When will this end?: I gave birth to my... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

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When will this end?

VoodooCharles1
VoodooCharles1

I gave birth to my first child, a baby girl just over 3 months ago. I have been in hospital with PP since just 5 days after her birth. First of all I was in a mother ane baby unit, but that didn't go so well as i felt immense pressure from the staff to be some kind of super mum, adhering to every nhs guideline for how to care for my baby, the rules were suffocating and i made the decision to move to an adult acute ward. I have been here a month, without my daughter. In that month i have spent a total of 6 hours with my newborn. It is hell on earth. My husband works from home and looks after the baby, and I cant even leave the ward for longer than hour a day and that has to be on hospital grounds and escorted by a member of hospital staff. I adhere to my medication plan, I try and stay calm, and I cry every day because I'm separated from my baby. This is not how i envisaged motherhood to be. It is breaking my heart and I keep telling myself surely the end is near? surely I'll be discharged soon, but now its my fourth month here and I'm STILL. HERE. seasons are changing, my baby is growing and changing and i am stuck here, without her. please give me some hope x

14 Replies
Ellie_at_APP
Ellie_at_APPAdministrator

Hi voodoocharles1

I’m so glad you have found us and reached out. I’m so sorry you have postpartum psychosis.

I had pp in 2011 after the birth of my son. Like you I was unwell just a few days after giving birth. I went to a mother and baby unit as well but didn’t make a decision to go to a general ward but I was in the MBU for over 3 months. It felt never ending and I thought I’d never get out of hospital and get better, but I did, and you will too.

The first thing I want to say to you is you really are going to come through this and get better and have the family life you hoped for. I know this is very hard to believe when you’re in the middle of it. For me pp was so devastating and traumatic, as you describe. I was acutely psychotic and then struggled with a long depression afterwards. But now I am fully myself again, and have an amazing relationship with my son.

It sounds so heartbreaking to be apart from your daughter and I imagine all the Covid restrictions around visiting make it worse.

I wonder if you would consider trying a MBU again so you can be reunited with your daughter which I imagine is so essential to your recovery. Do you think this could be an option? Is there another MBU you could try for example, so that you could possibly have a different experience to the first one?

It’s so good you’ve found us. I know you will receive many supportive replies here. Never hesitate to write anything you want to, we are here for you.

Take care, Ellie

Csanderson
CsandersonVolunteer

Hi voodoocharles1

I’m so sorry to hear what you are going through.

I too suffered from pp and was on a mother and baby unit for a while. And I can say it does get better. In order to make your baby happy, you have to be happy yourself and it’s okay if that takes time.

It’s so hard but you will get there I promise

DoraDonig
DoraDonig in reply to Csanderson

Ditto!

You are in the best place for yourself VoodooCharles1. Please make sure you are voicing these concerns with your doctor/nurse/health care professional.a recovery road map is something that helped me see light at the end of the tunnel.it basically highlights the next steps, how to get there,what are the daily things you can do to help yourself get there.

Having had psychosis in 2015 and I also got admitted to a adult acute psychiatric unit,I can definitely relate ❤one step at a time!

Do stay in touch and let us know on the forum of any questions!

Hi VoodooCharles1,In answer to you question or the short version is yes it does get better - I’m not going to lie recovery is a journey. I had pp feb 2020 and spent some time in the MBU - but know what you mean about the pressure to be a super mum. Has the ward given you any suggestion of when you might be allowed home? Can you talk to them and say how happy you are without your baby- see if they will give you some more time with her.

This charity you have found are amazing and even being home I still have a peer support worker that helps me.

Xxxxx

Naomi_at_app
Naomi_at_appAdministrator

Hi VoodooCharles1

I'm so sorry to hear you are going through such a distressing time. Well done for reaching out to other mums and families here on the forum - we are all here to give you hope, support you and reassure you that you will recover, and motherhood can be restored after the difficult and traumatic experience of PP. I have a really close bond with both my daughters now, and they are growing into young people who have such care and sensitivity for others, with a good understanding of mental health (they are now 10 and 15).

