‘It was the worst time of my life’: Northampton woman speaks out about antenatal depression in self-published book
The new mum remembers feeling 'shameful, guilty and regretful' within a few days of finding out she was pregnant
A Northampton woman who experienced antenatal depression has spoken out about her pregnancy in the hope she can help others experiencing similar feelings.
Stephanie Hepworth, from Spinney Hill, had never heard of antenatal depression until she experienced it herself when she was pregnant with her first child, Cody, who is now five-months-old.
The publishing assistant describes her pregnancy as the ‘worst time of her life’, but wants to help other women and families going through the same things she did.
Steph has now self-published a book to raise awareness of antenatal depression and to reassure sufferers that there is an end to the depression.
The new mum said: “We planned for the pregnancy and I felt so lucky when we got a positive test within a month of trying.
“I expected my pregnancy to be a really special time, because that’s how it is portrayed in society. It’s often portrayed as magical.
“But within a few days I knew something was not right.
“My thoughts had gone from excited to negative. It was awful and I was daunted by everything.
“I felt guilty, shameful and regretful, I would regularly be crying on the sofa at 2am and I barely spoke to my friends and family.
“It carried on for my entire pregnancy. It was the worst time of my life without doubt.”
At first, Steph did not want to speak out about what she was experiencing or ask for help, but when she did, she found that a lot of people wanted to help her.
The 32-year-old added: “There is loads of support out there, it’s just that society does not talk about it.
“Everybody has heard of postnatal depression, but most have no idea you could go through that during pregnancy.
“I did in the end reach out to friends and family and had over the phone counselling and CBT, as well.
“The midwives were amazing too. They understand what you are going through and they want to help anyone going through it.
“You can feel unsupported to, but once you start talking, everyone wants to help you get through it.”
While she was experiencing the depression, Steph tried to find a book online that could help her understand what she was going through, but she could not find one specifically about antenatal depression.
She did, however, keep a pregnancy diary writing down how she was feeling and what she was going through, which she has now turned into a self-published book in a bid to help others going through antenatal depression who might feel alone.
“I just thought I could write the book that could have helped me,” Steph continued.
“I finished the book after my son was born while he was napping.
“I hope to provide support for other people through the book. Even if I help one person with this book I will have achieved what I set out to do.”
Following the birth of her son, Steph felt ‘instantly’ better, so is now keen to show others suffering from antenatal depression that there is an end, which she hopes to do through her book.
“Things do get better,” Steph added.
“Instantly after my son was born I felt better. I felt great the next day.
“And it has not affected my love for my son or my bond with him.
“It was the worst time of my life, but it led to the best thing to ever happen to me.”
Search ‘Weathering the storm: Pregnancy with antenatal depression’ on Amazon to find Steph’s book.
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