Wednesday, 1 June 2011

PND - Being a Christian

My labour with L was very hard.  After he was born I suffered with nightmares every time I slept.  Whether it was a nap during the day or trying to sleep at night.  My nightmares would always be being 'trapped' as I felt trapped in pain during labour with no one helping me.  The midwives and doctors I saw were quick to offer counselling and drugs to medicate but I refused them at first, as I thought it was silly, I have a healthy baby and it could have been a lot worse.  I felt like I had failed at giving birth as it had been such a negative experience, yet also aware how ridiculous that was, as I had a perfectly healthy baby.

For the first few weeks, I just cried at everything and everything seemed overwhelming due to lack of sleep.  However having been through this before I was not going to remain silent and I talked about how I felt.  I knew I had a God who loved me and would be with me always.  We prayed about it all.  I spent time going through the birth with Jon and he was brilliant at helping me understand what had really happened and clear through the fog of labour.  He was great at helping and listening to me.  I was honest with myself.  He also encouraged me to go to the doctors regarding the pain I had been in and found out I also had infections, which I had been unaware of. 

Once the infections had cleared and I had started to sleep again peacefully, I noticed I was still not myself.  I was doing all I needed to day by day but I was so teary and was choosing not to go out, as I felt so anxious.  I did pray over this but they were not depressive thoughts and I did not feel like I did the first time I had PND.  I did not hate myself.  It was not incorrect theologies.  It was more constant anxiety that could not be shaken.  I was worrying about everything unnecessarily.  Although I was aware of this, I also could not stop it.  We continued to pray about this and felt the best thing was to go to the doctors. I needed to get some extra help and went on anti-depressants to stop the anxiety.

I do believe that God has healed me from depression and that this time the cause for my PND is a chemical reaction from giving birth and an emotional reaction to the trauma of the labour.  I still have a great faith for Gods healing but I know I am free to use medication and I'm free not too.  This time I felt I needed the medication to heal quickly for the sake of my family and myself.  I am comfortable that this is not a lack of faith or an attack but just a chemical reaction that can be healed with by chemicals.  Perhaps I would have managed ok without them but why suffer needlessly. Now on the medication I feel great and am back to feeling 'normal'.  I did not feel the need to tell everyone I knew about it, not because I felt shameful, but I don't tell everyone when I take medicine for an ailment and I see this as being no different.  I don't feel guilty for taking the medicine just thankful it was available to help me through a sticky situation.

I am thankful that I have a God that gives us freedom!

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