How do you Know?

How do you Know?

How do you know that what you are experiencing is depression? What is the difference between depression and frustration with a situation? Whats the difference between depression and laziness?

I don’t know the answers to these questions, or the answers to many more that I have going round my head right now. However what I do know is that at the moment I don’t feel ‘right’, which is a very hard thing to describe. I feel very distant from everyone, NJ, the children, friends, everyone. On the surface I probably seem quite ok, I will chat and smile and do and say the right things, but inside I feel numb and distant from everything. I feel the desire to turn away and avoid any conversation.

The smallest thing that doesn’t go to plan, or the raised voice of NJ upsets me, but I have to hold it together when the children are about, and often they are the ones that I am getting frustrated with.

The constant mess in the house frustrates and stresses me, yet I seem unable to keep the place tidy, apparently I have always been like this, so it’s unlikly to be a sign of depression. I am just someone with no ‘get up and go’, yet somewhere along the way I have been ill and have been given medication and therapy so now I am confused and don’t know what is real and what is in my head.

Over the last few weeks I have been visited by my gremlins, they are quite persuasive whilst invading my brain, and sometimes the thoughts become all-consuming that I forget everything else that is going on around me. I am also quite obsessed with how I feel mentally and physically, is this lack of energy due to poor eating, lack of exercise or is it really a sign that I have slipped down the spiral again?

I want to believe that I am ill, because what if I’m not?  What if I am just feeling sorry for myself, and not doing enough to pick myself up? What if I was to get up in the morning and say all is well, and keep smiling and keeping happy thoughts in my mind, is that all it would take? Unfortunately the more I think about it the more the gremlins start shouting, and the more I feel like walking out and leaving everything behind, but you can’t run away from your mind! I know I won’t walk out, where would I go, what would happen to the children and it won’t make me feel any different.

I am not sure there are any answers to these questions, but I’m willing to see if anyone has them.

When It All Came Crashing Down

When It All Came Crashing Down

After 2 weeks of taking my Anti D’s things started to go horribly wrong, I don’t remember a great deal about how I actually felt at that time, I just remember what happened. Luckily (I think) I did write in my Baby Center journal again and this has helped me remember and recognise how bad things were.

I am going to include my Journal again as I don’t think I can really put how I was feeling and the events that happened any better or clearer. Some people may think it is too personal, but I wish to highlight what having PND can do to you. I am also finding this all quite therapeutic as it is making me see how far I have come.

***********************************

15th September 2010 – Baby Center Journal

So tomorrow I will have been taking the Anti D’s for 2 weeks, and my emotions have been all over the place.

Last week I didn’t feel too bad, I told the NN and the HV that I didn’t need to see them this week as I was coping better, and the counsellor said I also seemed better that I had been. Then since Sat I have felt really anxious and down.

DH came to the Gp’s with yesterday, which I found really hard, and he did too. The Gp wants to refer me to a psychiatric nurse, which has made me feel worse in that this is real. Although I told DH last night that I am fine, there is nothing wrong with me and I don’t need to see anyone anymore. I just feel that if I kept telling myself I am ok, I will be ok, I also feel like I want to stop taking the meds, and just go back to normal and stop relying on people when there is nothing wrong and I am just being lazy.

I am seeing the NN today (realised I needed to see her before next week!) so will tell her how I am feeling.

Can you will yourself better? Maybe if I just got on and got the house sorted I would feel much better and DH wouldn’t be so annoyed with me, and will see that I am ok.

This has all been a bit of a mishmash today, but I just need to put my feelings / thoughts down somewhere

*************************************

27th September 2010 – Baby Center Journal

Its been almost 2 weeks since I last wrote anything, and in that time its been a bit of a nightmare, I’ve tried to write a few times but just wasn’t up to it I suppose.

I saw my HV on the Thursday (at clinic) and had a mini breakdown with her, she was really concerned and wanted to get me to see a GP there and then, but I had DD to take swimming and really didn’t want to not take her. So she asked my permission to speak to a GP and she would ring me in the morning.

HV came round in the morning, told me she had got me an appointment to see a Dr and she would come with me for support. So off I go and see Dr where I have another melt down, he asked me if he could contact the CPN and get someone out to see me I agreed as I could see no other option.

My biggest problem was feeling like I wanted to self harm most of the time, and I am guessing that is what was concerning them. I was really worried about DH knowing, but agreed to let the HV tell him what was going on.

I got a phone call at lunch time from the Crisis Team, which I wasn’t expecting, and then DH called to say he was coming home. The HV had told him that he needed to be at home, as I wasn’t safe to be alone! It was hard when the CPN’s turned up (2 of them) asking about what had happened, so I had to go over the birth etc again. DH was home by this time, so he was made aware of what was going on by them. They said they would call in the morning to arrange to see me.

