Postpartum Psychosis

Fifty Shades of Motherhood

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Featuring

  • Postpartum Psychosis

“ I am gonna hurt the baby” host Carla Lett speaks to blogger and mum of one Christina Royapen about her experience of Postpartum Psychosis after birth. Christina bravely talks openly to raise awareness on this subject, she shares her darkest thoughts, her journey to recovery and where she is now. This episode does include honest and dark thoughts and mentions suicide. 

Here you can find Chrissi’s Social Links:

https://www.christina-r.com

https://www.instagram.com/chrissisblogs/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqAE-NSyAmLk-kpadn2PEfw

You can find more information about Postpartum Psychosis below:

Action on Postpartum Psychosis(APP)

https://www.app-network.org/

 

Carla [00:00:00] Please be aware that suicide is mentioned in this episode.

Carla [00:00:11]  Hello and welcome to 50 Shades of Motherhood  uncensored, unhinged and unapologetic motherhood chat around the highs, the lows, the struggles, everything, really.

Carla [00:00:31] This week, I am joined by Chrissi Royapen from Chrissi Blogs, and Chrissy will be sharing her raw and real, an honest story of her motherhood journey with postpartum psychosis. Now, this episode is very touching, very real, very raw and a bit sad that a mother had to go through all this. It’s very important to me with this podcast that we talk to all different moms on different journeys so that we can all understand that we all have our own struggles that we deal with. So I hope you enjoy it.

Carla [00:01:18] So today, 50 Shades of motherhood. We are joined by Chrissy Royapen, and she experienced  postpartum psychosis. And I’m really looking forward to speaking to her and her sharing her experience of her parenting journey so far. So welcome to the show. 

Chrissi [00:01:38] Hi. Hi.

Carla [00:01:39] Lovely to have you on. Hey. I just wanted to tell us a bit about you anyway. Let’s let’s get started with a bit more about you.

Chrissi [00:01:48] Yeah, definitely. Um so. I grew up in Essex and I came from a split family. My parents split when I was quite young and my mum remarried and had more children. And so I actually grew up as the oldest of six. But I was very close to my stepfather. But unfortunately, he passed away when I was 12. So it was a bit of a tough time. Growing up, I had to kind of grow up quite quickly from 12 years old because I had at the time, the youngest child was about about 2, 2 years old. So I had to kind of help out around the house quite a lot and then and so on. But then by the time I was twenty, both my parents had more children. So I’m now actually the oldest of eleven.

Carla [00:02:41] No way thats amazing! I bet Christmas is expensive.

Chrissi [00:02:47] Oh, my god. Yeah. Like we have to do like a Secret Santa or something because it just. Just can’t. Just can’t do it all because. Yeah. But yeah,.

Carla [00:02:57] That is crazy. I love that. I’ve only got a big brother and honestly I have to like him because it’s the only one I’ve got. So you’ve got like.

Chrissi [00:03:06]  I could pick and choose who I like.

Chrissi [00:03:09] How old is the youngest then?

Chrissi [00:03:11] Yeah. So the youngest is a little boy. I think he’s. I’m not sure. I think he’s four or five. I think he turns five this year. As far as I’m aware.

Carla [00:03:20] So cute oh how lovely. Oh, that’s so interesting. So. So you met your partner and then you decided. Did you get married and then just decide to have children or did you get married afterwards or how. How did how did you two meet?

Chrissi [00:03:34] Yeah. So we kind of we just kind of met through mutual friends and we actually knew each other for a few years before we actually started dating. And it was one of these kind of like he was right under my nose situations and like I never knew it. But yeah, we kind of we moved in quite quickly together. He moved in with me and my grandparents when we was together for about six months. And so it moved quite quickly. But then after a couple of years we moved into the house we’re in now. And then we got married. And that was nearly three years ago now. So it. It was about two years. And so we decided, oh, let’s have children. So, yeah, we went travelling before literally we went, we got married, we went travel in the year after. And then we fell pregnant.

