The Big D

No, I’m not on about the male appendage. I’m on about that evil, dark, shit stain that is depression.

I haven’t posted in over a month. I felt good for a few weeks, then slowly but surely felt more anxious, until it was effecting me that much that I start getting depressed. I didn’t want to leave the house, I had no energy, slacked at work and I was absolutely certain Izzy would be better off without me and that everything I was doing was letting her down. I didn’t tell anyone. Not even my fiancee until this weekend. I’d go to bed, to the garage, have a shower and I’d cry. That really intense crying where you can’t swallow and you feel your head is about to explode.

Looking back – strangely enough, I can pin point the change in my mental health with changing the time of day I took my Citalopram. I was Google diagnosing myself on whether I should up my intake when I came across a bunch of posts saying they changed their timings and were much better without increasing their dosage. So I went back to my original 10pm dosage on Friday and low and behold, my energy has increased ten-fold – both at home and at work. My patience has improved and I don’t feel like a shit mummy. I’m under no impression that there won’t be bad days in my future but feeling even a tiny bit better than I have done is progress.

Advertisements

Day 1 of 30 Days Wild

So Friday was the first day of The Wildlife Trusts 30 Days Wild.

We decided on Nature Tots at Westport Lake, Staffordshire. The theme was snails and slugs and started off Izzy painting her very own snail on a paper plate.

Then we ventured off around the lake and into a field for bug hunting.

And then into the woods to look for snails, slugs and worms

😃

Everybody Nose 😂

So this is what Izzy extracted from her own nose today.

I bought some sugar free sugar puffs for my breakfast and she asked for some this morning, so I gave her a handful and she wolfed them down. I went to get her a yoghurt and when I turned round she was messing with her nose and I took a look and there it was. Firmly lodged up there. We tried to get her to blow it out but it wasn’t budging. I went to change out of my pyjama’s so we could go to the hospital while James kept trying. Just as we’re about to leave she does a big blow and it came flying out of her nose.

Not even an hour later she shoved some cooked cheese up there!!!

Nightmare 😂

Wildlings therapy

Izzy and I went to our fortnightly Wildlings session today, hosted by the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. Last time we went there (before my diagnosis) my anxiety was bad and we ended up only staying for 30 minutes. This time we stayed for the full 90 minutes, we did the gruffalo trail into the woods, played in the mud kitchen, painted with mud and she had juice and biscuits. Izzy is never one that just sits down for more than 30 seconds, she is constantly on the go. I wouldn’t change it for the world and I am quite grateful of it as it acts as a distraction from the anxiety and paranoia that other people are criticizing my parenting. I have had past experiences where I’ve let Izzy explore and be a toddler and I’ve heard people criticizing me, which is where the paranoia stems from. We were at messy play once and she was sticking some edible play dough in her mouth and I heard a women say to her husband “I would never let our child stick any of THAT in her mouth”. It made me question my parenting and was I actually doing the right thing letting her shove this perfectly edible dough in her gob? I stopped her from sticking anything in her mouth for the rest of the session. She was miserable, I was miserable. All because of that one little comment.

As we were walking out of Wildlings I saw the boat pull up just down the path. I asked Izzy if she wanted to go on the boat and we sailed across the river in the warm breeze and sunshine, watching the ducks, swans and geese, eating corned beef, cheese and brown sauce sandwiches. We even saw some terrapins sunbathing. I felt so relaxed, it was like all my worries had gone. When Izzy was laughing at the swans bobbing upside down after I told her they were having their dinners, thats when I realised I’m not doing too bad at this parenting malarkey.

My therapist told me to accept the good and bad days. This was my good day 😁

xo

Birth story – long post warning!

These might seem like just normal pictures but these were the moments that still massively effect me. I still can’t talk about Izzy’s birth or the first 6 weeks of her life without crying.

The bottom left was the day she was born, I’d gone through nearly 3 days of labour (I failed to progress after 48 hours induction, 2 sweeps and having my waters broken, twice), 9 hours of that I was contracting every minute for 45 seconds. And after all that I was only 2cm dilated! I later found out that because of the picotin causing my contractions to become too close together, Izzy’s heart rate started to dip and within an hour I was having an emergency c section. I planned a natural birth, hoping to be in the birthing pool and only wanted pain relief as a last resort. I was put on a drip and my contractions went from really bad period pain, to absolute excruciating agony and asking for gas and air within 30 minutes. After 4 hours I asked my midwife (if you could call her that, she didn’t actually say one word to me the entire time) for pethidine, which did absolutely nothing for the pain, but knocked me out for 45 seconds between each contraction. Knowing what I know now, this is called a cascade of interventions. At this point I didn’t even know she was in danger and the consultant came in to check any progress and told me they needed to get her out. I saw the fear in my mum and James eyes but I knew it needed to be done. Within 30 minutes, she was here.

