{The Nest Resolutions} The things that make me better

Having three little people under  7 and another on the way means life can be super busy for me and easily becomes overwhelming. So, in an effort to stay on pointe this year I have made several resolutions that I refuse to break.book

LIST LIFE

I make lists. Like loads and loads of lists.

Lists on jobs to do around the house. Lists of items to write about on the blog for you lovely people. Lists reminding me when the girls have swimming lessons and doctor’s appointments, school events and sports day at school. Lists to remind me about all the little things that it takes to keep our little nest turning over day after day.

I write lists not only to remember to do things but to feel good when I tick off the box next to it acknowledging that’s another job done. I find it really helps when I am feeling overwhelmed or like even though I am doing a bazillion things nothing is really getting done.

MEAL PLANNING

I cannot even tell you how much difference this will make to your life if you haven’t already tried this. Not only is that horrid decision of what to eat today already made for you, it means you save a whole tonne of casholi as well. No longer do you walk around aimlessly at the supermarket buying bits and pieces of meals to realise when you get home you have missed a crucial ingredient.

I write mine up on the menu board (from KMART)  on the pantry each week so everyone in the house knows what we are having that day.

You will also notice a massive reduction in wastage (especially fruit and veg)

MAKE THE BED

This is an easy one. I make my bed every morning so that each time I enter my room throughout that day it feels clean and organised. A messy space leads to a messy mind. I dare you try it for one week and see if your mood improves.

DON’T SWEAT IT

I resolve to not sweat all this little stuff. I have always been quite organised and strive for near perfection in everything I do, but following the birth of my third child, Coco I was diagnosed with post-natal depression and the world around me collapsed. I was so focused on making sure everything was perfect that I ended up doing 100 jobs but none of them well. As much as it is hard to remind myself some days, not everything can be perfect all of the time.  When I am feeling overwhelmed I take a step back and pick out what really matters.

DISH LIFE

I clean the dinner dishes EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. If you wake up to a clean kitchen to make a pot of coffee in the morning it makes everything smoother. This really makes a crucial difference to me but it took a long time to get in the habit of not just sitting on the lounge absorbed into primetime television after dinner. If you form the habit then you reap the rewards. Trust me!

So nesters, what makes your days easily?

{The Nest Health} Dads with PND

The moment you choose to have a child is momentous, not only will you be responsible for a real life tiny human but your life and existence will never be the same.

Sometimes no matter how prepared you think you are, it doesn’t quite go the way it should. dads

So here is some information for the Dads out there who may be sad. Please, I beg you don’t feel alone, 1 in 10 fathers get diagnosed with Post Natal Depression, but they are only the ones that are diagnosed.

Dad’s and Post Natal Depression – Help is available.

Make sure you pass this onto all the dads in your life.

{This is life} What Post Natal Depression really feels like

Soul crushing guilt.

Shapeless days.

Horrendous threats.

The choice to have a child is a big decision, but somehow when you make that choice you don’t ever consider that you will get post-natal depression.

Read this post about what Post Natal Depression Feels Like. This story will break your heart and make you realise how many people out there are suffering and you wouldn’t even know.  post natal

This article by an anonymous author is powerful and raw:

In my head, it was perfectly normal to be slumped on the floor of my completely disheveled home when my husband walked through the door at night. I was tired and resting, leaning against the wall with my eyes closed, perfectly happy to stay that way for a couple of hours.

I was unable to move, but not too fussed about it.

My husband became used to walking through the door quietly, greeting me gently, stepping over me and taking over the care of our kids while I enjoyed my time on the floor, my mind completely blank, my body devoid of even a scrap of energy.

If you think you or someone you care about may be suffering from Post Natal Depression then please, I urge you to stand up and seek help. It is paralysing and heartbreaking but treatable.

You can find more information at: 

PANDA – www.panda.org.au

Or by calling 1300 726 306

{The Nest Health} The Struggle Of New Mums With Postpartum Depression

Please take the time to read this. I cannot stress that enough.

Postpartum depression or anxiety is the MOST common complication of childbirth.

It is non discriminatory. It is horrible. It will engulf you and those you love.

The Struggle of New Mothers With Postpartum Depression will help explain to you what you need to know about this condition.  postpartum

Follow this link to see the full image -> The Struggle of New Mothers With Postpartum Depression

Knowledge is power and you might just save someone you love.