Carla [00:04:25] Oh, how lovely. Oh, do you know, I’d love to go travelling. I really would. But honestly, I. So I couldn’t. I mean, I could go with Danny cause hes quite good at like getting around and stuff. But honestly, last time I went to a I went to New York a couple of months ago to see my friend over there. And honestly, I ended up nearly missing my flight. I only say I’m just not very good at coordinating. Knowing where I should be and when. I mean I cant even catch the bus properly. So. But that sounds amazing. Where did you go then? Where did you go travelling?

Chrissi [00:04:56] So we travelled around Europe. Um I done two weeks with just me and my best friend. And then our partners came and met us for the last two weeks. So we only done a month, but we went round Europe. We went all down Italy, Greece, Croatia. Then we’ve done a bit of Switzerland. Slovenia just. Yeah. Oh, all over the place. Really.

Carla [00:05:19] Oh, that sounds amazing. I really want to go to Italy mainly for the pizza.

Chrissi [00:05:27] The food is so good there, so good.

Carla [00:05:27] Oh is it. Oh, did you have ice cream? That does taste any different that. Or not?

Chrissi [00:05:31]  I had lemon sorbet and it was amazing. I mean, if you go to Italy, that is the ice cream to get.

Carla [00:05:40] Oh, I love Lemon sorbet. You know, me and Chrissi were just talking a few minutes ago. I was telling her about this new cocktail fetish we’ve got since the lockdown, you know, one of my favourites is a lemon sorbet daiquiri. Oh, my God. Oh, oh. You just get a blender, put the lemon sorbet in a bit of ice and white rum and. Oh, my God, it is amazing. You don’t think you drinking alcohol at all. I mean, it’s part of the reason why I end up hugging the toilet bowl most nights.

Chrissi [00:06:09] I’m definitely going to try that as soon as I can.

Carla [00:06:12] It’s so nice. Well, anyway, back to on topic. Sorry. This is this is Chrissi, I have to have my questions to keep me on track. Yeah. So. So obviously then you decided you wanted to try for a little baby, which is lovely. And then you got pregnant, which six exciting. So tell me a bit about your pregnancy journey.

Chrissi [00:06:36] Yes. So honestly, my pregnancy was pretty textbook. There was a few worries. They thought I had just this gestational diabetes at one point. But it turns out I didn’t. And I just had quite high sugar levels. And they also sent me for a growth scan when I was about 37 weeks because he was quite large. And I think I was carrying a lot of water weight because I did puff up so much.

Chrissi [00:07:07] My hands were swollen, my feet were swollen, my face was swollen, my nose was swollen. Everything was so swollen and. But yeah, he we went to growth at thirty seven weight I actually went into labour two days after that.

Carla [00:07:22] Oh bless you. And he was measuring. Okay. Then and everything then when when you hadthat.

Chrissi [00:07:27] He was measuring at the top of the scale. But yes he was okay.

Carla [00:07:32] Oh. Bless So. So with your birth story that onto that I mean I do like hearing birth stories. But Yeah. Yeah. Share a bit about your birth story with us then.

Chrissi [00:07:44] Yeah, definitely.  I had quite a traumatic birth, but to be honest, I think all births are quite traumatic aren’t they.

Carla [00:07:53] Yeah.

Chrissi [00:07:54] Yeah. But, um, but my story my story goes it was about 40 hours long and it ended in a C section um which I wasn’t prepared for it. And the labour kind of started pretty normal. And my , the whole thing, I kind of wanted to do hypnobirthing. I wanted  water birth, but I didn’t want to take any painkillers. And yeah, that was a. None of that went to plan. None of it.

Carla [00:08:20] Oh, I know. And you know, that happens to so many people. I mean, I think it’s good. Like like I’ve said, I’ve said this before. It’s so good to have a plan. But then you kind of feel sad afterwards when it didn’t go the way you wanted it.

Chrissi [00:08:32] Yeah. Yeah. Mentally, that’s something that got me mentally because it just didn’t didn’t go as planned. But I..

Carla [00:08:42] 40 hours you said?.

Chrissi [00:08:45] Yeh 40 hours

Carla [00:08:45] That’s like two days of being awake.

Chrissi [00:08:48]  Oh, that that was the killer. That I was pretty delirious. I. So I went I went in to the labour ward. Well, the birthing unit, Saturday morning. And so I started on Friday. I didn’t end to Sunday. So it was a whole weekend of no sleep and constant pain.  I went in and they told me I was six centimetres and I was so happy because I was like, wow, I’ve got this far already. I don’t know if you can hear that. Kelan screaming downstairs.

