My Journey…..

My journey through Motherhood and PND

Another month has zoomed by….

Wow, another month has raced past with me hardly noticing at all.

I feel like I am kind of trapped in this weird arse groundhog day with the occasional extra event or two added in.

Well a week today my baby Alissa will be turning four and boy that time has gone by quickly, and of course I will also turn another year older, but we don’t need to talk about that now do we! Alissa is having a party with some of her friends on Sunday morning, then we are having a party with the Grandparent’s, Aunts and Uncles etc that afternoon, so its going to be a very long and exciting day for her. She is soooo looking forward to it, once can’t help but get excited for her. She isn’t being particularly helpful with what she would like for her birthday. I am thinking we might get her a eukalaly and learn to play it with her. Hopefully my ability to read sheet music is still there!

We had Aliyah at the Paediatrician today, and given he is Dr number four and we are no closer to an answer he has decided to start with some of the less invasive tests. So I get to collect stool samples this week and deliver them as quickly as possible to the lab. He is also ordering an ultra sound for her, because from what he can feel he thinks she has a significantly enlarged liver. I am presently trying to resist the urge to see what Mr Google has to say about it.

Dwight is good, growing sooo fast and is such a little boy, loves banging on things to make noise, loves cars and trucks and even makes brrrrmm brrrrmmm noises to go with them. He adores his two big sisters and they are very protective of him as well. Its really quite lovely seeing the three of them together. They are a very tight knit group, always looking out for one another, usually with Alissa in the lead.

So on to me, well what can I say, I have tried not to be worried, but since the MRI showed the brain tumour I have been fretting about it a lot, I was told I would have an appt with the neurosurgeon within 6 weeks, today is the 5 week mark, so I will start phoning and hounding outpatients tomorrow to see what is going on.

PND is still keeping up the good fight and not realising its strangle hold. Between my leg still not being healed and the tumour the PND has lots of fuel to add to the fire. When I try and sit back and take a look from the outside or even sidelines, I only see what have been seeing for these past months and that is my gigantic black pit.

Yesterday Matt got the prams out so we could wash them and get them ready to sell. I have sold the Phill and Ted’s one already, so that just leaves the bertini. Then the rest of the baby stuff. It breaks my heart to be selling it, because we (Matt and I) had planned on having four children (not including the boys) and we have had that taken away from us. To say I feel bitter and hurt and all those good things would be an utter understatement. Oh and angry, very, very angry. We now have to wonder if the reason I was so sick with Dwight was because of the gall bladder and if we had been blessed with another pregnancy if I would have been fine.

“What if’s” – are not something I should be holding on to but I am. Every time I see brand new babies, or woman who are heavily pregnant I get that heart drop in to your stomach kind of feeling. I am so happy for my friends who are having or have recently had babies. But at the same time I wish it was me. I know pregnancy and I didn’t see eye to eye but in the long run we managed to muddle through things.

We talk about possibly fostering or adopting, but I really need to be making more progress with my PND and not be in such a vulnerable place. I have moments when I think, yep I can get out of this hole, but then the rest of the time I feel so utterly lost and trapped in it and have no idea of even where to start to get out without digging myself another hole.

Just got to keep going for Matt and the kids, that is all I can do, and try to keep pretending I am holding it all together – the “fake it till you make it” scenario I guess!

Can much more happen?

Filed under: Just Talking — mumov3 at 7:40 pm on Thursday, June 10, 2010  Tagged , , ,

Or am I tempting fate by even saying (or writing in this case) that!?!?!? I so hope not.

It has been such a few weeks, we have had chicken pox, teething (molars), viruses and a chest infection.

Alissa had chicken pox and she was a little legend. She didn’t scratch them at all, which I think I owe thanx to good old calamine lotion and Aveeno Bath stuff, (It says on the packet its good for Chicken Pox) Alissa certainly found the bath soak good. She said it made her chicken pox feel better. She was so funny and said that she must be turning into a chicken, and when they scabbed over she said that was where the feathers had tried to come out – lol.

Poor Dwighty has/is still struggling with his molars, they just seem to be going up and down all the time, poor little guy.

