How I Felt During Postnatal Anxiety/Depression
I made this public on March 24, 2014
For the past month I have been hospitalised with Postnatal depression/anxiety. I have written my story as Im no longer ashamed. Please share this in the hope it will help another woman.
*** To my wonderful husband Rob, who’s constant support and love helped me through this dark time. A perfect example for how husbands should be***
Its 3am and my perfectly healthy little girl is feeding and it feels like razor blades. How can something so natural be so painful? Tears stream down my face wishing I would enjoy it and wishing she would starve through the night so I wouldn’t have to feed her. I stare out the window looking at the night sky and hear the neighbours laughing at me in their sleep. When does the maternal instinct kick in, when do I feel this bond people keep telling me about. I fell pregnant immediately with a girl, I should be happy and grateful as some people try for years and I’m begging anyone who will listen to take her away.
My husband and I fight constantly about anything I can pick on. I tell him to leave. I tell him to take our daughter because I don’t want her. I tell him to find someone who wants a family and who will do a better job than I. Finally she is full and I put her back to bed. It’s now 4.30am and I’m climbing back into bed to get an hours sleep before I have to do it all over again. As I pull the covers up, I pray like mad that I will die in my sleep. At least that way I will be able to catch up on the past 3 weeks of sleep deprivation and my husband will be happier. The voices are screaming in my head to pack my bags and run. No one will realise until morning giving me a good head start to get away. Unfortunately, I get woken up an hour later by a screaming infant who doesn’t seem to care what she is doing to me.
After a week of calm coaching by Mum I feel better. I know how to bath her and have started bottle feeding. There I love her! A few weeks go by and the arguing with my husband continues and the voices get louder. He constantly hits the snooze button at 5am until 6 and doesn’t pick up his dirty laundry off the bedroom floor. I so badly need to keep the house clean and dinners ready when he gets home from work and I need to lose this baby weight so that he will still find me attractive. More arguing happens. Week 9 rolls around and it’s been 3 weeks straight of fighting. I haven’t fed my daughter in days and have slept a lot but am still so exhausted. It doesn’t matter as my parents are doing a better job of looking after her than I ever can.
A nurse came to my rescue and mentioned hospitalisation with my daughter and my husband immediately organises everything and I hate him for it, for locking me away. I have given up so much to give him what he wants and this is how he repays me? A full week goes by in hospital and a number of sessions with psychologists etc. Thank god, no medication required! Constant correcting my thinking, constant attitude changes being suggested. Why do people keep taking everything I have ever known away from me? What have I done so bad to deserve this? There is nothing wrong with trying to be perfect and why is no one grateful that I’m trying to be so.
2 weeks go by and it is a perfect day. I bundle the baby in the pram and head to a quiet park. As I’m walking down a tree lined path I look down and she smiles at me and the light goes on. I am her mum and I can do this and no one will do as better job than I! This rush of love pours over me. A love that no one can take from me, no one else will understand and a love that I would die and kill to protect. A perfect little girl that is all mine and she picked me to be her mum.
With 2 more weeks of treatment to go I am now ready to face hard decisions, challenges and grow with my baby. This experience has made me a stronger person and my marriage even better. Words cannot describe how grateful I am to my husband for saving me while I was drowning in a black hole and my perfect little angel for trusting me to get through it.