Tuesday, 31 January 2012

It's Not Right but Its Okay

Again for the pop lovers among you I'm sorry this is not an ode to Atomic Kitten...

Disclaimer done!

Before you read my post I want you to think about something I saw on a tweet the other day: "The Past is History, The Future's a Mystery but Today is a Gift which is why its called The Present"

As I have previously spoken about, in detail, I suffered with PND following the horrendous labour and birth of my daughter, now 21 months. As a result of those posts I have had some wonderful messages from as far a field as Jordan (the country not the errr model?) all of which have had a running theme - many of them are accounts from other Mums, and husbands of Mums who have had experiences of PND, some are messages of support and encouragement for starting this blog and others are about How am I doing now?

So, with no further ado The Present:

I have descirbed PND in all of my written work in the past tense, I have to admit this is entirely subconsciously! I guess I assume that as I no longer take anti depressants, I no longer attend counselling sessions and I have many more periods of "light" (all will be revealed) that I am in recovery from PND. In reality I think this is far from true, I guess like a recovering alcoholic having a small glass of Wine, (I'm not going to reiterate again I am not medic or trained health professional) having a moment when I feel down has the makings to throw me back into darkness at any given moment - only now I am aware of this and can put things in motion before I am gripped back there.

Like many Mum's who have shared their accounts with me there is something that is always there, I use the terms light and dark as its the only physical way I can bring myself to accept PND and its presence in my life. Unlike when PND had hold of me, I am able to let moments of darkness, things of infuriation and those instances of complete anger pass through me, but I do have a fear that something too upsetting, too difficult to negotiate or quite simply the wrong thing on the wrong day could see me plummet back into a world where the only light was artificial. What I am not aware of is a group or an organisation that are there for PND sufferers whose symptoms, for want of a better phrase, are in remission. If anyone does know of such a group please share it as I am sure there are Mums and Dads who would be interested.

What having PND has done to me has made small and mundane arguments or instances that before having Lylha I would have brushed off or even laughed off become an obstacle in themselves to get over, what I mean by this is: Not only having the argument to settle but recovering mentally from the emotions and feelings that go along with arguing or being in an upsetting place is a battle on its own.

I am lucky that those around me are aware that I have moments of fragility BUT even luckier that they don't tread on eggshells around me as how could I ever have the opportunity to know I am able to handle things better without those moments sent to try us being there. I think people pussyfooting around would have made these past few months harder to deal with than when a blazing row erupts, as does the feelings that accompany it. What I think is crucial is that me or anyone else that knows they need help sometimes is able to be in a position when they can say I am slipping again and I need some help with this, be it a reassuring chat and a cuppa or going back on meds - whatever works!

I love the phrase "pick your battles" and its one that since coming off the meds I have applied massively into my life, true to form sometimes the law of sod means I pick the wrong battles, but for me only having certain things to deal with at anyone time and being able to put others aside till your ready to deal with them is a way I can actively feel that I am handling this state of PND recovery.

I know we can't see Mental Illness but for me this surmises it: If you break a bone you take the time, the medication and the support of the cast to repair it - but every now and then once its healed it gives you Gipp, a little pang to remind you of the break, and some things you could do prior you can't now. Same with Mental Illness ONLY there isn't a bandage to repair a fractured mind, but there is treatment, support and unlike a broken leg smiling won't ease the pain - BUT it can with a fractured mind.

So as you see I know I'm not right but I'm Ok - a place where I am happy to be until I am in the next stage of recovery!

Monday, 23 January 2012

Not just a parent

As my previous posts have highlighted I am a proud Mummy of a beautiful little girl, but as incredible as motherhood is it's not a journey I have found easy, and at times have not been able to cope with. I am lucky, I have an amazing support network from family, friends through to my GP who helped me recover from the horrible illness that is Post Natal Depression. Its an illness that so many parents suffer, but unfortunately for whatever reason is one some suffer in silence. I totally understand going to a health professional and admitting that you have developed these awful feelings when the world expects you to be on cloud 9 is a daunting one, but actually without that admission to your midwife, health visitor or GP its an illness that doesn't go away and can have a severe hold over someone. I am fairly sure than anyone who has suffered from PND will throw their hands into the air when asked Who would never ever want to feel that low again!

