This blog post is a special one. My little sister has been incredibly brave and opened up about her battle with Post Natal Depression in a bid to break the stigma behind mental health and potentially help someone who is struggling.
This is her story in her own words.
“The midwife had just handed me my beautiful baby who I had been waiting to meet for months. This was easily the best moment of my life but it’s also the moment when my life changed forever.
Things got off to a rocky start because apparently babies never read the birth plan! After over 50 hours of labour I was exhausted and was constantly worrying about not having enough energy to push or carry on. Eventually they decided to break my waters which made me feel like I couldn’t do it myself (completely not true). Then I was rushed from the midwife led unit to triage due to some complications which stressed me out completely. Once I was told to push, my baby appeared very quickly, almost ripping me in half. Then I was rushed to theatre where I was treated for second degree tears which resulted in me having a haemorrhage. This wasn’t part of the plan and definitely not how I imagined things to go.
After being in hospital for 2 days, baby Page decided that she didn’t want to latch on so I was unable to breastfeed – another devastating blow! (Not that I was ever against bottle feeding). I think this is where it all started.
For days I was feeling generally ‘sad’ but I just put it down to the baby blues. Obviously I was over the moon with my beautiful baby girl but something didn’t feel quite right. After 5 months, I knew that I needed to do something so I booked a doctors appointment without telling anyone – not even my husband.
I spent 20 minutes sobbing to the doctor who was amazing and listened to every word I said. It was nice just to talk to someone who would listen without ‘feeling sorry for me’. After my appointment, he prescribed me some anti depressants and wanted to see me in 2 weeks. I left that doctors surgery feeling vulnerable, hopeless but relieved that I finally had a reason why I felt like I did.
The worst kind of sad is not being able to explain why.
That night I finally plucked up the courage to tell my husband. I don’t know why I was so scared to tell him because I knew he would be brilliant. Yet again, I broke down because I just wanted to feel normal again. After I told my husband, I went into the next room and told my mum (I still live at home). Obviously, I sobbed again and so did she. It felt nice just to cry and not have to hold anything back. The next day I knew that I would have to tell my sister, mother in law and my nan because they deserved to know and I trusted them all. However, I couldn’t bring myself to do it so I cowardly asked my mom to tell them for me.
Eventually, everyone who needed to know, knew but I still refused to ever talk about it. I never wanted to cry in front of anyone or talk about how I felt. For over a year I had this ‘secret’ that only a handful of people knew. I felt embarrassed, ashamed and selfish. My daughter didn’t ask to be born to a mother who spent a lot of her nights feeling sad. I never wanted sympathy, I just wanted people to understand why some days I didn’t seem myself.
However, 15 months later I can say that I’m back. I’ve been officially discharged from the doctors and I’m happier than ever. My daughter is becoming a beautiful little girl, I have the best family and I can’t wait to see what our future holds. Also, I can’t thank my husband, family and friends enough because without them, I wouldn’t be me.
This past 15 months haven’t been awful. I’ve had some really really good times and looking back, why should I have been sad? Postnatal depression is an illness and it can happen to anyone.
I haven’t wrote this post for you to feel sorry for me because you don’t need to. I’m a very lucky lady and I have everything I need. I just wanted to raise awareness about mental health.
If you are going through something similar then please talk to someone! Take one breath, one day at a time; it won’t always be this hard!”
Powerful stuff. I’m so proud of my sister for how she’s coped over the last year and for pouring so much of herself into these words. If you want to keep up with her and that beautiful Little Page, you can find her on Instagram at @bethy2410 and @ourweaningstory where she posts recipes and meal ideas for kids.
My sister has been so brave to write this so please show her some love.
Thanks for reading,
Knight Mummy x