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My PND Journey
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Family & Friends Songs

Friends and family can be impacted greatly by the symptoms and diagnosis of PND. 
Not because of you but because they care about the sufferer and they often don't understand the illness.
Here are Rebecca's friends and family talking about their experience



don't be afraid to talk to friends and family ... they will want to help you ... let them help you


When Beccy asked me to write something for her site, I didn’t know where to start. How can you write about someone’s personal journey, then I thought I could just be honest and highlight how ill-informed I was about PND and clueless as to how to help.
In order to start this I think I need to share a bit about Beccy which will then highlight my completely misguided perception of PND.  Beccy and I met because we were both signed up for a charity walk and were looking for walking/training buddies.  We immediately hit it off on our many training walks and I quickly learned Beccy was extremely caring, giving, incredibly resourceful, practical and organised. So fast forward several years where training buddies became friends, Beccy told me she was pregnant, she was understandably ecstatic but she approached the subject with caution and compassion as she knew that we were struggling to conceive.  A few months later I got to tell her I was pregnant, we were both so excited and as our pregnancies progressed it was very clear Beccy had everything together not only that, she was content, at peace and very much excited to be a mummy! She was also incredibly prepared and organised, it was Beccy who I asked for advice about all the baby products, she had researched everything and could give the pros and cons.
So then came my shock when getting the call from James (Beccy’s partner) to advise Beccy had admitted herself to hospital with PND, I was shocked and I had no idea what I could do to help.  Beccy had asked that we don’t contact her and she would be in touch when she could, so I did as requested….I don’t know to this day if that was the right thing! Could I have done more…quite possibly, Did I have a clue what I could do – absolutely not!
First misconception - I admit it I assumed PND happened to those who had a history of depression, or those who hadn’t necessarily planned to be a mum, or those who didn’t have a support structure around them etc etc etc…..not someone who planned and thrived in pregnancy and particularly not one of the strongest most together people I knew.
Later came the second misconception - This is not what I preconceived PND to be, I assumed that the depression would show itself as not being able, or so overwhelmed that you couldn’t look after your baby.  Beccy always put Zachary first, his care was her priority from day one not only that but during her recovery, whilst at in the hospital she decorated the unit for Christmas and she asked James to bring in snacks for the other patients for movie night. Even in her hardest times she still had compassion for others!
Having done NCT classes and Hypnobirthing and whilst all of them were great and prepared you for labour not once was PND discussed, no guidance on what to look for, what your partner should look for, where to get help or how you can help a fellow mum/friend with PND. That’s Beccy’s goal to raise awareness and guide people and family members to get the right help and support.
My understanding of PND is still growing and I am keen to learn more and help Beccy spread the word anyway I can.  Perhaps I couldn’t have helped prior to or after she admitted herself to the hospital but I will do whatever I can now.
DS, Close Friend


Beccy always put Zachary first, his care was her priority from day one.

 


