My Experience Being a New Mum with Postnatal Depression

Photography:Rachel Burt Photography

By Jessie Stanners

“Motherhood looks good on you!” 

“You look like you are loving motherhood!” 

“You look amazing!” 

“You’re a natural!” 

I am. 

I fucking LOVE motherhood unlike anything I have ever loved before. 

Now, three months in, that is. 

Looking back a couple of months, all the while I was posting happy squishy pictures harping on about how much I love my little human, behind closed doors I did not have my shit together, and motherhood most definitely did not look good on me. 

Ever since I was a kid, I have dreamed of having my own wee babe, and here I was miserable and unable to believe or understand why I wasn’t enjoying this beautiful magical thing I was never sure I’d get to experience. 

I got hit hard and fast with some deep and dark emotions quite early on. While I had effortlessly kept my head in bright spaces and in good spirits throughout what was an amazing pregnancy and birth, the part I was looking forward to the most, motherhood, hit me like a heavy tonne of bricks within hours and days of being home. 

I spent the first few weeks in a blur of hormone induced ups and downs. 

The ups – my god, I have never felt such love in my life. I spent hours just mesmerised, staring at the teeny tiny beautiful little human I had just made inside me….he was here with his perfect little toes and wee tummy that I watched sink and rise with every little adorable snuffly breath. Absolute MAGIC. 

But the downs – they came in and brought big black nasty clouds that dimmed all that squishy loved up sunshine in seconds. 

I put a lot of it down to hormones. 

Knowing and understanding it was totally natural to be in a mental-physical-emotional whirlwind after going through the biggest and most beautiful experience of my life made sense and helped me process what I was experiencing. 

I ebbed and flowed through the days, taking care to always see the bright side and pull myself back up out of those shitty places in my mind with those little toes and perfect big baby blue eyes. 

Week three came and my partner went back to work. It wasn’t until I was alone with my new and peculiar life that it hit me hard and fast that things were beginning to become more unbalanced than I could push aside or cover up with cooing over cuteness. 

All I wanted to do was escape and hide away until those predicted first tough six weeks passed and we were in the clear with our little babe all happy and adjusted to being earthside. 

I just wanted to be me. 

I just wanted to be alone. 

I just wanted to disappear. 

It got bad. 

Thinking about driving the car off the road with the baby and I in it, bad. 

Just acknowledging that makes me feel sad and sick to my stomach as I sit here happy and healthy with my beautiful, smiley baby boy. 

But it also makes me proud. 

It makes me proud of myself for pulling over, calling my partner and asking him to come home, and reaching out for help. 

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