I’m a mum,I went mad and I get myself into all kinds of muddles

I’ve been tasked with making a blog. I can’t remember what I’ve been promised now I’ve succeeded with this mission, but if it’s not champagne for breakfast, then I won’t be happy.

For those who don’t know me I’m Eve.I’m a 34 yr old mum to a four year old boy. I have a husband who isn’t really my husband but we live together, have conjugal relations when we remember that’s what’s couples do and have an equal love for our child. I’ve just read over this and see I’ve declared myself 34. Which isn’t right. I’m definitely 33 .

I’ve had a fairly normal life. I spent my twenties living in a pub with a group of marines who spent the majority of their time sticking bits of their anatomy into the top of vodka bottles. I wandered around in a semi permanent Merlot daze for most of this time and once jumped over a kebab shop counter with my friend Catherine, put Mr kebab man’s hat on, sawed myself off some donor meat,fried myself some fries and ran out declaring my undying love for the 16 free chicken wings I had been allowed to run off to the sunset with.

And and then I met john. I say met, but I mean, became a couple. We sat opposite each other in work. He sent me a text one morning at 5am after dancing bare chested in a gay nightclub and being propositioned by a man called Sergio dressed as a sailor. He says it made him realise he loved me , even though Sergio seemed like a very nice fellow. The text read ‘ I think I love you’. He had me at ‘I’.

That was in 2006. Then in 2010, I gave birth to our little boy Joe. I discovered I’m a rare specimen in the medical world and I’ve been blessed with not one, but two wombs. Doctors loved me. I was prodded and poked by every medical student in London and by the time my c section came round,I don’t think there was a single person in the whole of East London who hadn’t seen my nether regions. All was wonderful in the world.

We didn’t know whether were having a boy or a girl. The first we learned of it was at the end of my c section when I felt a tug and saw a jet stream of wee flying over the consultant’s head. We heard those heartwarming words ‘he is pissing all over me’ and I turned to John and said, I think it’s a boy. I looked up to see a child screaming. He looked like he had a halo around him and I thought it was the second coming. John remarked that he looked like Jesus surrounded by a beacon of light.

And then we were wheeled out of theatre. My mum arrived and before she had even looked at Joe , she yelled ‘ what’s wrong with you Evelyn, you look glazed over’. I declared I was fine ย and went back to checking my facebook status. A few days later, after my c section scar unravelled, a meltdown in the gp’soffice where I lay on the floor in tears begging a nurse to take pity on me and the reality of owning a child who fed 57 hours a day and slept for precisely none of this time, I experienced my first feelings of psychosis. I looked at my duvet cover. It looked like it was dancing, the colours were changing . I asked John why he kept washing the bedclothes and changing things around. And then I wondered why I was totally utterly devastatingly afraid of my son. My own child. Terrified.

By the time Joe was three days old, I had decided I didn’t want him. Even worse, I felt trapped by his very presence. The reality that I was now a mum forever hit me in a catastrophic way. I felt like I was drowning in a sea of blue congratulation cards and would wake up feeling smothered. The terror of anxiety when I opened my eyes in the morning time is still a feeling that was so intense that I struggle to describe it.

I began to think I was floating in the corner of the room. I would wake up feeling as though I was in a coffin that was bolted down. I would spend ages staring at my mummy wardrobe of leggings and then struggle to put them on. And not even because my dough like stomach was in the way. It was because I couldn’t remember how to get dressed.

And then there was the day I trussed myself up a la Mary poppins. Neat bun piled on top of head,apron on , going wild with the antibacterial spray. I did hold back on singing to the birds but ย I don’t think I was far off climbing out of the window and letting out a crazed version of ‘the hills are alive’ . John came home to find me standing in the kitchen staring into space holding a frozen packet of stewing steak. I was muttering ‘ must make stew’ on repeat.

