This is only a small part of my story. Obviously a lot more has happened in 9 years. I've never shared anything like this before. I'm scared but I know I'm not alone. Being a mum is a hard but rewarding job. Having children has changed me. I will never be the same again and I'm ok with that. Our journey will never be easy but it's one I'm glad I share with some incredible people. So here it is, a small part of my maternal mental health journey.
My maternal health journey started when I was pregnant. I struggled with prenatal depression and when I had Ethan I then got postnatal depression.
I had wanted to be a mum my whole life. I had always been very maternal. When I found out I was pregnant I was over the Moon but also scared. I wasn't in the best relationship but I hoped that having a baby would change that.
I had never struggled with my mental health before. I'm an emotional person, but I had never been depressed before. When I was pregnant I felt like my life had ended. I resented A for still being able to live his life. What I didn't realise at the time, was that my life was just beginning.
I kept my feelings from everyone apart from A. I was ashamed that I was feeling like this and that I should be greatful for this beautiful miracle. Of course I was greatful, but I hated being pregnant. I hated the way it made me feel. I hated not being in control in of my feelings.
Of course what I didn't know was the whirlwind that was going to happen after I had Ethan.
I had some incredibly dark days after Ethan. I put it all down to the stress of having an incredibly poorly baby. But the truth is, I had PND. 'A' kept telling me I had PND and it wasn't until we split up that I was actually diagnosed with it.
It took about a year for me to feel better. I remember the day I looked at Ethan and realised I had missed a year of his life. I had been on autopilot for so long it was weird to feel normal again. I was able to fully enjoy being a mummy.
My mental health journey hasn't stopped there. Our life is incredibly unpredictable and I had to admit that I needed help a couple of years ago just after our wedding. Everything got too much for me and I was incredible overwhelmed. I had begun to feel like life wasn't worth the hassle and that I needed to get out of it all. I wouldn't say suicidal, just that I needed to escape for a while.
I began self harming and this is something only very few people know about. When I fell pregnant I was in a much better place and I didn't want the pregnancy to ruin my hard work like it did last time. I was so worried that a repeat of Ethans pregnancy and all his difficulties would happen again. The Dr's were fantastic and advised that I stayed on my tablets so that me and the baby were happy.
I didn't get PND this time, but that doesn't mean it's been plain sailing. I have struggled immensely with the comparison of the journeys my babies have been on. It's a weird place to be in with all these feelings of love and guilt all at the same time.
I have been seeing a specialist therapist who deals with families with children with life limiting disorders. She has helped me work through all my thoughts and the processes I go through at each stage of our journey.
Motherhood hasn't been an easy ride for me emotionally and physically. I absolutely love being a mummy but it's really hard. There are days I want to give up, but then one of my babies smiles at me. I am not the best mum in the world, I just do all I can to make my babies lives amazing. I am not ashamed now to have felt this way. This is my story and I am proud of it.