All of my treatment was in a general psychiatric unit. I can really empathise with the deep sadness of being separated from your baby, and the way it can impact on your confidence as a mum. It sounds as though your visiting is very limited, and I wonder if this is something you might want to raise at your weekly ward round/review meeting? It's important that the staff acknowledge how much you want to be reunited with your baby and that they support you to work towards this.

I am so sorry your initial experience at the MBU was one where you felt perhaps 'scrutinised' and expected to do things perfectly. It can be very difficult to advocate for yourself when in the early stages of PP, and to find ways to explain to the staff how they are making you feel. It may also be that due to the symptoms of PP you felt extra-heightened in your worries about the staff not thinking you were doing a good job.

We know from research into PP treatment that MBU's usually promote the best recovery, as ideally the whole family have access to support and crucially mums are able to be with their baby full-time. If you did decide you want to return to the MBU (or another MBU) - I wondered whether it would be useful for you to write down what you found unhelpful in the way staff approached baby care with you - and what you would find more helpful and supportive?

I also wanted to let you know that we have a partner's peer support co-ordinator, Simon - do let you husband know he can get in touch on app@app-network.org if he would like some support from another dad.

Do keep in touch with us here, we are all mums and families who have walked the hard journey of recovery from PP and can be alongside you to keep encouraging you that you will get through this.

Warm wishes,

Naomi

Lilybeth
LilybethVolunteer

Hello VoodooCharles1

I’m sorry you are in so much distress being separated from your baby and recovering from PP. I had PP many years ago and was sectioned to mixed general psychiatric care, without my son for his first six months.

I wonder as you are adhering to your medication plan and trying to stay calm whether you might be allowed home for a night, gradually leading to a few nights? Perhaps you could ask your care team at the next review meeting or mention it to the hospital staff escorting you in the grounds? This is how I progressed to eventually being discharged.

In these early months PP does seem never ending when you are trying so hard to be well. I wonder if you have seen the PP Guide “Recovery after Postpartum Psychosis” at app-network.org/what-is-pp/... with shared experiences also on the page.

Please know that, although very traumatic, PP is a temporary and very treatable illness. So there is hope and we are all here for you along the way. Take care

I understand your frustration. The fact that you miss your daughter and want to see her is something you should hold on to and will help you recover. Just keep thinking of all the fun, snuggles, and cute little and big moments you will have with her once you recover. The first piece of advice I have is to be cooperative with your treatment team. It will shorten your stay. Medication can be tricky, and not everyone responds the same and it can take awhile to see results.

Secondly, you will need a lot of help and take advantage of everything that can help you. Therapy, medication, exercise, light movies and tv, mom groups, good food and sun light- you have to be proactive about helping yourself.

Lastly, it can take a few months to recover - everyone varies. That answer was not good enough for me when I was in your spot- so let’s say when your baby is a year old, you will be celebrating her first birthday and your recovery at the same time.

Congratulations on your new little daughter. Motherhood is not a sprint but a marathon. You never stop being a mother. Most importantly, your experience now can help her out if she ever goes through any of the same struggles in her life. It’s hard to see it now, but this experience will make you stronger.

First of all, I'm so sorry to hear you are going through this. My heart breaks for you but I know you will come out through other side. Please believe that. I thought my life was never going to be normal again almost a year ago but 11 months post partum, I can honestly say I feel like me again. You will get there too. I promise :)

I was in an MBU in May 2020 and also campaigned to get out (asking for my daughter to be reunited with my husband) as I felt under immense pressure and felt watched/scrutinised 24/7 which was making me feel like I was failing with my daughter and consequently sent me into a pit of despair. Admittedly, a lot of that was down to suffering delusions but it wasn't helping being separated from family with no visitors due to Covid. I haven't seen anyone else on here that has felt the same way about being in an MBU so I can totally relate to you on that topic. If I had my time again and I had taken my meds earlier, it may have been a more beneficial experience.

I can't imagine what it must be like to be away that long. You are so strong. Do you have a care plan laid out so you have an idea of what you need to get home? Just know you are amazing and that you are growing stronger for your daughter every day. You will be an amazing mumma. I believe in you! If you need to chat, please reach out. You're not alone.

