I was never diagnosed with PND but I have suffered with depression since my mid teens. Pre-pregnancy was actually one of my worst times, I didn't, couldn't leave the flat without my husband. The very thought of it made me physically sick and break out in sweats. I lived in my PJs and getting showered, eating, drinking, even being awake was a monumental effort.
After a couple of months I returned to work. Then I fell pregnant. We didn't have much of a sex life at all but it was the one night I got drunk and got lost in the moment. I could time when AF was due by the hour pretty much so when I was a day late I was hit with fear. I wasn't ready to have a baby. Mentally, financially, professionally. We were renting and never likely to get on the property ladder. This was so not what I needed. I miscarried 10 days after my shock BFP and it had taken me about that long to accept I was going to become a mummy.
After the miscarriage I blamed myself. I lost the baby because I wasn't ecstatic from the off. Because it wasn't planned. Because I hadn't felt ready. Because I was a shit wife. Because I didn't deserve to be a mummy. Because, because, because.
Eight weeks later, after another heavy weekend (my sister's 18th) I realised again that AF was a day late. I was never late. Even after the MC AF arrived bang on time, to the hour. I rushed to Superdrug, bought 2 tests and lo and behold I got a BFP.
At the time we were living above the pub where my husband worked. I ran down the stairs (I don't do running, least of all stairs) and flew into the kitchen. It was lunch time. He was busy and just hugged me looking bewildered. I burst out "I'm pregnant again." *Stunned silence*. "Did you hear me? I AM PREGNANT!". *Stunned silence*. Cue me legging it back upstairs and grabbing the test, running back downstairs and waving it in his face, oblivious to the fact the manager had entered wanting to know where customers lunches were.
With pregnancy comes risks anyway, these are said to increase when on meds so, under GP guidance, I weaned off them. I felt great. This good mood continued through the early months. The early months reached 6 months post pregnancy and still I felt good.
Then at 9 months came The Return to Work.
I'd never left H alone except for one lunch with a friend and one hairdresser appointment and even then he was only left with hubby.
The Return to Work crash hit. Initially it was written off as normal. Then came what I know to be Red Flags. Calling in sick. Not getting dressed. Crying a lot. Shouting a lot more. Then I cried at work. I was dragged to the GP and once again, signed off. Meds were issued, meds were adjusted.
A couple of months passed and I went back to work. I felt good. I was coping and what's more I was happy. So I stopped taking them.
Within a couple of weeks the vicious circle returned. By this point my husband was back at work and H had just started with a childminder. Not knowing when or if I would go back to work, I kept sending him.
This made me feel like the crappiest mother in the world but I really enjoyed the times that he was at home with me, I felt like that time made our bond stronger in a strange way. Mentally I started feeling better again.
Then I pushed for a referral to a specialist regarding my migraines and headaches. They had got to the point where I would have to spend all day in bed. I couldn't even sit up in bed some days without being sick. Initially my GP thought I had blocked sinuses. That specialist sent me for a CT scan. Sinues were clear but they wanted me to have an MRI. Eventually after lots of appointments, scans and tests I was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, chiari malformation and a large syrinx.
Basically I am now on medication for those conditions (or rather the symptoms of them) for the rest of my life. And no doubt the battle with the depression will also be a lifelong battle.
The end of 2011 was a good time for me mentally and physically. I just hope that can continue in 2012 and beyond.