Monday, 23 December 2013

Panic Attack

Last night I had a panic attack, first one in ages. Things have been so much more positive... Life has been moving on.

But the past few weeks I've felt it creeping all back in until last night it floored me. I felt a bit crazy. Like one of those women you read about in the news that kills herself due to PND. But that's not me and I dont know where those swirling thoughts sprung up from. I do know I need to get a good grip again before things get out of hand.

Trouble is, I have an awesomely supportive and servant hearted husband and the most placid, calm and cute almost 2 year old, so my age old question to myself is "what is your problem woman?"

One day, I will wake up, shake this off, snap out of it, move on, grow up and chill out. I just really wish that day had already happened. Evidently yesterday was not the day. But it will come, because I can't behave like this forever.

Monday, 24 June 2013


Yesterday we went out for lunch. With real people. Humans who I haven't seen in years. I was really aware that 1) I haven't socialised with non-family people in months and 2) so much has happened to both our families in 5 years that I wasn't sure how we would navigate our way through recent history without any communication hiccups.

I guess I needn't have been so worried, they are still absolutely lovely and we had a nice time. They have 2 boys aged three and six, both loved Skittle so it worked well for playtime! 

The thing I noticed most though was that I haven't talked trauma for a really long time, I haven't seen anyone that asked "so what happened?" and "what can you remember?" in ages. So I talked, I gave a reasonably brief-but-detailed-in-places kind of account of Skittles arrival. And much as it made butterflies swirl in my stomach and my hands go shaky, I didn't have that awful extended reaction I used to have to musing over the past. 

I didn't tell the story and then disappear into my own mind for days, withdrawing from everything including Skittles. I didn't struggle with heaps of guilt or think about self harming. I didn't get stuck in NICU memories. I just felt a bit fragile and vulnerable for the duration of the convo and then gave Skittle an extra long squeeze and gazed a little longer into his deep blue eyes, remembering all I'd just said. 


I do believe i may have finally made some progress on the emotional/mental health side of things. Thank God. 

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

mothers day confession

I would love to have been pregnant on Mother's Day to know that special silent bond, a private Mother's Day with much anticipation. 

I admitted something to some counsellors the other day that I've never said out loud before. It was on my list of secret things I'd never say. Locked in a cavern of depression. Filed under scary things I can't believe I thought. 

I felt rushed into being pregnant. Which in turn made me worried that our motives weren't pure love. Which in turn filled me with the bitterest of guilt that somehow that meant I didn't want my baby. 

I really wanted him. I still really want him. I am inexplicably blessed to have him.

We were rushed though. Drs who basically said "it's now or never". I am not even sure I could have told you I felt rushed at the time. Hindsight it just showing it that way.

Being pregnant will cure your pain. But you may not be able to get pregnant. You will probably fall pregnant but it could be hard. Sub fertility. This surgery will improve your chance of falling pregnant for about 6 months. Etc. Etc.

We weren't going to start trying until the summer. But everything was set to fast forward.

All those question marks + previous miscarriage + fear of loss + illness = difficulty bonding with the baby in the womb.

Gushing, crushing guilt. Eurgh. 

Being pregnant wasn't what I imagined. Tenderly caressing my swelling tummy wasn't on the cards. Taking hundreds of photos to document the incredible journey was awkward. Writing my future child love notes was a very thought filled decision. Why did none of this come naturally to me? 

I guess my naturalness issues began long before NICU and indeed NICU itself didn't really help the issues I already had. 

