Friday, 28 October 2016

Asking permission to be a mum #mamaissue

After kicking of my #mamaissue series, the response I have received from all of you has been amazing. I have enjoyed reading each and every one of your #mamaissues after all if it is an issue for you, then it has a right of place in this series. It seems very fitting and I am sure you will agree to kick of the guest posts with a fellow NICU MUM Ashton Conway from Our Preemie Family. Here are her very honest and real (two for one) NICU #mamaissues.

ASKING PERMISSION TO BE A MOM

August 18th, 2014
The one thing I never thought of when my husband and I decided to have kids was asking permission to do the most basic parenting things. And with your first child in the NICU you have to ask to do the most basic of parenting tasks. I had to wait until my son was 25 days old before I could even change his diaper. Changing a diaper is a task most other parents bicker and try and pass off to the other or a visiting grandparent and its something I had to wait 25 days to do. That's about 192 diapers I had to let someone else change. And with the medicine he is on for this virus he has I may have to wait up to six weeks to change a diaper unless they show me a new way to do it. I never got to talk about the possibility of him having a diaper rash, I was told one day when I came to see him he had diaper rash because my son is an awesome peer. This is something a mother should experience with her child and not be told by a nurse. And its heart-breaking to me because I have seen my friends and people I have known for years take for granted a simple privilege like taking care of your child's basic needs. I am in no way saying that everyone is like that, this is just me saying a few people I have seen and this is over my 26 years in this world too.
 I have to ask permission to hold my son, I have to have a nurse and respiratory therapist come and help me take my son out of his bed and show me how to hold him because of all his tubes wires and cords. And I have been told no I am not allowed to hold him because of the type of ventilation he is on, because he is so stressed and moving him like this could stress him out too much and he's better left alone or because there are not enough people around to help in case of emergency. And I have seen the emergency first hand, he was 4 days old and it was the second time I ever got to hold him. We were just sitting and relaxing and I was quietly humming him a song and then the alarms started, his oxygen in his blood had dipped below 81% which is bad, since his happy numbers are between 88% and 95%, and it was still dropping. And because his oxygen was so low his heart rate dropped below what was acceptable. His heart rate should be between 100 BPM and 200 BPM and his had dropped to 80 BPM. It was still dropping fast and the Non-medical Routes of calming him down were not working. They did not have time to move him of my chest to basically revive him on me, l had one nurse holding my head in her hands making me look at her while I cried. I was not to look at what they were doing but I could feel the movement of whatever they were doing. After what felt like hours' but was only 8 minutes they moved David from me and put David into his bed to take him from his CPap machine and put a breathing tube down his throat. After that it takes a lot of energy and talking myself into holding my Son. I am scared to hold him because flashback to that day and scared I may have to go through that again. l have held him since then. But it takes a lot me talking myself into it and telling myself that won't happen again. And after all that preparation mentally and emotionally, to be told NO you can't told your son just crushes me and brings me back to what if they had said yes and it happened again.
 As a parent all you want to do is hold Your child give the ma kiss and make it all go away. the pain, the poking and prodding. That's our job as mom and dad is to kiss the booboos away. what do we do here, When your child looks up at YOU as if to say help me, Mommy it hurts-Mommy 1 can't breathe. How do you handle that? You can just pick them up and make it better . But you can hold their hands and smile and talk softly to them let them know even though this is scary you are there and you are on their side no matter what. even if can't change a diaper or hold him as much as I want. Which is always and never put him down, l am still the one who knows he hates facing the window because he is scared he's gonna miss something in the Pod. I know that he loves tummy time because its the best time to try and pull out his breathing tube because it's uncomfortable. I Know that he is calmer when people are talking to me during procedures because he knows they are there because I know they are helping him.
I know he loves books and having his dad read to him every weekend for 2 hours. And he loves to Rock out music When he is stressed and angry. l may not get to do the basic stuff but I know my son. And when I am feeling sad about the basic stuff I tell myself about his little quirks. And that the basic stuff will come, I mean right now he should still be in my tummy SO I wouldn't get to do this anyways. It's a long road being a preemie Mom or dad But the ride is what makes it sweeter in the end. The story is like this post, sad and full of self pity and it ends with self acceptance and a small smile.
 
