Returning to ‘normal’…: Hello, I am... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

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Returning to ‘normal’…

Olanzapinelenny profile image
11 Replies


I am recovering from PP following the birth of my daughter last May. I have been surfing the highs and lows and came off medication late January. Soon I will be discharged to my GP and plan to return to work in May. Although everything has followed as smooth a path as possible I am struggling with big feelings about whether I can cope and not having the support/ crutch of mental health services on the ward. I am attending counselling with perinatal specialists and plan to begin CBT soon. My anxiety and worry is continually up and down paired with low moods especially with time of the month, all within a reasonable remit but enough to make me feel low at times and alone. I’m feeling very emotional about milestones my daughter is now reaching and the time I’ve missed or have no memory of in the last year. I am very keen to have another child in the future but my husband is now against this and I’m struggling to come to terms with this. Just wondered if anyone has experienced similar feelings and best coping mechanisms.

11 Replies
EmiMum profile image

Hi Olanzapinelenny, welcome to the forum, I am so sorry you had pp last May, it is such a traumatic event. You so well describe how pp is a wave that has repercussions further down the line, but it is possible to even come to terms with it in time. There are quite a few events coming up for you, return to work, your daughter coming to one year, discharge to your GP, all of this can be overwhelming. I remember just coming back to work felt so huge for me and at the time I was still under the perinatal services. You are not alone in feeling this way, we have been through it and know how tough it is. You are doing an incredible job as it stands.

I had pp in 2018, was in general psych first and then an mbu. There are many memories I don't have of my daughter as an infant. There are however countless memories I have made anew during and since my recovery. They will come for you as well.

Time is a healer, I come back every now and then to the phrase of my psychiatrist in the mbu, he told me "as hard as this time is for you, it will be short compared to your life and the life of your daughter". It has just been a few years since then and I realise how right he was.

Do take good care, write here with as much sincerity as you want, there are no judgements just empathy

Olanzapinelenny profile image
Olanzapinelenny in reply to EmiMum

thank you for your kind words. I hope time and putting the distance between things will help but I’m also sad she’s growing up! Take care x

EmiMum profile image
EmiMumVolunteer in reply to Olanzapinelenny

Hi Olanzapinelenny, you are not alone feeling that way, I believe all mums feel that to an extent, pp adding more poignancy to it. I swing between wanting to freeze this age and hoping my kids will grow out of this annoying thing quickly. It will certainly get easier with time, do not despair, this illness won't define you or your relationship with your daughter as she grows.

Take good care, sending you a virtual hug

The_Wes_Anderson_Fan profile image

Hello Olanzapinelenny, How long were you on the ward for? Was it an MBU?

I had a similar experience, I had PP and I was on the MBU for 3 months. It was a long time ago now and I returned to work when my daughter was 7 months old. I gradually came off all medication with medical advice.

My confidence was really affected but everyone at my work so kind and understanding without asking any questions. The routine really helped me to recover.

My husband didn't want me to have more children, although we had kind of settled on one. Maybe he could talk to a professional person about PP for some more information or reassurance. There are APP groups available for partners and I am sure others have felt the same. There would be a lot of support in place for you, the odds are about 50/50 of you having it again. I have had psychosis twice but made a full recovery both times.

I am past the menopause now, but I always had very low mood pre menstrual. Interestingly, I have spoken to friends with no mental health history and they have the same. It does pass.

I know the lack of memory about milestones is emotional but I agree with EmiMum that it is ok in the long run and as you recover, this period becomes less significant. Good luck with everything, I think the CBT should be effective for your anxiety 🙏

Olanzapinelenny profile image
Olanzapinelenny in reply to The_Wes_Anderson_Fan

thank you for your kind words. I was on the ward for 5 weeks and had ECT which has affected my memory of the time. I also had quite bad side affects when coming off my medication in January despite it being a low dose. My husband has now self referred for counselling so hoping that will help going forward. Take care x

MotherOfBears profile image

hi there

I have a similar story to you - had PP/manic episode last summer after the birth of my second child. I can absolutely relate to what you are saying about highs and lows, grieving for lost time and experiences. Even though - as you put it - things are going as well as can be expected… having PP I’d HUGE and just surviving it takes immense energy etc etc etc.

