Brave Mum Candidly Opens Up On Dark Thoughts During Postnatal Depression Battle
Nicci Holcroft, 39, started to feel "low" three months after giving birth, but dismissed it as lack of sleep due to her daughter Emily's restless nights.
However, by the time her daughter reached eight months old, things had become so bad that Nicci's moods were intolerable - and in her head, her daughter was to blame.
"I felt angry and resentful towards my daughter and I didn't know why - especially seeing as she was a planned pregnancy.
"It started by not wanting to hold her or interact with her, but I thought it was because I was awake with her all night when she was being restless and I thought I was just moody from being tired," she said.
"However, as the months went on it got worse and worse, even though she got easier to look after."
Five months in, Nicci was in such a bad place that she couldn't even wash or brush her teeth, and she lost interest in everything.
"But it started getting really bad around eight-months in, when one day she wouldn't stop crying," she recalled. "I kept on asking her to be quiet but she just wouldn't stop - I locked myself in different rooms but I was still able to hear her.
"I was crying, swearing, shouting and it all got too much - I thought to myself 'I wonder if I go up and put my hand over her mouth, would she just shut up' so went upstairs.
"As I got to the top of the stairs I walked in and she had stopped crying and was just looking at me, so I didn't do it.
"But I honestly believe that if she hadn't stopped crying, I would have smothered my baby."
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Nicci claims that this moment was her 'wake up' moment to go and ask for help - a move which saved her from the brink.
She said: "It took a while, but after this happened I decided to go to the doctors and they gave me some pills and told me it was normal to feel low after a child.
"I had heard so many times that postnatal depression didn't exist, so that put me off going to see the doctor - as I thought I was making things up.
"But the medication didn't help me as I took it for a while, then stopped cause I either had a good day and thought I didn't need it.
"Time helped, but I believe this was because she was becoming her own little person and it was easier.
"Thankfully when I gave birth to my second child, I did not experience such severe PND and was able to form a closer bond with my son, than I did my daughter."
Nicci is now sharing her story to help others who may be suffering with PND to encourage them to go to the doctor's without feeling ashamed.
She said: "If you are feeling like this please seek help and don't leave doctors office until they understand exactly what your saying.
"I know its scary and you may think you'll be fine, but it doesn't get better overnight.
"It is also important that, once you have received help, to not to carry the guilt - PND is not who you are, it's your brain.
"It doesn't mean you don't love your child, it just means you need some help in showing it and thats nothing to be ashamed of."
Featured Image Credit: Caters