Click for D's song : Rupert Holmes, Escape

I have to admit I was a bit nervous to write something for Beccy’s website when she asked me as I wanted to make sure what I wrote was helpful and honest so here goes….
I have known Beccy for just over 2 years now.   We first met when she interviewed me for a job at the bank we work at together.  We hit it off as soon as we met so I was over the moon when I got the job.  We became friends rather than just work colleagues straight away.
Beccy was already pregnant at this point, and I found out by accident when she dropped her ‘baby on board’ badge.  I felt from that point a massive part of the pregnancy as I watched her go through every step each day.  She was cool, calm and collected all the way through.  We discussed what I would be bringing to the hospital instead of flowers – mainly food she couldn’t eat whilst pregnant (we had a lovely spread planned).  Everything was planned to the last detail.
When her due date was coming up, she was determined to work through to the end.  Zachary had other plans, he decided to come 2 weeks early and her waters broke during a work presentation.  Beccy calmly came back to the desk and started tidying things up.  She suddenly just said ‘I think my waters have broken’.  I panicked!  She didn’t, she calmly told her bosses and tidied her desk.  She even took the train home and drove back to her house from the station.  She was so calm, nothing like you see on TV programmes. 
For the first couple of weeks after Zachary was born we shared some text messages and she sent me some photos.  I would never have known anything was wrong as some of the messages were even asking about things at work.  She mentioned in one message she was having a bit of a tough time with the baby blues.  I have to admit I thought this was something a lot of new mums experienced just for a short while.  I don’t have children so I was going by other friends experiences.  I thought she would be ok in perhaps a couple of weeks once she got in a routine and started getting used to her new job as a mummy.  
When I got the call from James I never expected the news he gave me.  I was shocked and heartbroken to hear that Beccy had been admitted to hospital with PND.  I felt terrible for her as she had been so excited about becoming a mum and had been so prepared.  She was honestly one of the last people I would have expected to have suffered from PND.  I had a feeling of helplessness as I didn’t know what I could do to help.  James informed me that Beccy’s wishes were that nobody contacted her at that time.  I respected her wishes, although I was desperate to see her and give her a big hug.  I was ecstatic when I got a text from her saying things were improving and she was taking baby steps towards coming home.  Once I found out she had been discharged I was so happy and couldn’t wait to see her and meet Zachary.  When I finally got to see her, she looked wonderful and Zachary was thriving.  She said she was still a bit fragile, but nobody else would have known as she got on with things as normal.  I was and still am amazed by her strength and will to get through the tough times to come out the other side.
A year and half on, Beccy’s strength and resilience is such an inspiration.  Typical of her character she has used this experience to do positive things for others such as speaking about her experience to try and help others in this position.  I am very glad and proud to call her my friend.
GM, Colleague & Friend


She was honestly one of the last people I would have expected to have suffered from PND
 


Click for G's song : Snow Patrol, Run

When Beccy asked me to write a piece for her website I was rather apprehensive, for Beccy’s journey since the arrival of the gorgeous Zachary has been a difficult one, yet her achievements after everything she has experienced are nothing short of inspirational.  I hope I can do Beccy justice in telling my story.  I’ve known Beccy for 7 years, both as a trusted work colleague and a very supportive friend, she always struck me as one of the most organised, proactive, calm, funny and determined people I’ve ever known.  I remember very clearly the day I found out Beccy was pregnant, as her refusal for a green tea because of the smell was an instant giveaway!  I was over the moon for her, as I knew her baby was much longed for and enjoyed watching her bloom over the coming months - she took to pregnancy like a duck to water, taking everything in her stride, working crazy hours, baking the most amazing cakes for her work colleagues, embracing life and opportunities as she always did, while preparing with much excitement and anticipation for the arrival of her baby.  One day, around 3 weeks before her due date, we exchanged some work related emails – she was at her desk and I at mine, when she casually announced her waters had broken and she was finishing her handover notes before she headed home – the every practical and in control Beccy! After Zachary was born, I was surprised to hear from Beccy that she was having a tough time, but in true Beccy style, she played everything down, the traumatic labour, the early days with a new-born - she sent photos of Zachary, asked about work.  I assumed, knowing Beccy as I did, it was the “baby blues” and she just needed a little time to adjust to life as a new mum.   When I heard that Beccy was in hospital with PND, although feeling shocked, I still thought it would just be a matter of days before she would be home - such was my ignorance of Post Natal Depression.  Surprisingly, despite being a mum of 3 myself, I knew very little about PND and the seriousness of the condition and did not know how best to support Beccy.  To be very  honest, it has only been by reading Beccy’s story, that I’ve recently come to realise the true depths of the horrors she experienced and the gravity and seriousness of PND.  It’s frightening to think there are new mums, without the amazing family support and professional care that Beccy received, who are struggling alone with PND.  Over the past year, it’s been great to see Beccy back at work and to see her obvious joy at being with her son.  Seeing her go from strength to strength and turning her difficult experience into a positive one, is nothing short of inspirational.  It takes someone pretty exceptional  to do what Beccy has done and I hope she is proud of her achievements and her journey.
ZM, Colleauge & Friend


I assumed, knowing Beccy as I did, it was the “baby blues” and she just needed a little time to adjust to life as a new mum

 


Click for Z's song : Just my Imagination, The Temptations