Ross, from Abercarn in Caerphilly, Wales, used to hate his daughter Isabelle
When she was born he ‘didn’t feel a thing’ but later realised he was depressed
‘I was jealous of her, I was resentful, then I felt guilty,’ he admitted
A father has spoken candidly about his battle with postnatal depression after the birth of his daughter.
Writing about his experience, Ross, from Abercarn in Caerphilly, Wales, admitted that he ‘didn’t feel a thing’ when his daughter Isabelle was born.
It was only when she was two weeks old that he realised was suffering from postnatal depression.
‘I didn’t see it coming,’ he wrote. ‘Maybe it was the fact that it’s rarely discussed, or the fact that when it is,
it’s about the mothers.
‘But when my daughter was born, after years of waiting, I didn’t feel a thing.
‘Maybe it was the visiting that kick-started it. Having people come in and take your baby off you, even if it’s out of a place of kindness, probably didn’t help.
‘But I didn’t even notice at the time, with everything going on, I didn’t get chance to process anything.
‘It took a few weeks for it to really sink in. But I was depressed. I’ve been here before, I know how this feels, but never had I imagined I’d feel this way about my own daughter.
‘It was incredibly hard to admit, but I hated her. I was jealous of her, I was resentful, then I felt guilty, but overall I felt that my life had been ruined.
‘If someone offered to take her away, I would have gladly accepted.
‘This lasted a couple of months. But luckily for me, if you can call it luck, I’ve battled on and off with depression for years, and I know that I can find ways to help ease it. So that’s what I did with Isabelle.
‘I found ways to cope. I knew it would take time – I had no choice but to try.
‘I did all that I could. I changed her, bathed her, played with her, I even let her sleep on me, but still I felt nothing.
‘When I went back to work, I felt myself gradually get better. I had time to think about things and not feel like she was constantly demanding from me.
‘Having that break, as lucky as I was to be able to actually have them, did help.
‘It’s incredibly hard to love someone that takes so much from you without a thought of anything in return.
‘The only problem is, you’re not supposed to think that way. You’re supposed to love them no matter what.
‘You’re not supposed to tell someone that you don’t even like your baby, let alone love them. But my partner stood by me.
‘She knew I couldn’t help it, and supported me the entire way through. Without her, I would probably still be in a bad place.
‘Then she started to give back. When we first went away with her, she smiled for the very first time. And I felt a feeling start to grow. It wasn’t big, but it was there.
‘We had found something that worked. Going away with Isabelle and taking myself from all the distractions of being home really helped.
‘But it’s hard. You have to learn to love them. It’s not always an instant thing, much like any relationship we have, it takes time and work to make things great.
‘What I have now with Isabelle is amazing. It didn’t come easy, but it did come eventually.
‘And just knowing that there are people out there willing and able to help you. Don’t be afraid to ask for it, this depression isn’t you, and it’s okay to admit that you’re not coping.
‘Talking about this made me feel a lot better too. Putting everything out there through something like this helped me process it all.
‘All I can say is that it will get better. I can’t tell you when, but there will come a time when you feel it, you just have to keep fighting for it.’
You can read more about Ross’s experiences on his blog www.isablog.co.uk
What is postpartum depression and what you should know about it?
Postpartum depression occurs after the birth of a baby.
It affects up to 20 percent of women in the US and 10 percent in the UK.
This is different from baby blues, which commonly include mood swings, crying spells, anxiety and difficulty sleeping.
This is a more severe, long-lasting form of depression.
There may be problems of bonding with the baby, enjoying motherhood, periods of anger or rage, sadness and crying.
There may be the constant feeling of being overwhelmed or possible thoughts of harming yourself or running away and escaping.
PPD is one disorder under the group of illnesses called perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
Thanks for reading.
Also about Abercarn where Ross lived:Abercarn is a small town and community in Caerphilly county borough, Wales, 10 miles north-west of Newport on the A467 between Cwmcarn and Newbridge,
within the historic boundaries of Monmouthshire.