Let's talk PPD (PND)

Of course having a baby is all kinds of wonderful. Your newborns little coos, to gassy smiles, to shitty nappies, but what happens when you can't enjoy all these little things because your hormones are imbalanced and you've developed Post-Partum Depression (PPD)? 

You all know I have never been shy to admit I suffer with anxiety and depression, even way back when I was seventeen I knew I had it and I seeked out help. During pregnancy I had antenatal depression and midwives tried to help. All these times I managed ALONE. Why? Because coping alone is what I have always done and always managed to do. It works for me, but once I had Rhea-Jane and PPD began, I couldn't cope so well.

A newborn baby takes up all your time (no, i'm not complaining - I love it) so you have no time to concentrate on yourself and concentrate on getting yourself healthy and happy again. Baby comes first. Well, in my opinion anyway. PPD hit me hard. It was around the fourth day in hospital when Rhea-Jane was in the special baby unit it hit me like a ton of bricks. I woke up from crying in my sleep being held by Alexander telling me everything will be fine and our little, gorgeous, baby will be home soon. 

It was hard. I saw my baby with a tube in her hand linked up to the IV giving her antibiotics, her feet prodded and poked whilst blood was being drawn and tested, and a long tube shoved up her nose and into her stomach so she was able to be fed. My tiny premature baby surrounded by other beautiful but ill babies. Seeing your baby helpless is heartbreaking especially when there is nothing you can do. Luckily, Rhea-Jane was in her cot within a few days so I could snuggle her as much as I wanted.

PPD didn't go away and I felt like such a bad mum. I had to force myself to hold Rhea-Jane so she doesn't miss out on a bond with me. Knowing my PPD would eventually get better, I knew I had to do all I can for my baby and create that bond that I knew I would love when it finally hit me. 

Eventually after a week of staying in hospital, I finally took my baby home so I could be a proper mum. The first few nights were horrendous and I would sit in my bed crying whilst feeding my little girl. All day I would hold back the tears but they would just pour out and I would sob my heart out in the middle of the night. Alexander was there by my side every night helping me out - he felt helpless. Because he has never suffered or experienced depression, he really struggled to figure out how to help me. He tried his best but it didn't help. It was nice to know he was there for me trying, though. 

I used to look at my baby and hate her for how she had affected me emotionally and mentally, but other times I would love her so much it hurt. I really never hated my baby, it was all PPD. I love her so much I would jump in front of a train for her; I would die for her. Rhea-Jane means the world to me. I would even cry because I love her more than anyone and anything. It irritated me when family members wanted to feed her, as I am the Mum and I wanted to do everything my way; I thought I knew her best and knew what she wanted and how to do it best. It was selfish but I am a new mum and very protective over her.

Coping alone is my thing, but there are plenty of support groups and medication for those who cannot cope by themselves. Don't be shy to open up to professionals as they are there to help you, and don't be shy to open up to your family and loved one. I have sat down a few times and just let off steam because I have had a habit of just bottling up my feelings. Opening up is hard during as you do end up breaking down, but in the end after letting it all out, you feel tonnes better.

I rarely like to talk about my feelings, because talking isn't my thing. Writing my feelings down in my blog is my therapy. I even wrote it in my pregnancy Diary that I will be giving to Rhea-Jane on either her 16th or 18th birthday. I want her to learn what I went through from the moment I found out I was pregnant because it is important to me for her to know about life and her own mum. 

My Mum never did anything like that for me and it was only recently she told me about her pregnancy with me and how she also suffered with PPD. It was amazing to know she could open up to me whilst I opened up to her about my PPD. I know I can go to her when I need to talk about it, as she knows how to cope and could give me some pointers and the support I need.

After a fair few weeks my hormones have started to calm down and I have managed to gain myself a home for me and my baby, and I feel so much more like Me again. No stress. Just me and my baby living our lives. I could be happier, of course I could. My depression will never go away, it is not something you just 'catch,' and it certainly isn't a trend. PPD is serious and it needs to be taken seriously.

My experience and sharing that experience is hopefully going to teach a few people out there. Maybe new fathers will learn what their baby-mummas are going through; maybe mums-to-be will learn what *could* happen after they give birth. Whoever is reading, I want you to know how hard it is to be a new mum AND have PPD. Being a new mum is tiring yet so rewarding, but try adding PPD on top of that.

It is extremely hard and I would never like anyone to go through it, but sadly we do. It isn't just women that get PPD either, so fellas, we are here for you, too!

Much love, 

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