I wasn’t sure weather to write this post or not, as this whole experience is horrible to think about but I figured it may be some comfort to people if I do and hopefully I’ll be able to help other parents recognise the signs of PND as they can often be not as obvious as just being upset, crying and the feeling of not coping.
I know many mummies on twitter that have PND, I’ve always felt like I needed to give them support but never realised how bad it can make you feel to experience it yourself.
I’ve always been a very shy, nervous and queit person. At school I didn’t want to talk to people and kept myself to myself had a close number of friends. After school I went into hairdressing which is where I became more confident with myself, I was still shy but I would talk to people if they spoke to me and didn’t feel as secluded from people.
I met Alfie’s dad when I was working full time in a hairdressing salon and was quite confident and happy with my life at that time. My boyfriend gave me the confidence I always needed and I did come out my shell some more when I was with him- Then I ended up pregnant.
The pregnancy was a shock and I was very scared when I first found out, I wasn’t sure what to do about it but Zach said he would stick by me whatever my desicion was so I kept the baby and loved being pregnant. I was very happy that I was having a baby with the man I loved and couldn’t wait to start a family with him. He was a lovely boyfriend and he always looked after me.
I gave birth to Alfie a year ago and I was over the moon- so was Zach! We were a family at last and I couldn’t wait to start our lives together.
At the time I didn’t look into this that much but i have realised now that I have suffered from post natal depression quite early on as a mother. It wasn’t so bad when Zach was at home but as soon as he would go to work I would feel alone and on my own. I know I had Alfie and that does sound really bad but I just felt so alone. I had my sisters to talk to but they had school and uni so I couldn’t go out with any of them. I find it very hard to talk to people about how I feel as I never really knew what the problem is myself half the time. I had always kept myself to myself so I didn’t feel that anything was wrong, I thought it was just me. I had gone from being on top of the world when I was pregnant back to feeling shy, anxious and worried about everything. I put it down to being tired and being a first time mum but it eventually got worse..
In the last couple of months I didn’t want to do anything. I didn’t want to go out, I would get anxious, and get worried about how busy places would be and find an excuse to leave. I’ve always been an impatient sort of person but it was getting silly- I couldn’t stand in a shop looking at things I had to go straight in and out. No messing about. I would get irritable with silly little things and I would get annoyed with my boyfriend as I felt like I was doing everything on my own. I wasn’t- he was helping but I felt that way, due to being depressed. I would sleep when Alfie did in the morning and didn’t feel i could function if i didn’t go for a nap with him- it was all in my head but thats how i dealt with it.
I felt alone, worthless and rubbish despite Zach trying to make an effort with me I wouldn’t want it. I wanted to be on my own but then I felt alone!?! I know it doesn’t make sense does it? But I just didn’t know how I felt at all. But I couldn’t talk to anyone, I couldn’t find the words to explain my feelings.
I blocked it out and tried to get on with life, which i was doing but then I started getting physical problems quite a lot. I felt light headed, pains in my tummy, headaches, my eyes would hurt, you name it. I had it! I assumed I was run down or not well so I went to the doctors- he said from a doctors point of view I was fine and maybe it was a viral infection. Alfie had one the week before so I thought that would be a logical explanation.
The pains carried on so I went back a couple of weeks later to another doctor after I tried drinking loads and loads of water and taking vitamins- nothing was helping. I felt worse so I went to see her. She asked how I felt mentally- I said I was fine but seconds later I burst into tears. I couldn’t stop crying- the tears kept rolling and it was awful, as much as I tried I couldn’t stop crying. I felt rubbish and I was letting out all these emotions that had been building up for the last few months come flooding out.
I was relived in a way that I had eventually been diagnosed with PND but also felt sick- I felt rubbish. No one wants to be ill and I think the taboo of mental illness is worse on a person as no one wants to be known to suffer a mental illness. I was scared my boyfriend would think I was stupid and I was worried my family would think that too.
I explained to them and they understood which was a relief, I decided to move back to my dads while I started my tablets as they had a very negative effect on me- I felt like I didn’t want to be here anymore and that was constantly on my mind for a couple of weeks- I tried to block it out but it wouldn’t go. My brain couldn’t switch off from these horrible thoughts. It wasn’t me, it felt like someone else had taken over my brain and was telling me what to think. Everytime i tried to take my mind of the horrible thoughts in my head, it was like i was getting told to think about these horrible things.
Eventually my body has got used to the tablets and I’m back to how I felt before- still abit low but no where near as bad as I had been! I felt like I couldn’t look after Alfie on my own for the first couple of weeks and needed someone with me- I was scared of myself. I just wanted to run away, I would never wish it on anyone!
If you think your suffering, speak to your GP or health visitor, its nothing to be ashamed of and if you catch it early on, you can enjoy your babies. You can always contact me on twitter if you fancy a chat or you can email me
I’m a lot happier now -and so is Alfie