I actually had an MBU stay with my first child - although wasn’t PP it was diagnosed as severe postnatal anxiety (although now I have been diagnosed as bipolar it was probably a mild bipolar manic state). My partner and I both questioned at times whether to have another child. My partner much more than me. So I understand the pain it can cause.

Maybe your partner will “come around” in time. Or perhaps couples therapy could help? I mean good couples therapy with a counsellor you feel is the right fit for you can’t do any harm and may well do a lot of good. In my local area a mum and dad such as you would be a priority.

Also, I wonder if your partner has “all the facts”. Does he know the support available for the arrival of a second child? For example, I was offered a prophylactic stay in an MBU ie even though I was well during pregnancy, I was offered a bed for two weeks in an MBU after the birth of my second child “just in case”

Might he like to speak to other dads eg on this forum?

Sorry if you were more looking for solidarity rather than solutions! I have a lot of empathy for your situation as am going through it now/ went through it in the past

Please keep posting how you are doing


Olanzapinelenny profile image
Olanzapinelenny in reply to MotherOfBears

thank you for your reply and helpful comments. I think once we have undergone independent counselling doing couples therapy will be the next step. My consultant has talked us through support that can be provided for second pregnancy and it is impressive. I think my husband is also affected by changes having a baby has had on lifestyle illness aside but I’m hoping in time he will come around. Take care x

MotherOfBears profile image

I just want to add that there are tons of resources that APP have on deciding in a second baby, have you found those? Maybe one of the moderators could point you to them.

Also, do you have a time pressure? For me, as I was 39 when I had my first baby (I am now 44) I felt a real pressure to make a decision quickly and “get on with it”. In the end, the pandemic delayed us having a second as I needed IVF and didn’t want a stressful pandemic pregnancy. I wonder if you are in a similar boat or can wait a bit for things to heal for both you and your partner

It’s worth saying that - as much as I love my second baby with all of my heart - there have been times this year where I’ve wondered if it was the right decision. I mean at my darkest points. But now I can honestly say I wouldnt change it for the world, and I’d do it all again

Olanzapinelenny profile image
Olanzapinelenny in reply to MotherOfBears

I do not have time pressure at the moment but just find it hard to focus on the now and be present when things are unsettled. With my anxiety I love to catastrophise worse case scenarios but I know we are all still healing from everything that has happened. X

MotherOfBears profile image
MotherOfBears in reply to Olanzapinelenny

I can relate - when my anxiety is playing up ami can head into catastrophising very easily. I found medication and CBT really helped me - I had two courses of CBT, each lasting 12 sessions. Hopefully with time it will help you in the same way.

KatG profile image

hi Olanzapinelenny

It’s great you’re starting specialist counselling soon. Your post summarises so vividly the recovery process from PP. It sounds like you’re doing brilliantly. And it’s great you’re preparing for returning to work. I think as others have said a supportive workplace can provide so many benefits eg routine, distraction, something different to focus on other than the minutiae of looking after small people.

I think you’re right to describe the feelings as feelings of loss. It is a grieving process for the loss of what we thought motherhood would be. For my husband, I know he grieved the loss of those precious weeks when our son and I were in the MBU and he was alone at home.

Which brings me to your partner and his feelings around another baby. I would just say it’s early days. Don’t despair. Focus on the return to work, your recovery, your relationship and see where things go. I know that’s not really an answer, and could leave you quite frustrated, but I do think your partner needs time to recover too. Seeing us so poorly, at such a vulnerable time, is a real trauma for partners / family.

Thanks so much for writing here, and do keep posting if it’s helpful - we are all here for you!!

Kat x

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