I’m a mother to a beautiful three year old girl and a wife to an amazing supportive husband. It was a long emotional journey for us to get pregnant. Our journey did not stop there. I had an awful pregnancy resulting in severe morning sickness and sciatica.
I was under a consultant for heart issues and IVF. I had several hospital admissions due to her heart rate and non movement. I had to eventually see a physiotherapist because the back pain and leg pain was to much to bare. When my labour began four weeks early I though it would all be over and she would be here safe. I thought the worst was over with.
I was wrong.
I took to blogging to share my experiences in the hope that it may help new parents along the way. For the parent that is sat at home feeling alone, feeling like they want it to end. I have been there. I still have those days
The difference is I now know I am not alone.
I suffer with PTSD and Postnatal depression after experiencing a traumatic birth. I have wrote about my experience through my personal. Blog The worst and happiest day of my life. It has taken a long time for me to open up, I have my therapist and husband to thank for the support they have given me. I had CBT – cognitive brain therapy for two and a half years.
Something I’ve learnt is that we all have bad days and we Al feel guilt at some point in our lives. Even if you don’t suffer from a mental illness.
I think if you suffer with a mental illness the heightened emotions make it that little bit tougher when you are already down.
I have days when I don’t want to get out of bed. On these days no matter what my husband says to me, I think he’s an idiot and can’t stand being around him.
I visualise packing a bag, getting in my car and driving away.
I’m angry inside, so angry and I cry.
The next day I’m fine. Almost like it never happened.
It must be hard being with someone when you never know what mood they are in, not just on that day, but in that moment. Yes, it makes me sound like an awful wife and mother but that’s what having a mental illness is like. It sucks the light out of you. It almost takes away every ounce of energy you have as your mind goes into overdrive.
What if? What can I? Can’t I? Round and round the thoughts go.
The truth is it took me a year of therapy and going over the same thing to begin to function. I needed a break. I needed to take time out to let my mind rest. I remember sitting there thinking I’ll wave a wand and magic* up some spare time.
Looking back at how physically and mentally ill I was, I know now that having time to yourself and time as a couple is so important. Your marriage or partnership is not over when you have kids.
I came across my medical notes whilst unpacking a box the other day and there it is was in black and white
Sepsis. Major surgery required.
I look back and even to this day I brush off just how awful the situation was. My daughter nearly lost her mother. My husband his wife. I have days where I dwell on it and think, what if?
I struggle around the anniversary, her birthday every year. Even three years on. My husband calls it our strong day. He always has a little gift and letter to give me, to cheer me up. I focus so much on making sure it’s perfect for her. Almost like I have to make up for the first year. I can’t help but go though the day hour by hour, thinking back to what happened. What I can remember anyway.
I’ve learned that when I have a bad day I have to take time out from myself. I’m no good to anyone otherwise.
Here are a few ideas that may help.
Be open and honest with your partner. It will only build up inside you and they will not understand if you don’t tell them how you feel. It will be hard. But at least they will know why you are acting the way you are. They can support you and be there for you when you need them most.
When they are around taking advantage of it. I struggled with this and criticized everything he did. I was overprotective of her. I went over and over what I did and didn’t want him to do. Forgetting he is her parent too. It took me sitting down and explaining to him that I can’t switch off. Even when I wasn’t with her I was clock watching and thought about what he should be doing.
He understood and told me to write her routine down and he would stick to it and send me a picture or text to let me know how she was. It was the most stressful spa experience I have ever had.
After that, a trip to Costa or Starbucks. Go for a walk around the shops did it for me. I could keep track of what they were doing as I had access to my phone. It took time, a lot of time, but I got there, and I began to trust certain people to look after her.
If you don’t feel comfortable leaving the house have a hot bath and a lay down.
When your baby is sleeping turn your devices off and have a chat with your partner or watch funny videos together if you struggle to spark a conversation.
I struggle at times because I decided not to return to work and spend the year I lost out on with my daughter. I was lucky I could do this. I didn’t really have many conversations to bring to the table. Except. ‘I made a Playdough elephant today. Cleaned the house. Washed the clothes. Made the bed. Cooked dinner.’
The problem is we then come across like we are moaning. So sometimes a funny cat video or Netflix box set is a good idea. It sparks a conversation. Even if I am shattered and ready for bed myself. Now she’s a toddler we never get a word in, so spend our spare time talking about house related things. The only time we get to talk is on the phone or via email as she’s excited daddy is home in the evening.
It is certainly hard and at times and frustrating when you’re both tired. Just remember neither of you are invincible, you need time to recuperate and spend time as a couple. Do what you can and don’t feel guilty for it. It will not help you. Having time to yourself or as a couple does not make you a bad parent it took me two years to realize this.
I hope it doesn’t take you this long.
We need time to recuperate, by ourselves and as a couple.
Feature Image Credit: shutterstock.com
Inpost Image Credit: shutterstock.com