Ruth August 2014
My mother died on the 4th of August 2010. I had my first miscarriage on the 16th of February 2011, I was seven and a half weeks pregnant. I had my second miscarriage on the 26th of June 2011 when I was 10 and a half weeks pregnant. I finally felt ready to try again and at the end of 2011 I discovered I was pregnant again. At the start of my pregnancy I felt worried but happy and excited however as the pregnancy progressed I started feeling more and more anxious and depressed.
I never spoke to anyone about how I was feeling as I thought they would judge me and not understand. When my son was born I felt on top of the world, finally he was here safe and perfectly healthy. The feeling lasted for a few weeks until finally when my son was ten weeks old I hit “a brick wall”. It was a Wednesday afternoon and my son was very cranky and I just couldn’t settle him, I went upstairs and lay him down on the bed where I said goodbye to him. I told my son that it wasn’t that I didn’t love him, it was because I did and that I wasn’t the right mother for him. At that time, I honestly believed that if I was no longer around my son’s new mother would arrive at the front door.
However when I went down the stairs my little girl was waiting for me and she smiled up at me and said “come on Mammy let’s have a snack”. At that moment I felt very torn as my son deserved a different mother who would know how to look after him but I was the right mother for my little girl. I sat for the rest of the afternoon with my two beautiful children, feeling torn about staying or walking out the front door and never coming home.
That evening when my husband came home he picked the two kids up in his arms and walked up the stairs shouting down to me “Ruth, put on the kettle”. I stood in the kitchen looking at the kettle and looking at my car keys deciding what to do. Eventually I switched on the kettle. The following night I did some stupid things to myself and my husband caught me, he was so angry, worried and concerned for me that he convinced me to go to a private counsellor* which I agreed to do. At the beginning of the counselling sessions I honestly believed it was the grief of losing my Mam and the two babies that was making me feel this way, but a few weeks into the sessions my counsellor said to a me that she thought that I had Postnatal Depression this is where my journey with Nurture begins.
I started in the support group with Nurture in May 2013 it was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do but one of the best that I have done. At the first week I still didn’t believe that I had postnatal depression but as I listened to the other women I discovered I did. The group was brilliant and I have made some lovely friends from it. The main thing I got from the group was that I wasn’t alone and that I would get better.
My journey is still continuing, I still get bad days but they are not every week and the best thing about them now is I know that they won’t last and the next day will be better.
I am so glad that day that I decided to switch on the kettle instead of going to Skerries and never coming home, as I would’ve missed my beautiful children growing up.
Nurture is a fantastic charity & thanks to them, my counsellor and my husband I am here writing this e-mail.
*This counsellor was not affiliated to Nurture.
Karen April 2014
It was late October and I was eagerly awaiting the birth of my first child. Like any first time mother I was nervous about labour and hoped that all would go smoothly. It wasn’t as smooth as I had imagined but such is life. After being in labour for more than 19 hours a decision was made to carry out an Emergency C section. In the 20th hour of labour my beautiful baby boy was delivered safe and healthy. I didn’t get to greet my new arrival straight away as due to the C section being an emergency I had to have a general anesthetic. I awoke a couple of hours later, needless to say much disorientated and I was finally introduced to my beautiful baby boy.
The first few weeks were tiring, getting used to sleepless nights, it didn’t help that my baby was suffering with colic & reflux. After two months the baby settled into a great routine once we got the colic under control (thank God for Gaviscon!). As the months went on I began to feel less and less like myself, it started with the odd tearful day which I just put down to tiredness as I was a new mother after all. Over the next few weeks the tearful days were occurring more frequently, because I didn’t know what I was dealing with I couldn’t get my head around why I was so emotional. Some days I would just get so upset over silly little things like my routine housework, nappies, bottles etc. I was just so down in myself.
I eventually went to the doctor and was prescribed anti depressants for post natal depression. I still didn’t believe I was depressed. I was in denial. The tablet prescribed to me didn’t agree with me so I stopped taking them. Over the next few weeks unknown to me at the time, I started to suffer with anxiety. I would have days were I was so anxious I would be physically sick. I was waking up in the middle of the night in a panic and feeling sick.
At the start little things would trigger my anxiety, such as my husband calling to say he would be delayed in work, this would increase my feeling of anxiousness and my first thought would be” another couple of hours on my own with the baby”. My anxiety was spiraling out of control and after a massive panic attack I made the decision to return to the doctor. I was prescribed another type of antidepressant and told it would take about two weeks before the tablets would start to take effect. At this stage I felt at one of my lowest points, it was as if a dark cloud was consuming me or as I recall telling my husband at the time “It was like being locked up in chains, and I couldn’t find the key to get out” nothing would shift it.
