I knew something was up when I realised that my daughter was five days old yet I had not kissed her once. This got me so worked up that my eyes filled with tears at the thought of it. I really struggled to kiss her then and there.
You hear about people falling instantly in love with their child and feeling this special connection. I didn’t feel that. I spent perhaps an hour with my daughter before I was whisked off to surgery, to be reunited with her six hours after her birth.
My daughter’s six-week maternal health nurse appointment was a few days before my six-week check-up. At the maternal health nurse, I completed a quiz known as the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. I scored high and agreed to ask my GP for help at my visit in a few days time. I also scheduled a few more appointments with the maternal health nurse. My GP also asked me to complete a similar quiz when I suggested that I would like to talk to someone. I received referrals to two different doctors, Unfortunately, I was unable to secure an appointment until the new year.
One day when my daughter was almost three months old I put a post up on Facebook asking if anyone was around and wanted to come over. My husband happened to see it and called me about half an hour later. I confessed that I didn’t feel safe at home. My husband rang my mum and told me to drive myself and my daughter to my parent’s house.
My husband and I went out to dinner and left my daughter with my parents. I cried all through dinner because all I wanted to do was leave. I wanted to get in the car after dinner and just keep driving. We could start a new life, get new jobs and be different.
I cried because I felt bad for wanting to run away and leave my new baby with my parents. I cried because I didn’t know what to do anymore. And I cried because I didn’t want to feel the way I felt right now ever again. That turned out to be a long dinner. And my thoughts are were a rollercoaster for a long time after that.
Things seemed to calm down a lot for me around the time of my daughter’s first birthday. At this age, while still being breastfed, she was much less reliant on me. So I found that I could be me again. I got some of my time back to do the things I like to do like read and crochet.
I booked my last session with my psychologist after being prompted by friends. A friend of mine was due with her baby and asked if anyone experienced Postnatal Depression as she has a history of depression. I was so relieved to find that some of my friends had also experienced this and they urged me to see my doctor again after a terrible week.
I’ve taken the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale quiz quite a few times in the last two and a half years. It helps me make realise that I need to make some adjustments.