Cath’s Story

Cath

Hi my names Cath, 31 year old mum to Ellie 7, Joel 5 and Hattie’s 10 months.
I guess looking back, I was always going to suffer depression at some point in my life! I grew up in an environment of domestic abuse and at high school suffered panic attacks (although this was never confirmed, the doctor thought I had problems with my heart). Fast forward to my early working years and for a short time I was signed off for work related stress, I declined counselling and soon returned back “to normal”, and I say this loosely!
Pregnancy with my daughter was quite stressful as she wasn’t planned and my partner and I didn’t live together, amongst a few other personal things that happened during this time, never the less I looked forward to the arrival of my baby and set about buying a house, decorating a nursery, attending NCT classes and reading far too many books than I needed to about labour and the birth. I knew exactly how I wanted the birth to be and I’d already made up in my head how wonderful my life would be once my baby (who I was convinced was a boy) arrived into the world, I must also say that OBVIOUSLY my baby would sleep and breast feeding would be a walk in the park, after all “how hard can this giving birth/mum malarkey be, millions have done this before me and I definitely won’t be the last!”. The stark reality was that my baby (who was a girl) came into the world without the love light that people talk about and with her hand on her head and left everything quite painful for weeks afterward, I got milk fever, cracked nipples and don’t even get me started on the bulge that hung in front of me!! I definitely didn’t order that and I definitely didn’t order a baby that thought sleeping was for wimps and cried for hours to be settled to sleep with the help of the washing machine, extractor fan and any other annoying humming appliance we had in the house. Ellie continued to be challenging, although with sleep training she did get better in the evening. Then came the dreaded line on the stick, oh yes, you’ve gone and done it again Cath and as you love moving so much, how about a move to the other side of the country at 7 months pregnant with a 20 month old toddler in tow (and bless Ellie she didn’t have a clue how from that day our lives would change dramatically). Joel was born two months later; birth was super quick and quite stressful in a ghastly hospital with rude nurses and dirty bathrooms. Once home the trouble really started, Ellie disliked Joel and at every opportunity bit, hit and threw things at him, it didn’t stop there, she also used to attack me and shamefully at my worst I would let her do it, completely defeated at a situation that I could not control. I started to get anxiety, hated being on my own, I would make every small task huge, I convinced myself that we were all going to die in a car crash, dreaded waking up in the mornings and spent all my time wishing my partner home and the children in bed, I used to cry all the time and often wished I could just curl up in a ball and sleep forever. I never had any medical help during this time but did part take in a holistic approach called the journey. I will be thankful of the journey forever as it helped me to rebuild my bond with my babies. It wasn’t until I moved back to Cheshire when Ellie was 4 and Joel 3 that I was prescribed antidepressants for PMT, I was suddenly blown away by how normal I felt, not happy, not sad, just normal! Pregnancy soon followed in the form of Hattie and I’m pleased to say that my demons haven’t returned, although I did have a slight dip and returned on the anti-depressants immediately. Hattie has been my gift from God, she’s shown me how wonderful being a mummy can be, she has had the most amazing effect on our family and I feel blessed to have had the chance to experience having a baby without depression, which is why I urge anyone who is suffering to seek help as soon as you can and turn your current negative experience into a positive one. Being a mummy is an amazing gift and you deserve to experience the joys of this as much as everyone else, and that’s why I volunteered to help run PSP.
Parents Supporting Parents is in my opinion a warm, friendly group, where members come to get support for a low point in their lives, without the worry that they will be judge and gain practical peer advice……What’s not to like!?!

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