Post natal depression, it’s not how I imagined

post natal depression

I never thought I would suffer with post natal depression. Then again, I doubt many women think they will get it either. It is not what you think about when you are pregnant is it? You are too busy thinking about the little human growing inside you, planning for their arrival and imaging the life as a family that is waiting for you just around the corner. Thoughts of whether you will feel sad for months on end or if you will feel completely overwhelmed by it all aren’t really common place amongst the excitement over adorable baby clothes and decorating the nursery.

Well, I didn’t consider I would get PND anyway. But I did and it is not what I had expected it to be.

Post natal depression, it is not how I imagined

I always thought post natal depression meant you couldn’t love your baby, for me that is not the case. I thought sufferers of post natal depression were suicidal, that is not the case for me either. The media made me believe if you suffered from PND then you thought about hurting your baby, you thought about hurting yourself or you just sat in the dark and cried for months. I was misguided, misinformed, and I was naïve. Post natal depression is not black and white, it is not a one size fits all condition. For some women post natal depression shows itself in one way and in others it comes to the surface in a totally different manner.

Post natal depression caught me completely off guard. I didn’t see it coming, I never expected it to become a part of my life, I thought I was too happy to ever get depressed. I am happily married, have a lovely family and children who are my world, what have I got to be sad about?  And that is my naivety to the complexity of mental health, displayed neatly in that last sentence. There doesn’t need to be a reason, depression can hit any of us at any time, sometimes circumstances and situations can cause it and other times it can just show up uninvited.

My second baby was about 2 months old when I realised something wasn’t quite right. Again, my misconception of post natal depression led me to ignore my symptoms for weeks, convinced I must just be feeling down, the baby blues maybe, as post natal depression crops up within the days after birth doesn’t it? You can’t be feeling happy for almost 2 months and then suddenly just get it can you? Post natal depression isn’t like the flu, you don’t just ‘catch it’. Often it can begin as a slow burn, something you can just push aside and try to ignore, but as time wears on the sadness and anxiety shout louder, refusing to let you carry on with life as normal.

Before I was one of them, I thought sufferers of post natal depression were sad all the time, crying all the time and they were easy to spot because they rarely smiled. This is not the case at all. Over Christmas I fake smiled my way through countless family gatherings, I pretended to be happy when I wasn’t. I lied to everyone around me every time they asked how I was and I said I was ok. No amount of forced smiles or ignoring the elephant in my brain could stop the sadness and anxiety that was constantly niggling in my chest, picking at me and dragging my mood down to depths I wasn’t willing to go. Just because someone is smiling doesn’t mean they are happy, don’t assume a new mum is coping just because she says she is ok – it is hard enough admitting to yourself that you are struggling, let alone telling friends and family that you are depressed.

The smiles though, they are not always fake. It is possible to be depressed but to also have times of happiness. I mean, I have post natal depression but I still have days that are full of fun, my kids and my family make me laugh for real and I do still use my genuine smile too. Having post natal depression just means for me there is always this unhappiness within me, sometimes it feels like it consumes me but there are other days where I can manage it. There are lots of days where I can tackle the sadness head on, lock it away and go about my day, genuinely enjoying my time with my family and not even giving it a second thought. Those are my favourite kind of day, some time really soon I hope to be able to keep that sadness locked away for good.

post natal depression

Having post natal depression for me doesn’t mean I am suicidal or that I can’t bond with my child. For me, this horrible mental health condition shows itself in the form of intrusive thoughts, anxiety and tears that just can not be explained. It is a constant weight on my shoulders (thankfully now not as heavy as it once was), it is the dull shadow that is cast over my days and is the reason I look at my baby and sometimes feel sad. The sadness is not because he makes me unhappy, he doesn’t, it is because for the 7 months he has been on this planet he hasn’t been able to see the real me. I am not a miserable and anxious person, in my heart I am happy and positive. I love to laugh and to smile and take pleasure in everything life has to offer, unfortunately there are days the person I really am and the person this depression want me to be start to blur together; a mess of heightened emotions and feelings. Mostly I am sad for my youngest child as he hasn’t had the same baby days as his big brother, a time when I was able to be the happy mum I always wanted to be, not this tearful imposter.

