One Mums Story of Surviving Postnatal Depression

I remember getting so excited decorating his nursery. We knew it was a boy and wanted nothing but the best for him. All was fine, being a neonatal nurse I knew everything would be ok if I just took care of myself. We were prepared; nursery done, money saved up and booked in for an induction due to high blood pressure we couldn't be more excited. 

Labour was awful. I was rushed to theatre and had an emergency c-section. It was like an outer body experience and the next thing I knew I was being handed a baby boy to cuddle, husband had a tear in his eye and I felt nothing. Maybe that overwhelming love everyone talks about would come after a few days rest. But no it never did, not for 14 months anyway! 

How can I feel nothing for my baby. He was cute, healthy and all we ever dreamed of yet I was looking after him like he was one of my patients. I felt numb to everything like I was in a dream.  All I ever wanted to do was jump in the car and keep driving. I didn't care where to I just had to get away. Then I started thinking, hoping and dreaming that I would crash the car. Life would be so much easier then. Everything in my head was so noisy and I felt angry all the time. Screeching at my husband and waiting for him to come home from work every day so I could grab the car keys and leave my son. I didn't want him. I didn't love him. Not the way I should. I kept it hidden and told everyone I was fine, I had my hair and makeup on everyday. The house was always tidy, in actual fact immaculate and so was my son. To the outside world I was the perfect mum! On the inside I was screaming and I didn't want to be here.  They gave me a score sheet. Looking at it I thought I don't want them knowing anything was wrong, so I lied on every question.   

I was at the doctors one day and she knew me. She knew I wasn't 'me'. "Do you think your depressed?" She finally asked. That was it, the tears couldn't stop.  It all made sense. She asked how long I had felt like this and I couldn't remember not. "Postnatal depression" she said.  I felt numb, but yet relief. Someone had told me there was something wrong and it wasn't that I couldn't cope, I was ill. Not that I genuinely believed it, but at least now I could get some 'magic' tablets and be fine. However, I wasn't. I needed something extra, so I started counselling at postnatal depression services. 

While out and about trying to buy Alexander a bib I couldn't see anything I liked. I went home and once he was in bed cut up and old t-shirt and decided to hand stitch him a bib. I had not done any since school but I knew the basics and thought I would give it a go. To my surprise the noise (not voices) just multiple thoughts, just vanished.  It was bliss! It had not been so QUIET for such a long time.  My husband bought me a sewing machine and off I went every night once my boy had went to bed at night. I was counting down the minutes every day to bed time just so I could have that silence and relaxation I craved. 
I relapsed again later in the year. Really badly l had convinced everyone I was better even myself so finally I had crashed and fell really badly. I ended up with intensive home care treatment lasting over 6 weeks and involved psychologists and nursing staff visiting me every day. My son was too old to be admitted with me to the mother and baby unit specifically designed for mothers with postnatal depression. They also didn't want to admit me alone. That's exactly what I wanted to be AWAY from my son. If only I wasn't ashamed, if only I was honest. 
I continued the sewing and receiving counselling and slowly, very slowly I was getting a break from the PND..  I still didn't have that bond with my son I still didn't feel like a mum. Like he was mine.  Then Christmas morning something changed,  I couldn't wait to see his face.  This was new to me.  I started feeling this overwhelming love for him. I cried. This was new, but amazing there was hope after all!

I now feel like me again. Like I've woke up, like it was all a nightmare and not real. There's a lot I don't remember, but the sewing aswell as counselling truly saved me. Now I sell what I make. I make baby items and all of the profits go to postnatal depression services and I still love it. I want to give something back to the people who helped me the most. It's been a long journey but its taught me so much. And I'm grateful I had the help I needed and a craft to help me survive.  The only regret I have is not admitting something was wrong sooner. There's so much stigma attached and I was ashamed to admit I couldn't cope.  Now I want to help other families  just by talking about it and raising as much as I can for postnatal depression services selling my baby items through Briggs Bibs and Bobs. 

Kim x 

We would like to say a huge thank you to Kim for writing about her journey through Postnatal Depression, we know it can not be easy revisiting those days.  We hope that her story gives other mums and dads in a similiar situation hope and to reassure you that with right help and support you can get better.  Please do take a look at the fabulous products Kim makes and when buying them you are giving to a great cause and helping those suffering from Postnatal Depression too!

Faye and Sophie
Blissful Bambino