PND - positive story to share with you (v long sorry!)

Hi girls

Well it's been quite a while since I posted anything on here. My last post was asking for urgent advice re Citalopram as I had been prescribed these by the doctor following a (quite severe) PND diagnosis at our 6 month check and I was debating whether to take the tablets.

My DD is now almost 8 months and means more to me than life itself. I love love love being a mummy, have masses of positive feelings for the future and feel that life in general couldn't get much better.

Rewind 8 months. After a healthy pregnancy I ended up having a nightmare 48 hour labour as dd was back to back. The birth was relatively straightforward and I coped well with the pain but I was exhausted...I had had no sleep for almost 2 days before I even got to the hospital, I was hallucinating that people were in the room.

DD was born early evening and as soon as I had got cleaned up I got sent to postnatal ward but OH had to go straight home as it was gone visiting hours. After going past the point of exhaustion I had a newborn bundle to look after, even though I could barely stand up or move. I didnt feel the initial surge of love everyone kept telling me about and I felt so guilty. The ward was 'quiet' but still there was a distinct lack of support from the midwives. They were fantastic by the way but so understaffed - would dread to think what it would have been like on a busy day!

So anyway we got home the day after the birth and DD seemed to have no problems BFing but when we got her weighed at her 3 day discharge appt she had lost more than the acceptable amount of weight. The lady that told me this was unsympathetic, indirectly made me feel awful for not realising that my baby had not been feeding properly and told us that she could quite easily end up back in hospital. She told me she had not been latching on properly. To cut a very long story short this was untrue - DD was finally diagnosed with a tongue tie meaning she could not suck hard enough to get the hind milk. She was getting the foremilk and hence getting wet nappies etc meaning we could not have realised anything was wrong. I was so exhausted after 5 days of no sleep I could have quite easily collapsed on the floor and not got up again.

This was the start of the downward spiral. I tried expressing but ended up being tied to my boobs and not spending time bonding with DD. I eventually gave up after 3 weeks and it was the best decision for us, we were both able to bond a little bit more.

However things still weren't right. I seemed to have no patience with DD and couldn't be bothered to do anything. I would never have hurt her though and whilst OH was at work did all the things I needed to for her, but all this was with great sadness inside. I still have painful memories of singing her a nursery rhyme when she was 4 weeks old with tears rolling down my face. I couldn't stand it when she cried or wouldnt sleep and just wanted to run away from her. I called OH at work one day telling him what a terrible mistake we had made by having her. I can honestly say I had very few feelings for her at that time (god, that brings tears to my eyes just typing that). I could not think straight and would get confused over the most simple tasks.

But even though I knew something was wrong and I shouldn't feel like this, I convinced myself that it would pass and I was just exhausted. I would have better days and think I was ok now, then it would all come tumbling down around me. I did a pretty good job at hiding this from people except closest family, although friends have said in hindsight that they knew something was wrong.

Things came to a head at the 6 week check. The first thing the doc asked was how I was and I promptly burst into tears on her. Even though we have had our differences in the past she was FAB! She said she promised I wouldn't feel like this forever, it was down to a chemical imbalance and I WOULD get over it. I didn't believe her at the the time though lol! I agreed to take anti-D's to speed my recovery process along, so I got a prescription for Citalporam. Doc had warned me I might feel a bit nauseous and/or detached for a couple of weeks.

In my turmoil I made the mahoosive mistake of googling the side effects. I decided not to take them and do things like exercise to try and beat it. It soon became apparant that this wasnt going to work. Two tearful calls to the duty doctors (including one where an awful doc said I was damaging DD's development by not taking them!!!), I decided to take them, full of trepidation of what awful side effects I was going to get.

I got none, apart from feeling mildly woosy on the first day. I started to feel like 'me' again after a week or two and by 6 weeks after I started taking them I felt amazing. I gradually gained my self confidence back, sense of humour and started to lose some of the guilt as I could put things in perspective once again.

