy. What’s more I was having a child with my best friend and the love of my life. I had the smoothest pregnancy ever to begin with. A little bumpy towards the end with Pre-eclampsia; but overall it was a wonderful experience.

Then there was the birth. When it’s your first time and you have no idea what to expect, you sort of just go with the flow and I didn’t have any pre-installed fears. I had heard 3 million different birth stories during my pregnancy and I had come to the conclusion that my experience would also be unique. It was a shock to me though that after 20 hours of labour, I wasn’t progressing and my baby was showing signs of distress.

I went from bouncing on a birthing ball and shoving chocolate down my throat (while off my head on gas and air); to being rushed into theatre and having my stomach cut open in what felt like 30 seconds. There was so much I wanted to say, but no words would come out. I wanted to tell my partner that I loved him, I wanted to say that I was scared and wanted to say that I was bloody freezing but I didn’t need to because I was shivering uncontrollably anyway. I was in shock. I felt an almighty tug, I got a 2 second glimpse of my daughter and then…. nothing. I don’t remember much about the rest of that night.

So all the hearts, flowers, fairy dust and rainbows that people talk about; were not there. Not to say that I didn’t love my little girl. I had loved her since I peed on that stick. But I didn’t experience the ‘magic’.

During the first couple of weeks at home, I cried A LOT. I don’t know what I was crying about, but I was told not to worry “It’s baby blues”. So I wasn’t worried.

After a couple of months, I started to realise it was probably more than that. I cried, I got mad at myself for not being happy during what was ‘supposed’ to be the happiest time of my life. I kept a lot of my feelings to myself and when I did open up I would immediately hate myself for casting my negativity onto someone else.

I was asked so many times by the health visitor, doctor and midwife “How are you feeling? Have you been feeling down at all?” I could only bring my self to say “No, I’m fine.”

I think I was scared of being judged. What if I start pouring my heart out and they think I’m a head case?

The truth was I didn’t feel like a person anymore. I felt invisible, useless and pretty damn lonely; even when my house was packed with people. It was all ‘baby this and baby that’. My daughter would cry relentlessly in the evenings and there was nothing I could do to comfort her. I know now that it was probably colic, but at the time I just thought it was because I was a useless mum. I would give her to her dad, go and sit on my bed and just cry. Thinking that they didn’t NEED me. I was just a sagging sack of tears slumped on the edge of a bed and it would probably be better for everyone if I just disappeared altogether.

It was these thoughts that sparked the realisation that I was in fact suffering from postnatal depression. I didn’t like it. I didn’t want it. But I knew I couldn’t ignore it. When I finally opened up to my partner about how I was really feeling, it such a f*cking relief. I didn’t have to hide it anymore. I could feel however I was feeling and be understood. We talked and came up with a plan.

My problem was that I was desperately waiting for life to get back to ‘normal’. Only after talking about it, I realised that wasn’t going to happen. I had to accept a new ‘normal’ and create new ways of being myself but as a mother. I’ve always loved dance as a hobby and found Latino Bambino. This dance class is the thing that got me out of my depression.  I could do something I enjoyed, with my baby and people who I actually had something in common with. I felt like I was getting some of myself back.

IMG_0454
We had dance class on this day. Depression is not always something people can see.

It was only once I was feeling back to normal-ish (after about 6 months), that I felt able to share with my friends what I had been going through. My friends are closer to me than some of my family, they mean the world to me. And so I need to say this:

“F*ck you postnatal depression!

How dare you creep up on me and my family and try to isolate me from everyone I love?!

You tried to make me feel like I was NOTHING and it worked for a little while.

You even faked your way in! Disguised as a normal part of my transition into motherhood. 

You had the audacity to stop me from telling my friends, my sisters!

You are a nasty BULLY and a coward.

I see you now. I’ve clocked your movements and you are not welcome here anymore.

Fool me once, shame on me. You won’t fool me twice.”

I know that postnatal depression affects different people in different ways and to varied extents. But the one piece of advise that I will give to anyone who is feeling low or worried that what they are experiencing is more than ‘baby blues’ is:

TELL SOMEONE. ANYONE.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be your health visitor or GP (although this might be a good idea in some cases). It just needs to be the person you feel comfortable telling to begin with. A problem shared really is a problem halved and hopefully you’ll soon be on your way to beating the bully.

5 months after giving birth to my second baby, thankfully postnatal depression HAS NOT returned. But I am thinking about joining back up to that dance class… got a few things that need tightening.

Excited to be linked up with…

Pink Pear Bear
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Diary of an imperfect mum
3 Little Buttons

Mummy Times Two

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53 thoughts on “Postnatal Depression – F*ck you!