Although I cant pinpoint the moment for me that PND crept in, I was fairly sure from the start that I knew what started the awful emotions that followed, and it was that I felt I was just a Mum! As daft as that sounds, for me it was something I had real trouble accepting, I wanted to still feel a wife, a woman and an individual who's mind wasn't 100% focused on how many ounces does your little one drink? For some women, I believe their ultimate goal in life is to go through the right of passage and become a mother and embrace the life that comes with it - the home-maker. But for me as terrible as it may come across that wasn't enough. I have always had the desire to learn, to think and to achieve and being at home and adjusting too domestic duties was the start of me snowballing into the depths of PND.

I knew from the moment I saw Lylha that I wanted to spend her early years at home with her, I didn't think it fair to spend such a rough 9 months carrying her for someone else to get the excitement of her 1st step or 1st word! But I also knew I needed something mentally challenging to occupy me, to start with I was too tried to even get my head around what I could do to stimulate me and by the time I came to discover what I could do PND had taken over my life.

I also felt that there was a 3rd person in my marriage which was a weird feeling to have, I didn't know what I expected to feel like as a family before it happened, but when it did I didn't expect to feel the way I was - I almost resented the fact there was 3 of us and only wanted a 2 person world either me and my daughter or me and my husband and as for sharing her with other people it was a no go, it was a period of time when emotional confusion dominated my every minute.

Once diagnosed and starting to recover I decided to take the time I would have been at work and make good use of it. 1 of my many dreams was to be a Journalist or an English Teacher, (I made a few wrong decisions as a teenager as far as education went and although I got great A Level results I couldn't bear the thought of more studying and decided to earn money - ironically that lead to much more studying than what my degree would've taken but at least I will always have it too fall back on) so I enrolled with The Open University to study English Lit and English Language with the intention to one day teach it, by enrolling on the course alone I had something significant to look forward too and this in itself lifted me almost instantly.

6 months into the course and I am loving it, my brain feels like its being challenged again, and it has also made a huge difference to my general well being I spend my evenings  (when  Lylha is asleep...) reading and writing about some of my favourite authors, poets and linguistic specialists this alone has added a different dimension to my current worldly being (deep, yes i know)!

My husband and I are trying to implement a monthly night off parenting and letting the grandparents have their special time with Lylha, as she is so funny at this age (I am scared I will blink and miss the stage), although we are yet to find a convenient time we have had some wonderful date nights where I have turned off all contact to the world, as has he, and we have had a simple bottle of red wine, watched a film and laughed - something that hasn't been in our lives for quite a while now. We are hoping this month to upgrade to a night out together but knowing for a few hours we are Husband & Wife again, a reason to get glammed up, a reason to feel more than just parents for a while is worth its weight in gold to us.

As this last year has gone on my lifestyle has become almost a 1000 times (yes exaggeration) busier than what it was in the first 6months of motherhood and I can hand on heart say it has made me appreciate being a parent more than words can say!

Peppa Pig DVD and a cuddle!

Adding extra activity, combined with the anti depressants and talking therapy, into my life and into our marriage has made me as a woman feel almost whole, and why shouldn't it???  I am pursuing the career I have always wanted, I work a few hours a week for one of the loveliest families I know, I have started blogging which has lead me down a really exciting pathway too work with some amazing people, I have a lovely home and most of all I have most precious gift - a family I love beyond imagination only topped off by the little girl who fills me with joy, unconditional love and simple innocent laughter! Oh and I can hold my hands up in the air and say I no longer have a bloody clue what happened in Eastenders, Hollyoaks, or Emmerdale last night, last week or last year I ditched the compulsory soap viewing in exchange for my sanity!

