20% of women worldwide suffer from a perinatal mental health problem.
I’m in that 20%
Today I’m sharing some of my story with you in the hope that anyone who is struggling right now can read this and know that maternal mental health problems affect so many of us. That having a problem doesn't make you any less of a mum. I want you to know YOU are you child’s world and it’s ok to not be ok.
I think I knew during my pregnancy with my eldest daughter by this I mean (I knew I wasn’t feeling right). I put it down to hormones, and tiredness. I had quite a rough pregnancy with sickness and some big life changes in the lead up to the birth.
Although something wasn’t quite right, I was optimistic amid the crying and worrying. I couldn’t wait to meet my baby. I happily awaited being a family, holding my baby in my arms.
Unfortunately I was in a difficult relationship with her dad and had moved some distance away from family late in pregnancy. I was becoming isolated.
When my baby girl arrived I was totally in love. She was perfect, she gave me purpose, she helped me to keep going although life became more of a struggle then ever.
From the moment I took her home.I worried all the time ! I cried all the time! Nights were my nemesis. My beautiful baby girl had brought me so much joy, my love for her was the only thing that I could be sure of in life. Sadly .......
That worry was just all consuming...
I lay in bed at night thoughts racing.
I couldn't sleep when she slept . I woke constantly to check she was ok
I thought I was losing my mind.
I thought she didn't like me and would be better off without me .
Nobody knew my dark secret,
I carried on in my little bubble loving my baby. Trying to bury the shame and deny my anxiety .
Taking care of myself and my baby took everything out of me.
Then I was pregnant again! My baby girl only four months old when I found out.
I was happy and terrified at the same time, my self esteem was at a all time low but being mummy to my girls kept me going.
I spent every hour of every day loving them. I told myself, worry was just part of being a new mum and I loved being their mum.
I took care of my baby’s every need, I found it hard to accept help but I leaned on my mum and my sister.
I wish I could tell that version of myself that I was fantastic mum despite my internal fight. That I was enough.
Sadly people around me argued with me over my mothering instincts. I was made to feel abnormal for breastfeeding, holding and giving all of attention to my tiny baby.
I would fight for my rights to do this and every time someone undermined them, my anxiety grew. Every time one of my rights, to hold, feed or respond to her were threatened. My mind perceived more danger.
I wish I would have spoken out then. Opened up about the terrible thoughts that haunted me. My baby wasn't even a year old and I was about to do it all again.
I was so worried if I asked for help I would lose my children. So I didnt.
Slowly, slowly I started to feel better. I think time had it’s part to play they were little for such a short time.
Today life is good!
My children are still my world and I've grown a business around being there for new parents. Offering unconditional kindness and support.
I’m here for you.
If you feel something is wrong, I urge you to tell someone.
You are not alone.
You are enough.
Below are links to helpful pages👇