Category: Postnatal Depression


I came across this today on the NZ MentalHealth.org website.

http://www.hdc.org.nz/media/199556/mums%20and%20dads.%20parents%20with%20experience%20of%20mental%20illness%20share%20their%20stories.pdf

It talks about parenting with mental health issues and shares stories of Mums and Dads experiences with mental illness and parenting.  It’s a really good read and I can relate to a lot of it.  So thought I just MUST share this.

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So it’s been a while since I wrote in here last.

Well a few weeks back I kind of lost the plot. I was sleep deprived and it came to 1pm, after being awake since just after 3am and I could no longer cope. It started with tears streaming down my face and turned into feeling really angry and enraged. Provoked by baby refusing to stay asleep, as he was really tired and my toddler just doing little things that made me angry. I started acting strange and was trying to pull my hair out, which thankfully I didn’t succeed at and then smacking myself on the forehead with my palm, over and over. I then text my fiancé and asked him to come home. And while waiting for him to get home I got a phone call from a paediatrician and she could tell I was upset so she asked me what was up, so I told her and she urged me to call the Mental Health Crisis line asap. Which I did. And as a result another cyfs referral was made, due to me clearly not coping and I had a visit from some people from Community Mental Health the next day and they called me later and asked me if some home help 9-5 during the week would help and I said yes. So the started on Friday a few weeks ago. Not sure if I mentioned before, but I also have home help from a different agency for 2 hrs, 3 days a week. Though that wasn’t enough for me, as I was really not coping at home with my baby and toddler. So I’ve have a support worker here last week and this week. Different person last week from this week. But really lovely women both of them.

Antidepressant still hasn’t taken effect and it’s been upped 3 times. At the last review where I saw Psychiatrist, I voiced that I felt this one isn’t working, so they just upped it and said they’d review in a few weeks. Which isn’t til next Wednesday. I’d rather them take me off this one and put me back on Venlafaxine(effexor), as that has worked in the past. And I am so over feeling like this.

Don’t much like my case manager, he’s all about strategies and not really listening to my wants and needs I feel. He wants to ease off with the home help and I expressed to him that I’m not ready for that and that makes me feel anxious about next week. But he’s not backing down.

Had a bit of a panic attack on the way to pick up my fiancé, as he wanted to go to the mall. Went to the mall, felt anxious, but I survived.

Had a meeting with cyfs last week and they agreed I need more support at home. Got a bit emotional after answering all their questions and was crying by the end of meeting.

Talking to support worker yesterday, she suggested maybe I could do a job like that one day. As who better to understand and support, then those who have been through it.

Just read this, thought I’d share the link.

http://www.postpartumprogress.com/6-surprising-symptoms-of-postpartum-depression-and-anxiety

Today was going ok mostly. Apart from my 3 1/2 yr old being difficult and cheeky this afternoon. Which made me grumpy, but that’s understandable. But for some reason tonight, just due to the baby not having his usual 4-5 hrs sleep and waking just as I started to relax and have some time for me. I just became overwhelmed and felt desperate and had a cry. Which is where it should have stopped. But instead, I gave into the desire to self-harm again.

I had wanted to self-harm a day after the last episode, but the only reason I didn’t, was because someone was coming over within a matter of minutes that day, so I didn’t have time to action the desire.

My case manager from Community Mental Health asked me, when I admitted to him I had self-harmed, why I had done so. Like, was it to distract from how I was feeling, was it to numb my emotional pain? To which I said “I really don’t know. But it isn’t for either of those reasons”. I said “I don’t know, maybe I just wanted to cut myself and see the blood”. I had no good reason. I’d just felt desperate. And really, I should have just given the Lorazepam time to calm me instead.

My fiancé is still unaware of my recent few times of self-harm. I worry how he would react if he knew. So I dare not tell him. I don’t want him to worry.

Feeling sad right now. Guess I’ll just have a cry and try to sleep.

