My London Getaway!

Last week I did something I didn’t think I’d do for a really long time. I went away for a couple of days without Erin or John. Part of realising that I have PND also meant that I realised that I need some me time now and again. So, I headed off to London for a night to see my sister and her fiance (Nat & Chris). It was also a kind of late birthday present too.

London

I arrived late morning on the Thursday and we started off with a Wetherspoons breakfast before heading off to Jurassic Kingdom (Review coming soon). Even though Erin wasn’t with me, I still wanted to do a couple of things that maybe I wouldn’t have normally done before. We all had loads of fun, especially taking selfies with the dinosaurs. It was a beautiful day as well so it was nice to get out of the city and in a big, open space.

After Jurassic Kingdom I headed to my hotel, the Holiday Inn Express (Review coming soon) in North Acton, to check in and lighten my bags a bit. The hotel was a 2 minute walk from the tube station so that was great. It is about 20 minutes away from central London on the tube but I didn’t mind that at all.

On Thursday evening we had tickets to see Dreamgirls (Review coming soon), which was my birthday present from Nat and Chris. Before the theatre we went to Bills for dinner. Bills is one of my favourite restaurants so I knew the food would be amazing!

I was so incredibly excited about seeing Dreamgirls. Not living in London means never really being too bothered about seeing any shows. However, Dreamgirls is a favourite of mine and I was desperate to see it. Unfortunately though, Amber Riley wasn’t in it on the night we went but that wasn’t a problem. Come back to read the review in a few days!

On Friday we also had quite a few plans. I got up quite early and headed out for a roam about on my own before meeting Nat and Chris again. We were meeting near the Southbank Center so I went to look at the London Eye and to chill by the river. I think I got there at about 9am and it was so quiet and peaceful. It was a lovely place to be before everything opened.

At 11:30 we had tickets for the London Duck Tours. (Review coming soon) I’ve never done a tour of London before and I was so excited about this. This really didn’t disappoint and it’s one of the most fun things I’ve done in London.

Lunch on Friday was my favourite restaurant of all time, Vapiano. There are branches all over the world and they have the best pasta ever.

Vapiano

Of course, we had to do a bit of shopping so we went to Liberty’s and Carnaby Street where I finally got to go to Choccywoccydoodah. I was in chocolate heaven and could have bought everything. I didn’t though. Instead, we went to Bubblewrap Waffle in Chinatown. I had to wait an hour for a waffle but my god was it worth it!?

By this time we were all exhaused but we headed to Westfield Stratford as it’s not far from where Chris lives. He had to pick up some bits as he and Nat were coming back with me for the weekend. Nat and I did some wedding dress viewing and a bit more shopping but that didn’t last long. My poor feet were killing me.

My London getaway was bloody knackering but it was so needed. I got to do loads of my favourite things and also do something new and exciting. I can’t say I felt refreshed but I can quite happily go for quite some time now before needing some time to myself like that again.

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Dealing with my wife’s PND

Roughly 3 months ago I found my wife crying in the dark after an argument we had had. The argument hadn’t made sense to me. I remember not understanding what I had done wrong. Exasperated I had left my wife upstairs alone (she had demanded I leave her alone), but when I went to talk to her ten minutes later I found her crying in the dark. She hugged me and told me she thought she had Post Natal depression. I held her as she sobbed, together in the dark. One thought going through my mind, ‘How could I not have noticed this?’

PND

I first considered the possibility that my wife might be at risk of post natal depression on the day our daughter was born. The pregnancy had not been a good one with more than one nighttime trip to the emergency doctor, but that was nothing compared to the birth and post natal complications. There was concern about Erin’s size and she had seemingly stopped getting the right nourishment. It was decided to induce labour early as, for want of a better phrase, she was probably better out than in. This did not go to plan and we ended up having to have an emergency c -section. Erin was delivered safely and all seemed okay until that evening when Lyndsey’s health took a dramatic turn for the worse.

Lyndsey has already written in detail about this experience so I won’t do so again, but she had picked up a really bad infection as a result of the C section. I want to say mistakes were made but I don’t really know if that is true. We now know that Lyndsey had sepsis and e-coli but that wasn’t revealed to us at the time. From my point of view my wife was dreadfully ill, hooked up to multiple medications, cannulas in both arms, unable to move, unable to eat, unable to even stay conscious much, and certainly unable to hold the newborn baby she had been so desperate for.

