To the postpartum depression moms suffering in silence as posted in Postpartum Progress

I have reposted many articles from Postpartum Progress here as I feel that offer both insight & support to those those suffering from a Postnatal/postpartum Mood Disorder (PMD), those that have had a baby after surviving from a PMD & also to partner that are supporting their partner suffering from with a PMD.

This post would have to be one of the BEST descriptions of a mother with a PMD that I’ve ever read. I didn’t write it, but I may as well have. They were not my words, but most definitely my thoughts. Please read this & share it with anyone you know who is an expectant mum, new mum or any mum really that has a young child or toddler.

Warning: For those of you that are currently suffering any forms of a PMD, this post may be triggering to you. If you proceed & start struggling, please head straight over to #PPDChat support page on FB where comfort is only a ‘post’ button away. If you think you need help, please call up your local GP & make an appointment immediately so that you can get the help you need.

http://postpartumprogress.com/to-the-postpartum-depression-moms-suffering-in-silence

 

Mama’s Comfort Camp

Mama's Comfort Camp

I wanted to let you all know about a wonderful resource online for mums when having a tough day & just need to vent, share & feel better. You don’t have to have or be a recoverer of any postpartum (postnatal) mood disorder to join up, you just have to be a mum getting through each day & all the challenges that you face daily. So come on over & say hi.

https://www.facebook.com/mamas.comfort.camp

If you would like to join the Mama’s Comfort Camp private FB group, where we go to refuel, meet by amazing mums all over the world ready & waiting with open arms, there’s a link on the page above to ask to join up. We’d love to see you there.

The things I have learnt in my life. So far….

When I was a teenager & then again in my early twenties, I thought I knew everything about everything. Turns out I didn’t. Fast forward ahem, a few years, I’m reflecting on all the things I’ve done & the lessons learnt. And what’s more I know that the learning never stops. So without further ado, here are some things I’ve learnt over the past few years:

I’ve learnt that babies are not stupid just because they can’t talk. They tell you in their own way what they need.

I’ve learnt that my toddler has bipolar disorder & OCD (please know I am not downplaying the seriousness of these mental illnesses, but they are appropriate when explaining my toddlers behaviour).

I’ve learnt the true meaning of unconditional love.

I’ve learnt that when in a hurry a nappy will need to be changed, because babies don’t care for being on time & schedules.

I’ve learnt that you never stop growing up.

I’ve learnt that raising my voice at Orli does not help. At all. I’ve learnt this pisses me off.

I’ve learnt that even as a parent myself, what my parents think still impact some of my decisions.

I’ve learnt that chocolate doesn’t help, but that is also helps.

I’ve learnt that there is no shame in having a Pospartum (postnatal) mood disorder. I didn’t ask for it nor choose to have it.

I’ve learnt that if it’s not on Google it doesn’t exist.

I’ve learnt that you need to work on your marriage. Complacency is the number one reason that most couples split up.

I’ve learnt that patience doesn’t come easily to me.

I’ve learnt that having a nap is the new happy hour.

I’ve learnt that mutual respect is important in every relationship. If it’s not there, you may as well not be there either.

I’ve learnt that the words ‘I love you mummy’ makes my heart explode. Each & every time.

I’ve learnt that Cancer, mental illnesses etc do not discriminate.

I’ve learnt to use the word ‘regret’ instead of ‘guilty’ when talking about my PMD.

I’ve learnt that mess & clutter make me anxious.

I’ve learnt that writing for me is healing & cathartic. Thanks for allowing me to share my words with you all too.

I’ve learnt that forgiveness is bloody hard, but important for your soul & overall happiness.

I’ve learnt not to judge other parents. I don’t live with them, I don’t know the reasons for doing the things they do & it comes down to mutual respect.

I’ve learnt that the TV keeps my kids entertained & I’m more than ok with it.

I’ve learnt that you don’t need to have met people in real life to have long lasting & meaningful relationships.

I’ve learnt that it takes longer for others to learn.

I’ve learnt that my babies have never cared for the baby books saying what they ‘should’ be doing. They can’t read. They do what they want, when they want.

