First encounter of the mean kind…lol

Im going to tell you about one experience I had, my first I should add… of the dreaded… wait for it… BABY GROUP!!! does that send as many shivers up your back as it does mine?  If so, you are not alone! I know a few mothers who have the same reaction when mentioned.

Now, I dont want to give all of them bad press , because there are some good ones out there.. I just never found them.

My first experience of going to a baby group was when I was in the depths of PND.  I wanted to go because it was recommended to me and as stated before, I try to be as proactive as possible.  The morning that I went, it was raining … now that’s nothing new when you live in Scotland  but i’m sure it probably did contribute to the way that I was feeling.

I was advised by my health visitor that there was one not too far from me and that it started at 10:30am.  I tried getting up early in order to get out the door but as most new Mum’s and Mum’s in general really, that it can be difficult to get out the door before 12!  I drove up and before getting out the car, i think I was having a minor panic attack as I just wasn’t up to meeting new people or leaving the house unless it was to see family and on the odd occasion, friends especially if my husband wasn’t with me.

The building itself was a concrete building with no windows …. so i walked in and waited.  I saw that there was a gate but didn’t know how to open it or who to speak to.  I started to panic. A janitor opened the gate for me and said that I should go in and pay  whatever the fee was. I went in and there were tonnes of kids running around and many mothers, and 1 father.

I scanned the room looking for eye contact with someone who would come and speak to  me but no one did. I tried smiling at many of the adults, no one smiled back. i felt like a child in the playground who no one wanted to play with. I felt like shit. Sorry for the language but this is an honest account.

I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes, the fear in my body and the need to get out of there fast. The harder I tried not to cry, the faster the tears came. I put my head down and went to walk out but I was stopped by a woman with a baby who looked around a year old who i would later come to know as  Rachael and a little boy with the cutest glasses that resembled the milky bar kid and his name was Nathaniel . Her name was kate and she is one of my best friends now.  If she hadn’t came to speak to me that day, I don’t know how things would have turned out.  She is one of the many supportive people that I have in my life and I am so thankful that I attended that baby group on that day.

P.S. I never set foot in that group again.

Buggython Fundraiser

Hi

Just wanted to share with you all about the Buggython which is taking place in Glasgow this September. I will attach the flyer for anyone who is interested and I really hope that you can all come out and support this amazing fundraising event.

As you all know, the Tom Allan Centre had a major impact on my recovery , and I will continue to support them in any way that I can.  They also require volunteers for their creche, admin, and fundraising. If anyone wants to volunteer, the details are detailed on the flyer.

                                                          BlueBell Buggython

Saturday 10 September 2011
10.30am to 1pm
BOTANIC GARDENS
730 Great Western Road, Glasgow G12 0UE
Face painting, Arts & Crafts & Entertainment
Walk starts at 11am – all welcome with buggy or not!
Registration £5
To help families affected by Ante/Postnatal Depression
Contact:
Jackie Walker Bluebell PND Service Tom Allan Centre
at: Bluebell PND Support
Church of Scotland Social Care Council, Operating as CrossReach The Church of Scotland, Scottish Charity No. SCO11353

Turning things around

I am very conscious of how my posts sound and was worried that anyone going through this would think is there any hope? There is but I wanted people to know how debilitating it really is and that although our journey may be different to the next person, there are a lot of commonalities too.

I had mentioned before that I try to rationalize things in order for them to make sense in my own head, and this helps me to make sense of not only this but also about life in general…  I think a lot of the similarities with people going through PND  can be put down to patient care before and after.  I know that because I was quite ill at the start of my pregnancy which I hadn’t mentioned previously , many trips to the hospital making sure that my baby was ok and that she was getting enough nutrients, may have started the anxiety part of my depression.  I wonder if it kick started what was to be?  I could be wrong because I know of a lot of people who were a;so quite ill up until the 4th month of their pregnancy who didnt develop PND. I would have to see if there was a proper study into this.

I also wonder if low iron levels are a contributing factor? I have a B12 def now and I certainly know of people who have this and also experienced PND.  They also say that traumatic experiences may be a factor , again the accident with my Dad.  or am I just clutching at straws and trying to make sense of something that just happened and I need to get over it and move on?

 I guess my main point of this blog is to help people understand that it happens, its OK to go through it and there is help. I want to raise awareness about it and I just want to write for my own therapeutic process.  It is a very real experience and in writing this is has provoked much anger towards being let down by some health professionals. n i could get bitter and remain angry but instead, I will try to change the way in which people are dealt with.  

I was speaking to a health visitor at work last night and even she said that they need to re think the way in which women and men are dealt with. She believes that there is still very much a stigma attached to PND and that something needs to change.  She believes that a lot of women don’t admit it to themselves because they are scared of having their children taken away from them or having the label of “unfit” mother assigned to them.  I think personally to that last statement I would challenge it. You want more than anything in the world to have that bond, you try almost anything but for some it just takes longer.  But it happens, i assure you and would bet my life on it.

Guilt

No one prepares you for it really, do they?  The guilt at not being able to breast feed when you really want to provide what we are told is best, for our babies.  As mentioned in a previous post, I had tried in the hospital but unfortunately I couldn’t do it and made the difficult decision to bottle feed instead.. It may have been due to sleep deprivation or just wanting to do the easiest thing in order to get out and get home, I dont really know..

What followed and still does to this day, is the amount of guilt I feel and I am still envious of friends who have , or  when I am out  and see a baby being breast fed, there is that longing.   I did at times try , I have an amazing cousin who was a volunteer for the breast feeding initiative and she sat down with me to try to get my daughter latched on as well as assisting me with expressing.  I managed for a few days but I think because it was few and far between, the milk just wouldn’t come through.

Up until recently I thought, if we have another baby, I will make it up in that way and make sure that all the “mistakes” I made with daughter number 1 , would not be repeated with baby number 2.  But this is not a way to live, these are irrational thoughts… the difference is , I can identify them as being irrational and work on them,.  I know that the media hypes things up and often gets information wrong, as does the medical profession. Don’t get me wrong, i think if you can breast feed, you should but it isn’t worth someone beating themselves up about it.

I think another thing that we feel guilty about as mothers which adds to PND, or it certainly did mine, was the “Yummy Mummies”. We all know these women… the ones who are immaculately dressed when you’re the one with spit and vomit on your clothing but managed to still get out the door before lunch time 😉  How do they manage to get up and out so early and look so immaculate? I remember being in company with at a weaning fair. It was a particularly bad day, I didn’t want to go or even leave the house that day but I was trying hard to be proactive and i had arranged to meet a friend.

I looked like hell on this day and the boots that I had on, couldn’t zip them all the way up due to my body changing after my daughter was born(fat calves), but my trousers were covering them although slightly visible, I remember the look she gave me.  It just added to the despair that I was already feeling.  She had the perfect pram, well kept appearance, and immaculate baby. I, looked terrible and was on the verge of tears.  I made excuses to leave and probably cried all the way home.  I felt like anything that I did to try to get better, just kept backfiring on me.

What I should have realized was, at least I made it out that day despite feeling the way that I had. I should have been kind to myself and saw an achievement! But I didn’t, i just beat myself up about things.It was becoming a regular thing and it would be some time before I started seeing changes.

 

 

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