Aliyah was just off colour and really clingy and she didn’t like being at school without Alissa being there. They really are quite a tight little unit between the three of them.

Since Christmas my eye sight has been deteriorating and I can’t read subtitles on TV and cannot read for long as everything goes blurry. So went to the optomertrist to get my eyes checked and in late January. The optomertrist decided she wanted to send me to the ophthalmologist because the difference between each eye was disproportionate.

So after a couple of meetings with him he decided to do an MRI so he could check things out from the inside. So I had that at the end of April. Finally caught up with him last Tuesday to get the results. Nothing sinister as far as my eyes go, so that was great.

But…… and there is always a but, there is a tumour on the front of my brain. So I have to wait a referral to the neurosurgeon to see what needs to happen with that.

Honestly it doesn’t rain it pours.

And a month further on….

Filed under: Just Talking — mumov3 at 1:25 pm on Tuesday, May 11, 2010  Tagged , , , ,

Wow it has been over a month since I last posted, I don’t know where that time has gone, have been stuck in my black hole and time just doesn’t seem to matter at the moment.

I have had a couple of bright spots, my BFF was here for a couple of days two weeks ago and that was sooooo awesome. We chatted heaps and there was also that comfortable silence which was really nice. Then last weekend we saw hubby’s Mum and we haven’t seen her since Dwight was two weeks old, so a long time ago, we were still down in the South Island then. It was lovely to see her, and the girls got a real kick out of going out for dinner on Mothers Day with Two Grandma’s and Nana Dot (their Great Grandmother – my Nana)

I had a specialist appt for my leg yesterday and wahoooooo only two more weeks of the moon boot! Have had the angle changed to zero and the heal rise taken out. It feels so strange walking with nearly a flat foot after 4 mths of my foot being on an angle to help the archillies to heal itself. Doc said that I need to look at this like an 18mth possibly a little more injury, that it will still be 9odd months before I can run, jump, ski, play tennis etc, before the tendon is strong enough, at the moment it is still fragile and could very easily re-snap and we don’t want that.

We are off to Akld next Thursday for the Stair Climb, I am a bundle of emotions over it, but am trying really hard not to think about it because it makes me feel ill.

The rest of the time I am feeling pretty low, very anxious about going out, also about being by myself or being with the children. I have Dwight home all day by myself tomorrow and the girls for only part of the day as they are off on an adventure with Grandma and Nana Dot that they are really looking forward to. I am scared to death that I won’t be able to cope with Dwight by myself or that I will get so upset I am unable to move and do things.

I am feeling so alone, and lonely, yet again I ask – am I the only person in the world like this. Why is PND so hidden? What can I do? What should I be doing?

I want to get a kitten, mostly for the companionship during the day when I am home alone and maybe I won’t feel so scared if I have some company?? Hubby keeps telling me that there is nothing to be scared of in the house and I guess part of me recognises that on some level, but its very much a lone voice in my head.

My physio is coming over this afternoon, she doesn’t usually work on a Tue but couldn’t fit me in yesterday and we try for appts twice a week. I am full and dread and anxiety at the thought of her coming. I keep looking at the clock, counting down, stewing, waiting for her arrival. I don’t want her to come, but then again I hate having to go out to her clinic either. As a person the physio is really, really lovely, so it is nothing personal, its just the thought of having to interact with someone. It is hard enough at the moment to interact with hubby and I love him and adore him more than anything. He is my rock, my hero, my reason for being, for keeping on trying.

Today I am sad, I feel lost, isolated and alone.

Its just so overwhelming….

Filed under: Just Talking — mumov3 at 1:45 pm on Tuesday, April 6, 2010  Tagged , , , , , ,

I am still feeling so overwhelmed and am so lost at the moment, am really in the deep recesses of my black hole that I just can’t find a way out of this.

I feel so lost and I feel like this is never going to end. Its been the better part of 15 mths now and whilst objectively some things have improved, I am far, far, far from being me.

I don’t even think I know who me is any more. I am a wife and a mother but what else am I? Who is Paula?

Am I to be forever or at least for the next few years be defined as just that?? Or am I just seeing life through my dark tinged eyes?

