"When you stand and share your story in an empowering way your story will heal you and your story will heal somebody else."
The past year has together been the best and hardest twelve months of our lives. After a traumatic birth, the sleepless nights took us a bit by surprise. I never really know what we expected, but it was certainly nowhere near as easy as we'd thought. It was a huge adjustment welcoming a little baby into our pretty independent carefree lives, but one that we certainly wanted and loved.
I suffered with postnatal depression at the beginning; when little one finally left neo-natal intensive care and we were allowed home, I knew something was wrong. I would stare into my little girls eyes, and I loved her more than anything but it also made me sad. I would break down in tears for what seemed like no reason, when I wanted nothing more than to immerse myself in motherhood and be happy.
Looking back now I realise that my post natal depression stemmed from guilt. I realised that I had instantly taken to being a mum, I loved my daughter and cared for her. I made sure I provided everything she needed and I was confident that I was doing everything right.
But whenever I looked into my daughter eyes, all I did was look back to her time in intensive care. When she was alone, without me, without anyone. I feel I failed her. After an emergency caesarean I was left bed bound and not able to meet my baby until the next day. Even then I was only allowed out of my ward for 10 minutes at a time every few hours because they had no beds on a ward near her. She spent 3 long days and nights alone in NICU and I feel guilt for this every single day. I wish I could have done more.
I went to my GP when Indie was four weeks old and wasn't offered support, instead I was prescribed anti-depressants. I took them for two months and maybe they took the edge off, but I was unable to tell if I was feeling better or if it was just the medication so I decided that after eight weeks I would stop taking them and focus on thinking positively.
The good thing is that I have a really supportive husband who I can really talk to, and once I discovered what I felt to be the ‘root cause’ of my PND, I became able to fully immerse myself in motherhood and started to forget the past and enjoy the present. I'd be lying if I said that it’s always easy, because sometimes I sit there and find myself reliving her birth and our hospital stay in my head and think about things I could have done differently. But now with the reassurance and support from my husband I am able to look at her and take comfort in the fact that I am giving her everything I possibly can now! We are happy. We truly are.