Monday, 27 February 2012

Because She's Worth It

I have written in detail about the issues I had during my pregnancy with Lylha and also the troubles with physical and mental problems I am still recovering from since her arrival and one of the things I haven't thought about when sharing my journey with whomever fancies a read is: What do those who don't have children or who are planning children or even those who maybe pregnant at the moment think about my blog - I mean can they relate to it anyway or be excited by it like so many parents have been?

Well if you are one of those yet to experience the joy of parenthood this is for you....

Firstly if you want to familiarise yourself with my journey and my writing style and understand the problems that I am overcoming you need to have a read through my previous posts otherwise this is officially gobbledygoop!

Everyday I feel like I am having a battle with myself and my body be it the physical problems that arose pre and post birth (horrible emergency c sec) and that of my psyche everyday recovering that little bit more from the horror that is Post Natal Depression (PND) - and writing this for those who have not or possibly will never go through these traumas may make you think why do you bother writing about it or even why do you carry on... well the answer is simple its because she is worth it!!!

I am sharing these posts because I know some potential parents who have heard literal horror stories about pregnancy, child birth and then the parenting after and its put them off. Well I can say with complete conviction I would do it all again in a heartbeat for Lylha. I understand personal preference of not wanting to have children as I was very much on the fence (before the best mishap of my life happened) but I am so glad that my life has taken me down this route. There is truly nothing more beautiful in the world than the sight of my daughters beautiful smile or the sound of her giggling - even with the FUN nightimes we have with her there is something extremely heart warming about the sound of the words "Mummy, Daddy or NiNi (the dog)" coming from my little ones cot in the darkness of the night that even though I miss sleep I just want to see her and cuddle her.

I have said before and I will preach about it forever women's bodies are an amazing commodity we are built for pregnancy and we are built for childbirth and yes sadly things go wrong but that's what the Dr's and midwives are for. What a woman's body does to conceive, grow, deliver and feed a baby is miraculous and I find it fascinating and although I am not one to believe its a right of passage for women to become pregnant I do think its a time in a woman's life like no other (and I had a super shit time with it BUT nothing takes away from the beauty of new life)!

"Because she is worth it" - my daughter will be 2 in April and already my little girl has her own unique personality, her own way of doing things, a little temper (I think she got from her aunt AJ), her own sense of humour, she knows what she likes and she certainly knows what she dislikes. She can make a room full of people laugh at the most smallest of things, she brings joy to almost anyone she meets and she loves her family simply because we love her so very much. There truly is nothing that quite compares between the love of a mother and her child and its a feeling I wish you could bottle and share out to whoever needs a love in their life.

I know this post isn't as powerful as my others in the terms of its morality and the need to raise awareness for PND and to get the parents that need it seeking the help they need but I think its important for everyone who reads my writing to connect with why I do it.

I do it because I want to help anyone whoever felt in the darkness of PND find their way into the light, I do it because writing has been a massive help in my own recovery, I do it because people enjoy reading it, I do it to publicly thank the amazing people who helped me during the horrible dark days and I do it because I am so in love with my daughter and so so proud of her that I want to share it with the world!

And because being a mummy you can do fun things like this.......

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

A Weight in Vain

For those of you who have been following my posts you will be aware of how PND following the birth of my daughter in April 2010 dominated me for the first few months of her life, and has accompanied me in someway or another since, and although mental illness is not visible to the naked eye for me there is one huge factor in my battle with PND that is - "the mummy tummy"....

Before I was pregnant, like many women, I was on a constant diet of some sort of another to keep my figure at a healthy and attractive size 12 on finding out I was pregnant I am not ashamed to admit one of my concerns was the changes that lay ahead for my appearance.

I have posted previously about (if you have not read these you may wish too now as it probably makes understanding my journey and my writing style easier) the unexpected and fairly difficult pregnancy I had, but one of the very first difficulties I experienced in my pregnancy was coming to terms with the physical changes to my body - which in turn had a huge affect on my mental health.

Now don't misunderstand me I was under no illusion that my body would stay the same throughout the 40 weeks of gestation, and the days after the birth... the reason I say "days" is quite simple: thanks to the media's portrayal of celeb mum's who within a few days after their little ones have simply popped out are back fighting fit and in a size sodding 6 dress even the ones that believed they were too posh to push and decided they would have a c sec courtesy of hotel Portland! This riles me because, as like many image conscious girls do, I truly believed I would be leaving The Rosie Maternity hospital the size I was when I pee'd on a stick all those months earlier. I even went as far as buying an outfit to bring Lylha home in that still hangs in my wardrobe with the tags on. Of course this was not the reality!!!

The first real obstacle for me to overcome mentally in regards to my appearance came when I was just 11 weeks pregnant courtesy of my husbands grandmother, we were at the wedding of Michael's aunt and aside from his parents and siblings this was the 1st time I was meeting his family (we had been together 9 almost 10m at this point) so naturally I was nervous. She came over to Michael and I after the wedding breakfast and said to me "so are you having twins" I replied with an awkward laugh "Not that I am aware of" (I had an early scan as didn't know dates) she then proceeded to say "are you sure, because your big aren't you?" Now as you can imagine this 1st impression still haunts me, and I left that night with a hubby that was slightly worse for wear and sobbed that I had obviously changed physically so much in a short period of time that I looked fat. Of course I understand it was the bump she was referring too but none the less it really troubled me.

