I did think about this post over the last couple of days and have been wondering trying to decide if I post about it or keep it private. I know R believes it should be kept private but if no one talks about it there is always going to be stigma about it and that is not right.
I am talking about Antenatal (and Post Natal) Depression.
I suffered with PND after JOTs arrival for about 12 months and it is actually what got me back into sewing and blogging as part of my recovery. I had 12 months of counselling and still don't feel completely free of it. The long and short of it for me was the disconnection I felt to Jot. Don't get me wrong I never wanted to give her back (except maybe at 3am) but I didn't feel that first rush of love that you are always told about when about to become a new mum. I just felt like we were in a bubble, the problem was we were in different bubbles. I breastfed for 20 months and during the first 11-12 months it was the only time I really felt connected to her. I am thankful for the support of my family during this time (as much as they could provide being overseas) and especially for the way R has always thought about how I am coping when planning anything. I also am grateful for the support of the Melbourne City Council who provide free counselling for struggling parents as well as a great Movement and Music program and the Maternal and Child Health Nurses who noticed something wasn't right.
For me it is I think linked to my sleep patterns so I have better days when I have a had a good nights sleep, it is also linked to my socialisation and I realise that there is no way I could be a SAHM (and I admire all of you that are) as losing my identity as an individual and just becomeing JotsMum was a shock to me and I really struggled to link what I had been to what I had become. Going back to work and making connections online helped enormously and gave me an outlet to be me again (not the old me but not just Jots Mum either). People were interested in me as a person rather than as an extension to Jot.
Anyway when we decided to try again I was expecting a long journey like we had with Jot (in total it took about 4 years of trying to get my gorgeous girl). This time round though we were surprised by a positive test on our first month of trying. A great surprise but quite a big one to get my head around.
With the speed that this all happened, the morning sickness, the getstational diabetes (and of course the insulin), the stream of overseas visitors (which have been a bit of a blessing) and of course these renovations it is not surprising to me that I have been struggling lately. About a month ago I walked home from work in floods of tears for no apparent reason (or not one that I can remember) and I made a decision to do something about it NOW before baby arrives. I am terrified of suffering PND again as this time it is not only me and a baby I have to look after but Jot needs me too.
So I did some research and am now self referred to a research program being run by the Parent and Infant Research Institute run out of Heidleberg. I start the first of 8 weeks of congnitive therapy on October 24. This should mean I finish up just as the baby is due to arrive. I already feel a bit better about it all just knowing that I am doing something about it.
Now I am also putting it out there to everyone who comes by to read my musings. I hope it doesn't change peoples opinions of me but to be honest if it does I hope they ask for more details. It is not something to be hidden away and if my talking about it brings just ome more person to seek help then I have helped.