The Thick Dark Cloud

When does the dark cloud become more than just baby blues?

This is the hardest thing to determine, having suffered depression before I knew what signs to look out for, but obviously after having a baby your body goes through so much and your hormones are mighty strong things that it can be difficult to know what is normal and what isn’t. I have actually posted a link to a website at the bottom of this post where I found a checklist which really did help me make sense of some of the thoughts and emotions that were happening.

In all honesty I do think the 14 day window of it being just baby blues is a bit narrow, it depends on so many factors, whether your breastfeeding which is exhausting, how sleep deprived you are and whether you have a supportive partner, aswell as many other things.

My husband and my Mum were an amazing support to me being there to witness my darkest days and pulling me through when I felt like I was failing… I literally wouldn’t be where I was today without them.

I still felt so down after 4 weeks of having Archie, my emotions were all over the place and my anxiety was a whole new level to anything I had ever experienced before.

I was never afraid of admitting that I may have had PND and having mentioned above I suffered depression before and knew that tablets and a bit of CBT could save my bacon.

This is going to hurt for me to be as brutally honest as I’m about to, but there were times where I would look at Archie and hate him (the smallest part of me) and want to push him away, get him off me , and I didn’t want to cuddle him….as soon as I thought this, I would cry as to why I felt that way about my precious little boy. The baby I had longed for all this time… These feelings and emotions still haunt me to this day, and even now I hurt whenever I remember this, they taint those memories of the beginning of our time together for me which I will never get back… God I wish they didn’t!

I was incredibly tired I was running on hardly any sleep but I was determined to carry on feeding him, I felt that as a mother emotionally I was failing he deserved the best version of me and this wasn’t it… but I needed to feed him to continue building a bond with him, he was unaware of my thoughts after all… So like I robot I put on a brave face and did everything practically a good mother should, but inside my head was telling me all sorts of nasty things.

This was just in my head, now I can see that clearly… It was no reflection on me as a person… depression is an evil thing it’s like having the most vile and twisted version of yourself in your head making you feel and think things you would never of dreamt of in normal reality, and the guilt I felt for being this way was eating me up…..

I didn’t want my husband to leave me in the morning and go to work, I never wanted to be on my own with Archie, I was scared of my baby… so once all the visits died down and Christmas was over I hit the floor with the biggest crash… I couldn’t handle noise so being around my nieces and nephews was overwhelming, I couldn’t handle being in really noisy places.. I had no patience…I couldn’t watch anything on tv with violence in or blood I would literally freak out and want to run…. And the visions I had of Archie were horrific, everything I did with him I created into an accident… Walking along the road and the pushchair veering off and being hit by a car… Dropping him by accident and his head cracking open and there being blood everywhere…. All these thoughts and visions constantly going round and round in my head making me feel so incredibly tired… Who was this person…this new version of myself? Why am I feeling this way?

It was time to go to the dr, she put me on a mild anti-depressant I could still feed on. Which as they can sometimes do made me feel worse and suicidal… They scared the hell out of me and I came straight off them… Struggled for another few weeks until the insomnia set in…

I would lay there at night and just couldn’t sleep or would wake after just 10 mins so was surviving on about 2 hours max broken sleep a night… Time to go back to the dr….

I took a new anti-depressant (again which I could feed on) which definitely took the edge off the anxiety and the depression was gone… but I can honestly say that until I stopped breastfeeding the anxiety didn’t stop….maybe it was hormones… But I still couldn’t sleep 8 months in I was falling asleep whilst driving sometimes. I needed to go back onto the tablet I took before for my depression pre baby but couldn’t do this until I stopped feeding… So I put my feelings on the back burner until then…

Once I stopped feeding I switched over and started sleeping and now a year on I’m coming off them as everything has settled down, I have my moments but the journey I’ve been on has made me stronger as a person and I’ve learnt things about myself I never knew even existed..everything happens for a reason and I’m great believer in that.

I have no regrets about admitting I needed help and once I posted on facebook about me coming out the other side of this dark cloud the amount of people I had messaging me telling me they felt the same and how brave I was to admit my struggle is what pushed me into writing this blog.

The cloud does lift, you will come out the other side and be a better person for it I promise.

‘There is always sunshine above the clouds…’

http://www.postpartumprogress.com/the-difference-between-postpartum-depression-normal-new-mom-stress

Ground Hog Day….

Not sure whether if it was heightened because Archie was a winter baby, but my god Don’t days and nights all feel the same in those first few weeks… And my pj’s seemed to be my outfit of choice most days…mainly because I didn’t have a spare 5 mins to have a poo.. Let alone get dressed what a luxury that was.

Honestly I didn’t realise how much I would appreciate a bath or shower, some clean clothes and a change of breast pads as much as I did in the beginning.