Carla [00:09:21] Oh, yeah. Do you know what I get that all the time with George as well. Yeah. Real mum life.

Chrissi [00:09:32] Yeah. But I went in i was 6 centimetres and I was so happy because I’ve got this far without any pain killer and I’m doing okay. I can do this.  They checked me a few hours later and they actually told me I was four centimetres. And that yeah. That deflated me so much.

Chrissi [00:09:53] Like I was just like. Because when they checked you that blooming hurts. When they when they checked  for your dilation.

Chrissi [00:10:00] Oh, you know, that’s something I’ve not got to have actually. Oh, like what’s it like?

Chrissi [00:10:06] It’s so painful. Your tender down there anyway. Yeah. And then they say, well to put it nicely they shove their whole hand up there and they open up their hands and you know just check how dilated you are. And it hurt and the first time I had it done I didn’t know what to expect. So I was like, yeah, this is fine. And then I was like, oh, my God, is that the head is gonna feel like, oh, I can’t do this. But I carried on. And then when they checked me again and I was fourl centimetres, I was just like, what? Like.

Carla [00:10:43] So can that just happened then. Sorry. Like, I’m honestly because I’ve not actually had a full term birth. I’m like, can you end up like, you know, being like six centimetres and then going back? Is it six centimetres?

Chrissi [00:10:57] Yeah. Six centimetres to four centimetres so I don’t know. Some people say that you can go down. Some people say that you can’t. And honestly I think they might have, um, like measured me wrong in the first place because the whole way through the labour I didn’t get past four centimetres anyway so.

Carla [00:11:17] Gosh. Oh you poor, girl. You know, it frightens me. A frightens oh bless you. So after Keelan, the lovely little Keelan that’s now one years old, arrived. So tell me, tell me what that was like then and then, you know, obviously, what happened afterwards.

Chrissi [00:11:36] Yes. So he arrived on this Sunday night. So I had the epidural in the end. And so I had the epidural Sunday morning. Went through round to 8:00 Sunday night. And they basically said to me, you got two hours. And if you’re still not dilating, then we’re going to give you a C-section. And I took the option there and then to take the C-section straight away because it was just I didn’t want anything to happen to him in that time, to me in that time. But having the C-section, I wasn’t mentally prepared for that either. So after he was born and. Like.

Chrissi [00:12:19] So sorry thats my son

Carla [00:12:22] Oh, bless him. I want my mummy.

Chrissi [00:12:27] Yeah. So, after he was was born, I just remember I was quite emotionally detached and I didn’t get that jolt, of love that you always hear people saying. And I kind of had a bit more resentment towards him, which sounds awful. But that is how that is where I believe the psychosis started. Because I didn’t have sleep for the whole weekend. So for two to three days. I didn’t sleep. And I’d been through so much that I kind of just I just I didn’t want to see him. And I was like, I can’t do this. So I I you know, and then next thing you know, they they stop him on my chest,hes feeding off of me. And I just I didn’t get a break. You know, I know that it’s the same with a lot of mums, but I just felt like, oh, I just I was just like a working machine and I’ll just have to keep going and going and. But, yeah. And then I was in the labour ward for another two days because of the C-section. So I. And and you’re sharing a room with another three families. And you don’t get any sleep because as soon as your child sleeps, one of their child wake up one of their babies wake up. So I went probably about five days without any sleep. And that is a big thing with the psychosis.

Carla [00:13:53] Is it. Gosh, right. Yeah. I mean, when you talk about the initial bond and stuff, I’m totally with you there. A lot of moms I speak to like when I was pregnant. It’s like to what’s it like? You just put them on you and it’s this rush of love. I I didn’t feel that either. Like for a while after I had George, I was like. Sometimes I look at men be like, hmm, I think I do like you, but I’m not sure. I just couldn’t. I just I just didn’t get that wave emotion. And I was the same, although I didn’t get that bonding time. It was traumatic for me as well. And he just got taken straight away and all. It’s awful because you think to yourself, you don’t want to tell people you for initially because you just don’t get it. I don’t know why I’m not feeling that. Am I? Is something wrong with me? Or, you know?

