The obstacles of accessing mental health care as a mother

I need to have a bit of a rant about the obstacles I have had accessing mental health care as a mother in England. I feel like I am banging my head against a brick wall, trying to get help with my mental health problems, whilst finding someone to look after my child. Just like anything to do with parenting it is a juggling act and since the birth of my second child two years ago I have felt a constant struggle to access support for my postnatal depression, anxiety and borderline personality disorder. Things got so bad for me at points that I was under CRISIS team care twice and I attempted suicide.

After lengthy waits and weakening mental health you finally get an appointment for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and then you are met with the challenge of who will look after the baby? Like so many of us we don’t have access to childcare to go to these appointments and we miss out on crucial help. I have just completed CBT which took 3 months to get my first appointment and between appointments I had a minimum wait of 3 weeks between seeing someone and maximum of 6 weeks. CBT was helpful, but I had to be proactive and help myself as much as I could, which I couldn’t do when I was at my weakest. Not only could I not get appointments with my therapist I also couldn’t find someone to watch my child.

I have found this a relentless battle for accessing mental health care. I didn’t get everything I could out of CBT as I just wasn’t able to see someone enough and on a few occasions I had to cancel appointments when I needed it most, as I had no one who could help me with childcare. Like many people in my generation my parents still work, my other mum friends work and my husband also works long, unsociable hours. Between having the school runs to do with my oldest child and finding someone to watch my son for a couple of hours it was proving impossible at times.

I tried for over a year to get better by seeing various people, counselling, CBT and a private therapist and each time I had to stop before I felt ready, because of childcare. I am now starting diareltic behavioural therapy (DBT) which will be for 2 hours, once a week between 2-4pm, this is a group sessions and only runs once a week, so my hands are tied. I am doing everything I can to sort childcare, but I know I probably won’t be able to attend all sessions because of childcare issues. DBT is a fantastic therapy for people who suffer with borderline personality disorder and will give me ways in which to control my emotions and impulses. I have been desperate to start this since January and think it really could change my life for the better.

What annoys me most is that I may be seen as someone who isn’t using these services properly and that I am wasting time and money. I need these therapies to be a better person mentally and overall a better mum, yet nothing is done to help me go to these appointments. I feel I am doing all I can in my power to get help, yet I am forever struggling. I feel like I am wasting time and money and I am powerless to change things. How can I get childcare when there is none available?

It annoys me that I can’t drop my child off in a nursery (pre booked without a contract) for a few hours and pay for it as I go. I literally have my hands tied and no way of accessing the help I need. I am wasting NHS money. Wouldn’t it be worth the government looking at group CBT sessions for other mentally ill mum’s that had a crèche. All mum’s grouped together 1 hour a week whilst the children are watched. Wouldn’t this save the NHS money and also help mothers be seen quicker. After all we are a mother and we need our mental health to be looked after quickly and effectively. Could we not utilise the children’s centres we already have around us to make this a reality?

It still feels in this day and age as mother you are just expected to suck it up and get on with it and this infuriates me. I tried to do that and I had a mental breakdown in the process and then required CRISIS team care with daily visits, costing the NHS dearly. If I had been able to access the care I needed earlier I probably wouldn’t have needed this extra support and hospital admissions. In this country the go to support from the doctor is a prescription of antidepressants and possibly a visit from the health visitor. Things need to improve and become easier to access.

I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this and what you think could be done?

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17 Top tips for a happier life with a new baby

17 Top tips for a happier life with a new baby

A new baby is something really special, they smell gorgeous, are tiny and cute and they completely over haul your lives for a while. It takes some to time to adjust to a new baby in your home, as you get to know them and they get to know you. It’s hard work, exhausting and emotionally draining. I’ve written some tips I would have given myself as a new baby arrived.