I’ve learnt when to take the higher moral ground.

I’ve learnt that cooking isn’t hard, it just requires time & motivation. I’m lacking in both.

I’ve learnt that self-care is imperative to your overall happiness & crucial to in order to be available to your kids. I need to learn how to do it.

I’ve learnt I learn something new every day.

I’ve learnt that you need to speak up when it comes to your kids health & happiness.

I’ve learnt how to go to the toilet without having kids in there with me. It’s not always successful.

I’ve learnt to enjoy the moment.

I’ve learnt that all families have their shit.

I’ve learnt that you need to be organised when you have kids.

I’ve learnt that NOTHING can prepare you for being a first time mum.

I’ve learnt that masks cover pain, it doesn’t get rid of it.

I’ve learnt that toddlers can frustrate the hell out of you.

I’ve learnt that friends are to be cherished.

I’ve learnt that no one can clean our home as well as me.

I’ve learnt to give myself permission for having a bad day & not to feel guilty about it.

I’ve learnt never to take kindness for granted.

I’ve learnt that it takes a long time to heal.

I’ve learnt that I’ll never stop learning.

 

What have you learnt?

Mother’s Pride – What I’m proud of

I am writing this post in Charity’s name because she brought this beautiful topic to my attention. Charity, my thoughts & love are with you at this time & please know, the Army is with & behind you whenever & forever.

Mother’s Pride – What a deeply powerful topic. Where on earth do I start?

I’ll start with me. When Orli was eight weeks old we were admitted to a parent infant unit in a psych facility, a.k.a the nuthouse & were there for three weeks. In order to go to be admitted to the nuthouse, I had to admit I had a problem & then I had to do all the hard work in order to recover (the long, windy & bumpy road of recovery). For this to all happen, I had to swallow my pride to do what was best for me, my daughter & my husband.

To say that I am proud of our daughter Orli would be an understatement. My 3.5yr old threenager  has progressed so much given her severe developmental delays (rolling at 11 months, crawling at 19mths & walking at 25mths & consistently delayed with major milestones). Looking at her today there is no sign of any delays & since starting kindergarten this year, her vocabulary has improved ten-fold & her confidence has grown along with it. (I will refrain from mentioning her attitude). Orli’s a remarkable little girl who makes me completely proud to be her mum. People comment that she is such a happy & well adjusted little girl which makes me so emotional as I thought I had ‘ruined’ her given my postnatal (postpartum) mood disorder & my apathy towards her. Just yesterday she drew her first picture of a face (which I tweeted). She added arms & legs & it became the first picture she’s drawn of a person. And ‘it’ was smiling. And tears welled up in my eyes. You just can’t bottle those feelings.

I am proud of myself for deciding to take the tablet to dry my milk up just after I gave birth to Flynn. He was 36wks (just like his sister) & very little & I knew the chance of his suck reflex not being developed was high. I also was well aware of the difficulties trying to feed a baby that tires easily requiring top ups & need to be woken for feeds. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. We were back at hospital a week after our discharge as he was considered ‘failure to thrive’ only gaining 50g in a week & were there for nine weeks where he was finally diagnosed with Laryngomalacia. I know the way my mind works & I know & I would have blamed myself for his ‘FTT’ status & readmission had I been breastfeeding him. It was a stressful enough time & having to express each day & night would have sent me over the edge (like it did the first time). I’m proud of myself for putting my needs first. It was NOT an easy decision, one that I went back & forth on for, well, eight months, but I am proud for not succumbing to peer, nurse, midwife & societal pressure.

I am proud of my little boy who beat the odds by surviving his birth (I had a bi-partite placenta, placenta previa & vasa previa). It’s still painful to think of the things he endured during our nine week hospital admission (being fed nasal-gastrically & having the tube changed each week & each time he pulled it out by accident), the x-rays, the barium swallow, the urine & blood tests, the brain ultrasound, the ECG, the Echo, the nine different formulas, the constipation & the medication for that, the many suppositories & his reflux & violent projectile vomiting that went with it & the medication for that. His little body going through so much & it broke my heart many times over. And then at ten weeks of age (six weeks corrected) he smiled at me & my heart breaks a little more, because despite everything, he was happy. And he has not stopped smiling. He is the happiest little boy & smiles all the time, at everyone & at anyone. Whenever he looks at me, he gives me his gummy smile. And this makes me so proud I could explode.

