As it’s Postnatal depression awareness week I thought it only right to Blog. I have touched on before that the reason I started Placenta Plus was because of my experience with this horrible illness. It’s now four years on and I still feel wobbly talking about it, going back over it and acknowledging it happened. I had no real idea of what postnatal depression was, I had media image of what it was. A image portrayed in movies or TV soaps, these images are more often of the really severe end of this illness. The image of wanting to harm yourself or your baby there I said it out loud the whole reason why women find it so soul destroying to say the words postnatal depression, for fear people will think they want to kill their child.
As this is a Blog wanting to raise awareness I want it to be as honest as possible and in all honesty the push I needed to go back to my GP and get help was when I woke up one day and asked myself “what is the point in me being here”? Shocked? Luckily for me I knew that feeling was wrong and I was in the GP office that afternoon, but unfortunately that’s not always the case for some women and this illness has claimed lives.
I was not diagnosed until my second daughter was ten months old and for ten months I had suffered in silence. Truth of this illness is its very sly it doesn’t announce it’s here like “Hi” no it creeps in uninvited. My first sign I would say was being totally exhausted but couldn’t sleep at night? I’d tell my mum and friends and they would say you’ve gone back to work too soon it’s a lot with two babies. Then came the mood swings literally two second switch up I would be on top of the world and two seconds later be screaming about something.
I have always had OCD it’s kind of a family thing but when my postnatal depression moved in the OCD stepped its game up. I would wake up every morning and clean the house top to bottom, I obsessed about washing and would have anxiety if I had washing in the wash basket. It got so bad people stopped visiting and that’s what postnatal depression wants to isolate you. I would obsess over the kids clothes and how they where washed, one day my mum washed a outfit and it’s safe to say I had a melt down. Looking back now this was a sign a BIG sign, but nobody knew what the signs where.
I started to notice a dramatic weight loss I was 7 stone and 5 foot 6, again people would say “oh it’s because you don’t sit still”. Or was it because I had stopped feeling hungry a long time ago? Again another sign missed another sign we are not told about. At this point I knew something was wrong but I didn’t know how to say it. I had a loving husband, a good job, a nice house, two beautiful little girls and a amazing network of family and friends would I upset then if I say I’m not happy? Would I have my mum tell me “you want to see that girl down the road, she’s on her own three kid’s you don’t know how lucky you are”! Lucky was one thing I wasn’t postnatal depression was taking my happiness by the day and I was just watching it do so. The inability to feel happy at the most happy time of your life has to be the most soul destroying thing ever.
After taking my daughter to the doctors and having a melt down in his office he said “Danielle you have postnatal depression” I was mortified I stormed out in tears. That night I got into bed and googled postnatal depression well, well, well here was all my symptoms looking at me. Still not wanting to admit defeat I put down the lap top and thought no more about it. Week’s went by and a string of argument’s with friend’s and family had gone on I sat and said to myself this is it I’ve lost the plot.
Walking back into to that doctors office there was so many mixed feeling’s but I clearly remember feeling relief. When I had to sit down friend’s and family and tell them ” I have postnatal depression” I felt a weight lift from my shoulder’s. I was put on antidepressant’s for 18 month’s and I wasn’t too happy but that was the route I had to take. When becoming pregnant with my third baby I was watched very closely for prenatal depression but I was so lucky not to get it. My GP did drop the bomb that antidepressant’s would be given to me at 36 week’s. I searched for another answer another aid to beat postnatal depression and placenta encapsulation fell into my lap. Of course I ran it past my GP and midwife and they both supported me which was great!
Placenta encapsulation wasn’t about me wanting to be like the Kardashians it was about me taking control. It was about me having a say and being aware of my options as I felt postnatal depression had taking all that from me the last time. Once Harry was born and the pills where flowing I knew this process had to be a option for women I felt amazing 14 month’s in and no PND in sight. I always speak to women about the importance of speaking about their feeling’s in the postnatal phase. I also talk to anyone who will listen about what to look for in loved one’s as I think everybody need’s to be aware of this illness.