 

  1. Trust your instinct it’s usually right.
  2. If in doubt ask for a second opinion. Always feel strong enough to ask for a second opinion about your baby, see another doctor or see a health visitor and make sure you feel comfortable with the advice you’ve given.
  3. Sleep when the baby sleeps and don’t feel guilty about it. A tired mummy is no good to anyone.
  4. Breastfeed your baby and if that isn’t what you want to do or it doesn’t work out, then bottle feed your baby.
  5. Own your parenting decisions and don’t be made to feel guilty. We all have to make difficult decisions around are parenting choices and we need to be confident in them.
  6. Let the other stuff slide. cooking, cleaning friends can all take a bit of a backseat whilst you adjust to motherhood.
  7. Make sure you still do stuff you enjoy. If that’s getting out with some friends then so be it or if you’re a home bird and not ready to leave the baby then have a nice bath or read a book whilst someone watches the baby.
  8. If you don’t already have them, make mum friends. Join a group on Facebook or go to a local mum’s group, these women need you as much as you need them.
  9. Your baby probably wont sleep for a long time and that’s normal. Try and ignore anyone who says that their 2 week old sleeps through for 12 hours as the chances are when that baby is teething, sleep will once again be a distant memory.
  10. Hold your baby, let time pass by, breath in that smell and remember the perfect moments.
  11. Every mum 1st, 2nd, or 6th time will make a mistake so don’t let it upset you. Your baby won’t remember and guilt is every mum’s worst enemy.
  12. Take everyone’s opinions with a pinch of salt. Take your time to make up your own mind.
  13. Don’t compare your baby to another baby.
  14. Sometimes are own mother’s and grandmother’s want to pass on their words of wisdom, but please remember advice has changed hugely over the last 20+ years. I’m sure the advice is meant to be helpful, but please make sure the advice you are given meets current guidelines. No babies sleeping on tummy or thickened formula please.
  15. Muslins clothes are amazing and you can never have enough. Great for all sorts of spit up and mess and also double as handy breastfeeding cover tucked into your bra strap.
  16. Ask for help. You don’t need to be a hero and you won’t get an award. If you need help, please ask for it.
  17. Always have baby wipes around. I honestly don’t know how mum’s managed before baby wipes, as they really are amazing for cleaning anything! If you don’t fancy shop bought ones you can always make your own.

Little babies don’t stay little for long so try to remember those special moments as when you look back this is what matters. The night-time feeds, screaming, baby sick and tears from you and baby will fade much quicker over time, but those little moments of happiness will last a lifetime,

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10 facts on why you are a better mum than you think

10 facts on why you are a better mum than you think

No doubt if you’re a great mum you are probably questioning your abilities as a mum through one decision or another and you are trying to think of ways to be a better mum. We are expected to do it all, raise a chid, run a house, have a job and still look presentable. Some people make it look easy, whilst other like me just look frazzled. I guess some of us are better than others of keeping up the appearance of keeping your shit together and that’s great, but for others we burn out, struggle and we question ourselves as a mum. I’ve written 10 facts on why you are a better mum than you think.

  1. Because you care enough to even read this. Just by questioning your ability as a mum shows how much you care.
  2. You have sacrificed something in your life, probably lots which makes you selfless.
  3. You priorities your money and pay your bills to keep a roof over your children’s home. You will go without to make sure your children have security.
  4. Your children are fed, warm, have a safe home and probably have far too many toys.
  5. You have a child who loves and needs you. That makes you special. In their eyes you are amazing and they idolize you.
  6. You are teaching your children important life skills everyday. You show them  understanding, empathy, patience just to name a few.
  7. You are showing your children love. Your love for them imprints and shows them what to base love on as they grow.
  8. You have made mistakes, but you have also learnt from them. You are showing your children how to learn from mistakes and that no one is perfect.
  9. You don’t give up, you keep trying to be better parent.
  10. You love them fiercely like you could have never imagined and would protect them with your own life.

You are a better mum than you think and your love for your children is unconditional. We all have moments when we shout too loud, let our emotions get the better of us or have to make a sacrifice in one way or another. We are not bad mum’s, we are human, we have little ones dependent on us and it is hard work at times. Be kind to yourself, you’re doing a great job.

