So here we are, 2 years on. This time 2 years I was on a mother and baby unit going through the hardest time in my life. Some days were darker than others, some days I would bang my head against the wall whilst sobbing and whispering to myself “die, die, die”. Others days I could feel hope, hope that I would go home and hope that I could be ok.
I spent my days hanging out with Arth, Jord and the other patients. Watching movies and TV, going for walks and talking to the doctors. We did classes and workshops to help manage anxiety and low mood. I remember sitting in the group and we were going around saying what we were afraid of, what made us feel most anxious. I broke down and just simple sobbed, saying “everything, it’s just everything”. I was fighting everyday to get through low mood and depression but I was also in the midst of crippling anxiety. Where everything and everywhere I went posed a risk to Arthur.
It was exhausting to try and want to stay alive whilst everyday I was convinced Arthur was going to die. Cot death, childhood cancer, choking on his own vomit, dehydration, bronchiolitis, a freak accident. I was afraid of the world and I was afraid of a life without him. Often I thought about how it would be better if I wasn’t alive. How much easier it would be. How much I didn’t deserve to live and how I didn’t deserve to be Arthur’s mother. I sometimes thought of death as being “free” I think because I was just so exhausted. There are days were I still feel the tiredness from the darkest times. It’s like they are a part of me.
It’s hard to describe postnatal depression and what it does to you. It’s strange to think having a baby caused me to become unwell but having a baby also caused me to get better. Every day I would hold Arthur and he was always my light. I would smell him and listen to his noises, and he would always help by just being there. By just being him.
Times have changed in so many ways but that has always stayed the same; my love for Arthur. A feeling that is stronger than the darkness, the anxiety and the tiredness. Now 2 years on I’m on a new journey, awaiting baby number 2. The anxiety still hangs over me at times. Thinking about what I’m eating, what I’m doing. And the biggest thing as always; babies movements. But I feel so much more in control now. I can feel the anxiety brewing. I can see when I’m spending too much time sleeping. I know the triggers and what I need to do to get out of the dark spiral.
One of my biggest fears is thinking, what if I don’t love this baby as much as I love Arthur? Don’t get me wrong, the love for babe is already there but Arthur is my world. What if when they are here the feelings just don’t compare? What if, I don’t feel the same rush of love I did with Arth? Because what if, what happens last time happens again. I need that feeling of pure love to help get me through.
But there’s not much I can do now right now. I can prepare. Preparing for depression sounds super depressing am I right? (Excuse the pun). I can have all the things in place if something does go wrong. I know the signs and I’m hoping if it does, I will be able to seek help earlier, before I can only see the way out as being taking my own life. Way, way before that.
Most importantly I have the people I need around me. As always Jordan and my family. The ones who know what really happened, who cried beside me and held my hand. My friends who visited me and know what happened but still love me for me. Who never judged and still treat me the same. The professionals who know my past and are there to help protect my future. And lastly, my support from this blog, my instagram, my writing.
So here we are. 2 years on. So much as changed but yet, so much is the same.
Here’s to 2020. I hope it brings you all health and happiness.
Love, Kate. X