About Me

Kent, United Kingdom
I have the perfect family but still struggle to find the light in the darkness of post-natal depression.

Monday, 18 August 2008

technological problems and traumas

Fear not, I have not disappeared into the ether. I tried to post over the weekend but the stupid computer was having none of it.
Luckily, after the second time I managed to save it and have reproduced it below.
And today's post will follow, with a bit of a change of tone. Such is the life of Liz at the moment...

Grrrr! I just typed out another fantastic insightful post and then my computer died and lost it all!
But first of all, I hope you are all impressed with my latest technological milestone - the post below is from my phone! How cool is that?! Probably not very to all you geeks out there but it is for me...
Anyway, as I was saying before the computer let me down...this weekend has been full of milestones - Miss Tash came with us to buy her first big girl duvet and pillow and picked out the pinkest bedding set she could find.
It's quite wierd to see her in her cot with them - she's no longer a baby and I'm no longer in those hellish early days, and can look forward to the challenges and fun that her childhood will bring.
I'm also now drug free and no longer in therapy, so I guess I'm as sane as I can hope to be at the moment.
We had a really good session yesterday, with talk of how far we'd come, as well as talk of the future.
The statistic that terrifies me at the moment is that after having PND once there's a 50 per cent chance of having it again. That's a big risk to take if we decide to expand our family (with two-legged children rather than four-legged furry ones!).
At the moment I just can't contemplate that, for all sorts of reasons. I'm so not ready, for one. And I'm not ready to put Tash through something that could jeopardise our fledgling relationship - having a sibling would be stressful enough for her, without risking losing mummy to a big black hole as well.
If I'm honest, I'm not prepared to risk losing myself to that hole either. I've worked so hard to climb out of it and I feel like I need to get further away from the abyss before starting any dangerous manoeuvres. That's a really confused metaphor but I hope you understand what I mean.
Of course, that's not to say that we'll never have another child. I sincerely hope that in another year or so, when Tash is old enough for us to discuss her frustrations and attempt an explanation of how I am feeling, we might be brave enough to try.
But for now, I plan to work on enjoying the child I have before she's all grown up and it's passed me by.


Alex and Tara said...

What is the statistical likelihood of having PND on your second when you had it on your first? Are there any statistics readily available like for gestational diabetes? What makes you seem so sure it would be the same over again?

Liz said...

Hmmm. Interesting questions.
To answer the first point, I've seen statistics ranging from 20 per cent to 50 per cent - my therapist prefers the 50 per cent one. And a review in the British Medical Journal (thank you Katie sister!) says: "Outcomes for women with severe or psychotic episodes of depression are different from those with mild, subclinical depressive symptoms and generalisations are not helpful.
"Whatever the severity, most women who receive appropriate treatment completely recover but are at risk of further postpartum and non-postpartum episodes....early onset depression (within the first six to eight weeks), severe depression...may indicate a more specific puerpal triggering and the risks of subsequent postpartum episodes may be higher."
As I was lucky enough to be classed as having severe, early onset depression the statistics for me would be higher than others.
The only positive thing is that I would be classed as "high risk" again and would get lots of extra support, and the option of prenatal antidepressants or having them immediately post-natally which was shown to have some success in the same review.
Phew - that was very scientific for me!

The Muser (aka Beautiful Mama) said...

Oh, I can so relate! There are times I would desperately LOVE to have another, but the risk of depression again...ugh. And no way would I be willing to do that to my little girl. It was hard enough on my husband and I! I know there are strategies to prevent it, and I think I could probably find a way to do it and really reduce my risk of ppd (I guess you call it pnd)...but, oh, it's scary! And sometimes I wonder if I even really want a second one or if I just want a "do-over," a chance at a better pregnancy and post-partum period than I had the first time. And I wonder about having a second in general. It's so hard even now that I've recovered and I have one easy baby to have time for myself, my work, my husband and her. If I add another kid to the mix I worry that I would deprive all of us of what I can offer now...fear I would be spread too thin and would do us all a disservice. And then I see a little girl happily giggling and playing with her brother and desperately want to get right on making that second baby! :)

Liz said...

Thank you muser, for sharing that - it's good to know I'm not alone in the dilemma.
I'm so glad you came through the hideousness of depression and can enjoy life now.
And I hope that one day, if it's meant to be, we will both find the courage to add another person to this world! Part of me figures that as I've survived it once I can do it again, but I too question my motives - I would hate to end up feeling like Tash was just my practice baby and a second one would be the one to get right!
A very wise woman once said to me that everyone knows when they are ready to have another child, and at the moment I know I'm not.
So until I get that feeling, Tash will remain an only child...