Crash & burn

I was hoping, praying, that this wouldn’t happen again.

That I wouldn’t suffer the same fate I did after J was born.

I’ve been hiding, trying to fight it myself for weeks now.

Nearing breaking point.

Today I snapped.

I reached it.

I don’t know what triggered it, it just happened.

From nowhere.

I decided that life would be better off without me.

My children, my husband, my family.

Selfish. I know I’m selfish.

But this illness, this horrible, debilitating, illness. Now that, that is even more selfish.

It doesn’t care.

It can control me.

But I couldn’t control it.

I care. I care about my family.

They care about me.

But sometimes, I think they won’t.

I am selfish for not caring about what happens to me.

And it makes me sad.

I looked at my children, and felt physical pain. Sadness.

My husband had to come home from work.

I slept.

I woke.

I didn’t want to.

I wanted the pain to just go away.

Emotional pain, that hurts just as much as physical pain.

It was a cry for help.

Which I should have seeked sooner, rather than fighting.

I can only be strong for so long.

I’m getting help.

With help, I will fight.

You will not beat me.

I will win.

World Mental Health Day 2014 #TimeToTalk

Today, the 10th of October 2014, marks World Mental Health Day.

Why is mental health still such a stigma?

Chances are you know at least one person who has mental health issues, but you may not actually know because they are ashamed to talk about it.

The recent death of the much loved Robin Williams caused everyone to start talking about it, but why should it take for somebody – anybody – to die, in order to start talking?

The post I wrote last year I did so with ease; I wrote it because even though I wasn’t suffering at that time, I wanted people to talk.

This post, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with.

Recently I’ve been having some pretty low days.

I haven’t posted about it here yet as I’m trying to cope. I’m trying to battle.

I have been talking though. Talking to friends.

I may talk about it openly again on here soon.

But for now, I just want to tell you, if you are reading this and you think you may be depressed, or suffering anxiety, anything to do with your mental health, then please…

…talk.

It’s time to change.

It’s time to talk.

It’s time to end mental health discrimination.

By clicking here, you can make your pledge to help end mental health stigma. 

The depressing truth | In the media

I recently came across an article that a couple of friends posted on social media recently. The headline caught my eye simply because I related to it – The depressing truth behind mums ‘unable’ to breastfeed. I put together three of the words – depressing, unable, breastfeed – and immediately thought of myself. If you have read my blog before you will know that I really struggled to breastfeed both J & N.

The months after J was born were some of the worst of my life because I was unable to breastfeed. I blamed myself, my body didn’t work properly, I couldn’t provide for my baby. My inability to breastfeed led to an enormous amount of breastfeeding guilt. In turn this led to me developing post natal depression. I mention in the post I linked to for the experience with J, that I had help from the support workers. But that was it. They could see that I couldn’t get J to latch, but they didn’t suggest anything else. Now I see it wasn’t my fault, but is a possibility that J had tongue tie; but nobody could diagnose that because I didn’t know about it back then, and nobody else mentioned it to me. So I gave up before I even really tried.

My experience with N was slightly different in that I tried battling on for longer but we had the exact same problem – his latch, or lack of it. We had help from the NICU nurses when we were in transitional care, but nothing when we were discharged. I refused to give him formula as I was so so scared of developing breastfeeding guilt and depression again. The support workers came out to me a few times for a week or so after he was born, but every time they came out it was the same. They could see he couldn’t latch, but nothing else. We attempted, but no other suggestions, nothing. I was simply told as was said in the linked article, “Stick at it and it will click”. So we stuck at it. It didn’t click. This time though I didn’t blame myself as I know I tried my hardest for four weeks, on my own for the most part. Again, a friend mentioned to me recently that N could have tongue tie too. No-one mentioned anything during support.

So far (fingers crossed) I have gotten away with developing depression because I was yet again unable to breastfeed.

Both times, I believe I really could have done with specialist help. Maybe it would have made a difference, maybe it wouldn’t. But just the fact that it would have been a ‘professional’ rather than just support, might have helped me not to become another statistic.

It is so sad and such a shame that there is no specialist help for so many women who really want to breastfeed. It’s okay saying that breast is the best option (which it is, I know), but where is the help, rather than just the support, if women don’t know about it and therefore can’t find it?

A to Z of Family – A is for Adjustment

I’m going to be joining in with Confessions of a SAHM’s new linky, being the A-Z of family. Each week we will go through the alphabet writing a post about one word ascertaining to that weeks letter. I think this will be a good challenge to join in with! 

Becoming a family means adjustment. Adjustment to a new lifestyle, a new routine, new people. Nothing can prepare you for just how big that adjustment is. It’s OK going to antenatal classes and all that jazz, but when reality hits, woah, it’s a totally different league!

I found it incredibly hard becoming a 3 person family, and as my regular readers and those who have been there from the beginning know, I struggled an awful lot and suffered from post natal depression. It was so hard to adjust – suddenly I had this new little fragile person to care for, who would be dependent on me (and his Daddy) for everything. Clothing, feeding, bathing. It wasn’t just me that I had to do it for anymore. I suddenly became second priority.

Then when he was 6 months I unexpectedly fell pregnant again, naturally. I was even more terrified this time than the first time! Especially because I was suffering PND, I wasn’t ready. Caring for two little people only 15 months apart?! Unimaginable! I just didn’t know what to do. But of course I loved this new precious miracle life so much already. I had to adjust, yet again, so quickly. Unfortunately that wasn’t meant to be and it was another period of adjustment that our family of 4 wasn’t going to happen just yet, whilst grieving from losing a precious child.

The miscarriage though, made us realise that yes, we did want this now, and whatever it took, we could do it. We could look after two little people. Heck, after the first one, you know what you’re doing right?! 6 months after our loss I fell pregnant for a third time. It was a tough few weeks up until our scan, but then I could relax a little (not much) and prepare for adjusting to becoming a family of 4, finally, hopefully.

Fast forward 9 months and it was all real. Our second little man arrived, and it wasn’t only me & hubby that had to adjust, it was J also. For almost 2 years he had been an only child, and then this other little human comes and steals his limelight. This time, it was him that had the most difficulty adjusting. Though he has got there in the end. It kind of just slipped into place for us adults – I can say it was definitely easier adjusting to 2 children than to 1!

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?