Kath, 41, mum to Caitlin, 4 and ½, is not ashamed to say she has continued medication for postnatal depression since her daughter was two months old.
It was probably around three weeks after I’d given birth to Caitlin that I really began to feel not like ‘myself’. I remember sitting in Caitlin’s bedroom breast-feeding her one night with tears rolling down my face. I wasn’t happy and I did not like my new life at all.
(For more information about coping with IVF click here.)
I was angry at myself for feeling this way, especially after we had tried to conceive for over three years. I started to resent my husband as he didn’t have to do as much as me. Everything became a struggle and I was starting to feel suffocated. I was so sleep deprived due to feeding her every two-to-three hours, then there was the settling for one-to-two hours after each feed. And the screaming... oh, I could not bear it anymore.
(For more information about the many challenges faced in the first weeks with a new baby click here.)
There were some pretty nasty days. One particular day I sat outside listening to Caitlin’s muffled screams from her bedroom for about an hour. I needed a break from her crying. The more she cried, the more I cried. I remember screaming at her to just shut up and then I’d have to leave the room. I started to understand how a new mother could hurt their baby. My relationship with my husband at this time was not the best and to be honest I didn’t really care. I cried every day.
When Caitlin was about four weeks old I had booked a photography session. I was so close to cancelling that appointment. I had just bathed Caitlin, put her in a nice new jump suit and then she threw up all over her clothes - just as the doorbell rang. I felt the tears welling up inside me. As I had predicted she cried and cried and cried, I couldn’t settle her. I couldn’t have thought of anything worse to do than go and view those photographs of Caitlin.