Finding out I was pregnant with my second baby came as a shock as my hubby and I were not “really trying” we were merely “waiting to see what happens”. Having suffered a miscarriage previously I feared reliving those months that seemed like forever to get that BFP in the pregnancy test. I feared the constant wondering if this month would be thee month……. thankfully no 2 happened without any stress!
I settled into my 2nd pregnancy, life was busy with a toddler and work and the weeks were flying by! Just as autumn approached I began feeling short of breath and dizzy, following a visit to Holles Street I was reassured that all was well with the baby. But what about me??
The weeks continued and I continued to struggle with everyday tasks, due to ongoing shortness of breath and tightness in my chest, again at every ante natal appointment I was reassured that the baby was happy and healthy. But what about me???
I was eventually signed off work by my Consultant, with 10 long weeks until D day ahead of me, I tried to tell myself that with a bit of rest I would start to feel well again, this was not the case! Ongoing shortness of breath became my new norm! As long as baby was ok, surely I should be ok??
D day arrived and I delivered a beautiful baby boy……. no epidural, I deserved a medal!!! Surely now I would feel ok? The days of newborn madness followed, pain following delivery and stitches, and leaky boobs were my new norm!
The days and weeks flew by as we were in the process of relocating to the west to be nearer family, with a 6 week old and a 23 month old we packed the car and a lot of vans and moved home to the west! What were we thinking!
At my checkups when asked how I was, “Me, sure I am great, why wouldn’t I be, I have my own beautiful family, I have an amazing support group around me, why wouldn’t I be great”…….. or so I told myself!”
Day by day the tears without reason flowed……. the feeling of resentment became greater and greater…… I felt consumed and paralysed, I just wanted to sleep, I just wanted to stay in bed. My husband decided one day enough was enough and brought me to the doctor, thankfully he came with me to the appointment because once I sat on the chair I sobbed unable to talk…. the doctor talked through the “checklist” for Postnatal Depression, tick, tick, tick, it was like it was personally designed about me! I remember a huge sense of relief that finally I knew what was wrong. Why I couldn’t do the shopping, cook dinner, put away clothes, leave the house, simple everyday tasks were like Everest for me. The resentment towards my babies versus the guilt for thinking those thought was literally exhausting.
Once I started on mediation and CBT I finally started to feel well again. Needless to say some days were tough but those days have become less and less. Looking back my anxiety began very early in my pregnancy but like I said once baby was ok that is all that mattered. We as mothers always put our children first sadly at times to the determent of our own health.
Without the support of my amazing family, friends, GP and PHN I fear how things would have turned out. I would urge people to talk openly and honestly about how they are feeling, sadly as with all mental health illnesses people just don’t talk about it. I will scream my story from the roof top if I thought it would help someone. As a Social Worker myself I thought that I was invincible until anxiety and depression came knocking on my door. Please do not suffer in silence.