Monday, 16 January 2012

It's Been a Hard Days Night

Firstly I am so grateful for everyone who took time out of their day to read my blog "A Labour of Love" focusing on labour, and Post Natal Depression. I am overwhelmed at the wonderful comments, messages and support I have had in bringing this important issue into light.

Right, this is not a post about The Beatles, (although I am humming the song as I type) it is about the wonderful topic that unites almost every parent around the globe - Sleepless Nights.

Now when I fell pregnant with Lylha I was well aware that as a Newborn there would be many a night where sleep was a distant dream away, and looking into the future I had guessed her teenage years will bring on the odd sleepless night, however, what I (and a fair few of my Yummy Mummy friends) didn't envisage was a toddler who would rather sleep on a laminate floor than go up in her cot and settle down for the night!

The night Lylha was born I was absolutely astounded that she went to sleep at 11pm and awoke for a feed at 6am the following morning, I rather smuggly text my husband at home this wonderful piece of news and proceeded to brag a little about it to some of the maternity staff... When the midwives came around on day 2 I told them this and the midwife told me - this happens a lot on baby's first day, they go through all the energy of labour too and she was probably as tired as you were... She was very right, night 2 was singularly one of the hardest experiences I had ever had, genuinely. I was still in hospital (if you hadn't read my last blog Lylha was delivered by emergency C Sec), in a fair amount of pain, the excitement of my family coming to meet her had been and gone, Michael had left for the night to get some rest and I then tried to settle Lylha at 11pm on a bottle and go off to sleep... Did this happen?? Did it hell!!! Lylha screamed all through the night, regardless of being fed, changed or simply cuddled - as a very new Mum I was constantly buzzing the staff to check she was ok and intermittently texting my hubby with hourly updates of "she is still awake!!!" Eventually we both fell asleep at 7am the following morning as both of us were totally shattered.
Day 3 We were allowed home, and as we got through the first day of Lylha in her new home and the lovely visitors "popping past" wanting cuddles and pictures, I was suddenly aware of how shattered I was and terrified of the night ahead - which again was equally as painful as the night before, only this time I had my husband shouting at me saying "We can't have this every night". This goes to prove no matter how aware you are of sleepless nights until you are actually in that position there is no way of describing how hard and how stressful they become.

For the 1st 3 months of her life (totally normally) Lylha would awake at least 3 times a night, and from about 4pm every afternoon I would begin to feel anxious, fearful and emotional of the night I had ahead - (I will ad Michael helped me in the early days at weekends but in the week he started work at 5am.) I thought I was stupid being scared of night times, but I was most definitely not the only new parent feeling that way.

By 6m I was still getting up at least twice a night for over an hour each time to feed, change and cuddle back to sleep and my Health Visitor (who do a good job most of the time) really upset me by saying "She is a bit old to be waking all the time have you weaned her?" - We were only just starting the weaning process and I was really put out thinking should I have done this earlier, is it my fault my child doesn't sleep and in turn both her and I get irritable too quickly?

At 10m Lylha would possibly sleep for 6 hours but still be awake the rest of the night and getting her too sleep was a horrible battle (one that still reduces me to tears on a regular basis), we began stopping cuddling her to sleep downstairs, and after her bath and bottle routine laying her in her cot with a musical light to watch and listen too, to get her go down for the night... Yeah right!! That was the plan anyway - she would scream and scream to come out of her cot, me being her Mummy and a total softy can not bear this noise so I was fighting myself and back the tears not to go in and soothe her every other minute - my husband on the other hand doesn't find the controlled crying difficult he just sees it as a way of her learning how to go to bed, in theory this is great, in practise its heart wrenching and unbearable.

Also around this time I found myself stopping going to Mummy groups, I never fully took to these anyway, as I was finding it increasingly difficult to listen to "oh my child sleeps through, has done since they were...old" when you haven't slept in 10m and feel you must be doing something wrong this kind of speak makes you want to either cry or scream - or both as I did on a frequent basis.

