I’ve been going back and forth wondering to even write this. Before I begin I’m not saying that I suffered with post-natal depression – I think it would be insulting for me to class my little blurry patch as something that it wasn’t. But I do want to say that the Baby Blues are pretty rubbish and I had no idea how horrible it could be…
The feeling that you’re not good enough to be a mum is so difficult to describe. When Jack was born I was so in love, it just didn’t seem possible that I could ever be unhappy with this beautiful little baby.
Jacks tongue tie made breast feeding near impossible, I always said I would have an open mind when it came to breast feeding and not beat myself up if it didn’t work, but all I kept thinking was how could I fail at something that should happen so naturally?
I’d heard all about Baby Blues, so I was expecting some moments where I felt a bit tearful – stupid hormones! I was giving Jack a run for his money with the amount I cried, I would spend hours just sobbing, I remember sitting on the floor sorting out washing just crying and crying – but I just couldn’t figure out why – maybe Shane had put a rogue odd sock in the washing again.
When Jack was around three weeks old I was determined to take him to the clinic on my own to get weighed, but after one hell of a night I walked in with my head down, hoping nobody would notice me. The health visitor said those four words that you don’t want to hear when you’re feeling rubbish – ‘how are you feeling?’ well I absolutely crumbled! I was so embarrassed but I just couldn’t stop crying. She took me to one side, had a chat and I left feeling a little better and grateful that she took the time to make sure I was OK, but I still couldn’t shake off the feeling that I wasn’t doing good enough.
The health visitor arranged an extra appointment with me to check if I needed any more support, and the week leading up to it I was obsessed that people were checking up on me, and I was adamant that the health visitor was trying to catch me out. I got myself so stressed out wanting to make sure that everything was spotless and that Jack was all dressed and clean for when she arrived. When she arrived I put on my best ‘I’m fine’ smile, acting like I had my life together, when inside I knew I was spiralling.
I remember the hardest day like it was yesterday – Jack spent pretty much all day glued to me, I couldn’t put him down without him screaming, we spent all day crying together. My mum came over and I crumbled, I sobbed like I’d never sobbed before, how was it possible for someone to cry so much?
The next morning I woke up still feeling a bit foggy, but it was almost like the day before was a wake up call. I got myself up and sorted and tried to carry on, hoping that the fog will clear. I’m not saying that everything was better with the click of a finger, but I think that was the point when I knew that I had to pull myself together.
From then on I made sure I told Shane about those moments when I was feeling low, I called them my wobbles. Slowly but surely I started to feel better and better. Now I look at Jack and wondered how I could ever feel like I couldn’t cope, but that’s the funny thing about being a new mum, there isn’t a rule book or a tick list of how you should/shouldn’t feel, you’ve just got to take each day as it comes.