How Postnatal Depression changed my life.

Hey I’m Dee, some of you will have seen me as Dee B Yoga, a strong, confident lady forging my way ahead trying to help others through Life Coaching, Yoga, Ayurveda and Meditation. However, rewind back almost 8 years and things were very different.

To keep a long story short, I was late to motherhood, not out of choice but we’d been told we couldn’t have children. We’d had various tests and told we could have IVF but as the contraceptive pill made me crazy I didn’t want fill myself full of chemicals (personal preference and not a judgement against anyone else who has chosen this route). I then grieved for the child I wouldn’t have and put all my energy into being the best step mum I could (my husband had 3 children). A few years later my husband and I travelled to see friends in Sri Lanka. Whilst there I saw an Ayurvedic doctor and had various treatments and massages. I learnt upon our return that I was pregnant.  Everyone was overjoyed but I had difficulty switching from the grieving of not having my own child to suddenly finding myself pregnant 🤰. I then spent my pregnancy being terrified as somehow I thought that as I couldn’t have children something would either happen to me or my baby... throw into the mix that I had to have an amniocentesis that’s carries a high risk of miscarriage, all day every day sickness, gestational diabetes and some very close family members slowly dying of cancer, I’m not sure my mental state was good before Rose arrived.

So big tick for the birth as it was reasonably quick for a first child (7 hours) and I only had gas and air!! Then my placenta got stuck and I haemorrhaged loosing a scary amount of blood and being rushed into surgery & having a full spinal - I really wanted it to be as natural as possible 😢

Fast forward to being home with a newborn, loving her to bits but still terrified that something would happen to her. She was so perfect, but I couldn’t have children so was something going to clearly going happen or go wrong 🤷🏼‍♀️ This was my constant thought and fear.

From the minute we were home I started to develop a permanent upset stomach, it was so severe and I was passing lots of blood. I couldn’t keep food down at all. This was playing into all my fears! Then came the panic attacks and anxiety - something I had never ever suffered with before. The first panic attack I thought I was having a heart attack and was terrified. I became scared to leave the house and started to cancel arrangements and avoid friends. Then myself and my husband both lost our jobs. The company we both worked for had gone into liquidation so there wasn’t a redundancy payout. So no income and a new baby, this certainly didn’t help. I became more withdrawn, scared of everything, not wanting to the leave the house and my emotions were all over the place. I was pretty unbearable to live with. My husband then found a new job after a couple of months but it meant he would spend weeks away from home at a time, so my frame of mind just deteriorated from here. 

I was stuck in fight or flight mode, I could actually taste the Adrenalin that was pumping around my body. I lost so much weight (I wasn’t trying to) and got down to 6 stone. I wasn’t sleeping much. I felt like I was a terrible mum and a bad wife and an even worse friend. Somehow, Rose was actually happy and smiley so looking back I must have been doing something ok. I went to my doctor, the first thing he did was stop me from breastfeeding 🤱 I had nothing to give as my body was so weak. I felt like a bad mum as I had to stop, so then add guilt into everything else. My doctor GP could also prescribe homeopathic medicine so knowing me he gave me a course of this and suggested every time I felt panicky to put Rose in a baby carrier and just walk. As you can imagine I spent a lot of time walking, sometimes 3 to 4 walks per day as that was the only time I felt more relaxed and not worrying so much.. Because I said no to conventional medicine I think I actually prolonged my experience but somewhere in me I wanted to beat this without drugs. The walking and homeopathic medicine started to help a little bit, and I started to function a little better with the day to day however when friends said they would babysit so I could go out on a date night with my husband (I desperately wanted to, but got ill at the thought of leaving Rose and we didn’t make it out of the house) 

This went on for a few years, and one day I woke up and thought that this cannot be how I am going to live the rest of my life, I want to be a fantastic mum and show Rose you can do anything if you put your mind to it... somehow I managed to get myself to a Yoga class and a Pilates class. This was still tough, the minute I got there I’d feel panicky and like I needed to run to the loo, but I persevered despite the inner battle I was having... gradually over time it became easier to get to the classes and I felt less anxious, the exercises made me feel better and the breathing in Yoga was an absolute breath of fresh air (please excuse the pun) I started to feel more confident and less panicky. I started to feel like me again, however a more compassionate and understanding version of myself, a more patient and calm person. It was then I knew I needed to help others through Yoga & everything else I had learnt and experienced. I didn’t want people to suffer as I had (and the abbreviated version above really doesn’t show the day to day struggles, living in fear, trying to keep a job during the process and just how debilitating it was)

I have since gone on to start my own Yoga business, a bookkeeping business and a worldwide retreat business. I actually don’t think I would be where I am today had I not suffered in the way that I had... as awful as it all was it changed my path to a path that I feel is 100% right one. 

My daughter is a super confident, funny, happy (sings out loud, all of the time) girl and I am so grateful to (a) have her and (b) that she hasn’t been affected by my early motherhood. 

Despite how I felt, Rose was my priority but I put her above myself so much that it was to the detriment of myself.. as mums we must remember to be good for them we need to take care of ourselves 💛

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