“Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy.” Eskimo Proverb
“Babies lost in the womb were never touched by fear. They were never cold, never hungry, never alone, and importantly always knew love.” Zoe Clark-Coates
It’s baby loss awareness week… Another tough subject to talk about, but since it is something I have personal experience with, I feel it is finally time for me to write about it. And to support those who have been through it too.
This second pregnancy was not planned, but after the initial shock, I started to be excited and look forward to it. But not for long. Before I knew it, the baby was gone.
I kept asking why it happened, but this is something you can never be 100% sure with. We were put through a lot of stress at the time as our Henry had to undergo surgery, so I believe this did not add up to the relaxed state of mind a pregnant woman is supposed to be in.
Anyway, one day I started to bleed so we went straight to the urgent care. They said it didn’t necessarily have to mean anything bad, but suggested for me to rest and relax. Like you could relax in a situation like that, right?
However, I did my best, but the bleeding would not stop. On the third day, I started to feel sharp cramps in my belly. I knew very well what it meant, but was still was hoping till the last moment.
As a new mum, you are overwhelmed by the amount and variety of emotions. But also by the amount and variety of advice that flows to you from every direction, aren’t you?
I lost count of the amount of advice I was given when I felt down… But I will never forget one in particular that made a huge difference in the way I felt and perhaps even saved me.
The boys were a few months old and I was having a depressive episode (of course, I didn’t know what it was at the time). I remember that daunting feeling of despair and the neverending tears that I could not stop from falling. I felt trapped in my own life and didn’t see any point in anything.
Yaw took me and the boys out for a walk and I was describing to him how I felt. I cried and cried… and then cried again over the fact that I was crying and feeling down instead of enjoying being a mum.
Check out this great and a ‘hot topic’ blog post written by a special lady who also happens to be my friend – Lenka.
Lenka is a mother to a lovely boy Hendrix who she loves from the bottom of her heart but finds it very challenging at times to deal with all the parenting struggles, especially after she had got back to work.
Let’s see what she says about balancing motherhood and work.
Another Father’s day is here and for us, it’s the third one as a family. Wow, really?
This occasion (as well as many others) made me think about dads’ roles in the world of parenting.
Can’t help thinking as though dad’s role as such was often somewhat forgotten about… And what is even worse – as though it was normal this way! As if it was a mother alone who deserves all the credit.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not taking anything away from strong mothers who also work or mothers who have an extremely difficult job of parenting roles (Absolutely amazing by the way! Never forget that).
With Father’s day coming up, I want to point out to the subject of fathers and postnatal depression as I feel it is despite its significance often overlooked or even ignored.
Postpartum depression has typically been perceived as a problem limited to women with newborn babies and has not included men.
However, we cannot forget that fathers also experience significant changes with the arrival of their child. Fathers also have to adjust to an array of new and demanding roles and tasks during the early stages of parenthood.
I had an entry into the 2006 London marathon but unfortunately suffered an injury so had to defer. I then realised that if I moved quickly there was a chance I could become pregnant with my second child and still be able to run in the 2007 marathon and not lose my deferred place.
I was incredibly fortunate that with both pregnancies I didn’t suffer with morning sickness or any pains. I managed to keep running through both pregnancies. With the second one, I managed a gentle 5 mile run in some light snow in the morning and then went into labour that evening.
Unfortunately, my daughter (like my son) has to be extracted immediately due to the monitors showing they were in distress so I had to have emergency sections for both.
Do you feel overwhelmed by your thoughts and/or feelings?
I believe it won’t be anything new for you when I advise you to talk about it. Especially when these thoughts/feelings can significantly impact your mental health. Especially when you are a new mum dealing with feelings of sadness, failure, overwhelm, loneliness, isolation… Talking is undoubtedly the best thing you can do.
The reason is simple. Talking can literally save you.
With the Mother’s day approaching, I cannot help thinking back to my first Mother’s day as a mum.
Our boys were about 11 months and I had just started to get back on track after a devastating experience of postnatal depression.
I remember being really excited about having to experience my first Mother’s day as a mum, however, the real experience wasn’t (as a lot of my other first experiences with motherhood) as special as I imagined it to be.
If you read my story, you know it took me a few months to develop a real bond with my children. My first year as a mother was the hardest year of my life and I cannot even start to explain how it feels when you are expected to be happy when all you want is to cry and turn back time.
If you are an expecting first-time mum, the contents of this post will probably take you by surprise (perhaps even shock you), but please bear in mind that the last thing I want to do is to freak you out.
All I want is to get you more prepared for what is to come.
Why would I want that?
Tell the truth, if you are more prepared, the less shocked you are when the time comes. And the less shocked you are, the better chance you have to avoid postnatal mental issues and other problems many first-time mums experience.
For, believe me, in most cases the reason for new mums suffering from postnatal mental problems is unrealistic expectations of motherhood and a shock that comes with the arrival of a baby.