Happy health Nesters x

 

{Girl Crush Tuesday} The strong Ms Rowe

We have some pretty hard girl crushes. These are the types of ladies that stamp their style on the world. They are the type of people that will always be remembered and little girls grow up wanting to be. They are women of substance. Women that make the world a better place.

Happy Girl Crush Tuesday everybody.line4

This lady is power and strength. She is compassion and vulnerability.  She is today’s girl crush.

Jessica Rowe is an Australian television personality. She has covered many roles including news presenter, Studio 10 co-host, dancing with the star contestant and many more. She is an avid supporter of charities including the White Ribbon Foundation that fights against domestic violence.

What we admire about Jessica is her most important role. She is a mum to two beautiful little girls. Jessica bravely admitted that she experienced post-natal depression following the birth of her first daughter and thankfully she had the strength to share her fight. Many mothers across Australia (including myself) heard Jessica’s story and knew they weren’t alone. She heroically added a public face to this very private condition.

Jessica has shown that life is full of ups and down but the way you handle yourself and the way you confront the situation truly defines what sort of person you are. You can come through stronger than ever before.

We thank you Jessica for showing all little girls that you really can have a successful career, a loving marriage and beautiful children. You really are an inspiration to women everywhere.

Images: SMH, Lizard, NEWSCorp, Essential Baby, TenPlay, Daily Life

Images: SMH, Lizard, NEWSCorp, Essential Baby, TenPlay, Daily Life

You can find Jessica speak candidly about her post-natal experience here -> Jessica Rowe Post Natal-Depression Video

{This is life} At 33 she CHOSE to have a full hysterectomy

A little while ago I met a beautiful little girl. She was friendly, courteous and very charismatic. She had a mop of flame coloured hair and immediately stole my heart. Her mother has many of the same characteristics and just happens to be one of the bravest people I have ever met. She made  a decision that I am not sure I could ever make.annete2

At 33 she CHOSE to have a full hysterectomy.

She chose not to have any more children. It was a choice she made to take the chance to live pain free.

While you and I take for granted our everyday existence without the reliance of strong medication and therapy, Annette doesn’t. She lives a life of pain, operations and ongoing pills.

This story starts with a young carefree teenager. Just your girl next door who loved life.  She was 15 when she first started experiencing terrible pain in her abdomen.

At 18 she was diagnosed with endometriosis.  As a second kick she discovered she also had adenomyosis. The two of these only occur in about 10% of cases. They can show no symptoms in some patients but in others, like Annette they create ongoing debilitating pain.

Annette and her sweetheart married and decided to try to have a baby. Luckily they fell pregnant quickly (after only the second month) and she experienced a fairly normal pregnancy.

Little Charlotte was born eight days late following a 36 hour labour and a 3.30am emergency caesarean.

Annette recovered and believed that the pregnancy possibly cured her endometriosis and adenomyosis.

Unfortunately that was not the case.

Two years later her life came crashing down again. Annette experienced post natal depression. She describes the first six months of Charlotte’s life as ‘groundhog day’ over and over and over. She desperately wanted to her life back but couldn’t bear to let anyone else care for her new little girl. Guilt, desperation and resentment consumed her.

She fought through and finally one day woke up with a new lease on life.

Not long after, the stomach pains returned. She had adhesions in her uterus. The doctors told her the only option she had was a full hysterectomy. She was 33.

No more children. No little brother or sister for her darling Charlotte.

Following the major surgery she experienced horrific pain. For six weeks she was unable to move. She had to sit in the shower. Her blood pressure was out of control, even causing her to pass out.

A little while later she experienced a brief reprise from her pain. It was bliss. She could play with young Charlotte.

Then the pain came back 10 fold. Neuromas and nerve tumours overtook her body. The pain was excruciating.

Annette is on a disability pension because she is unable to work due to the heavy load of medications that she is on. Every single day.

Some days are so bad she is unable to go to the toilet unassisted due to the spasms.

Her mother takes care of her. Her husband takes care of her. Her daughter takes care of her.

annette

Annette fights an up-hill battle every day to try and find a way to live without dependence on endone.

Annette says she doesn’t regret the surgery but does wish it had been more effective. She says without the support of her family and in particular her husband, she wouldn’t be able to survive.

What does worry her is that her mother had a hysterectomy at 38 years old. Is this a hereditary problem that has passed to little Charlotte? Only time (and prayers) will tell.