I couldn’t get anyone to take me seriously. At the point where I had started to think that death was the only way out of this world I was trapped in, a doctor told me unless I had planned my own suicide , I was ‘low risk’. ย To make me feel even better about my world crashing down around me , a family member said ‘ I know you feel like you’re going mad,but you look better than ever’. Wonderful, so I’m too terrified to be in the same room as my own child but I can rock a bikini for the first time in my life.

The day I was hospitalised in a psychiatric mother and baby unit came six weeks too late. I should have been in it from the day Joe was born. And we had to move from London to Nottingham to get a doctor to pay attention to me and accept that ‘putting some mascara on and making a nice Victoria sandwich’ was not going to stop me from feeling so terrified of Joe.

But then I went into the unit. And I started my recovery. I went on meds, my lips went blue,I met a woman who made coconut ice with vodka and spent her days sucking on it while trying to get me to break out of the unit to play bingo in Bradford, and I discovered that when you are in hospital, always order from the Caribbean or Indian menu. The food is amazing and I would highly recommend it.

The unit was wonderful. It took me a week to be in the same room as Joe. The night I closed my bedroom door and sat in my room on my own with Joe was the biggest turning point of my illness. I would never have thought , years before, that I would have to learn to be near my child and not feel fear. This was the greatest challenge of my life . And I was winning it.

And win it I did. It took a long time. I had blips. I phoned the crisis line and was spoken to by a nurse who said she would call me back once she had finished her pot noodle. Must have been from Waitrose (other supermarkets are available) as she never called me back. I had to endure nosey neighbours leap out in front of Joe’s buggy speaking to me in a vveeerryyyy sllllow vooiccceeee “Hel.lo Eve. Doing well aren’t you? Isn’t she Peter? Doing welllllllll”. I’d take Joe to baby groups to see Mavis telling Maureen ‘ Do u know she wanted to die?’ And see them elbow each other as I went past.

I had been told I was fine,that meds were wrong,that I was just tired. All these were wrong. Very wrong. I wasn’t fine, I took so many meds I could have made a shop full of rattles and even though my child didn’t seem to understand the concept of sleep and still doesn’t four years on,I was actually very very ill. I had postpartum psychosis and postnatal anxiety. I needed the meds to help my mind clear so I could focus on recovery. I could handle the blue lips if the meds stopped me from thinking the clouds were suffocating me and most if all, if they stopped me from fearing my own son.

Nearly five yrs on, I’m back to the old me. I’m a mum. A good mum, a happy mum. Joe and I share a love of noodles and chocolate and we are best mates. I do tire occasionally of having to pretend to be a green goblin superhero who destroys people with green farts but I like the sentiment behind it. He is definitely my son.

And now I’m doing what I can to raise awareness of mental health after having a baby. No one told me that it’s possible to feel like the world is crashing down around you to such an extent that you may feel like death is the only way out. But now I know it is possible and that it’s not just possible, but that you do recover. And can lead a happy life.

I’ve met some fab people over the last few months who I’m working with the create an awareness campaign for ante and postnatal mental health for mums and dads. Just because men don’t give birth through their bits, doesn’t meant hey can’t feel sad too.

You can and do get better xx

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41 thoughts on “I’m a mum,I went mad and I get myself into all kinds of muddles”

  1. Making a blog has really helped me to deal with everything in my life and even in my head. Hope it helps you in a benefit way, looking forward to reading more from you!

  2. Wow. Amazing post. Hilarious and sad and compelling. I’m glad it had a happy ending.

    PS. I have a superhero-obsessed four year old who, coincidentally, is also obsessed with farts. I’m feeling you on that.

  3. I love you Eve!

    You write with such humour – about a really serious subject… You make me laugh and cry so much, but most of all just want to go out for a big glass of wine and regale each other with our MBU stories! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Best of luck with the new blog – I loves it.

