Hi, my name is Fiona and I want to share my story with you. I can reassure anyone reading this who is currently suffering that you will get better….. I am proof of that.
Even though I was not officially diagnosed with PND until my baby was 10 months old, when I look back, things weren’t easy from shortly after the birth of my third child.
Sadly, we had a sudden death in the family the week after he was born, and I was also beginning to have post surgical complications following my c section. Having got back on my feet again, at 10 weeks, my baby took very ill and was admitted to hospital for over a week. I had to keep going for my two girls aged 4 & 7. They still needed their mummy, but I was certainly feeling the stress. We got him home just in time for Christmas and as we were finishing our Christmas dinner we got the sad call telling us that my beloved Grandmother had passed away.
Yet again I tried to put a brave face on, but I was feeling so miserable inside.
Life with three was proving to be very challenging, but I still tried to be supermum, (like I thought all the other mums in the school playground were) doing the school runs, bringing the girls to swimming, managing the house and caring for a tiny baby.
By now I wasn’t sleeping… I can remember going to bed at 10pm wakening at 11pm and just lying there all night waiting for the morning to come. As I was getting no sleep, mum would come up during the day to help out. I was also starting to experience panic attacks and now dreaded the school run.
It was now nearing the summer holidays and when I called my GP surgery I could hardly speak to the Dr as I was crying so much. I asked ‘could this be post natal depression’, only to be told…. No, your baby is almost 10 months old so it couldn’t be, but as you are having symptoms of depression here are some tablets! Would you believe I was prescribed three different antidepressants within 10 days over the phone and I honestly thought I was going crazy.
My husband contacted the surgery as he was getting very worried about how rapidly I was going down hill. Thankfully he got speaking to a Dr, who is only there part-time, who really understood. She even came out to the house and as soon as she sat down she took my hand and said, you have postnatal depression, this is the medication you need to be on and she also got the home treatment team on board who were at my house that very night.
Thankfully my wonderful husband took time off work to look after me and the children. I just couldn’t function at all. Even getting out of bed and getting dressed was difficult & I just sobbed all day.
I couldn’t even make it to my daughter birthday party at the soft play area that I had booked as I was so ill. My mum went in my place. It was then that some of the other mums showed concern and I actually did confide in a couple of them. To my astonishment they were also able to tell me that they too had suffered with mental health problems! It is far more common than I thought.
I had weeks and weeks of treatment and am still seeing a nurse once a fortnight even though my baby is now 17 months old.
Now, life is pretty much back to normal and I am so enjoying seeing my little mans personality coming out… He’s quite a character & the girls just adore him. I am very very lucky to have them.
I have learnt now that it was not my fault and I have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.
PS: There IS light at the end of the tunnel!! xx