Just out of interest what MBU were you in? There were some failings in my care at an MBU but I was really lucky and found the staff non judgemental when it came to caring for my little one. Could you push for a return home now? Maybe with your husband WFH and the support of a CPN you would be better at home? Especially if your psychotic symptoms have subsided. I know a bout of bad depression usually follows psychosis but this is manageable to an extent at home. My heart goes out to you, you're having a shit time and you don't deserve it ❤️

Fitel
FitelVolunteer

Hello VoodooCharles1

Welcome to the forum and thank you for reaching out - hopefully you find this a welcoming and supportive place. Most of us on here have also experienced PP and so we understand the really dark and low times it can bring. So sorry to hear that you are experiencing such difficulties right at the moment. As other have said, have you had conversations with your family and clinical care staff regarding transferring back to an MBU at some point soon?

There really is light at the end of the tunnel, even when it doesn't seem like there is as we can recover from this awful illness, I didn't think I would when I was diagnosed later 2016/early 2017 and the journey ahead seemed soooo long, it was such a confusing strange time coming to terms with everything that was happening to me - I spent all told, around 10 weeks in an MBU. But, the sun will shine the next day and there is always hope. I hope that you can keep communciating with this forum so that we can provide a symathetic and empathetic ear for you when you need it. I also hope that you are getting the family and friend support you need right now and most of all, take time for self care, even just small things each day can help to create a boost.

All the best, take care.

Hi,

I am so sorry you are going through this. Postpartum psychosis is a horrible illness but things will get better. I suffered from it myself after the birth of my son in 2018. With the right help and support you will recover from this. I hope you are receiving good care from your mental health team. Take care, i am glad you have found this forum and please feel free to message me if you want to talk. J x

EmiMum
EmiMumVolunteer

Hi VoodooCharles1,

I am really sorry that things are so difficult at the moment. My heart goes out to you because you are right, this is not how anyone envisions the start of motherhood to be.

I would recommend as others have already said, to look into your care plan or if you don't have one yet ask for a plan to be put together first, highlight how beneficial it would be for your recovery to get more contact with your daughter and discuss the plan in the weekly ward round.

I promise you that things will get better despite how dark they seem at the moment. Take really good care, you are not alone.

Twobabies
TwobabiesVolunteer

Hello, I’m glad you are able to get in touch on the forum. Loads of great comments already so I just wanted to say I hear you. It sounds so difficult and distressing. I spent time on general ward and mbu with pp. I remember feeling a bit similar initially in the mbu about being watched by staff so closely I felt annoyed that they would be beside me every time I was with my baby and even in a tiny room when I changed her they would come in and stand at the door watching me. Was hard not to be annoyed as I knew the last thing I was going to do was not care for my baby right but I totally understand they have to watch especially at first or when you unwell they have both of us (mother and baby) to keep safe. And once you’ve been in the mbu a while and they see you recovering they will allow you to be more independent. Remember the illness can make us paranoid so try focus on your baby not them (easier said than done I know). So like many of comments below I’m wondering could you speak with your family/ hospital staff and tell them what you feel and that you would like to see your baby more? could you move back to mbu? As a stepping stone to getting back home? It’s agonising to be without your baby but you want to be, you love them and they won’t recall this time only the time you have together when you are all better and the mum you are and want to be. Sending you lots of love and better times ahead. Is there a nurse you trust you could speak to about getting support to see your baby more, even if a nurse or someone from the unit accompanies you? See if there is anyone that can help advocate for your needs. You will get back to health and this horrible time will pass. Keep in touch. Big hugs. X

Hi there,I have nothing advice-wise to offer that hasn’t already been raised, but I would like to reassure you that you can beat this illness. It just takes time and determination, which you clearly have.

I had PP four months after my first daughter was born, back in 2019. Ive since had two more children and didn’t have PP with either of them 🥳 I have bipolar disorder and that makes me more susceptible to it. I think with the right support and medication, you can do anything you put your mind to. So just believe in yourself, you’ll get through this.

Also, if you like Sia’s music, it’s all about never giving up if you need an extra boost! X

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