Here at The Every Mum Movement, we are giving fellow mums a voice and inviting them to share their stories and experiences of maternal mental health, in our #MumsStoriesMatter series. the lovely Emma is joining our campaign and bravely sharing her story.
Over to you Emma…….
Last year we welcomed our beautiful baby boy Henry into the world.
My pregnancy was pretty straight forward, I planned and purchased everything for his arrival.
As an operating department practitioner I had some experience of births and decided to keep an open mind regards my birth plan and go with the flow.
What I didn’t plan for was postnatal depression…..
I would like to class myself as a cheerful, bubbly and positive person.
Yet my maternity leave at points have been some of the most debilitating of my life.
It started with not been able to talk about the birth without crying which should really have raised some alarm bells. This then progressed to not wanting visitors and actually telling people they couldn’t come in on more than one occasion.
Again possibly a sign that something wasn’t right as I had a gorgeous new born but refused to let people see him.
I gradually became terrified of Henry as I couldn’t look at him and not cry as I felt he deserved a better mum. This turned into anxiety been left alone with him as I didn’t feel capable to look after such a precious gift.
To full blown not been able to stop crying (any and everywhere) or even care for myself. Leaving the house became impossible as I just had no confidence. My mind started to turn on me even more so ranging from the house feeling too small and I had to escape to not actually been able to tell what colour my carpets were?
To thinking Henry was my grandad reincarnated, oh and I spent a month thinking Henry wasn’t my baby but just my friend.
Thankfully I sort help but do wish I had been more equipped regards the signs of postnatal depression.
It seems to still be a secret or taboo subject. Even now I worry people will think I don’t love my baby yet this couldn’t be further from the truth.
I have always loved him I was just poorly but didn’t realise.
My advice to any new mum would be do not be embarrassed to get help you deserve to enjoy your baby.
And your baby deserve to have a well mummy.
If you would like to share your story and feature in our #MumsStoriesMatter campaign, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. If you or someone you know is in need of support with their maternal mental health we have a list of services here. And, if you would like to read about a fellow mums recovery from maternal mental health then please see, the book from The Every Mum Movement Founder, Olivia Siegl here.