Chrissi [00:14:40] Your so scared. Yeah that you just you haven’t got that bond and that something’s wrong with you. And then I felt kind of guilty as well.

Carla [00:14:47] Yeah, you do though. You do feel guilty because I think after speaking to everyone and you and you love your bump don’t you and you love it and you’re pregnant and your like I love them already and stuff. And then almost like that kind of after all that traumatic time that you’ve had is like almost like, you know, it’s it’s frightening. I don’t know. It’s just a different kind of feeling. Well, it was for me anyway.

Chrissi [00:15:08] Yeah. No I’m with you.

Carla [00:15:10] So you’re not alone there. So. So after he came then and so you went home then after two days, did you?

Chrissi [00:15:18] Yes. So I didn’t go home to the Tuesday. I went into hospital on the Saturday and didn’t come out to the Tuesday.

Carla [00:15:24] Oh gosh. Yeah. I don’t know what you mean about the sleep as well. Yes. It’s awful. Well, people just ring the bells and like and then you hear babies cry. And and it’s just I mean, I know they can’t help it and stuff is hard. I mean, George was in the neonatal unit when I was there. So I was in a room full of all these mums that C-sections with the babies. And with the families at night, the babies were crying and I was like because I was so off my head, I just kept having morphine shots. I was like, where’s my baby? Wheres my baby? Honestly it was just it was very, that was traumatizing in itself.

Carla [00:15:57] Just thinking like where the hell is my child. Because I’d no idea. If he was. Or I don’t know it’s just a completely other world. So I think. Yeah. No sleep in those wards at all. You’re lucky to get any sleep in there.

Chrissi [00:16:11] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I was by this point as well. I didn’t realise it, but I was already having like invasive thoughts and the sleep patterns because they were all jarred up. It really affected me.

Carla [00:16:25] What kind of thoughts were you getting around then, then? Was that just the beginning? I’m guessing of all this.

Chrissi [00:16:29] Yeah so that was that was just the beginning. So I remember that this is the thing from then on, it kind of gets a bit blurry. But the things that I remember, I remember family coming to visit in the hospital and they wanted to hold Keelan and, you know, give him a cuddle. And I didn’t want anyone to touch him. I thought they were going to take him away from me. I thought that they were gonna drop him. You know, I didn’t want Craig to touch him because I was. I just thought that he was gonna fall to sleep with him in his arms. And then I’d find Keelan on the floor, like I just had all of these. I think that’s pretty normal as well for any mum, you know. But my it really got my anxiety up.

Carla [00:17:15] Yeah. Yeah, . I think it’s probably as well, like the fact that you had to go through all that 40 hours and stuff and in the end you have a C section for his safety and then I wouldn’t want to go through all of that. And then something happened to him and stuff. And you read all these sad stories and stuff and I don’t think they help sometimes.

Chrissi [00:17:34] Yeah, yeah. Yeah. They they kind of make you like, yeah, think about it.

Carla [00:17:39] I know the good for raising awareness and like making sure you’re being safe. But then sometimes when your anxiety is like on a different level it’s like, you become almost obsessed with the thought. Yeah.

Chrissi [00:17:49] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Definitely.

Carla [00:17:51] So so so that that was the start of it then. So then you went home and you just. All right. I’m just. I suppose you wouldn’t have known what that was. It’s kind of like people say you get baby blues or you feel a bit different afterwards. So you probably just put it down to that at the time.

Chrissi [00:18:06] Yeah. Yeah. And so at the time I, I knew something wasn’t right, but I didn’t know what it was. I got home and I wasn’t sleeping. And then I got I remember the first night I came home. Keelan was sleeping in his Moses basket and I could hear babies crying. I felt like I was still on the ward, like the the the hospital with the other mums in in our room. And I could hear a baby crying. And I said to Craig has next door just had a baby because I can hear babies. And that kept me up. So I was already hallucinating. So I knew something wasn’t right. And then I started having these awful panic attacks, anxiety attacks, and they prevented me from sleeping my adrenaline would go so high that I would be shaking and that I would be pacing up and down the room. And yeah, it just it was horrible. And I in the beginning, I knew I was hallucinating, but I. But then eventually I was hallucinating and I thought it was real.