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Getting out of the comfort zone

Getting out of the comfort zone

It’s so easy in life to stay in your own comfort zone and not rock the boat too much. I did it for years and stayed in my bubble and let my anxiety fester into every aspect of my life, until I became so limited on what I could actually do. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) has been a huge help to me and I am finally getting out, enjoying life again and having plenty of new experiences.

This time last year I was just going back to work from maternity leave and I was feeling especially vulnerable and overwhelmed at the prospect. I was still in the middle of a battle with postnatal depression and anxiety had creeped into every aspect of my life. It was exhausting to constantly being in a state of fight or flight (usually always the latter) and I was becoming increasingly limited on what I could do in my day to day life. I was becoming a recluse and my enjoyment in life was dwindling away and it was feeding my depression. It was vicious cycle and I felt like I was fighting a losing battle.

Something had to change and that change would only come about if I changed. I needed to change my though processes first and CBT was a great stepping stone. CBT taught me so much and helped me question my thought process. I started off small just at first doing the food shop and then gradually built up. I faced my fears, proved my thoughts wrong and exposed myself to a new way to see things. I made sure once my CBT sessions stopped that I continued to read my book and put what I was taught into action when I felt anxiety creeping back in. It’s not always easy, but I have now been able to witness the benefits and I now have proof in my own mind that it works.

CBT has taught me how important it is to get out my comfort zone, not just to do the normal everyday things in life, but also giving me the courage to then try new and often scary things. The scariest thing I’ve done has been blogging as I’ve always been very self-conscious and aware of other people’s opinions of me. Blogging has left me exposed and it has really put myself out there. I’m not the best at spelling, grammar and am forever worrying that what I am writing is rubbish, but with support I feel I’ve found something I love, it gives back to me, helps me grow and it also gets me to try new things. I have found a passion, something that gives me so much and I also feel I am able to give back and hopefully help others.

The last 3 months I have really built myself up and got out my comfort zone on many occasions. Once you start the feeling can become quite addictive and I am forever accepting invitations to new and scary things I couldn’t imagine myself doing a few months ago. I am no longer scared and constricted by what I can and can’t do and it’s opened up a new world for me. Since I have started getting myself out my comfort zone everything else in my life has improved, my confidence, my depression, my anxiety and my overall wellbeing. I am getting new opportunities everyday and I love the feeling of excitement my life now brings.

Except new challenges and remember that you are the only person coming between making them a reality.

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How to become a happy mum

How to become a happy mum

I have been a parent for almost five years and I’ve learnt a think or two in this time. I’ve gone from control freak, over protective mum, to having a mental breakdown and now I am the happy mum. To become a happy mum it took time, lots of realisation and took the strength to finally let go of guilt around my decisions.

I’m not an organised person and even though I have the best intentions it just doesn’t happen for me. I always forget dates, double book and never have the children’s stuff ready for the morning. I think I like to be rushed in some ways as it actually makes me productive and sets me up for the day. My friends don’t hold this against me though and even know it’s worth reminding me a couple of times about something important. I  swear far too often and Miss J has dropped the ‘F’ bomb, I may have sniggered slightly, whilst in my best grown up voice I explained that it wasn’t ok to use that word and mummy is naughty sometimes. Yes I know it’s not great that my child knows some swear words, but she also knows she is not to use them and also mummy isn’t perfect and makes mistakes. When I’m not swearing I sigh, all day long I sigh from one thing to the next, whilst probably muttering ‘for ducks sake’ under my breath. I find this whole parenting work hard work and sometimes very monotonous. I hate folding clothes endlessly, forever picking up messes left around the house and I moan about it LOTS.

