Depression is scary, it creeps out of nowhere and attacks you at your most vulnerable.
I had suffered with postnatal depression really quite bad following the birth of Jack. I had no idea that it was taking hold of me until it was too late, I allowed it to continue and didn’t seek any help. I was scared, ashamed and exhausted, and buried my head in the sand thinking that I could face it alone and get better.
I should have been so happy, I had my gorgeous baby boy, yet I wasn’t. I was really, really low.
One day I scared myself, I had the most sickening of thoughts and knew I had to confide in a Doctor but I was petrified that I would be deemed a bad mother, that Jack might be taken away from me. I had no choice though and was given some medication to take.
Stupidly, I didn’t take the meds as that would have been admitting defeat, or so I thought and finally confided in Trevor too. I had kept it from him (and everyone else) somehow for months.
Together we battled my depression, each day got easier as I found the confidence to leave the house. We made the effort to get out of the house every day and to visit friends and slowly, I gained my happiness back and felt that I could finally bond with Jack.
In the lead up to giving birth to Hudson, I did worry that I might struggle again with PND once he had arrived. This time though, I knew what signs to look out for and so did everything I could to prevent it from happening to me again.
However, a couple of weeks ago, all the scary signs of PND started to present themselves again and so I decided to speak to my Doctor before things got out-of-hand.
I was starting to have regular down days again, whereby I would constantly cry and feel low. On occasions I could actually hear my heart sounding as it was beating so fast and I was quick to get irritated around the boys.
I started to find excuses not to leave the house and would ignore messages and phone calls, pretty much just went back into my shell.
I have no idea why I started to feel like this again, as I thought I was really doing well. I was coping so much better than I had before, or so I thought.
I actually now wonder whether I did get over my depression following Jack’s birth or whether I just learnt how to live with it?
This time, I am not afraid to admit that I need the help. This time I have chosen to take my prescribed medication and already, 2weeks in, I feel a million times better, I feel like a new person. I am so much more joyful and far less stressed and know that with the medication, I will only continue to get better too.
I am not ashamed to admit that I have reached out for help, in fact, I’m pretty proud of myself. I’m doing the right thing for my family which will always remain my priority.
I shall continue to get out of the house, visit friends, make a fuss of the boys and most importantly, be a happy mum. My boys are my everything and without them, I would be nothing. For them, I will get better because they deserve me at my happiest.
If you know of a new mum, please reach out and check she is okay. Don’t assume that she is fine just because she usually is, she might just be putting on a brave face. I know that feeling all too well.
Please check out these brilliant posts from two incredible mums who have also suffered with Postnatal Depression: