My wife, having spent many weeks in hospital during the pregnancy (bed rest for back problems) seemed okay but pretty worn out. Just for the record, I was off work from when the baby was born and because he was bottle fed ( breastfeeding didn't go according to plan), did most of the feeds and nappies, particularly during the night. I hoped this would help my wife to get some solid sleeps and recover a little more easily.
As a few weeks went by, my wife started to sleep in another room so that she could sleep through if possible. I didn't think a lot of it and if I was tearing out my hair a little, I'd wake her to help out.
About 8 wks passed and I was within a few days of returning to work. My wife had said she found the whole thing really hard; harder than usual, and didn't feel right. I was unsure what she meant, perhaps she was too, but it seemed she felt something out of the ordinary was happening. I knew she'd been tired, teary perhaps, but nothing really standout that couldn't be put down to new baby blues. We both knew of post natal depression but, and despite her maybe having had a touch of this with our first child, weren't seriously worried about it; after all, that really bad stuff happens to others doesn't it?
Two days before going back to work, perhaps the final straw; I found my wife crying in bed in the morning. She didn't want to get up. I was told that she had rung some people because she thought she was depressed. I knew something was wrong but had no idea how wrong it was to become.
Luckily, In Australia, we have pretty good public health care. I finally learned that she had rung the Health Department, in particular a section where she could get advice and assistance in respect of post natal depression. The fact she had the number handy seemed to say that her fears were more known to her than me. I didn't know this at all.
Over the next few days my wife mostly stayed in bed, in her PJ's, and cried a lot. We had some visitors from this apparent 'flying squad' of the Health Department who came to talk with and advise my wife and I about this thing called post natal depression, not visible to eye, that had come to visit us without an invitation. Steps were taken, a 'plan' of sorts made and anti-depressants prescribed. How fast do they work? Not fast enough.
I knew my wife was a mess, she stayed in her room, wouldn't or couldn't help. I had a 5 yr old who was insecure about his mum, a 2 yr old who wanted to know why mum was crying all the time, a 9wk old baby who I fed and carried around while people visited to try and help. I couldn't go back to work and I had no idea at all of what the hell was going on.