Meet Caroline from Tuam.
When Caroline got pregnant with her first child she knew she wouldn't be able to have a natural labour as her right pelvis is made completely from a metal plate. At the age of 24 Caroline was involved in a car crash that resulted in her leaving hospital in a wheelchair. She underwent a year of an extensive rehabilitation and physiotherapy. However Caroline credits yoga, pilates and positive thinking to her quick recovery. For her it was a case of mind over body and she was determined to recover as quickly as possible.
After a Caesarian birth all was going well for Caroline. She was determined that becoming a mum wasn't going to hinder her life and made an effort to make sure she was looking good and catered for visitors. After six weeks the tiredness was starting to kick in and Caroline found herself having negative thoughts about her baby. Suddenly she would noticed dangerous objects, such as knives, and thoughts of harming her son started. They were just thoughts and at this stage she could shake them off, removing herself from the situation. But when these thoughts turned to urges Caroline got scared.
During a 3 a.m. feed Caroline got an overwhelming urge to throw her baby down the stairs. Shaking, she put him back in his cot and went into her husband. She didn't want to hurt her son and her main fear was her baby, who she loved dearly, would be taken from her. Thankfully her husband had heard a talk on Postnatal Depression on the Ray D'arcy show a few weeks before and he recognised her symptoms. The next day she was diagnosed with postnatal depression by her GP and put on antidepressants.
This loss of control was a struggle for Caroline. Every day she had to cope with the negative thoughts, and she started thinking about harming herself as well as her son. Despite having a very supportive husband and family Caroline still felt alone. A year after her first diagnosis she went to a homeopath. She describes entering the first appointment with a fuzzy head but leaving with a clear mind. Through cognitive therapy was learning ways to help her cope with these thoughts, controlling them and once again being able to achieve mind over body.
Postnatal depression doesn't just disappear but Caroline is now back working full time, running her own successful PR company Carried Away PR (link here). Caroline likes to share her story to try help any other women who may be struggling from similar experiences.