I had finally come to terms with the separation from my ex husband, I had started a dream job and had worked hard to move out of my parents and rent a perfect little unit for myself and my young daughter. I was happy and content with where life was going and I was strong and independent and started to enjoy my freedom.
Not long after I met an amazing man and a few weeks later I found out I was pregnant. I was in shock but happy and scared all at the same time. Then I had to tell the amazing man. He was shocked but said he would support me all the way.
I was in living in the land of disbelief until morning sickness started in week 9 of my pregnancy. For the rest of my pregnancy I struggled to keep food and drink down. I started feeling exhausted from trying to stop myself from vomiting and looking after my daughter. I started thinking ‘what have I done?’ ‘Why did I turn my life back upside down when it was going so well?, ‘why did I think having a baby would be a good idea?’ ‘My freedom that I just started to enjoy is gone for at least 5 years, ‘all the plans that I had for the year ahead to grow in my career path, travel and study faded and that made me panic. I had just settled and got my daughter settled in this new life just us two and now what. How will she cope.
I don’t want to move. I don’t want to start again. My life is over.
I made an appointment with the psychologist and I learnt I had pregnancy anxiety and depression. This was a tough thing to get out of. All the thoughts kept coming and going. Talking through all of it with the psychologist helped and they helped me to realise that it was going to be ok. I’d come this far by doing so well for myself so I was going to keep going.
I told myself it would all be better when I moved in with my new partner, when my daughter had settled, and when I had the baby I wouldn’t feel so bad anymore. I wouldn’t feel the constant nauseas feeling, I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable I’d be happy.
I moved house, my daughter started a new school and I gave birth to our beautiful baby girl. She was healthy and gorgeous. Life was going well besides healing from labour and the exhaustion of little sleep.
I constantly felt exhausted and it took me 5 months to heal from labour. Everyday to take my daughter to school would feel like a huge struggle and I would go at snails pace. I thought everyday it will get easier, how come other mums look all together and they can get their four children out of the house on time for school and I struggle to get one child and a baby out?
I didn’t feel like doing anything or going anywhere because it took too much effort and I would get anxious when my baby screamed in the car when I’d go anywhere.
My partner told me one day to ‘just say the words I’m depressed and you’ll feel better’ I refused because to me I just felt exhausted. I didn’t want to harm my baby and I felt fully connected with my baby and I loved her, so I wasn’t depressed. All I needed was sleep. This was true but I went to see my psychologist to see what she thought.
She did a post natal depression test to see what I scored. I had a mild score of having post natal depression.
The psychologist told me I need to find time to have to myself in order to feel like myself again.
She ordered me to find a mums group that I can socialise with and bounce off of other women having a hard time in baby hood as it will make me feel like I’m not alone in what I’m going through. To hear other mums say they are tired and feel lonely too. To also communicate with my partner more of when I need him to be around me which is pretty much most of the time to care for me because I need caring for at the moment.
The most important thing at the moment is to know it will get better and it will pass, I just need to get the right support, right amount of time to myself, the right mums around me and focus on taking small steps to feeling like me again and to bring me out of the depression.
Talking to the psychologist is one of the best things I’ve ever done.
Someone that doesn’t judge you, someone that cares for your well being and someone you can vent to and get the right advice to move forward.