Here is my poor wrist/arm. Really it’s not too bad. It’s controlled, so there’s never a risk of needing medical attention. Not that it’s any more ok though. 😥

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When you’re not ok

This is a post I came across on another website. So to clarify, it’s not my post.

But it is a great description of PND and very honest. So I felt it worth sharing.

http://www.essentialmums.co.nz/mums-life/health/9157689/When-you-re-not-ok

Self Harm

I must admit, tonight I was weak and I self harmed.

I’d just had enough of tonight and stress.

So I went to bed early, upset and crying. Took my sleeping tablet and 2 Lorazepam, even though I’m only meant to have 1. Cried for a bit and then got a razor blade. The initial one was too thin and took too much effort to use, so I found a stronger one. Only did minor surface cuts, though one was a little sharper and stung more and that one did bleed more. Then I worry about bleeding too much and my fiancé catching me. So I put a hanky around my cuts and used some first aid cream to sooth it and help heal it.

He came upstairs after I’d done all that and I was able to hide my wounds. He did ask me about the cream. I told him its for dry skin.

He asked why I’d been upset and I told him and mentioned how sometimes I feel like taking more pills then I should in an effort to just sleep. He said that kind of thing makes him concerned at work. Though I reassured him it’s not about suicide, it’s simply desperation to sleep.

I hope he doesn’t see the marks I made tonight with the razor. I don’t really know why I did it. I just gave into those thoughts instead of ignoring them. Really though, I should’ve just given the Lorazepam time to calm me down, instead of acting on desperation.

Today had been going pretty well. But my toddler starting acting up later in the day, so I started becoming stressed. Though mostly today was ok. Yesterday not so much. I had to text my fiancé at work and get him home early. As I just couldn’t cope. Plus I was lacking sleep and having the hardest time getting bubs to sleep. I took 2 Tramadol to try aid some sleep, but then I had an appointment with the home help. So didn’t get that sleep. Just ended up feeling really ill a few hours later and being pretty sick.

Right, pretty tired now. Guessing the sleeping tablet and Lorazepam are working. Good Night

So, they gave me an antidepressant last night, only 1/2 a tablet, but it’s so not good for me. It’s called Mirtazapine. Yes it helped me sleep, but unfortunately it’s too sedative. As in, 12 hours after taking it I still felt sedated and I couldn’t get myself alert enough to function til nearly lunch time. Which is not good. As I had been hungry since 7am. It actually made me feel more depressed and hopeless. As I can’t function as I need to. And not being awake enough to eat for 1/2 the day is really bad. So I have asked to try another type.

My fiancé visited yesterday and today. He brought baby and our toddler yesterday and yesterday went ok. I actually felt more positive. Though I still get panicked about getting baby settled. And my older sister came up from Nelson to help for a week. She visited yesterday afternoon. And today my fiancé and sister came in with the baby. Though today I haven’t been feeling so great.

I have been more open today though and actually talked to other patients here. I’ve found that good. As interaction with others here is a good distraction. Plus there are some women here who have kids too, so they understand how I am feeling. Especially the lady with postnatal psychosis.

I felt really sad when my family left after their visit. As I really miss them. I went back to my room and cried after they left.

But when I try think about being at home and doing what I need to, I still feel panicked a bit.

I was shown by a lactation consultant how to express with an electric pump, so I might try that again later. Though it’s hard just sitting there attached to that for what seems like ages.

So that’s how things are. I hope the new antidepressant I am being offered suits me better.

PND at it’s worse

Oh gosh, where to start.

So, the last post, it was all going pretty well. And how I wish I could say that is still the case. But unfortunately it is very much the opposite.

I can’t pinpoint when exactly things started spiraling so badly downhill. But I had been trying desperately to access the help and support I need. But unfortunately, each mental health service I tried to access was not taking me seriously and grasping the severity of my PND and mental health.

