Lets face it postnatal depression is a scary illness. It is an illness that people find difficult to talk about, myself included. Most people like myself, don’t feel as though other people will understand what it is like because they don’t want to be judged as a person or a mother. This is why i decided to speak out and talk about so i will be able to help not only myself but other mothers that may feel like they are a failure and understand the illness.
This blog is based on my PND with all four of my boys but mainly between my middle two children, Lachlan and Finn this is were my PND was at it worse. Lachlan and Finn are only 11 months apart. Finn was a bit of an oops and especially when you don’t find out your pregnant until 26weeks, no i wouldn’t change it for the world.
I didn’t know i had PND until the midwife asked if everything was OK after the birth of Lachlan i ended up in tears telling her i wasn’t really coping. My midwife asked me if i thought i had PND .Back then i had no clue what she was talking about I just knew i wasn’t 100% myself. My midwife advised me to go see the GP that afternoon to get myself on some medication and to have a chat. At the time we lived in a tiny two story apartment with no back yard and the whole time i felt trapped inside a cardboard box and it was tape shut so i couldn’t escape. We tried our best to look for another place but after the earthquakes happened in Christchurch houses were pretty hard to get and pretty expensive at the time and on one income at the time there was no hope in find anywhere. After i found out i was pregnant again with Finn the search become more urgent with only 14 weeks until he arrived and no room to put him, we finally found a house and I was hoping with new move my mood would improve.
Finn birth was amazing all of three hours without pain relief or anything, so different from the other two which were but induced. So now i was a mother to three boys.
It was not that long after i got home from having Finn I realized my PND hadn’t changed at all it had in fact become worse.
I become irritable,snappy,angry and had very low self esteem. Everyday started to feel like i was still inside my cardboard box that was taped shut. I felt myself slipping away and dragging my family into my box. I just couldn’t see anyway of untapeing the box so i could be free.
Each day took so my energy just to get myself out of bed and face what was going to happen that day even through i knew it would be the same as yesterday, I would tell myself I wasn’t cut out for motherhood. My mood would get so low that I would shut myself away in the bedroom or just sit on the couch in a daze, I was physically well in my body but the rest of me was withdrawn from the world around me. I am lucky I had the same midwife for both the middle two boys so when i knew i was getting worse she advised me to back to the GP and get referred to the mothers and babies unit that specialized in mothers that suffered from PND. While I was waiting for my referral to mothers and babies the doctor increased my medication. The doctor explained that PND can happen to any women and normally happens within the first 12 months of having baby. I had had two babies within 12months so I wasn’t doing myself any favours at all ( here me thinking i would get better after a change of house). I still felt ashamed to be suffering from PND so i was hiding it from most people putting on my mask every time I went out or when someone came around to visit pretending everything was OK and I was a super mum ( which is pretty draining to do ). The only people who knew about it was Matt, a couple of close friends and medical professionals. At least Matt knew what i was wrong with me and that I wasn’t some crazy woman.
After Finn was born the cardboard box i was stuck in was pretty well taped shut and I knew that life wasn’t going to be easy I had hit the bottom of the box there was only two options left to either sufficate or slowly untape the box and rise to get air. It’s three years on now and I’m still in the taped box but slowly each bit of tape is getting peeled off.
PND can change people in different ways for me I just wasn’t myself and i will probably never be myself again but I will learn to control my anger , change things that irritate me or learn to no get so overwhelmed by them. Since having my youngest, Niall, 11 months ago there are a couple more things that effect myself and my PND but that is another blog post as well as my referral to mothers and babies unit in Christchurch.