Dear Depression

Dear Depression,

Emotions are a bizarre thing as you surely know. One minute a person can feel on top of the world, the next they question their very existence. You are solely to blame.

Sometimes we see you on your way – a little speck in the distance. We run in the opposite direction. You approach slowly, the silent hurricane. You try to creep in quietly yet the chaos you bring with you is there for all to see.

Sometimes you pounce without warning – this is when I despise you the most. You pounce, then you hold on tight, and nobody knows how long your ride will last. You are an intruder. You press down on my shoulders harder and harder until I am on knees. Little did I know, on my knees is the best place to be. If you can’t walk, crawl. Never stand still, never give in.

Your grip smothers my vision, my soul, my heart, my feelings, and every breath that I take. You invite your other friends to gatecrash with you; loneliness, low self-esteem, fatigue, hopelessness. One by one they jump on board and engulf.

You linger like a big black cloud. Nothing blows you away – you run on your own time. I hate that.

Nobody can understand unless they’ve met you too. You have a way of convincing people it’s a simple case of mood swings, and sadness, a sadness that will pass. But, you don’t pass. You are here for the duration.  You are a very good liar.

It must be terribly boring always draining the life out of people. Do your arms not get tired from trying to strangle the very life out of so many people, especially the fighters. Do the fighters not bother you? I think they do. They have you running scared, so you tighten your grip – sometimes you succeed, many more times you don’t.

I’m a fighter. A forever fighter. I’m battle tired, sometimes weary, sometimes lying low, but never, ever defeated. I’ll ride every single storm and black cloud, I’ll even drag myself through if needs be, but I’ll always wait for the sunshine because the sunshine always comes!

I’m tired of your lies, your taunts, your negativity. They have no place in my life, you can keep them.

Black clouds you are not welcome. My children deserve sunshine. You will never block the path to the sun in our lives. My hope is brighter than the dullest night you have offered me.

I do not do bargains with such hideous creatures. I am not for the taking. My heart, my rules.

Yours (not so) faithfully

A tired momma

______________________

Depression and anxiety often come hand in hand. Speak to your gp, despite being petrified. You won’t regret it. Or speak to your pharmacy about managing some of your anxiety symptoms. Don’t try and fight these monsters alone, you deserve to live in freedom.

The Truth About A Caesarean Section

I’ve had two Caesarean Sections in the last seven years, and both were planned. They had a lot of similarities, but also a lot of differences. My first caesarean section was at 36+5 weeks due to issues with my blood pressure and spinal pressure. I didn’t know what to expect, no amount of googling prepared me. It all seemed so surreal on the morning waiting to be prepped for theatre. They made me wear some support stockings after I had my hospital gown on. Wow they are awkward to get on! And so unattractive. I was told not to wear nail varnish or makeup, so I made sure I fake tanned the day before! I did also have my nails done and my toes pedicured, but hey, each to their own I guess. I didn’t want to feel totally rank.

I remember walking down to theatre and sitting on a large metal bed. It felt freezing. The anaesthetist explained the procedure of the anaesthetic, and I remember trembling. I have a phobia of needles in my spine after several lumbar punctures in the previous years. After a few attempts they put the spinal block in and lay me down whilst it started working. They then covered me up and fitted a screen, and then let my husband in.

Its all a little blurred to be honest now. I remember looking up at the lights and feeling like I was in a dream. The doctors kept chatting to me and my husband like this was normal. It was so not normal. We were going to be parents! I was petrified. Thy literally told me step by step as they were doing things; the incision, the bursting of my waters. They then said you can expect to feel a tugging sensation shortly. And that I surely did! It was the weirdest experience ever. I felt some tugging inside of me yet couldn’t actually feel it. It didn’t hurt though, not at all. And within minutes they told me my little boy was here and they swaddled him up and checked him over. Thy handed him to my husband who brought him over to me. He was scrumptious.

My little bundle of joy then got whisked away with his daddy whilst I was stitched back up, it was the longest 30 minutes of my life! I remember going back into the recovery room to see my husband and meet our little man properly, and it felt weird, odd, they literally left us to it. What do I do? So, I tried to feed him, unsuccessfully but I tried.

I was then taken back up on the maternity ward and filled with pain relief. They then washed me. I was totally numb, so that was a little weird. Dignity totally gone by now! I actually felt ok, and after 10 hours they got me up out of bed and walking around. I recovered really quickly, and was home 36 hours later, and shopping after being home 48 hours. My c-section healed really nicely and my stitches dissolved quickly. All in all it was ok and not as painful as I had anticipated. Laughing and coughing hurt though, so, so bad, but the more it hurt the more you laugh. And I won’t explain the post-baby poop you do, because my goodness, brace yourselves because it’s like squeezing a melon through a keyhole, that’s all I’m saying! They need to write this in birthing books, it’s quite an horrific part!

