Wishing You a Very Merry Frugi Christmas! (and a giveaway!)

frugi-family-logo-snowglobeWe’re so proud to be part of the #FrugiFamily!

This year’s Christmas project is a little different because we were recently sent some mystery items to try out, and we also have a super giveaway for you too! So without further ado, I’d like to wish you a very merry Frugi Christmas!

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Our items arrived in one of Frugi’s new- and very beautiful- Christmas gift bags. All tied up with a big red ribbon, the bags are made from thick card and are sturdy enough to survive the Christmas post, plus they look gorgeous under the tree too.

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Speaking Out for Maternal Mental Health

On Saturday I attended the Maternal Mental Health event at the Cumbria Infirmary, hosted by the Happy Mums Foundation and the World Health Innovation Summit (WHIS). I was invited to speak about my experiences so that I might be able to help the professionals understand what a traumatic pregnancy and birth can be like for women. So that they might better understand the things that they can do to help. So that other women like me might not fall through the cracks for so long.

cumbria-1It is always hard to speak about what happened with my son’s birth. And last week was a big week for me because I finally had my debrief, and I also had my second CBT counselling session. And then there was the PTSD diagnosis.

I’d like to say that seeing those four letters on the page came as no shock (hadn’t I always known that I wasn’t depressed? Hadn’t I aways known that there was something more, likely to be PTSD?) but actually I’ve really struggled with knowing that someone else agrees with me at last. Someone else, who is professionally qualified to do so, is taking control of my care now. It feels strange. To hear her tell me she will never ask me to fill in a PND questionnaire. To hear her tell me I have been traumatised. To hear her tell me she believes me, she is sorry for what has happened, and she intends to help. It’s all so new for me, and the effects of it are still coursing their way through my life right now.

I was in two minds about Saturday. I was scared. Not of speaking, but of getting there. Making my way to the train station, sitting on a train, finding the venue. Even knowing that Jenny would be there at the station in Carlisle was very little comfort, and this is a perfect example of just how far reaching my birth trauma has been. The thought of travelling alone to Carlisle was terrifying and had it not been for Jenny I would not have gone at all. (more…)

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Acknowledgment

One of the hardest things about birth trauma is the loneliness. It can feel as though you truly are completely and utterly by yourself sometimes; adrift in a small boat on a huge ocean, with nothing but the highest waves creating unbreakable walls between you and the rest of civilisation. It can feel as though nobody else will ever understand what you are thinking, feeling or experiencing. It can feel as though you and YOU alone, are the only person who has suffered in this way. Of course, I know from the many messages, tweets, emails and comments I receive that sadly this isn’t true. There are other women like me. Drifting, alone, scared. And many of these women are more alone because the thing that they are drifting from, the trauma that has led them to this place of nothingness and numbing, frustrating anger, that trauma is the one thing they are being denied. We are ‘catastrophising’. We are ‘exaggerating’. We are fantasising, we are confused, we are damaging. We, and our trauma, are not acknowledged.birth trauma in the media_ghostwritermummy.co.uk

Three days ago I had my first CBT counselling session, and during the hour I spent in that little room I was asked to talk about the reasons why I had been referred. She knew that I was having trouble sleeping, and that I was suffering with anxiety, and she knew that I’d previously mentioned a ‘difficult’ birth with my son. But she wanted to hear me speak, and she wanted to hear about my feelings, and what was going on in my life right now. She asked me what I thought was the root of my anxiety. Why I had such a fear of driving to unfamiliar places, of being lost, of letting people down. Why I had trouble falling and staying asleep. Why I felt that some days were just too hard.

There can only ever be one answer to all of that. My son’s birth.  (more…)

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My Voice Matters

Just under seven years ago, I found myself strapped to a bed in a strange place. I was all alone. I was hungry, thirsty and scared. Because I was strapped to the bed, I was unable to reach the glass of water that had been left there, and the hot chocolate someone had kindly made for me had gone cold long ago. I literally could do nothing more than count down the time until I would finally have someone by my side. Listening to the clicks and rhythms of the machines around me was forcing my eyelids to droop and the only thing preventing me from falling asleep, besides the pain, was fear. Pure, cold fear. The same fear I feel still now. On those days where it all comes back in floods, like flashes of searing white hot reminders. On those days where the smallest of tasks seem enormous and the shortest of to do lists threaten to drown me. On those days where I am nothing, apart from what happened to me that day.

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