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Saturday, 7 September 2013

Postnatal depression hell

I've written about our difficult labor but thought I would write a little about my struggles with postnatal depression.

I have had depression before, but postnatal depression is hell.

I have spent the last three years and the entirety of my daughter's life trying to be a good mum, not a mother like I had growing up.

I feel that I am succeeding in this. That was until daughter number two, who arrived so quickly (in 30 minutes) and left me so poorly (I almost died or blood loss) that it didn't feel like I had had a child.

Every time I looked at her it was like viewing her through 2 inches of perspex.

Every time I held her, it was like I was wearing thick gloves.

Every time she smiled I felt nothing.

Every time she cried I was terrified.

These horrible feelings made me think that I was no better than my horrible mother was when I was growing up and in turn, I felt like I shouldn't be here. I felt that having a mother like mine would be worse than not having a mother at all.

Once I saw my little baby smile and giggle at my husband, I realised that it hurt me to see her so happy because I knew that she deserved better.

It was like I woke up one day and someone had placed a baby in my life and suddenly I had to look after her.

A friend of mine once said, 'Oh C, she is wonderful' and I said, 'Is she?' Not that I thought she wan't lovely, but that I truly couldn't appreciate it.

So as I said, Hell!

After 12 weeks, medication, a weekly visit from a psychiatric nurse, a wonderful health visitor and an incredible husband I am now feeling happy.

Actually happy.

Before my brain wouldn't function, it switched off. There were days where I couldn't see straight, my husband talking to me didn't register in my mind, I was numb and unable to feel anything.

But I last night and tonight I managed to put both my children to bed together while my husband was at work.

That is a huge achievement.

I feel I love my daughter.

She still doesn't feel mine, but I know how lovely she is.  And we are bonding each and every day.

Long may it continue!



  1. It's amazing how severe post partum can hit. :( So glad that you're taking the steps to help you get back on a good path, and that you're seeing the good in those steps as they come. :) That is when mine started doing better too. Your daughter will feel like yours, it will come. Keep spending time with her, and loving her with the love that will grow, and don't feel bad if at times the feelings aren't there, they will come, maybe not today or tomorrow, but they will grow. :) {{HUGS}}}

  2. Honey, I am so glad you realized the problem and sought help. Children are such a miracle I am glad you are finally able to enjoy yours.

  3. Postnatal depression can be rough and I think it's more common in traumatic births. I dealt with it myself after giving birth to my daughter via emergency C-section after we both nearly died while I was in labor.

    For the first couple months, I kept insisting I was fine. Then one day Steve left for work, came back to get something he had forgot and found me sitting in the middle of our bed holding our daughter and crying even more than she was. He of course wanted to know what was wrong and when I couldn't tell him (I didn't know either), he made me call the doctor that minute to tell them what was going on.

    They put me on antidepressants and I joined a support group for moms who had traumatic births. It took a while, but I did get back to normal.

    I'm glad to hear you're doing better. If you ever need to talk, feel free to email.

    1. Thanks, I tried but your blogger account isn't accessible, so couldn't find your email.

  4. (((((hugs))))) so glad you're feeling better.

    My best friend had pre-partum depression-- her entire pregnancy she cried and lived in a dark place. Those hormones are so very real. I'm so glad you've come out of yours.

  5. Hi C,

    I'm so sorry you went through this. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been and how apt the title to this post is. Thank you for sharing this.

    So happy for you that you are now feeling better and bonding with your baby.


  6. Such honesty...I hope you continue to feel happy. :)

  7. Hi C , I'm so sorry you've had such a hard time but glad that things are settling down a bit. I can completely relate to you here as I went through a very traumatic labour with my second child and had to stay in hospital for two weeks! A record for our NHS! I hope everything works out for you all. Good luck. Email me if you fancy a catch up. Love M x

  8. Hi C so sorry to hear of your problems, I really admire your honesty too and can really relate to your situation as I had a very traumatic labour with my second child and had to stay in hospital for two weeks. I hope things continue to go well and I'm sending lots of support and good thoughts. Please email me if you want to catch up. Take care love M