I am going to attempt to put down on paper what happened to me prior to being diagnosed with postpartum psychosis (sometimes called puerperal psychosis) – sorry, WHAT? I’d never heard of this before it happened to me.
Munchie was born in early December 2010. I was ecstatic, the little girl I had wanted had arrived safely. I had been lucky enough to have a pretty simple labour in a midwifery-led unit and thanks to the Tens machine, a fabulous yoga instructor, the birthing pool and of course my fabulous husband, all had gone pretty smoothly.
We were discharged the next day and to begin with things seemed to be going OK. However, by the time the 5 day check came around I was hyper and very excited and some small cracks were starting to show. I started to have difficulty sleeping and breastfeeding was becoming harder rather than easier. Giving up breastfeeding simply did not seem like an option to me. I remember screaming in distress at the thought of failing to breastfeed. My midwife recommended some different remedies to help with the soreness of my nipples and I saw a doctor to discuss the sleep problem. Lack of sleep wasn’t due to the baby but instead my inability to relax. I now know that this was the beginning of ‘mania’. The doctor gave me some sleeping tablets and I managed to get a few hour’s rest, not enough. At this early stage it was really tricky for my husband and I to know how much of what was happening was normal new baby woes….