Some days I get up, do my make up, get organised, take amazing photos of our beautiful life and others I’m just winging it with a messy bun that resembles Miss Trunchbulls. Some days I look content, happy, smiling and skipping along, enjoying every second of this idyllic family life and being a happy mum. Other days I’m just fighting a losing battle and counting down the hours until bedtime. My point is it’s tough, we can’t always get it right every day and there is nothing wrong with that. Parenting is a hardcore job, you deal with the good, the bad, the ugly and the just dam right minging at times. There is nothing to feel guilty about if you don’t like it all the time, just like if you have a partner you probably don’t like them all the time. They might be our kids, but they can still be pretty horrible people at times and we don’t always have to get on with them.

We are influenced by social media and also the media that we should love, embrace and never moan about parenting as we are lucky enough to become mum’s, when in fact it’s a tough job which we are usually trying to manage alongside a house, a job and dare I say it, a life outside of this. We are told what way we should feed our babies milk, what nappies, what age to wean. We are still be dictated to and made to feel guilty about what we choose. We need to remember we are the baby’s mother and we know what is best for our family and we shouldn’t have to explain or defend these decisions.

Being a happy mum isn’t a race or a competition and we shouldn’t compare ourselves. We are all just winging it and probably feeling guilt over some of the choices we have to make. I bet making that choice to return back to work wasn’t done because you don’t want to see your child, it was done as it was best for your family. I bet deciding to be a stay at home was made as it was the best decision for your family. everyone’s family life is different and one size doesn’t fit all and that is nothing to be ashamed about.

Put the kids in front of the TV, have a hot drink, scroll through your Facebook and take 5 minuets for yourself. Yes they are only small once, but remember you deserve to still be you whilst being a mum. Let go of guilt, forget the mess and enjoy being you. You are an individual and you are more than a mother. Let’s all start being happy parent.

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my 11 top tips for getting happy

My 11 top tips for getting happy

I am not a therapist and definitely not a doctor, but I have found ways of getting happy again. I’ve been in a rotten place and I’ve been diagnosed with postnatal depression, anxiety and borderline personality disorder. I’ve had experience on how to change my life for the positive and I’ve worked extremely hard the last six months to dig myself out of a dark place. I’ve put together some of my tips which have worked for me.

  1. Have a therapy – Therapy for people can mean different things, I recommend having a councillor to talk over your worries before they become problems so you can make sense of them. If you think a more direct therapy may help then look into Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. For me CBT has really changed my behaviour and made anxiety easier. Read my blog post here.
  2. Have a creative outlet – For many years I neglected giving myself the time and space to have a creative outlet. Painting, drawing, colouring in can all be amazing to take your brain away from thinking to just letting it be. For me now my creative outlet is writing and it also doubles up as a great therapy. If you aren’t artistic then try gardening, baking, cooking, dancing and I’m sure you’ll find something you love. If in doubt think back to when you were a child and what you enjoyed doing.
  3. Practice mindfulness – Mindfulness without a doubt works in my mind. It has helped me to switch off, relax and take notice of my own body. It’s great for anxiety and lovely way to unwind before going to sleep.
  4. Get good sleep habits – I try (and sometimes fail) to stay off my phone an hour before bed every night and either practice mindfulness (breathing) or read a simple book (nothing that requires too much thinking).
  5. Make a weekly happiness list – When I was going through a really tough time I found this really helped me to see even on the worse weeks I still had moments of happiness.
  6. Do something you love and be selfish – Once a week if you can, do something just for you. Have your favourite dessert and watch a good film, a bath with you favourite bathbomb or a coffee with a friend. Make sure it happens and make the time for yourself.
  7. Walk – Get outside the house and walk, it’s good for you. If you need to layer up with lots of layers or wear a rain coat it doesn’t matter just get out. You’ll always feel happier  and see things from a different perspective outside your four walls and the exercise is good for you.
  8. Right off a bad day – Some days nothing will go right, right it off and start a fresh the next day. Every bad day we learn something new to move forward with and put it in the past. Being happy isn’t possible 100% of the time, we just need to learn to deal with the negative in a positive way.
  9. Read – I love reading, but again neglected it for a years. I now always have a few books on the go. Like TV shows I read what I’m in the mood for at the time, so sometimes it’s self-help/motivation and others its romantic book. I love nothing more than getting lost in a book I love.
  10. Positive Affirmations – I love a good affirmation and have a few written around the house that I read and repeat. It’s amazing how just saying something out loud can have such a positive effect on your mind.
  11. Get the family involved – Recently I have been trying to get my daughter involved, we’ve been practising different yoga moves, breathing and affirmations. It makes my daughter happy, I enjoy the company and I know how much good it is doing her.