So, I’ll go back from as far as I can remember. As the last week or so has been quite a blur.

On Saturday, I was feeling pretty desperate, so I got in contact with the mental health crisis team and went to CATT and got given sleeping tablets to help me sleep. As my body had decided it had forgotten how to sleep properly. As in I was waking every hour and only managed about 1/2 an hours sleep the previous night. CATT team thought that I should feel better and be able to cope once I had been well rested. But unfortunately that was not the case. My messed up body now seems to be unable to sleep without sleeping tablets. And how things have been going since Saturday is that the only time I get peace from my panic and anxiety and distress is when I’m asleep.

On Wednesday I was seen by someone from CMH(community mental health) and MMH(maternal mental health) and I told them I was feeling nearly constantly panicked and starting to feel at risk to myself and how I was feeling desperate and at times suicidal. They just fobbed me off and told me it’ll get better and keep chipping at it. And I told them, no, I feel I need to be committed and they were insistent that was a bad idea and that it’d make things worse.

My midwife was there for most of that visit, so she became aware of how I am no longer coping and she said, if you feel you are at risk, do call an ambulance. As she herself has had severe PND and been hospitalized due to it. So she does understand.

I have found the Wellington PND Group on facebook really good. As I can be honest there about my real feelings and they have been really supportive and encouraged me to urgently get in contact with the appropriate agencies. It was them would told me to call CATT and then yesterday, the ambulance.

So Tuesday night, the panic started, when I realized I only had 1 sleeping pill left and I was concerned about getting back to sleep naturally. And also I was fearful and panicked about the next day and getting baby fed, daughter to school and me fed.

So I woke at 4am on Wednesday and could not get back to sleep. Except briefly for 1/2 an hour. I was in a state of panic all day and even though I succeeded at getting baby fed and back to sleep and daughter to school and me fed and younger daughter up and fed. I still was in a state of total panic and it wouldn’t leave. So I forced myself to stay safe til my fiance was awake, so at least I knew the kids at home were looked after. I missed an important appointment due to this panic and had to tell my fiance we couldn’t go. I told my fiance I wanted to go to hospital asap, but he didn’t grasp how bad I was. I told him earlier I had wanted to crash the car. I gradually became more and more unwell as the day went on and was acting very weird and my fiance asked what I was doing and I responded with “losing the plot”. I had been quite a shell of myself all day and couldn’t even respond to my daughter properly about seeing her at 3pm to pick her up from school. I just keep going “mmm”, not yes or no or confirming I’d see her later. I barely responded to my toddler and got her food and drink when she asked, but that I struggled with and I struggled to feed myself and felt either anxious or like vomiting most of the day. So I managed Complan supplement twice and 2 or 3 muesli bars and threw up at some point.

I picked my daughter up from school early because I knew I couldn’t handle the usual school pick up. My fiance was fearful of me leaving by myself, knowing my fragile mental state. But I assured him it would be ok and I picked her up and brung her home. As my plan was, get her home, call her granddad and ask him to take her, to lessen the stress on my fiance. As that meant 2 kids at home with him, instead of 3. And then call ambulance. Which was a hard thing to do, as it’s a scary situation. So I cried and shook for 20 minutes before I could bring myself to call and was in tears on the phone and becoming increasingly panicked the closer the ambulance came.

You see I was having panic attacks nearly all day from 4am and had been in a state of panic all day. Despite the night before telling myself all would be fine and all would work out. And even though I managed to get baby fed and to sleep and daughter to school, I was still in constant panic. So I on nearly a constant basis was wanting to kill myself and planning how in my head. So it was either, take action on those thoughts and traumatize my family or call an ambulance to keep myself from taking action.