I've now come off them after 6 months on them and I have gone from strength to strength. I love her more than I can say, she's my little buddy and I look at her with wonder every day, I can't believe I have created something so beautiful and amazing and how much love I have for her. Yes I have down days when she is poorly or teething, but tell me a single mum who doesn't!

I am positive, loving life and can't wait to give her a sibling! I just wanted to share some advice for those of you who may be feeling a bit blue:

- Don't be ashamed to admit if things don't feel 'quite right', No-one will judge you, you are a not bad mother. PND is an illness just like any other.
- Get help if you have more bad days than good.
- Don't kid yourself you are ok if you have a better day one day, or you'll get better soon, if you feel like something is wrong, act on it.
- Don't be afraid of meds or kid yourself you van get by without them if your doc has suggested you take them - they have precribed them for a reason and they are there to help.
- Confide in someone close. There is no shame whatsoever in PND.
- What you're feeling is not normal BUT You CAN and WILL get better with the right help.

Sorry that is soooo long but just feel if I can help one person who is suffering then this post will be worthwhile.

We will be TTC number 2 sometime next year and I am slightly anxious I will get PND again, but feel so much more prepared for it and will be seeking all the help I need - early.

L xxx


  • that is such a wonderful post! You should feel so proud to have overcome your PND, well done to you and it's lovely reading how happy you are after a rough time. I'm sure your post will give hope to many new mammys. i like reading of happy endings and positive stories, thanks for sharing image xxx
  • What a lovely happy ending, so pleased it did - I am sure that will really help ladies feeling down. PND is such an awful thing, my OH knew someone who comitted suicide due to it - horrific beyond words.

    Good luck with TTC #2, and continue enjoying your daughter xxx
  • thankyou for sharing your story with us x
  • Hi

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    My son is 8 months old and I was diagnosed with PND a few weeks back. When I think about it, things started to go wrong for me when I couldn't breastfeed my baby, I got really upset and the midwives kept telling me that my baby would become ill if he wasn't fed soon. I felt terribly guilty and cried for days because it was something I really wanted to do and I couldn't do it so that made me feel like a failure straight away.

    I havn't really felt myself since my lo was born. Although my pregnancy was straight forward, something in me changed. We have a canvas photo of me and my hubbie on our wedding day and I used to look at it and think was this really me because I was so happy. things gradually got worse the following months. I questioned everything I did, I had really bad mood swings, I suffered headaches but tried to put it to the back of my mind although I had an idea that I had depression.

    It wasn't until I was speaking with my HV through lots of tears. We talked about my lo, how he was feeding, sleeping etc then she asked how I was, well that was it, the tears just flowed!!She then suggested I go to the doctors as I may have depression.

    After speaking with my GP, she confirmed PND. I'm now taking a high dose of anti depressants and will be starting counselling soon hopefully.

    I'm due to go back to work at the end of next month but my dr doesn't think i'll be ready. I do feel better slightly but I feel I have a long way to go to get back to being 'myself'. I would have liked another baby more or less straight away but the dr told me i'm more likely to get PND again and TBH for my own sanity, i think i better get myself sorted first.

    You're story has given me hope that things will be ok and there is a light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

  • Hi aerobubbles

    So sorry to hear you are feeling like this. I hope you didn't think I was inferring that it was as easy as popping some pills! They 'enabled' me to get better, mainly by helping me put things in perspective, but it did take a million tears in the process and a lot of soul searching.

    Your experiences with BF sound very similar indeed to mine. In fact, many things in your post sound v similar, especially when you say something inside me changed, I used to look at pics of 'me' and truly believe that the real me had been wiped out never to return (the real me has returned though!).

    Yes the tunnel is very long and very very dark at times.

    I don't think I've got my email button set up on here but if you do want to chat then let me know and I'll try and figure out how to do it...


    I am also realistic about PND the second time round as I know I am more likely to get it (but not automatically). I would not hesitate to take anti-d's towards the end of my pregnancy next time if that would help...I will do whatever it takes as I do not ever want to feel the way I did ever again.
  • Thank you for sharing your story! I hope that people find strength from it!

