Cradling her newborn son in her arms, Lindsay Robinson knew something was wrong when she was not filled with the warm glow she expected. But despite seeking help, the first-time mum was told what she was experiencing was the same as any new parent. The truth was that Lindsay was suffering from postnatal depression.
However, without the support of medical professionals Lindsay was left feeling useless and alone while dark thoughts preoccupied her mind.
The joy she saw other new mums experiencing did not come for her and as she hid her true feelings from her husband and the rest of her family, Lindsay grew physically ill.
Now, after more than two years of struggling, Lindsay is on the long journey to recovery and is on a mission to help other mums by speaking about her battle in an attempt to break the stigma surrounding postnatal depression.
Speaking to Belfast Live, 33-year-old Lindsay - wife of East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson - said she hoped that by sharing her story, she could help other women in the same position.
"Now looking back in hindsight, I realise I had postnatal depression, even antenatal depression which started when I was pregnant," said Lindsay, who gave birth to her first son Reuben in September 2013 at the Ulster Hospital.
"I knew something wasn't right. We had a lot of complications with Reuben when he was growing, I thought maybe that was it when scans did not go well.
"When I look back, I looked at my friend who was at the same stage and knew she felt differently to me. I felt I was missing something.
"When he was born I was not filled with joy and excitement. I remember thinking 'This can not be my baby, how can I have a baby'.
"Later on in the evening when everyone had left the hospital I thought 'I don't want to do this, I can't do this'. But I said tough luck you are in the situation, you have to get on with it."
Lindsay, who has started her own blog on her recovery from postnatal depression, said the support for mums in Northern Ireland was not what it should be.
She said it was only when she discovered online blogs by other mums who described the same feelings she had, that she knew things were going to be ok.
The mum-of-one said: "The couple of times I reached out to medical professionals I got nowhere. I was told you are a new mum this is how everyone feels.
"I thought maybe I am not meant to be a mum because of a fault in my system. From that point I decided to suck up how I was feeling but I could not leave it behind and it got worse and this time last year I got physically ill.
"Medical specialists could not find out what was wrong but no one thought to ask about my mental or physical wellbeing and it manifested like that.
"I thought I am useless coping and this is me. That was until the summer when I began to read a few different blogs and stories about postnatal depression.
"Something clicked. The different things the mums were saying, I could relate to. I thought, finally someone else thinking how I feel.
"I talked to Gavin and my mum about everything and they said 'We are going to get you help, you are going to be ok'.
"I got a GP who was brilliant who looked me in the eye and said you have postnatal depression. It was brilliant, I think I came out and cried just out of sheer thankfulness that someone had heard me.
"He got me an appointment in a few weeks and put me on medication.
"I am on a journey to recovery, I am definitely not there yet but I know I am on the right path after more than two years."
According to figures from the NHS, postnatal depression can affect around one in 10 women after giving birth.
The symptoms of postnatal depression are wide-ranging and can include low mood, feeling unable to cope and difficulty sleeping.
It can develop within the first six weeks of giving birth, but is often not apparent until around six months.
Lindsay said she supports the campaign to bring a mother and baby unit to Northern Ireland in a bid to help increase the support for mums across the country.
Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that does not have any inpatient psychiatric facilities for women and their babies.
At the end of last year the heads of the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Midwives in Northern Ireland joined forces with mental health experts and politicians to call for better services for women suffering from mental health issues during and after pregnancy.
The Health Minister has since asked the Health & Social Care Board to provide proposals for the future development of specialist perinatal mental health services.
"You never heard anything about postnatal depression in antenatal classes," said Lindsay.
"You heard about the birth but nothing about how you would feel emotionally or mentally.
"I think if I had heard that I could have identified with what I had been feeling, but there was nothing.
"When I felt those things like I am useless, I thought it was me.
"I think that is one of the things I am hearing a lot, people get in touch sharing stories and one clear thing is everyone says more need to be done. We need to take the barriers down and we need to raise awareness and get better support in place.
"Whenever I started writing my blog, I wanted other women to share and to help other mums.
"It has made me so much more determined, I just want to raise the profile of postnatal depression and increase the support.
"I am calling on other mums and dads to come together, the more we do to get rid of the stigma the better."
Lindsay said it was important people knew the difference between postnatal depression and what many call the 'baby blues'.
The NHS say mood changes, irritability and episodes of tearfulness are common after giving birth. These symptoms are often known as the "baby blues" and they usually clear up within a few weeks.
However, if your symptoms are more persistent, it could be postnatal depression.
"I think the key sign is there is a difference between the baby blues, feeling weepy and struggling to get into a routine, and postnatal depression," said Lindsay.
"It can make you feel very hopeless and have dark thoughts and feelings you can not get out of your mind. It is feelings of struggling to connect with your baby which maybe mums feel and feel ashamed of.
"I think it's a key sign if you feel little connection in pregnancy, I probably had no joy and very little excitement.
"It's natural to feel nervous and worried but those very strong, deep, emotions could point to something else."
But Lindsay said it was important mums knew there was light at the end of the tunnel and they were not alone or in a hopeless situation.
She said: "I would say it is going to be ok but you need to get some help. Do not be afraid to speak up."
Lindsay is now urging mums in need to get in contact with her in a bid to form their own support network.
She added: "We do not always know how many people struggle with it. I think it's a good, large percentage of women, particularly if we look at those figures in Northern Ireland.
"I think a lot of people would say support in Northern Ireland in particular is not good. There's not a lot going on or if there is it's not widely known.
"There could be community groups or Sure Starts but not one key place to go to as a mum, that's maybe the problem in raising awareness.
"We need those groups to come forward.
"That's a big thing you need on the journey, more information on where you can go to meet other mums who are struggling.
"At the moment it's not good enough, the support system, we need to do better here.
"I would like in some small way to be part of changing things.
"The more people who share the better."