Wednesday, 27 February 2019

It really is ok, not to be ok.

It's OK not to be OK.

After Oliver, I never really had any postnatal issues, so I just expected everything to be hunky-dory following Isabelle's birth, but I honestly feel like I've been sinking further and further into a dark hole which I am struggling to get out of.

Postnatal anxiety... I'd never heard of it before - generally I only ever about postnatal depression, so as my symptoms didn't match - although were close - to postnatal depression I didn't think any more of it and didn't speak up about how I was feeling in fear that I would be seen as some sort of failure. 

Postnatal anxiety can affect new mum's in a variety of different ways, for me personally I was constantly worrying something was going to happen to Isabelle, I had panic attacks walking down the street thinking a car would swerve off the road and hit her pram, I struggle to focus at work worrying that something has happened to her at nursery... I don't sleep so I can make sure she's still breathing and would find myself bursting into tears over nothing. I felt like I was in a black hole that was swallowing me up.  This isn't usual behaviour for me and I was completely exhausted, so I went to see my GP.  My GP was absolutely lovely, when I booked in I made sure I was seeing a female doctor in the hope that she may have more of an understanding of what I was going through (I have always hated the thought of any male looking down on me and thinking of me as weak in anyway shape or form)…. I cried buckets during our discussion and at the end she just sat there, smiled at me and told me how she thought I was an amazing, strong mum and that after everything Oliver had gone through she's amazed at how well I'd held everything together up until then. She suggested that I go to counselling and prescribed me Sertraline.  Sertraline is a type of antidepressant which is also used to treat panic attacks, OCD and PTSD as well as depression. 

Seeing my GP and admitting how I was feeling was such a big step forwards for me. It made me realise it's ok to admit when I am not coping and I began to open up to my family and confided in my mum which again felt like a massive weight of my shoulders.  These thoughts and feelings haven't gone away by any means, however, I am learning to cope with them and my outlook is slowly beginning to brighten... I'm currently on day 2 of not crying or wanting to cry for no reason so that's a big leap 😂

I've always said to other people, it's OK not to be OK and advised others to seek medical help or speak out about their feelings but I genuinely never knew how hard it actually is when it's you in that situation. 

I would just like to say, to any other mum's who have feelings like this, you got this mamma! We are all going to struggle in different ways, but I think that our struggles are what make us unique and stronger than before. Don't fear being seen as a failure, I think that was one of my biggest fears, being strong and getting the right help is the best thing that you can do for you and your babies and it definitely does not make you a failure!!!

"Postnatal anxiety is something that some new mothers experience after having a baby. Having a child not only causes huge changes to a woman’s body in terms of the physical shock and hormonal fluctuations, but can also have a big impact on family life, sleep levels and stress. All of these things can lead a person to become more anxious than usual. There are a number of different types of postnatal anxiety, including postnatal generalised anxiety disorder (which can present as a constant state of high anxiety, with worries about everything from your child’s health, feeding, and your ability to parent); postnatal obsessive compulsive disorder (which often involves experiencing distressing thought and concerns about harm coming to your baby); and postnatal health anxiety (which is a preoccupation that there may be something wrong with a baby’s health)."  



2 comments:

  1. It's really hard, I suffered with postnatal depression with my first. It's never really gone and I get bad anxiety slot of the time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's such a struggle isn't it. sending you lots of love x

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