I woke up this morning really early (before the baby, what what?) and just felt I had to write about this. I went for a long time where I couldn’t tell anyone- not my husband, my mum, my best friends (although of course they knew) and I’m going through a time now where I feel the need to tell everyone. Sorry! Stop reading now if sad sacks bore you. 🙂
Our daughter could not have been more wanted, more planned or more anticipated- not just by me, but by out whole family. I had a straightforward pregnancy by and large, and for most of it I felt great, and excited!
Things started to go wrong when I was about 41 Weeks. This was not going as I had planned. The birth was awful- induced, long, extremely intense and then it just stopped. Our purple baby girl was born (reluctantly!) by emergency section. And she was absolutely beautiful. I was elated, exhausted, euphoric. For a day or two.
I knew from when she was days old I had Pnd. I couldn’t stop crying, I was exhausted and everything seemed hard. I expected this, but nothing prepared me for it. As time went on, people said it would get easier, and in some ways it did- she began to sleep through the night and I had a better idea of what she wanted. Even on ten hours sleep, and a baby that I was coping with- she was fed, looked after; I felt I could lie down in the street and go to sleep. Leaving the house was so tiring I wanted to weep and I endlessly felt life was too hard, the burden too great for me to handle. Many days I wanted to get in the car and drive away and never come back. At my lowest points I closed my eyes to sleep and prayed I wouldn’t wake up.
It didn’t surprise me to read later that suicide is the most common cause of post natal death in the UK.
I wasn’t like this permanently, however. I would have days, even weeks, where I felt fantastic, back to myself, loving my new life as a mum and looking at her and feeling proud of what I’d achieved. I’d made a person! Go me!
Other days I wished she wasn’t there. I wished I wasn’t there. Everyone and everything disgusted me. I felt so overcome with emotion that I couldn’t cope. Even though I have a supportive husband who was bewildered and helpless to change my rollercoaster of emotions. Everytime I thought I was getting better, the darkness returned worse than before.
There’s a line in “catcher in the rye” when the famously mentally challenged Holden crosses the road and feels he’s disappearing. That’s how I felt- like the person I was had gone, and all that remained was this desperate and lonely skin. I felt like a ghost.
I’ve always had an ability to bounce back from things- like most people i’ve had my fair share of disappointments in life, but I always try to think it is for the best and move on. I thought that it would help me and I would feel better in time. By the time I stumbled into the doctor, when Phoebe was 17 months old, things were getting so bad I could hardly put one foot in front of the other without weeping like a woman bereaved.
I’m getting better now. Sometimes I wake up very early in the morning and wonder what I would be doing if I never got help. And it really is as scary as any nightmare.
I know this isn’t a novel or owt but I really want to thank some people.
To Jenna, who listened, and noticed.
To Laura, who made me remember myself, by always being herself.
To my long-suffering husband, for always loving me, not matter what version of me he woke up to in the morning. I love you bub x
To dorkymum, whose words of honesty and absolute clarity made me feel like I was not alone. Especially for her post on pnd.
To my mum and dad, whom I respect and love more than ever. X