With it being Mental Health Awareness week I thought I would talk about the perinatal depression I suffered with during both of my pregnancies. I recently went to the launch of the brand Lobella Loves, founded by my friend Jo. Her online boutique stocks some fabulous independent brands and the best part is that a percentage of each sale goes to the charity ‘Cocoon Family Support’- a charity supporting families suffering from perinatal mental health issues.
As most of you know, I have a history of depression which I take regular medication for. It’s nothing I’m ashamed of nor is it something that hinders my day to day living. When I first fell pregnant with Harry 7years ago, I thought that I was certain to fall into the ‘post natal’ depression category. I was bound to be the person to give birth then have a total breakdown- given my history. However that wasn’t the case. In fact my hormones and emotions were pretty level (ok apart from the rollercoaster that is the first couple of months) until the last trimester. During both pregnancies the last trimester certainly made itself known.
I suffered with perinatal (pre-natal) depression whereby my hormones reached a peak causing me to emotionally fall apart and feel unbalanced. It was in the 7th month of my pregnancy with Stanley that I felt incredibly scared and afraid of the sadness and depth of loneliness, so I physically took myself to my local hospital and insisted someone from the mental health department see me straight away. Crying and afraid, I signed in at the reception and waited in the waiting room to be seen. I had to sit on my hands. At this very moment all I thought I wanted and needed was to be admitted and fundamentally ‘taken care of’ by the professionals. I felt desperate, but also very confused. What did I have to be sad about?
Within half an hour of arriving at the hospital, Tye turned up with my parents. As much as Tye is a huge help and comfort, there is something about my mum being totally in tune with me that all I need is for her to swing her arms around me and I instantly feel safe. No words need to be exchanged, just simply being held is good enough.
I saw a counsellor, talked through my sadness and was soon home and calm surrounded by loved ones. The hospital were great at following things up with me. I saw someone weekly and felt totally comforted knowing I could make a single phone call whenever I felt desperate.
Depression is a very strange thing. But it is so real. It’s not something you can just ‘shake off’ or ‘snap out of’. If I learnt anything from my perinatal depression during those few weeks, it was that I had nothing to be ashamed of. Yes I was joyful about the pregnancy but it was in no way a sign that I didn’t want the baby, or didn’t want to be pregnant. You’re in a mass of confusion and a point at which you are literally holding your hands up to say ‘you can’t cope’! Just saying those words really do give you some relief. It’s ok not to be ok. We can’t always cope. But in order to get through it and out of the other side, it is so important to TALK.
check out Lobella Loves HERE