So this is a very honest post. It was hard for me to write and I’m sure some people might find it hard to read. But it’s the truth. I said I would be honest and I certainly have been.
So when I was pregnant I remember reading in a book about the first few months of parenthood how this lady thought about throwing her baby against a wall, but she didn’t. She spoke about how these kind of thoughts were normal as long as she never acted upon it. I remember the first time I had a thought about harming my own son. My whole world came crashing down. I felt so ashamed, disgusting, I felt evil. I kept telling myself it was normal, I kept going over what I read in my head. Kept thinking, it will go away, it will pass.
But with the dark thoughts about Arthur also came thoughts of killing myself. I wanted to die because I couldn’t face being alive and having these thoughts in my head. They just kept getting worse instead of better. But I loved my son, I loved him from the minute I saw him, so why was this happening? I would never hurt him. I wanted to protect him forever. I couldn’t understand what was going on in my own mind. I felt like I would never truly be happy again. I didn’t want to do anything, eat, drink, go anywhere. I wanted to go to sleep and never wake up.
I thought about how my son would be better off without me. How my partner Jordan would too. For me, they didn’t deserve for me to be alive and in their lives. I wanted them to be free. And I wanted to be free from those very dark thoughts.
I told my partner about these thoughts, he was so supportive from the very beginning. We decided they would hopefully go away, that I needed to rest as much as I could because I was so sleep deprived. He spoke to his Mum who said the same. I told him next time I saw my midwife I would tell her. About a week later, the day before I was due to see my midwife, I realised I couldn’t wait any longer. I was going to kill myself. I had many ways in which I was thinking of doing it, I just hadn’t decided which yet. I was broken. Exhausted mentally and physically, I needed help. I told Jord I wanted to kill myself and I was going to do it unless I got help immediately. He spoke to a midwife at our local hospital and she said I had go to A&E. For me, it was really difficult because I had to go to the hospital that I worked at as a nurse. I was petrified of seeing my colleagues. I was petrified at what they would think of me.
However, when I got there the midwife had already informed them of my situation, they were expecting me. From the moment I stepped in there, everybody was so supportive. So understanding. Not one person judged. So then came the moment I had to tell a member of the acute mental health team how I was feeling. With the words came so many tears. They promised to help, they assured me I would get better.
They decided that the best option for me was to be admitted onto a mother and baby unit. This was exactly what I wanted too. I couldn’t stand the thought of being away from Arthur. Then came the good news – there was a bed! It was really close and they were sure I was going to get it but they just had to check with them, they were going to call around 9. So we waited a very long wait. 9 came and went and I only became more and more anxious, convinced we were going to be told bad news. Unfortunately I was right. The bed was gone, it was given to someone who needed it more urgently. I was beside myself. I wanted help so badly. So then they searched. And searched and searched…
Finally they found a bed again. It was in Nottingham. I was from the south. Nottingham would take over 4 hours to get there from where we lived. I was given 2 more options, go home and wait and see if a bed became available closer to home. Or be admitted to an acute mental health ward on my own, 20 minutes away from where we lived. Arthur would be able to visit for 2 hours a day. I didn’t have to even think about it for a second. I wasn’t going to be without my son. I couldn’t. I knew I would get worse not better. But I knew I couldn’t go home either. I had to go to Nottingham. My heart was torn, I was finally going somewhere that was specialised to help me, but I would be very far away from my loved ones. Jord was devastated. He begged me to go home, said he could look after me, I would be okay. He said I wasn’t going to take him son away from him. But I couldn’t go home. I needed more help then he could give me. I needed professional help. We spoke about it and he realised it was for the best.
When Arthur came into the world I was so happy. Then I was cruelly robbed of my happiness. I was terrified of admitting I needed help but I am so glad I did. I didn’t know it yet, and there were days when I didn’t believe it but this was the start of me getting better. This was the start of my mental health journey. The hardest part was admitting I needed help. If you are struggling please, please speak to someone. Once you have got the words out for the first time, every single person you meet will want to help you.
So as for me, there I was, on the mother and baby unit. Stay tuned for the next chapter peeps.
Love, Kate x