{This is life} Why I run to save my mind

This is an article contributed by one of our fabulous nesters. She chooses to remain anonymous, and we are super okay with that! So, let’s keep it positive and supportive and let her know she is not alone x

watercolourPreface: I wrote this not because I’m pro running or I wanted to encourage people to exercise. Not because I wanted to shame people who sleep train or those who don’t. I wrote this for the all mums who are at their wits end. To the ones who don’t get regular breaks from their children. To the ones whose kids don’t sleep. The ones who feel their control slipping, their world crumbling. The ones who are dying inside.

You, you reading right now, you’ve got this.

You can.

So find what works and do it! Do it every damn day until everything finds its place. I promise that this too shall pass xxx

Let’s talk exercise. It’s always been proudly a word that wasn’t in my vocabulary. Although I consider myself an fairly active person, I mow the lawns, walk my boys to school and I’ve always been the mum that chases her kids at the park. But I’m talking formal exercise. The kind the makes me sweat. A lot. To be honest, it’s not really my cup of tea.

Last year in August I found my mental health slipping, my youngest was nine months and had never really slept, he was, and still is really hard work. My gorgeous little bundle of joy has been a right handful since the day I met him. My baby, he doesn’t like to be carried or cuddled but at the same time doesn’t want you out of sight! Before he could move on his own that would make for a stupidly hard situation. Pick him up to carry him he would thrash and squirm and squeal. Walk to put the washing on and not take him with you?

Stage 10 meltdown.

What am I supposed to do with that?

Getting him to sleep was hard. He never wanted to be cuddled to sleep. He wouldn’t lay in our bed. I couldn’t bare to leave him to cry. How was I supposed to get this kid to sleep? Everyday,  for every sleep I would put him in the cot. He would cry. I would pick him up and try to cuddle him and he would squirm until I put him back down.

Over and over and over.

Sometimes I could power walk him around the house in the carrier, but he was getting heavy and once he was asleep apin drop would wake him. I could never transfer him to the cot, so I would have to sit slumped over with him asleep on my back crying, balling.

The struggle was real.

I was convinced I had post natal depression. I went to the doctor. I begged for help. I asked anyone that would listen for more than five minutes. No one had any advice. Usually as a parent you are surrounded by people who love to dish out unsolicited parenting advice but when you actually ask for it you get nothing.

Tresillan was all I was offered over and over. I read their parent information book so many times. Their sleep School techniques just weren’t for me.

I yelled at my husband. I blamed him because I couldn’t make it work. I was being pushed into a corner, being forced to do something I didn’t want to do because the alternative was dire, really dire. I was on the edge.

It effected my whole life. I couldn’t remember taking my older boy to school. I would constantly lose things.

My patience was gone.

When the baby did finally sleep, I would lay there so consumed by my exhaustion it was take hours for me to drift off. I was the kind of tired that “here I’ll take you baby for an hour just couldn’t fix” I would laugh at the suggestion, not that it was offered often. Unless you’re taking him for a week, there’s no need to bother. That hour would only be used laying in bed thinking, trying to fall asleep only to have the knock on the door and reality to be staring me back in the face.

I went to a therapist, I told her I was depressed. She assured me that is was indeed just suffering from extreme exhaustion.

It takes a village to raise a baby and my village is small, really small. I passed the baton and that was it. It was my husband’s turn.

My husband,  my hero.

He took the night shift from that day, very day. Every shift. For the next month I slept, every night. I woke up every time the baby made a sound but I slowly drifted back off.

After two weeks, I decided I was going to make a change. I couldn’t just hope forever that sleep was coming. I was now convinced that the baby would never sleep through the night and this was my forever.

So, I started running.shoes

I mostly started because listening to him wake up and cry, killed me. It was a reminder that although the nights are over, the days are here, I was on my own and they were even harder.

Every morning at 5am he would wake up screaming.

So. I set my alarm for 4:30am and run.

I ran from my problems, I ran from the baby and his cries, I ran from my life.

The problem is as I mentioned earlier, I had never actually exercised before. So, really, technically, I didn’t run. I walked, ran, stopped for a stitch and hobbled.

Then came home.  Every day.

Now I can run.

Now the baby sleeps through the night and he doesn’t wake up crying (probably because he sleeps through the night) and now when strangers say “what a happy baby” I don’t feel the urge to kick them in the shin.

Monday to Saturday  6 days a week I run. Not far. Only about 2.5kms to the end of my street and back.

Some days it’s easy, some days it’s hard.

I haven’t lost any weight and let me assure you, I’m not very good at it. You know those coordinated women on the Nike ad? Yeah, no, nothing like that. But everyday I get up and give it a go because I want my kids to know that even though they are hard work, it’s all about attitude. It’s all about trying, giving it a solid go. Not giving up when shits really fucking hard and to never ever be afraid to ask for help!

I found Instagram a place of inspiration and in particular @mrs_paulie. She is a powerhouse and has been my girl crush for so long it’s boardline stalkerish, check her out!

So on that note, Peace lovers This rad bitch is going for a run xxx

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{Parenting} Post natal neglect

Could this be the case? Could it be true that post natal depression is neglect?

I certainly believe this is probably the case.

This article, Post partum depression by Claudia Gold MD is certainly worth reading.

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Maybe it is society who needs to be diagnosed?

What do you think?

{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

{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/

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