Cuddles

Ashton and baby David.


 

MY PREEMIE PET PEEVE

 
As a preemie mom you hear a lot of things and feel a lot of things differently than parents that have had a term baby. I have many pet peeves because of having a preemie as my first baby, and I do have a lot of fears because of that also, you don't need to ask questions like the ones listed or act a certain way as well , we are just moms who walk a different path, but here are some of my pet peeves.
 
1) PLEASE DO NOT ASK IF WE ENJOYED OUR REST WHILE THE BABY WAS IN THE HOSPITAL. I have had more than one person as me if I was more rested for when DJ came home because he spent so long in the hospital..... Moms of term babies, when your little one is so sick they need a hospital stay, did YOU enjoy your break while YOUR little one was there?? No? Really? ME neither, our babies were born sick and small, they were not being baby sat they were fighting for their lives while we were at home staring at the phone just hoping we wouldn't get a phone call causing us to rush back to the hospital. Please think before asking this question.
 
2) PLEASE DO NOT ROLL YOUR EYES AT US WHEN WE EXPLAIN OUR CHILDS AGE. Depending on how early your baby is, he will have 2 ages, the actual age which tracks her birthday year to year as well as an adjusted age which each mom and dad will have to remember up until our little one is about 2 and 1/2 years old. The adjusted age is to track milestone against term babies to see if your baby is developmentally behind where you hope to be. Some babies are, but just because your baby and my baby were born the same day doesn't mean they will track the same, my little guy was early, yours was term. But it is like that with any baby, they all don't start crawling at 8 months or talking at 9 to 10 months, every baby is different, so if you ask a question like "How old?" Be ready for the long answer.
3)DO NOT COMMENT ON HOW SMALL MY CHILD IS. Preemie babies tend to be a bit smaller and grow a bit slower than term babies. I am very well aware my 1 year old only weighs 17 pounds and is shorter than your 1 year old. But we see our doctor more than you guys do, and she tells us how big we are getting and if the DOCTOR is ok with his size, you better believe this mommy is. So please check your attitude about his size out the door before coming in.
I honestly have a list of a million of these but these top three kinda cover most moms I have met who have preemies. Please use some common sense when asking things to moms.
Thank you for letting me Rant a little
Ashton

Check out Our Preemie Family's brilliant blog 


If you have a #mamaissue you would like to share and raise awareness for please drop me an email! I would love to feature the in the new series #mamaissue and don’t forget to use the #mamaissue on your posts and pics on social media!

 

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

A warning to the public, I cannot control my child.


Dear Public,

This is a letter just to explain a few things, I would say it is something of a public apology but I will let you into a secret…. I am not sorry.

I am not sorry I chose to have a child, nor do I regret this even on a bad day.

I am not sorry my child is strong willed, has likes and dislikes and is his own person.

He is a little boy who expresses emotion, just like any adult. He may not understand his emotion at the time, and this will frustrate him and he will act out.

I am not sorry when you are looking disapprovingly in the supermarket when he is crying as I will not buy him sweets. That I am taking my time going down to his level to explain how he is feeling.

I am sorry I choose to comfort my son, I am not sorry I didn’t leave or take him outside through embarrassment.

What have I got to be embarrassed about?
Kicking back on the train, cue the scolding.
I am sorry that he will scream, cry and kick when he goes back in the pushchair. He wants to explore, learn and experience new things, but at times I need to do this to ensure his safety he does not understand this yet.

I am not sorry that in a restaurant he may get up and wander around, or scream too loudly and that he is maybe ‘unruly’.

I am sorry you felt we were not good enough to sit next to even though we too were paying customers JUST LIKE YOU.

I am his mother and not Professor X, and I do not control him.

He is his own person, no matter how much I will guide and teach him, he will still do what the hell he likes. Even when I bribe him with mini bags of Haribo.
I cannot control him with a remote control, he is not a robot and I am thankful for this.

