I insanely adore both my babies from the bottom to the very top of my heart and I hate those awful thoughts of 'what if' that plague me everyday.

There is never a time when someone around me talks about the future (school, jobs, or interests of their babies or mine) where the thought doesn't cross my mind - 'what if they don't make it?'  I know it's mostly normal, all parents have these huge fears but does everyone else have them with every, single, possible, 'future' thought?

I'm minded to think that this is down to Oli. That this fear that there may not be a future is down to losing a part of mine. The certainty that death is inevitable, and unpredictable, leaves me knowing that even my worst fears may come true and no amount of wishing can stop it. Of course I do my utmost to protect them both, but it doesn't quell my darkest thoughts.

Sometimes I also wonder whether this is due to Postnatal Depression.  I suffered with 'O', although really it could have been down to Oli's death again. I then suffered Antenatal Depression (Prenatal Depression) with 'H' (more common than you think) and I think I am probably still suffering with PND post 'H'.

Following 'H', I definitely struggled to form a bond, struggled to love even, as awful as it sounds. I absolutely love him now, but it is weird to know that at one point I didn't. I hate knowing it really.  It possibly stemmed from my so wanting a girl this time.  I swore that I would love the baby if it was a boy but there was deep set disappointment.  It has taken me such a long time to get over it, get over the loss of not having a girl.  I know it's not a loss in the actual sense, I know what loss is, but it was hard none the less.

The PND, now, makes me irrational. I'm snappy, grumpy and short at times, and not just because I'm 'due on' or haven't had enough coffee. I'm irrational with my fear of certain situations, 'will the doctors surgery mind displaying our playgroup poster?' I know it doesn't even matter, but in my head it's built up to a far bigger thing than it need be.  I know it is but I can't stop my mind from whirling.

When I talk to my friends, both with and without children, about PND, most associate it with depression as it sounds. Long miserable days, endless crying, no thoughts to any future, an inability to socialise, a deep, dark depression. Most of my friends also know someone who is on antidepressants. PND though, is not just depression as it sounds, it is also crippling anxiety, irrational anxiety, an inability to act on sense or see it even when we're acting irrationally. I genuinely struggle to behave normally sometimes, particularly if I'm cross about something irrational. I swear, I act like a complete brat and can't stop it. Inevitably I owe apologies when I'm done but I cannot snap out of it at will!


The other thing about PND is that we don't talk about it, noone understands that it's not just depression because we don't let each other know.  It doesn't feel acceptable, after having a baby, to admit that you don't love the baby yet, or that you hate motherhood, or that you're struggling with failing to meet up to your ideals of a mother. It is so unbelievably hard to go from a professional, expert even, in your field of work to becoming a complete novice at doing a job you feel should come easy, but doesn't. Hard hard hard.



We should all support each other more.  Admit our mistakes more readily. Open up to our hardships and hope that people respond positively.  Since I've opened up I've learned of more struggling mums, which has been comforting of sorts.  It has also helped me to understand the importance of compassion. People may be struggling, we may not know it to look at them, but anyone could need a shoulder to lean on or a sympathetic ear.   Here's to helping other mummies and for understanding more on this complex and sensitive subject.

 





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