Why I love CIO – Cuddle it out

If you read my blog you may have noticed that my recent posts have been a bit on the depressive side and you might think that I’m not actually enjoying parenting much right now. I going to write a series of posts on stuff that I love about parenting which I hope will be uplifting for me and you.

The first of the series is about why I love CIO and I don’t mean cry it out, I mean cuddle it out. I’m a firm believer in cuddling babies and not to let them cry it out to sleep. This is a personal choice for me and something I have read a lot into and I think it works best for all of us in our family. I completely respect parents choice to either do cry it out or controlled crying as I know it isn’t a choice you have made lightly and every child and family is different. What works for one doesn’t work for all.

For me when my baby has cried it has been my job to comfort him, I will feed him, cuddle him and let him fall asleep in my arms before placing him in his cot. I can’t listen to him cry as I become agitated and can feel my stress levels rising which is not good for my mental state of for my child. Now he’s 18 months he will sometimes have a little winge, but will settle himself in a couple of minuets. I am strict with our bedtime routine and we always have a story in his room, his milk in the dark and music cuddles before I transfer him to his cot. I did the same with his older sister and for us it has worked most of the time. We have had times with teething or sickness when things have been a little harder, but if I’m honest I have enjoyed the extra cuddles those times have brought and we have gradually phased in the old bedtime routine until he is settled enough to fall asleep.

There isn’t much I’m organised with, but my children’s bedtime is something I am strict with as for my own mental wellbeing I need to have my own time to unwind. We always have the battle at bedtime especially with oldest, but if we stay firm and consistent she accepts it, eventually. I find that bedtime is one of my favourite times of day in our house as Mr T goes up at 7 and has his milkie cuddles then it Miss J’s turn for a story and cuddles in her bed whilst she tells me about her day. These are the only times in the day where I get proper one on one time with both of my children and I love it. I want to enjoy the moment with then both and enjoy the hour it takes me every night to get them to sleep.

I personally think that CIO is conditioning a child to sleep who’s emotional needs are not met. research has shown that this is damaging. I’m very aware that I have anxiety issues which I think have stemmed from my own childhood relationship with my dad. See my dad isn’t a bad person but the way he acted around me has made me extremely anxious. The reason he is that way he is probably from the way that he was parented and so on. I am trying to break the cycle by gentle parenting my children and I want them to grow up feeling confident, reassured and content.

It has been proven that children who’s needs are always met are more confident whilst some people still think it’s the opposite and makes a clingy child. Miss J was a shy baby and toddler and wanted lots of reassurance, she wanted me close and was often clingy, I refused to leave her with people unless I knew she was comfortable and I never pushed her into a situation she wasn’t happy with. Even now when she’s a little shy she still stuffs her hands down my top as its a reassurance thing to her that she did as a baby. Miss J on her first day of school looked around, cuddled and kissed me and walked off on her own. Everyday she has been happy and confident to go out into the big wide world without me so I’m certain all those cuddles haven’t done her any harm to become an independent little girl.

Mr T is a pretty confident toddler and is more than happy to be left with anyone. He’s much easier to get to sleep as a toddler than his sister and will happily lay down in his cot awake with some music and fall asleep. Sometimes I wish he would want cuddles more, as I love them so much, but his sister is still the cuddlier out of the two. Mr T is still breastfed and shockingly still confident and not attached to my nipple every second of the day. I think a lot of it is down to personalities as Miss J is very sensitive and like me which is fine.

I’m not the perfect mummy but I give the best mummy cuddles in the world according to Miss J and her opinion is one a care deeply about. I love to cuddle it out with both of them.

Read about cry it out here

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Fighting depression with unconditional love

Today has been one of those days. I have struggled from the moment I got up this morning with my anxiety and depression. I have felt fragile, like I could break any second. I have been questioning myself as a mother, questioning how much I actually love my children. Do they deserve better? Am I just hopeless? Do I not deserve joy and happiness?

Postnatal depression has reared its ugly head and has tried to crumble any kind of confidence I had gained, self-esteem, self-worth and has tried to plague me full of self-doubt, negative thoughts and guilt. I let it come in gradually and started to believe again what a terrible mother I am and how my children deserve better. I hate feeling like this and always having to battle every single day for my happiness or lack of it. I don’t want to be this person and I don’t want it to consume me and have control over me.