My second caesarean section, however, was not a good experience. Not at all. Seven days before my planned section I fell down the stairs and broke my ankle. Baby was fine but my ankle was not. I broke it in a place that wouldn’t heal if weight was put onto it, so I had to not use it at all. Can you imagine being nine months pregnant and trying to hop? It was vile. I couldn’t get up stairs or anything. It was 7 days from hell, and then I went in to have my section. It then got delayed by 2 days. I was an emotional wreck and in so much agony with my ankle it was unreal. Then the C-section happened, the spinal block and then the baby being born. All good. They then stapled me up instead of stitches and fitted a drain to stop infection. A whole new experience for me. What followed was the worst pain I’ve ever experienced. I think I was so high on the pain meds for my ankle that nothing touched the sides when it came to my caesarean wound. I was totally out of it yet it excruciating agony. I don’t really remember much of the first day or the visitors. I couldn’t get out of bed when I needed to. The drain hurt to be taken out on day 3, and I ended up in hospital for 6 days, and was still in agony. Once I was home I still then had my ankle boot cast on for 4 more weeks, so couldn’t start this new journey as I’d hoped. My staples hurt, even more so when I had to use one leg. And the post-baby poop -jeez! I will say though I was petrified of my midwife coming to my house and removing my staples, but it actually didn’t hurt at all.

With my first caesarean sectionI had never heard of post-contractions. and thankfully I didn’t get any, but with my second C-section I had contractions 7 days after my operation. I’ve never experienced anything  like it, the staples did not help. After a few hours and an emergency phone call they settled. I wish somebody had warned me. So, here’s your warning.

So, there you go, two very different caesarean section experiences. The truth, no false bravado etc. A caesarean section is definitely not easy, but sometimes it is easier than other times. But it’s doable. Just talk to people who’ve experienced it and not just written a book about it.

Here’s a few necessities to remember when having a caesarean section (they’ll make you feel slightly less gross):

Dry shampoo

Drinks

A book

BIG HUGE comfortable underpants

Moisturiser

Face wipes

Mints

Hope my truth about my caesarean section helped a little.

How Good Is Your Bedtime Routine?

Bedtime, bedtime, bedtime. The meaning of which changes once you become a parent, don’t you think? It becomes horrific, I know some people have a smooth ride and their baby is a dream and sleeps through etc, but balls to those people! Just kidding. A little! The bedtime routine has aways been such a touchy subject here. I’ve been graced with two very different children.

Child one, never wanted to sleep, not ever. Well, ok, he did. For 45 minutes at a time. Even through the night! It was exhausting. It was excruciating. It was horrid. And no amount of advice could help me out. I tried everything, and I mean everything. My baby didn’t care about advice. He just liked to cry, and in turn it seemed he liked to make me cry, usually on the bathroom floor at 4am when another night had passed us by without any sleep. I was on the brink of losing my sanity totally. I was told it would just last a  weeks, and then a few months, and then years? Years? Were these people actually full on kidding me or what? We tried baths, and lotions, and massages, and soothing music, we also tried yelling. Sleep deprivation makes you angry. It ruins those precious moments. So if you’re going through a time when your kids don’t sleep then don’t despair, you are normal, they are normal (unless they’re in pain then seek GP advice if you’re unsure), and it will definitely pass, one day. When that day will be who knows? Some days I wonder myself and mine are now 5 and 7!

My youngest co-slept with us for three and a half years, it was the only way he would sleep. And when you’re not getting any sleep, any sleep is sleep! This was our bedtime routine. People tell you co-sleeping is terrible and you make a rod for your own back. So, I used to tell them that if they found this rod I could put up my back could they let me know as it would make a lovely stand-up sleep aid! They never did find one!

At three and a half my child then transferred to his own room with his little brother in, and it was a miracle and we all slept happily ever after. Pfft, did we heck! I had to sit in that room until he fell asleep, hours and hours each night, there was no other solution. My child is autistic, it takes him 2 – 3 hours to drift off to sleep. That bedroom floor was crippling, and draining, but a momma has to do what a momma has to do. He’d then wake every few hours and needed reassurance to calm his screams. This went on for 3 more years.

We also had another little boy to get into a routine, but he was easy, he was no bother, he slept through the night from week 3 and on his own too. He was a dream. And then he turned 2, and it brought out the wild in him, a wild that is obviously never going to disappear, but I love his wild streak. Most of the time. Most of the time except bedtime when he thinks he is hilarious being an idiot to try and stall bedtime, but instead just infuriates us beyond furious. Then story time ends up being a circus.

Bedtime here is at 7pm after a bedtime routine of a hot bath and a story. Sometimes it happens at 7, and sometimes I’m chasing a naked Tasmanian devil around the landing, bawling my head off for him to get into bed and stop the nonsense. Bedtimes are often chaotic, and I’m left wondering what I’m doing wrong? We have no electronic devices after dinner, and they don’t have a tv in their room. We have a bath and a story and they have classical music on to go to sleep. And then it hits me. I am doing NOTHING wrong, nothing at all, they’re kids, they’re all different. And this is our routine, an often chaotic one, but a routine. Both kids, once in bed, generally drift off to sleep. The youngest has to shout 25 minutes worth of ailments (I’ve got a rash or I’ve got chicken pox or I have a sore bum or I’ve got something in my eye or I’m blocked up I can’t breathe etc etc) and the eldest lies there whispering for a few hours drifting off to sleep, but they sleep through. Did you read that? THEY SLEEP THROUGH!!! ur bedtime routine worked! Ha! Dreams do come true! Well, they have here, kind of. I mean they still get up early but not at the ass crack of dawn like they did for 5 years, so i’ll take that!

Bedtime isn’t perfect, and people who have perfect bed times, well, I don’t know any people who have, do you? And if you do then don’t believe them! Or maybe I am jealous? Either way bedtime mostly sucks, but is also my favourite time of day! After 7 years I think we have almost cracked it!