So they took me to hospital and I was in ER for hours, in a panicked state. Often wanting to jump up and find something to end it all. But didn’t, as I knew they’d stop me and restrain me. I heard some kind of alarm or machine going off in a room near me and it sounded quite urgent and the more that beeped the more panicked I became. To the point I was agitated and jiggling. And by the time someone came to offer me dinner I was right in a panic attack and she asked me if I wanted dinner and all I could respond with was “I don’t know” and “I’m not sure” and she asked if I was ok and I said “no, I’m really not” and she asked what was wrong and I said “I can’t handle it, I just can’t do it anymore”, while crying and freaking and amongst this and me hidden under a sheet and crying, I was transferred up to short stay ward. I had only managed to force myself to eat a sandwich about an hour before, while struggling with every bite. When I was given dinner in short stay, I couldn’t stomach more than about a tablespoon of food, which soon after I threw up. And after that, I tried, but still could not stomach any food. So just ate ice cubes and drunk chilled water.

While I was in that ward I was seen by CATT team and a registrar and had to tell my story many times. Which is hard, as the more people I have to go over it with, the more panicked I become by the end.

They transferred me to the Psych ward last night, which was pretty scary. Seeing the other patients, feeling scared and anxious myself. I found it all very daunting. I needed a sleeping tablet to sleep again, as my body is still not co-operating. And needed another one about 5am.

Today I have had to talk to more people and be assessed and so on. Which was not easy. My fiance came this morning with our youngest 2 and that was a good distraction. Even though I felt anxious once I’d fed baby. As he was having a whinge. I attended some kind of Wellness Workshop, with other patients, which was interesting. But didn’t manage to get right through it, as I needed to see registrar and psychiatrist and then later was when my fiance came. So I filled out the rest of the Wellness Plan handout myself, which was a struggle. As my head is a mess. My sister has come up from Nelson to help. So she visited briefly and is going to help my fiance out at home. Also my fiance’s Mum is over there for a little tonight.

Some of the things that were making me panic when I was at home were, thinking about my fiance getting less sleep and ending up sleep deprived and not coping and how I would cope when he was asleep or at work. I was getting panicked about going to appointments and not being able to breastfeed and feeling daunted about how to sort a bottle out if we were out. Just feeling panicked in general about being in public or staying anywhere other then home for any period of time. I was freaked out the whole hour of my toddler’s Kindy visit. Even though I breastfed the baby and my fiance was there. I was panicked getting a small amount of groceries at a quiet supermarket. And then when I was thinking about needing to come into hospital, I was feeling like a burden and a failure and worrying about my fiance and him having to do it all by himself. And worried about him going back to work or when that will happen and fearing coping or more to the point, not coping once he is back at work. I have been having a lot of feelings of feeling like a burden and a failure. I have been frustrated at breastfeeding issues. Annoyed my body has been playing up, with sleep issues and no appetite and nausea and this vicious cycle. I have lost a lot of confidence in myself as a mother. I have been feeling like I’m not even me in anymore. Feeling like I’m dead or who I am/was is dead. Just been feeling so hopeless and in such despair.

Today I am feeling less panicked. But I’m not sure if that was what they gave me in the morning that has lessened the panic. It is however reassuring knowing supports are being put in place and knowing my fiance has support at home. Though I do miss my family. I did feel on the verge of tears when I knew they were coming.

I hope I don’t get panicky later and I sleep ok. I’m not sure how long I will be in here. I know there was a suggestion of respite care before I go home at some point.

So, how I have been in the last few days, is honestly the most severe I have ever been in my entire life. So it is very scary.

Things that haven’t helped in the last week are, feeling criticized by my mother and feeling misunderstood by my younger sister and people having the attitude it wouldn’t get worse, which it did. Feeling attacked by my older daughters father, with regards to her relationship or lack of relationship/bond with my fiance. Just extra stresses and criticisms I could have done without in my downhill spiral.

I will update again at some point in the future when I feel up to it.

hmm, now that I’ve gone to the effort of creating a blog, I’ve gone a little shy and wonder where to start on sharing my history/journey.

