When Catherine held her baby Jake in her arms for the first time, she did not feel love.
There was no connection. No fulfilment. Certainly no ecstasy.
In that moment, she was overwhelmed by a single thought. Catherine wanted to run away, as far from all this as possible.
It wasn’t how she’d felt almost exactly 12 months earlier, when she’d held her first baby in her arms, marvelling at his fingers and toes.
There was a difference, though.
Catherine’s first baby never drew breath. He wasn’t alive when she held him.
Along with her partner Chris, they made the decision to terminate the pregnancy due to fetal abnormality.
When Jake wriggled and cried and clutched Catherine’s flesh, she stared back at him perplexed. Where were the feelings? And would they ever come?
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(Continued from previous post) They finally offered me an epidural which allowed me to remove the sick bowl from my face and sit up. Jake had a monitor attached to his head and the rhythmic sound of his heartbeat filled the room, suddenly his heart rate started to dip and the next thing I knew, the room was filled with doctors and midwives saying that they had to get him out immediately. I was too tired to comprehend what was happening but my mum said there were about 10 people in the room, one doctor injected the anaesthetic whilst the other gave me an episiotomy and I was cut in 4 places. She attached a ventouse and braced herself against the bed as I pushed with everything I had left. In my head, I spoke to Bud, our first son and asked him to keep his little brother safe. I felt the ring of fire and realised that it would all be over after that bit. Jake’s cried filled the room which was a huge comfort. They placed him on my chest and I waited for that warm fuzzy feeling to appear. It didn’t. I told my mum to take him because I just didn’t want to hold him. I know now that that should have been my first warning sign. I watched Chris bounce over to the doctor checking him over and cut his cord as if I was watching the moment on TV. I felt numb and cut off from the situation in front of me. (Continued on next post) #sharedexperiences #mumssupportingmums #perinatalmentalhealth #postnataldepression #maternalmentalhealth #postnatalanxiety #pnd #perinatalmentalhealthmatters #maternalmentalhealthawareness #perinatalmentalillnessawareness #postnatalanxietyanddepression #mumsmatter #perinatalmentalillness #pna #yourmentalhealthmatters #postpartumdepression #birthstory #birthtrauma #ptsd
Mothers on the Edge: When Catherine met Louis Theroux
Louis Theroux’s brand new BBC documentary, Mothers on The Edge, opens with Catherine in the Mother and Baby Unit at Bethlem Royal Hospital, six months after Jake was born.
She was sectioned after trying to take her own life.
Jake, rosy-cheeked and chubby-legged, has just learned to sit up, and plays on the bed beside Catherine.