When I first had Luna, I turned round to FOUR different doctors and told them that I had postnatal depression, they said it was just baby blues and it would pass… 13 months later and I still have those “baby blues” and yet it took a self referral to the mental health to get help. But the second the mental health team said that I had it, I had so many people say “oh I could have told you that”…. really? So why didn’t anyone stand up for me when I first said it? Why was I just brushed off and ignored? And now you wanna claim that you knew? No.
Yes. I have postnatal depression. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t love my daughter, and it doesn’t make me a bad mum. It makes me a troubled one. It makes it harder to bond with her and I punish myself for it. I couldn’t get attached to her because I was constantly scared I was gonna lose her. Partly due to something sinister and partly because I had people threaten to get her taken off me before she was even here. I had nightmares that someone was gonna kidnap my baby girl every night and it made me not want to sleep.
My daughter is just over a year and I have never had a bath with her like most mothers would. I have never taken her out alone. I can’t be there when she goes to sleep and I get so nervous about being alone with her. I have spent probably about 5 hours alone with my daughter in her entire short life and that’s not because I don’t want too. It’s because I can’t. I get scared that I can’t cope and I panic. I’m scared that somethings going to happen to her and it’s gonna be all my fault. I’m scared of being a bad mum and neglecting her. And I wouldn’t have any sort of relationship with her if it wasn’t for Kieran. Because he is well and truly my rock.
My daughter is by far the most important person in my life and all I do is worry. I over think and I panic because I think of the worst things possible. But it’s only recently that I’ve actually started to bond with her and I won’t do it without support. I mean for the first 11 weeks of her life, I breastfed her and it was one of the hardest challenges I’ve had to face. She was an extremely hungry baby. She clusterfed so much that for the first few weeks, I had about 7 hours sleep a week. It wasn’t that much. I ended up in hospital because I was rundown and my body was suffering. It got to the point where she was having both breasts, whatever I could express and top up formula and I felt defeated. I felt like I couldn’t even give my daughter what she needed.
The day I made the decision to stop, was the hardest and was when I went downhill. Everyone told me that I wasn’t a bad mum and I had given her the best start to life but it didn’t matter to me. Because I felt like I failed again. I couldn’t go full term, I couldn’t give birth naturally and then I couldn’t breastfeed her. I saw new mums bonding with their babies and I felt even worse because I couldn’t. I saw mums lose their precious ones and I felt guilty. Here I was with a perfectly healthy baby and I couldn’t do the one thing they longed for. And still to this day, I punish myself because of other people and I shouldn’t.
Every day however, I make Luna her night time bottle, kiss her forehead and tell her how much I love her. Every morning I wake up to her massive smile and I tell her how much I love her and how happy she makes me. Every day, I give her the biggest cuddles I can and sing her favourite songs to her. I help get her dressed and we play with her toys. We watch Shrek cuddled up in bed and we sing “if you’re happy and you know it”. But I still feel like there is so much more that I should be doing and could be doing.
I was severely depressed before I had Luna and it made sense that I had postnatal depression because I wasn’t in the best frame of mind. But every day I try for that little girl and every day it does get easier. If you were to ask Kieran how many times I asked for reassurance, he’d probably say way too much. I honestly do believe that I suck as a mother because the little I do is nothing compared to what I should be.
However, I do know that I love my daughter and I make sure that she is happy. Believe me, she is. It’s very rare that she’ll cry and she makes me so proud. She doesn’t need a perfect mum, but she does need a happy one. And battling this, is hard but for her, I’ll kick it’s ass. I’ll show her that even at my weakest, I can be strong. That even when I feel like I’m failing, she’s living proof that I’m not that bad. One day, I know I’ll be the mum I’m capable of. One day I will make my daughter as proud as she makes me. I just have to take this one day at a time.
Thank you for reading. Ferrari. 💝