Right, so I guess I’ll start with some history.  I was born in Christchurch, New Zealand in on 19th March 1979.  I was planned and my parents were married.  They were great parents.  At some point we moved to Mackay, Australia.  Over there, my Dad was involved in an accident.  He was on a motorcycle and was hit by a cane truck.  He died at the scene.  So my Mum moved us, myself and my older sister back to N.Z some time after.  He died at age 26 on 5th November(Guy Fawkes) 1980.  So naturally we didn’t celebrate Guy Fawkes due to this.

So my mother was left to raise myself and my older sister alone.

I lost my granddad(my fathers dad) when I was 12, which was very hard for me, as I was very close with him.  I was clearly very effected by this, as I have no recollection of going to the funeral, which, up until I was 25, I had believed I didn’t attend, until informed by my older sister I was in fact there.  Apparently I was quiet the whole funeral and blank, expressionless and people thought that seemed strange, that I didn’t display any emotion.  I still to this day, can not recall the funeral at all.

Very glad I still have 1 grandma left, my dad’s mum, as I will so miss her once she is gone.  I am so glad to have an awesome step-dad and my mum is the best mother ever.  I hate to think, that one day, they too will not be around, but this is just the reality of life.

I have a major fear of death, which is probably a result of losing many relatives early in their lives and my life.  I used to regularly have major panic attacks, to the point of nearly throwing up and choking and having trouble breathing.  Presently, I have that anxiety under control.

The first time I experienced depression was at 17, when my boyfriend at the time dumped me.  It was my first proper relationship and he said we’d be together forever and have kids and stuff and being young, I believed him.  So when everything was going fine and he just suddenly ended it, it came as quite a shock.  For the first time, I felt depressed.  Looked up at the tallest tree and thought to myself, I want to be up there, jumping off and ending things right now!  It’s like my whole world came crashing down.  I don’t think at that age, I had the maturity to realise, things don’t always last forever and people’s feelings change.

As a result of this relationship ending, I developed some trust issues and tended to self-sabotage all the good relationships I had and stay in bad relationships.  It’s like, I sabotaged the good ones, just in case I got hurt, or just in case the guy found out who I really was and rejected me.  Yup, clearly I had major self-esteem issues and had mega low self-confidence.  And with bad guys, I knew the outcome, so I’d just stay, because I knew things would end and I would be doing the ending of things.

Little girls really need their fathers.  There has been studies done, that saw girls with no father present or a neglectful father, tend to suffer low self-esteem and seek male approval so much and will sleep with men simply to feel wanted and some form of love/affection.  This was true of me.  I would simply go there and do that, to feel loved.  Eventually I worked out I was just being used.

Unfortunately in my teenage years, I was raped on 3 different occasion within 1 year, by different guys.  The first time I self-harmed, was after this first happened.  It’s always people you know strangely enough.  That’s the sad thing.  So as a result, I would often sleep with guys, because I didn’t want to get raped again and I figured if I just said yes, I can’t risk being raped again.

I used to self-harm a lot in my teenage years.  It made me feel numb, which helped.  It’s like, I’d do it as a cry out for help, but then I wouldn’t want people to know I’d done it, after the fact.

I think my depression came from many things.  Genetics, there is a lot of mental illness in my families history, life events, such as losing my dad, granddad, being raped.

I have been depressed much of my life since it started.  It sux!  I always wished it would just get cured and never come back.  But it always does.  It’s so draining and such a burden.  And you always feel like such a burden to people in your life, for being depressed.

Some of my depression is affected by my body image.  I tend to get extra depressed when I’m not happy with my body.  Especially since having children.  I did have some Bulimia when I was in my early 20’s.  I had a controlling boyfriend who pretty much spent 2 years telling me I was fat, though I wasn’t.  So I would binge and purge.  I didn’t stop until I moved out and my new flatmates kept noticing my throwing up.  There is only so many times you can say it’s because you’ve drunk too much, before they start to suspect it’s not that.  So it was pretty hard for me watching my changing body when I was pregnant with my first daughter.  I would have to just remind myself it was ok that I was gaining weight.

