By KYLIE BROWN
Suffering from Post Natal Depression (PND) was something I thought would never happen to me. But after experiencing a traumatic birth and a previous period of depression, PND hit me in a way that I did not expect. I was dizzy and nauseous everyday. I felt like I was on a boat, rocking side to side when I was doing the house work and often having to hold onto the wall when I walked down the hallway because I thought my legs would give way or I would faint. This unsteady feeling scared me most when I was carrying around my baby girl Olivia. The thought of falling over while she was in my arms was terrifying. As her mum, I was there to protect her, and to think I could accidentally harm her was an awful, guilt-ridden feeling. All I wanted to do was sleep. And if Olivia woke me up I would almost feel angry at her. I constantly questioned everything I was doing and consulted Google like most do when they want answers but found myself more overwhelmed. I didn’t have that feeling that every woman talks about with their newborn. I felt alone and numb and I didn’t feel like I lived up to the expectations of a new mother.
I battled through this illness daily for 18 months before finally seeking help. The constant hormones and emotional changes in my body made me feel like I was losing my mind. I broke down in my doctor’s office and pleaded for a fix. Like many women who have experienced PND I felt like a failure. I felt like I wasn’t fit to be a mother when that was all I had ever wanted to be. I felt like I was giving up but I was completely exhausted and had no other options. Exhausted from acting everyday, putting on a front of a happy, healthy mum who loved everything about motherhood. When in actual fact it was nothing like I expected. At breaking point I felt so detached that it felt like I was watching myself from afar. I wasn’t connected to my body or my baby.