I don’t dream about his birth any more. I dream instead about the feelings his birth have left me with. In my dreams I am scared and I am anxious. In my dreams I am angry and I am frustrated. In my dreams, I am alone.
Almost seven years ago he was ripped from my body and the world came tumbling down.
Nothing was the same any more. Nothing made sense. Nothing was carefree. Instead, everything changed. Everything was wrong. Everything was hard. (more…)
On Saturday I’ll be attending the Women’s Voices Conference in London, to share my story with other mothers, doctors, midwives and campaigners. I’ll be standing up with pride and with determination. Because I have a voice. And you have a voice. And we need to start using those voices. We need to be heard.
In just three weeks, I will have been a mother for twelve years. Twelve years! I cannot believe it has been that long since my first born baby girl was placed into my arms and my world was given a huge shake from within. In those twelve years I have seen a lot. I have learned a lot. And I have gained so much. If I was to tell you what I have brought away from the last twelve years it is this.
Now don’t get me wrong. I never needed anyone to tell me stuff about pregnancy. I read all the books (I didn’t know blogs existed when my eldest was born almost 12 years ago!) and I knew pretty much what to expect. Once you’re expecting, all kinds of tales start to come to light and the office conversation seems to revolve around the glamour and glitz of it all. But there were three things that I really would rather I’d been told about before they caught me by surprise. These are the three things nobody told me about pregnancy…
You’re going to snore
Seriously! I have no idea what so ever what this was all about, but during my first pregnancy I started snoring! Nobody before- or since, I might add!- has ever mentioned this to me so I started to wonder if it was just me that had to endure this delightful side effect? And I say that I had to endure- yes, I know my husband had to also- because my snoring was that bad it would wake me up! I often felt as though I was in a different room, listening to someone snore and it really wasn’t a nice experience at all. I’ve since read that snoring during pregnancy can occur when the nasal passageways become swollen, which can also lead to blocked airways. It can also lead to high blood pressure, which really isn’t good! So there you go. If you’re pregnant, and snoring it might be something to mention to the midwife at your next appointment. (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…)