I forced myself like I do every day to go through my blog posts comments and started to feel an ounce of happiness again. For someone to say my writing resonates with them or it has helped them feels amazing and is a huge boost to my confidence. I’ve got to keep going and keep on writing as it really does help me so much.

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As I was finishing replying to my last comment Mr T awoke and started to cry, so I went straight into his room and picked him up out of his cot and settled into the nursing chair. I could smell the smell of his warm dribble and stroked his messy hair, whilst I let him have his milkies. As he lay in my arms, latched on to me, eyes rolling back, I felt at peace, I felt like I had a purpose, I knew this is where I should be and what I am worth.

The fact that I have two beautiful children that love me unconditionally is amazing and my biggest weapon in fighting this horrible thing. These two people hang on to my every word, they cry for me, they want my cuddles, my kisses and my bedtime stories. I am everything to them as well and they are everything to me. I have a family who loves together, plays together and cries together.

I love unconditionally. I am unconditionally loved.

 

 

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The nicest thing about the rain is that it always stops. Eventually – Eeyore

Today it has rained none stop, Mr T is cuddled up to me, poorly and it’s just a bit depressing. I am stuck in, unable to move off the sofa, the washing is piling up, I have holiday clothes to wash and pack, but today it will have to wait. I hate the rain and how it makes everything seem so depressing.  I have such a fear when one of the children or me is sick as I know how easy it is for me to slip back into depression. Being stuck in a house with a poorly child, isolated, alone and unable to do the jobs that I need to be doing can be such a difficult thing for me and my wellbeing can suffer quickly. If I get into a habit of staying in and being isolated I then struggle to get out again and things can easily spiral for me and negative thoughts can creep in, but the best thing that has come out of my recent mental breakdown is that I can recognise this and put things in place to stop it snowballing. It’s hard when you have a small child who is sick and is demanding your time and attention and when you add the lack of sleep into the mix, it can quickly become too much.

I won’t always have postnatal depression, the house won’t always be messy, my children won’t always be small and hopefully won’t always be ill. Everything is momentary and just a small piece of time, we will move on and carry on as that’s what we have to do as humans. Be kind to ourselves, be honest with ourselves and don’t worry about tomorrow as tomorrow will come in its own time.

Mr T has eventually fallen to sleep and been placed in his cot and I can see the gently rise and fall of his chest. He looks so at peace, content, warm and loved. He is happy and right now and i’m all he needs.

The nicest thing about the rain is that it always stops. Eventually – Eeyore

The lonely mother and the working husband

 

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The great dummy debate

I am open to admit that I have a dummy addict! Mr T loves his dummy as much as he loves his boobie milk, which again he doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Mr T is 18 months old now and I’m feeling the pressure when out that he is being seen as too old from some people to have the plastic thing shoved in his gob.

Am I a lazy parent for still letting him have his dummy? Possibly on some level I am, but it provides him comfort when tired or teething and means that my ears get a break from him whingeing for five minuets then that’s fine with me. If you don’t like it then shove off, as I honestly don’t see the problem. Too many people seem to think that they can tell you what to do on parenting when we all know that one size does not fit all.

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My own mother hates dummies and I never had one as a child so instead I used to try to fit my fist in my mouth (I can still do it now, classy) and my teeth were ruined. In total I had four braces from ages 9 through to 14 and I still have one on the back of my teeth. I think I would prefer that my child has a dummy which van be taken away instead of a thumb, fingers or fist. Since Mr T has come along she has changed her stance on dummies.

For me in the baby days it gave me a chance to comfort my baby whilst out and about when I didn’t have the chance to feed my baby immediately. I know for many breastfeeding mums they have felt able to feed where ever and when ever, but for me I wanted to be sat somewhere comfortable and discreet to feed. That is purely a personal preference and I admire people who can feed openly.

Mr T was given his dummy a couple of days after being born just like his big sister. I was told by a midwife with Miss J that I may as well give up breastfeeding there and then for giving her a dummy before we were established breastfeeding, well she got to year breastfeeding so I believe that to be a load of old tosh. If it wasn’t for the dummy and me getting a break from comfort sucking I wouldn’t have probably carried on past a couple of weeks so for me it was my saviour.

Mr T become very attached to his affectionately called ‘doo-doo’ soon after birth, as with his reflux the suckling eased the pain for him. Now he’s talking more I am making a conscious effort to take it away from him so it doesn’t hinder him in any way, but at bed time the dummy comes out plus a spare for his hand and he happily sleeps a full twelve hours for me, every night.