Throughout my pregnancy people continually pointed out the glamorous side with lovely comments such as "my god your boobs have got massive", "your waddling well", "wow your blooming" Now I know these remarks were never meant to cause offence but I found them really challenging to accept. I wanted to look in the mirror and see the woman I was before with just a baby bump - not with puffy ankles, not with an ever growing posterior and not with fingers that needed the wedding ring removed. I truly never felt I "glowed" or "beamed" I felt like whale that waddled like a duck and it really upset me and I am more than sure that my feelings towards my image throughout my pregnancy were a factor in then developing PND.

The reason I believe that my image was a factor in becoming ill with PND is because I still (despite friends of mine having babies and seeing them in the weeks after) really believed I would have Lylha and the weight, the tummy and the boobs would be back to their "regular Laurinda sized self" after she was out. I even convinced myself after the spinal had taken effect and just before they began the c sec (emergency most definitely NOT elective) that this would mean I would be like Vicki Beck's and have my body back that day.

Of course in reality this most definitely did not happen, the days that followed were equally as frustrating I came home and tried on pre pregnancy clothes and they went nowhere near me. Staring into the mirror whilst doing this broke my heart. I could see a lady looking back at me that had my face and was crying my tears but was someone I most definitely did not recognise.

When I started the meds and the talking therapy for PND I told my GP that the way I looked and the weight I had gained was one of the factors that was making me so unhappy and that I had a mental argument going with myself that one side was "I hate the way I look now" and the other saying "don't be so ridiculous beauty is only skin deep" ... I was almost delighted when he reassured me that body image is a major influence on people's mental health and to know that I wasn't alone in how I felt made me feel less stupid and eased the guilt of being a little vain.

Once I started the treatment for PNDpre preg weight and only 2 dress sizes away. As time and treatment carried on as did the weight loss.

Once my treatment for PND was complete in the terms of meds I noticed that my weight loss had slowed and almost stopped with maybe only 1lb a month being shed. I won't lie this has massively disheartened me but has not pushed me back into a state of PND despair.

I still find it really hard to see and hear off celebs that have had their babies and are the epitome of a "yummy mummy" almost instantly, likewise I find it really difficult not to get upset when I see and read of curvier ladies in the public eye under so much pressure to be stick thin rather than curvy and size sexy.

In respect of the PND I'm in recovery, but for the time being the way I look - Well I can't see when I will ever be at peace with the mirror, as I still don't accept the girl looking back at me through tear stained eyes is me.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Blogging doesn't get tougher than this!

When I started putting my journey down in words and took the monumental decision to make my world public for all too see, read, comment and share one of the things I swore to myself (albeit quietly) was that I would be brave enough to share the darkest moments of my journey. This isn't just to help others be aware of Post Natal Depression, but also help me in my recovery from it.


This week has been awful! If there was a darker word than, well, dark to describe how I have felt this week then I would use it.

The events of this week, for me, in themselves have been challenging for the lightest of minds, but when recovering from mental illness (yess... I used its proper term and proud to do so) any occurrence has the ability to tip you back out of the light.

I have spent most of this week attached to a packet of kleenex and putting my faith in my waterproof mascara - which I can confirm held fairly well (congrats bareminerals!) and why the tears were flowing there was no emotional release with it which terrified me. Fear of going back into the dark was gripping me beyond belief. The fear in itself felt another obstacle to beat before even attempting to come to terms with what was happening outside of my control this week.

That's when the light came back on, I was terrified beyond belief I was becoming ill again because I had no control over the events that were affecting my emotions so strongly, but although I couldn't control that I did have control over how it made me feel. WUTIWUF! If you have spent time in any therapy you may've come across this phrase, if you haven't well here you go:


So in order to keep the light on, time to apply this phrase to my situation(s) and hey presto things became brighter. The brighter things became the clearer I began to think, and the clearer I began to think the better I felt.

I am not going to dress anything up with rubbish jargon and awful cliche's mental illness is horrible! It's frightening, it is overwhelming and quite frankly it's difficult to accept. What it should not be is shameful to accept, hence my mind bearing all to the world.

My medication this week to make me feel better on top of WUTIWUF included 1 tub of ice cream, 1 bottle of red wine, 5 hours of jeremy kyle and changing my hair from its 27yr blonde state to brunette.

When I write this down I realise however hard things may have been, they have shaped me. They have given me the courage to do something I have always wanted too, but always been that little bit too cautious too, and that's going brunette. For anyone that thinks get a grip its only hair, that's your opinion, to me my hair is me and its what the world sees and I quite like the world to see something that would make it smile!

Guys I am sorry if this isn't as insightful as my previous posts, but I am determined to keep this blog real and what better way of sharing with you how a life in the day of PND recovery can be (intentionally that way around grammar police)

Thank you for reading - next time something takes away your smile remember frowning uses more muscles than smiling, so technically until your feeling happy again ...your face is getting a work out!