The baby is so small he's almost invisible amongst the blankets, and the new Krypton factor game of parenting is now upon us. Fitting the car seat. It looked so easy in Mothercare car park and now, with no sleep and the gripping fear of "Going it alone" from hospital, we try not to look totally unprepared. Intellectually we're not unprepared. We've read everything between us. Experince though is a big fat zero. I still wonder what this child has to do with me as I'm not feeling any connection. He has one eye that opens when the other one doesn't and he looks at me suspiciously.
ok - Lets do a little mental health snap shot for a minute. Depression is an egalitarian illness. It does not discriminate or selct persons by age, gender, colour or belief. Quite frankly its a bit of a bastard. It can be triggered by stress, physical illness, stressful events, or be part of your genetic make up. Great - so in my case, at this lovely point in time, I'm first in line for post natal depression prize. Not that I want to be pessimistic or anything....
So, like any normal woman coming home from major gyneacological surgery, we stop off at the local school to vote in the general election. I have a voice. I want to use it. The men behind the desk appear startled that I'm there at all. Tony at this point in time is not my favourite bloke.This is a once in a life time opportuniy and I am not going to miss it.
When we arrive home, we pop our bundle of joy on the floor in a bouncer and stare at him. For quite a while I wonder what I am meant to do with him. He doesn't come with instructions (All though Gina Ford does a good Job of professor of new born baby regime!) I try not to make eye contact with him as he can read my mind. Ok - Hold the phone - What? Again I know this isn't right but I feel it. He thinks I'm bad.
Puerperal Psychosis is a severe type of post natal depression. It is also suffered by women who are more likely to already have been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder or, birth may trigger this condition.Psychosis is, "any severe mental disorder in which contact with reality is lost or highly distorted" A common delusion is the belief that the new baby is evil - that they're the devil. Sufferers have been known to hear voices telling them to kill the baby. This is not the only delusion: people suffering can believe anything absolutely and wholeheartedly. This condition is that powerful, and the experiences of the people suffering it are real," (www.puerperalpsychosis.org.uk)
Now at this point in time I haven't said any of this out loud. I think that its just a part of being so exhausted my brain has gone temporarily bonkers.I trust in my heart that it will stop at some point. I promise my self that if, at my 6 week check, I still have these thoughts, I might accept I'm a bit depressed. Denial is my new friend.I fear the myth of social services removing children from mad women. I will not be a statistic. I shall hang on for grim death.