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Will It Find Me Again?

1
It took a long time, endless amounts of tear filled weeks and a year’s worth of medication to recover from my personal battle with postnatal depression. It would be accurate to refer to this period as a battle and it was one I wasn’t always sure I was going to win. As I fought to regain control over my own mental wellbeing there were days I didn’t think I would make it.  It was heart breaking not to feel the rush of love that as first time mothers we all expect. To even utter the words “but I don’t love him” to another human being were agony
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and I was utterly ashamed. My worst fear was that I would never love him and that he and my husband would be far better together, without me.  His Daddy loved him and I had failed.  I had failed to birth him naturally; I had failed to feed him myself and ultimately failed to love him.  I thought my husband would soon realise that his wife was really a monster. I wasn’t of course; I did everything my little boy needed me to and my husband loved me with all of his huge heart as he had always done.

Lots of women go through similarly traumatic birth

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experiences, have complications with recovery, with feeding, have babies who never sleep, are sick constantly and still escape the seemingly endless black hole that is PND.  I’ve heard a few theories about why some of us get hit by this – mostly from women who have never suffered from it and think ”I’m just not that kind of person, it wouldn’t happen to me”. We humans do like to feel smug about things.  I can tell you that it does happen. To all sorts of women and yes I sat in the doctor’s room thinking it couldn’t be happening to me either but
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it was. The details of the period are as grim as you would expect. I held on to my husband like a lost soul, worried that without his physical hold I would disintegrate.

My son is three now and our second will be with us in a matter of weeks.  It took me a long time to love my little boy but I do and with all my heart.  I still don’t take this for granted – it’s a real gift to have those overwhelming feelings of love for your child when your relationship starts in such a dark place.

As I look forward I wonder whether the future holds a

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happy but exhausted Mum of two little boys or whether the black sky will come rolling in again.  We knew the possibility that it would return was something we had to consider before having another child.  We know the statistics about recurrence and what limited things you can do to try to evade its grasp.

We’re so lucky to be able to go through this experience again but in short, the thought of having another episode of PND terrifies me. It brings me to tears recalling the period with my husband – the only person who saw and heard every last awful

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detail.

All I do know right now is that if it happens again, I have to remember that the two (soon to be three) loves of my life will need me to fight as hard again.  That somehow, I need to hold on every day, find the strength to face it and remember that it will get better.  How do you do that when you’ve already fallen down the rabbit hole? I don’t know and if I’m lucky, I won’t have to find my way back this time.

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- 24 Nov 15

It took a long time, endless amounts of tear filled weeks and a year’s worth of medication to recover from my personal battle with postnatal depression. It would be accurate to refer to this period as a battle and it was one I wasn’t always sure I was going to win. As I fought to regain control over my own mental wellbeing there were days I didn’t think I would make it.  It was heart breaking not to feel the rush of love that as first time mothers we all expect. To even utter the words “but I don’t love him” to another human being were agony and I was utterly ashamed. My worst fear was that I would never love him and that he and my husband would be far better together, without me.  His Daddy loved him and I had failed.  I had failed to birth him naturally; I had failed to feed him myself and ultimately failed to love him.  I thought my husband would soon realise that his wife was really a monster. I wasn’t of course; I did everything my little boy needed me to and my husband loved me with all of his huge heart as he had always done.

Lots of women go through similarly traumatic birth experiences, have complications with recovery, with feeding, have babies who never sleep, are sick constantly and still escape the seemingly endless black hole that is PND.  I’ve heard a few theories about why some of us get hit by this – mostly from women who have never suffered from it and think “I’m just not that kind of person, it wouldn’t happen to me”. We humans do like to feel smug about things.  I can tell you that it does happen. To all sorts of women and yes I sat in the doctor’s room thinking it couldn’t be happening to me either but it was. The details of the period are as grim as you would expect. I held on to my husband like a lost soul, worried that without his physical hold I would disintegrate.

My son is three now and our second will be with us in a matter of weeks.  It took me a long time to love my little boy but I do and with all my heart.  I still don’t take this for granted – it’s a real gift to have those overwhelming feelings of love for your child when your relationship starts in such a dark place.

As I look forward I wonder whether the future holds a happy but exhausted Mum of two little boys or whether the black sky will come rolling in again.  We knew the possibility that it would return was something we had to consider before having another child.  We know the statistics about recurrence and what limited things you can do to try to evade its grasp.

We’re so lucky to be able to go through this experience again but in short, the thought of having another episode of PND terrifies me. It brings me to tears recalling the period with my husband – the only person who saw and heard every last awful detail.

All I do know right now is that if it happens again, I have to remember that the two (soon to be three) loves of my life will need me to fight as hard again.  That somehow, I need to hold on every day, find the strength to face it and remember that it will get better.  How do you do that when you’ve already fallen down the rabbit hole? I don’t know and if I’m lucky, I won’t have to find my way back this time.

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Mother of soon to be two little boys. Avid reader but new to this writing malarky!

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