Post natal anxiety…

When I was pregnant with my first baby I constantly worried about not being maternal enough, I couldn’t even begin to imagine the love I would feel for my daughter when she finally entered the world. It didn’t take more than a second after she arrived for me to realise just what unconditional motherly love felt like, and once I felt it I knew there was no going back.

For the first 2 weeks I felt like I was on cloud nine, I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to have such a beautiful baby girl and I certainly couldn’t think of anything I had done to deserve such a gift! I took to motherhood like a duck to water and straight away I loved having a tiny person who depended on me. Of course I’m far from perfect and was making my fair share of mistakes along the way.. one of my least favourite lessons was the importance of nappy bags, it wasn’t until I had to spend a morning picking dirty rained on nappies up from the garden after a seagull attack that I realised just how useful they are!

After that high on life feeling had started to wear off and the tiredness kicked in, the reality of how I had been living hit me. While I was a good mom and very competent as a mother, I realised some of my thoughts and fears weren’t exactly normal. For example little things like feeding my daughter enough were a constant worry. I know most breastfeeding moms will feel this way as there is no way of telling how much your baby is drinking, but even after consistent healthy weight gain and a brilliant appetite I couldn’t shake the feeling I was letting my baby down. This also led to me avoiding leaving the house unless absolutely necessary as I couldn’t bare the thought of being trapped somewhere with no way of feeding her and having her be hungry and uncomfortable with no way to help her. I stopped sleeping as much as I could and would cry myself to sleep most nights worried that if I closed my eyes for too long and stopped watching my daughter she wouldn’t wake up. The thought of leaving her for more than a few minutes would fill me with anxiety, and when I would put it into practice while she was napping I would rush back in after a couple of minutes terrified she had some how managed to choke or die. It got to the point where I knew they were crazy fears but could do nothing to stop them.. I knew my boyfriend wouldn’t suddenly smother our baby instead of putting her to sleep, or drown her in the bath just because it was running but it ached every bone in my body not to run in and check. I wish I could say right here that I spoke up and told my health visitor or doctor how I was feeling and got help to over come my unfounded fears, but I didn’t. I found as she got older I could put some of my worries such as cot death and meningitis to rest, the others got easier to manage day by day and by the time she was a year old I felt back to my old self. Looking back I now I know I didn’t seek help  because I was afraid of how I would be judged and didn’t want to be seen as a unfit mother just because I was worrying a lot. It sounds stupid when I look back on it with a clear head but at the time I was feeling my lowest and most anxious it was a totally realistic fear for me.

I hope sharing my experience with post natal anxiety helps anyone who’s feeling this way, and more than anything hope that anyone who feels they need help in these situations reaches out and gets it. There is still too much of a stigma around mental health and it’s sad to see how misunderstood so many aspects of it are. People who suffer from a mental illness are not weak, they are not all crazy and they are not visible to the naked eye.

 

Image taken from: http://www.juliepoolehypnotherapy.co.uk/anxiety/

18 Months on, baby number 2 on the way!

So it’s been 18 months since I became a mom, even longer since I have found the time to sit down and blog about it.

What a 18 months it has been! From those first days of motherhood where everything is a euphoric, exhausting buzz, to the tiring sleepless nights a newborn and beyond brings. When you become a parent you really do get slapped into reality quick, there’s no breaks, schedule or rule book to follow and no time to mess around figuring it out as there’s now a tiny person depending on you.

I personally wouldn’t have it any other way, and with baby number 2 on the way I expect a lot more of the most amazing challenges to be thrown my way. I hope this time I can keep up with my blog as I’m going through it all and also update it with some of the challenges I’ve already faced or I’m still facing.

 

images:  http://photobucket.com/gallery/user/LeslieFLambert/media/cGF0aDpTd2VldGllIEJhYnlzIERlc2lnbnMgMi9wYXJlbnRob29kYnV0dG9uX3pwczc2MmE5NGM4LmpwZw==/?ref=

Morning sickness blues.

So for many moms to be morning sickness is one of the first signs that they could be pregnant and sort of like a right of passage. As uncomfortable and tiring as it may feel there is also something comforting in waking up feeling like rubbish knowing that your pregnancy is real, something that is easy to forget in the early stages! Generally morning sickness calms down after the first trimester (12 weeks) and many women get a new lease of life at this point. However this is not the case for all women (like myself), I learnt the hard way that if this is the case you really need to trust your body and know what’s normal as your healthcare provider may not always be right! In my personal experience I felt like I was suffering from more than just your average morning sickness and would end up being sick 20 to 30 times a day and lost over a stone in weight in less than 2 week (this also cost me my job), however when I spoke to my midwife at 8 and 12 weeks she advised me its completely normal to be being sick like this so I struggled on alone. I struggled on for another 9 weeks before heading to the doctors again, this time I knew something wasn’t right and was determined to get a answer! I was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum (the same morning sickness Kate Middleton suffers with) but was told to give it a couple more weeks to see if it stops before going back for medication. This never happened as 4 days after my visit I was hospitalised with dehydration and made to stay in overnight receiving fluid through a IV, it was only at this point I was treated like a sane person and given medication rather than brushed off and made to feel crazy. I’m now 23 and a half weeks pregnant and with the help of just 1 tablet a day feeling like me again! I’m gaining weight and energy everyday and finally feel like I can enjoy my pregnancy. So for all you moms out there suffering alone, please don’t! Whether you have morning sickness or hyperemesis gravidarum you don’t have to go through it alone and shouldn’t feel ashamed when asking for help. Trust yourself, you know your body better than anyone else and don’t be afraid to tell the people providing your antenatal care if you don’t agree with them!

(image taken from www.locallyhealthy.co.uk)

The Good, the bad and the ugly.

Hi there, my name is Megan and I’m about to become a mom for the first time. I might be starting this blog a little late as I’m already 23 weeks pregnant but I want to share my experiences along the way during and beyond my pregnancy.

I’m sure many of you will agree that pregnancy is a amazing blessing and a very exciting time for anyone going through it, however I’ve also learnt that as amazing as it is it can also be a hard and tiring time for many moms to be! A part of pregnancy that unfortunately seems to be brushed under the carpet, leaving a lot of first time moms with the wrong impression and often making them feel like they should struggle on through alone. Up until recently I was just like some of these moms and was having a really hard time with my pregnancy,  battling through alone as I thought I was just facing challenges every other mom to be does. This was not the case and has inspired me to start this blog. So I plan on blogging it all, for people going through a similar time or for anyone just interested in the miracle that is parenthood!