It’s maternal mental health awareness week.
Postnatal depression does not stereotype and can affect any new mum…..or dad.
I think when we think of #pnd we automatically think of it being associated with a new mum but it can and does also affect mum’s who have had more than one baby and dads, one in ten dads in the U.K. (nct.org.uk website)
So many of us suffer in silence, afraid of what people may think or feeling like we have failed because for everyone else parenthood seems to come so naturally.
I was that mum who suffered in silence, afraid of what people would think of me; I had my first baby when I was 19 and had none of my own family around me but I did have a few friends who had babies just before me so for me it looked natural….you popped a baby out, breastfed and went about your day with makeup on and your hair done to perfection (in my eyes this is how it looked) but for me this wasn’t the case.
My labour didn’t go as expected and when I first held him I felt nothing 😢 I felt like I had given birth but he wasn’t my baby.
Over the next 6 months I made sure we survived, only doing what I needed to. My husband worked shift work so when he was off I would go out with friends, not wanting to spend any time I didn’t have to with my sweet baby
(I’m crying just writing this)
I was 19 and felt I had made the biggest mistake of my life, I convinced myself I could leave him outside the children’s home and everything would return back to normal, everyone would forget I had a baby.
At the time I had a really good friend and if it wasn’t for her I think I would have never got through it.
Fast forward 6 months postpartum and suddenly something shifted, something changed and guilt set in.
I then became over-protective, not allowing anyone to do anything with him in fear of him bonding with someone else; even someone holding him would send me into a panic and I would feel anxious as if I was on a roller coaster and my stomach was doing backflips because in my head I believed he would bond with them and then not want me; it’s funny how the mind works!
As time went on, even though only a handful of people knew what was going on, I became a robot now this mum who wouldn’t except any help and did everything on her own.
At 22 I had my 2nd baby and all through my pregnancy I was a nervous wreck knowing I couldn’t go through the feelings I had for the first 6 months of my first baby’s life, continuously telling myself I wouldn’t think like that again not realising that being so over protective also wasn’t normal.
When my second baby was born the birth did go to plan and I didn’t feel how I did with my first, I did feel something when I first held him.
I was that person who didn’t speak out, who did suffer in silence and who told health visitors and family that everything was fine when inside I was falling apart.
It took me a while to decide if I should post this or not as it’s not something I have shared with a lot of people but…
*It’s ok not to be ok*
It’s not ok though to suffer in silence.
Please reach out to a friend, a family member, health visitor and take care of yourself 💕💕💕
I now have five gorgeous and perfect boys, life sometimes doesn’t always go how we think it will but with the right support and that all important hug things will start looking brighter ☀️
The #thereforher campaign is doing a wonderful job at raising awareness so with my spare few minutes of no chaos I’m backing @thenofiltermum’s as we need to support one another in this journey of parenthood 🌸