  4. Wow, you write in such an engaging and accessible way. I can’t believe a crisis line nurse wanted to finish her pot noodle first…but maybe I actually can. The difficulties of finding appropriate postnatal mental health support are ridiculous. Thank you for being so open with your story and demonstrating that it’s possible to recover xxx

  5. Giggles and welling up in the one read, thanks for that ๐Ÿ˜‰ You’re a very brave and strong woman Eve xx

  6. Amazing post! I can’t imagine what you went through, but I commend you for coming out the other side with such a desire to spread the word. And make people laugh. Brilliant read. Thank you xxx

  7. This is wonderful. So glad to hear your story turned out how it did in the end, and that you’re making something positive out of it to help other people. Also, your writing style is fantastic! x

  8. Thank you so much for being and posting this stuff out there. We do totally need more awareness. Coincidentally my name is Eve as well and I worked in MBU in the past (God how I had no idea what mums were going through that I do now!) Please keep going! x

    1. Hello! Fellow eve! Thank you for doing a fabulous job in an MBU. Ppl like you helped save my life xxxx I will keep going , got to get the message out that it’s ok to not be ok. Thanks for the lovely comments xx

  9. This is an awesome post. It’s absolutely perfect for anyone wondering if things will ever get better – thank goodness you did, and well done for sticking with it. I had some post natal anxiety and although I wasn’t bad, I would have panic attacks whenever it was time to get my child up from her nap. It felt like such nonsense, and I berated myself for feeling like it, which just made it worse. For me it was CBT and time that really helped me get it under control, and as you say, I can’t imagine a better life now. I’m going to share your post on Newbie Tuesday at Britmums because I think so many mums could do with reading it.

    1. Anxiety is awful isn’t it. I would fear wake up from nap time. Totally despair at the very thought! Thanks for your kind words and glad you are doing well. Thanks for sharing with brig mums , really lovely xxxxxx

  10. Love this. Made me laugh and then sigh with memories of my own PPD. Feeling like you woke up in a nailed down coffin and forgetting how to get dressed really resonated with me. Telling your story really is freeing isn’t it? ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Beautiful! Thank you for being so brave and sharing your story. I admire your strength and transparency. What an amazing journey and I’m so glad to know you’ve come out stronger than ever. Your son sounds awesome and so do you!

  12. What a courageous and inspiring first post! I think what you’re doing is fab and would love to help in any way I can with your awareness raising. I was on a mother and baby unit too; it really saved me. But I think you had it 100 times tougher. In short, you rock!
    (Also, love the humour, nice to find another tongue in cheek mummy blogger)

    1. Thank you so much! So glad you are doing ok now too. A fellow MBU lady. There are a few of us blogging. Check out the bumpsandgrindblogspot.co.uk. Kathryn writes about her experience. So lovely to connect with you xx I look forward to reading your blog xx

  13. I am so glad you pushed until you got the help you needed. It is so frustrating to have to do all the work and have doors shut in your face when you’re trying to get help.

    1. Hi xx it really is. It’s a nightmare, and one that people are still having to endure which is so frustrating. It’s not that hard!! Makes me angry. I am super lucky I got help xx thank you for reading x

  14. What an incredible story and so so glad to hear you have come out the other side of it! Crazy to think that you weren’t taken seriously, and sad to think other mums may be feeling the same. Looking forward to reading more! #babybabble

    1. Thank you for reading lovely! God, the battle for help. It. Was.awful. Honestly. No one , whatever is wrong with them, should have to fight for help. I hope my story encourages the families of women suffering to push push push for help xxxxxxx

  15. I love this Blog!!! Such a breath of fresh air โ™ก To keep hope when those you turn to, seem just as uncertain about what to do, its hard. Thank you! Nobody seems to talk about the fear….the constant fear. Keep on keepin’ on ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Thanks so much for sharing your story eve, I’ve had PND twice and thankfully with the right help I’m better a lot quicker 2nd time round. My youngest is 2 now and I fear I may too be in for a life pretending to be the green goblin and batman etc too – I never did understand men and now I realise the differences are apparent from birth! Glad to hear you are enjoying your little boy now. Lots of love xx

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