Mummy guilt (and PND)

Mummy guilt is something that I think most of us probably suffer from, for one reason or another. I know I have, with both of my boys throughout the last couple of years (and many more to come, I’m sure!).

One of the first times I suffered – badly – was with my breastfeeding guilt after I failed with J. This partly led to my suffering from postnatal depression. Breastfeeding guilt is a horrible thing to feel, as everywhere you look you are reminded, of how you couldn’t/didn’t provide the best for your baby. I felt like I was being judged, by everyone – the PND made this 100x worse. Even if you feel you made the correct decision, it still creeps in. With J I now know I didn’t make that best decision, which is why I was more determined this time. This time I have suffered, but not nearly as much as I did with J, because this time I know I tried the hardest that I could. This time I am feeling more envy than guilt, which I will write about in a later post.

Giving birth to N and these few first months, I have felt so much love for him and just wanted to be with him all of the time, and he still hasn’t had a night away from me like J did. I haven’t written this before so I am opening up a little more now, but with J – due to the PND – I just didn’t feel that and now I feel so guilty for him because he missed out on so much of my love, affection & attention. At every opportunity offered I would just ‘palm’ him off on someone else. He didn’t deserve that. He was just an innocent child, a child that just wanted, needed, to be unconditionally loved. Gosh, deep down I did love him, but it just wasn’t there, on the surface. And now I’m feeling almighty guilt.

Now I obviously have to split my attention between the two and it’s only just in the last year or so that J has gotten my attention all to himself, and for that I feel guilty as my full attention has disappeared for him again. N will know no different, as he will from the beginning of his life, have had to share it. Don’t get me wrong, I do have one on one time with J now, he needs it. He has always been a child that needs lots of attention, and I often wonder if that’s because I didn’t give it to him for his first few months?

But, they will never know my guilt, unless one day they choose to read my blog. The joy of innocence. I just hope that they both grow up knowing I have always loved them, and always will. That it’s those evil hormones of depression that have made me feel this way, and not them.

They are both innocent.

I am guilty.

Where in your motherhood journey have you experienced Mummy guilt?

#TimeToTalk – Mental Health Awareness Week

There isn’t much I can write about mental health that I haven’t previously written in the blog, If you have followed my journey since I gave birth to J you will know that I suffered from post natal depression & anxiety. I went on to have counselling and antidepressants.

Ever since I fell pregnant with N I have been absolutely petrified that it would happen again after his birth.

I came off my antidepressants at 10 weeks pregnant with N so from then on I just had to cope on my own. I didn’t have to stop taking them, but I felt like I might be able to manage so under the GP’s advice I gradually cut them out.

I can say it hasn’t been at all easy. The pregnancy was hard what with constant worry after the miscarriage, add to that the feelings on becoming a Mummy of 2, and the tiredness. Oh, the tiredness.

Since N was born, I have had some really tough days. Baby blues they could have been, but they have felt just like the PND did with J.

They come & go though, so I have just put it down to tiredness, for now, and possibly baby blues.

But this time I know the signs.

I know what to look out for.

As it could still come.

I know when it’s time to talk.

I don’t feel ashamed.

Nobody should.

Speak out.

Get help.

Break the taboo.

Reflections on the year that was 2013

It’s that time of the year again where I reflect on what has happened over the past year – 2013. It has been quite a year with its fair share of ups & downs. Last year I said I felt like I came out a weaker person than the previous year, but this year after everything that has happened I feel stronger once again. Once more I want to thank my friends & family who have been there for me through the tough times, and the good of course. 


January started with little man coming down with a viral infection – the first of many times of him being ill this year! I started taking antidepressants (which I am not in the slightest ashamed about) and I also welcomed the arrival of my first post-miscarriage cycle which meant we could start thinking about TTC again.


In February I proceeded to have more counselling which was a welcome relief after the miscarriage and spiraling further into depression again. We also celebrated my mother-in-law’s 60th birthday, which was also to sadly be her last. 


In March I celebrated my very first long awaited Mother’s Day (after missing out by one day when little man made his appearance!). I also continued with my counselling and it really helped me on the way to becoming ‘me’ again. And the highlight of the month, little man’s 1st birthday! 


April saw yet more illness for little man with an ear infection, a very bad reaction to his MMR jabs, gastroenteritis, and then a chest infection & virus! It was a terrible month for him, and of course me as his Mummy seeing him ill so much. At the end of the month I started my first charity challenge of the year, Live Below The Line! 


