My husband’s point of view

I had wondered how he would feel about talking to me about it via the blog.  We do discuss it from time to time , but possibly not so in depth.   I thought it would be beneficial to ask him what his take was on the whole thing.

 He said that he started to know that something wasn’t right, and that I was very happy in the hospital but that things changed the day that we got back.  He said I started to panic about being home and  being alone,  and said that I would lie on the couch all the time, not speaking and not really moving.

He said that it was difficult because he had no time to do anything due to work and  things happening there and that there seemed to be a period of 3 months when he would need to go out to work, come home at lunch, come home at night and put our daughter to bed and then me.   I asked if he ever thought that I was capable of doing something to myself or to my daughter  to which he replied “no”.  He believes that I was telling the truth.  This is one of the times that I lied because I was thinking of killing myself many times.

I asked how he felt about me going to Canada, but he said that it was something that I needed to do but said that things got worse when I came home and he feels that this was due to being homesick, he said I seemed like I didnt want to be here and there was no excitement to see him.  I feel a lot of guilt about this.

I asked about my behaviors and he said that there was a lot of shouting , and when our daughter got upset , I would shout more and storm off saying that i couldn’t handle it and go lie on the couch.  He said I wouldn’t move and that he would need to take over.  I asked if he had thought about leaving me and he said that he hadn’t and he believed that i would get better.

He says that so many things were happening that he cant remember it all, and that its difficult to place when things happened, he also mentions a time when I was going through a stage of drinking and I said that I hated our daughter but he said that he never took it on board because he knew deep down, that I didn’t mean it. 

Turning things around

I am very conscious of how my posts sound and was worried that anyone going through this would think is there any hope? There is but I wanted people to know how debilitating it really is and that although our journey may be different to the next person, there are a lot of commonalities too.

I had mentioned before that I try to rationalize things in order for them to make sense in my own head, and this helps me to make sense of not only this but also about life in general…  I think a lot of the similarities with people going through PND  can be put down to patient care before and after.  I know that because I was quite ill at the start of my pregnancy which I hadn’t mentioned previously , many trips to the hospital making sure that my baby was ok and that she was getting enough nutrients, may have started the anxiety part of my depression.  I wonder if it kick started what was to be?  I could be wrong because I know of a lot of people who were a;so quite ill up until the 4th month of their pregnancy who didnt develop PND. I would have to see if there was a proper study into this.

I also wonder if low iron levels are a contributing factor? I have a B12 def now and I certainly know of people who have this and also experienced PND.  They also say that traumatic experiences may be a factor , again the accident with my Dad.  or am I just clutching at straws and trying to make sense of something that just happened and I need to get over it and move on?

 I guess my main point of this blog is to help people understand that it happens, its OK to go through it and there is help. I want to raise awareness about it and I just want to write for my own therapeutic process.  It is a very real experience and in writing this is has provoked much anger towards being let down by some health professionals. n i could get bitter and remain angry but instead, I will try to change the way in which people are dealt with.  

I was speaking to a health visitor at work last night and even she said that they need to re think the way in which women and men are dealt with. She believes that there is still very much a stigma attached to PND and that something needs to change.  She believes that a lot of women don’t admit it to themselves because they are scared of having their children taken away from them or having the label of “unfit” mother assigned to them.  I think personally to that last statement I would challenge it. You want more than anything in the world to have that bond, you try almost anything but for some it just takes longer.  But it happens, i assure you and would bet my life on it.

Guilt

No one prepares you for it really, do they?  The guilt at not being able to breast feed when you really want to provide what we are told is best, for our babies.  As mentioned in a previous post, I had tried in the hospital but unfortunately I couldn’t do it and made the difficult decision to bottle feed instead.. It may have been due to sleep deprivation or just wanting to do the easiest thing in order to get out and get home, I dont really know..

What followed and still does to this day, is the amount of guilt I feel and I am still envious of friends who have , or  when I am out  and see a baby being breast fed, there is that longing.   I did at times try , I have an amazing cousin who was a volunteer for the breast feeding initiative and she sat down with me to try to get my daughter latched on as well as assisting me with expressing.  I managed for a few days but I think because it was few and far between, the milk just wouldn’t come through.

Up until recently I thought, if we have another baby, I will make it up in that way and make sure that all the “mistakes” I made with daughter number 1 , would not be repeated with baby number 2.  But this is not a way to live, these are irrational thoughts… the difference is , I can identify them as being irrational and work on them,.  I know that the media hypes things up and often gets information wrong, as does the medical profession. Don’t get me wrong, i think if you can breast feed, you should but it isn’t worth someone beating themselves up about it.

I think another thing that we feel guilty about as mothers which adds to PND, or it certainly did mine, was the “Yummy Mummies”. We all know these women… the ones who are immaculately dressed when you’re the one with spit and vomit on your clothing but managed to still get out the door before lunch time 😉  How do they manage to get up and out so early and look so immaculate? I remember being in company with at a weaning fair. It was a particularly bad day, I didn’t want to go or even leave the house that day but I was trying hard to be proactive and i had arranged to meet a friend.

I looked like hell on this day and the boots that I had on, couldn’t zip them all the way up due to my body changing after my daughter was born(fat calves), but my trousers were covering them although slightly visible, I remember the look she gave me.  It just added to the despair that I was already feeling.  She had the perfect pram, well kept appearance, and immaculate baby. I, looked terrible and was on the verge of tears.  I made excuses to leave and probably cried all the way home.  I felt like anything that I did to try to get better, just kept backfiring on me.

What I should have realized was, at least I made it out that day despite feeling the way that I had. I should have been kind to myself and saw an achievement! But I didn’t, i just beat myself up about things.It was becoming a regular thing and it would be some time before I started seeing changes.

 

 

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