In my experience the more you do something the easier it gets to make it part of your routine. I hope these tips to getting happy help and I would love to hear some tips from yourself.

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I think I just beat depression

Every day I have woken up, depression has been there, hiding in the background, like a dementor draining all happy thoughts away. The other day I woke up, just like any other and got out the bed, had a shower, which was interrupted by a half asleep Miss J needing a wee. I dried off and settled down to do my make up with my children sat in my bed, cuddling and the TV on with cartoons. I stared at myself in the mirror and something had changed, had shifted and I didn’t recognise my own reflection. We pass through life often not noticing the small changes until it adds up and becomes a big change. As I stared at my reflection I realised the woman staring back at me was happy, I was happy, I had changed and depression had left me.

I had been so busy with life and our routines that I hadn’t even noticed that my depression had finally gone. I wasn’t just having the few odd good days anymore I was having most days which were good. I was able to wake up in the morning, deal with everyday stresses without crumbling under pressure. I am taking care of my children, going out with them, enjoying them and enjoying life. Life is no longer this foggy, dark, monotonous and painful existence, but actually a fun, happy and worthwhile existence.

My hard work had finally paid off and I had ridden the storm out. The positive thinking, mindfulness, reading and therapy had finally given me that light bulb moment. I was in charge of my own life and own happiness and I needed to make the changes to let happiness in. I had accepted myself and my flaws, let go of guilt and finally got my life back and it feels amazing.

I know that I will still have challenging days and that my depression could even come back, but I now have proof in my own life that things can change and turn around. You can reach rock bottom and climb back up to the top. You can make plans again, you can smile, you can still be you again. I had become me again, but better, I was more aware, kind, understanding and appreciative. I can see things from both sides and have great empathy for everyone going through their own personal battles.

What has depression taught me in these last two years? It has shown me that I am far stronger than I ever realised and deep down I am a kind person with a big heart. It has shown me that I am a fantastic mother, because even when I was at my worse I felt immense guilt about my children. Even in midst of it all I still fed, washed and cuddled my children even when I couldn’t take care of myself. I still protected them and shielded them the best I could. When I was struggling most I was still trying to be selfless to protect them.

This is just my battle and you shouldn’t draw comparisons if you are going through something similar. Everyone’s battle with mental illness is unique and has many variables. I was lucky as I always had a supportive husband next to me, I was able to pay to go privately to get the therapy I needed and I finally found an antidepressant that works for me. I am forever grateful to my husband who has stood by me, supported and loved me when I couldn’t love myself. His patience is admirable and his heart is pure and without him I couldn’t be the woman and mother I am today. I still have problems just like anyone else but I am in a place where I can work on them and become better, but for now depression can fuck right off.

 

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Mr T is turning two – Reflection

Mr T is shortly turning two and is no longer my little baby boy, but rather a tall toddler. Mr T has done well to holding onto his baby status for longer than his peers with his chubby cheeks, his late walking and reluctance to talk. If I’m honest I have loved keeping him a baby for longer and have savoured every second with my baby boy, but times are moving and he’s ready to graduate to a toddler. Mr T stopped having the boob last week, which makes him seem so much more grown up to me and has been surprising me daily with new words, he’s also had his first proper big boy hair cut which has turned him from cute to handsome.