I had huge support and help from my family and friends yet I felt so helpless. So after the two weeks of being on the medication I felt my anxiety was getting worse, I returned to my doctor again. The decision was made to increase medication. I remember thinking, “is this my life? Will I be left like this forever?” Anxiety was controlling my life, it was the first thing that greeted me every morning and my last thought at night.
After 3 weeks of being of on antidepressant medication I was still feeling no better. Unknown to me, my husband did some research into post natal counselling within our local area and he came across Irene and her support group, Nurture, which specialises in postnatal depression. He had arranged for me to meet with a counsellor and I agreed to go.
This was the turning point for me and the start of my recovery, while I was once in the dark about what was happening to me I could now understand why it was happening and learning how to deal with it. At the start I didn’t want anyone knowing, but as the counselling continued I realised that postnatal depression was nothing to be ashamed of but something to come to terms with and that by me sharing my story could help others like me.
With regards to the anxiety, it didn’t disappear over night but as timed passed I learned how to deal with it and control it, I was no longer terrified if I had an anxious day. My mood was definitely more upbeat, I was starting to feel more like myself again and the anxious days became more of distant memory.
Looking back on that time in my life I was a person who I didn’t recognise, I had been through the worst months of my life and came out the other side a stronger person mainly down to the counselling support through Nurture and more importantly the awareness and understanding of postnatal depression. I have since began to enjoy life again and I look forward to a bright and positive future with my family
Karen, December 2013
I spoke to you on a Monday morning almost two months ago.
At that time, I had hit one of the lowest points in my life & the conversation we had was a significant turning point for me. You have no idea the relief I felt to have someone really listen to me & understand what I was talking about. I really needed someone to just tell me I had PND & to assure me that it would be ok, with Nurtures help.
Having someone arrange a counselling session so quickly was a relief although I have to admit I was skeptical, even after my first session with Jan. I would always have believed that you would only make matters worse by indulging in self analysis & I just didn’t believe initially that it was the right option for me. However I couldn’t have been more wrong!
I really can’t tell you how much Jan Cremin has changed my life. I appreciate she is a qualified professional & I am sure she works diligently with all of her clients but she really makes me feel like I am the most valuable, important person in the world. She has helped me drag my strength & confidence out of a very deep hole & is helping me not only get myself back but a better version of myself. I know I have a bit to go but I feel so much stronger & better able to deal with my bad days & that is down to Jan.
I cannot say enough about Jan & I hope she continues her work with you in the future.
I really wanted to take some time to thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you have done for me. The help & guidance I have received through Nurture has saved me. I have longed to just feel ‘normal’ for months & I really am starting to believe that it is coming any day now. I wish you the very best as you continue your amazing work & would be delighted to volunteer my help if you need anything on the future. My husband and I will be making donations in lieu of Xmas presents this year as a small thank you.
Very best wishes,
Sara, August 2013
I found the support group a very open and honest space. There was a great feeling of understanding between all the group members and you never had to explain yourself. It felt like a safe place to open up and be honest. I really miss it now! Nurture has been an important part of my recovery from postnatal depression.
Anna, July 2013
My husband and I have been trying for a baby for many years and decided to go down the IVF route as we were desperate to start a family. Unfortunately after two major attempts and a lot of hard work the IVF treatment was unsuccessful. We were both devastated and utterly lost. I felt so overwhelmed by our loss that over time I went into total isolation. A friend of mine recommended Nurture and suggested I give professional counselling serious consideration.
My first point of contact with Nurture was over the phone. They were so understanding and allowed me cry without judgment before making an appointment for me with one of their counsellors. She was lovely and understood how I felt. She explained to me that I was experiencing bereavement and loss, and that the feelings attached to these is grief. I cried for a long time trying to express myself and talked about all the feelings around my loss. After some time working with my counsellor I felt as if a weight had lifted off my shoulders. It’s so important to be able to talk about your feelings and if that means crying a lot so be it.
Slowly I started to engage with the world and my relationships got much better. I decided not to go down the IVF route again as I was told I may not have a lot of success. It’s been a long journey for me personally as well as for my husband. I feel alive and me again.
Without the help of Nurture I would not be where I am today so from the bottom of my heart a huge thank you for helping me to get my life back together, and for helping me to live and look up at the sky and feel happiness instead of distress and anxiety. My husband also thanks Nurture for all their wonderful support.
I have finally reached a level of happiness I am comfortable with!
Áine, July 2013
Just a quick note to thank you, Lilian and all at Nurture for everything you did to help me with my recovery from postpartum psychosis. The support, understanding and encouragement was a lifeline to me. Looking forward to any volunteering I can do in the future.
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