Do you know while you are judging me as a parent that I am raising a kind, gentle and funny little boy who loves to share? That he had a horrendously difficult start to his life.

That I am trying to teach him to be kind, open and accepting of others so when he grows up he doesn’t judge others like you.

I am sorry I do not choose to keep him prisoner in him own home, and god forbid take him out in PUBLIC.

I am sorry you had the misfortune to come across my child who at the time, was tired and was not too impressed he was on the bus in the heat and stuck in a traffic jam. I am sorry you felt you couldn’t talk to me like an adult, a decided to make a scene and move away from us on the bus tutting.

Do you know how that made me feel? Are you a parent?
ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?
I am sorry my 2-year-old toddler hasn’t figured out all the manners and etiquette; that he does not know what is socially expected of him at his age. I mean 2 whole years and he is learning. SHOCK HORROR.

When you see a toddler or child having a tantrum why do you look at the parents like they are worthy of a social services call? It’s not their fault! They are not on the floor screaming, are they?

Why do you feel it is okay to make rude comments, judge someone’s parenting ability on that singular moment? The look of disgust on your face that you have had to endure this in your day, horrifies me.

Do you know their story? The day they have had? Their circumstance? NO.

Do you remember being a child? Don’t you think you did this at their age too?

Maybe you are a parent, or a grandparent, can you not remember the terrible twos? The tantrums?

Why are we as parents being made to feel like we are the worst humans on the planet if our child acts out in public?
The face of angel
Please think of the parent, do you think we want to be standing in Poundland having an argument with a child who is flat down refusing to let go of the plastic police helmet and gun?

So public, this is my non apology letter to say I cannot control my child, just as I cannot control you. I don’t care he is a child and he is learning.

When my child is acting out in public I will never apologise, we shouldn’t have too.

From,

A mama who no longer gives a crap what you the public thinks.

P.S This is dedicated to Kate Raine, the mother who found herself criticized and publicly humiliated online by the cafĂ© she took her child too. Mama, you’re doing amazing this is for you.

 

 

Friday, 21 October 2016

My #mamaissue


I don’t think many of you will be surprised with my #mamaissue that I have chosen to kick of the series with. It is something I have both touched upon and gone into great detail about before on the blog. My #mamaissue is the lack of mental health support on offer for NICU parents in the UK.

First of all, I know this will not be the case for all, and some will have received the support and care that all of us deserve. Why is it a postcode lottery in this country that determines the care that you receive when you baby is admitted to NICU? In this day and age surely we are all entitled to receive the same treatment? At the time I have to say I feel punished with the lack of treatment and support I had because of the area I was from. This should not be the case, and on a brighter note a friend had a baby in NICU in the same hospital and received some amazing support from a Bliss Nurse. She believes this may have been down to the fact that she was on her own, or that she was in there for a long time. We were in there for 9 days and I had Greg by my side but why did no one ask me if I was okay? Of course, I wasn’t okay but just if I was coping. I wasn’t and it was clear for all to see. A medical professional I would hope would have spotted the signs early on and maybe it would have got to the stage where I was diagnosed with a mental illness, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

I think I can pinpoint the moment where perhaps the support network I had when I was giving birth melted away, the next morning. After Elijah, had been admitted to NICU overnight and I was moved to a side room. I was woken up, and helped to the toilet and to get dressed. The shift must have then changed, as it wasn’t the same nurse that came back. I remember she was very stern and handed me some tablets. I asked her where my baby was, how he was. She shrugged, she didn’t know and left. She didn’t bother to find out and I was left in the room on my own for 3 hours before Greg came up. I think I was still slightly out of it, I had even asked the tea lady where my baby was. I just wished someone, anyone had just made an effort to update me. I understand how busy everyone is, but I was a mother who had just given birth and no one could tell me where or how my baby was. This then impacted when Greg did wheel me to NICU, I was so overwhelmed at seeing Elijah like that I fainted and had to be taken back to my room.

