‘How are you finding motherhood?’ People would ask shortly after the arrival of my first baby.
‘So great,’ I lied, fighting back the tears. ‘Best thing ever.’
The truth is, I felt like crap.
But I had seen the smiling new mums on Facebook and Instagram holding tiny babies in their arms. I had read the glossy parenting magazines. I knew how I should be feeling. I should be glowing with happiness at the arrival of a beautiful, healthy child. So why wasn’t I?
In this latest Sleep Thief Survivor story, mother-of-two Sally Bunkham tells us how her experience of postnatal depression inspired her to launch a social enterprise mumsback.com. The company provides hampers for new mums containing all the things they can’t have while pregnant and £1 from each one sold goes to the postnatal illness support charity the PANDAS Foundation.
This is Sally’s story:
“I cannot believe I have reached the point where I am considered a “survivor”, but it’s true, I really am! I never thought I’d make it.
“Motherhood began in a whirlwind for me, and never really slowed down. My first daughter, Daisy, was born 4 weeks early back in summer 2014. She was a tiny, helpless, beautiful surprise and motherhood hit me like a tonne of bricks. I found breastfeeding really difficult. A long battle & gruelling routine ensued of trying to latch, pump, sterilise bottles and make formula, whilst also trying to eat and sleep. It was hellish. I was finally diagnosed with a medical condition that concluded I was only able to produce a few drops of milk. That hit me really hard. I cried. A lot. It was exhausting. But once over that on we plodded as a new little family. Daisy was a very average sleeper, but we were getting by in a daze. We were high on the “new parents” adrenalin. Continue reading →
Postnatal depression is manipulative. It floods your mind with self-doubt and negative thoughts. It convinces you that you’re hopeless, a bad parent and a weak person. And the more you believe it, the stronger it gets.
Depression is determined. It wants to stay. It will trick you into believing you cannot do the things that will make you feel better such as talking, finding support, leaving the house, talking medication or going to therapy.
Early motherhood was not easy for 31-year-old Ruth Herd. She battled with postnatal depression for a year before she was diagnosed and her nap-hating baby could be very demanding. However, here she tells us how she overcame all of it and (literally) landed her dream job!
“I was recently making another futile attempt to bring some order to the chaos that is the spare room (AKA the place where unwanted things go to die) and I stumbled across a notebook. It was one of the many beautiful notebooks that I buy, scribble three pages in, and then discard because I ‘ruined’ them by trying to use them for something that turned out not to be the Next Great Novel. Continue reading →