The stress of no sleep also took a huge toll on my relationship and my weight, being tired I was craving sugary foods, and quite frankly couldn't be arsed to exercise and eat healthy - as long as Lylha had a decent healthy dinner I was happy on wine and crisps... 2 stone heavier happier in fact!

By 12m we had cracked the odd night of unbroken sleep - which even if its 1 night in 7 is a saviour - if you are in a place now where your bubba won't sleep I promise you when you get the odd night you do feel that your sanity is somewhat restored. Of course the other 6 nights are painful and stressful but a small weight does arise of your shoulders, and gives you the chance to say to others "ha my baby finally slept a whole night" like many others the 1st time this happened for me was a momentous occasion one that needed a bloody good facebook status and a few family text arounds!

As she got older eventually we have reached a few good nights each week of sleep, but by no means in a position where we can say "our daughter sleeps everynight". What hasn't eased though is bedtime fun, at 21 months she is much more aware of everything - including when In the Night Garden Comes on, knowing bed time is around the corner - and sure enough as soon as she is in her cot, music and nightlights on, main light off and door pulled too the screaming starts - as does the every 10 min traipse up and down the stairs, letting our tea go cold, our tempers flare, and my tears flood. Its a regular thing to take 2 hours to settle her down - which then in itself feels an achievement, only to be destroyed on the nights she doesn't sleep or the mornings when she believes 4am is a perfectly adequate time of day to be arising!

I can honestly say it does get easier the older they get, and the slightly more used to it you get - but for everyone of you that thinks you have to put on a front that your baby sleeps, don't! I think the ones that don't are the majority and there is a weird snobbery (fake word but don't care) surrounding baby sleeping patterns.

I also am aware that lack of sleep can add to Post Natal Depression (which my last blog focused on) so if your in that place speak to your Dr, Health Visitor, a friend or your Mum - she has been there!

Lack of sleep is hard on anyone, especially new parents who have an uphill learning curve from the moment the little one is handed to them - but we do it, we are built for it and for every bad day there's Jeremy Kyle - perfect pick me up when your reminded No matter how difficult your world is at the moment at least I am not on his stage awaiting the DNA on the 4th potential Dad!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

A Labour of Love

Right firstly a disclaimer, this is my personal experience and opinion of my pregnancy, labour, delivery and the early days. I am not in the medical profession, nor do I presume to have any clue about medicine, other than what I have been told through MY OWN experience.

I will also add this is exceptionally personal to me, and am doing this as a request from a wonderful group of people there to support mum's to be, new mum's, and those of us that still need a little help despite how old our angels are. I will also add its long winded, waffly and terrible grammar (which I don't write like normally) but its from the heart and soul completely

I am happy to hear opinions but I do not want critical or nasty stuff about this as every women's experience is different, and every women has the right to feel how she wants about her journey!

So here goes:

In the summer of 2009, Michael (then fiance) and I had set a wedding date and were searching out somewhere to live, we found a beautiful quaint cottage that we decided to make our home in. The weekend after we moved in we had a significant moving in party with friends, family and alcohol... The following day I woke up more than worse for wear!! The Monday after my Sunday hangover Michael and I had to go to our local council to give notice on our marriage on the way there I was still feeling sick as hell, my tummy ached and I just wanted to sleep - so I pulled in at my GP's office to make an emergency appt, by fluke she was actually in the reception (due to previous health issues we are on first name terms!) and said pop in now you don't look well... She asked how long I had felt this way and when I thought about I said actually a little while now, true to GP's form the usual words of "Is there any chance you could be pregnant" I quickly said nope - on the pill - you know that - have been for 15 years! to which she said 2 months ago when I put you on antibiotics and told you to use other contraception you did, and at that moment my heart sank as I could believe I was using the words "well we used the rhythmic method". I was quickly handed a pot , popped outside to pee, came back inside, and her words will haunt me forever "We don't tell you to use other contraception for fun",your pregnant. One word fell from my lips - FUCK. I got up walked out, drove gave notice on our marriage and then went to work in a total state of shock. By hometime I was still maybe using 1 syllabic words and was about as coherent as I had been the Saturday night before, this time without any substance to it. I went to tesco bought 5 (yes 5) more tests and thought there could be a mistake - Iv a size 10 wedding dress to wear in 4 bloody months time! The classy girl I am did 2 tests in tesco, both said Mumma (pregnant but you know what I mean), so I drove home - went to the loo did the other 3, all said the same came out handed the sticks to Michael went back in the bathroom and cried, and then cried some more - till I went downstairs to the best thing a girl in that state could need, her Mummy! Michael had called my Mum who was now on my sofa telling me it "it will be ok - you can do this, we are here every step of the way"