The time will come when we have to say goodbye to his dummy, but whilst he naps in the day happily we won’t be parting ways anytime soon. I had made the promise with myself that when Miss J stopped her daytime naps we would say goodbye to her dummy and at 3 years and 2 weeks old it happened and she accepted it well. We said goodbye to them and chucked them away and she happily become a ‘big girl’. I think Mr T might be a little harder to get off the dummy when the time comes, but as it stands now he is happy which makes me happy.

 

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Our family visit to see Father Christmas at Frosts

As we did last year we decided to come back and visit Father Christmas at Frosts Garden Centre Willington . Last year we had such a lovely time and it wasn’t even an option not to come back. I decided it was best to get in early and avoid the crowds and to get us in the Christmas spirit after a bad few weeks.

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We booked our tickets online and arrived in good time and found it easy to park straight away outside the main doors. Inside the garden centre looks amazing and has really outdone it’s self this year. They’ve added some lovely new displays to have pictures with including a giant polar bear, Aslan the Lion and a unicorn. Miss J was ecstatic about getting to have a picture with a unicorn, but Mr T didn’t feel the same.

Mr T wasn't loving the unicorn like Miss J
Mr T wasn’t loving the unicorn like Miss J

We went off to Santa’s grotto and got all booked in and got to meet the lovely elves and real reindeer’s. The young ladies working as the elves had really got themselves into character and they put so much effort into entertaining my two whilst we waited. With the early booking and start time we were the only ones in our group so we had quiet a special, personal experience.

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The elves took us in for a sing-song, a few silly jokes and some making of reindeer food. The elves enthusiasm was magically and my daughter gave it her best to get stuck in despite being a little shy. Mr T was loving the lights and was keen to try and eat the reindeer food.

We were shown into see Father Christmas and sat down for a lovely story, another sing-song and a mince pie. It was lovely to see the same warm, kind face and real beard from last year and Miss J’s face lite up with excitement. Everything about it was magical and everyone kept in character perfectly and actually looked like they loved what they were doing. After a picture and chat we headed off to pick a present and were presented with some candy cains. Miss J took her time deciding from the large selection of toys and settled on a glitter tattoo and bead set whilst Mr T become besotted with an owl puppet. We said our farewells to the lovely elves and made our way back to the main shop.

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We spent another hour looking at the toys, displays and getting some new decorations and decided it was time for a pit stop at the restaurant. We got a lovely table over looking the large pond and had some lovely tea and cake before heading home.

We had a great day and have made some lovely Christmas memories. We will be back again next year I’m sure.

Miss J was a bit tired after all the excitement.
Miss J was a bit tired after all the excitement.

 

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I'm not the perfect mum and that's ok

I’m not a perfect mum and that’s ok

I used to always visualise myself as the perfect Stepford wife and mother. I would imagine my life to be filled with baking, perfectly behaved children, play dates and walks around the park. The reality has been a bit different and even though I wouldn’t change my children for the world I wish I could have changed my expectations earlier on to save myself from so much guilt.

Aww wasn't I cute
Aww wasn’t I cute

Since I was a child myself all I’ve ever wanted is to be married and a mummy, I used to play getting married to my cat (lol) and used to always be playing with my dolls. My baby doll was called Hannah and I took her everywhere with me, but sometimes my cat Dinkey would get dressed in one of my old baby grows and get pushed around the house. I remember actually counting down the years as a child until I would be able to have a child, which I always figured would be 29 like my mother. I fell in love at 20 and went on to be married at 23 and pregnant with my child a few weeks later, so I didn’t manage to stick to plan like my intentions.

Dinkey being spoon fed. Poor cat.
Dinkey being spoon fed. Poor cat.

My own mother has always made it look so effortless and I just assumed my expectations of life would be the same. My mum even told me her labour pains had been like period pains and being constipated, didn’t last long and she didn’t need the gas and air. My mum was either lying or has an amazing pain threshold, as my labour couldn’t have been more different.  We grew up in a big house down a private road in Biddenham,Bedfordshire, my dad worked from home and my mum worked for my dad, our house was like a showhome and we had every toy we could have imagined. My childhood at home with my mum and sister was perfect in my eyes, but I’m sure I don’t remember the struggles my mum had gone through to keep a house that size clean, the financial side of my parents having to sell the home which they had built together to downsize. My parents hid everything for us and we were blissfully unaware.

