Two weeks in the hospital or how my PND started

I will never forget the day we temporarily moved into the room at the hospital’s special care unit where our boys were born. I was home packing some basic stuff for us and knew that we would not come back soon. The senior midwife at the hospital told me earlier on that the boys would need to put on some weight and be able to eat on their own in order to be discharged as at the time they were still being fed by feeding tubes.

I got to our room around noon and as soon as I got there a huge load of anxiety hit me straight to the pit of the stomach. The reason was due to how small the room was and my anxiety which I get when appearing in small or limited spaces. I say more about the events prior to this day in the post My birth story.

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Things that I would say to the old ‘Me’ while experiencing PND

Dear Ivanka

I know you feel overwhelmed with everything that is going on now. You could not wait to have your babies and now that they are here, you are not sure that it is what you wanted. I know you are astonished by your own feelings and emotions. I know you don’t feel the love you expected to be feeling. I know you doubt your decision about having children. I know you desperately want your life back. I know you feel stuck. And I know that you feel incredibly guilty for feeling this way. 

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How to voice your opinion without feeling guilty?

You know it. You finally put the children down and your feet up when your phone rings. It is likely your parents or a friend. You know that most likely they do not want anything major, they just want to chat. However, after a long day of physical and psychological struggle, chatting on the phone is the last thing you want to do. All you need is to sit down, switch off the brain and do not think about anything. After a while, the ringing stops and a text appears on your display. “Can you talk?” You think of what you should do. You want to say ‘no’ but at the same time this idea makes you feel guilty. 

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Don’t judge me unless you have walked in my shoes

I have recently come across an interview with the psychologist on the subject of maternity, which made me think about many things.

The article was talking about ‘cry out’ method (controlled crying method) and its negative impact on childhood psychological development. One particular sentence was of great interest to me. ‘Only a heartless parent can let a child cry out’, stated there in black and white. If I do not take into account the fact that some psychologists support or recommend this method, I was astonished by the boldness of this statement.

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Christmas holidays with children

We have passed the second Christmas and New Year’s Eve with our boys!

The first Christmas holidays with them I was looking forward to it like a little girl. The first Christmas dinner together, children’s Christmas clothes, unpacking gifts… With Yaw we agreed that boys had to get something that makes sound. At that time, we did not really care what kind of sound that would be, however, in these things it is better to be picky. As a parent you have to count on hearing this sound for the next few weeks and hours in a day. 😉

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Quick help in hard times

We all have days when we’ve just had enough. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but more or less, more than less :). In the article What helps me to get through those tough days, I offer an advice and tips that help me to get through the days when my children drive me crazy.

However, sometimes our children are relatively manageable and “good”, and yet, we feel overwhelmed. It can be a bad night sleep, bad pillow, personal circumstances or simply a bad day and we feel we are not ourselves. 

What can we do to feel better at times like this?

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My birth story

Everything began on April 27th, 2016 in the afternoon. I was home as usual, Yaw was still at work and then planned to go with colleagues for one quick beer (in this case it was supposed to be really a quick one:). He called me something after six to assure I was ok. He told me the bar they were going to had no signal, but that he would be at home around eight.

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Tips on how to treat a new mum

I believe you will agree with me when I say that a woman doesn’t know what maternity is about until she becomes a mother herself. Often I see pregnant women around me during their first year after their baby is born planning or trying for the second child etc. I wasn’t any different, of course. “What can surprise me now? I know I will not sleep, that it will be hard, that the baby will always cry, but I will handle it and one day it will pass”, you think.

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Why do we pretend happiness when feeling depressed?

Perhaps every mother who has been through depression at least for a certain period of time has a feeling that they have had to hide it from others. I was not an exception. I often ask myself why and still come to the conclusion that it was simply a subconscious reflex of my mind. I had the impression that something was wrong with me and that people would judge me for my feelings.

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LIZZY: “I felt utterly clueless and fairly useless.”

age: 35 years old
child: daughter, 21 months old

A lot of people think that pregnancy is the most beautiful time in a woman’s life. What was it like for you?

I found out I was pregnant about 3 weeks in. It had been something I had wanted for such a long time that it took all of my will power not to scream it from the roof tops as soon as the test showed positive. My partner was very concerned that something would go wrong in the early stages so he did his best to keep me grounded and stop me getting carried away. It felt like an eternity until our first scan (when we’d agreed we would tell people) and by that stage I’d started to convince myself it was all in my head and there would’t be a baby on the screen, but there was and we called our families that afternoon.

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IVANA: “When my daughter was half a year old, exactly on Christmas, her father left me.”

age: 30 years old
children: daughter – 5 years old, daughter – 0.5 years old

A lot of people think that pregnancy is the most beautiful time in a woman’s life. What was it like for you?

I have two children, the older is five and the younger is one and a half years old. The first pregnancy was much easier than the second, I felt pretty good until the baby was born. The second one was difficult right from the beginning. It was a bit of risk, as I have had problems with cervix and my gynecologist disagreed with the pregnancy at first. During the second trimester I was on strong antibiotics due to a strong cough. I had been worried all the time if the little one would be fine. It was a challenging period as besides this I had to deal with my older daughter and work.

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MONIKA: “I experienced death of two children I held in my arms”.

age: 29 years old
children: daughter – 2.5 years old, son – 1 year old

A lot of people think that pregnancy is the most beautiful time in a woman’s life. What was it like for you?

I had been through three pregnancies. My first was unfortunately unsuccessful; I lost twins in the 23rd week. They could not save them. Pregnancy left me with more serious health consequences and I had to undergo three operations. I did not suffer from postnatal depression as I experienced death of two children I held in my arms. Afterwards I had to go and see the counsellor because I did not know how to deal with what happened. I was not on any medication; I “only” did sessions.

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