BY AMY MCLAREN (GUEST WRITER)
When I gave birth it was quite surreal and traumatic, I ended up with an emergency section and can’t remember much of the first moments with my daughter, I couldn’t hold her until I came to which was at least an hour after she was born, I woke in recovery to find my partner feeding her which was amazing too but I was upset that I didn’t get that skin to skin I hoped for. I had to stay in due to a post dura headache caused by the epidural and I couldn’t look after her much and due to the pandemic my partner was only allowed in for half an hour each day. I remember one of the girls in the ward saying to me when it gets to day 5 and you can’t stop uncontrollably crying don’t worry it’s just the baby blues and you will feel better in time.
3 days later I got out and wow it hit me like a tonne of bricks, I was sobbing uncontrollably and felt like I couldn’t bond with my baby, it sounds strange but I couldn’t believe she was mine she was so perfect and I actually thought what if they’ve given me the wrong baby.
When I couldn’t stop crying I turned to my partner and said do you think I could have postnatal depression and he asked the question that will always stick in my brain “well do you love her” obviously I did so It can’t be that I thought.
To sum up, postnatal anxiety & depression is not what you might think. The comment made innocently by my boyfriend “do you love her” still sticks in my mind 6 months on. Before I had a baby that’s exactly what I thought postnatal depression would be, that you don’t love your baby, you can’t look after them, you can’t get out of bed, look after your appearance, house etc. In actual fact it’s sometimes loving so much and the overwhelming feeling of responsibility that can make you feel this way & that’s ok, what’s not ok is suffering in silence & I would urge anyone who feels this way to speak up I feel 100x better since being diagnosed and treated.