I am not using this post to badmouth the midwives and nurses of the hospital as I think they do an amazing job. I had some amazing midwives who would sit with me, talk with me and ask me about Elijah. I remember one sat with me for what seemed like hours talking about Gone Girl. That’s what I needed, for someone just to talk to me like I wasn’t the poor mother who’s baby had a heart defect and didn’t know would make it.  For someone just to notice I was there. Elijah had been in NICU for three days before anyone at all gave us any information about having a baby on NICU. That was a quick visit in the form of some leaflets. I have said this before it is not particularly the best way to get across the information about services etc. when you are struggling to keep it together and just function.
Just one question, one check could save so many
For those first few days we heavily relied on other NICU parent support. To tell us how things worked, what we could do, the best Doctors to get something done. That information was invaluable to us, we passed this on to others to. I think in the whole time we were in NICU for the 9 days we relied on the NICU nurses a lot more to point us in the direction of what we needed, and where to get it from. I think back to the time I was in hospital for those 7 days and think back to everyone who came to see me. The heart consultant, the NICU Nurse, the breastfeeding specialist (I wasn’t allowed to so slightly pointless), the Bliss volunteer and discharge rep who wanted me to fill out a survey! Then put her foot in it by asking where my baby was and if I was taking him home today, that’s was it. No one came to see me to check I was okay, that I was coping. 80% of the people that visited were informing me about Elijah’s condition. No one noticed I wasn’t eating, that I was asking for as much medication as they would give me. That I cried all day every day in my room on my own.

I find it unbelievable that they have someone to come around and ask you to rate how you found your stay was, yet they have no one coming to check the mental health of mothers? Especially mothers who have had a traumatic birth, and have had a baby admitted to NICU, mothers who are leaving the hospital without their baby. After we were discharged we were under the care of the NICU Outreach team who were amazing with Elijah. We didn’t particularly need to go and see the Health Visitors as most of what needed to be done, had been done by the Outreach Team. Here is where we slipped through the net I think. As we were under the Outreach Team, most didn’t bother with us. Or if I did have a question was directed right back to them, or the hospital again. Basically, if you have a baby with something wrong they will not touch you with a barge pole. Which I understand, they may not be medically trained to deal with certain conditions, or feel able to give advice. But what about me? Where was the support for me? I never felt able to go to them to say I wasn’t coping. No one ever asked. Why are NICU mothers not being offered support? No one bothered to come and check up on us. Which I find quite odd, I had a baby who was waiting for an impending lifesaving operating and we never received one call from the Health Visitor. In the whole 6 months. Or to check up on him afterwards, or me, nothing.

To play devils advocate, you could be asking well why didn’t you go and get help yourself? Why are you having a go that someone didn’t notice while you sat back and did nothing. I will say you are right. But mentally I was not able to, I was not in a good place. I wasn’t eating, I was abusing medication and my moods were all over the place. I would call up Greg at work begging him to come home as I couldn’t cope. I planned how I would leave. That I would put my passport in an overnight bag and hide it in the play room and sneak out when Greg came back from work. I was traumatised I could barely get up in the morning never mind go and say I needed help.
NICU LIFE- finally holding Elijah
It took 18 months for me to get the courage to go and get help from the GP. I was diagnosed with PTSD shortly after. I was worried, they would judge me and take my baby away, or call social services, I was a mess. The counselling didn’t stick, I had a really encouraging telephone call with someone who asked me a lot of questions over the phone, and for once I was completely honest. I was told someone would get back to me, I would be a priority, over a month passed before I heard anything. I chased them, and chased them and nothing. Counselling was over before it began. This made me wonder, if I was a priority how many other mums, NICU mums, PND Mums are we all getting the mental health care we need? I slipped through the cracks, how many others do? Why are NICU parents, and indeed new mums not checked on by a mental health care professional at some point. As surely this is the time our mental health is likely to suffer? Why is there not some sort of check system to go and visit those who have had a traumatic birth or had a NICU baby, or even lost a baby? Early on, with tips and advice on coping strategies or just support.? Perhaps then it won’t get to the point where we are diagnosed with a mental illness.

