EXCITED to bring her newborn baby home, Katherine Shaw knew she was in for some sleepless nights.
The special educational needs (SEN) teacher had a normal pregnancy and welcomed baby Jude at 7.49am on April 24, 2020, at the height of the coronavirus lockdown.
The 31-year-old and her husband Matt, 34, brought Jude home later that afternoon and like most new parents, they faced sleepless nights.
Although Katherine was struggling, she thought it was normal at the time.
Katherine, from Shrewsbury, has now revealed how just a week after giving birth, she experienced a psychotic episode.
She tells how postpartum psychosis led her to be convinced she was “the second coming” and she thought she would trigger a Noah’s Ark style flood by flushing the toilet.
“It came on really quickly and escalated – in just 10 minutes I went from feeling like myself to becoming a shaking wreck”, she said.
Katherine said that in the first few days after Jude arrived, she was unable to switch off and sleep soundly.
She explained: “I didn’t have negative thoughts at this point but my brain was very active and wanted to be busy all the time.
“On reflection, I feel this may have been some sort of mania in the build-up to the psychotic episode.”
When Jude was a week old, Katherine and her family started to notice something was seriously wrong.
Katherine said she felt as though her thoughts were racing and said to deal with this she tried to write them down on her phone, but felt as though she couldn’t type quick enough.
She added: “I didn’t tell anyone but very quickly, they turned into delusions.
“I believed tapping my phone rapidly would transfer the thoughts from my head into my phone, and I thought rubbing my hands or tapping on myself quickly would slow down time.
“I began thinking about God creating the world in seven days and believed I could now understand how he did it.
“I started to think I was the second coming and Jude’s birth was linked to this.
“I was unable to swallow my food and was convinced if I flushed the toilet it would trigger a Noah’s Ark type situation.”
t should be treated as a medical emergency – and can get rapidly worse if not treated.
In the worst cases, psychosis could cause a new mum to harm her baby or herself.
The two main symptoms are hallucinations, seeing or hearing things which aren’t there, and delusions, having thoughts or beliefs that are unlikely to be true (e.g. that you’ve won the lottery).
What to look out for:
When her family noticed her behaviour, they tried to help her sleep while… Brinkwire Brief News.