After giving birth to Keira, postnatal depression was so far out of my mind that I didn’t even worry about it. I suffered from the usual baby blues and I felt like I was okay after that had passed. My anxiety was certainly heightened but I just got on with things. After the birth of Joshua, I don’t even remember the blues affecting me, so I just assumed that I never got them and I was okay with myself. My appearance and self-care started slacking and I never wanted to leave the house, but I put this down to my anxiety and juggling to children (it was hard finding time to myself with two little ones to look after). So I never thought more of it, I didn’t think anything was wrong when I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning’s and when I started losing interest in activities with the children.
After the birth of Zara, I noticed quite significantly when they baby blues hit. My anxiety went through the roof and I never noticed the blues going. I was crying a lot and I just felt like I didn’t really want to be here anymore. I kept telling myself that my children would be better off without me because at least they had a daddy and family that actually wanted to interact with them. I was only getting out of bed in the morning once Darren was ready to leave for work, and that was only because I had to get up because there was no one else to look after the children. I didn’t want to get up and spend my time with them.
I still didn’t put two and two together. I never connected the dots. Postnatal depression never even crossed my mind.
I was constantly receiving comments from strangers about how much we had our hands full and how hard it must be at home with 3 children so young. So that’s what I put it all down to, that it was hard and challenging to look after all 3 of them for the majority of the day, on my own, while Darren was at work. I knew that I was lacking in the sleep department so I put that down to my erratic mood swings.
And poor, poor Darren. I knew he was on the receiving end of things. He would get all my bad moods and he would have to put up with my crying fits. He kept mentioning how I was no longer affectionate and he was right. I didn’t want affection. I didn’t want to be touch. I didn’t want to be held or kissed. I just wanted to lock myself away, in my room, and never come back out.
That’s when I realised that I had to do something about this. My anxiety was keeping me indoors, my depression was keeping me away from my family.
I’ve been to see my GP several times now about postnatal depression, and I’m on some medication – just a very low dose. Although I don’t really feel like the medication is helping right now, I know that I’ll get there in the long run. I have a very supportive GP and she is so kind and sweet. I think that definitely helps, it means that I feel more comfortable opening up to her and telling her what thoughts are running through my mind. All the negativity. I’m yet to tell her everything, for fear of being judged, but it’s still early days so I know I will be able to at some point. It’s just a waiting game.
This is my story. This is my life. I am writing this in hope that mum’s who may be feeling the same way I do realise that it’s okay and it doesn’t mean that you’re a bad mum. It’s good to recognise the signs and to seek the professional help that you need. A wise friend once told me that a happy mum means a happy baby.
After the birth of Keira, I never once thought I would suffer at the hands of postnatal depression but I do and that’s okay.