Did you know postnatal depression can hit a mother at any time in the first two years of her baby’s life? At least that’s what I remember the Plunket lady telling me when I first started seeing her just over eight years ago when Celine was a couple of months old. I remember being given a brochure about PND and vaguely remember glancing through it. But it never really impacted me then. It didn’t need to. I wasn’t suffering then.
It didn’t impact me with Blake or Danielle when they were babies either. At least, I don’t think it did. I was probably too tired to notice any change in myself then if it did. Having two babies only thirteen months apart doesn’t exactly leave much time for thought processes and emotional self-evaluations.
Which makes me wonder if the recent level of anger that I have been feeling towards my children in the last couple of months might be something more than just an overtired and a short in patience mother. I actually wonder if it is a sign that I may be suffering from PND. I am at the point now where I don’t know if I am angry at my children all the time because they whine and fight and cry so much… or if they whine and fight and cry so much because I am angry all the time. That I might be the reason my children are acting out is not a happy thought.
My children aren’t the only ones I feel angry at. I’ve been feeling a lot of resentment towards my Husband too. I feel resentment every time one of our children yell for “mum” instead of “dad” even though he is in the same room. I feel resentment every time I make his breakfast and morning coffee. I feel resentment every time he turns on his PS4 to play his games instead of take over the parenting and giving me a break from our children. I feel resentment every time he covers the delicious dinner I made him with tomato sauce without even trying the meal first.
My anger and resentment at my family is starting to take over every positive emotion I feel for them. The knowledge that I know I love them and would do anything for them has been replaced by the anger I feel towards them. I’ve started feeling so disconnected from them all and when I am not feeling the anger, all I feel is numb. There doesn’t seem to be any room inside me for anything else. Ironically, the only family member I don’t feel resentment and anger towards is our baby, Isabella.
I talked to my Husband about all this on the weekend. He had noticed the change in me. I had spent most of Saturday morning dealing with fighting and crying children and was at the point tears after I had sent them all to their rooms for time out and to clean them up.
I hated the way I was feeling but I knew I couldn’t change anything on my own. So we made the decision that I would call the doctor today and make an appointment to see him about possibly having PND. My Husband even offered to come with me for support. I have no idea how this is going to go or what to expect. But hopefully it’s a step in the right direction.
Have you ever had postnatal depression? How did you deal with it?