I felt like I was living a nightmare, this should be the happiest time of my life; two beautiful children and the chance to be a stay-at-home mum. I was worried I would get postnatal depression with my son, as I was more prone to it because of my history with OCD, but it never came. This time I felt so different; my OCD was worse, but not at all like I had had it before. It took a good month before I realised what it was. The feeling of depression was so much greater this time.
I couldn’t cope with social situations for long, things outside of my routine made me nervous. The feeling of being alone, stupid, unwanted, an awful mother/wife and wanting to cry would suddenly hit me and I couldn’t hide it. I would walk home in tears for no reason. I was the crazy person once again, emotional Laura who people had to put up with, the same as when I was ill before.
The worse part was that my tolerance levels were so much lower. I couldn’t cope with anything too stressful, I would crumble. I felt that I became too much of a “yelly” parent, if I’m honest, something I didn’t want to be. I would sit and wait for my husband to come home so that I could throw a child at him; it felt like whatever he did it wasn’t enough. I was resentful of the time he had alone, even if it was just the walk home from work. How I longed to be alone and carefree, for even just a few minutes. As much as I love my children, I was at my wits end. Always having someone hanging off me, screaming at me, requesting food or nappy changes.
There are dark parts to postnatal depression that aren’t discussed, they are too personal to spread all over a blog. Looking back I wince at how hard it was at times for my husband and myself, but things are different now. The doctor offered me medication, but after being on meds for so many years before, I didn’t want to start again. I started counselling, she was amazing, helping me to schedule in time for myself even if it was just half an hour. Teaching me to relax, not just clear up and work, to deal with how I was feeling. Now I feel so much better and the most amazing thing has happened, I enjoy my children and my dear husband so much that I could burst.
I found postnatal depression is a lot like having a miscarriage: people don’t talk about it until you’ve been there. Postnatal depression is rubbish, it’s horrible, but it ends, even if it feels it never will. I wouldn’t have got through this time without my husband, mum, family and friends. So thank you all.