“I found the first year of motherhood quite tough. My eldest son wasn’t a great sleeper and I struggled with the lack of sleep.
There were many days – and nights – where I would lie next to his cot wishing that I could just leave everything.
I never even considered what I was feeling was anything more than sleep deprivation. I certainly didn’t think I had postnatal depression. That was something that happened to other women – but not me. I was fine.
When my second son was born, only 21 months after my first, I crashed. I operated on auto pilot, taking care of my boys, keeping the house organised, hiding my true feelings from the world. But this time I couldn’t blame it on sleep deprivation – my baby was a good sleeper! In fact, he was the happiest, most relaxed baby – so why was I feeling like this?
My son was six months old when I realised I needed help. My GP listened to me and began treatment for postnatal depression.
My son is now 11 months old and my journey is continuing – I still have bad moments but nothing like the dark days I used to suffer through.
Lately I have been thinking about what I wish I could say to the girl in the depths of postnatal depression – to me when I was in that place. And so I wrote this letter … ”
An open letter to every mum in the depths of PND
I know you. I’ve been there. I look at you and I see myself.
I’ve sat there holding my baby and sobbing because it all feels so wrong.
I’ve laid there under the covers wishing the world would go away.
I’ve walked around in a fog because it hurt too much to feel.
I know the guilt that is engulfing you because you are convinced that you are not good enough, that your baby deserves better.
I know what it is to wonder, quietly and terrified, if you even love your baby. I know the pain that is so deep that it is almost physical.
I’m here to tell you that the sun will shine again.
That the light will return to your life.
That one day you will emerge from the fog and see clearly.
That one day your heart will hurt so much because there isn’t room for all the love you feel for your baby. The baby you have always loved.
I’m here to tell you that it will be more than OK – it will be wonderful.
– Thank you to Jennifer for sharing this beautiful post with us. xx
If you or anyone you know has perinatal depression or anxiety phone PANDA’s National Helpline on 1300 726 306. The helpline operates Monday to Friday from 9am to 7:30pm EST.
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