Your Story is a series by WonderfulWomen where you will read inspiring Guest Posts from women around the world. Here they share their experiences, stories and things that matter most to all women.
Today’s Guest Post is by a beautiful lady who likes to remain anonymous and prefers to be called by the name of her blog i.e. With Love from P. P is from withlovefromp.com She is a 27-year-old city girl whose heart is stolen by two little boys who call her Mummy. Besides being a mom, she works full time as Children Services Practitioner and a blogger who strives to empower women and mothers through her work. ‘With love from P’ strives to eliminate the stigma attached to being a mother and puts self-care at the forefront of her world. Read this inspiring post by P where she talks about the importance of self-care for new moms through her own experience.
‘My prenatal depression – How mama got her sass back’
Who was this woman, this woman who looked in the mirror and disliked what she saw, who was this woman who didn’t want to leave the house or have any contact with the outside world, who was this woman who was passing the chance of slipping some sexy heels on and lipstick to go a date night.. This woman was me!!
I didn’t recognize myself, I didn’t like the person I had become… 7 months pregnant with my second son and I felt as though the weight of the world was on my shoulders! On reflection, I can most definitely confirm that I was suffering from pre-natal depression! At the time I refused to admit as society told me that pregnancy should be a happy time.
I put a smile on for 7 months because I was the strong friend, I was the rock and when I was down, people didn’t know how to deal with it! You know when they say “Never forget to check on your strong friend” I desperately needed someone to check on me but how were they to know… how was anyone to know how I was feeling! I didn’t even know myself. All I knew was that my body was no longer mine! This happy, self-assured and inspiring woman was gone with the click of a finger.
As my pregnancy continued so did my nightmare, I attended my routine antenatal appointment where I was given an ultrasound which revealed that there was an 80% chance that my baby would have Down syndrome. So here I sat with a specialist in a white room with two chairs at 8 months pregnant being told that my child may have a life-changing disability. The consultants reply, “we can do a test by inserting a needle into your stomach to extract some of your amniotic fluid which will reveal whether your child has a disability”. She then went on to ask “so if your baby does have Down syndrome would you like to keep him”. WHAT!? This was the icing on the cake, how could she even ask me that. I left the office and did NOT return. I was prepared for his big debut regardless of any complications that may present themselves, he was the love of my life! I didn’t care.
The day my son was born via C-Section I waited in anticipation for the checks to be complete to confirm my little man’s disability, the midwife handed him to me. “He’s perfect”. The consultant was wrong my little man defied the odds.
I think this was a turning point for me. I knew it was time for me to find my inner peace. I was like a bottle waiting to explode, I needed to release! Once I actually acknowledged that something was wrong, the change was my only option as I was fully aware that I couldn’t be the mother I wanted to be while I was in this frame of mind. I followed these steps to help with my recovery from prenatal depression.
Let go of the stigma
It is unfortunate that any mental health condition comes with a stigma attached and negative connotations. For me, it was if I tell someone I’m feeling depressed, they will doubt my ability to care for my child adequately. There is so much pressure to be the “perfect” mother when in reality, it doesn’t exist. When I let go of the stigma, I felt better! I knew I wasn’t the only mother experiencing this prenatal depression.
I really isolated myself as the task of getting ready to go out was just so overwhelming, but actually when I did do my hair, put some makeup on and heels and got myself out it felt so good! Take my word for it, you’ll feel loads better.
Keep a diary
My diary was in the form of a blog, so I would write my feelings down and what I did on that particular day to make myself feel good. It was absolutely amazing to look back and reflect on how far I had come. My blog posts and diary entries are like my badge of honor and show how far I’ve come.
Challenge your negative state of mind
Once my friends and family were aware of what I was going through many of them would give me daily motivational talks and mantras which is great and I thank them for this. However until I was ready to challenge my negative attitude and replace them with optimism, there was no way I was going to move forward. This is so much easier said than done and I had many setbacks but I can honestly say it helped. Always focus on the positives, for me it was my 2 beautiful boys and supportive family and friends.
Take things one step at a time
Nothing is going to happen overnight, it’s like anything it’s a process. Take it in your stride don’t rush things or be hard on yourself. The very fact you’re taking the first step to address your feelings is amazing.
Seek help if you need to (Therapy or counseling)
Fortunately, the above tips along with time and the ongoing support of family and friends eliminated my need for therapy, however, I would have openly embraced this. So if you feel that self-help tips aren’t working. There are so many more options for therapeutic intervention. help is waiting for you. Please talk to your GP or midwife.
Honestly, Mama’s pregnancy can do the most peculiar things to your body, after all, you’re creating a human. I remember craving and eating toilet paper in my first pregnancy (gross I know) so that’s enough to tell you that’s it’s just a crazy crazy rollercoaster, couple this with anxiety and/or depression it’s just a cocktail of confusion.
I’m here to tell you that YOU WILL be ok! When you’re in the situation you feel as if there is no way out but I promise you everything will be ok. Woman are amazing and we never actually realize how strong we are until we are left with no choice. I still have my down days, but they are few and far between. Three months post baby and I feel great, Mama has officially got her sass back!
My number one piece of advice, which I have learned is to talk to someone. Have one person you can confide in as a problem shared is a problem halved. Talk about how you feel over a cup of tea (I am British we love tea haha). And please do not isolate yourself.
Connect With Love From P
Her Blog withlovefromp.com