Carla [00:19:20] So, yeah, it’s hard, I imagine. It’s hard to kind of separate what’s real and what’s not. And you’re probably start to think like your partner’s like having you on with things would’nt you?

Chrissi [00:19:31] Yeah. So one of my. One of my main things was I remember I had a big episode one night when my friend was over and I was talking to her about what had happened over the past few days. And I was telling her everything. And I just was saying to her, I don’t know what’s real and what’s a dream. Am I dreaming right now? And she was like, no, this is real. And I was like, yeah, but you’re gonna say that if you’re in my dream.

Carla [00:19:59] Yeah its so true though!

Chrissi [00:20:01] Yeah.

Carla [00:20:01] Oh, God, God. So what happened then? Did she know to keep an eye on you then I’m guessing or?

Chrissi [00:20:06] Well, I. Yeah. From then that night I had a massive just episode is what they call it. The psychosis really hit  home and I got suicidal. I also wanted to hurt my baby and I would say this out loud to my friend and to my husband. And when I say I was actually screaming it to them and I was kind of like, I’m going to hurt, baby. I’m going to hurt the baby. So no, instead of hurting him, I’m going to hurt myself. And then they was physically holding me down. Cause I was like I was determined because there’s also although you go through the psychosis and the all of that. There’s also an element where you want to protect your baby as well. There’s there’s also other parts of the psychosis where you feel like people are gonna take your baby. You get very paranoid.

Carla [00:21:01] It’s like being to people. It’s like one of you wants to protect your baby. Then the other one wants to, like, not hurt the baby any more and hurt the baby. Yeah. And then like, it’s like you fight in against each other. So I guess the easiest thing to do at that point, like you said, was then you want to hurt yourself to stop you being able to hurt the baby, I guess.

Chrissi [00:21:20] Yeah. That was kind of like the logic behind it, but there was no logic at the same time. But actually when I was in the. They took me to hospital to like voluntarily to get checked out. After after that night. And and I remember and I remember saying I feel like Gollum, you know, Gollum has two seperate personalities and one is smeegle and one is Gollum.

Carla [00:21:48] Yeah when the doctors are coming round. How do you feel then, Chrissy? Well, I feel like Gollum. You know.

Chrissi [00:21:54] Yeah thats what I was saying.That was the only way I could, like, get my thoughts out and tell them how I was feeling, because I just was saying I was saying that now was kind of like. I’m I’m going crazy, I can’t I can’t get my thoughts out, I’m going crazy, I can’t do this anymore. And then I would get suicidal again and then people would try and stop me. And yeah. Just got very, very dark.

Carla [00:22:20] Oh, my God. So. So that night after after the episode then was your friend there and you and your husband and they had to kind of restrain you them from doing anything or was it more like you ended up just knowing that you needed to go to hospital?

Chrissi [00:22:33] No. They were restraining me. They were physically holding me down. I was I had a fixation. And I hope this doesn’t sound too dark. But I had..

Carla [00:22:43] No, I think it’s important. I think it’s important. We’re honest because I think there’s anyone else out there that, you know, that was relating to this. You know, just that’s what we’re about. Really?

Chrissi [00:22:53] Yeah. Yeah, it’s it’s I had a fixation on a knife in the kitchen. It was a specific knife. We had coloured ones like the colour coordinated knives. And I wanted the pink ones. And I was so fixated. I wanted to basically shove that knife inside me and everything. I also had this thought that that’s it was if I’d done that, it was almost like I would wake up from the dream. And that was what I needed to do to wake up. You know, when you dream and you’re falling and you wake up, that’s. Yes, thats what I thought would happen to me.

Carla [00:23:33] I know exactly what you mean. It’s almost like you’re actually releasing yourself from this horrible, horrible nightmare. You know, what, honestly, I just I just want to hug you. That’s an awful thing to go through. And, you know what.  I’ve heard, I spoke to a girl a while ago. Who would have been through a similar thing. And I didn’t even know that that existed. I thought, you know, like I just I just saw as far as mental health goes, it goes as far as the spectrum is anxiety, postnatal depression, which is what a lot of people do. So a lot of people raise awareness around that subject. But what you went through, I mean, that’s just. Especially with your first child as well. It’s scary. I feel sorry for you.