    Glad you have had a happy ending and good luck with giving you DD a little brother or sister xxx
  • What a fantastic story...thanks for sharing.

    So cute that your DD is your 'buddy' now, you sound like a fantastic mummy, good luck with the next one

  • Thanks so much for sharing.

    I won't go into my story in great detail but I got diagnosed with PND right from the start and have honestly never felt so low. It was frightening how terrible I felt.
    I got prescribed anti-d's but didn't take them as I was bf and was so worried about it. I kind of wish I had though as I can actually hardly remember the first couple of months of her life. All I remember is feeling so miserable, scared and lonely I thought it might kill me. My situation wasn't helped by my LO having silent reflux and being a nightmare to bf. I stopped at 23 weeks after my GP basically ordered me to for my own sanity and my relationship with my daughter and things got better after that as her reflux was controlled with meds and she was much happier.
    Anyway, she's 8.5 months now. I am in counselling for anxiety but don't feel 'depressed' as such. Just anxious to the extreme.
    I worry pretty much everyday about how I will cope with No2 and am terrified of feeling like I did at the start. At only about 2 weeks old I got sent to the mental health team who said from the PND questionnaire I did with the GP they considered me to be so bad I would need admitting (with my LO). Luckily I'd had some sleep the night before I saw them in person and was much better.

    Anyway, am rambling. It's so great to hear your story.

  • Hi Baby B

    Sorry to hear that you are also going through this. I don't think people can properly understand just how bad you feel sometimes unless they experience it. My GP told me that if you have a baby, people automatically think you must be happy but unfortunately its just not the case. How are you getting on with your counselling? Are you still taking anti d's?

    Ive just got an appointment through for Wednesday at a Perinatal unit who deal with mental illness (that makes me sound like a nut job!)

    I hope you begin to feel better soon. Take care


  • Hi aerobubbles. Sorry you are going through this too. Truly sucks doesn't it?!

    People def can't really understand unless they've experienced it themselves. I had to take Clomid to conceive so my LO was soooooo desperately wanted and it was such a shock when her being born didn't fill me with joy. I cried almost non stop, couldn't sleep, eat and felt sick almost ALL the time. I actually hate it when people say 'I think I might have had a touch of PND actually' I usually just make sympathetic noises but I really want to point out that they probably had baby blues or were tired as proper PND is seriously all consuming and I have never felt so rock bottom in all my life. I would cross a road and think about how it wouldn't be such a bad thing if a car hit me. image

    I'm so much better now. I love my LO soooooo much but 8 months ago I couldn't stand to have her near me. Counselling isn't going well but I've only had a few sessions. So far it's kind of bringing things to the surface, even things that happened like 15 years ago that I didn't really realise still upset me so it's actually been really tough and makes me feel worse rather than better. But hopefully once we start properly working on things it will help. I hope so anyway.

    I've not taken anti d's. My GP and HV really thing I should but the mental health team think if's more of an anxiety thing than depression as such now so hopefully talking therapy will help.

    Really hope your appt on Weds goes well. I know what you mean about the 'nut job' thing. Every time I go to the Mental Health Centre for my appts I feel really self conscious. My counsellor has also said she highly recommends we wait to have No2 when I am feeling stronger as at the moment she doesn't think I would be able to cope.
    I totally know what you mean about looking at the wedding photo of you as though it's almost a different person. I do that all the time.

    Let me know how you get on. (feel free to email me)

  • That is so good to hear that hun.. Think I felt a bit of pnd/anxiety for a long long time after I had dd last april.. But I've always suffered badly with periods/hormones prior to becoming pregnant.. Ur body n ur life goes through a big big change overnite when uv had a baby n people don't realise it. I was told it takes a whole year for things to settle down n I truely believe that. My dd is 13.5 now n at such a lovely age yes I get hard days but doesn't everyone??? 6 months ago I thought it was only me who found it hard
  • Awww, thanks for sharing your really positive story

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