I waited all day for the call, which did not help my anxiety, someone phoned me about 4ish, they did apologise but there had been an emergency that was being dealt with. She came out to see me on the Sat & Sun, the Sun she was really concerned about my anxiety and  the not sleeping so she got me some sleeping tablets and something else to help till the following day when I was to see a psychiatrist. She had told DH that if I had had something sharp enough I would have hurt myself (which was true), I had tried to do something but there was nothing sharp enough, just sort of scratched myself, I don’t think DH really got what was being said. Later when we were out I must have said something and he then realised what had happened and kind of lost it, which did not help me, which is why I didn’t want him to know in the first place.

The next day (Mon) DH went to see the HV and I think she helped him understand what was happening, and that it wasn’t really me, just the ‘illness’ making me think like I was, he was also told by the CPN that I should not be left alone as I wouldn’t be safe. I was asked several times if I wanted to go into hospital (I said NO). Saw the psychiatrist, who prescribed something to help with the anxiety, but I didn’t get the chance to really talk to anyone, which set me off again.

I have seen someone from the Crisis team everyday since, some I have felt better with than others. I have had my anti-depressant upped and am still taking the other tablets to help with sleep and anxiety. I did hurt myself again on the Tuesday, but haven’t really done anything since although have felt like doing something most of the time.

My DH has been really supportive and has been working from home, I have told him when I have had bad thoughts and also that I didn’t feel safe going shopping on my own (I was likely to buy something sharp). It has been very strange having conversations with people quite calmly about things not being sharp enough to do what I want and that I would buy something if I could.

This morning I felt really bad and told the CPN that I felt like it was never going to stop or get better, and felt that the meds were making me worse, but this afternoon I actually started to feel normal! So maybe the meds are working, I am still very anxious about things, especially if the phone rings and thoughts of having to talk to lots of people. I have also started to spend more time with DD#2 the baby. I have also started using her name more, and things do seem to be improving so maybe there is light at the end of this very long tunnel.

This has been a really long journal today, but I think I needed to write all this somewhere, I know tomorrow I may feel bad again, but a least for now I can feel slightly normal and might even be able to watch some telly!

**************************************

 I hope that anyone who has managed to read all this and is struggling will see that even though 12 months ago things were very bad, I have come out the other side. I am still recovering and it doesn’t take much to knock me down, but I am nothing like I was and those silly thoughts are getting less and less.

Real Mums Stories of PND

Real Mums Stories of PND

I am very pleased to have included in the PND Carnival over at Celebrating Mums – Real Mums Stories of PND. There are 5 of us who have been brave enough to talk about how PND has effected us, all talked about in different ways.

I put forward my post Time Machine Anyone as I feel that sums up a lot of what I feel over this whole PND ‘illness’.

One of my biggest aims with writing my blog was to let other sufferers of PND know that they are not alone and also to hopefully find that I too am not alone in the ways that I sometimes feel.

Please take a look at all the blogs and try to leave some feedback for everyone.

 

Pyschatrist Appointment

Pyschatrist Appointment

Yesterday I went to see the psychiatrist, only my second visit. I was very anxious about the visit and had been on edge every time I thought about it over the past few days. I’m not sure what I was anxious about, it was just a follow-up appointment after having my meds increased 3 months ago, but then again my anxiety never has any reason.

I was very fidgety when I went in, he had read through my notes from my CPN and knew that things had not been that good, which made things a little easier to talk about. I told him that I had struggled before we went away, but since the holiday things have not been as bad, although I am still getting lots of thoughts of self harm.

I asked about increasing my meds (this is from someone 12 months ago who never wanted to go on meds), but he didn’t feel I would benefit from this and felt that what I needed now was to be with the psychological therapies (which I am on the waiting list for).

He then said that he didn’t feel I needed to see him again, my medication was ok, and I was still being seen by a CPN and could ask to see him again if I felt the need.

I should have been happy, I was being discharged, but when I returned to my car I cried, I was upset and felt lonely and lost and I have no idea why. I felt the need to speak to someone, but didn’t know who I could talk to and who would understand. I later spoke to NJ and I realised that it was possibly because I have not been discharged as I am ‘better’ but because there was nothing else he could do to help and I have just to wait until I get to the top of the list with the therapies.

I felt very down last night, anxious and fed up. I suppose on the one hand I feel ‘better’ I am able to do things and get on with life, but I also know that I am taking medication which is giving me a false feeling of hope and motivation. When I am on my own, with no children about I am at my worse. It gives me time to think about my feelings, about how my life is and where my life is going.