Being a mother is just awesome, its amazing and watching your children change and develop, learn and grow is just mind blowing. They learn so fast and that period of time when they are really little and need Mummy for pretty much everything goes so fast, far to fast if you ask me. Dwight is 16mths old now and he is walking and thinks he is Mr Independent with feeding himself and trying to get things he wants, it only seems like yesterday that he was my beautiful tiny boy who had brought us such joy after being in hospital for so long and having been so ill. Seeing him is what made it all so worthwhile.


Dwight a few minutes old

Whilst I am struggling with three children I am still very much sad and mourning the loss that we can’t have a fourth child like we planned. Logically I can understand why we can’t do that and why my tubes were tied, but emotionally I think there is a lot of grief there over that and also if I am being honest with myself the loss of the boys.

Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh its just all a bit bleak here at the moment.

Where can I find help????

Filed under: Just Talking — mumov3 at 3:51 pm on Tuesday, March 30, 2010  Tagged , , , , ,

My anxiety and the black hole I am in has been progressively been getting worse again over the past month, so much so that yesterday I phoned my Mental Health Case/Support worker to talk to her about it.

Well that was a complete and utter waste of time and left me feeling even more of a failure.

I described to her how overwhelmed I am feeling and how my anxiety has me on edge all day, and that despite sleeping tablets I am not sleeping well. I told her that I needed some help, I don’t know what to do, but I know I am slipping further and further down hill and I really, really need some help.

She said all she could offer me is a case worker who would come out and make up a rehab plan, and I asked her what that entailed and it is what they do with the Alcohol and Drug Clients. ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH Last time I checked I had PND not an A&D problem.

I then told her about the kind of awesome support I got through Maternal Mental Health in Timaru and at that she reminded me that there is no MMH and there are no support networks like that open to me, but she could quickly action someone to come out and create a rehab plan for me.

I said no to this and asked if she could talk to my psychiatrist and she said she would and that she would come out to see me on a home visit today and be there between 0915 – 0930 at 1000hrs she still had not turned up so I phoned her office to see if she had left and was on her way. But Noooooooooooo she had “overlooked” her appt with me. Grrrrrrrrrrr. So I asked her if we could reschedule and she said yep that would be great, so I can see her in a couple of weeks time. *sob*

Honestly, it is so bloody hard to ask for help and she is the person that I am supposed to ask for help from, but it is seeming more obvious that she not only has little experience in this area, but also lacks interest to learn/research the area to help me.

Really though, I can’t be the only person in the area covered by Tairawhiti DHB with PND???

So I have asked for help and it doesn’t seem to be available through TDHB so where do I go next to ask?

A bad few days……

Filed under: Just Talking — mumov3 at 4:13 pm on Friday, March 26, 2010  Tagged , , ,

I got the cast removed yesterday and am now in a moon boot with a riser which is good because I can finally have decent showers – wahooo!

But that aside I am in a very dark place again and am having moments where I really wish it was all over and that I wasn’t a burden for anyone and that hubbie and the kids could get on with their lives without me holding them back. Even though in my moments of rationality, I have to agree with hubbie that the kids do love me and do need me and that he loves and needs me as well. My children all end up coming to Mummy for a special Mummy Cuddle when they are tired or wound up of they have been hit by one of their siblings or fallen over etc.

It is just its really hard to cling to that in these times of of blackness. I feel so unworthy and useless and more of a burden than anything positive. Because of my leg I can’t rush to the kids if one of them is crying and I can’t carry them to bed or run around on the lawn with them. I know at some point my archilies will get better, but its all taking its own sweet time.

So yes, I really do think that my leg is playing a big part in all of this and there isn’t really a lot I can do to improve the situation except be patient and rest it as much as I can and don’t over do it when I do go out.

Where I am at today…

Filed under: Just Talking — mumov3 at 1:38 pm on Monday, March 22, 2010  Tagged ,

Well I now take anti-anxiety medication three times a day, along with anti-depressants (two kinds) and I take a sleeping pill at night, otherwise I just lay there stressing and getting myself so wound up I make myself feel and sometimes be sick. Its not fun.

