Postnatal depression and me

We've just had the most wonderful day in the sunshine at the local botanical gardens. Special quality time with my mum and daughter. I really do find the sunshine immediately lifts my mood and makes everything seem brighter. Yesterday was a slightly down day, so I'm glad I managed to turn it around.

Woman standing in park looking out at lake.

Depression has become a very popular topic. Personally, I was embarrassed to admit I was suffering from post-natal depression. Before suffering myself, I was one of those people who believed people were over-using the term and too quick to receive treatment. Then it hit me like a tonne of bricks. Well no, that's not true. Then it snuck up on me, lowered the cloud of fuzziness and disconnected me from the world I knew. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't as bad as some, I still managed to look after my daughter and never had thoughts of harming myself or her. But it was still very hard. 

It snuck up on me, lowered the cloud of fuzziness and disconnected me from the world I knew

I managed to get through my daughters diagnoses and operation at two months without noticing I was depressed. Perhaps I just didn't have time to even think about anything but her. A few months after her op, when things were actually all clear for her, then the realisation happened. After weeks (maybe months) of constantly crying and fighting with my other half, I finally shouted mid-argument "Can't you see I'm depressed!". We both stopped dead in our tracks as the realisation hit both of us. Ah, we had finally figured out what was wrong. 

I did go on medication, how much they helped is hard to evaluate. All I can tell you is I was really glad to finally come off them a year later! My hubby was even more excited than me! They don't warn you enough how badly it can affect your libido! I had some other side effects that I wasn't too fond of either. 

The class got me out of the house, and no one judged me

My health visitor however was a great support. I really think she played such a huge part in my recovery. It wasn't just her visits, giving me additional support, but she referred me to a counsellor which I found very useful. We discussed and dealt with the trauma of my daughter's first few months. The best thing she ever did was nag me to go to a baby class at the children's centre. She literally held my hand on the way there and introduced me to the lovely ladies holding the class. The class got me out of the house and I started making mummy friends I could talk to and lean on for support. No one judged me at all for needing my health visitor mummy to come with me to class! 

Things have been great, until a few weeks into this pregnancy

About a year after recognising the symptoms, things were just about back to normal. I hit a slight rocky patch when I came off the medication. However things have been great, until a few weeks into this pregnancy. I don't know if it was the winter weather, or constant sickness and nausea, but I found myself in the doctors rooms blubbering and unable to stop long enough to explain what was wrong.

She determined it wasn't quite safe to use medication, as I was still in the first trimester. But I really didn't want to go down that road anyway. Luckily we didn't rush into treatment, as just as quickly as it began a few weeks later, things improved. I am definitely on a bit of a hormonal rollercoaster with my moods at the moment however!

I am incredibly nervous of the postnatal depression returning after the second baby.

It was a tremendously tough time for not only me but my partner and family. I'm going to do more this time to keep the depression at bay. I'm going to try get out more. See my friends. Take some me time, if possible. I'm going to focus on good mental health and keep as positive as I possibly can!

Actually, I think my task for today will be looking up positive ways in which I can keep myself in the right frame of mind post baby.

Kirsty with her baby.Follow the Baby Project 2.0, our blog on pregnancy the second time round, by liking our Tommy's Midwives Facebook pageOur blogger is juggling the aches and pains of pregnancy alongside her two year old daughter, who despite being born with Hirschprungs Disease, is your typical cheeky monkey, plus her four stepchildren.

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