After i had Tilly and i became ill with PND, things got so bad that i really didnt feel like i wanted to be here anymore. After i took an overdose in August 2010, i realised that i could take one of two paths. I could fight the illness or i could give into it again and end things for once and for all. I lied to the psychiatrist to get out of the hospital and told him that i was ok and i would never do it again, but in reality i didn't know what i could do.
I went home and got in bed with all 4 of my kids and thats where we stayed for 2 days. In those two days a lot of talking, crying and cuddles went on and it made me realise that i really needed to take time out of life to spend with my family and that i was going to fight it from then on. From that moment i slept with Tilly in my bed and i tried to bond with her, i felt that if she was the last thing i saw at night and the first thing i saw in the morning, then i would wake up bonded with her - i did eventually but it took a long time.
I would love to say that from that moment everything was perfect and i recovered very quickly, because that would give me a 'happy ever after' but it didnt happen like that!
My health visitor came to see me a few times but then admitted she didnt know how to cope with someone with severe PND and she walked out of my house and never came back! So over the next few months i could of taken my life again or that of my child and they health care team would of been none the wiser. I can see how so many new mums feel let down and failed by the system.
I worked so hard at the second chance i had been given, i wont say it was easy as it wasnt. It took another 18 months to finally realise i loved my baby. I remember the day so clearly, i woke up on the 3 may 2012 and i felt a gush of love for the little person lying next to me in bed. That was an amazing turning point in my life and to me it was the day that Tilly was 'born'. I often look and the first two years of her life is empty, the older kids made sure there were loads of photos taken to help my memories as tilly got older, so i have those but i dont really remember the events happening. Getting to that point in May 2012 was such a long long journey for me, it was like walking up a really steep hill, with someone at the top throwing obstacles down at you. But i made it to the top!
I have gone from having to have someone with me to go out as i felt people were talking about me, and i would lose my temper so quickly, to being able to take Tilly to another country on a plane by myself. I have gone from a scared women that would shake everytime somebody spoke to me, to being the confident (ish) woman i am today. I am in no way as confident as i was before i had tilly, but i am getting there.
Some how i managed to hold a job down all the time i was ill, although i was honest with my boss and told her that i needed to give up work she talked me into working one day a week, as she said it would do me good, and she was right. Sometimes even that one day a week was hard work and i couldnt face going out the door and she kept my shifts to a strict routine, so i did the same day every week and i did the same thing at work every time. The rotas were always written down when i got there because if it wasnt written down, what i was doing, then i felt crushed, i needed to know what i was doing every day down to the minute. My colleagues were understanding and they never gave me sympathy when i was having a bad day, they would make comments that made me laugh. Eventually i felt able to work more hours and got a new job on a fragrance counter which is like my dream job - i love it and i actually believe that since i started there in December, i have got more confident, more outgoing and i feel like i progressed in my life more in the past 6 months than i had in the past two years.
My relationship with my little girl now is perfect. we still co-sleep (she starts in her own bed and gets in mine in the night), but i wouldnt have it any other way.
Recently I added an app to my phone called 'phonehop' and it takes my status updates back to 3 years ago and i dont actually recognise the person writing the things that are there, in fact this person scares me with the anger in the facebook updates, i think it even scares me more to realise this person was real.
I am so thankful for the second chance i was given and the fact that i fought so hard to get better. I am also thankful to my little family for supporting me through it.