I had some pre-natal depression with my first daughter.  At times I would be happy to be pregnant.  At other times I would hope something would go wrong and I’d miscarry and other times I would feel terrible for thinking like that.  I would worry I would despise and/or hate my baby, if it was too much like it’s dad.  As when I ended things with my daughters dad, I was 5 weeks pregnant and I despised and hated him by the end of our relationship.  He was not a nice guy and played mind games all through our relationship and really messed with my head.  He was also violent at times.  Though I must say, emotion abuse is so, so much worse to me then the physical was.  By the end of my pregnancy I was happy to soon be meeting my baby.  But by the time I was in labour, like most women, I was freaking out and wishing to rewind and stay pregnant for a few more weeks or months.  I was very angry at everyone apparently, while I was in labour and swearing a lot!  I had trouble at times with my bond with her, but not all the time.  I was a solo mum for most of her life, except the odd periods, when I had a stable relationship and man in my life.  But I didn’t have anyone long term til I was 26 and I’m happy to say, I’m still with that partner.  I did try having a relationship a few times with my first daughters dad before I met my partner, but that never worked long term.  Her father is quite unpredictable, unstable and messed up.  I often found myself attracted to that type of person.  As I like to fix people, so I’d be attracted to wounded souls.

I’ve never attempted suicide thankfully, though I have felt like ending things seriously at least twice in my life.  Thank GOD(literally) that I never tried.  I once was praying desperately to GOD to let me just end things, but he wouldn’t let me.  And I truly thank GOD for that.  This was in my early 20’s.  The last time I felt like I wanted to seriously end things, was in late 2010 and I was thinking in my head of how to do it.  Then I woke up to my ideas and thought, what the hell am I thinking?!!!  Both my daughters were at home and how dare I think like that and how selfish am I for thinking that!  I do thank GOD I have children.  That is probably the one thing that has actually stopped me from ending things.  The fact that, no matter what, I don’t trust anyone to look after them like I do.

I feel I have come a long way with regards to healing and growing as a person.  I used to be very jealous, possessive, un-trusting, paranoid, desperate and obsessive in my relationships.  Now I am a healthy amount of jealous LOL and trusting.  I think meeting the right person helps a lot though.  Plus, being single much of my first daughters early years, has helped and I spent a lot of time while I was pregnant wit her and afterwards working on myself and getting myself sorted mentally and emotionally.  I did like that I didn’t have her father in her life, as that was a bad relationship and that is something a child should not experience.  Plus I had ALL my love, affection and attention to devote to her.  Though I totally understand the part of PND(postnatal depression) where you feel lost/loss of yourself, after becoming a Mum.

I was thinking, as I was contemplating writing this post, about sharing my current PND and how that happened and why and a few things that never occurred to me, about why, have now come to mind.

Ok, so before I got pregnant, while we were trying, I got severely depressed when thinking about taking a HPT(home pregnancy test) and the possible positive result and then I felt haunted, due to having a termination back in 2006 before I met my partner.  Some history on that.  I was led to believe my a nurse, that due to an infection, I may not be able to get pregnant in the future or have trouble, so not knowing I was pregnant at the time, was very distraught by this.  I had thought I was infertile due to hooking up with my ex, whom I have first daughter with for 6 weeks and not becoming pregnant.  So on a couple of occasions while I was single, I had not used protection, believing I was infertile.  So when I found out a week after nurse told me I may not be able to have more babies or have trouble, that I was pregnant, it was a BIG shock.  I remember taking the test and saying “NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!, “FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK!!!”  This was not supposed to be happening!  So I had a very hard decision to make.  Told both the prospective fathers and of course, they were never ever keen to be involved and both wanted to to terminate.  It was such a hard decision, as I was so anti-abortion and it was against my beliefs as a Christian.  But I thought about the fact I’d taken a few party pills and drunk a lot and my mental stability and doing it alone and so many things and decided a termination was best.  As I could not mentally handle being pregnant and having a baby to an unknown father and my mental health would’ve suffered badly and my daughter would’ve had a very screwed up, unstable mum.  The people I did tell at my church all judged me.  So I thought I’d accepted this decision once I’d gone through with the operation and had some counselling, but then I got severely depressed and would often want to crash my car at full speed into things and often wanted to kill myself.  So I thought I was finally mostly healed from doing this and discovered I really wasn’t when we were trying to conceive my youngest daughter.  I started feeling like I was so selfish, like it was not fair for me to even get pregnant, like a terrible person, that how the hell can I deserve the chance to get pregnant when I’d done such a selfish thing and feeling so, so terrible for that baby I’d terminated and got so, so depressed and had to go on medication again.  I guess I’ll never be ok about doing what I did, but that is ok.

