I can’t explain the despair I felt after having my beautiful baby girl. It crept up upon me slowly, dealing with losing babies and the anxiety that caused throughout this pregnancy, until finally, I couldn’t bear to face the day ahead.
I was anticipating the birth as a milestone to move forward and I was not expecting the insanity that was to come.
Arriving home with our new little bundle, I found it hard to connect. There was an emptiness resounding within me and although I didn’t struggle with the crying or sleepless nights and being overwhelmed (she was my 5th baby), I struggled emotionally and mentally with my worth. Mark would leave for work and I would just lie in bed resenting the sun shining outside.
I wanted darkness.
I would start crying and then stop long enough to drop the other kids at school before it all hit me again at home. I spent my days in my room staring at the walls while she slept and in my lounge doing my motherly duties between bouts of holding my head in my hands, weeping. I hadn’t known this before. I couldn’t and still can’t describe the intensity of the emotions and feelings I was having.
Thoughts of self-harm began clouding my mind and I didn’t even trust myself with my baby anymore. I thought I would hurt myself – but never my baby, I loved her and I was clinging on to whatever I could to get through my days.
I have to admit that before it happened to me, I was one of those people who couldn’t comprehend Post-Natal Depression, and suicidal or self-harming thoughts. I now know that depression, anxiety and OCD are debilitating conditions that bring humiliation and shame. It took medication for me to start clearing the fog, wonderful support from my amazing life partner and many positive choices. I have a long journey ahead and still struggle but I can now enjoy the blessings my life has been given.
If you’re struggling with Post Natal Depression, please talk to someone about it. Call Lifeline on: 13 11 14. There is hope.