My sister’s story.

I’m 22 years old.

I have a young daughter who means the world to me, you could say I was young, maybe even ‘not ready’ when I fell pregnant however I don’t believe anyone is ever fully ‘ready’ to be a mother along with the endless responsibilities that come alongside a newborn baby.

The week leading up to my daughters birth was possibly the worst and best week of my life. I was involved in a bad car accident when I was 39 weeks pregnant, that in itself is a lot for someone to comprehend – I hadn’t been passed my test for very long and hadn’t fully gained my confidence yet so it completely knocked me back. My car flipped and still to this day I have visions and the feeling of fear that I felt in that exact moment lying in my car upside down. My only concern was my baby – I remember shouting ‘my baby, my baby’ the sheer thought of anything happening to my baby terrified me.

So, the day after my accident I was induced, and was then in slow labour for 4 days and finally gave birth to my beautiful and perfect little girl on the 21st of December 2016. The overwhelming moment when she was passed to me is one I will most certainly never forget.

The next again day I got home. What should have been the happiest time of my life seemed it wasn’t. Why? I had no idea. I had a beautiful little girl and she was absolutely perfect – however I couldn’t clear the thought of ‘what if’ from my head. What if things hadn’t turned out like this? I then began to blame myself for the car accident I was in and couldn’t stop these overwhelming thoughts.

Things became more difficult, I struggled to carry on with day to day life, snapping at people who were trying to help me, pushing the ones closest to me as far away as possible. I struggled to leave the house most days. I then looked back and realised I wasn’t the person I once was – the outgoing, happy, bubbly Emma everyone once knew.. but why? I had no idea.

That’s when I decided I needed to speak to someone and tell them how I was feeling although I had no idea how I’d explain it. I made myself a doctors appointment; more for my daughters sake than anything else – I needed to get better for her sake. I was diagnosed with anxiety and postnatal depression. Although I’d been diagnosed with this, it all still made no sense to me as I’d never suffered a mental illness before in my life.

I still would say I don’t quite understand it but that’s ok because I know I’m starting to feel better. I was given antidepressants which do seem to be helping me – I mean a few months ago there’s no way I’d be expressing everything here! I don’t mind that I don’t understand it – that’s ok. All I know is that I’m starting to gradually feel better and that’s all that matters.

There is no shame in admitting you aren’t coping – you’re not alone.

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