So once I was over that, things seemed fine and though pregnancy was draining and I was really sick at the start, I was really happy to have a baby on the way and so happy to have a partner this time to share this with.

Labour this time went naturally and though it was scary, I’m really proud of myself for doing it with no pain relief(though at the time I was freaking out!)  My youngest was only 2 days late, 12 minutes of pushing, 1 hour 42 minutes established labour and a water birth.  My oldest, well she was 11 days late, 26 hours labour, fully induced, posterior, not engaged til 1 hour before her birth, had episiotomy and forceps.

Like most mothers, I felt so happy to finally meet my baby and was on cloud 9 for days, even with not much sleep, I was still happy.  Then I got the baby blues, which was fine, as I expected that, but it didn’t go away and I developed bad PND.  I would so often just want to leave everyone behind and felt like everyone would be better off without me.  Sometimes I’d want to take older daughter and go, sometimes not even her.  I felt so depressed, all the time.  And every time I’d thing, yay, I’m all better, the PND would come back, and worse.  Sleep was so important to me.  Often I just want to hide at home and see no-one and go no-where.  Other times, I found getting out and about helped heaps and just talking about my feelings really good.  But then all the social events ended and I was lonely and depressed again.

I did attend a PND support group, but didn’t get much out of it.  I found the co-ordinator made me feel like, just because I hadn’t had a traumatic labour and birth with youngest daughter, what I had to say wasn’t important.  I felt often judged by her and often when I would pause while talking, she’d just move on to the next person.  I was really glad when the group ended.  As I didn’t need to feel crap any more, as a result of this lady making me feel judged and un-important.  On one occasion I just wanted to run off and cry, but then I didn’t want anyone asking where I went and why I was upset and having to explain why.  I wasn’t on medication back then either.  At points last year 2010, I was really not coping.  I would always be grumpy and angry, my bond with older daughter would often be non-existent and I’d often want her to live with someone else full term.  I often struggled with really wanting to hurt her.  As her behaviour had gone downhill and she was pushing my buttons and I just didn’t have the control or clarity to see it was just a cry for attention.  I did lash out on some occasions I am ashamed to admit.  It took ages before my MMH(maternal mental health) lady took my thoughts seriously.  It took me saying that I really wanted to punch my daughter in the face and that I could not say whether I would or would not have done it, if I had not been driving, for her to understand how much I was not coping.  Thankfully I never did such a thing.  But it shouldn’t take getting to that point for people to take you seriously.  It also didn’t help me when I first was not coping, for my partners parents to take him away from me for nearly a whole day to help them shift, when they knew I was not coping.  I really disliked them for that.  I remember on Valentines Day, my partner hugged me and said “I love you” and all I could do, is be held and cry and it took 5 minutes for me to be able to even respond by saying the same.