I struggled with breast feeding and getting her to latch, once James had gone home from the hospital, the realisation I was on my own, in charge of this little mouse after nearly 60 odd hours of no sleep, when I couldn’t feel anything from the waist down, let alone get her out of her crib. The next morning I was woken up by a nurse at 5am after 2 hours sleep (if you can call it that) I was made to shower. I asked her if she’d stay with Izzy while I did and she said she would. I hobbled to the bathroom which turned out to be a shower, inside a bath tub. I ended up flooding the bathroom with water and blood and came back to see Izzy had been left on her own, in a communal ward. After I was left for 40 minutes despite pressing the emergency button more than once so someone could come and dress me. Eventually I had to walk all the way to the desk in a towel to ask someone to help me, with blood running down my legs in absolute agony. The rest of that day was a complete blur until the dispenser bringing my painkillers missed my round and I was in absolute agony. James had to go home after finally getting someone to give me morphine after 3 hours of waiting. I failed feeding her again and had a complete breakdown to the point a nurse came and took Izzy away to feed her so I could sleep.
Fast forward 3 days, everything still a blur of excruciating pain from the incision and trapped air from surgery which had traveled to my shoulder. I decided to express milk and to combi feed.

Then started the first of three incision infections, which led to having some hardcore antibiotics and I could no longer give her breast milk. During the start of the third infection Izzy started developing a cute little grunt when she was sleeping, we had family round and everyone commented on how warm and cuddly she was. Little did we know it was the start of something else. Her grunting starting sounding worse and her chest was working harder than it should. She felt hot and temp was 40. We rang 111 and was told to wait up to 4 hours for a callback, looking back now I should have taken her straight to A&E but I thought I was being too overprotective. 4 hours had passed so I rang them back saying I’ve been waiting for a callback and she’s getting worse. We finally got seen by an out of hours doctor after midnight after initially ringing at 7pm. I explained her temp was very high and she was grunting. He said he thought my thermometer was wrong as he’d never seen a baby this young with a temp that high. So he took her temp, it had now gone to 41. He apologised and sent us straight up to A&E. We were taken to a ward straight away and she was getting worse as the minutes went on. She went purple and mottled and wasn’t waking up. Within 20 minutes she’d been taken to a private room and placed on a bed to try and find a vein to administer antibiotics. I remember walking into the room and seeing my tiny little girl lying on a full sized hospital bed with 4 nurses on each arm and leg, trying to find a vein to get her IV in. I couldn’t bare watching them do it to her so James stayed with her and I went to phone my mum. Before I had chance the consultant came and explained she was very ill and they would need to give her a lumbar puncture to rule out meningitis but she is too ill and we would have to wait. Luckily, after a few hours of antibiotics, she was starting to improve and they took her away to give her a lumbar puncture. We were told to sit the other side of ward so we couldn’t hear anything as we weren’t allowed into the room. After, we were sent to the children’s ward where she had 2 hourly monitoring, IV antibiotics and pain killers for 3 days. We were incredibly lucky to have found it so soon, despite having to wait for a doctor. We were told it was an infection but they didn’t know where as it had progressed. It wasn’t until we’d left the hospital and looked at her discharge notes that we saw that it said sepsis. She was sent home with antibiotics for 7 days and improved with every day. A few days later a health visitor mentioned that the infection I had could have passed in my breast milk to Izzy! Here comes the guilt again.

I KNOW I’m lucky she is here, and I KNOW it could have been worse, but this was MY worst and its taken her being back in hospital last weekend with a pretty serious skin infection and me having a panic attack for me to realise there is something wrong. I didn’t get offered any counciling after everything that happened, and I didn’t have a regular health visitor, but I think even I was offered I’d probably just think it was what I was meant to think after so much trauma. I’ve recently been referred to 12 weeks CBT so I am hoping I’m on the road to recovery.

Apologies for such a long post.

xo

About me

So, I better introduce myself 🙂

I’m a 27 year old mummy of a 20 month old wild child called Isabella. I live in Staffordshire with my daughter, fiance and husky, Luna. I work at the local rugby club part time as a cleaner/feeder of players. I’m a bit of a jack of all trades. I’ve worked as a chef, a supervisor for a clothing store, an assistant at a small zoo and I’ve got qualifications in music, nutrition, childrens first aid, childrens yoga and a BA Hons diploma in photography. I have recently started crocheting (initially for Octopus for a Preemie UK) which serves as a good distraction to snacking at night after Izzy has gone to bed. I’m trying (but failing) to follow Weight Watchers, I lost over 2 stone in 5 months but have struggled to get back on it since February.

I’ve recently been diagnosed with anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder. Turns out there’s a fine line between new mum anxiety and post natal anxiety. I noticed it getting worse as the months went on but everyone I’d spoken to said it was “normal”. It wasn’t until I suffered a panic attack while in A&E with my daughter that I finally admitted to myself I was not okay. My GP was brilliant and advised me to seek counseling, start meditating and prescribed me Citalopram. It wasn’t until I realised what anxiety meant and opened up to a professional that I realised I’ve suffered from social anxiety for around 8 years. I had a really traumatic birth which resulted in emergency cesarean (I will post the story soon) and my daughter contracted sepsis at 3 weeks old. I still struggle to talk about this now without crying or blaming myself. I’m hoping this blog will help me along my journey and help anyone else struggling with their mental health after a baby.

xo