On a quick side note, my life is good at the moment, the kids are mostly happy, TJ is developing well, although she is a handful; climbing, pressing buttons, eating things off the floor etc etc, but generally things are good. NJ and I seem to be getting on well and we have had a good summer holiday away.

However that does not stop me feeling down and rubbish and sometimes want all the thoughts to stop in my head and just move forward. I also know that an increase in my meds would probably not help me, it is going to all be down to me now and how much effort I put into getting better.

One day I will feel right and ‘normal’ and be able to continually enjoy life, one day!

28th May 2011

28th May 2011

I started writing this soon after 28th May, but half term and birthday parties seemed to get in the way, I do want to record the day and how I felt, so this is all about 28th May 2011.

I had been dreading the 28th May 2011 for several months, not knowing how I would be, but expecting that I would find the day very difficult and get upset easily. The birth of TJ can be read here TJ’s Birth which may go some may to explain why I was not looking forward to the day. I also blogged a couple of weeks ago about how I was feeling about the impending day Time to Celebrate?.

The 28th May also happens to be my sister’s birthday, so the day has been a day of note for many years already. This year it was the big 40 for her, so as expected she wanted to celebrate with family and friends. I was unsure whether to go or not, wary of how I would be in myself and with other people who I did not know. We decided that we would go out for lunch to do something for TJ’s actual birthday and then go down to the midlands to celebrate with my sister.

I was feeling strangely calm, I didn’t feel upset or anxious like I was expecting, and the day didn’t seem significant, even though we opened presents for TJ in the morning. NJ said he felt the same, so I wasn’t too concerned. I did have at the back of my mind ‘this time a year ago I was doing…’ but even that did not knock me. We went out for lunch and TJ and the other 2 enjoyed themselves.

As we headed for my sister’s house I did feel a little anxious, noted  by NJ as I was starting to fiddle with my bracelet, sometimes I don’t realise that I am doing it until someone points it out. I’m not sure what I was feeling anxious about, possibly the idea of being around lots of people who I didn’t really know, but who would possibly know about me.

When we arrived we helped with sorting out food and decorating and the kids played together, so all was good. I was glad that I had gone as my sister was really pleased that I was there and had made the effort, although she said she would have understood if I hadn’t been able to make it. Things were going ok until my sisters in laws turned up, for some reason her mother in law decided to start asking me about TJ’s birth, saying ‘it was a section wasn’t it?’ and ‘there were some problems’. This was all out of the blue, and across a room, I was feeling a little uneasy. Luckily NJ came to my rescue and gave me an excuse to leave the room. The rest of the evening was fairly ok, I struggled a bit when lots of people turned up at the same time, and people trying to talk to me who I didn’t know and didn’t feel the need to talk back to them (but I was polite!)

We had aimed to leave about 7ish, but as always this didn’t happen and it was 8pm before we finally said all our goodbye’s and headed home. TJ fell asleep fairly quickly, but the older two were still awake at 9.30 when we arrive home. We quickly got them to bed and then sat down for a rest.

NJ and I didn’t really speak about the significance of the day until we got to bed and then we talked a little about the day and how it had made us feel, but both of us felt the same in that we felt fairly indifferent to the whole event. We weren’t upset or down about the day, but also it hadn’t felt like a celebration either.

So the 28th May 2011 did not pan out as I had expected, there were no tears, there were no flashbacks, and only a small bit of anxiety. I know that I still need to revisit what happened on 28th May 2010, and be able to lay it all to rest and put it all behind me. I am glad though that the day went well and her party on 30th May 2011 went well too and she and everyone else seemed to enjoy themselves.

Time to celebrate?

Time to celebrate?

Should I be celebrating?

In 9 days time my very cute, cheeky and lovable youngest will turn 1, it is a time when I should be celebrating that she has reached her year milestone. I should be getting excited about having a party and sharing in the joy with lots of other people, the same way that I did with AJ & FJ. I am doing the getting ready for a party but the day will most likely be tinged with apprehension and fear of what happened on that day 12 months ago.

You can read my birth story here Birth Story for TJ, where you will possibly understand why I am apprehensive about the day.

The way in which TJ was brought into this world was the way I had always feared, and unfortunately it triggered something in me which has now changed my life forever. I am no longer innocent to mental health problems, I am no longer able to just get on with life unaware what was starting to break inside my brain. I am still struggling with PND and the constant fear that things might get as bad as they did in October last year.

From the outside I have 3 lovely children, all behave wonderfully (apparently!) and all are healthy. So in theory I should have nothing to be depressed, stressed or anxious about… Unfortunately mental health doesn’t work like that, it is completely random and can strike anyone down at anytime. Even now almost 12 months on and things are much easier I still struggle some days with menial tasks of feeding the kids decent food and getting them bathed and into bed at a sensible time.

