Hi, and thank you for reading my blog. I’m Sarah, wife to an very patient and supportive husband, and mum to 3 wonderful children. I had 3 babies in 3 years (we thought It would be a really good idea to have them all close together!) but over the past 3 1/2 years I’ve also suffered from PND and Anxiety. Having children so close together was a challenge physically but even more of a toll on my mental health!
I’ve been wanting to start a blog relating to my postnatal depression & anxiety for some time now. The time never felt right, I think I was so lost in the depression fog I couldn’t think clearly to even write my feelings down. Now though, nearly 3 1/2 years after the birth of my first child and the beginning of my PND journey, I feel I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I finally feel ready to be completely open and honest about my experiences, thoughts and feelings. Most importantly I no longer feel shame, I want to talk about it, I want to raise awareness, help others & stamp out the stigma!
It’s so important to know you aren’t alone, I had no idea PND was what I was suffering from. My daughter was 6 months old when I stumbled across postnatal depression symptoms. I was searching online for answers – why am I not coping, why I do I feel so lost, why am I crying all the time, why am I constantly living in fear, so many emotions. I assumed because I had a great bond with my daughter it couldn’t possibly be PND. Then I found the list of symptoms. I remember sobbing while reading it, someone had reached inside my head and written everything down. It was my life, all the emotions I’d had difficulty explaining were written down in front of me. I felt a mixture of relief at finally having an answer but also shame and guilt, how could I feel like this when being a mum is all I ever wanted? I was so lucky, I had no right to feel depressed. But depression doesn’t care who you are or what you have. If it wants you, it gets you.
It was the early hours of the morning and I woke my husband ‘I know what’s wrong with me!’ And bless him, He sat listening to me like he always has and agreed that I needed to contact the doctors (well actually speak to my midwife because by the time I’d realised that I had PND I was pregnant with baby number 2!)
And this was the start of my PND journey, The start of my long road to recovery, & one I’m still on.
Having PND has changed me forever but this doesn’t mean it will be a negative change (I won’t let it!) I’m having a first hand experience in mental health challenges and the impacts it has not only on your life, but your family. I want to use that experience to do some good!
It was such a comfort knowing I wasn’t alone, that others had been through this, that people had recovered, & things get better. I hope this blog will give someone suffering from PND, depression, anxiety some hope and comfort knowing that people do understand, and there is help. If you feel you could be suffering from PND please, please tell someone, it was the best thing I did. I’ve just recently started tweeting with #pndhour & #pndchat – it’s a wonderful community of mums, dads, health care professionals that can help. I was a lurker for a while and even that helped to see others talking about the same experiences I was having. Now I feel ready to join in and it’s been a great help – they’re a really welcoming, friendly group.
Hopefully as I continue to blog, I can share more of my story, and help raise awareness. PND is a hard fight but it’s a fight that can be won.