  1. I love your writing so much, it’s always so incredibly honest. This is such a hard thing to share and you have not only done it, but done it justice. I struggled quite a lot after Number Two was born and still even now have days when a I don’t feel worthy or like leaving the house, I know lots of mums will be able to relate and will feel less alone for reading your post – I know I do. I’m so glad that the second time around was different for you and that you found something that worked. Enjoy your dancing lovely lady, thank you so much for linking up with #PostsFromTheHeart

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really enjoyed this post!! So relatable and raw. As new mum’s we are constantly bombarded with images and ideas of how we “should” feel, and when you don’t feel like that it can be a very lonely place to be. I am so glad you got through such a tough time xxx

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  3. Wonderful post, shedding light on something that is often not talked about. Thank you so much for opening your heart and your feelings to help someone else who may be struggling with postnatal depression. It truly can be a long, and lonely road to recovery-and telling someone is sooooo important. I’m so happy you were able to find yourself in such a wonderful dance class! ❤ The transition into parenthood is tough. It's hard to create a new normal. #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful post! Well done for sharing. I experienced PND too (I blog about it also) and it was the most difficult time of my life. It’s so important for us to keep sharing our stories. So happy for you that it hasn’t happened second time around x #kcacols

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  5. Excellent advice! Yes, talk to someone, anyone you can trust. But I have to say even that would take enormous courage to do so because you think that’s what it is or should be. Thanks for linking with #Bigpinklink

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hello! What a beautiful family you have. This is a very honest and brave post to write, so well done on putting out there. It’s always difficult to open up about something like this, but more people need to be aware of post natal depression. I am sorry to hear that your birth story wasn’t the one you hoped for, but at the end of the day your child is happy and healthy. After the birth of my son, I was extremely tired and had days when I felt blue for no reason. After going to the docs, I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid and apparently that can cause the blues – who knew? I hope you are on the end now, and I look forward to reading more of your posts as I am a first timer here! x #bigpinklink

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    1. Oh wow I didn’t know about the under active thyroid! The human body is so complex and amazing. You’re right the most important thing is that the baby is happy and healthy. I was able to focus on that much more the second time around and am now feeling good. Thanks so much for reading x

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I so love the sentiment of this post, the positivity and the rising above adversity. I absolutely hear you on creating a new normal – I talked about life getting back to normal but that normality was gone forever. Glad that you’re feeling better now #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s very brave of you to share what happened, with a little glimpse into why postnatal depression might have come about. Most importantly, I hope your words of ‘tell someone’ are read and listened to by someone that needs them the most. Thank you so much for linking up to the #DreamTeam

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  9. Amazing post, thank you for sharing – and I am so sorry that your first experience of motherhood had to include such a difficult time. I didn’t suffer from PND (I don’t think!?) but I had some incredibly low moments and struggled for weeks, possibly months before I started to feel a bit more human. It wasn’t constant, it did have some really happy moments – but I found it so hard at first. I had flashbacks to my labour whenever I tried to rest, my baby had terrible colic and would scream continuously and there was nothing I could do, I was seriously sleep deprived and I have no family around to help out so felt very isolated. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for you having those sorts of feelings a lot more of the time for a lot longer than I did – it must have been really hard. I am pleased for you that your second pregnancy went much better. Well done for being such a strong, amazing mamma #KCACOLS

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  10. I love how honest this post is too, I had similar a 30 hour very traumatic birth and PTSD, which no one put a label too till 6 months later as I tried to hide it as I though someone would judge me badly for it or it would make me a bad parent. Growing and birthing and raising a child is hard, there is no perfect, you sounds amazing and strong and are an amazing mummy #brilliantblogposts

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  11. I couldn’t agree more. I cracked one day at one the the health visitors weigh in chat things. She asked how are you? and I was in floods of tears in an instant. And from the moment on I felt able to accept and come up with a plan of action before. Prior to that I felt totally alone, miserable and like the most ungrateful human being for not
    being super happy with my son.

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  12. What a wonderful post…so honest and heartfelt. For me you said one of the most important things with the photo and the caption…so true – it’s just not visible. By talking and sharing our own experiences of that so called ‘blissful’ time post baby it will make it easier for other women to accept that they don’t have to be feeling perfect and talk about it with someone. I realise this hasn’t been the most eloquent of comments, your post really has moved me…I’m just not expressing that very well. Thank you though for sharing with #FamilyFun

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  13. Well done for being brave enough to share your story. I totally agree that you should tell someone. That to me was the first step towards recovery and a movement class is a great activity as physical activity can really help! TY for linking up to #FamilyFun 🎉

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  14. This is such an important topic. Good on you for reliving it and helping others. I had a horrific birth experience as well. By sharing this your starting the conversation and helping to heal others. Good job mama!

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  15. Oh hun sorry you went through this, I experienced PTS after an emergency section with my baby and like you was scared to ask for help. It took 10 months too but I’m so glad I did. I wrote about it on my blog if you search for Traumatic Birth (it took 5 years to write it). Your post will help many x

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I love the fact that your so honest about your feelings, feel emotional (again) your an amazing mother who has 2 amazing little Darlings! ❤️ you all to the 🌙 And back.
    Very proud of you xx

    Liked by 1 person

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