I have also learnt that there is no easy cure. Talking helps, it really does help if you can find the courage to get the words out. Anti depressants can work for some, I have turned these down for my own reasons but there is no shame in taking pills to feel better. You’d take paracetamol for a headache, wouldn’t you? Self care is important, time for yourself doing something you enjoy can work wonders. Unfortunately, I have also come to realise that you can start to feel better, almost like your old happy self, only for post natal depression to resurface again, once more unannounced and very much not invited. At this moment in time I am struggling again, I have that uneasy feeling and can’t budge that niggling in my chest. I am hoping this is just a small bump in the road back to happiness and I can work through these feelings again.

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I guess all I am trying to say is this, our mental health is complex and it is hard to understand what someone else is going through. If I could show who I am now to the person I was a year ago, that past version of myself wouldn’t think they are looking at someone suffering with post natal depression. What we perceive something to be and what it actually is can be two completely different things. If you are a new mum and think you might have pnd but are reluctant to seek help because you don’t feel how the media has made you believe you should feel then please seek some support. Like lots of illnesses, post natal depression is not the same for everyone, you can love your baby and have never even contemplated hurting yourself or your children but that doesn’t mean you might not have this very common mental health condition. Post natal depression affects around 1 in 10 new mums, there is no way all those mums feel it in the same way.

If you think you have post natal depression, click this link for a list of charities and helpful resources and please speak to someone about it. Bottling up these feelings will only make you feel worse. If you want to read more about my struggles with post natal depression then you can find all my posts about it in the mental health section on my blog.

You can find this post linked to some of these amazing blog link ups –

Maternity Mondays | Marvellous Mondays | Posts from the Heart | #MG | Big Pink Link | Twinkly Tuesday | Dream Team | Tried and Tested | Blogger Club UK | Best and Worst | Family Fun | Cool Mum Club | A Blogging Good Time | The List Linky | PoCoLo |For the Love of Blog | KCACOLS  …and of course #BlogCrush, the linky I co host every Friday.

Find me on Twitter ..

@naptimenatter

Thanks for reading, if you enjoyed this post I would love for you to share it 🙂

 

 

 

#BlogCrush – week 17

#BlogCrush

Friday is here again and that can mean only one thing, it’s #BlogCrush time!

I hope you have all had a lovely week and are looking forward to a relaxing weekend. I have had my nan staying with us since Monday which has been lovely, the kids have enjoyed spending time with their great Nanny and I have enjoyed spending lots of quality time with her too. This weekend I am off out with the Mother in Law to see Sister Act in our local theatre so I am excited for Saturday night to come around.

Thank you to Lucy for hosting solo last week, the break from the linky did me the world of good but I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things now and reading all your posts.

What is #BlogCrush ?

#BlogCrush is a linky with a difference that I host with wonderful Lucy (Lucy at Home)  . This linky is like no other as not only can you link up one of your own posts but we also ask you to add a post from another blogger to the linky too. So if you have read something this week (or ever) that has really wowed you then please add it as your BC to the linky below. I can’t wait to read this week’s helping of excellent posts!

Featured #BlogCrush posts

I have no featured posts this week as I didn’t host last week but I will be choosing a featured blogger as usual from this week’s linky.

