Postnatal Depression: Back up and running after Baby Number Two!

Hello… My goodness… Hello… Is anybody out there?   I’m so, so sorry for the 5 month gap between posts.  God!  Anyone would think I’ve had another baby or something!!!  🙂  Actually, to be perfectly honest, I’ve been wanting to blog again for quite some time but something else has always gotten in the way (namely a certain 2 and a half year old).  But not today!  Thanks to Emma’s recent comment on my last post in September (Postnatal Depression:  10 days to go… How am I feeling?), I finally have the energy to get back up and running.  So thank-you, Emma!  Without your comment I would probably have put off writing this post for another 5 months… Seriously.

“So, what have you been up to for the past 5 months?”  I casually hear you ask.  Well, where to begin.  I wish I could say I’ve been partaking in a little of this…

hammock

… but instead, my reality has probably been a little more like this…

crying mum

Actually, no… If I’m completely honest, the above probably happens only (ONLY!) once every 3 or 4 days.  I mean, what can I expect with a 2 and a half (nearly 3) year old throwing the normal developmental tantrums on top of all the feelings that come with a new baby in the house.  So yes, the losing my mind part happens probably twice a week on average, and the rest of the time I pull off the look of someone surviving parenthood for the second time around with postnatal depression.  Adequately surviving.  Surviving as all mums of a new babe and a toddler would survive… You just knuckle down and get on with it.  So, as much as I wish I could say I look like this…

shopping posh

… my reality is a much more frazzled appearance!  I feel my days are made up by my feeling about 60% comfortable with motherhood, 20% fun and games, 10% wanting to be back at work, and 10% still dealing with my PND meltdowns.  It’s certainly been an interesting time, but one I would  not exchange for anything in the world!

We had our little girl on the 16th September last year, and my depression and anxiety was (and has been since) very manageable.  My pregnancy with Miss H (MH) went very smoothly and was really very similar to that of mine with our LM (if you were to take away the massive highs and lows of mood I experienced throughout his pregnancy).  I was truly terrified of what would happen after MH’s birth, but again with lots of open communication, good management by Dr B (my OB) and Dr J (my GP), all combined with continuing to take my medication. things have been going very smoothly.  I’ve found motherhood this time around to be a very pleasurable experience.  This is a result of two things: 1) I’ve done the “first-time-mum” thing before (it really is sooooooo much less anxiety provoking the second time around!); and 2) I am much more aware of my depression, its triggers, and both mine and my HF’s ability to manage the meltdowns when they do occur.  Although I’m happy to say my meltdowns occur much less often than they used to, they inevitably still occur.  What I’ve found is they rear their ugly head usually when a combination of challenging things happen all at once and one of those things is ALWAYS my forgetting to have taken my medication.  I can assure you my forgetting  doesn’t regularly happen, but when it does I know there will be consequences with anything from flat/emotional mood to full-on, irrational, bitter, hateful meltdowns (it really does depend what else is going on at the time).

It’s a confronting thing for me knowing that my experience with motherhood relies so strongly at the moment on medication, I really do wish it could be different.  But at the same time I think how incredibly lucky I am to have found one that works so well for me.  I honestly wasn’t at all open to medication in the beginning, but know if I hadn’t combined my therapy, general lifestyle changes, and doctors visits with medication I would be in a far worse off state than I am now.   I’ve also found that a good diet (really?) and exercise (no!) are integral to keeping my depression on an even keel.  My HF and I have made extra effort this year to eat well, and whilst our exercising isn’t where it perhaps should be, we are determined to get our plan into action.  Wish us luck on that one!

So, whilst there have certainly been the usual challenging times with a new born and toddler to juggle, I have felt this second-time experience for me has been a true blessing.  It has shown me what it feels like to enjoy both pregnancy and motherhood with a baby with a clear mind and ability to rationalise (and not sweat on) the little things – it has made such an incredible difference!  Don’t get me wrong, it’s still hard… VERY hard!  But isn’t parenting hard anyway?  I definitely think so.  What I’ve discovered though is there is definitely a bigger picture at play  for us, as there was a precious little girl waiting to show us what a complete family feels like… And that is now what we have, all of us together.

Thanks so much for your continued support (for anyone left who feels compelled to read this after so long) and I’m very much hoping my blogging journey will now continue on a much more regular basis.

Take care,

TSM xx

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6 thoughts on “Postnatal Depression: Back up and running after Baby Number Two!

  1. Clair says:

    Wow, welcome back!! This is such a wonderful & heartwarming post xx it’s great you’re feeling good & have a great team behind you. You’ve also given me some hope for round 2 (not pregnant but I’d like another one, one day)

    • A Write Relief... (for PND) says:

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment, Clair… and so sorry for not replying sooner (I had actually thought I had!). How are things going for you at the moment? Any more thoughts around having another babe? Please be sure to keep in touch if you can, would love to hear how you’re doing. xx

  2. emmamccall says:

    Hi, I’m so pleased you updated us on how things are going! And that things are going well for you. Like Clair said, it gives me hope for number 2 also… While it sounds like its been hard at times, I can only hope things go so well for me, I’ll find out in 3 months I guess. Keep us posted from time to time, when you get a free minute!! Emma

    • A Write Relief... (for PND) says:

      Hi Emma… and sorry to you also for not replying sooner! As with Clair above, I had honestly thought I’d already replied – must be my inability to multi-task yet again! 🙂 Hope all is going well for you and please let me know how you get on with your own babe. It must be soon! Take care and hope your experience is much smoother this time around. xx

  3. TooMuchGoogling says:

    Hi TSM, have recently come across your blog and am finding it really helpful. Congratulations on the arrival of your daughter! Like the ladies above, am so pleased to hear things are going well and also find it encouraging for my own situation. My partner and I welcomed our first baby in October last year, a wonderful little boy. A few months later I was admitted to a Mother and Baby Unit for treatment of PND/anxiety and insomnia. How lucky I was to have 3 weeks there. Am doing really well now – and yes meds are a big part of that. My sleep is taking time to sort out but the hope is it will resolve in time. My partner (who’s been amazing) is really keen for another baby, as was I prior to this journey. But the idea’s quite terrifying now. And at age 42 time isn’t on my side! But am coming around to the idea slowly. It’s a big relief to know, from talking to doctors and reading posts like yours, that staying on meds is a viable option. I think for me this will be the only way to go.
    Thanks so much. Looking forward to your future posts!

    • A Write Relief... (for PND) says:

      I love receiving comments such as yours… thank you so much! It is so relieving to know my experience is helping other mums and it empowers me to knuckle down and get on with writing more regular posts (which as you can see, I’ve not been too good at in recent times). Please be sure to keep in touch and I in turn will endeavour to write more often! Thanks so much again. xx

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