Chrissi [00:24:12] Yeah. I just. I thought I was going crazy like it was. It was such a difficult situation to be in. The psychosis also stopped you from sleeping, I would fall asleep and then, like in the early stages, I would jolt myself back up. In the end, they kept me when I went to hospital to get some help. They kept me in overnight and they ended up giving me sleeping tablets and then that didn’t work. So then they ended up having to inject me to get me to get some rest overnight because I was not going to sleep.

Chrissi [00:24:49] God you poor girl. I know. And the thing is, as a new mum, I mean, I’m sure everyone would agree. Like you really need your sleep as well.

Chrissi [00:24:57] Yeah. Yeah. I was breastfeeding at the time as well.

Carla [00:25:00] Oh, my God. Oh, my God, you poor girl. Yeah. So it’s like you’ve got all these thoughts going through your head and then you’re also having to kind of deal with the thing that you don’t want to deal with at the same time. Yeah. It’s just. Oh, God. And at one point you mentioned about  levitating. You thought you were levitating. Is that when you were in the hospital or was that later on?

Chrissi [00:25:22] That was later on. It was. So after the so, I was in the hospital and then they actually sent me to the mother and baby unit. And that’s where I start. Before you get better, you kind of get worse.  Because drugs take about two weeks to kick in. So they told me they thought that I was dealing with postpartum psychosis. I had no idea what that was. So I felt so alone. But the hallucinations and the like visions that I was getting were getting worse. And I would see myself levitating off my bed. I would kind of get very religious at times and say, God was talking to me like directly to me.  And he wanted me to harm myself. So that, you know, so that I could go to heaven and stuff like that. It was it was it was it was pretty pretty bad. I thought I could change wall colour. I thought I had the power to change day to night. I thought I was God at one point as well.

Carla [00:26:26] My God. And you remember all they saw is these things or that you got told afterwards then. Or do you remember it kind of thing?

Chrissi [00:26:32] No. These I actually remember quite, quite a bit it’s hazy. But these are the things that I remember. So. And from what I hear as well, there’s things I don’t remember that that happened as well. Like, you know. Some days are I kind of have blacked out for a few days, so I don’t even know what happened in those days.

Carla [00:26:53] Oh, my goodness. Oh, my goodness. I feel so sorry for you. So so how oh bless you. Well, obviously, now your fine.  But lets just talk about the mother and baby unit, so. Like um, where we would all get a mother and baby unit is a different part of the hospital, then that bit.

Chrissi [00:27:13] Yeah. So Mother and baby unit is a psych ward initially, and so it’s where all mental health patients go. But there’s a specific part of the psych ward that is literally just for mother and babies. And basically you can go that well. Not anyone can go there, you can go there for postpartum depression and psychosis and any other if your mum have any kind of mental health. So even as schizophrenia or, you know, anything that’s not related to the baby, but you’ve just had a baby, they can you get admitted that. So you can’t just go there, but you get admitted.

Carla [00:27:55] Do  you know, if every hospital has something like that, I’ve no idea. You know that they had that.

Chrissi [00:28:00] No  I think there’s just a few. You get sent there. So there’s a few hospitals in the UK. I don’t think there’s a lot but if there’s a psych ward, there’s normally a mother and baby unit.

Carla [00:28:14] So I’m I’m like. I mean, one the thought that like I remember from sorryi, when you worry about kind of that if you don’t seem rational in yourself. I used to worry that they might take George away from me or.

Chrissi [00:28:29] Yeah.

Carla [00:28:29] So I used to put on a bit of an act, but it’s so good to hear that actually. You know, if you’re not right in yourself that they actually send you with your baby to that unit. So your not separated because I just think that make things a lot worse.

Chrissi [00:28:42] Oh, no. Having been able to have him with me just helped so much. And they know how important it was. And they kind of they encouraged me to kind of do some self-care exercises, activities. And he was with me the whole time. Now, because of how bad I actually was, he wasn’t allowed to stay in my room with me overnight. So he would stay in the communal nursery. He would have his own cot. And I would sleep in my room and he would sleep in his room, because when I first got the mother and baby unit, I was on one to one, which is when someone is with you at all times. So, you know, when you’re showering, when you go into the toilet, when you’re eating, when you’re sleeping. I had someone with me at all times. And because I had just so many different delusions that there’s just so many delusions that went through my mind. I can’t remember half of them.