Lucy chose two #BlogCrush posts last week – Popcorn for Lunch and Talking Mums

Congratulations to you featured bloggers, if you would like you can grab the featured badge below to display on your blog. Also, if any of you noticed one of your posts featured as someone’s #BlogCrush in the last link up, feel free to grab the badge too 🙂

Naptime Natter

#BlogCrush linky – week 17

This week I am linking up my first guest post from my new guest blogging series The Newbie Takeover. This series is open for all new bloggers, if you have been blogging for less than a year and would like to guest post on my blog then please get in touch. My first guest post comes from Katie at Milky Cuddles and it is a good one – Why we decided to say no to visitors at the hospital

Naptime Natter

It is time to get linking! #BlogCrush is all about sharing the bloggy love, Lucy and I have noticed a few people not following our main rule of adding a post written by another blogger, can you please make sure you do this as it is the whole point of this linky. We don’t like being the blog police but it is not fair to just drop your own link when #BlogCrush is all about sharing content written by others as well as yourself. Also, my badge code doesn’t work sometimes, if you have any problems please message me and I will try to sort it. THANKS!

Here are the rules ..
* The linky will run every Friday 6am – Sunday 9pm (UK time) 
* You can link up 2 posts per week – 1 of your own posts and 1 post by a blogger that you love, your #BlogCrush
* Please add BC in the inlinkz form when you add the link for your blog crush post
* Add the #BlogCrush badge to the post you are linking up from your own blog.
* Tweet @naptimenatter and @lucy_at_home on twitter and we will retweet your links
* Also, tweet your #BlogCrush to let them know you have added them to the linky
* Comment on one of my posts and one of Lucy’s posts, 1 personal post and 1 blog crush post – that is a total of 4 comments please. This  linky is all about sharing the blogger love so if you want to comment on more posts too then please go ahead 🙂
* Lucy and I will comment on all the posts and share them all on our Twitter accounts.
* Each host will choose a favourite post and feature it in the next linky post as well as linking it up as their #BlogCrush post in the following week’s linky.
* If you could also follow Lucy and I on social media then we will love you forever. Naptime Natter twitter , Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube Lucy At Home twitter , facebook

Happy linking lovelies!

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How to make exercise something you actually enjoy (tips from a former exercise hater!)

enjoy exerise

Hands up if you hate exercise? If the thought of working out and getting all sweaty makes you feel a bit sick? If the sight of an exercise mat and sports bra leaves you walking quickly running for the hills? Yep, that was me too. I am very lucky to have been blessed with the ‘skinny gene’, I am a naturally small person and am one of those annoying people who can eat cake for breakfast and not put on any weight (sorry!). Something I have never been though is physically fit, my size is deceiving, walking up hills, chasing after my kids or hoovering too enthusiastically can leave me rosy cheeked and out of breath. There are definitely people who are larger than me who are much healthier and in way better shape physically than I am.

I have always been conscious of my poor fitness levels and have tried to improve them throughout my life with very little joy. I have dabbled in swimming, yoga, celebrity endorsed DVDs and have also tried to YouTube my way to a six pack. The thing is, until recently, I just didn’t like to work out, there were a hundred and one other things I would rather do with my time than get my heart pumping and my muscles burning. I just did not enjoy exercise, end of. Now a mum of two, with a tummy that is no longer immune to the effects of too much cake and the need to be fitter to run around after the offspring, I am trying to boost my fitness levels by working out every day. But you hate exercise, I hear you say. Well, not anymore. I actually love exercise now and if you are a workout dodger like I was, you can totally learn to love exercise too, here is how.. View Post

Nappy changing on the go made easy with Sondrew portable change station

sondrew portable change station

It is no secret that when you have a baby that suddenly leaving the house becomes a major operation. The urge to take out everything but the kitchen sink becomes very real, leaving the house with only one change of clothes for the baby is seen as some kind of madness. Well, yes, you can no longer just nip out with only your purse, keys and phone but you can get away with just packing the essentials in your nappy changing bag; your baby will not go through 10 outfits in a day and a whole packet of nappies, honest. Nappy changing on the go can be difficult at times, not all public places have nappy changing facilities and sometimes baby change rooms can be a bit grim anyway. One thing you must have in your change bag if you want to be able to change your baby in comfort wherever you go is a travel change mat. Recently I was asked by Sondrew to review their portable change station, it is the perfect baby product for us parents who don’t want to carry the whole house out with us but want to still be able to have everything we could possibly need to deal with our baby’s nappy needs. Here is what we thought. View Post

Baby update – Alex is 7 months

baby update

OK, I am over 2 weeks late with this update, oops! Now that Alex is crawling (yup, already), I don’t really get much opportunity to blog as often as I would like as I can’t take my eyes off him for a single second. It has been an eventful month to say the least, here’s what has been happening since Alex’s last update. View Post

#BlogCrush – week 16

#BlogCrush

Hello!