May was a month for charity as the first week saw me continue the Live Below The Line challenge. I also then completed my first ever Race for Life! After this I also restarted on my weight loss journey after being so up & down with it. And I also became a fundraising coordinator for Saying Goodbye. 


June was a difficult month to start with as it should have been the month we welcomed our little angel. Our little man hit a milestone when he finally started walking after months of cruising about! And then we discovered I was pregnant again, just before our due date – I truly believe it was a gift sent to us from our angel. 


July was a month of firsts. Little mans first injury related trip to A&E, and we saw our little berry for the first time too! Unfortunately we had an awful end to the month when we were told that my mother in law was nearing the end of her life and she had a matter of days, or even hours, left. 

August saw another first for little man – his first haircut! I also held my fundraising event for Saying Goodbye. This month though we also lost my beloved Mother in Law, and then the week after we lost my Grandad too. And then there were their funerals. We hoped that this was our lot for this year, after also losing my Uncle at the beginning of the year – all to the horrible ‘c’ word. 


September was a fairly quiet month for us, but we had our holiday to Wales at the end of the month. 


In October I celebrated my birthday, and I also reached the halfway mark of my pregnancy. We attended my cousin’s amazing wedding which was a big up after the many downs of the year.


November saw me reach the “V-Day” for my pregnancy. But I also ended up with my annual winter cold which made me feel like death! 


And finally, December. It was quite a sombre start to the month, what with it being the 1st anniversary of losing our angel. After that significant date had passed, we started with our Christmas celebrations. We had a fairly busy Christmas period being out & about at families homes, so we’re going to have a quiet New Year. 


So, that was the year that was 2013, with all of its highs & lows. 


What have been your highs & lows of the past year? 

World Mental Health Day 2013

Today, October 10th 2013, is World Mental Health Day.


It’s a time to talk. 


A time to change.


A time to let the stigma of talking about mental health run free. 


This year, they day focuses on mental health in older people. 


But everybody knows it’s not just older people that suffer from mental health.


Regular readers of my blog will know that I myself have suffered with mental health, and I chose to talk about it openly.


It is nothing to be ashamed of.


But too many people make others feel ashamed.


I have many friends and acquaintances who have suffered, and do suffer with mental health.


If it wasn’t for talking about it myself, I would never have known.


So talk.


Change.


It’s time.



Pregnancy with a toddler

When I was pregnant with little man, I wouldn’t say I found the pregnancy particularly easy, as I had absolutely no idea what to expect. But it was so much easier than this one. 

Again, when I was pregnant for the short time with our little angel, it wasn’t particularly easy; slightly harder than little man’s, but again, easier than this one. Little man was only 6 months old at the time and not even crawling, so I didn’t really have a lot of running around after him to do, and he napped more, so I could join him. 


This time, I am reluctant to admit, I am finding it so so hard. 


For starters, after my previous miscarriage, I have worried ever since we found out I was pregnant. This for one takes its toll on you, emotionally. And when you are emotional, it takes it out of you physically.


And not to mention the tiredness. I suffered really badly with tiredness with little man, but at the time I was working from home so I could nap when I wanted, which most days was early afternoon! I just can’t do that now, as little man rarely ever naps, apart from in the car. And only hubby drives, so it’s not like I can just take him out in the car and have a sleep with him! 


Which leads on to being at his beck and call. Obviously I don’t mind doing that, as it’s my job as his Mummy, but sometimes, just sometimes, I wish he would just sit still for 10 minutes, or that someone could come and take him out so I can have a rest. I just really need to rest. 


Which, with no rest, makes me physically exhausted. And when I’m emotional and physically exhausted, this doesn’t make for a particularly nice Mummy or wife. Without pregnancy, I already have a short fuse, but with the hormones too, well, let’s not go there! I often have to leave both of them and go into another room for 5 minutes to get my composure back. 


To be honest, I think I may also still be in a depressive state of mind. There are thoughts I have which aren’t nice, and then I feel so bad afterwards when I feel in a better state of mind. Those who have suffered with depression will know what I mean. I have considered going back to my GP for happy pills, but I don’t know if it’s worth the risk. But then I think, would I rather feel like this for the next 6 months? I don’t know. I just don’t know.


I’ve gone off on a tangent here haven’t I?


What I’m trying to say is, pregnancy with a toddler is SO. BLOODY. HARD. 


I don’t think I could do it again. 


I just don’t know how people do it more than once (or twice!).


I raise my hands and bow down to you.