For the first two years of parenting I kept it all in check and lived out my dream as I had planned, we did long walks in the park, we baked, we did play dates and we even got out the bastard play doh. The thing is one child is a lot easier than two and is 100% twice the work and Miss J was an exceptional easier baby and toddler than her brother. Once I was pregnant I started to find it tough, I didn’t have the energy to keep up with my daughter as much especially with SPD, but I told myself once the baby was here it would be nice and lovely and easy again. I can’t believe how naive and stupid I was. Mr T had reflux, didn’t sleep and was generally a hard baby and I had a toddler who resented him for taking so much of her mummy’s time away.

My real life doll.
My real life doll.

It’s been a long 18 months, but eventually my daughter bonded with her baby brother and I’m learning to let go of the guilt. I know I’m far from perfect and I know I never will be, but at the end of my day my children our mostly happy, they are clean, they have full tummies, too many bloody toys and a rather messy house to live in. My expectations have had to be lowered so the mummy guilt doesn’t consume me and add to my postnatal depression. My house will not be tidy for years to come and no one gives a rats ass if my windows are covered in finger prints. I am doing my best even if we are just surviving from day-to-day at times. This stage will not last forever and these children won’t always be small, but the house can wait and I will appreciate them whilst they are still young enough to need me so much. Play doh may come out on the odd occasion, we will bake together if its someones birthday and we will go for walks in the park when we have the energy and patience. I won’t beat myself up if I don’t achieve everything I have had planned I will praise myself for what we did manage.

I am not the perfect mum and I never will be and I will not punish myself anymore for this.

Read embracing the rubbish parent

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Mental illness

Breaking the stigma around mental illness

Yesterday I did something completely liberating and I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I took a massive step and admitted on my Facebook that I am recovering from a mental breakdown. Some people may see that writing a status admitting this as attention seeking or even over sharing, but for me I think it’s so important to lift the stigma around mental illness. Anyone who reads my blog knows what I have been dealing with, but putting a status on Facebook is as subtle as standing in a crowded room and shouting it for everyone to hear.

The reasons why I have taken this bold move was because I can’t stand uncomfortable silences, they make me anxious and make me talk crap to fill them. I’m going to have to face going back to work on Friday after nearly a month off and would prefer knowing that everyone knows what has happened and they can either say nothing or if they want they can talk to me. By being honest and open I am telling people I am not scared of this and also this illness has not defined me. I am still Michelle, wife, mother of two sprogs, Technical Assistant and part-time blogger. Nothing has changed besides me going mental, recognising it and seeking help. Why should I hide that? Why should I be ashamed?

By being honest I have had so much from support and love from people who I really think has been key to my recovery. The more we talk about mental illness, the more people become comfortable and the more normalised it becomes. The more I’ve read into mental illnesses the more I’ve come to understand and appreciate it. The human mind is so much more complex than we know and they still don’t understand it completely.

1 in 4 people experience a mental health problem each year in the UK so for anyone to think now with the knowledge we have on this subject that it doesn’t exist or you can just get over it is just ignorant. I can’t just brush it under the carpet and pretend it is not there. It is part of my life and I am trying my best to overcome it and if I can help some people along the way, then that is even better.

Today I have been discharged from the CRISIS team at hospital and will be now having support through the community mental health team. I take medication every day and cannot see myself coming off these anytime soon and will be starting counselling in December. I have things in place to get better and I have support. I am confident that I can and will get better. Read steps to get help with postnatal depression

Finding happiness again

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Taking a second to appreciate my children

Taking a second to appreciate my children is something that should come naturally, but unfortunately with postnatal depression I have struggled to connect with them much recently besides meeting there basic needs. I have felt terrible guilt in this, but now I am seeing clearer again I am able to see that I was unwell and it wasn’t my fault. We still have a long way to go, but I can see light at the end of the tunnel and make plans again.

As any mum would say I really do love and appreciate my children, but it’s so easy to become distracted with life and technology at times that you forget to sit back, watch them giggling and playing and letting your heart fill with love and pride. Mr T has especially become so independent over the last few weeks and has started to want to go on outside walks and to explore and learn about the world outside my arms. I love watching him grow and learn from new experiences, but my heart does ache a little at the prospect of him growing up so fast. He chats along to me now, coming out with new words daily, he’s learnt how to spin and dance and has really found how to be cheeky to get all eyes on him. I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again that he’s been a shock to the system which he still is, I am forever moving things out of his reach and having to kiss and cuddle various bumps and scrapes. He is not for the faint hearted and he is definitely a stereotypical boy with his snot covered face, fascination with his winkey and the bucket loads of mess he creates. I’ve always been a girlie girl and enjoyed having a relatively clean home without sticky finger marks on everything and I’ve always loved having a home filled with pink, pretty girlie toys, but now I’ve learnt to embrace, sticky doors, the paw patrol toys and the endless noise from the toot-toot cars.

