My Postnatal Depression Story

my-pnd-story

 

This was written a year and a half after our second baby, EJ, was born.

 

My Heart in a Poem

We have a new daughter, hooray! Hooray!
She’s such a wee darling,
so happy to meet you,
so happy to see you,
to hold you,
to love you.

So happy to teach you,
to guide you,
to love you.
So happy to lead you each step of the way.

~

My heart breaks I can’t feed you,
my darling, my daughter.
My heart breaks I’m so useless,
so guilty,
so sad.

I could do it before, what’s wrong with me now?
So tiny,
so helpless,
so hungry for life.

~

You’re happier now
my darling, my daughter.
You’re growing
and changing
and sleeping so well.

And yet…
My heart breaks for you my darling, my daughter.

My heart breaks for worry,
for fear,
for guilt.

I should do better for you,
I should be stronger
be happier,
be more “there” for you.

And yet…
I can’t.

I can’t.

I go through the motions
for yourself and your brother.

I go through the motions
and rein it all in.

I go through the motions
and wish I could cry too
as fervently wild as a newborn babe.

But,
I can’t.

I watch you grow so strong and so lovely,
so content
and so loud
and so full of life.

I love you so dearly, my darling, my daughter.

I love you so dearly,
it hurts,
it hurts.

It hurts me to be like this,
to be so unlike myself.

To be so controlled by each wave of emotion,
by each worry,
each fear,
each thought.

I’m so guilty,
and useless,
and worthless,
and lonely.

And you’re so forgiving,
and loving,
and happy.

I will strive for you my darlings,
my precious little darlings.

I will strive to do better
to be who I can be.

I may falter and stumble.

I may slide back again,
but I’ll fight,
I’ll fight
and I’ll kill this beast.

This horrible cloud that sucks the life,
and joy,
and hope from life.

That makes me ask
“Who is she, the old me?”
to the one who knows me,
who loves me
and holds me.

Each sob wracks his body
as much as my own.

I will strive for you my darling, my husband, my love.

I will strive for you my darlings,

I will fight.

I will win.

 

Kathelle
24.06.2015

 

We are now only a matter of weeks away from welcoming our third baby and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared of going through this again. Postnatal depression is an awful illness, and yet it took me over eight months after EJ was born to admit that something was wrong.  Mistakenly I believed that I didn’t have depression because I loved my daughter and the “classic sign” of PND is a lack of connection with your child… And yet I knew I didn’t feel as affectionate towards her as I did with her older brother. I made myself be affectionate to her and eventually it became natural.  She is such a loving little girl and now it’s like the Lord has increased my love and affection for her to such an extent that it’s making up for that lost time.  I love and am amazed by how forgiving and loving and patient (in their own way!) little children can be.

I hid under the lie of “I’m fine”, or just “plodding on”.  I hid behind a mask of ready smiles in public and ready tears in private.  Two years is too long to suffer for, it is so much better to ask for help if and when you need it.

The people who helped me most, helped with their presence and kind actions, and for them I will always be very grateful.  Some helped me beyond description without even knowing of my struggles. Thank you.

Now for baby number three… we are excited to meet you and I hope I’m a better Mammy for you after this experience.  We are placing our trust in the Lord for the future instead of worrying about the what ifs of feeding and postnatal depression etc. This is something I find hard to do, I want to have control, but, as He has proven many times in my life, God knows best and His plans as always better than ours – even if we don’t understand them at the time.

Over a year later, I can read this poem and remember the feelings BUT they are memories, not current and for that I am truly grateful.  Sometimes we don’t realise how far we’ve come until we look back…

About Kathelle

Hallo! I'm Kathelle, happily married to Mr P. and mum to DJ, EJ and LJ. I am on a mission for a handmade, homemade home! In my (not so plentiful!) spare time I love to sew, watch Jane Austen films and, occasionally, I get some baking done!

3 thoughts on “My Postnatal Depression Story

  1. My sister suffered from post natal depression. I pray this pregnancy goes well for you. The good thing is you know that you will come through the other side, although it’s not something easy to believe when you are in the black hole, holding on by your finger tips!

  2. Kathelle.I wish I had been aware of how you were feeling.I have only been told about this condition .but never experienced it.I am so glad that you are now free from this. Be shore I shall be praying for you in the coming days as you expect the new baby. I’m very glad you have been able to tell your story The Lord bless you and keep well. With love and prayers. Sandra.x

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