I say I’m prepared, but I don’t think you can ever be ‘prepared’. You can expect it, but you can’t totally prepare for PND, surely?
I certainly wasn’t prepared for PND with Lamb. To be fair, I wasn’t diagnosed with PND, but I knew I had it, even it was just mildly.
I had baby blues, for weeks. Life settled once Lamb started sleeping through, but as he approached his first birthday, I just fell into a negative space and couldn’t control my emotions.
He stopped sleeping through, he couldn’t crawl so was always frustrated, he didn’t eat (and still doesn’t); I just had hurdles to jump and I struggled with them.
I’m happy to say I fought the dark clouds and I’m beyond happy. I love being a mum; maybe I’m better with toddlers?
With that said, I’m scared of what might come. I’m nearly 18 weeks pregnant and it will be no time before I have a beautiful newborn in my arms.
I’m genuinely excited. When I see photos of babies I smile when I think I’ll have one soon. Another Lamb, or a sister for him to smother with kisses.
Then I think about how tough having a newborn is and I panic. I panic about the crying, feeling lost and useless, the feeling of ‘what have I done’.
I don’t want to go through it again, but I’m preparing myself for the fact I probably will. At least this time I know what to expect, the signs to look for and ways of dealing with the crying.
The thing is, this time I have my little lamb to look after too. I already have a layer of guilt running through me about the way I felt when he was a baby; how I struggled basically from the day we brought him home. I don’t want to feel that way again, I really don’t.
PND is out of my control. I know that now. I hope I have learned from my first experience to know I can’t help what my hormones and emotions do to me. To keep myself busy and fight the fear.
Maybe I’ll fall into motherhood for the second time with ease. Maybe I’ll kick PND up the bum and tell it where to go. I really hope so.
But if I don’t, if I feel the dark clouds again, I’ll talk about it. I’ll tell my husband, I’ll tell my friends and family. I’ll ask for help.
My midwife knows my story. She’s aware of my struggles and has put me down as PND non medicated. A bit scary, but at least I’ll get support if things go the same way. I won’t feel like hiding, she won’t let me.
Not enough of us talk about PND. We bottle up the feelings and hide away.
We have nothing to be ashamed of. Like I said, it’s completely out of our control. It’s just an imbalance of ingredients, a bit of an odd recipe. But one that will settle eventually, sometimes with medical help, sometimes without. Doesn’t matter either way – we are all different.