Whilst things have been and still are difficult I have learnt many things about myself and also about mental illness, so I suppose I should be celebrating that fact, instead of dwelling on the bad I need to pick out the good points and celebrate them. I have also started to talk more one of my sisters, another thing to be pleased about. But these are not things that I will want to have celebrated with the mass at a party for my youngest, these are things that I need to celebrate in my own way.

I am slowly discovering that I do love all my children very much, and however bad and naughty they are, and however much I shout at them I would not be without them. TJ will always be special to me in that her entry to the world has given me a different view on life and hopefully in the long-term the journey will make me stronger.

So in answer to my question to myself, YES it is time to celebrate, TJ has made it to a year seemingly unscathed by the whole process and I am also still here, and the family is still together.

Birth Story for TJ

Birth Story for TJ

I wrote about the birth of TJ in my journal on Baby Center a month after her birth, so hope that it makes sense, I don’t feel able to re-write it at the moment and don’t wish to put myself through it all again, but hope that it will help others understand what happened and why I am where I am now.

BS for baby no 3! –  25/06/10

After having 2 normal, if a little quick, deliveries I was expecting the same with no 3, unfortunately that is not what happened. So I am thinking that if I write things down it might help with the process of coming to terms with what happened.

I was under consultant care due to GD and baby being small, after our scan at 36 weeks we were told that as baby’s weight seemed to be tailing off I would be induced at 37/38 weeks. I wasn’t best pleased but knew I had to do what was best for the baby. After being monitored for a few days all seemed ok, but at the following weeks appointment I was booked in for an induction the week late, so I would be 38+2. 

 Went to hospital Friday 28th for 8.00am for induction as planned, but were told on arrival that it was very unlikely that I would be induced today as they were too busy on the labour ward. Not happy as had spent the last week worrying about it anyway! (I wasn’t the only one told this) Anyway they monitored me for 30 mins and all was ok and then she said the Dr would have a chat and decide on the plan. Dr arrived (eventually) and said that due to the diabetes and size of baby they wanted to keep me in and hoped that an opportunity to induce me would come up in a few hours.

I think it was about 10ish by now and so we went for a walk outside and checked where hubby could get some food. I got fed about midday and then possibly about 2ish the midwife said it was good news all 3 of us waiting were going to get induced, so I had an examination and a pessary put in and then monitored for an hour (Very boring!!) and then I was allowed to go about as I pleased, so hubby and I had a walk about etc had tea.

About 8ish I started to get reg contractions, but they seemed to be coming very quick and were very painful. As I have had 2 quick births I was concerned but Midwife was also dealing with other mums to be so I wasn’t seen for a while. When she eventually did see me I was only 2-3cms I was not chuffed as the contractions seem horrendous! She wanted to monitor me to see how baby was doing but I found it too uncomfortable to be on the bed so was stood for a while, but baby kept moving so I had to try to sit and half lie, all the time my contractions seemed to be getting worse, much worse than I have experienced with the other 2. I was convinced I must be fully dilated and started to think I needed to push. I don’t think I was being the best patient at the time shouting that it hurt etc etc!

Midwife came and did another exam and said I was only 5-6 I wasn’t happy, she wasn’t happy that she didn’t have a good trace of baby’s heart beat, then all of a sudden she said don’t panic but I’m going to pull this cord to get another midwife as I not managing to get the heartbeat very well. Suddenly we are surrounded by several people and people putting stuff on the bed and when I ask what’s it for the midwife said we need to prepare you for theatre just in case!! So I start worrying, then this big black guy appears and he just says right straight to theatre! So I am wheeled to theatre and I just remember DH not being allowed in and I was asking questions and everyone was moving very quickly around me, I also remember this guy in jeans and a shirt running in that wasn’t in scrubs – (DH said he didn’t think he had any shoes on either!) and then put an oxygen mask on me. This big black guy was examining me and saying he wanted to break my waters. I was moved onto the operating table and then the guy in the shirt must have been the anesthetist as he put another mask over me and said right count from 1-20, I think I got to 7. The next thing I know I am coming round and being told that it’s all over and I have a baby. They wouldn’t tell me what I had as DH wanted to tell me.

It all happened so quick and we weren’t told what was happening, but to be honest I know that was the way it had to be, the thing I am struggling to come to terms with is not seeing her as soon as she was born and because of the GA not really being with it for the next 12 hours.

I am still struggling to bond with her like I did with the other 2, it just feels different and I know it shouldn’t. 

When I was pg I always said my worst nightmare would be to have a CS and not only did that happen it was a crash section too. I know time is a great healer, but I just wish I could go back and say no to the induction and then maybe I would have got the birth I wanted.