I have a lot of noise in my head, all talking at cross purposes and sometimes feeding my fears. I also have a big black dog – I am pretty sure he is a Newfoundland and a Siamese cat who is indigent and looks down his nose at all this “stuff”in my head. LOL bet that really makes me sound crazy saying I have two talking animals in my head! I think I devised them to try and have some sort of control of all the noise in my head. It was also most likely inspired from I had a black Dog book about depression by Matthew Johnstone. Just as an aside this book is awesome and for me it really helped me see that some of the things I was feeling weren’t just me, that they are felt by other people to. I have it sitting on my coffee table so that I can look through it whenever I need to so that I can remind myself I am not the only person in the world struggling like this.

I am scared of being home alone, I am scared of going out, I am not sure I like to have visitors, its all a vicious cycle, but if left to my own devices I would shut myself in my room and go to bed and just try to pretend the world outside didn’t exist. So I do try to get out even for twenty minutes a day, because that means I have to get dressed and do my hair etc. Even if all I do is drive down to the beach to see what the surf is looking like, at least I have made it out. I don’t really want to go anywhere that I will have to get out of the car or talk to people. Although I have started making fortnightly visits to the library and will talk to one of the librarians there, but no one else.

I feel so embarrassed that I won’t talk to people or go out. I haven’t gotten to know any of the parents at my childrens day care, and if I do go collect them I dread being talked to, because I just freeze and my heart starts pounding and all this stuff is racing around me head, my palms are sweaty. It is hideous.

I want to know when is this going to be over, do I have to walk this journey alone!??!?!

Diagnosis Time….

Filed under: Just Talking — mumov3 at 12:58 pm on Sunday, March 21, 2010  Tagged , , , ,

We went to see our GP and after answering some questions and filling out a form he diagnosed me with post natal depression. He started me on a mild Anti Depressant and said we would give it a go for a month and see how things were going.

They did nothing really and I was just getting worse and worse to the point I wouldn’t get out of bed and I would just cry and cry and cry and all I wanted was for it to be all over.

So after 2.5 weeks we went back to the Dr and he decided to refer me to maternal mental health and told me to stop taking the AD’s I was on because I needed to be off them for two weeks before I could start any new ones, and he thought that would probably tie in with when I would see MMH (he was right on the money)

I was really scared about going to see the psychiatrist, I thought he would lock me up and throw away the key or take the children away from me. I built up this picture of a really scary looking man who had a dark and scary office and he would tut tut at me. I couldn’t have been more wrong than if I had tried.

The psychiatrist was wonderful, he sat there and explained PND with me and about what was going on in my mind and body and how they react to depression and anxiety and explained what this first round of medication was going to be, how it might make me feel and he also introduced me to my Case Manager – boy she was a ray of sunshine in an otherwise very grey sky.

So I tried this first lot of medication, and there were tiny dots of time that were a little brighter, so over a couple of months he fiddled with the medication till it was all maxed out. It was at this point we talked about ECT treatment. Given that I was still suicidal and didn’t leave the house and was just so stuck in the bottom of my black pit, Matt and I decided it was worth a shot. So twice a week for 6 weeks I was taken up to Christchurch to have ECT treatment. I had the final two here in Gisborne. So all up I had 14 sessions of ECT. It has effected my short term memory but it did help. Yes it was scary, but the staff were great and you were fully anaesthetised before they treated you.

By the time I came to Gisborne in late November I was still in a pretty dark place and my anxiety was pretty extreme, so my new psychiatrist put me on a stronger dose of anti anxiety medication. By early December he had built it up to the max dose.

I still have quite severe anxiety, and I have days still that I wish it could all be over, as I am sure I am a burden to my darling husband and wonderful children. At the moment I feel like I have dropped right back down to the bottom of my black pit and I can’t see any way out of it.

I hate that I feel so incapable and useless and out of control, but this blackness is so overpowering. Everyday I wake up and pray that today will be a less bleak day. I have become very good at masking how I really feel, because it seems that PND is not understood and is associated with being “feeble minded” and not sound to parent.