Welcome to #BlogCrush week 16. Lucy, how has our linky been running for 16 whole weeks already? Madness.

How was everyone’s half term? Made lots of lovely memories? It has been a bit chaotic here, I have had family come visit and I looked after my niece and nephew from Monday to Wednesday and looking after 4 kids has pretty much finished me off!

I am in a bit a blogging slump at the minute and I have stuff going on that I can’t really talk about (sorry to be vague!) so I am just not feeling myself at the minute. I am taking this week off commenting/retweeting the linky but, fear not, I am leaving you in Lucy’s very capable hands and I will be back next week.

What is #BlogCrush ?

#BlogCrush is a linky with a difference that I host with wonderful Lucy (Lucy at Home)  . This linky is like no other as not only can you link up one of your own posts but we also ask you to add a post from another blogger to the linky too. So if you have read something this week (or ever) that has really wowed you then please add it as your BC to the linky below. I can’t wait to read this week’s helping of excellent posts!

Before we get on to the linky I have a bit of a favour to ask you all. I have decided to put myself forward for the BiBs awards this year and if you enjoy my blog and like what I do then I would love you to vote for me in the best family lifestyle or readers choice categories. I will LOVE YOU forever (just click the badge below..pretty please).

BritMums

Featured #BlogCrush posts

My #BlogCrush this week is Pam’s bake and baby blog. This post sums up EXACTLY how I feel at the minute about not having any more children – I know I don’t want more children but I’m still a little sad about it

Lucy’s #BlogCrush is Word to your Mother – Why I’m planning an old school summer

Congratulations to you featured bloggers, if you would like you can grab the featured badge below to display on your blog. Also, if any of you noticed one of your posts featured as someone’s #BlogCrush in the last link up, feel free to grab the badge too 🙂

Naptime Natter

#BlogCrush linky – week 16

As I am not really hosting this week I won’t be linking up my post as a *HOST* post. BUT if you do want to read my post I will be linking up my post about my exciting new guest blogging series, if you are a new blogger be sure to check this post out – The Newbie Takeover

Naptime Natter

It is time to get linking! #BlogCrush is all about sharing the bloggy love, Lucy and I have noticed a few people not following our main rule of adding a post written by another blogger, can you please make sure you do this as it is the whole point of this linky. We don’t like being the blog police but it is not fair to just drop your own link when #BlogCrush is all about sharing content written by others as well as yourself. Also, my badge code doesn’t work sometimes, if you have any problems please message me and I will try to sort it. THANKS!

Here are the rules ..
* The linky will run every Friday 6am – Sunday 9pm (UK time) 
* You can link up 2 posts per week – 1 of your own posts and 1 post by a blogger that you love, your #BlogCrush
* Please add BC in the inlinkz form when you add the link for your blog crush post
* Add the #BlogCrush badge to the post you are linking up from your own blog.
* Tweet @naptimenatter and @lucy_at_home on twitter and we will retweet your links
* Also, tweet your #BlogCrush to let them know you have added them to the linky
* Comment on one of my posts and one of Lucy’s posts, 1 personal post and 1 blog crush post – that is a total of 4 comments please. This  linky is all about sharing the blogger love so if you want to comment on more posts too then please go ahead 🙂
* Lucy and I will comment on all the posts and share them all on our Twitter accounts.
* Each host will choose a favourite post and feature it in the next linky post as well as linking it up as their #BlogCrush post in the following week’s linky.
* If you could also follow Lucy and I on social media then we will love you forever. Naptime Natter twitter , Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube Lucy At Home twitter , facebook

Happy linking lovelies!

