I was so excited to find out I was pregnant! I had been with my partner for 5yrs, I was only 20 but have serious back problems and was told by a surgeon at the hospital to have a baby young (since he didnt think my back would cope with the recovery of pregnancy and childbirth).
The pregnancy was horrible; terrible morning sickness, extreme back pain which caused pelvis trouble. At 7 months pregnant I was on crutches with pelvic belts and regular physio… With all this I was beyond excited to meet my little man!
I was 3 years into a law degree when he was born. I thought motherhood would be easy and that I could slip back into university life for the start of the new semester exactly 2 weeks after my son’s birth. I remember as each of those 14 days went by (very quickly) feeling more and more anxious about the future, with no family support in Hamilton and unaware about the high costs of childcare I slipt into a failure mindset, I saw it as the end of the world if I didnt go back to university.
Along with the depression that arose from my change of plans, my son was extremely difficult to feed. It took months to diagnose him with reflux, milk intolerance and tongue tie. He wouldn’t feed off me (I saw this as me being a failure) and then at 1 month we tried the bottle- which he fed from but would scream and scream and scream. Eventually he got put onto goats milk formula which dramatically improved his feeding and sleeping routine but it cost us around $60 per week!!! Which added a financial strain to the family.
My son was 6 weeks old when I was diagnosed with PND and put on medication and counselling. I remember locking myself in the bathroom to get away from my screaming child. We were at the family centre daily and as the hours ticked by until they had to close I remember the anxiety getting greater and greater at the thought of having to take my baby home and be alone with him. I loved him to bits but it was hardwork and I wasn’t well. I saw everything as reflecting failure upon me.
It has taken alot of counselling sessions and almost 2 years of antidepressants but I am feeling so much better! The dark tunnel has a close clear light! I am back at uni slowly getting through my degree and my son is a pleasure to take care of. The concept of failure is still something I struggle with but I can now put it in perspective. I have dealt with a sick baby, university and family stresses, I have had trouble with my partner, overcome self-harm and I am now so happy to have made it through.