It seems to me that depression itself gets a lot of advertising and information pamphlets etc but PND is very much the poor cousin and it really isn’t understood all that well, maybe this blog will enlighten people a bit more if I am lucky.

Let the journey begin…..

Filed under: Just Talking — mumov3 at 12:58 pm on Wednesday, March 17, 2010  Tagged , ,

Its a long, long road, from which there is no return………..

You know how the song goes. But this PND Journey is a very, very long road and I wholeheartedly believe you are not the same person at the end of it, that you are when you first start it. Well I am hoping and praying there is an end to it.

Out of all the people I know, I was the last person I thought who would get PND. We had been through so much during our other pregnancies and not even a hint of baby blues. But with Dwight’s pregnancy, everything about it was hard, and that period of time was full of external stressors as well.

At 22 weeks gestation my morning sickness had gotten so bad that I was admitted to hospital, because I could no long keep water down. So I ended up in hospital for the remainder of the pregnancy, on a drip and with a nasigastric feeding tube in for the remainder of the pregnancy, which saw Dwight induced at 35 weeks. He was 5lb 3oz and he was beautiful and all the problems I had endured just flew straight out the window when I held him in my arms and looked down at him.

A little while later when we tried to latch him it didn’t seem to be working. The Paediatrician arrived about the same time, so checked him out and said he had a tongue tie (no worries we thought – the girls had them, they are simple to fix) and that he was little and had a tiny mouth. So I was told to try to latch him each feed and then express and tube/finger feed him and once he is a bit bigger he will be able to latch by himself much easier. So we took that at face value and just thought we had a few weeks till that would all be sorted.

At 10 days old Dwight went back in to hospital and had his tongue tie cut in theatre because it was all the way to the tip of his tongue and the Dr wanted to have everything available to him in case it didn’t prove so easy to do. But it was fine and 30 minutes later he was out of surgery, and about 20 minutes after that the nurse got me to try and latch him. No joy still, the Paediatrician again said he had a small mouth and he probably just needed to grow a bit more then would be fine.

I think at around the time Dwight was three weeks old, the constant, trying to latch, then tube feeding, expressing, burping, put bub to bed and then sterilising everything was starting to get a bit much for me. Looking back now I think that is when the PND really set in.

When Dwight was about 10 weeks old, I couldn’t/wouldn’t leave the house, I was crying all the time and I just felt like I had been swallowed whole by a gigantic black hole, and I no longer wanted to live because I felt that I was a burden to my husband and children. I wanted it all to be over, what had I done so wrong?? I was sure it would be for the best if I just walked out in front of a truck and ended it all.

At this point, hubby took me straight in to see our Doctor.

Hello world!

Filed under: Just Talking — mumov3 at 2:39 am on Tuesday, March 16, 2010  Tagged , ,

Hi! Well this is my first attempt at writing a blog and I have high hopes that it is going to provide me with somewhere to talk about my thoughts on parenting, motherhood and also the big black dog in the corner of the room Post Natal Depression.

I have PND and I am really embarrassed and ashamed of it, like it shows me as a failure. Why do I feel so ashamed and embarrassed by it? Is it because society in general put a label on me and I am somewhat looked down on? Or is it just the general whispering about me by other people because you have a mental illness??

I try very hard every day, sometimes a LOT of times a day, to remind myself that I didn’t choose this, or ask for it and I didn’t do something wrong to get it. But boy its hard. Even those closest to you don’t always understand and its hard to explain, and because it all comes about from having a baby which is supposed to be one of the happiest times in ones life they really, really don’t understand. My psycho-analyst told me last time I saw her that it can take between 2.5 – 5 years to recover from PND depending on how severe your case is. Boy that is scary.

Motherhood – Wow what a blast! You just never know what you are going to encounter from one day to the next, which can be pretty cool. Watching your child grow is just amazing and mind blowing. I looked at Alissa the other day and the thought just hit me, she isn’t my wee baby or even a toddler any more, she is a little girl. Gone is the rounded toddler body and occasional clumsiness, these have been replaced by a the body of a little girl – with really long legs – I so know she didn’t get that trait from my genes!

Any who, enough of that for now, just wanted to say Hi and we will see where this journey takes us!