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Mum was driven to despair by sleepless nights
12:00am Thursday 19th September 2013 in News
A MOTHER was suffering from severe post-natal depression in the run-up to her suspected suicide, an inquest heard.
Emma Cadywould was struck by a train travelling at 105mph near South Marston on December 16, 2011, six months after giving birth to her son.
In the evidence given by her widower, mother and doctor, Wiltshire Coroner’s Court heard Emma, a meticulous, organised individual, had failed to cope with the ever-changing demands of motherhood.
Her family said Emma enjoyed her routine before having her son. She was dedicated to her work at the University of Bristol, attended a gym most evenings, and took pride in her appearance.
Stephen Cadywould, Emma’s widower, of Talavera Road, Chiseldon, said their son did not sleep well, would regularly demand attention up to 30 times a night and allow them to sleep only in 20-minute bursts on some nights.
This turned Emma’s life on its head, the inquest heard, and she struggled to cope with the broken sleep, which stopped a bond from forming between her and her son.
Emma, who did not return to work after giving birth, grew stressed and eventually broke down on October 18, when her GP called in the Swindon Intensive Crisis Team, to help her depression.
Her GP, Michael Okbuagu, said: “I had never seen anyone as ill as Emma, suffering from post-natal depression.”
As she became more and more distressed by her lack of sleep and the pressure being put upon her husband, who had begun to take sole charge of the night-time feeds from September 2011, She revealed suicidal thoughts to her parents and medical staff, though concealed this from her husband.
In one exchange with Dr Okbuagu she said she considered, on one occasion, driving off a bridge on her way back from Bristol with her son in the car.
She told the doctor her only mitigation was that the car was new.
During his evidence, Dr Okbuagu told the inquest Emma had not bonded with her son, and that she connected the hair loss she had suffered directly with her pregnancy and labour, of which the doctor tried to convince her otherwise.
In her evidence, Janet Holland, Emma’s mother, said: “From day one of her breakdown in mid-October, she was talking about not being here. Sadly, it was a daily conversation we were having.”
Also in Janet’s evidence, it was revealed Emma had had a traumatic birthing experience, with only paracetamol for pain relief.
In the week leading up to Emma’s death her husband had been sitting exams at work, which she was concerned about as he was up each night with their son.
On the Friday morning before her death her husband saw nothing in her behaviour to suggest she would later find her way to the railway line.
The inquest continues.
l Since her death, Emma’s friends and family have set up Just Giving pages to help raise money in her memory for The Association for Post-natal Illness. To donate, visit /www.justgiving.com/remember/6347/Emma-Cadywould%20(Holland)