I thought it was time to speak about this subject that I know so many struggle too.
Cleo’s birth was hard. It was worse than hard. It was traumatic to me and for a while it taunted me. The thoughts and things that I can hardly remember would hang over me and when I least expected it, they would surprise me. I would get nightmares. My C-section scar would hurt, it still does hurt every time I think about the day that my precious daughter was born. That day will forever be a rollercoaster for me. The sheer happiness that my baby was ok and that I was physically ok. Mentally though not so good.
It was a delayed reaction. For a while I was ‘fine’. I was recovering from an emergency C-section that I was knocked out for so I wasn’t fine but I thought that I would recover and be fine. My mental health slow started to go down hill, I would tell myself it was just the baby blues. Every Mum gets them. It wasn’t until I was told that my signing off appointment with my midwife would be at the hospital. I thought I was fine, we parked the car, got out and put Cleo in her buggy and began to walk up to the maternity ward. Until Jonny went back to the car and I carried on walking to the maternity ward. I was fine. Then I saw the corridor, the delivery suite, the maternity ward. Those doors to the delivery suite and what happened in there, it all came flooding back to me. That’s when the tears started and the panic started.
My midwife decided not to sign me off but instead told me to make a GP appointment as she was worried that I was suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Post Natal Depression. It was an odd time, I was happy that I was ok and that Cleo was so perfect. At the same time, I couldn’t even bare to look at the hospital. I would read that breastfeeding was meant to realise hormones that make you feel happier, I still don’t know if that was true or not. After seeing my GP and breaking everything down to her, the diagnosis was PTSD and PND.
Giving birth to my daughter gave me the same diagnosis as soldiers of horrendous wars.
It just didn’t make sense to me and still doesn’t. I don’t know if it ever will. I am open with the fact that I am on antidepressants, the PTSD and PND has now developed anxiety in my mind too. Heart palpitations, just pure worry about things that a few years ago would have been a walk in the park.
I watched a video on Facebook a couple of weeks ago, it was about an emergency C-section. I saw it as slight progress to being my normal again. It made me feel sick, clamy and give me heart palpitations. Anxiety. It was still progress. Slow progress is better than none at all. I still can’t watch baby programs like One Born Every Minute. They make me feel anxious even thinking about them.
Feeling like this is part of my journey to becoming me again. It will take time and I had to except that I needed help on this journey from health professionals and medication. It doesn’t change my ability as a mum. It just makes me feel a bit more like me again.
If you need help with PTSD or PND visit https://apni.org/