There are many gaps in the mental health care mothers and in particular NICU parents receive. I am hoping to change this by becoming a Bliss Campaigner. I will do what I can to get improved mental healthcare for NICU parents and mothers too, after all this is what we deserve. I could go on about facts and figures about this, but I think my story has more impact now on illustrating the point I am making. There really is a lack of mental health care support for NICU Parents in this country.

You may have experienced this, or did you in fact receive good support? Did you suffer from PND/PTSD as a result? Did you struggle to cope? Were you offered any support while your baby was in NICU or afterwards? Did any of you have a baby in Norfolk and Norwich NICU? If, so I would love to hear your experiences, I am hoping to collate some stories to illustrate the point to my local MP. Please drop me an email at; confessionsofanicumum@gmail.com

If you have a #mamaissue you would like to share and raise awareness for please drop me an email! I would love to feature the in the new series #mamaissue and don’t forget to use the #mamaissue on your posts and pics on social media!
 

 

Whatever your issue, no matter how big or small please get in touch I would love to feature a range of issues on the blog and give you the platform to raise awareness of them. Whatever your issue, no matter how big or small please get in touch I would love to feature a range of issues on the blog and give you the platform to raise awareness of them.

Please contact me on; confessionsofanicumum@gmail.com with a brief description, or if you have a post please attach.

Don't forget if share any pics, posts etc #mamaissue

 

Friday, 14 October 2016

The barrier effect


As a NICU Mum, issues that affect the day to day lives of NICU families are something that I almost take personally. I have been through the NICU journey and now after my family graduated the NICU in Sept 2014; I begin to ask what can I do? How can I help other NICU parents and improve the NICU experience for all? I know as just one person I am very unlikely to change government policies, or raise enough money from the NICU Mum store to buy a new Neo Natal Ward. But the one thing I can do is write, is talk, and to raise awareness of these issues and implore people, to share, like, comment, sign and spread awareness. I have signed up to campaign with Bliss over these issues and all I can do is try, and that is exactly what I will continue to do.

The amazing charity Bliss have just released a report, that sadly I was not shocked at reading it. The report can be read at this link, (Families kept apart: barriers to parents’ involvement in their baby’s hospital care). It shows that fewer than one in five hospitals have enough overnight accommodation to cater for NICU parents of critically ill babies. We were in the NICU for 9 days, for 7 of those days I myself was admitted in hospital so was down the corridor from Elijah. I caught a flu bug and went home I was not able to visit him for 2 days and this broke me. In that time, Greg had to make regular trips to the hospital and as he didn’t drive, he got the bus, or paid petrol money for others to drive him, or parking, he would need to eat and although we were provided with some vouchers when I was still in hospital but for those 2 days Greg had to pay for everything. Just to be able to be near our child. Personally this isn’t right, at night when he returned home we were 25 miles away from our baby. They were not able to offer us a flat nearby, as it is on a ‘urgent’, basis. I do understand this, and can empathise, as Elijah wasn’t in a critical condition but he was also in the NICU. There was also a high chance of something happening if not he wouldn’t have been in there. It didn’t matter that we lived 25 miles away and neither of us drove. If something happened I have had no idea how to get to my baby.

For those parents who are in there for the long haul, for those not able to go back to work, to have to drive in from miles away to pay parking why isn’t there more feasible help on hand? Studies have shown that parent bonding and being involved in the care of their baby is beneficial to the baby. So why in that case are parents being kept apart from their babies? When they are at their most vulnerable and need them the most. Why are some hospitals (1/3) charging parking, when at one time or another this was free for NICU parents?  Effectively they are being charged to visit their child. They are likely to be up there for a number of hours and this can cost upwards of £72.00+, each day, for weeks on end when one parent is likely to be unable to work and the running of the house is still needed. Hardly makes sense does it? Hospital food can cost a bomb, we all know that, so it may be some NICU parents who have been in a while will try and save costs and bring their own to have in the kitchen area? Wrong again, the study also shows 40% of NICU’s have limited kitchen facilities.


