Life into parenthood was a bumpy road for my husband and I. Oh, we still got to enjoy the sweet smelling first nappies and all night feeds, but we also experienced IVF and all of its surprises! Finally, we were pregnant and our daughter came into our lives full of voice and with her bottom lip sticking out as if to say “please put me back!”. Unfortunately I missed that precious moment (that was and is hard to deal with) due to an emergency general anaesthetic c-section. My husband wrapped shaking, protective arms around her for 2 hours while I woke up and then the nappies, 'gas' smiles and cuteness started!
After three months or so I still felt as though I was in a haze. Crying for no reason, snappy and just not myself. I thought I had to just suck it up a little more. But when my husband said to me that I'm not myself ( he said this on 2 different occasions) I thought I would ask the local health care nurse at my daughter's next check. She referred me to the mental health nurse where I was diagnosed with PND. We chatted about babies, birth stories, parenthood and life in general. I laughed and cried....a lot...but I slowly came out of the haze and started to feel normal and I really started bonding with my beautiful daughter.
When I mentioned to people about my PND (I didn't really talk about it often) most of the time the responses were along the lines of “Oh, but you've just had a baby. It's a big change. I'm sure it's just lifestyle changes”. I'm naturally a bubbly, happy person so I guess it's hard for people to believe things just weren't great. This didn't help because it put more doubt in my mind.
But I'm getting there! I've also discovered that I'm expecting again. A real miracle baby! This one naturally decided they want our family as theirs! So now there is a new dimension to my PND. Different feelings of acceptance and motherhood. (We'd just decided not to have any more children) So my journey is ongoing. I do have the tools to in place to help me through this latest challenge though thanks to the professional help I sort out and received. I also have my wonderful, supportive husband and beautiful daughter right there with me!
Please just remember, it's ok to ask for help or just chat to someone if you feel things are not quite right. You're not weak. If anything, you're stronger!!
"After 3 months or so I still felt as though I was in a haze. Crying for no reason, snappy and just not myself. I thought I had to just suck it up a little more."