Presentation on theme: "MY JOURNEY THROUGH MOTHERHOOD & MADNESS Postpartum Psychosis."— Presentation transcript:
MY JOURNEY THROUGH MOTHERHOOD & MADNESS Postpartum Psychosis
A “fairy tale” wedding… … Followed by much-hoped-for pregnancy & a new house! We seemed “prepared” for parenthood What could possibly go wrong?
Result: a healthy 4kg baby boy – but a seriously unwell mum Numerous “false starts” & two weeks overdue Failure to progress after gruelling 3 day “back” labour Cervix swollen & obstructed (from 9cm back to 4cm) Uterus exhausted Lengthy (and terrifying) emergency C-section followed by severe blood loss (3.5 litres) Extreme sleep deprivation We were physically shattered, but so grateful for James’ safe arrival
The media gives us: Reality: New motherhood was not how I imagined
Unbeknown to us, the “perfect storm” of risk factors had gathered… Within 24 hours… Psychosis Sleep deprivation Infection & fever (Unknown) family history Worries over breastfeeding Traumatic labour Previous episodes of depression
Catatonia & Delirium I’m sorry, I think I’m insane. I love you. I’m causing the end of the world.. I’ve killed everyone, but me, locked in this cell. I will slowly suffocate to death Where did my life end and this nightmare begin? Heart about to stop? Stomach about to explode? Did I die? Is this hell?
My baby was in the care of the nurses, going for daily walks with Daddy, in his shiny new pram. Even in a psychotic state, I was encouraged to spend time with James, under careful supervision. Admission to MBU: “there” but not there…
Daily visits from daddy.. … and James thrived I had moments of lucidity
A “break through” A session with the MBU’s Child Psychologist was a break-through. As she showed me how to make James smile, I started to see James as a real person, and not just a facet of my illness or a thing to be feared.
First home leave from the MBU – Christmas Day! A long shower, a simple lunch (just the 3 of us) and a chance to show James around his home for the first time. From this day, my home leave gradually built up until I only went back to the MBU for my formal discharge meeting at the end of January.