I’m proud of myself for not allowing my fears of slipping into a PMD again, to dissuade me from having another baby. I’m just so very grateful I can feel proud of anything really, because there were days that I never thought I would be able to feel anything towards my baby, let alone have another one! I’m so very blessed to have two happy & beautiful kids & am so proud to be their mum.

Thanks Charity for allowing me to share this.

Does anyone else want to share your mother’s pride?

Dads speak out on PPD/PND on Postpartum Progress

Throughout the past week there has been a wonderful series on the affects PPD/PND has had on partners/husbands. This series has been on Postpartum Progress, the same place our five day series on Having a Baby after PPD was on.

I have posted each day’s link below for you all. It’s well worth reading as it gives another perspective on this PMD & also insights into how our illness affects our partners. For those of you that suffered a PMD these are highly emotional pieces of writing & beautifully written.

A week later & there has been one more post, ‘For the Dads: Why you need support through her PPD too’. It’s such an important message for dads & partners. You need to remember to look after yourself too & one day down the track when the fog has lifted from your lives, you need to look after your marriage.

http://postpartumprogress.com/for-the-dads-why-you-need-support-through-her-postpartum-depression-too

Read the five day series below.

Warning: For those of you that are currently suffering any forms of a PMD, please tread carefully as some of these posts may be triggering to you. If you proceed & start struggling, please head straight over to #PPDChat support page on FB where comfort is only a ‘post’ button away.

Day 1 - http://postpartumprogress.com/dads-speak-out-on-postpartum-depression-part-1-getting-over-the-mountain

Day 2 - http://postpartumprogress.com/dads-speak-out-on-postpartum-depression-part-2-in-sickness-in-health

Day 3 - http://postpartumprogress.com/dads-speak-out-on-postpartum-depression-part-3-i-cant-fix-it

Day 4 - http://postpartumprogress.com/dads-speak-out-on-postpartum-depression-part-4-the-birth-horror-show

Day 5 - http://postpartumprogress.com/dads-speak-out-on-postpartum-depression-part-5-diving-in-to-help

Thanks again Katherine for featuring such an important series on your website. And thanks to the dads for being so brave & sharing your stories. You are all important & so integral to our recovery & healing. We might so not always tell you this, but we love you & thank you for your care & support in what has to be the hardest time of our lives.

 

Welcome to our home

The first thing you’ll see as you enter our home is our house rules. Literally, as they’re stuck to the wall as you enter.

I loved it as soon as I saw it & following Seon’s agreement it was bought & delivered within a few days. We had been looking for something to go on our wall as you enter our home for years. I wasn’t sure about a painting & we never saw one we loved & had to have, so the wall remained blank & the search for something to go there halted. Until I saw this.

Each line means something to me. Each line is important. The rules are short but have so much meaning. It goes to show you that you don’t need a lot of words in order for the message to be understood. And also, that you don’t need a lot of words to get your message though or your point across!

The house rules are not written specifically to anyone, but to everyone – whether you live here or not. It is relevant to Seon, me, Orli & one day Flynn too (although he can do with the no ‘whining rule’ at times). If you don’t live here you can still follow the rules. When you’re a visitor in our home feel free to follow the rules, & if you want, take some of these rules with you.

As I continue my journey of self-discovery, embracing & sometimes – & let’s be honest – enduring motherhood, these little rules remind me what kind of person & mother I would like to be. It reminds me of the values I wish to instill into our children. It reminds me to uphold these rules so that our children see them in action. It reminds me to be a good example to our children. It reminds me to be a good wife. It reminds me to be a good person.

Each time I step into our home I am greeted by these messages & I love that I am constantly reminded of these values & messages.

The last line sums it up for me – in this house we strive for respect, love, sharing, caring, but hell knows it’s not always sustainable, manageable or possible. After all, we’re only human!