How my relationship changed through Post Natal Depression
My husband (Ryan) and I met in February 2007, we got engaged in December 2008 and we were married at the end of November 2010. Almost nine years together and five years of marriage, during these five years we have had three children. Sadly our firstborn son was stillborn at 27 weeks of pregnancy in June 2011, the following year we were blessed with our daughter and in April 2014 we had our second son. Here is my account of how my relationship changed through Post Natal Depression.
Ryan is from New Zealand and I am originally from England, I have now resided here for almost 12 years. All my family are in England and Ryan’s family are in various places in New Zealand. I’ll take you back to January 2015, I knew I wasn’t myself, I felt constantly down, had trouble sleeping, decreased appetite and I just wanted to hide from the world and have nothing to do with my children. I suspect Ryan knew things with me weren’t right and he did his best to ‘lighten the load’ at home. He was working full-time and I was at home with our daughter and son, as I was still on maternity leave.
One day, during last January I snapped. Ryan came home for a late lunch and when he said he had to return to work I just snapped. I screamed for him not to leave me at home, “I can’t cope” I shouted, and at the same time I smashed a glass. I felt the walls were closing in around me, and I couldn’t breathe. I felt hopeless and a terrible mother and wife. Ryan didn’t return to work that day, he stayed at home and we talked.
It was after this day, I admitted I had Post Natal Depression (PND). I promptly rang my GP for an appointment and arranged a meeting with my counsellor I had been seeing on and off. When Ryan returned to work the next day, he chatted with his boss about how things were at home and arranged some time off work. He definitely hated the way I was feeling and would try to change my way of thinking at this time, but I could not understand it from his point of view and vice versa. I know he gets frustrated with me because he wants me to know that I am a good mum and wife but I don’t often believe him.
Ryan came to a counsellor appointment and he later said that this gave him a bit more insight into the way I was thinking and feeling about myself. We had both never realised how much anxiety I have about certain events, and by both of us understanding this it has helped us a great deal when I can feel my anxiety levels are increased. Due to my PND I have had moments when I want to turn my back on him and our family. I tell him that he doesn’t understand, he doesn’t get me and the way I am feeling and of course he doesn’t he isn’t me. There have been times when he loses control and snaps at me, I know he just feels helpless and frustrated and doesn’t know what to do for the best. When we have both calmed down, we talk, hug and cry (of course the tears are mostly from me).
We are continually working on our relationship, our marriage, being the nest parents we can be to our children. If I feel I’m not having a good day or something has upset me, I tell him, after all he can’t guess (as much as I’d like him too). We will sit down and give each time without any distractions, (children in bed, no TV and no internet time) this works well for us we can discuss our thoughts and feelings about something and try to work together to find a solution.
Ryan is an incredibly patient and loving man and father and I am very lucky to have him as my husband and best friend in my life. Through me having PND is has certainly made life harder and extremely challenging at times but it has brought us closer together and I think made us stronger. I started my blog in April 2015, so I could talk about my depression and the highs and lows of life, being a Mum and Crafty things.