Starting off Mr T had a bit of a rough time with horrible reflux and because he was a bit of a piggy and was still gaining weight the doctors weren’t concerned. He would scream all night and often go through five babygrows a night. I spent so much time googling and eventually found a pillow (babymoov cosydream) that helped him sleep in comfort and after many trips to the doctor I finally got some prescribed which helped. The reflux has finally stopped in the last few months and I no longer find puddles of sick around the house or him going blue and it’s one phase I am so happy to be out of.

I’ve always found Mr T to be more needy than his sister, he didn’t sleep well and always needed me around. I loved all the cuddled, but at times it was suffocating never having a second without him attached to me. Recently it’s all started to pay off and he’s finally found his independence to play and explore. Last week I managed to get him to stop breastfeeding, which was a huge step for us. I had planned to feed until a year like his sister, but we just kept going. I never thought I would be an extended breastfeeder, but I am now so happy I have. For the last six months he has only fed before bed so it hasn’t been an inconvenience, instead a nice part of our bedtime routine. Mr T has happily weaned and excepted that the milk has gone and I couldn’t be prouder of what a big boy he has become.

When I compare my two children I always feel a bit like he pulled the short straw having to divide his time with his sister and also having a mum who had postnatal depression. When the depression was at it worse I was forever blaming myself and letting the guilt eat me up about what a rubbish mum I was this time around. In reality I can now see, he was none the wiser to anything going on and I’ve done an amazing job over the last two years at being his mummy. The joys of coming out the other side is now seeing I did the best I could have done in the situation I was in and that is pretty amazing.

One thing that has shined in the last few months is Mr T’s personality, I really have a little comedian on my hands who will do anything to make someone smile. He really is a little sunshine and always such a happy little boy (besides when hungry), he actively is always trying to get people’s attention, just so he can show off how charismatic he is becoming. I’m certain he will be the class clown when he starts school and will keep us in stitches for many years to come. He’s honestly so engaging and I could just watch him for hours pottering about doing his little thing.

One thing that has always been easy with Mr T is his eating and something I am so grateful for after his ultra picky eater sister. I’ve always had that worry that he will also get more difficult, but ‘touch wood’ so far he is a real food lover. He was feasting on calamari and steak the other day and likes a good Thai curry.

All in all it’s been a good two years with Mr T, he has taught me so much and shown me such love and I can’t wait to watch his personality grow in the next year of his life. He is still called ‘The destroyer’ and doesn’t seem to be dropping that nickname anytime soon, but you have to admire his strong wilfulness. This boy will do great things.

 

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Mr T's birth story

Mr T’s birth story

I love a good birth story, click here for Miss J’s and now Mr T is almost two I think it’s time to share the story of how he came into this world. I think watching One Born Every Minute has also inspired me to write it down. I had a pretty rotten pregnancy with Mr T with lots of bleeding at the start and I was told on our second scan at 8 weeks I had a large hematoma next to my placenta and I could lose the baby. I had eight scans in total, had awful SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunaction) and really struggled getting around in the second half of my pregnancy. I saw a Osteopath weekly to help with the discomfort, but felt stuck either at work or home, unable to get around with a toddler. I’m pretty sure this is where my depression and also anxiety started. I cancelled plans constantly and just stayed at home crying wishing for my pregnancy to hurry up and be over, thinking I would immediately feel better once the baby was here.

I started having some twinges at 35 weeks and ended up in hospital where it was determined that I was very anemic and tachycardic and needed to be put on iron tablets and I was sent home after monitoring. A week later I was sent back in with irregular contractions and was kept in for monitoring where things seemed to be progressing nicely. I had spoken of my desire for an epidural from the start after a succesful one after a very painful back to back labour with my daughter and my midwife was more than happy to oblige and send for one. The midwife decided it was time to break my waters, but before then she decided to tell me as I had polyhydramnios (too much amniotic fluid) that the babies umbilical cord could come out first and I would need to put my bum in the air and have an emergency c-section. I went tachycardic again, blood pressure was high and babies heartbeat went a bit crazy, so they held off and decided to put a cannulae in instead to check for preeclampsia. The midwife made four failed attempts, and plenty of squirting blood to get a cannulae in and then decided to send for an anaesthetist. Luckily the anaesthetist got it in first time and gave the midwife a telling off for buturing my arm and hand. With all the panic my contractions slowed right down and I was feeling a bit of an emotional wreck. My test for preeclampsia came back negative and I was sent off to the ward to ‘rest’. Anyone who has been on one of those wards, knows unless your sedated you don’t rest. By the next morning everything had settled, my iron was increased again and I was sent back home and they said they were certain they would see me again in a few days.