I often felt myself lingering in the bathroom or sitting on the toilet thinking that ‘I’m just going to stay here for 5 more minutes.’ But  also feeling guilty for doing so whilst listening to my husband trying to settle our crying newborn… Jesus he has just been fed it can’t be time to go again already… He’s been winded and has slept, he has a clean bum…..ohh I better hurry up my bath….. Wait thoughts interrupted husband is calling me saying that he’s tried everything and the kid must be hungry again… 5 more extra mins gone in a flash… And off I went to feed my piglet on the sofa. 🐷🐽

The sofa did officially have a mould that was the shape of my bottom by the end those first few weeks, down the side of the sofa was random bits of half eaten food, I had tried to eat and failed miserably, probably a half drank cup of one cold tea..shall make another to find it again maybe this time full but cold again… Damn!

Milk time was over, time to change the explosion that had just happened for the 10th time today…honestly there wasn’t a day that went by where I didn’t have to soak an item of clothing actually more like whole outfits… Just one change a day, on a good day… Archie’s nickname consequently became poo poo’s which he is still called to this day… He’s gonna love that when he’s 18 and brings home a girlfriend. 💩

I was trapped in the fat boy slim song…. Eat,sleep,change,repeat….eat,sleep,change,repeat…somebody help me… I’m worth more than this! Why on earth have we done this to ourselves!

Does everyone feel like this I thought, this is what I wanted more than the world, why am I not enjoying every moment like people kept telling me to do….what was wrong with me…. I’m an awful mother….I just wanted someone to take him away for a minute maybe a day… This was when the strange thoughts started… The ones that I’ll forever beat myself up for…

My husband was on holiday from work I should be enjoying spending time with him, watching films and having snuggles, but I just don’t have the time… God I miss him and just our company in the evenings… I found that hard to cope with in the beginning, We didn’t have any time just us… When would this day end…oh wait it would and tommorrow would be the same.

This was not normal, we were meant to be the fairytale couple you see pushing their newborn baby round in a pushchair having lovely long walks in the woods enjoying every minute with the new edition to our family while my husband was on “holiday” from work.

This however I realised  after putting so much pressure on myself for months to enjoy every moment is the expectation and not the reality.

Baby Blues and Lumpy Boobs. 

What a whirlwind those first few days at home really are. And with Christmas thrown in the mix It was exhausting! 

Baby Blues Jesus they are bloody awful, I remember sitting in the corner of my sofa crying about the fact that my baby was here and how amazing it was but how incredibly tired I felt and overwhelmed at people’s kindness and best wishes… Aswell as all the visits we had in those first few days! 

I always remember everyone saying to me Day 3 when your milk comes in will be the worst.. And smack on day 3… There it was I swear I cried enough to fill a small swimming pool! My boobs were well and truly there and for the first time in my life I had MASSIVE fake looking boobs which is what I had always wanted but Jesus did they hurt… And we’re so blooming hard and lumpy. 

It may have had something to do with the fact that I had given birth to a baby piglet and he had spent 7 hours STRAIGHT (I genuinely wish that was an exaggeration) on Christmas Day sucking at my boobies… And the midwife that visited me that day said just let him suckle as much as he wants…which I did. I was stuck in the same position on the sofa for what seemed like the lllooonnnnggeeesssttt day of my life, just me the baby and my boobs out all day, which then contributed to the beginning of mastitis.. AMEN to my midwife for all the advice on draining and hand expression before but also the information on Savoy cabbage! That stuff was a frigging life saver… Except I smelt like farts! 
For all you fellow breastfeeding mums I know you will sympathise and for those mummies who are maybe yet to do it, just a heads up breastfeeding is so so hard and you have to be completely selfless! No time for baths, wee’s and God forbid you try and eat a HOT MEAL… 🙈 so please DO NOT beat yourself up if you feel you need to introduce the bottle at some point so you can…. oh I don’t know just have some breathing space! 

I however should of took my own advice and not put pressure on myself to carry on but I did, and I fed Archie for 7.5 months… (Only because he took a month to accept the bottle) He was a big boy and a greedy one, we were lucky with him at night time and he would do 4 hour stretches but he would also take BOTH boobs at every feed and his longest ever feed in the night was a record 1.5 hours, he was lazy and would fall asleep but if I tried to take him off he would scream blue murder so it was easier not to fight 😑 he also loved a cluster feed… From 3.30pm he would feed for 1/2 hour – 45mins on each boob and then only give me a 30 min (if I was lucky) break in between… Until he had his last feed at around 8 after a bath and then he would go to sleep…along with me.. And then wouldn’t really wake until 2am or 3am. 

I honestly believe that breastfeeding contributes towards baby blues to an extent as its so time consuming  and demoralising I quite often felt like daisy the cow.. And my boobs were out so much I often didn’t see the point in putting them away! 😂😂 

But I have no regrets about feeding Archie and will without a doubt do it again, but like everything in life, learn’t somethings I will and won’t do the next time… As I will no doubt learn again then also.  

That’s something I’ll say about motherhood and babies… 

‘The one thing that doesn’t change is everything changes’