The early weeks were pretty standard, puking all the time, loosing my temper and my memory was a daily occurrence, my boobs had swollen to more than the F they already were (yep no size 10 dress for me now) and my nipples felt like they were frequently being grated. When I saw the midwife we worked out I was about 10 weeks gone as I had a slight period but nothing heavy, and though it was down to diet and loosing weight.

With my 12 week scan came everything I could ever need in my mind, the beauty of my babies heartbeat, made in that instant everything ok, and I knew this was all I ever wanted, just hidden behind a career I loved, and a social life to rival the TOWIE girls! My family and friends when told were equally as shocked but so pleased for us!

At 20 weeks things took a scary turn for us, I was due on the Friday to be leaving for my hen weekend with my best friends in Norwich for a yummy mummy to be spa break, on the way to work I really unwell and struggling to walk and catch my breath - By lunchtime some of my staff (I was their boss although they all mummied me) had suggested I see the Dr ASAP, I drove home went to the Dr with my mum and she sent me straight to The Rosie Maternity Hospital in Cambridge, when I got there they whisked me off, called my husband, took me to the delivery unit and told me that there was a concern about a blood clot. After ample painful tests it was confirmed I had a blood clot in my leg, this is apparently common in pregnant women but I had no idea it was life threatening. I then underwent more tests and treatments, one of which involved a scan of my leg to size the DVT, I, cheekily, asked the sonographer if he could show me my baby to cheer me up - he did and it made everything else feel better instantly, I still carry that pic around with me to remind me that anytime I'm scared, I have her with me.
The treatment worked, and after a few days (hen do and birthday written off) I was allowed home but signed of sick until my mat leave, I loved my job and I never thought that day when I left was the last day I would be at work, but it was as my no1 job from that moment on was me and my bump, even if I did have the stress of a wedding around the corner - which was magical as we had the snow as our backdrop!

At 21 weeks I found out my bump was a a she, and I spend the following 2 days in tears as was so happy the scan was all ok and I was having a little girl!!!

At 36 weeks I had my routine appt and felt a but funny, during the appt my midwife said I'm sorry but back to hospital, your blood pressure is right up and there is protein in your urine, which indicated but wasn't confirmed that I had developed pre eclampsia, when I got to hospital this was confirmed, and I was then kept there until the day my little lady made her way into the world. My blood pressure stayed up but the protein stayed at only slightly raised so I did make it full term, but was induced that day because the risk was to high to carry the pregnancy on.

