I haven’t written anything personal or meaningful in quite a while now. I’ll be honest it is because there is one post I have been wanting to write and I just haven’t been able to bring myself to. It has quite literally been sat in my drafts for about 6 months. I finally feel now I am at a place I can write about it and not feel ashamed.
I’ll start at the very beginning with this but as you may have guessed from the title this post is going to be about Post Natal Depression.
A lot of the time when people think of depression, they instantly think of sadness. For me, and for a few others, it isn’t at all about sadness. It’s an emptiness. It wasn’t until I sought help for my own mental health that I realised just how empty I felt and how bad I had gotten. I felt nothing.
It took a few months before I realised for myself that I needed to seek some help. I reached a state of hopelessness and the thoughts I was having were taking over my life. I wasn’t having suicidal thoughts but I was thinking about leaving Luke and my children as I honestly thought they would be better without me. I thought everyone would be better off without me hanging about and making a mess of things. The first few months of Cassius’ life are a bit of a blur to be honest but I didn’t feel the joy of motherhood that I should of. At every opportunity I put him down. I made any excuse possible to not be near him. The guilt I feel about that now is so strong but I know it wasn’t intentional. I honestly have breastfeeding to thank for the little bond I did develop with him. He took to it almost straight away. He had a great latch and didn’t cause me any pain. I think if I had the latch and pain difficulties I had with Aoife I would of given up this time around because the motivation wasn’t there. I didn’t feel the need to succeed like I did with Aoife. With Cassius it was more a necessity.
I often look back through my phone and feel a pang of sadness at the lack of photos of Cassius in those early days. When Aoife was born I was overcome with love and awe of this tiny baby that was in my life and demanding every second of my attention. I took at least 10 photos a day of her. Cassius it was a chore to even want him near me.
Slowly I began to realise that something wasn’t right but because literally no one around me questioned these little changes in my personality and behaviour, I began to think it was all in my head and I was blowing my feelings out of proportion! I knew the differences in the way I had treated the children in the first months of their life wasn’t right. I eventually sought help and it was the best thing I did. I was offered anti-depressants (for anyone wondering; yes you can breastfeed on antidepressants. Here are the fact sheets on antidepressants from the Drugs in Breastfeeding Network. I would have these handy if a pharmacist or doctor questions it.)
I am so much better than I was. Still prone to down days and anxiety attacks but they few and far between. I have come a long way and will hopefully be weaning off the medication in the next few months!
Sorry for the ramble but definately time for me to share. It is okay not to be okay.