Things started to heal, and I began to actually feel like a mother. I done everything! And this is where my depression started. I didn’t realise at the time that this was even considered as post-natal depression. When I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING! I fed her, washed her, put her to bed, woke up through the evening. Everything! I would not let anyone else even touch her. And if they did, my anxiety would skyrocket, and I’d have to take her back within five minutes. I kept telling myself, this is normal! I’ve just had a baby for goodness sake.
I felt overwhelming joy, every time I looked at her. It consumed my entire body. I burst into tears on a few occasions just because she is mine. My emotions were everywhere.
Again, I assumed this was ‘the baby blues’ part of post pregnancy. The midwife had told me that this was a natural thing. Hormones are returning back to normal and it usually lasts around 5-7 days after the baby is born.
I waited those 5-7 days, and prayed that I would feel okay. Prayed that I would get back to my chirpy, sarcastic self. But this never happened. I felt like someone was sitting on my chest every time I thought about leaving the house. I felt that when I did, everyone was staring at me, knowing I was too scared to hold my baby when she was born. I did not want to be put in that situation. So I stayed at home.
The midwifes had been a few times by this point. The baby was suffering with Jaundice. Apparently, this is common after a c-section birth. I never saw the same midwife throughout my pregnancy and post-birth, and didn’t really feel comfortable with talking ‘personal issues’ with a new person each time. So I just got on with it. As long as my baby girl was okay and healthy, I was okay. I painted that smile back on my face, and tried not to think about it.
When my partner went back to work, I started to get into a routine. Same things, ever week. Even down to what we were eating. I done the washing on specific days, cleaned the kitchen on a specific day, hoovered the living room on a specific day. Everything had it’s place. The only time I left the house was to visit my parents. Although, most of the time they came to my home.
As long as I had my routine, I was okay. Although, I still felt the anxiety rushing over me if someone knocked the door unexpectedly. Or the depression if my plans had changed last minute.
Looking back, this is how I controlled my feelings. I didn’t have to feel anxious or depressed if I knew exactly what was happening each day. But this is not the way to live your life. Imagine having the same meal every single day? Crazy right. Well, that’s how I felt. Crazy. Stuck in my own brain with thoughts I couldn’t control.
This was the start of my depression and anxiety getting worse, and I didn’t even realise. I thought I was okay.