I went to a second PND support group and that was so much better.  Different co-ordinator and it was great and I was on medication by then, so was feeling a lot better.  Little did I know, til just before this group, I actually have an under-functioning thyroid and that was making me feel drained, depressed, gaining weight and just making me feel crap in general.  So once I got medication for that, I started feeling better too.  A few months ago I was not coping again, so decided to up my medication and that helped.  I hated how when I was not coping I’d yell at the baby, who is just a poor baby and just be so angry at everyone and everything.  Yay to not feeling like that now.  Though of course, I do still have some times when I lose it a little, but not as often.  I read a book recently called  ‘Postnatal Moods – Emotional Changes Following Birth’.  It was really good and explained a lot.

So, what I know is before pregnancy with my youngest, the breakdown due to previous termination contributed to the PND, as did the fact that the week I found out I was pregnant, ex was in hospital after trying to commit suicide and close to not making it and my mother while on holiday in Australia, had a heart attack.  Also, before I got pregnant, partner had lost his job and we had flatmates in who screwed as over financially or wrecked their room(resulting in us losing our bond plus $350 extra).  Then while I was pregnant, last flatmates robbed us, making me feel very paranoid, fearful, anxious and on edge.  It’s so violating being robbed!  And it just seemed like we could never get a break.  Partners parents didn’t help us out at all and only visited once baby was born, if in the area!  And they live in the same city!!!  My parents in Australia put in more of an effort!  We had constant car troubles, so we always had to use spare money on car repairs instead of baby stuff.  Luckily before I had baby my partner got a job, which he still has and enjoys.  So not surprising that I developed PND.  So it seems for me, to have come down to, older daughters hard to handle behaviour, lack of money, bad things happening, isolation, tiredness, thyroid problem, previous depression, past termination, feeling lost, lack of control and like I was just existing to keep partner happy and be a mum.  Also, my partner has had trouble dealing with and bonding with my older daughter since we had our baby(the youngest) together.  He just always seemed to be telling her off, seeing only the negative and it seemed like, he’d be happier if she wasn’t around, as in not living with us.  So often I would want to leave him and despise him.  As hurting/rejecting her, hurts me.  Plus she got to the point of just hating him and never listening to him.  So his lack of interest in her, for a while, affected me and I rejected her too.  But I am over that now too.  I guess it’s hard to cope with a new baby and a suddenly, what seems like, impossible older child.  And also maintaining a relationship and making it all work.  It’s a LOT of pressure!  I was not used to having all this to deal with when it was just myself and older daughter.  It was a real shock to the system.  I wanted to say, though I had severe PND with youngest daughter, I never had any issue with bonding with her.  I think the natural birth, with no complications probably did help with that.  And maybe all the intervention with oldest daughter in labour, may have contributed to the bonding issues with her.

I did at times struggle with my confidence as a parent, after my daughters teacher expressed concerns for my older daughter and referred to me as: unemotional, unaffectionate, with no bond, neglectful and she also said, she wondered if daughter was given breakfast and/or even dinner at home!!!  Which she does.  She gets fed very well.  So knowing someone I respected and liked, thought this, was hard to swallow.  With regards to my older daughter, she has developmental delays and behavioural problems and we are in the process of getting her assessed.  So thankfully I now know, it’s not our parenting, it’s just things that are going on in her, that none of us can control.  I am happy she is very loving and affectionate and really loves her Mummy.  I know I have done a good job and no-one is perfect and we all make mistakes.

With regards to my partner.  It must be hard being a step parent and it is normal/natural to have a stronger bond with your biological child, I get that.  We will get there in the end.  Now we are getting more support outside of the home.  But damn, it took a while before we got that help.

What I’d love, is some more close friends and for people to come visit us or me.  As only one friend does and that’s not as often as she’d like, as she doesn’t live close.  The others, well they all live closer, but I have to go to them and they don’t put in much effort and having crap all money, doesn’t help, as I need petrol in the car to get to them.

That’s all for now.  Thankx for reading   🙂

On here I will share a bit about my history and history with depression and PND.