We were in hospital for two weeks and as hard as those two weeks were for me, they were ten times harder for Lyndsey. She had desperately wanted to breast feed and even in the state she was in, she really tried. In the end we had to give up and formula feed so that I could do it.

When we finally got home I was so worried about PND and even PTSD. I even mentioned it to the health visitor who came to see us.

I had to return to work sooner than I was comfortable with but I had no choice. I didn’t want to leave Lyndsey and Erin alone after everything we had gone through. To my relief Lyndsey took to motherhood like a natural. Before I knew it she had Erin signed up to all these different classes and there were whiteboards everywhere and food plans. There didn’t seem to be any issue with bonding or anything. I tried to do my bit with night feeds but we soon came to joke that Lyndsey was the A-team when it came to Erin because she settled for her far more quickly.

I will admit that my worries abated and I threw myself into working hard to try to improve our situation. I took on a new job and said yes to any overtime going. All the while things seemed to be okay at home.

Then a series of things happened – Lyndsey started to experience problems with infections in her c-section scar and is still struggling with it now. On one particularly bad occurrence she was unable to move and I couldn’t go to work for a few days.

Then we have had issues with some of my family and Lyndsey has come under sustained personal attack that was in no way deserved. In my defending her it has led to a massive rift in the family that has taken its toll on both of us. I knew she had been really upset by it but I didn’t know just how much.

It didn’t occur to me for one second that she might be suffering from PND. In my ignorance I thought this was something that would have happened at the start and not an issue a year on. But I now know that Lyndsey had been struggling in silence for quite a while.

I will never forgive myself for this. I like to think I am an attentive husband but I didn’t see this happening and my wife didn’t feel she could talk to me about it. Lyndsey doesn’t like to admit she needs help but I should have known something wasn’t right.

At least now things are out in the open. Lyndsey is taking mild anti-depressants and these seem to really be helping. I wasn’t keen for her to take pills because I don’t want her to become too dependent on them but I think the plan is to wean her off them gradually.

I do my best to make sure Lyndsey gets some baby free time as often as possible and lie ins at the weekend. I may have failed her before but I am determined never to do so again!

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Second babies and sterilisation

Let’s get this straight… I am not pregnant with our second! This post is actually going to be about not having second babies but going for sterilisation instead.

*This post talks about sex. If you’re not comfortable with that (Mum) I won’t be offended if you don’t carry on reading.

sterilisation

A couple of my friends have either recently found out they are expecting their second child or like one friend, due pretty soon! I am absolutely thrilled for them all and so excited for when the new babies are born. However, this is also my worst nightmare. I cannot imagine anything worse than having another baby or being pregnant again. Just the thought of it makes me worry and panic a bit.

I’ve written recently about having Post Natal Depression and my fear of being pregnant has a lot to do with this. Even though I’d had two surgeries and had a lot of trouble walking after Erin’s birth, I went to the doctor only a week after being home to have my implant put back in. I thought that would be enough for me. I thought it would put my mind at ease.

It didn’t. AT ALL.

My fear of getting pregnant again is so bad that it has majorly affected mine and John’s sex life. As in we don’t have sex. Ever. I know this is such a personal thing to discuss and I wouldn’t normally but I feel like it’s something so important to this post. I am so terrified of an accident happening that I don’t want to have sex at all anymore. My fear far outweighs any desire I might have.

Erin is nearly 15 months old now and after admitting to myself that I have PND I knew it was time to do something about the other problems I had going on. John is the most patient man in the universe and would never, ever dream of pressuring me about sex. He completely understands why I feel the way that I do but I also know that it’s just not right. I don’t want to feel like I do and I don’t want to not want to have sex with my husband.

The only way that I feel like I can feel more relaxed about everything is to do something permanent. Sterilisation. I know without a doubt that this is something I want. I never really wanted more than 1 child anyway and Erin’s birth scared me so much and I have so many issues because of it that I just couldn’t do it again. John is also willing to have a vasectomy as well. I know this may sound like overkill but I really can’t/ won’t take any chances. I’m not sure I would feel comfortable enough.