And right now my darling skittle is sat next to me and all that've just written makes me feel like I've failed him. Big time. Poor boy, if I could be pregnant with you again my sweet son, I would. Even if it killed me, I'd shower you with affection and I'm sure it wouldn't be an effort, it would be a joy. Deep joy, to bond with you early. To love you without fear of loosing you.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

PND musings

The swirls of my PND brain, from 21st March

Could I be more of an epic failure of an excuse of a mother? Having spent the last 24hrs with 2 friends and their babies it's clear to see what a mess I've made. My poor baby. It's a good job he has Adam and other family members near by. My friends excel. Like really glide through the day, feeding, playing, chatting, emersing themselves in the wonder of it all. Embracing the beautiful child in their care and it's so sweet to see. I listened to my friend coo and sing during a nappy change and thought about the silent version of our own. I looked on at their joy and delight and my failure and shame tried to pin me down. What have i done? My poor baby. He barely smiled today, left with me while daddy went out, watching his happy baby friend and enthusiastic mummy, wondering what on earth was happening and wondering why his own mummy was so useless. He wasn't chatty or chirpy, he didn't look at me much and rejected my milk. I scanned down my lovely friends calendar at the play dates listed gloriously one day after another. Her son is getting such a great start, such a nurtured beginning and sociable roots. Skittle is over a year and I can count on one hand the number of proper baby things I've done with him. Why why why? What is the freakin matter with me. My poor baby. I tried today, I tried really hard. I played and giggled and made funny faces and sang and nothing, just a blank expression. What if he can't stand me? 

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

turning a corner

This week on I <3 my preemie Facebook group, someone asked what people's experience was with PND. I quickly wrote a brief summary of the treatment route I had...

My GP sent me for counselling session at the surgery, counsellor assessed and talked to dr about anti depressants. Dr referred me to psychiatrist, put me on medication gradually increasing over the course of a month, saw me weekly herself and recommended a bit of fresh air, but hadn't left the house in five months so recognised exercise probably wasn't going to happen. A few weeks later, to avoid sectioning me, my GP signed my husband off work so that I wasn't alone for 2 months. I saw the psychiatrist who recommended a post natal therapy specialist, I booked an introductory session there (quite pricey but worth every penny), went there weekly for 6 months. Basically tried a whole combination of treatments and they all have helped in different ways...wouldn't have managed with only one type I don't think. Hope that's helpful, sorry it's a bit long, just wanted tot show you the process took quite a while xx

Actually it ended up not being that brief! But it just wasn't and I hadn't really looked back at the process before now and it surprised me. It was so awful back then. Sort of this time last year, May/June time was the worst. It was so dark and dismal and bleak. 

And it's taken a while to gradually emerge from that place of despair but in the last few weeks I can honestly say I think we may have finally turned a corner. Had a bit of a breakthrough. I haven't felt so blue, exhausted or negative. I've enjoyed things more and felt good. And that realisation makes me so happy and so grateful. 

Here's to more corners and more breakthroughs! 

Monday, 6 May 2013

the wonder of you

One of my favourite things to do is sit and watch Skittle play when he doesn't know I'm watching him. Last night I laid on our bed and watched him really carefully sorting through the nappy bag sat in the hallway while he thought I hadn't realised he was rummaging!

Out flung nappies, socks, random toys and sun cream until the treasure emerged...breadsticks! His little eyes. He couldn't believe he'd found them without me noticing. Alas I had noticed and no matter how fast he was, I had to win because it was really bed time and the four little toothy pegs had already been brushed. Meany mum.

We were on to bedtime number 2, bedtime number 1 hadn't been successful and an hour and half of playing later we tried again. I thought about being grumpy that I hadn't had much evening time, miffed I still don't seem to have a babe that sleeps through...but then I just watched him and played and clapped and cheered as we posted the little coloured letters in our wooden red post box hundreds of times. I watched him try things out and realise something new. I noticed those cute teeth and the way he screws up his nose like I do. I saw how he gently touches something with one finger to check its ok.

And I thought oh well about my evening. Do I really care about putting my feet up? Well maybe sometimes, but yesterday evening it was so nice to have an extra play time and study my Skittle for a while. One day I won't get to do that anymore and these years go so fast so I chose to enjoy it and make the most of it.

Tonight he's in bed at the right hour and my feet are up and the chocolate is open just FYI.

this week in photos