I wrote this novel after having my two children, Phoebe and Dominic. Before I had phoebe I was a career woman in the City and had a strong sense of purpose. I enjoyed my job and the status it gave me. After I had my daughter, while on maternity leave, I was left alone for many hours with a baby I didn’t understand and didn’t really know what to do with while my husband’s life, from my perspective, seemed to go on much as before. I struggled deeply over that first year to connect with myself or my immediate family. I was lost.
Thankfully I had a great deal of support from my family and friends and gradually Found my way on a new path, a highly rewarding but somewhat rocky one, that involved me making space and time for more in my life than I had before. Others are not so fortunate, they don’t have a support network and must stumble their way alone.
When I initially thought about writing this it was going to be Millie’s story but during my research I was struck by how often the father suffers when the mother has post-natal depression and so this has become Millie and Tom’s story, a fictional memoir that has allowed me to explore the shock of parenthood felt by both men and women that many cannot put into words.
I realise that some people reading this will be going through something similar to Millie and tom, or may have gone through it, or may have friends or family suffering and may want to help. I hope so, as this is part of the reason I wrote the book. I wanted people to realise that becoming a parent isn’t always easy and that they needn’t feel ashamed of that or alone in their suffering. I also wanted to shine some light into that darkness and give people hope that however dismal things may seem there can be a way home.
There many people who, like me, want to help and so I have listed a few charities who may be able to provide help and support to those either going through the nightmare of post-natal depression or those supporting them. I hope you find it useful.