I went back to work the next day, I still can’t believe I managed to finish off my last couple of days until maternity leave started. Once maternity leave had started I was feeling pretty determined to get the baby out. I think having the whole experience of being in hospital with everything ready to go, to then being sent on your way home I was just ready to meet my baby and also I was terrified that when my waters broke the umbilical cord would come out first and I would have to call 999 like instructed to. In those few days I got pretty miserable sitting around bouncing on my ball with contractions starting and stopping. My husband was working 12 hour shifts and I was at home with a very energetic almost three-year old.

On the Saturday whilst bouncing about on my ball the news came on saying that Kate Middleton was in labour, all I thought was lucky bloody cow. My friend called to meet for lunch in town, but I declined as I really thought my waters would break if I went out. I felt like I could feel my waters bulging and in the end decided to drive to my mum’s for some company and help with my daughter. My husband was due to go from work straight to a friend’s house to watch a fight on TV and my sister insisted on coming over to my house for a Chinese. Contractions started to pick up again and my sister started to time them. My sister was my birth partner and was very anxious to get to the hospital, I knew the drill and knew I would be sent home and couldn’t be bothered with the fuss of getting my daughter out of bed. Things again calmed down and I managed to persuade my sister to leave. I went upstairs immediately and went for a number 2 (haha) when I noticed I was leaking and had no control over it, I thought I had become incontinent, then I thought maybe it was my waters. I laid on the bed for a few minutes as you are advised and then stood up, when I felt a huge gush of water. I immediately phoned my sister back who already had her phone on her lap when driving, as she had a feeling I would go into labour that night. My sister woke Miss J up to tell her she was going to be a big sister and we rushed off to drop a sleepy, confused Miss J with my parents and headed to hospital.

Hubby beat us to the hospital and I went up to be examined where I was told I was 2cm so I was sent home. I was convinced everything would be all go when my waters broke and all the contractions I had earlier, so I stayed at my sister’s house which is much closer to the hospital and my husband was sent off to watch the rest of the fight around a friend’s house. My waters kept going and going, but I didn’t even have so much as of a backache. I tried to sleep as best as I could and in the morning my sister dropped me back home so I could rest. I was due to go back to the hospital at 8pm to be induced so I decided to sort the house, have a shower and a long nap. Everything was in order and at 6pm I went to my mum’s for my requested dinner of pie. Everything was so calm and it was so surreal to drive around with no water around my baby. We went off to the hospital for 8pm and a pessary was inserted to hopefully induce labour.

Relaxing through a contraction.

I attempted to sleep with terrible heartburn and mild backache and my husband and sister were sent home for the night. Morning came and I was checked again and the midwife said she could still feel my hind waters so she broke them and I was put on a drip. contractions were manageable and I put off having the epidural and just had gas and air. Five hours in and I was 5cm’s dilated and things went from being ok to horrendous. I begged for an epidural which only made my bum cheek numb. My midwife had to go off on her break and another came into cover. I kept telling her I felt the need to push and she kept shouting at me that I wasn’t ready as I was only 5cm. I decided to push anyway just as my midwife came back and confirmed I was fully dilated and two pushes later my baby boy was delivered at 37 weeks. He was born at 6:01pm was grey, squished and a perfect 7 ib’s and 1 oz.