I have a doctor’s appointment this morning to start discussing this and to see whether or not they’ll let me have it done. I know it’s big decision to make but I know it’s the best thing for me, my marriage and our family.

Do you have any experience with sterilisation, either male or female? I’d love to hear from you.

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PND and Panic Attacks

Up until last Thursday I thought I was doing quite well. I thought I had a bit of a better handle on things and that I was starting to balance out a bit. I was, I guess, but then I had a bit of a set back. I certainly wasn’t prepared for my PND and/ or anti-depressants to bring on panic attacks.

panic attacksLast week John had a lot going on at work. Apart from Monday night because I was working, he worked late every other evening. By Thursday evening I was really tired and very much looking forward to him coming home that night. Storm Doris had other ideas though and that meant all of the trains home were cancelled. At about 9:45 John rang to tell me he couldn’t get home pretty much.

Now, before Thursday I had never had a panic attack before. I’d never even really thought about them. But, when John said he couldn’t get home and would probably stay at his friends, I definitely panicked. The thought of him being away and me being alone with Erin and Jackson all night did me in. The thing is, I’ve spent a few nights just the three of us and it’s not bothered me before. However, anxiety gives me the need to have things planned and I do not do well with spontaneity in certain senses. Had John’s night away been planned I wouldn’t have been bothered in the slightest.

Instead, within a couple of seconds I was crying so hard and I felt like my chest was about to explode. I knew instantly that I was having a panic attack. I was hyperventilating and it took a lot to calm me down. Jackson came over straight away and stroking him actually helped. My breathing was so bad though that I was sick.

Thankfully, our lovely friend who John was going to stay with actually drove him home. I’d had to put the phone down on John during our call because I couldn’t speak. He was obviously worried. When he walked through the door I was so relieved. It took a good while for him to completely calm me down.

Panic attacks are absolutely awful and I’ve certainly never experienced anything like that before. I definitely don’t want to again. Things like this make me question my decision to take anti-depressants. It may have been a cause and it may not have. If it happens again at any point I will seriously rethink my decision.

Have you experienced panic attacks before? How do you deal with them?

 

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PND: A month of anti-depressants

It’s been about five weeks now since I went to the doctor’s for my first appointment to talk about Post Natal Depression. I had a follow up appointment two weeks later but both the doctor and I decided that it’s a good idea for me to carry on taking anti-depressants for the time being.

anti-depressants

I don’t really think I knew what to expect when I first started taking the anti-depressants. I know the doctor I saw originally warned me that life would be hell for probably 4-6 weeks. I’m not sure I really believed her though and I certainly wasn’t prepared for the side effects.

The first month has definitely not been smooth sailing. The first couple of weeks weren’t too bad at all and I didn’t really feel any side effects. However, I did slowly start to feel a bit better within myself and a bit more relaxed about certain things. It’s only been the last 2 wees or so that things have gone downhill.

I’m struggling at the minute because I’m not sleeping very well. I seem to be unable to nap during the day like I used to so I’m shattered by 4 or 5pm. This is messing with how I feel when I’m at work because I work from 5:30 to 9:30 a few nights a week. If I have a nap when I actually feel tired it messes up everything else. There have been some nights where I’m still wide awake at 2 or 3am but I feel tired at the same time. I try to go to bed at a normalish time but I end up laying there staring into space for such a long time!

I’ve also had really bad stomach problems. The less said about that the better! There was a very rough few days and a lot of pain to be felt!

Although there have been some really rubbish side effect so far, I do still feel better overall. I’m calmer in general. If there is a situation that could be quite stressful I don’t freak out about it like I did before. If Erin is having a bad day I don’t get upset or cry or panic like I was doing before. I’m also not going insane about tiny little things that aren’t right or that have annoyed me.

My doctor and I have agreed to a 6 months trial on this medication and go from there. Do you have any experience with anti-depressants?

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PND and Me: Seeking Help

Yesterday was a hard day. After posting about my admittance of having post natal depression I quite quickly made a doctor’s appointment. I knew that if I didn’t I would probably chicken out and not want to go. Seeking help really is the first step to recovery.

seeking help

My doctor’s surgery changes its rules about when you can and can’t book in advance for so getting an appointment with a particular doctor is nearly impossible. My appointment ended up being with someone who doesn’t work there very often and I had never seen before. I actually think I liked it better that way.