Carla [00:29:37] Wow. Wow. So do you start? How long did it take you to kind of start to get better then?

Chrissi [00:29:44] So it’s a difficult one, because I think it took it took me I was probably very ill for the first month, two months, and I was in the unit for about four months.

Carla [00:30:00] Wow is that sleeping over every nght as well there?

Chrissi [00:30:01] So it starts off with you staying there full time. So the first few weeks and then basically you have what they call leave so you can do overnight stays at home and come back so you can do one night, two night and then you build that up. So you kind of it’s almost like you’re easing yourselves into motherhood again.

Carla [00:30:23] Yeah bit like baby weaning isn’t it.

Chrissi [00:30:25] Yeah.

Carla [00:30:26] Like feeding them a little bit. And that just giving you a little bit more each time. Yeah, I know. Oh, bless you. Yes. So. Oh, gosh, that’s quite a while to get back to actually normal kind of motherhood I suppose.

Chrissi [00:30:37] Yeah. I would say I did it. So I got discharged at four months, but I still felt I didn’t feel great. But I was I wouldn’t say until six months is too until I felt myself again. And but you going through the depression as well. So with the massive high comes a massive low. And after a few months, I , the thing is, because of everything you’ve been through, you just feel. What’s the word like you? You don’t feel in control of your own mind. And that can really well it really brought me down. Really brought me down.

Carla [00:31:17] Yeah. Yeah. I imagine like case I suppose it’s just it’s just the whole thing. What you’ve been through as well. It’s hard not to kind of wallow in that as well. Like you know, every mum kind of has their own experience and people do experience depression and stuff but all you had to go through. It’s almost like you feel like you’ve. I’m I hope I’m not making this worse. But its almost like you missed out of like.

Chrissi [00:31:40] Oh, yeah definately.

Carla [00:31:41] It’s all kind of first few months of what seems to be, you know, normal settling in and people coming around and all that kind of stuff. You had to miss out on all of that.

Chrissi [00:31:51] Yeah, I wanted to do the whole you know, when you do the pictures and you do the one week old, two weeks, month old. I never got to do any of that because I mentally couldn’t.

Chrissi [00:32:03] I didn’t even know what a milestone card was. So you know, once it got once I got to about 4 to 6 months in I was like, wow. I haven’t enjoyed the newborn stage. Like, I didn’t get to see my newborn baby. I felt like and I was just I I felt like I was just given a three month old baby. And that was that was that was when I started feeling better.

Carla [00:32:28] Oh, bless you. I know that. Oh, yeah. Is there anything that I mean, in fact, on to that subject with the kind of having another baby. Would that put you off having another one or do you think you’ll want more children?

Chrissi [00:32:42] So when I was going through it, I told Craig, I’m not anymore. It’s not happening. I couldn’t go through it all again. But now now that I’ve kind of got through it, I would say I kind of say my wants the children is bigger than my fear. So I still fear that I’m gonna go through it because there’s actually a 50 percent chance of me going through psychosis again.

Carla [00:33:08] Is that because you had it before? . Is it cause you relate it to having a baby? So in your mind you’ll kind of relate it to that trauma kind of thing. Or is it just it’s just one of those things?

Chrissi [00:33:20] It’s just a hormonal thing. It is like a massive hormonal thing. So if my hormones get mixed up again then I could go through psychosis again. So when I get pregnant again, I’ll have to go on medication from the get go. Just to hopefully prevent it from happening. But that’s just you know, it’s a mind thing and it’s a it’s a it’s a hormonal thing. So it’s difficult. But yeah, I would say my want is bigger than my fear. So I definitely want what I’ve always wanted. Quite a few children. I come from. Like I said, like a massive family. So I kind of want a few children.

Carla [00:33:59] Yeah. I mean it’s so nice that as well. And I’m so glad about that because hopefully next time you’ll get the full kind of shebang from day dot where you know, you can enjoy all that milestones and stuff. I mean, will they advise that you have a C section next time or would it be an actual birth or would you go for that natural birth again after what happened last time?

