Hello my name is Lucy. A year ago I gave birth to our first child Alice. Before we found out that I was pregnant, we had been told that getting pregnant would be difficult due to my condition of PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome). About one month before we where due to attend an appointment at the hospital for treatment, the most fantastic news, we were expecting our first child. Thank the Lord our prayers had been answered. After all those negative tests we couldn’t believe our eyes; the pregnancy test was positive.
The lead up to the birth was a bit rocky. I enjoyed every stage of my pregnancy, but when it came to routine midwife appointments I always measured over in weeks, so there were concerns that Alice might have a swelling/blockage somewhere. I was sent for numerous scans all showing normal, praise the Lord. The birth was a very long and traumatic process, but after 38 hours and lots of praying in the birthing pool, Alice arrived 2 weeks early by forceps delivery weighing a healthy 7lb 1oz.
Then it all started. I looked at Alice in my husband’s arms and momentarily felt so proud. I smiled and felt happy she was healthy after all we had been through. All I could think about was sleep, 'I NEED SLEEP'. My husband had to leave as I was put on a ward due to having an epidural. Although I knew I was surrounded by fantastic nurses I felt nervous, scared, alone, incompetent just to name a few.
What was I going to do? After a two night stay, the day came for us to go home. I was so excited but dread soon consumed my mind. ‘This is real, I have to look after our little girl-HOW!’ The feeling I had was like mental torture, and darkness crept upon me. Slowly but surely wiping out every positive thought, it got darker and darker. I had very bad days when the thought of adoption or running away seemed to be my only way of escaping this reality. Then all talking, praying and any daily connections with our Lord stopped, not wanting to be near or even cuddle Alice, but all the time not understanding why I felt this way after so longing for a family. Singing, which I love, stopped; I couldn’t even hum a tune. People would say 'Come on you will be fine; it’s just your hormones. You will be fine in a couple of days; anyway you’re a nursery nurse you should know what to do'. My crying and emotional state got worse. Alice wouldn’t settle because I was so tense and sleep deprived. Andrew, my husband, got really worried about me as did the rest of my family and close friends. I then realised there was something wrong, ’I need to get help'.
My first step was to tell my family and my midwife that I recognised I had a bad problem and I wanted to seek help. My midwife contacted my health visitor who did regular home visits which I found really helpful. I started to attend counselling and I found talking to someone about how I REALLY felt was a great help. Better still, my counsellor was a Christian who actively encouraged me to start praying again. With a combination of help and my doctor prescribing me medication, within a couple of weeks I felt a bit better. Smiling became a real and happy feeling, not a put on one. I turned a corner, picked up the Bible and started to read it again, praying and telling those evil voices in my head to get lost. I began saying, 'My God is so big, he protects me and loves me, and I AM a good mum'. I used to doubt the Lord when I was at my lowest, 'Where are you Lord when I need you?’ The Footprints Poem came to mind and I knew he was carrying me all along. I was never ashamed about having post natal depression or would never not admit to having it. In fact I found it helpful that I actually did say I needed help, and I think that also helped me to feel better quicker.
I look back on my journey now on the other side, free of bad thoughts and I thank God for being right beside me at all times, pushing and carrying me through.
I now love, laugh and cherish all my time with Alice, family and friends.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and may God truly bless you.