As I laid on the bed and closed my eyes, it was happening all over again; this time much worse.  I wished that as I closed my eyes that I would just never wake up.  Feeling unable to control the way I felt or my thoughts, I just wanted it to stop.

That was November 2011.

Yes, I am talking about what the general medical practitioners, midwives and health visitors all refer to as Post Natal Depression (PND).  I prefer not to label myself with this, and perhaps you will see why as I relate my experiences :)

It first started after the birth of Emilie, back in January 2008.  For me the whole idea of having a child and the reality of it were so far removed; it was a complete shock!  At the time, I had no real friends, due to my departure from the religion I had been brought up in, and I’d had to leave early from work as I had suspected PROM at 32 weeks (premature rupture of membrane or they thought my waters had gone).  I ended up being induced at 40+ 10, so had gone almost 10 weeks with very little contact with the outside world.  Due to a life threatening incident at the birth of Emilie I found it difficult to bond with her; I was emotional, tired and lonely.  Mark had returned to work in the city 2 days post birth and I was left on my own with a newborn, muddling through, not really knowing if I was doing “the right thing”.  I had no family support and no one to turn to.

What had we done?  I wanted to put her back!

It was at this time the impact of leaving the religion, resulting in leaving my friends and family behind, hit me like a bulldozer! I was used to a lot of support, being part of a community and had many friends.  Up until the point I left work I still had friendships with colleagues, some of which had supported me though terribly difficult times and had joined Mark and I on our wedding day.  I had my freedom, and I could do whatever I wanted when I wanted. I was suddenly thrown into a completely unfamiliar situation.

To make things a bit more difficult my grandfather died about 6 weeks after I had had Emilie. I had not seen him in 2 years.  The feelings of guilt were overwhelming.  I felt so deeply sad that he had not met Mark or I had been unable to introduce Emilie and share all my most happiest times with him and other members of the family.  I was adamant that I would go to the funeral; although unsure how family members would react to me.  There were cousins, uncles and aunts that I had once been close to, not to mention immediate family.   I remember that cold February day that we buried Gramps, like yesterday.  For me the whole family dynamic had completely changed. Whilst I received a relatively warm welcome, it was clear that there was a distance. My eldest brother who I had once been close to and who I’d not seen in over a year, did nothing more than acknowledge me with a nod of the head.  Although, I knew why and I understood it did not stop it from hurting or being something which I found difficult to cope with.

Two weeks later I was due to see my Doctor for my 8 week check.  I had no idea what to expect, and definitely not the experience I ended up with! I was in and out within less than 10 minutes having being labeled with post natal depression, after a series of checklist questions.  It seemed as I didn’t tick all the right boxes this Doctor, who knew nothing about me or my personal situation, made a so called professional diagnosis based on a series of checked boxes! I came out in tears, as in my mind I thought I was doing ok considering everything that had happened. I phoned Mark and was so upset I was unable to talk to him; I eventually calmed down and managed to relate my story to him.  He immediately called the Practice Manager to complain and I was offered a 30 minute appointment with one of the Senior Partners.  It’s not that I didn’t have post natal depression and it’s not that the diagnosis was necessarily wrong, the truth was I didn’t know, but I did know that if I accepted their label then I would adopt their belief and I would definitely manifest post natal depression.

He was very understanding.  He listened to my story of leaving the religion and the consequences that had brought, the moving in with Mark, getting pregnant, getting married, giving birth, nearly losing my life after and my Grandfather dying.  So much had happened in only 10 months and to give the way I was feeling a label of post natal depression just seemed wrong!  I was determined not to be given medication; I knew somewhere deep down I could be better than all of this….

To be continued…

❤ ❤ RIP Gramps ❤ ❤  sadly missed & forever in our hearts ❤ ❤

Yours in fighting back…

Sarah xXx