The appointment wasn’t nearly as bad as I had imagined it to be but it also wasn’t great either.

So I went in and straight out said what I thought was wrong. The immediate response was ‘so you want the tablets?’ I think I could have done with telling her why I felt a certain way or what was going on before being offered a prescription for antidepressants. Anyway, I ended up saying yes because I have to try something. I’m on a really low dose though for 2 weeks to see how things go. The doctor actually said to me ‘they will make your life shit for the next couple of weeks’. That obviously wasn’t what I was expecting to hear along with the long list of side effects.

What I thought was really strange was no mention of counselling or help from anywhere else. I had to ask about this. There was no information there about the self referral service so someone is going to contact me apparently. If they don’t I’ll try to figure this out towards the end of next week. I think I was more surprised that they were so quick to give out a prescription to fix something rather than it be talked over!

My appointment was in the morning so I had to take Erin with me. Not ideal but not the worst thing in the world. Strangely, she held my hand through the appointment. I got a bit teary while I was there and she just reached out for me and that was it until we left. My husband couldn’t come with me because he was at work but having Erin there actually really helped.

So now I have two weeks of taking these tablets and seeing how it goes. Fingers crossed they’re not quite as bad as I’m expecting them to be.

Being able to admit that something is wrong

When I think about it, I think I knew something was wrong months ago. It was only earlier on this evening, after a row about something stupid and me crying pretty hysterically, did I admit to my husband that I think I’ve got postnatal depression (PND). I don’t think it though. Really, I’ve known for months but haven’t wanted to really admit it to myself or anyone else. It’s not just one thing that has got me here either, it’s really quite a lot of different things.

pnd

I sort of feel like a bit of a broken record here but I do feel like this is largely down to Erin’s difficult birth. Actually, when I think about it this could quite easily be PTSD as well. I’ve never gotten over what happened. I have had a particularly shit year in terms of health. I finally have an appointment to see a specialist next month about my c-section scars but I still don’t feel like anything is being taken seriously.

My relationship with John has certainly changed since having Erin. We used to be a really cuddly couple. We’re not anymore. John is lucky if I even cuddle him in bed. Unfortunately, because of how I feel about Erin’s birth I cannot stand being touched. I don’t want this bit taken the wrong way though. I love my husband very much and I’m still very much attracted by him. I just don’t want him to touch me anymore. We’ve also just sort of lost who we are as a couple. We’re parents now and I feel as though that is who we are together; Mum and Dad.

In just over a year, I have had a whole of 3 days away from Erin. I love her so much but I think everyone needs some time for themselves and I just don’t get that, ever. When my sister, her boyfriend or my mum come to visit they are fantastic. They pretty much play with Erin from the minute they wake up until Erin goes to bed. However, I can’t help but feel like we could have had more support from other family members. It’s something I won’t go into on here but we don’t really talk to a lot of John’s family. So unlike a lot of families, we don’t have anyone we can ever leave Erin with. She doesn’t get to go to someone one day a week or a morning here and there. This also means that John and I have never been out together alone since Erin was born.

I guess a big part of how I feel now is that I am now Mum, and that is it. I don’t feel like me anymore. Well, the pre-Erin me anyway. The before me was so full of life and bubbly. The now me is a miserable bitch who whinges and whines (no, I’m not Whinge, Whinge, Wine but do check out her blog) about anything and everything. It doesn’t matter what John does, it’s wrong most of the time. I’m never happy. I’m always down. It’s like the life has been sucked out of me.

I don’t want to do anything and I don’t want to go anywhere a lot of the time. I loved going to baby groups in the beginning. Now, I want to stay at home in my PJs. I love seeing my friends though and they do make me feel better for a while. They don’t know about how I really feel though but it’s nice to be able to talk to them about Erin and just forget about things for a couple of hours.

I think John was really surprised when I mentioned PND to him this evening. He said he hadn’t realised. I tried to make sure he didn’t. I guess he really did notice the not touching thing though!! Now that I have told him that this is how I feel and why, I feel like I can actually admit it. Although my doctor is crap and I haven’t really seen any I like in the past year, I will go and see them to talk about PND. Unfortunately, I feel like I’ll get fobbed off. We’ll soon see.

I’d really love to read some more posts about PND. Let me know if you have any experience with this or have written about it!