Tag Archives: baby loss

maternal mental health

Maternal Mental Health Awareness

Maternal mental health week.
I’d never really bloomed in pregnancy, hyperemesis playing a big part of each of them. I felt lucky to have only gotten away with “baby blues” after my first two babies. I was tired, I cried but I don’t remember having any of the fog. I felt happy.

It wasn’t until my third baby, when I was told I was suffering from Antenatal Depression. This baby was going to be our rainbow after miscarriages; it was to be our first baby together, our honeymoon baby.
I was meant to bloom and enjoy those pregnancy months.

Once again the hyperemesis kicked in, I felt incredibly isolated, I’d cry on a daily basis; one day I even locked myself in my car and cried for an hour, I still don’t know how I left that car that day. Life felt so overwhelming, nothing felt right, yet everything was perfect.
We were so excited, but I couldn’t be happy.
My baby had reduced movements on a regular basis, each time I was told it was because I was depressed; making me feel even more low, and like a failure.
Developing pre-eclampsia at 23 weeks sent my emotions plummeting, continuing to blame myself; my body was again letting my baby down.
Just under 27 weeks our daughter was born, that rush of love was slow, I couldn’t hold her I had to watch as they took her away, not knowing if I’d see her alive again.
The weeks we spent in special care my emotions were up and down, they were all over the place. Every tear I shed made me feel guilt, because I was meant to be happy that she survived her early birth.
I was battling with poor support, being made to feel what I was doing was not good enough. I think that had a massive effect on my mental health. I found it very hard to bond with her; sharing her with medics and watching her grow through a box, was incredibly difficult.

But at five weeks old our daughter died from Sepsis; it was sudden and devastating.
The grief broke me, emotions I never knew even existed, the way it made me feel can’t be written in words, or explained. Just because it is so unimaginable.

I was open from the very beginning about her death, I wanted to keep her memory alive, but keep strong for my family, especially for my children. During the days and weeks which followed it often felt like we were living in a fish bowl, where everyone was watching and waiting for us to drown, or break into a thousand pieces. In the attempt to protect others’ crying or showing emotion in public wasn’t ever a real option. Hearing about baby death is hard to hear.

Her death changed me.

 

Falling pregnant again wasn’t an easy decision to make, but it was one we did fairly quickly – maybe too quickly. It wasn’t the easiest of things to do either. Hit by the hyperemesis yet again. Rather than enjoyment it was terrifying, and the fear didn’t end when she was born. Parenting after loss is completely different from before. I don’t know a lot, and wing it a lot of the time, but I know that children die, and how too.

I was relieved when the pregnancy was over and reaching the magical 35 days felt like a weight had been lifted. But nothing mentally is the same. I didn’t know if I wanted to ever be pregnant again.

 

After another miscarriage and some discussion we fell pregnant with our youngest daughter. Living with the death of our daughter has broken me as I mentioned above; but I with our youngest I had severe Hyperemesis, where I couldn’t even lift my head from my pillow at times. Being sick with every movement.

A fear of being sick in public brought pain and anxiety whenever I did venture out. Using three lots of strong anti-sickness medication made me feel incredibly anxious that I was hurting our baby; the effects it would have on her. But I simply couldn’t function without them. Aside from the baby-loss, this bout of hyperemesis was the worst time of my life. It should have been the best time. I felt so ungrateful when I was carrying a healthy baby but I was desperate for her due date, wishing the time away so quickly. When just three years before; our daughter had died.

The emotions with our youngest daughter tore me apart, from guilt – that if I complained too much about being sick, she might die. I felt amongst the vomiting40/50+ times a day I HAD to be happy. I HAD to be excited. I NEEDED this baby to come home; I had put so much pressure on myself.

By this pressure I think it made it very hard for me to bond with our youngest when she was born, I was so sick yet so focussed on bringing our baby home and avoiding a hospital stay that maybe I had forgotten to learn how to love her through my pregnancy.

I hate that. I hate that the one thing I was placed on this earth to do as a woman, I, not failed as such as I do parent 4 beautiful children, I am lucky to be mum to five. But bloody hell I felt like I had failed the one thing I had looked forward to doing in life, which was pregnancy and birth.

By not having that textbook pregnancy, it impacted on my mental health, because I wasn’t enjoying them, or behaving the way other pregnant mums around me were. When I see other Mums excited about wanting another baby, even after a loss; I wish I could feel that.

For me, it feels me with dread; I was sterilised at the last birth, and we somehow ended up having a miscarriage at the end of 2017. I didn’t know I was pregnant, it was circumstances at the time, where we were told- but I hate to say that I felt relief. Total and utter relief, I know that I will probably get some kind of judgement; of course, it is sad. But I cannot go through another pregnancy again – ever.

 

Maternal Mental Health certainly should never be a taboo – ever. It affects everything, our bodies, and our brains. Being able to parent properly; with the right support network that “light” at the end of a very dark tunnel with come through. It takes a whole village to raise a family.

