people tell you it will get better but when your life is surrounded by doubt, anxiety and depression it’s never easy to see that far ahead let alone the next day. The first 4 months of my daughters life I spent everyday crying, anxious and afraid to be alone with my own child. The moment she was born I never felt that instant connection, that love instead I had an overwhelming fear of what the hell did I just do. I struggled for the first two days in hospital especially when I was left alone and was unable to properly breast feed my baby dispite the efforts of the midwives. I constantly cried when I was to leave the hospital, stating I didn’t want to go home but I was still made to leave. After two weeks of hell we finally started to get the hang of breastfeeding but the anxiety surrounding that still never eased. From here it escalated. I was never left alone for more than an hour with my baby as I made family surround me constantly. The anxiety and the ‘what ifs’ took over my life. Even though My partner went back to work and again I made my mum not return to work just so I had someone around. It wasn’t until my baby’s fifth week of life that I was made to be alone. Don’t get me wrong she was an overall great baby but I never felt I was myself , and I never felt trusting of myself that I couldn’t handle situations if they arose. It was the third day into the week of solitude and we ended up in hospital for the 3rd time in her short little life. I always thought am I being ridiculous coming here but my intuition was always correct. Though these situations were placed I front of me and I handled them as best I could I still felt I couldn’t do it and I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. After some advice from my maternal health nurse I decided that it was best for me to check into a mother and baby unit. And as much as I didn’t want to be there I knew I had to do it for myself and for my baby. It was the best decision I have ever made for my little girl. I was finally somewhere where I could be helped. At first I was isolating myself and not accepting of certain help provided like the nurses taking my little girl for me to have a nap or a shower. I still felt I needed to do it all as when I got out I would have to do it myself anyway. After the first two weeks in I began to finally start to feel better and the light was slowly getting brighter. By this point We were able to sort out my LO illnesses which were allergies to foods and reflux and was under treatment. I always thought it was all in my head and I was being a crazy woman but the dfiference was unbelievable. By week three I was finally involving my self in group therapy sessions talking to mums exactly the same as me. Usually by this stage most woman tend to go home however I ended up staying for a total of 5 weeks. I meet some wonderful people through this and was able to continue therapy groups sessions with mums as an outpatient. Now my baby is 18 months old and it wasn’t for the mother and baby unit at North park hospital I know my life would not be the same. It’s just a shame there aren’t more places like this that a readily available for women. But every chance I get I always recommend attending one even if it’s just for sleep school.
Nothing phases me now like it used to. I am able to meet any situation head on and the anxiety rarely rears its ugly head. It’s hard to believe where I used to be. Some of the amazing people I met in northpark are close friends of mine and my little girl and we catch up regularly and share our stories. It’s nice to have people around you how understand exactly what you are going through. My biggest hope is that someone who is suffering reads this and knows there is help available and don’t be ashamed to accept it. You will never regret it!!!
Posted by Shay, 15th May 2015