Miss J has been particularly challenging the last few weeks and I think it’s because she has been able to pick up on me not being well and she hasn’t been getting the attention that she needs. Now she’s at school I feel sad that our quality time is limited and confined to such a small window from 4pm-7pm. I find in this time I am so busy with getting dinners ready, bath time and bedtime it’s hard to actually enjoy this time properly. I’ve been trying to take a step back and not wish for bedtime to hurry up so I can put my feet up for the day, but instead sit down, play, listen to her stories, read our books and treasure the night-time cuddles in bed together. I know the day will come when she doesn’t want me for cuddles anymore and I need to appreciate her still needing me in this way. Between 7-7:30pm me and Miss J have our only one on one time together and its lovely. She tries every trick in the book to keep me in bed with her for a little longer with a funny story, telling me about her school day (she never remembers anything when her ask her on the walk home from school) and telling me over and over again how much she loves me and needs me to stay for one more cuddle. I really do appreciate our weekends now and how important and special they are especially with my husband only being around every other weekend.

My children are tough and I’m not the perfect parent, but everyday I try, and that’s how I know I love them so much. I have always put them above my own needs and that’s why I have struggled so much at times. I know that I need to look after myself more so I can appreciate them more and be a better mother to them. The mummy guilt never lifts unfortunately, but I am finding it easier to rationalise. unfortunately in our society mums are made to feel guilty in every way possible. If we chose to stay at home or go to work, if we decide to breast or bottle feed, if we co-sleep, if we do cry it out, someone will judge you. I have felt judge many times of the years of being a parent and I don’t expect that will change anytime soon, I know other people’s opinions of my parenting may not be favourable, but honestly I no longer care. My worse critic has always been myself but I remind myself if I wasn’t a good parent I wouldn’t feel guilty. Do what you need to do to get through these difficult and such rewarding first years and take a step back and appreciate your children and what you have sacrificed for them. You’re an excellent parent and you are unconditionally loved by them. See also Becoming the role model my daughter deserves.

Fighting depression with unconditional love

 

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Finding happiness again

Finding happiness again

My task for this week is to find happiness again. I feel like I’m now ready for a few challenges which I know will make me feel better so I can get back to work as soon as possible. My biggest worry this week is being weaned off the medication I was on to help me relax and sleep, but I’m hopeful that I can do it if I have other things in place to make me happier.

Affirmations are something that do work from experience but over the last few weeks I’ve neglected them completely as I’ve been stuck thinking negatively, but I am ready to start these again. See a post I’ve written about affirmations click here . Something else I am starting again is my head space app which from experience has really helped me unwind before bed and clear my head. I find that with my anxious thoughts my mind races at 100 miles per hour and I really struggle to switch off and fall asleep, so I need to again adopt a calming bedtime routine to help stop this.

I’m planning on visiting a gym tomorrow which is local and has a crèche so at least on my days off I can have some time to myself and get fit at the same time. We all know how important endorphins are to make us feel happier so I think if I do a couple of classes a week to start with like Zumba and Pilates Its time to myself, gets me fit, I feel better and I’ll hopefully lose some pounds.

I treated myself to a lovely organiser a few days ago from Paperchase http://www.paperchase.co.uk/ which I am hoping will make my life easier. I have a terrible memory especially with my medication so I thinking if everything is written down and scheduled in it will make me more likely to complete these things. I have a habit of cancelling on things at the moment as my anxiety and depression make it hard for me to get out.

A massive achievement this week for me has been to schedule my first counselling assessment on Tuesday which I know is going to be incredibly difficult, but its something that needs to be put in place so I don’t go back to where I was before and I know the long-term benefits will definitely be worth it.

I am back on Slimming World this week and will be eating plenty of fruit and vegetables as after a 4.5ib gain last week I’m feeling pretty rotten. I gained as I didn’t care and ate what I wanted to try to get some comfort, but I know this isn’t effective as at the time it might be nice and feel good to indulge, in the long-term it makes you feel guilty, sluggish and your jeans tighter. I need to get healthier for my own mental wellbeing as well as my health and stop using food as a coping mechanism. Check out my tasty slimming world soup recipe click here.

