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PND - positive story to share with anyone feeling blue

Hi girls

I posted this in Baby a few days ago but thought it might be worthwhile posting here too.

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 week 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 GOOGLE SIDE EFFECTS!!
- 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.

I am NOT saying it as easy as popping some pills. It is a steady, gradual process to recovery and the tablets 'enabled' me to recover by helping put things in perspective and allowing me to get over some of the guilt I had. I still feel terrible about how I felt towards LO at the beginning, but keep reminding myself I was ill, but now I can focus my energies and love on her.

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 admit I am anxious I will get PND again (you have an increased chance of getting it the second time around), but feel so much more prepared for it and will be seeking all the help I need - early.

L xxx

Replies

  • Thank you soooooo much for posting this, I'm in a very similar position to you and have now been on anti-depressants for 3 months, like you I tried to 'beat' PND on my own before going to Dr's where she prescribed me medication straight away. I felt really guilty taking them initially as I was worried about them getting into my milk but eventually realised that it was much better for me and my daughter if I took them. 3 months on I feel a million times better and my Dr wants to start weaning me off the medication in a couple of months time. My health visitor has been amazing and visited me at least once a week for a couple of months. I still have bad days but they are now being far out weighed by good days.
    I'm also very anxious about getting PND again when we have more children but know that i'll go to the Dr's at the first signs of it next time rather than just hoping it will go away.
    It's really nice to hear such a nice story about recovering from PND. Hopefully in a few months time I will be in the same place as you and off medication for good.
    Thank you for sharing your story and good luck for the future! x
  • Wow!

    I came on here to see if i could post something helpful, after coming through PND myself......i could never write something as wonderfully worded and as touching as your post.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story.

    We are starting to TTC number 2 this month, and i worry, as does hubby, but i will not let it consume me. I feel like i will not only be able to confront my feelings sooner if it happens again, but i also know that a lot of my issues were anxiety related, and i hope i will be able to over come these as a second time mum.

    Best of Luck to all xxxx
  • your story, the bit about still taking care of your baby and singing nursery rhymes with tears has made me cry so much - this is exactly how I am - i just feel dead inside but would never not take care of my baby - just dont want to be this person. HV is aware, have had some counselling for a traumatic birth and talked to hubby who is not very understanding but none of it is helping. the guilt is overwhelming. I actually resorted to ringing samaritans today and had to hang up when my baby started crying yet again.

    Its good to read that things have had a positive outcome in the end and has given me hope that things will turn a corner in the end. I am due my 6 week check on Thurs so may try and tell the Dr. Feel very embarrassed to do so. but will try.
  • Thank you for sharing your story. I also had PND and am now through the other side (Yes, there is one!). My little boy will be 3 next month, and even though times have been difficult, things do get better.
    I am pleased to say that i am now expecting number 2 (16 weeks pregnant) and even though a small part of me is worried about the PND returning, I know that the positive things far outweigh this fear. I have an amazing son who I love to bits and I can't wait to do it all again. X
  • Many thanks for sharing your story.  I went through pnd with my first child and thought it was down to me moving countries etc... but now I realise I did have pnd as I'm going through the same thing again with my second child who's 4 months.  I got through it with flying colours with my first child who is now 3 and a half but have fallen yet again to it. The symtoms started about 2 weeks ago.  I went to the drs last Friday as I felt it'd be advisable for me to go on antidepressants to help me get through it. I'm not sleeping very well and need medical aid in order to do so.  I'm hoping that when the antidepressants kick in I may begin to feel better. Even though I managed to get through it with my daughter I'm finding it awfully hard to believe right now I'll get through it again. There seems to be very few women who suffer pnd for me to discuss my feelings with. I love my daughter to bits and she's such a joy.  Can't wait to start feeling better about my son's birth. 

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