This is a raw and honest memoir about being devastated by post-partum psychosis and coming through the other side.
Laura Dockrill had an idyllic pregnancy and couldn’t wait to meet her new baby. But as she went into labour things began to go wrong and Laura started to struggle. A traumatic birth, anxiety about the baby, sleep deprivation, a slow recovery – all these things piled up until Laura (like any new mum) felt overwhelmed.
As many as 8 out of 10 new mums struggle in the weeks after birth. In Laura’s case these feelings escalated scarily quickly into post-partum psychosis. She became paranoid and delusional and had to be institutionalised for a fortnight without her baby. Throughout this time she was haunted by a sense of: ‘What have I done?’, at first as she wondered if she could cope with her baby, and later because she was trying to grasp at reality as she slipped into nightmarish delusion.
Laura’s experience was devastating but this is a hopeful book. Not only has Laura slowly recovered she has come out the other side stronger and more assured about parenting on her own terms. Now she is determined to break the silence around post-natal mental health and with her story tell new parents: you are not alone.
Thank you to the publishers on netgalley for approving my reading of this. This is a book that has been on my agenda for a while.
2 fun facts 1. Laura went to my daughters school to visit and she still remembers her colourful hair years on 2. That daughters early days were similar to jets. Yes i had post natal depression. I still have lot of mental health conditions.
One day i will share my story but back to this one.
This is bold,brave and beautiful. This is the honesty you need whether you have had kids or not. Its important as humans to know we are not alone in our suffering. Its ok to not be ok.
This book captures such a personal time that clearly was painful but Laura has opened her heart and soul and wrote her story.
Each persons pregnancy,labour ,afterbirth,bonding is different. However when yours doesnt go as smoothly as planned you will guilty. This guilt is so heavy and draining you dont see the light at the end of the tunnel. So books like this are so important.
Keep speaking and writing however inferior it seems to you.
Thank you to laura for sharing her story and i hope this will give hope to many and company to others.
Published 7th May