When You Can’t See The Baby-Joy Woods For The Big Anxiety Trees

I had horrendous post natal depression after giving birth to my eldest daughter.

I ummed and ahhhed about sharing my experience.

I’m still ashamed of some of the feelings I felt back then and I’m scared to go back to that moment but then I think…..if there is even one mum at home now, feeling how I did, that may come across my blog and see that I’m doing ok then it has been worth it.

Any of you that know my story may think that I’m talking about how I felt after having my youngest.

EsmΓ© was born tiny and is having investigations still to determine why.

I’m not.

Whilst I did suffer terribly with anxiety since her birth, they were completely normal feelings of a worried parent.

There’s no cure for being a worried mum unfortunately.

I experienced PND after the birth of my eldest, now 7.

I knew there was a chance of this as I have periodically had anxiety and taken anti depressants from being 14.

What I didn’t realise was how these feelings would manifest.

Niamh’s birth was horrendous. No two ways about it. 36 hours long and it resulted in a tear and some very messy stitches that left my Mary looking like a pan of scrambled eggs.

My physical recovery took over 12 months.

When I came home I couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t walk much and I found feeding her difficult. I didn’t have the breastfeeding knowledge that I do now and I wasn’t sure if I was doing it right.

fat pregnant jodie

I started to get horrendous graphic unwanted images in my head of her coming to harm.

Not by me, I held her whilst going upstairs I would think ‘what if I were to faint? She would fall and hit her head and die’.

This would lead to me freezing on the spot, gripped by fear. I would break into a sweat and my heart would pound out of my chest.

I developed an obsession with the end of the world and spent so much time on the Internet weighing up the likelihood of it.

I was terrified to tell the health visitor incase she advised that the baby was taken off me because I was crazy.

I carried this fear around for weeks. I stopped leaving the house with her and I hated anyone holding her.

She wasn’t sleeping much at night and lack of sleep added to the panic, and it had to come to a head.

image

One morning I couldn’t face being alone and I sobbed, begging Neil to stay home.

He called in work and I spent most of the day asleep on the chair having cried myself to sleep.

I went to the doctors later that day. He prescribed me Sertraline and CBT and that was the start of my recovery.

PND isn’t always an obvious disinterest in your baby.

Mine was at the other end of the spectrum. I had something so very precious that I couldn’t bear the thought of the world getting to her.

It took a long time to enjoy motherhood and let go of the terror.

PND robbed me of those first 4 months.

My advice is to not dismiss any negative feelings as ‘baby blues’. If you feel on the edge all the time and afraid to go out then don’t hesitate to seek help.

A certain amount of worrying is completely normal. Becoming a mum is amazing but also overwhelming and scary as shit.

If those feeling take over your life and you fail to find enjoyment in anything then chances are you will benefit from speaking to someone.

PND is very common and is treatable.

It’s only because we feel like we have to be superwoman from the get-go that asking for help sometimes feels like failure.

What would health visitors think if they see me just about holding it together in my 4 day old pyjamas?

That you have just pushed a goddamn human out your foof that’s what.

Ring the doctors.

You’re not on your own.

JD xx

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13 Comments
  • Michelle Banks
    Posted at 22:28h, 10 September Reply

    Thank you for sharing this very personal experience I have bn in that very dark place as well I wanted nobody to touch or hold my second daughter it took me so long to get her and all I wanted to do was protect her from everything still slightly like this now but not as deep as I was we so need to share are experiences with others so no one feels alone and embarrassed πŸ’•

  • This Mum Business
    Posted at 22:31h, 10 September Reply

    That’s the thing Michelle, PND is always portrayed on TV as being a disconnect with your baby and that isn’t always how it is. I know it’s normal for new parents to be overwhelmed with love and caution but when you stop living your life as a result, something has to give xxxxx

  • Janey Jane
    Posted at 22:38h, 10 September Reply

    Ahh Jodie this is exactly almost what happened to me after Izzy. I would lie awake thinking people were coming to take her or harm her. When I came home I thought she had been swapped at birth with another baby, she was just too perfect. I would look at photos convinced she wasn’t ours!!!! I thought she hated me and I was scared of being in the house with her….its was a scary time a result of many things I think xxx your right though it manifests in many forms xxx

  • This Mum Business
    Posted at 22:42h, 10 September Reply

    God Jane how awful?! Why doesn’t anyone tell you what a head wrecker being a mum is going to be???? I remember being in the grand arcade with her in the pram and thinking if I faint here, she will be all alone and probably taken and murdered. I couldn’t stop sweating and had to run home 😒😒 xxx

  • Janey Jane
    Posted at 22:43h, 10 September Reply

    Exactly the same matey exactly xx weirdly didn’t have this with zach but well there came along a whole different kind of stress!!!!

  • This Mum Business
    Posted at 22:46h, 10 September Reply

    Same with EsmΓ©! We must have become very resilient! X

    • Janey Jane
      Posted at 22:48h, 10 September Reply

      Hardcore πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

  • Rhyming with Wine
    Posted at 10:56h, 12 September Reply

    Thank you for telling your story. My experience sounds very similar to yours in some ways and so I can totally relate. People expect post natal depression to mean that you’re “depressed”. I knew I wasn’t that, but I didn’t realise that it could manifest itself as extreme anxiety. I used to be determined that a car would pull up at the side of me and that someone would get out to take my baby as I walked with her in the pushchair. It was my hubby that eventually read up on it and diagnosed me and I went to get some help. I’m sure your post will be a huge support to many new mums struggling in this way and I hope it encourages them to know that they will be fine, but that they should not be ashamed and should reach out for help in the meantime. xx #bigpinklink

  • Rainbowsaretoobeautiful
    Posted at 17:33h, 12 September Reply

    It was 2pm the day after I got back when the health visitor came. I came down the stairs in my pjs and burst into tears. She said, “this is completely normal.” It was such a relief. Than you for sharing #bigpinklink

  • Hannah G, The 'Ordinary' Mum
    Posted at 22:07h, 16 September Reply

    I think its so important to raise awareness of PND and all the ways it shows itself. I’m glad that you were able to get the help that you needed. Thank you for sharing with #bigpinklink x

  • Michelle Banks
    Posted at 07:57h, 13 April Reply

    Beautifully written ,honest ,funny and so true PND is a very dark place which I too visited like you nobody could do anything for both of my daughters now 18 and 11 soooo over protected and if I’m totally honest my protection towards them always comes before anything else but I am not about too change that for anything thank you for your honest thoughts πŸ’•

    • Jodie Danner
      Posted at 17:24h, 13 April Reply

      No one tells you it can go the other way completely do they Michelle? You only hear about the women that jump off buildings with their babies or reject them completely xxxxxx

    • Michelle Banks
      Posted at 17:29h, 13 April Reply

      Very true Jodie πŸ’•

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