6 Women Talk Honestly About Postnatal Depression
- February 11, 2020
- William Lewis
We do not talk enough about Postnatal Depression. These women are starting a conversation
When my son was born for the first time, my love for him was a sharp fear because of the constant organic pain that kept flowing like acid in my bullet. I couldn’t explain it. The world seemed harder, faster than I had ever been born. And everyone else knew how to take care of my baby better than I did. I weep after the visitors come and go to the toilet – at any given moment this mother and baby were out of the bubble. I had a beating and horror, my child’s graphic looks and tumble down the stairs to me or hit the cars. I did not know that this was postpartum depression. I thought I was just failing. Maternal failure. It was only when I spent two hours a week with my baby in a post-natal group that I realized how far I had come from myself and sought help.
Thanks to public figures as Adele talks about her experiences, hopefully, postpartum stress should be a bit of a surprise for new mothers to see, understand and move on. But, for that to happen, we have to talk about it. So, here are the stories of illicit moods after the birth of five other women.
Sarah, 32, a freelance writer.
My husband paternity leave came to an end with pain. My daughter was screaming from midnight to 11 pm. Every morning, I stand at the front door, pleading with my husband not to leave me to go to work. Eating immediately made me feel sick. If my baby cried for a moment, I would sweat profusely. One day, when my daughter had a bad intestine and she was not eating, I said. I hadn’t left home in weeks and, in a state of despair, I called my mother and told her she needed to come and take her daughter, otherwise I was about to leave the house alone.
My mother travelled from Devon to the Berkshire train to save me. An amazing midwife took charge immediately, got the help I needed and helped me in a way I couldn’t even begin to explain. I will never be free from PND, but being willing to talk about it has helped me move forward.
Erin, 34, HR Advisor
In the months after birth, hormone storms have transformed me into a monster that is often externally fascinating – always in the direction of my husband. On maternity leave, I meet her regularly at the end of a long day. I would like to know some small reason for ending verbal abuse. – Buying the wrong type of chicken for dinner. Don’t get up at night with the baby – and sometimes I throw things in or break them.
Looking back, I felt so terrified of myself that I was being told that I was just as useless and unloved as I was. I am so happy and grateful that he knew it was not “real me”. I was scared the doctor would call me a victim of domestic violence, but I’m glad I learned about this episode of PND illness. I am now off medication and for the last eight months, things were fine, as they were before birth.
I didn’t cry – I was angry. I was angry.
Ream, 28, a chartered accountant
By the third day of birth, I was crying and in awe. A young girl went missing and her body was found locally. I passed the enclosed houses in search of a check-in route later in the day, and it became a problem for me. I was scared of the outdoors and the outdoors, and I found it difficult to trust others. I remember crying about the kind of world I brought a baby to, and for several weeks, I felt a sense of impending doom.
Thankfully, I had the support of my husband and mother and finally helped me to spend a few hours each week. If you don’t have these support networks, what does a woman do?
Hailey, 36, CHEF
I didn’t cry – I was angry. I was angry. I feel as if I have been given a demon by selling a story. He wasn’t even a “bad” kid. I just didn’t feel too much for it. Which of course made me feel guilty. I mourned my old life. My friends were all miles away.
I started cheating at night. I looked in the basket and saw it cut or filled with mourning. I was missing out on some type of psychosis and decided that staying home with a baby was not good for me. I went back to work and suddenly felt much better. Before I could forgive myself for such a rocky start, I began to have a second child. Strangely, I am able to look back with rose-coloured glasses. I think of it more as postpartum stress and postpartum motherhood.