Elijah in NICU SEPT 2014
 We were in the Norfolk and Norwich NICU, and there is an excellent kitchen facility on offer that can be used, but why this isn’t standard across the board baffles me. Especially if finical assistance isn’t on offer with food vouchers which apparently is 1/3 of hospitals. For the amount of talk that breastfeeding is best… that is increased tenfold with a NICU baby, so why are breastfeeding/ expressing mums not being given the option to be kept hydrated and refuelled by the hospital? They need to be close to their babies, especially to establish breastfeeding, yet once again they are having to pay for this themselves which is likely to be costing around £20-£30 a day. Add that to the parking you could easily be looking at £100 a day easily just to be able to visit and care for your baby.

 

Do you remember old style Mario? Where you have to jump over the obstacles and barriers collect the coins to progress to the next level. I can see some similarities here. There are so many barriers NICU parents are facing. This is not in every hospital, but the fact that it is happening at all is effecting thousands of families. One in eight babies will require a NICU stay it could be for a few hours, it could be for a few months. It is a traumatic experience and one that leaves it mark on the parent. You cannot just go in and hold your baby, to just feed them or change their nappy. You are spending the first hours bonding with your baby in a room with nurses, doctors, machines, lights, noise, and strangers. It is a time where you have a complete loss of control and the nurses will tend to help as best they can but when facilities are limited how much help can they offer? They can point you in the right direction, but this is when you will likely find a big barrier to get over; financial assistance, overnight accommodation, counselling you will find is a complete postcode lottery.

 

I myself experienced some this, when I was not made aware of the fact there were such things as peer to peer support workers to help you, milk banks for those like me who couldn’t breastfeed, and not be able to source overnight accommodation and having to return home. However, if I had my baby in Ipswich which is roughly 50 miles away I could have had access to the majority of these things. Who knows this may have prevented being diagnosed with PTSD. It shouldn’t be like this, it shouldn’t matter what hospital you gave birth in, what day your baby was admitted too, the care and facilities for NICU parents should be the same throughout the country. It really is one of the worst times of your life being helpless and standing by while your baby is hooked up to god knows what and all you want to do is pick them up, run and take them home but you can’t. Why is the mental health of the NICU parent suffering because of the location you gave birth in? Why are NICU parent’s facing extreme measures to be able to pay to visit their child? Why should they have to pay at all? But ultimately, why are so many barriers being put up to those which are going through this difficult journey? When like everyone else they just want to look after their child.


 
Bliss, are doing an amazing job at recognising what is needed, and doing what they can to make it happen. They truly have the NICU parent’s interests at heart. One thing we can all do, even if you are not a NICU parent is sign this petition to campaign for parents and babies to stay together whilst they are in NICU, (all the hard work has been done for you) that will go to your MP; click here to take action!

 

Imagine how you would feel being kept from your baby? When they need you most, but you cannot stay by their side which is what your body and heart are begging you to do, instead you have to leave and travel home. Spending the time willing the hours away until you can go back and see your baby again and praying nothing happens in the meantime. No parent should be kept from their child, especially when they are in NICU, so please like, share, comment, sign lets the get word out and keep NICU parents where they belong, by the side of their baby.

 

Show your support for a NICU MUM by wearing a NICU MUM bracelet/ badge, or if you just love the blog and want to help spread the NICU MUM message.

They make a great gift for anyone who is going through the NICU journey and to show you are thinking of them.

They are a symbol of strength for the NICU MUM.

10% from each one will go to Bliss charity.

Vicki Moore and The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum Blog are proud to support Bliss, the special care baby charity and we make regular donations to support babies in the UK who are premature or sick. To find out more about Bliss please visit bliss.org.uk

 

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Goodbye, Old Friend,


In my 26 years there has been many a time, I have been depressed. Looking back to my teenage years it was due to not being able to cope with rejection, loss and not feeling I belonged. As I grew older, it was just like an old friend, every now and again when you least expected it, there it was rearing its ugly head and dragging me back. I think at times I had even become dependent on my depression, I expected it to be there, and if it did go away it wouldn’t be long before it returned. I guess, I am one of those people, I think too much, I worry more, and suffer from a lot of self-doubt. I basically I attract depression and melancholy. Sometimes, like an old friend, you may just bump into them, and it will be a quick catch up and the depression is again on its away. However, there are times where we can have a full blown reunion.