I have become guilty of palming my children off to the TV and tablet over the last couple of weeks as I haven’t been able to connect with them emotionally in my depressive state. TV is great and I have no issues with them watching it but they need a healthy balance. This week I’m going to focus on getting on the floor and playing with them, having the time to listen beyond their basic needs and laughing with them. Children can be the best medicine and without mine I would struggle so much more to get better as they really do bring me so much happiness.

Blogging has been a huge help for me to see things clearly. Writting everything down and reading it back is an amazing therapy and something I will be focusing on again, as it brings me lots of happiness. My mind last week was blank for ideas and it was something I just didn’t want to do, but finally now I’m sleeping again I’m getting some ideas again on what to write and I hope that continues.

Last week me and a friend went to Y spa which is local to us and I’ve visited many times before. If I’m honest I really didn’t want to go and have to face anyone, but my lovely friend arranged it all and forced me out the house and I’m so grateful she did. I had a lovely relaxing, child-free time and managed an hour-long nap on the heated water-bed. I had a fantastic facial and scrummy lunch and felt like a new woman when I left. I think spa trips should be compulsory to all mums every couple of months.

This week I’m going to be focusing on me and my happiness and doing things for myself again because if I’m not well I’m not going to be able to be the best parent I can be for my children.

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I survived another week

I survived another week

I survived another week which was the hardest week of my life. Click here for last weeks blog post. Things have been tough to say the least, but after finally having things in place to get better and the support of my family and friends I finally can see a future again and make plans with my life. The biggest thing this week is that I’ve been able to get sleep and because of that I have been able to see things a lot clearer. I have forced myself out over the last few days to see some friends and do some stuff for myself and actually getting out, even though hard has made a huge difference. I’m still finding evenings hard especially with my husband at work, but I have now found ways to cope and keep busy.

The last couple of weeks I’ve felt extremely discounted from everything and unable to cope with daily life. I no longer cared about looking after myself and was only taking care of my children’s basic needs and leaving everything up to my husband as I was drowning in depression. I’ve felt like a complete failure as a mother and wife and been consumed with guilt which was eating away at me and making me more depressed. Mr T was refusing to feed from me which made me feel like an even bigger failure and that he no longer needed me in any way anymore. He was trying to latch on and coming off screaming like he couldn’t get anything and I was having to put him to bed crying, which really broke my heart. I think he was picking up on the stress as now I’m on new medication and getting sleep he’s back to feeding first thing in the morning and again at night. I’ve always cherished this time with him and its given me a purpose when I’ve been at my lowest. I know the day will come when he no longer needs this comfort from me and as long as it’s on his terms I will be happy for this journey to end.

Miss J has seen me cry over the last couple of weeks which I’ve hated her to see. She’s such a sweet and caring girl and has tried to make me feel better which has then again made me feel guilty as it’s not her job to make me feel happy. I have to remind myself that my daughter is a credit to me and her sweet caring side is from the way I have nurtured her and its something I should be incredibly proud of.  She has been more challenging than usual which I put down to her picking up on my depression and also her not being at school and being stuck in with me most days when I haven’t met her emotional needs. She’s back at school now and happy and I’ve made the most of story time and cuddles before bed with her. Miss J changed my life for the better when she was born in 2012 and made me something I had always wanted to be which was a mother. I really do love her with all my heart and thank my lucky stars everyday that she was given to me as she really has saved me.

My husband is not one with the words, but his actions always mean so much more to me. He has helped out so much with the children and showed me support and affection. He has built me back up and reminded me of how important I am to our family and has made me feel loved. I forget to give him the credit he is due and how important he is to me. My husband is my soul mate and for him to stick by me through all of this which has actually made us stronger is a massive two fingers up at postnatal depression.

I have had amazing support from the CRISIS team, my husband, friends, family, work and Facebook groups who have been there to listen to my fears, worries and have built me back up from rock bottom. without this amazing support system in place I can honestly say I’m not sure what would have happened to me. I was in a dark place and unable to see clearly or rationally and can honestly say I was scared for my own safety.

I am not cured and still have a long road, but I now know the support I need to get again if I ever to go back to that place. I will keep on fighting and will gain strength from this to become again the wife, mother and friend I was before, because I survived.

For support please have a look at Minds website

Taking a second to appreciate my children

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