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?

An open letter to the #PPDChatArmy mamas

 

To my dear #PPDChatArmy Mamas,

This is my first post & I wanted to take this opportunity to tell each & every one of you how I feel about you. I could go on forever about the impact you have all had on my life but I wanted to keep it brief, so all I’m going to say is thank you.

Thank you for allowing me to share my life with you.

Thank you for reading my rants & vents & consoling me when times were tough & when the journey ahead seemed unsurmountable.

Thank you for offering support to me when I asked & especially when I didn’t.

Thank you for allowing me to offer support back to all of you.

Thank  you for sharing your life with me too.

Thank you for not judging me.

Thank you for making me feel safe.

Thank you for helping me with Selma & Patty.

Thank you for teaching me how to be a warrior mum.

Thank you for letting me disarm Velma & for all agreeing that she really is a ho.

Thank you for making me smile & cry & sometimes both at the same time.

Thank you for allowing me to feel comfortable enough to reach out.

Thank you for saving me from slipping again last year.

Thank you for giving me strength each & every day. Still.

Thank you for believing in me.

Thank you for allowing my words into your home (or work office or bathroom if you access internet from your Smartphone).

Thank you for making me feel welcome.

Thank you for your words of encouragement.

Thank you for reminding me to be honest with myself. And with others.

Thank you for being there at any time day or night whenever you saw the #PPDChat hashtag on my tweets.

Thank you for helping me be ok with some of the tough decisions I have had to make.

Thank you for helping with the tough decisions I’ll have to make in the future.

Thank you for your friendship.

Thank you for your unconditional love.

Thank you for giving me the strength to take my mask off.

Thank you for making me feel important.

Thank you for making me feel part of the coolest club in town.

Thank you for not allowing me to hide.

Thank you for helping me be brave.

Thank you for your encouragement to have a voice.

Thank you for making me feel I belong.

Thank you for allowing me to say ‘today, I don’t like my child’.

Thank you for not judging me when I told you, ‘today I don’t like my child’.

Thank you for convincing me that all I have to be to my children is ‘good enough’.

Thank you for not letting me make excuses (although I’m still working on it).

Thank you for kicking arse.

Thank you for wanting to kick stigma’s arse.

Thank you for giving me strength.

Thank you all for who you are.

Thank you for everything.

One very thankful mama,

Yuz xo

PS. My kids will thank you all too one day.

The Baby After PPD Survivor Series

Last month I was a honoured to join my BAPPD (Baby After PPD) mamas on Katherine Stone’s Postpartum Progress website. The seven of us met in the Twitterverse when Amber Koter-Puline (@atlantamom) sent out a tweet saying she was going to start up a support group for PPD survivors thinking about having another baby or pregnant. We kept in touch & supported each other throughout our journey & then put our stories together for all to see. It was an extremely cathartic experience for me as I had never told or written my story or gave the details of the hell I endured after having Orli.

If you missed it, here it is again. I’ve separated the days so you can read one at a time.

Day 1 http://postpartumprogress.com/7-postpartum-depression-survivors-share-their-stories-of-having-more-children

Day 2 http://postpartumprogress.com/postpartum-depression-survivor-series-day-two

Day 3 http://postpartumprogress.com/postpartum-depression-survivor-series-day-three-the-husbands

Day 4 http://postpartumprogress.com/postpartum-survivor-series-day-4-what-happened-after-the-next-baby

Day 5 http://postpartumprogress.com/postpartum-depression-survivor-series-day-5-coming-together-around-a-new-baby

Many thanks to Amber for putting this all together & for asking Katherine to feature it on her website. And thanks also to Katherine for allowing us to share our stories.

My Post on PPD to Joy

The beautiful & wonderful Yael Daphna Saar of PPD to Joy fame Postpartum Depression to Joy & I met over Twitter via the #PPDChat hashtag & the weekly chat forums. Our friendship has grown over the webisphere & mutual love & respect has grown exponentially. Yael’s mission through her website is to help those struggling with PND/PPD to learn to both disarm guilt & teach self-kindness. She runs a monthly SpeakEasy support phone chat where mothers domestically & globally meet, share, vent & care over the wires. It’s a truly wonderful & safe place that Yael has created & hopefully, if the stars align, I will be joining Yael & all the other mums that call this Wednesday March 14, at 12.30pm (AEST).

Following my posts on Postpartum Progress last month, Yael asked me to write a guest post on her blog about my battle with PND/PPD within the confines of the Jewish community in Melbourne & how my background affected my illness & recovery.

After years (literally) of typing to each other we finally met over Skype last week just as this blog post went live.

Here it is:

Yuz Takes off the Mask

I hope that we have the opportunity of sharing many more posts on each others blogs in the future.