My partner and I didn’t have to try long at all to conceive, which I feel contributed to my antenatal depression. Two days after I found out I was pregnant, it hit me like tonne of bricks. I went from being over the moon about welcoming a baby brother or sister for my then 3 year old, to wanting to run away and get this alien out of my stomach. Some days were worse than others. I would wake most mornings wanting to no longer be pregnant. Throughout the pregnancy I had really bad morning sickness. I also developed pregnancy related Cholestasis and gestational diabetes. This contributed to my hatred of my stomach and the creature inside.
The birth did not go as I had foreseen. I wanted a vaginal delivery but she was breach, so again thanks alien for doing what i wanted! Once she was born I found myself not holding her as much as I did with my first. When she was two weeks old I joined Nutrimetics and was trying to keep myself busy/occupied with something rather than being a mum. I used to leave the baby when she was only weeks old with her Dad for a few hours nearly every day and I felt zero guilt. I used to refer to her as the baby.
One day I was trying to get out the door but the baby had other plans and was crying. .. the noise rang through my ears like the worst pain ever and i snapped. I screamed. I swore. I shook with anger! Then I stopped. I said to myself “what the hell are you doing?!” I sat down on the floor where I had just been yelling at this innocent baby and googled postnatal depression. Up popped PANDA’s National Helpline number. Someone answered the phone straight away and said do you guys help with postnatal depression? I just yelled at my baby and I need help. The conversation continued until I felt calm and safe. That conversation opened my eyes to the fact that I needed immediate help. I spoke to my GP who referred me to New Beginings which then referred me straight away to a Mother Baby Unit (MBU).
The MBU was scary and overwhelming at first, but it was amazing. We did group classes and morning meditation. There were only six of us and we formed our own support group and still continue to support each other. I am so thankful for going into the unit as it took me out of my high anxiety fuelled world and placed me where I should be - focusing on my baby and looking at my baby. Not long after my month stay in the MBU I separated with my baby’s father and was diagnosed with bi polar 2 which is still something I’m trying to adjust to. I have been a single mum before to my eldest, but now I’m a single mum of two kids with two different dads and bi polar. I feel like I have lost my identity.
My journey isn’t over unfortunately, but looking back on what I went through, I feel I have conquered the toughest part. The guilt of not being there for my baby emotionally is horrible. It impacts on me every day. I am not completely healed and understand it will take time, but I strive to become the mum my babies need. I can say finally after one year, I do actually love my baby and when I sit and play with her it blows me away. It often feels like it’s the first time I have ever seen her or played with her.
"I went from being over the moon about welcoming a baby brother or sister for my then 3 year old, to wanting to run away and get this alien out of my stomach. Some days were worse than others. I would wake most mornings wanting to no longer be pregnant."