Post Natal Depression – Dee from Auckland
Overcoming post natal depression
I never imagined that with all the warm fuzzies that I was experiencing with the upcoming arrival of my first born I wanted to hand him back once he arrived! I was a new Mum that was so sure that I was destined to be a SUPER MUM.
When I looked at him I knew I loved him, however when he cried, I cried too. I really wanted to just sleep or run away! Post natal depression hit me hard. On the inside I was feeling lost, lonely, tired, overwhelmed, and incredibly scared. On the outside I put on my happy face, ensured my house was always tidy, and to everyone else I was fine, someone who was coping and adapting well to being a first time mum.
Each day I would find myself resenting my baby, when he cried, I just wanted him to stop, and nothing I could do would work. Most days for the first 3 months, I would get my husband to come home during the day just so I didn’t loose it. By now the cracks were showing, even though my baby was sleeping through the night, I never felt refreshed, I never felt like I was happy. I had it all, he was thriving, sleeping, laughing, was cute enough, but I just couldn’t see through the storm.
Weeks 2 and 3 were the hardest, so I went to the doctor and they said that it was normal to feel the way I do, so I kept muddling on. By 4 months of age, my child was awesome, but I still felt like I wasn’t a good Mum, and the expectations I put on myself were so high, I was heading for failure in my own eyes, no one elses…just mine.
One morning I woke up and realised that how I was feeling was infact not normal, and so I seeked help. I had the most amazingly supportive husband who always picked me up when I needed it, and listened, because I had so many thoughts banging around in my head that it would literally drive me nuts. My friends had seen the cracks over time, and were there to lend a hand when need be, and I am only guessing at the millions of times I have been told you are a GREAT MUM but it didn’t really sink in. I realised that I needed to get a little bit of ‘Me’ back in order to start feeling normal again. Step by step, day by day I started the colossal climb back to my life. I sort help from life coaching seminars, friends, family, and getting out to do that 1 thing that made me smile each day.
Over the following 12 months, I chose not to go on medication, instead opted for time with support, and lots of checking in. Slowly I began to love seeing my little one’s face light up with they saw me, and I was able to put my thoughts in perspective. This was the hardest part of my recovery. Learning to be kind to myself, and to lower my personal expectations so that I could feel like I was a good Mum.
Moving forward to baby #2, I knew what I was in for, I understood that my odds were high that I may fall into PND again, so I was well aware of self care& self worth, and understanding that as long as my kids were being fed, loved, and cared for by a Mum who loved them, then how could I not be winning? I can’t say that I flew through baby #2 completely PND free, however to give myself confidence I had a mantra that I still say to this day (usually while having a glass of wine while my kids destroy my house)
“I am doing the best I can to be the best Mum I can be right here and right now”
Am I a super Mum? ….Damn right I am…
Dee is a certified sleep consultant
Early childhood teacher and mother of 2
You can reach her at email@example.com or 021 674 300