Chrissi [00:34:20] So it’s a difficult one because both scare me, I have nightmares still of my C-section, which is also a side effect of recovering from the psychosis because the the medication, the nightmares are all part of it. And I still have quite bad nightmares of the C-section. So that scares me. But then, birth scares me aswell. But, I think I’d like to go natural again. The thing is, I say, you know, if you can battle your own mind, which is what I’ve done, then you can conquer anything.

Carla [00:34:54] Absolutely. I mean, how far you’ve come. I mean, it’s just incredible. I mean. Well, we’ll get on to  what you’re doing now and stuff in a minute, but. I mean, is there anything that you would recommend to someone who thinks they might be or someone they know might be suffering with postpartum psychosis?

Chrissi [00:35:13] Yeah, I’d I’d probably say just just talk. Talk to your friends, talk to your partner, talk to your midwife and be truthful. And in what you’re feeling and what you thinking. The more you talk, the more help you get gonna get. Also, like, don’t pressure yourself. Don’t you know,  don’t think that you have to be this perfect mum. I think this goes for anyone, even, you know, if you’re suffering with mental health or not, don’t put pressure on yourself. Just accept the help. You know, it’s there. There’s light at the end of the tunnel. So, yeah, it does get easier.

Carla [00:35:46] It does. But well I say that George has just turned four. And honestly. That’s why I’m drinking a lot at the moment. But the thing is I mean, I totally you know, this is why it was really important to me to have have you on because what you’ve been through and stuff. I just love how how honest you are with it because I just feel that it will just help so many other mums. And if you hadn’t have spoke to your friend or you hadn’t spoke to your family or your husband, like as much as what you did, you know, it could have been a totally different outcome. It’s scary. But, you know, if if he can be open with it, that’s really cool. So tell us a bit about what you are up to now. Because I’ve been watching your YouTube videos, I think they are fab. So tell us a bit about it anyway.

Chrissi [00:36:34] Oh, thank you. Yes, I’m a content creator and I kind of just do I do a lot of YouTube. I have a blog as well. And I just kind of create content around my lifestyle, around mum life, around fashion around. You know, I share a lot of my home on there is just a all round, just lifestyle really on YouTube.

Carla [00:37:01] It’s fantastic. So definitely check that out. What’s your handle Chrissy, so people can find you?

Chrissi [00:37:07] Yeah. You can find me on Instagram and YouTube under Chrissis blogs spelt C H R I S S I S blogs. And also you can find all of my links on my website, which is www.christina.r.com

Carla [00:37:27] Brilliant, brilliant. But I will definitely, I mean I’ve already checked it out so I’m already following you like but. Yeah, I’ll put all those links in the show notes as well. And is there any charities that you could recommend to anyone that is suffering any anything that you can recommend. Where a place they can just go to now and have a quick look or find out any more information?

Chrissi [00:37:48] Yeah, definitely. There’s a charity that I’m in touch with, called Action on Postpartum Psychosis , APP for short. And it’s literally all on that condition. And it’s really helpful because you have like there’s a whole page where people write their stories on it. And when I was going through the ordeal, it’s something that I could go to and read and not feel so alone. So yeah, that’s a really great charity.

Carla [00:38:21] That’s fantastic. I’ll put that only on the show notes as well. And I just want to say a massive thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Its definately one, when I read, it really touched me. And honestly, I’ve been like tearing up  listening to what you’ve got to go through. You’re an incredible, inspirational woman. I’m really happy that you’ve come on. So thank you so much.

Chrissi [00:38:41]  Thanks. I hope I can just help help someone out there. If I can help one person, then my job’s done.

Carla [00:38:49] Thanks to all of you for listening to today’s episode on postpartum psychosis. It’s very important that us as mothers come together to realise that although we are all mothers, everyone’s journey is different and everyone has their own struggles that they have to face. If you know someone that could be suffering with postpartum psychosis, or if you could be suffering with postpartum psychosis, head over to the show notes so you can read a bit more about it on the charity that Chrissie mentioned. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe so that you don’t miss another episode. And if you can. I’d really appreciate a little review on what you think of our podcast and I’ll speak to you next week where we have a fantastic guest on. Very excited about this and I will be announcing it very soon.

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