This will lead to a trip to the doctors, and my other very good friend, the trusty anti-depressant is prescribed. The chemicals re align in my brain, I work some stuff out and I keep my repeat prescription close to me. After the counselling and CBT doesn’t work again. This is what happened, as many you have known when Elijah was born, and had his surgery. I had never experienced depression like this. It consumed me, it literally took over every aspect of my life. I became the depression; it took everything from me. Until one day I looked at my family, and realized yeah, we had it rough but it could have been worse. Elijah taught me a lot and my outlook on life changed. I gained a confidence and self-belief that never existed before I became a mother. I was going to beat this. I was going to me. The depression was not who I was, it took a very long time to realize that actually it is not a part of who I am. I wanted to be an amazing mother to Elijah and this was not going to affect him anymore. It is one thing when something that is causing you pain, but when you are beginning to cause your family pain, I think it’s time to swallow it, and make the very uncomfortable admission you need help.

Even after I tried to take my own life when I was a teenager and ended up in hospital scaring my Nan and Uncle half to death I didn’t admit I needed help. I tried to change, and went cold turkey of my tablets and read a lot a books about Hinduism and baked. Good lord I baked. It was only after snapping at Elijah and seeing the look on his face I knew I needed help. What mother was I being when we stayed in all the time, when I was irritable or crying, and not actually wanting to be there with my son? So, off I went to the doctors, and like a trusty companion, the medication was back in my life. This time instead of relying on the tablets to do everything, I worked on myself. I wrote everything I had ever felt during the first 18 months of Elijah’s life and for the very first time, I acknowledged, accepted and processed what I was feeling. I could feel the depression shrinking away inside of me, I was getting stronger, and it was getting smaller.

Can I cope without my trusty companions?
I have been very happy for a good 6 months so it came the time, after a good love affair to say goodbye to my nearest and dearest the anti-depressant. I again became to rely on them, but I had to know if I could do this on my own. I felt like they were part of me. They felt alien in the new all natural and healthy me. If we had another baby, I didn’t want to be on them. As it would once again affect my family. When people asked me how I was, and I said good, I didn’t want to think of it as lying to them and hiding my dirty little secret. I didn’t want to feel guilty after I said, yes I am fine thank you, but actually I am on anti-depressants so I guess I am not completely fine. I wanted to be honest, I wanted to be real, and most of all I wanted to be me. I had to know that I had beaten this. I was officially over it. That was only going to happen when I stopped the tablets.  I knew after a year of being on them I couldn’t just quit them like I did before. I began to cut down, and after three weeks I am now off them. It was over right? Or was it?

Last night came the knock out the door, when I answered it was self-doubt again, feelings of failure and feeling down. I had a complete crash of confidence, could I do this without them? Had I really beaten this? I also had become disinterested in my blog. For three days I barely looked at it, I wrote nothing when normally I write every day. I am behind on projects, am I doing the right thing? Is the store working out? Is there any point to it? After shutting off my phone and taking stock of things, I didn’t do anything. I distanced myself from it all, as not to do anything rash.

When I woke up, I felt so different. I felt that the knock at the door last night was a wobble, and that house guest has been evicted and will not be lingering to out stay his welcome. I had beaten this, and there will be many more wobbles but I will overcome them. There will be no more reunions with my old friend; depression. Why? Because I am so over our friendship. Like any toxic friendship, I have terminated ours.

These words after hearing them today, seemed especially poignant, by the downright amazing Young Guns, ‘I was born, I will live, I will surely die’.
 
There's no doubt you can yourself out if you want to
Don't turn away, don't be shy, you've got questions so do I
Every day is a chance to change the story
Don't run away, take a shot, give it everything you've got
Without pain, tell me what's the point in glory?
 
 
 
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