I am not the person my husband married in 2011; but I am glad he loves who I am now too –in the words of James Arthur “He made me feel as though I was enough.”

maternal mental health awareness

Life is just plain ugly- you need to see the ugly to appreciate the beauty which surrounds us

 

my cheerful list

My Cheerful List #29

Welcome back to My Cheerful Post. A place to share cheerful moments which have made us smile during the week. In times where it seems impossible, it can be helpful to find something, no matter how small that moment is. Here is week 29

 

I have had an incredible week, involving so many emotions. Completely up, down and inspired.

One thing I do know I need to be free of worrying about what others think of me, I want to be free of caring about people who have little or no thought towards me. Because I know if I don’t, it WILL destroy me. Time and time again, I let these things ruin the best things for me. I shouldn’t.

There isn’t a particular ‘thing’ for this, so please don’t guess. I’ve heard it is an anxiety thing – overthinking; maybe that is what it is, but this overthinking will make me sick. It will eat me up and break me. I walked out of a hospital leaving my dead daughter behind; I carried on breathing. I can’t let anxiety or overthinking destroy me.

This week I wanted to give up the one thing I have been able to do for said daughter and that is to care for people, to look after people in their darkest of hours. But I can’t do that, I don’t bloody want to give it up either. I need to hold on and paint my own rainbow, and be the colour my brain needs to focus on; I am sick of looking through the grey. For a moment I felt lonely and worthless. I am not meant to feel this way.

“Don’t you dare give up. If I’m not allowed to you’re definitely not.”

Is part of one message I received, from one of the most inspirational people I know. I will not go any further. But this person has given me the kick I need to keep my head up, to keep breathing – to not drown. While someone else with the swear words, but meant the very same. I think have found my people.

I know it is a difficult time of year, and it does feel like I am wading through treacle sometimes; that is allowed. I can’t let life break me.

I am alive.

I can do anything but I can’t do everything.

London Baby

The week began with more snow and a trip to London. We didn’t know if it was going to go ahead because of the weather. But the charity who wanted to interview me was insistent I go; so they offered to move the interview time, and pay for a hotel. We ended up taking the younger two; one had a snow day, of course, the youngest was at home anyway. It really was the most amazing experience. There were a proper film crew and staging. The girls and my husband were able to watch while I was interviewed; then my husband was able to be interviewed too – I can’t wait to share what we have been up to.

I have never been to London before, we didn’t explore or stay long – but I am definitely a country girl!

 

Majorette Competition

The competition season has begun. First one was today, our troupe hosted; in two weeks time they will be competing, and my eldest daughter will turn 13!! Crazy. We did have an eventful start, with the fire alarms going off, and a visit from the fire brigade – early on a Sunday morning and the clocks moved forward too – brilliant. They did get a free bacon butty for their troubles. Very memorable.

 

Have a good week. This time next week is her anniversary, so we’ll see.

 

My Cheerful List #2

Thank you for joining week two of My Cheerful List. (Here is last week’s #1)

First full week of school begun this week; although Mini is still doing half days until the first week of October, it has been lovely to return to some kind of routine. However beginning reception has brought the obligatory cold fest. One chesty four year old and a two year old who is following suit; added vitamins from now on in. Mini is thankfully in good spirits, with a very noisy chest.

I have been feeling bloody awful this week, but amongst the feeling grotty I have managed to find a few cheerful things.

Moo Music

Beginning Baby Red’s Moo Music Journey. I’ve never been to a structured play group before; it has been almost a year since we left the toddler group I once loved. We both really enjoyed it; she most certainly did. Lots of singing, some signing, even dancing although Baby Red spent a lot of her time running around giggling in an endless circle. It was our first one to one outing too, which was lovely. It’ll be nice when we have longer in the day to do more things.

 

Planking

Completing my first week in the Darebee Planking and Push- Up challenges. I’m already struggling with them; I’m only on 1 minute and 20 seconds! It is for 30 days, only 1500 to go…

Sales

Going out with a friend; we went to a baby and toddler sale in Wellington; we go to them quite regularly in different places. Both being of bigger families the sales really help with keeping things like clothing costs down, whilst I guess recycling. I am a huge fan of eBay and car boot sales, charity shops too. This trip wasn’t as arm filling as usual, but I did buy some bits for Baby Red. Trying to get a decent photo of her in it wasn’t the easiest.

Drink and cake with said friend. Once we had finished at the sale we popped in and had cake and milkshake; which was lovely. I haven’t really been with company lately. It was nice to get out.

BLM Secret Sisters

There is an organisation on Facebook which pairs up parents who have lost a baby. For three months we are essentially pen pals; but with a difference. We don’t write to each other, the people organising it, gives me an address where I write to one mum, a different mum writes to me; all done in secret until the third month where we reveal our names and stories.

At the end we send gifts with a budget of £20, and during the 3 months you can send little gifts with your cards too, I received my first one for this round this week.

 

How has your week been?

Have you managed to find something cheerful in your week?

Thank you for reading

 

The Red Head Diaries