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. 

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

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

Sunday, 28 April 2013

this week in photos

funny old day

Yesterday was such a funny old day. Skittle was a bit out of sorts in the morning and has been for a few days really. It was the morning of my fundraising sale that I had been preparing for for weeks. Hubs has the weekend off work, which at the moment is pretty unheard of due to operation-overtime. I really didn't want to leave Skittle all morning but knew a manky Church Hall (I know not all Church Halls are manky, but this one was) was not the best place for him. Plus a morning with Daddy would be fun for him.

Excuse my wittering.

So, the day. It was a really big deal for me to be brave and stand there with things I'd made on show and be sociable and chatty. I found it exhausting and was so pleased my Grannie and Grandma were there to run the show. I was also acutely aware of why I was there, it was something I felt strongly about and was so pleased I appear to have finally made steps from "NICU trauma is all I think about" to, "let's do something positive with our NICU experience." Hurrah.

But that hour and a half without Skittle was no fun. No fun at all. When hubs brought him back I actually packed up the stall early so that we could just go home and be together. Turns out being separate from him still really effects me. I know without the NICU separation I may well have not like leaving him, but it's the fear that goes with it I think, NICU still has it's part to play. When other people say "oh all mums are like that" I think no, some mums don't have a clue what it's like.

Then in the afternoon, Skittle went down hill and after a demanding morning I didn't cope well with his whimpers of pain and constant tears. I found myself watching him constantly, on edge, wondering what was about to happen. You know, that incubator feeling. What now? What next? What signs should i be looking for?

He's probably just teething mama, give it a rest.

All in all, a funny old day. Lots of positives, lots of realisation, lots of anxiety.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

on the other side

Before I got pregnant or even knew whether or not I would ever be pregnant, I used to be driven crazy by the number of pregnant people I saw every time I went out in public. If they weren't obviously glowing with roundness, I would be wondering whether or not they were in their first trimester and carrying a wonderful secret with them everywhere they went.

After our second miscarriage this only got worse! I can remember taking a train from Waterloo back down to Dorset and between our flat, the tube ride, walking through the station and boarding the train I counted 27 obviously pregnant or new mums with babes. I was driving myself mad and these will I ever be, can I ever be thoughts were getting a bit consuming.

Now that I'm on the other side of that wall, I wonder if there are other hurting women looking at me in the same way? Or even friends who are caught in the fertility taboo and don't feel able to talk about it. I wonder if I'm walking along with Skittle strapped in the carrier or pushing the pram and women see us and are filled with sorrow like I was 2/3 years ago. Probably.

Sometimes I think maybe I should wear a T shirt that says, this-didn't-come-easy or sub-fertility-nearly-meant-this-couldn't-happen etc. The thought of me and Skittle being the cause of other women's pain makes me sad.

I wish women would talk about miscarriage, fertility, loss, pain, post natal depression and all the other thing that come along for the ride. I wih we could be more open and compassionate with each others stories. Especially when we've not been through the same, but just choose to show empathy, sympathy and sensitivity.

Ladies on the other side, don't suffer in silence, don't let it consume you, every mother or mother to be you see is not leading a stress free, pain free life. Everyone is on a journey. Let's talk about it. If you want to.