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Annette, you are strong and brave and the Central Nest sincerely thanks you for sharing your incredible story with us. 

{My story} Post Natal Depression Awareness week

This week is Post Natal Awareness week and it is important that you, I, everyone support this.

I look at her now and can't even imagine the feelings I once had

I look at her now and can’t even imagine the feelings I once had

Post Natal Depression affects everyone. It is not discriminatory. It doesn’t care if you are rich or poor. Black or white. Young or older. It doesn’t care.  It affects about 1 in every 7 new mothers (and those results are based on people who actually seek help).

I have never really spoken about my post natal experience. Whilst I was never diagnosed with Post Natal Depression I felt panicked. I felt isolated and lost.

I remember feeling extremely guilty because I was unable to soothe my new child. I wondered if she knew I felt like I didn’t love her enough. Is that why she screamed?

Did she know I was lost? That I felt all alone?

I often asked myself if I loved her enough. Shamefully about three weeks in, wondered if I would miss her if someone else took her home.

This led me to feel more guilt. I felt inadequate and hopeless.

I had grown this little child in my body for over nine months. Before I met her I was excited. I envisioned hours of long cuddles and midnight breastfeeds. I would supplement her with my milk, as I believed nature intended. The truth is, I was unable to nourish her alone. My baby could not solely rely on me to provide for her. I felt worthless.

I felt guilty each time I used formula. I felt sad each time I used the bottle steriliser. I cried often as I tried to offer my breast but she refused me.

I was dark and alone. She cried. I cried.

I felt like my guilt was surrounding me, almost, some days drowning me.

I had also been diagnosed with Bells Palsy weeks before having my baby and felt ugly and different. My face still hadn’t returned to normal. I still had pains in my dreams. I felt low and sad.

On top of this, I felt like I wasn’t doing a good enough job. Like deep down my daughter expected more. I was constantly exhausted, not only with the battle of looking after my newborn but with the battle I was fighting each day in my head.

My turning point was a Tuesday. I had spent the day listening to my child wail from her perfect bassinet in her perfect nursery.  After lunch I called my husband and told him to come home. I needed him to close his workshop for the day and come home and save me.

I needed to be saved from this screaming child. I needed to be saved from the heavy expectations of being a new mother. I needed him, above all else, to save me from myself.

He came home and held me. I let him cradle me like a baby. I finally realised I needed to let go. Let go of my expectations. Release my guilt. Free myself.

Then one day, when she was not very old. The clouds above me parted. I looked at her with love. I felt immediately attached to her, like I needed her more than my desire to breathe. I realised that she was mine forever and that was not conditional upon me being perfect. She was me and I was her, a part of our souls intertwined forever.

I have an amazingly supportive husband and great family and friend network. I think that saved me. I think they saved me from myself.postnatal depression

I can look back now and see that dark period as a time of great character building for myself. I tell myself that without experiencing all those emotions I may not have realised how much I am actually capable of. It allowed me to realise that I need not be so hard upon myself but rather enjoy the time without necessarily aiming for perfection.

It is so important that you speak up. If you are a new parent and experiencing any of the following symptoms (for two weeks or more) please ask for help.

  • low mood and/or feeling numb
  • feeling inadequate, like a failure, or feeling guilty, ashamed, worthless, hopeless, helpless, empty or sad
  • often feeling close to tears
  • feeling angry, irritable or resentful (e.g. feeling easily irritated by your other children or your partner)
  • fear for the baby and/or fear of being alone with the baby or the baby being unsettled
  • fear of being alone or going out
  • loss of interest in things that you would normally enjoy
  • insomnia (being unable to fall asleep or get back to sleep after night feeds) or sleeping excessively, having nightmares
  • appetite changes (not eating or over-eating)
  • feeling unmotivated and unable to cope with the daily routine
  • withdrawing from social contact and/or not looking after yourself properly
  • decreased energy and feeling exhausted
  • having trouble thinking clearly or making decisions, lack of concentration and poor memory
  • having thoughts about harming yourself or the baby, ending your life, or wanting to escape or get away from everything.

Take the time to drop in on new parents. Ask if they are okay. Let us support each other, for every person is fighting a battle you may know nothing of.

Please seek help – You can get through this:

Beyond Blue – http://justspeakup.beyondblue.org.au/

Panda – http://www.panda.org.au/

parents