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Post Natal Anxiety: Time to Talk

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 1Post 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…)

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My Journey Has Only Just Begun

I didn't complain~ #birthtrauma :ghostwritermummy.co.uk

I’ve fallen down before, many times. And each time I’ve risen again. Maybe not quite dusted myself off, but risen none the less. Maybe on shaky legs and tentative toes, but risen none the less. Maybe slowly, but surely none the less. And as I sit here tonight, thinking over the way today has gone, I’m starting to realise that this has been here all along. It’s no surprise, not really. It’s been lurking for months, years even. It’s been waiting for me to notice it. It’s been peeping around door frames and hiding under beds, waiting. Holding its breath, biding it’s time. Waiting, just waiting, for me to accept its prescience. And now that I have? I must get up.

I must go on. I am a mother and I must go on.

But first, a rest if I may.

I was feeling so cross with myself! I was sure, so sure, that my journey was almost complete. I didn’t know it was only just beginning. That my decisions had been holding me aback, preventing me from travelling further. Instead, I’ve been going around and around and around in circles. Chasing my tail like a faithful dog, so determined to show the world how strong I am and how far I’ve come. In reality though, I’m no different from every other mum who sits with her head in her hands as she admits, at last, that she’s a little bit broken.

Post natal anxiety.

Depression.

Exhaustion.

All of those things are ME. Me, the mum who decided three weeks was long enough to take for maternity leave, before getting back to the business of proving how strong and how capable she is. Me, who refused to seek help, insisting instead that writing was her therapy and she’ll sort her own way out of it all thank you very much. Me, who truly truly believed that she was actually ok.

It seems two pregnancies in a short space of time following a traumatic birth actually is enough to tip you over. A stressful pregnancy is enough. Months and months and months of broken and disturbed sleep. A child with health issues. A busy house. All the stuff that comes with being mum.

I want to be me, too. But I don’t know who that is right now. All I know is that my journey really is only just beginning.

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Elsie Rose is 18 Months Old

Barely even able to believe it. Eighteen months have flown since that first moment we held that tiny little scrap of a baby in our arms. Since she was plucked form the warmth and brought into the world. Since she made her mark in the family. And what a mark it has been! Elsie Rose is everything that we dared to imagine. Feisty. strong willed, funny and energetic. And though she has only been here for 18 months, we truly feel she has been here forever.

Elsie Rose is 18 months old_Ghostwritermummy.co.ukI want to bottle now. Now, in all it’s imperfect glory. All the tantrums, early mornings and night wakings. All the hospital appointments, mealtime battles and hair wash sagas. All the arm grabbing, toy snatching and leg pulling reflux. These are the not so great moments in life with Elsie Rose. But they are the reality, and only such a small part of who she is. I want to bottle it all, because it is all so precious. And it will all be over so soon, leaving a space that no other baby will fill.

She is the last. (more…)

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I am #Nobody’sPatient

I just read my lovely friend Emma’s latest post on one of the most recent #MatExp campaigns, #NobodysPatient and felt compelled to write. I can feel months and months of frustration and anger and sadness bubbling under my skin as I sit here and I think WHY did I not see it? WHY did I not speak up? WHY did I allow myself to fall through the cracks? I am nobody’s patient. You could be nobody’s patient. Our daughters could be nobody’s patient. Changes are needed and that starts now.

I am nobody's patient_Ghostwritermummy.co.ukDuring my fourth pregnancy, I battled with some demons. I started out so positive, so determined to make this pregnancy count. My last chance. I needed to get it right. I needed to settle a score. I needed to trust in my body and my abilities and I needed to see it through to the end. For me, that end was a vaginal birth. I can’t say ‘normal’ or ‘natural’ but I can say vaginal. I did not want to end up on an operating table, and I have so many reasons for that.  Control. Choice. Power. I needed it all this time. (more…)

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