My story started back in March 2012, when my son Harry was born.
He was a much wanted child and I had an ok birth – forceps and stitches. Looking back I was anxious from the start. I breastfed and it was constant, it felt like he was just attached to me all the time and I was worried he wasn’t getting enough, as he was quite a crying baby. I didn’t get much support and would always feel that family and friends thought he was hungry when he cried but I wanted to carry on, as thought it was best.
I started feeling down, as the months went on, and didn’t want to go out – even getting dressed was a massive task. I felt isolated and didn’t see my mum much as she had a lot going on at the time. I was just going through the motions, caring for Harry but not enjoying any of it. I felt really inferior and unconfident, even though I had looked after lots of children being a Nursery Nurse.
After 6 months, I started having funny thoughts about him, thinking his head was too big, he moved his arms and legs too much, and strangely thought had I breastfed overdid him? Which I know is impossible but I was obsessed with how his poos were etc.
Things really came to a head when I accidentally tripped into a wall, down a couple of our steps and caught Harry’s leg. We went to A&E and they X-Rayed but didn’t find anything for a few days. Then I found out he had a fracture. Meanwhile, in between, I had finally gone to the doctors to get antidepressants, as told my mum I had suicidal thoughts and unfortunately tried to end my life twice.
I ended up in hospital Nov/Dec 2012, for 10 weeks, whist my husband and mother in law looked after Harry and brought him into hospital nearly every day. I took anti psychotic drugs and antidepressants and with support from family came out, gradually moved home and started looking after Harry.
I felt so guilty that I had been so ill and worried I hadn’t bonded but I think we have and luckily Harry was so young. It was such a horrible time and I still remember a lot of it. I think I wanted to be a perfect mother and didn’t know what to expect. It took time to bond and for the love to grow but thankfully I now have a 4 week old and have had lots of midwife support – I feel myself and I’m ok.
I think it is so much more talked about now and you realised just how many mothers, and sometimes fathers, suffer. I think it’s important to show it’s ok, you can live a normal life, be a great Mum and get better from this cruel awful illness called depression.
Thank you for sharing my story and hope it may help someone know they are not alone.