In October 2013 I gave birth to my son Sebby. I had experienced pre natal depression throughout the last few months of pregnancy and had been signed off work because of it.
I was already full of anxiety. I was worried about the birth, I was concerned that I might not be able to cope with the pressures motherhood might bring. I kept myself to myself, stopped seeing my friends and isolated myself, I felt so lonely. My family lived in Okehampton which was only an hour away but it felt so much longer. I just wanted my mum.
Sebby made his appearance on the 7th October and I didn’t have the easiest labour, towards the end it got quite frightening as he got stuck and I ended up tearing badly which required stitches. I remember the midwife passing Sebby to me and instead of being filled with adoration and love I was filled with dread. I passed him to my partner while I was stitched up and lay there thinking, “what just happened”.
That night I desperately tried to breast feed my baby, failing miserably, he screamed and screamed and I cried. I knew I wasn’t ready to leave hospital but I felt I had to so we could start our new lives together. I continued trying to breastfeed but after a while the pressure became too much and I stopped, feeling like I’d failed my baby and moved onto formula.
The next few weeks passed in a blur and I remember feeling no attachment and desperately waited to feel a bond between us, there was none. I became increasingly anxious and eventually stopped seeing everyone. I was stuck at home with my screaming, colicky, sickly baby with no way out. I was trapped in my own thoughts and they had started to become intrusive. I just wanted to run away from it all and thoughts of self harm had begun to creep in. I felt panicked all the time, like I was struggling to breathe. I wanted to hand my baby over and run away.
Then one day I got in my car and drove to Okehampton with Sebby. I turned up at my mums and announced I wasn’t well and collapsed in a heap. I was encouraged to telephone the local Drs surgery where I spoke to a locum Dr, who was amazing. I sobbed uncontrollably as I explained how I wanted to die so that I was no longe a burden and that Sebby could then be properly cared for. I felt as though I was in physical pain and I just wanted it to stop. I had planned my suicide and admitted it to the Dr. I was seen the same day and went in with my mum and Sebby. I don’t remember a lot but my mum has filled me in. I couldn’t look at Sebby and I cried so hard I could hardly get the words out.
I just wanted to die.
I was diagnosed with severe post natal depression and prescribed a high dose of medication and my mum was told that if she couldn’t take care of me I would have to be sectioned.
For the next few months I was looked after by my mum and my sister. They took care of Sebby too. I started to hear voices and see things that weren’t there and I believed that my medication was placebos and that everyone was against me. I became verbally aggressive and felt as though I was extremely difficult to be around. I had people visit me but I don’t remember. My mum encouraged me to wear Sebby in a sling and try and spend time with him. I hated it!
I was awful to my fiancè who was travelling up from Cornwall to see us as every opportunity. I would tell him that we’d be better off if we separated then he could be happy but he didn’t go anywhere. My medication was increased and gradually I began to improve.
Sebby was six months old when I first felt an attachment with him and I remember being so excited, there was some hope of recovery.
If I’m totally honest I don’t think I recovered until Sebby was about three years old. I had a few relapses, mainly around severe anxiety. I lost friends during this time but it also strengthened existing relationships.
Sebby is now an outgoing, happy little boy who has no memory of what happened. We have an un breakable bond and I love him.