All babies cry. It’s a fact that we become accustomed to long before we even think about having babies of our own. Even Elsie, at just under two years old, knows that babies cry thanks to The Wheels on The Bus. But what we can’t ever prepare for is the way that a baby’s cry can make us feel when it’s our baby making all the noise. Sometimes, it can be the hardest sound in the world to listen to. When you’re a parent, you want to help. To soothe. To protect. And sometimes, no matter what you do, it doesn’t seem to be quite enough. If you’re a parent of a baby who has suffered with colic, you’ll know what I mean. It’s hard. Really hard! So I’ve put together some tips to help ease the stress. Let me know in the comments if they help!
Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you
As a child I used to dream vividly, almost every single night. I was told that it was no great surprise, since I spent most of my waking hours with my nose in a book. How I loved to immerse myself into fantasy worlds, into the heads of amazing characters and into the adventures of the unknown! An hour spent without a book was an hour wasted, in my book. And all of those adventures seemed to come alive when I closed my eyes to sleep. Not always in a good way- as nightmares seemed to come hand in hand with the fantastic dreams- but I was always fascinated by what those dreams could mean, or what they said about me as a person. I used to pore over books that claimed to know the hidden meanings behind dreams, but in the end concluded that they were nothing more than the result of an active imagination.
As I got older, I truly believed that to fall into a sleep without dreams was a rather sad prospect. To simply drift into blackness, heavy with nothing, didn’t appeal to me at all. I began to love talking about my dreams too, and I think that is where my children get it from too. (more…)
I posted recently about finally stepping into the GP’s office and walking away with a label around my neck. Post Natal Depression. It hasn’t sat well. It’s off centre, like a pendant too heavy on a delicate chain. Swinging, useless, lopsided and ugly. The wrong label. A little bit off. I couldn’t really explain it, but my heart was saying no. And then I remembered that I’d been there before. In the early days after my son was born, and they told me I had PND and I argued, and they told me over and over again that I was wrong. Back then I stuck to my guns, and those around me who knew me best agreed. Not depression, something else. Something far too complicated to deal with maybe. And so this time, too, the label doesn’t quite fit, and I’m not the only one to believe it.
With my first Think Positive counselling session behind me, I am more assured and more confident that I have not lost all sight of myself. I don’t know why a professional opinion on the state of my mental health means more than my own, but it does. We’re in agreement: post natal depression doesn’t sit right because it’s not right. I’m not depressed. I’m not.
Post Natal Anxiety is my label now, and its of no great surprise at all. And so I am learning to talk about the things that make me anxious, and the reasons why they do. The hope is that I learn to deal with them in a different way, and re-learn how to think positively and with a clearer, more rational response.
I am at the beginning.
I cannot see the end of this tunnel.
No light, not yet. (more…)
When my son was born, the first few days were fairly horrific. I was only going through the motions, pretending to be a parent when inside I was dying. Inside I was crumbling, withering, cracking, splintering. I was simply unable to process what had happened- not difficult since I’d been forcibly (and without my knowledge) sent to sleep through what should have been one of the most amazing events of my life. Instead, almost seven years on and I am still suffering the after effects of this event. In one of my last posts I wrote about being diagnosed with post natal anxiety and possible depression, linking back to my son’s birth and triggered by Elsie’s stressful pregnancy. It’s all a bit of a mess. And the one question I was asked, again and again- and am still asked today- is this: Are you going to make a complaint? I didn’t. I stayed silent.
I don’t know whether this was the right thing to do or not. I’ve written about this before, and I still am unsure about whether or not it would have made any difference. What nags at me is the fact that if I had spoken up, fewer subsequent mistakes may have been made with other women. But if I had spoken up, what would it have been like for me and my family, having to re-live it all again so publicly? Re-living it at all was bad enough, in the dead of night with my loved ones sleeping around me. The thought of doing it in a cold, stark room filled with strangers made me want to shut down completely.
So I didn’t complain. I stayed silent. And in seven years I still have not really spoken about what happened. I’ve written, here and in other places. But I have not been able to talk out loud. That needs to change. That will change as I prepare to speak about my experiences at the Women’s Voices conference in October, and a Birth Trauma conference in December. I will find the strength from somewhere, and I will share my story. (more…)