Born at 37 weeks weighing 7ibs 1oz

I was bleeding heavily after labour and was 50ml off being classed as hemmoraged. I was put on an iron transfusion and left to lay in bed for two hours unable to move. I managed to get Mr T to have a feed after struggling to get him to latch at first, but otherwise I was so exhausted I didn’t have the energy to really hold him. I was put on the high dependency ward at 11pm and my sister and husband were sent home. I was given tramadol to help with the pain in my hips and spent the night a bit off my face being handed a baby to feed. The next day I begged to go home and made out that I felt fine. My iron was still low and I was given tablets and was discharged after lunch.

Looking back I was no way ready to have gone home and I think the lack of iron contributed to my postnatal depression, I was bleeding for ten weeks after birth and was constantly exhausted but refused to go and get help. If I did it again I would have done things differently. Even though the pregnancy was tough the actual labour was really straight forward and I am so happy to have a perfect little boy in our family.

Happy nearly two years Mr T x

 

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Why I am rocking motherhood

In this ever stressful world we live in where as mothers we are criticised for how we feed our babies milk, how we wean them, how we let them sleep, how we discipline and even what we let them crap in, I wanted to write an honest post to how I am rocking motherhood.

I am the best mum in the world in my children’s eyes and frankly that’s all that matters. My son is so chuffed he still gets boob before bed every night as mummy can’t be assed with trying to get him to wean off it and he’s also still loving his dummy. I am rocking motherhood as when he’s sleepy he gets cuddles with warm milk every night and then gets to suckle on his beloved “doodoo”. He sleeps through the night, so mummy gets time to herself every evening.

We recently had my daughters parents evening and I got to see some of her school work, she wrote that she loves her mummy as I give her chicken nuggets for dinner. I am rocking motherhood as I let my daughter eat chicken nuggets at least twice a week, she loves it, she eats it and it takes no effort to make. I made them once from scratch and frankly it was too much effort.

Miss J has become quiet the techie recently with the tablet. Every morning when she wakes up at 6am she gets an hour of ‘learning’ on the tablet whilst mummy sleeps next to her. I am rocking motherhood as I get an extra hour in bed (win) and she gets to brush up on her skills of navigating the tablet, I think she might become a computer programmer or something techie when she’s a big girl.

Miss J and Mr T love the TV, well what child doesn’t. They often get put in front of the electrical babysitter with an intellectual program (paw patrol), whilst mummy does some work on her laptop (social media, blogging etc). I am rocking motherhood because my kids get to learn what pup to call in an emergency and I get some peace and feel like I have socialized with the rest of the world.

Like all kids my children love a good play and getting out every toy they own. I often let them get every basket of toys out and even pull off the sofa cushions to jump on, whilst I head upstairs to escape the mayhem. I am rocking motherhood as I am teaching the kids to play independently and I am getting some time away from the carnage to either clean or hide.

My two love our local soft play and I enjoy it too. We go off on a Saturday morning with another mummy friend and the kids go mental for two hours swinging around and loving life. I leave them too it (within reason) and make Miss J keep an eye on her brother. I am rocking motherhood as I am teaching her responsibility and I get to chat with friends and enjoy a hot cup of tea. Mr T is usually knackered and will sleep on the way home too (win).

My children love their daddy so much, as do I. Sometimes when he isn’t working silly shifts he becomes daddy day-care and mummy goes out on a night on the town. I am rocking motherhood as my kids get a chance to be away from me and bond with their daddy and mummy gets a night off to get a little (a lot) tipsy with her other mummy friends so we can spend the whole evening talking about our darlings whilst sharing pictures of them with strangers.

My children are very lucky, they have five grandparents and two great grandparents that love them so much. Whilst the kiddies are still so young we only spend about £50 on each at birthdays and Christmas as we know they will get so many generous gifts. I am rocking motherhood as my children are not being spoiled (well at least not by us), and mummy and daddy have more money to go out for family days out or couples evenings out.

How are you rocking motherhood?

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