The induction, for me, was simple and quick, a dodgy tampon thing (I will add I had a sweep the day before which was horrible and quite easily the single most undignified point of the whole process), lay down for an hour and then off for a walk, but under strict instructions to stay on the ward!! For my blood pressure to keep being checked...
At 8.30 my husband left for the day, and the midwife's famous words in his ear, get some sleep she still has 2 more parts of the induction process to go yet....
At 9.30 (during the first televised debate between clegg, cameron and brown) I started to get an urge to wee a lot, but whilst having a wee it bloody hurt for a minute or so after, I told the midwife and we were worried it could be the onset of a urine infection, she paged the dr (who never made it), and form then on every 5 mins or so I was back and forth to the loo, I then said to her I think I'm in labour, she replied "you'll know if your in labour", as I wasn't sure I assumed not, by 10.30 the pain was a lot more and a lasting the whole min and I said to her then I really think I am having the baby, as if in a film at the moment she replied no your not my waters broke! We actually both laughed as she said "do you want my job" I was on a busy antenatal ward and the only woman in labour and no other new mums around so I wasn't popular with all these mums to be's sleeping and me moaning every couple of minutes, not loud, but loud enough to make you think shit this will be me soon!
When she checked me both her and I were amazed when she said to her colleague go ring dad and the delivery unit she is 6cm!! I was astounded I had gone that far on my own and with no pain relief, it goes to show how amazing women are, and I mean that sincerely when you think what our bodies do from the moment of conception through to breast feeding!
I was taken upstairs by 11.30 and my husband was told to make his way, when I arrived upstairs I asked if I could use my mobile to call my Mum and she said yes, I had my mobile in 1 hand and the gas and air tube in the other saying to my mum between contractions "you lied this fucking hurts now!" she was amazed how far along I was with only a few tokes of the gas and air, and her telling me how proud she was saw me through. As the gas and air intake increased as did my lack of any sense when I began talking to my dog, at which point the midwife freaked thinking I had another child and this wasn't a first labour, she took the phone, my mum explained it was about the dog - and at that moment my husband walked in (2 pissing hours later, as he wanted something to eat and shower) to his naked wife, of her head on the floor shouting at my dog down the phone and in between getting mum to let me talk to my sis and bro who were pissed and just came in from a night in a club - she must've been so proud 3am and all her kids off their faces!! Michael took the phone after an emotional farewell to my family and I got on the bed and started to really feel the pain. Amazingly I never shouted or cried, just quietly went between gas and air, and sipping out a straw as my mouth was soo dry. I dreaded every examination as it brought on another contraction which by now were every 3 mins and lasting over a min and I was really starting to feel the affects of not being fit for labour before hand.
At 10am Michael remembered my midwife stating I would need an epidural as the baby was back to back and the chances were the long labour would affect my blood pressure, so after 12 long hours an anaesthetist came in and fitted an epidural, 10 mins later I was still in agony, so he came back re did it waited and sure enough 10 mins later I was still feeling all the pain and now my bloody back hurt too, he tried 1 more time to cite the epidural but it didn't work, and I was heartbroken, I was in so much pain, I was tired, My back now hurt, I was woozy as hell from the gas and the saving grace in the epidural had failed, in that moment I had never felt so vulnerable to my body and susceptible to pain as I ever had before - quite frankly I knew I had more to come yet and I was terrified. But I had my scan picture and I closed my eyes put my legs in stirrups and said lets get on with this.
At 11.30 a dr came in and examined me and said to me that my heart beat and babies heartbeat were identical making it difficult for them to see if she was in trouble so they attached a clip to her head, she talked more about the back to back presentation and I pretended to listen, getting on with the job in hand which was getting myself through the contractions as calmly as possible for me and baby, as she went to leave the room I remember asking if I would need a c sec, and her words still echo in my ears "Its looking that way, but lets hope it doesn't come to that" I think I knew then I had gone as far as I could, but we carried on. At just before midday when the dr left I said I want to push - they checked and I was 10cm, they talked about something called inactive pushing and active pushing because of the epidural even though it hadn't worked, but I have no idea what it meant other than a women for 2 hours repeating every 3 mois "well done, well done - and turning to my hubby and saying your nearly a daddy"
At 14.15 my dr and the anaesthetist came back in an said to us, they were sorry but babies heartbeat were showing signs of struggle, along with merconium in the waters, my bp was through the roof and quite evidently she didnt want to come out - the dr and the midwife proceeded to tell us it would be an emergency c sec performed under general anaesthetic because of the problems they had with the epidural, on my way to theatre in the corridor there was a hold up and as the gas and air was attached to the wall of the room I was in, I was very much in a public place, crying in pain and point blank refusing to put any clothes on, classy! But not having the gas and air to handle the pushing nothing out pain was nasty!
When we got into theatre we were met by The Rosie's chief anaethist who said to me give me 1 go at putting a spinal in, if it doesn't work I'll put you straight to sleep, by this time I had been in labour some 18 hours, had pushed for nearly 3 to feel the head go back in, was tired and fed up with people putting their hands up there for what felt like any apparent reason, so for the first time in the whole process I turned around and said after your staff's attempt to take the pain away, and failed quite frankly you can fuck off! He said there is no need to swear and I replied there is plenty, he then said right sit on this bench please, the theatre staff held me down on this horrendous metal bench whilst someone was putting cannula's in my hands, and he said "go one then tell me your plenty of reasons.." I can't even remember what I said as I was still pushing every 3 mins he then said to the theatre team lay her down - he then walked to my feet and sprayed me and said did you feel that, and I said "no" he asked are you still in pain and I realised I wasn't, he looked at me and said spinals in girl, good aren't I? Michael then came in and sat with the anaesthetist who stayed next to me throughout and said "in a min you'll feel some tugging and then you'll be a mummy" he was right I felt this weird tugging sucking feeling and then saw my dr stand up with this little bundle in his arms, saying she is a bit shocked so the paeds are going to check her over but she is here. As anyone can imagine not hearing a cry was the worst silence I ever felt and for what seemed an eternity (prob was no more than 30 secs) I stared at Michael with tears in my eyes, and then I heard her - the most beautiful heart warming sound, a sound so full of love and they brought her to us, placed her in Michael's arms and in that moment I was so in love with my beautiful baby girl and my husband.

