Nikki knew something felt wrong as soon as her son, Taylor, was born. She loved her child dearly but felt like she could smash into a million pieces at any moment. Her heart raced all the time, especially when her son cried.
When Taylor was nearly six months old, Nikki was driving Taylor to a playground and felt an overwhelming desire to crash the car. She didn’t, but it was a wakeup call that something was seriously wrong.
“I was feeling huge anxiety. I felt like I could never catch my breath, I couldn’t think about anything and couldn’t connect with anything. It was just a blank.”
It was not until Taylor was two and a half years old that she was finally diagnosed with postnatal depression. Nikki, 36, heard about Bluebell Care Trust and sought out their help. She learnt coping strategies and met a group of women experiencing similar struggles. Suddenly she no longer felt alone.
“So many people suffer in silence and they shouldn’t at all because there’s help out there and you can get better. Without Bluebell I don’t know if I would be here today to be honest. They were definitely a life line.”
Taylor is now a healthy, confident young boy and Nikki is able to look forward to the future.
Cash raised through Sport Relief is helping to fund maternal mental health projects, such as the Bluebell Care Trust. Based in Bristol, the charity supports mums, dads and their families dealing with depression related to pregnancy and birth. It offers support groups and one-to-one mentoring, and will also soon establish a drop-in centre in the city centre.
If you have been affected by maternal mental health issues and would like more information on support and services please visit the Maternal Mental Health Alliance.
Visit sportrelief.com for more #MumTalk stories.