AJ and I have tried to recall how the events unfolded after our daughter was born almost three and a half years ago in the days that led up to me being hospitalised and in what we now realise was postpartum psychosis.
Early on I was exhilerated, I remember drinking a glass of champagne and being drunk instantly, then passing out! I was hyper.
Having trouble with breastfeeding came as a huge disappointment and I gave myself a hard time and could not relax. I wasn’t settling into motherhood as instinctively as I had expected and this was a huge source of anxiety.
People came to visit and I was insensitive to social conventions, not considering that they may be embarassed by me flopping my boobs out without a care! I am usually quite extroverted so we didn’t realise that me losing my inhibitions and not caring was perhaps an early sign of the symptoms found in psychosis. Everything is new so you lose reference.
Over the next few days I was fidgety about breastfeeding, I had no patience with it and found myself getting frustrated when Munchie didn’t latch on easily and I complained about the pain. I had low tolerance. Breastfeeding seemed to get harder not easier and I was hard on myself and wouldn’t let myself relax. I dreaded breastfeeding. I didn’t give up, throw my hands up in the air and go to bed which wasn’t like me as I love my sleep!
Two or three nights in I started not sleeping. AJ and I would go to bed together and he would sleep for a few hours but when he woke he would find I wasn’t there but instead fussing around Munchie or around the house. I was obsessing about doing menial tasks which was very uncharacteristic. I wouldn’t let myself go to sleep until these silly menial tasks were completed. I had forgotten how to look after myself and was irrational. The midwife was concerned about me and suggested I saw the doctor. I saw the GP and she told me off, she pointed out that I had to look after myself if I wanted to look after my baby. I had to rest.
This is the story until around day 5 or 6. More to follow…