A few days after the birth I was allowed home with her, that day I felt unusually emotional, and Mum said I had the baby blues, combined with the post op pain.
I will add here if anyone thinks a c sec is the easy route THINK AGAIN!!! Its major surgery, its exceptionally painful after the drugs wear off - and you have a newborn to look after whilst being in agony, plus you can not drive for 6 weeks after.
I hurt and was on strong pain killers for almost 4 weeks, healing time from a normal birth is MUCH less and more straight forward as I ended up having another op recently because of the C sec nearly 2 years ago!!

As the days turned into weeks I noticed the sadness wasn't going away, I had started to hide myself away, and that love that I felt in the 1st few days didn't seem there. I felt like this little person had invaded my perfect relationship and taken away my life, my figure and my husband. Luckily for me my best friend (not how that comes out) had post natal depression and her and I have always been so close and honest that when she realised the signs she helped me make contact with the dr, whom it took 5 mins to realise what I hadn't in 5 weeks and that I was suffering from post natal depression. I will add as I think its important that I never had any feelings of harming Lylha or anyone else, just that I wanted to lock myself away and not face anything and anyone. The dr prescribed me anti depressants but also talking therapy - which between the 2 really helped.
It also helped when I told my family and friends and I felt a weight have lifted knowing I was ill and I wasn't a bad mummy like I thought, and again this made me feel better.
I took baby steps and one day at a time, and of course I had bad days and me and my hubby have been on the brink of separation.
After 3 months one morning when I was dressing Lylha the moment hit me where the bond suddenly broke through and the immense love, protection, admiration and devotion came through and it was like a light switching on, which made all the sleepless nights and days, all the arguments with Michael, all the moments of crying myself to sleep OK,
It took a further 4 months before I stopped the meds and counselling and although I feel much better nearly 18 months on I still have days where things aren't great especially around the time of the month when bloody hormones grip me again.

I want to say to anyone who feels they have post natal depression or has had it, don't be afraid or ashamed its an illness, we wouldn't think twice about telling people we had a headache and took asprin to make it better.

I was told by my GP who incidentally is a man, that anyone that has major surgery (c sec) or major trauma (labour and birth) are given a week or two to recover and are fussed over till they recoup, accept when its having a baby, your given some pain killers, checked your haven't hemorrhaged and are told to go home, and be a mum. He is right, and its no surprise then mums and in some cases dads develop post natal depression.

Lylha will be 2 very soon, and we are very happy, still don't sleep.... she amazes me each and everyday and I love her more than words can say. I am still completely amazed by how amazing a woman's body works to produce life, and although I am far from ready at the moment YES I would do it again!

Thank you