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New guest blogging series – The Newbie Takeover

new blogger guest post series

This blogging business is a bit overwhelming at times, isn’t it? I mean, I have been at it for over 2 years now and I am still learning new things pretty much every day and can often still feel a bit confused by it all. When I first started blogging it took me quite a while to find my feet and the best thing I did (and this is my top tip for all new bloggers, by the way) is to ask fellow bloggers for advice/help/support. The blogging community is so friendly, kind and, in the parent blogging community especially, the sense of solidarity is really inspiring. I have been wondering for sometime how I can help bloggers just starting out, bloggers feeling as overwhelmed and baffled by it all as I did when I first started tapping at the keys of my laptop in 2015. I am not a pro blogger so I can’t really offer many useful blog tips and tricks but I do have a strong readership, an engaged bunch of lovely mums/dads who all seem to love reading blogs. Exposure is so so important when you start blogging and it can be really difficult to get eyes on your posts when your blog is just a baby. SO, I have decided to start a new guest blogging series all for the new bloggers on the scene, let me introduce you to.. View Post

What is a baby show and 3 reasons why you should go

baby show

When I was pregnant with Leo I had never even heard of a baby show, it was just one of many things that I was clueless about as a first time mummy to be. So, when we took Leo to our local show when he was just 5 weeks old I quickly learnt that a baby show is not actually babies performing together on stage, all singing and dancing, as the name may suggest. View Post

#BlogCrush – Week 15

#BlogCrush

Hello lovelies!

What a horrendous week this week has been. I, like the rest of the country, am absolutely appalled and heartbroken after what happened in Manchester on Monday night. I really do wonder what is happening to this world and I really do fear for what the future will be like for my two boys. If any of you were involved, or have any friends or family who have been affected by the terror attack in Manchester then I am sending all the love in the world. Love will conquer hate. Always.

I have got stuff going on in my personal life right now that is causing me to get feel really stressed and for my anxiety to be going through the roof so sorry if I am not my usual self on this old blog of mine over the next few weeks. Let’s try and perk things up here..it’s a bank holiday weekend AND half term is upon us, I hope you all are planning on doing lots of fun things and spending lots of quality time with your families.

What is #BlogCrush ?

#BlogCrush is a linky with a difference that I host with wonderful Lucy (Lucy at Home)  . This linky is like no other as not only can you link up one of your own posts but we also ask you to add a post from another blogger to the linky too. So if you have read something this week (or ever) that has really wowed you then please add it as your BC to the linky below. I can’t wait to read this week’s helping of excellent posts!

Before we get on to the linky I have a bit of a favour to ask you all. I have decided to put myself forward for the BiBs awards this year and if you enjoy my blog and like what I do then I would love you to vote for me in the best family lifestyle or readers choice categories. I will LOVE YOU forever (just click the badge below..pretty please).

BritMums

Featured #BlogCrush posts

This week my #BlogCrush is from Kelly at Daydreams of a Mum. I LOVED this post, I am sure you all saw that ridiculous article in the Daily Fail having a go at some fantastic mum bloggers and this post from Kelly is the perfect response – A love letter to mummy bloggers

Lucy’s #BlogCrush is Keep Mum – Makeup: Do I consider it child’s play?

Congratulations to you featured bloggers, if you would like you can grab the featured badge below to display on your blog. Also, if any of you noticed one of your posts featured as someone’s #BlogCrush in the last link up, feel free to grab the badge too 🙂

Naptime Natter

#BlogCrush linky – week 15

This week I am linking up my post about what to expect when your little one turns 3 – 19 things you should know before your child turns 3

Lucy is linking up Cbeebies Peter Rabbit buns: A step by step guide

Naptime Natter

It is time to get linking! #BlogCrush is all about sharing the bloggy love, Lucy and I have noticed a few people not following our main rule of adding a post written by another blogger, can you please make sure you do this as it is the whole point of this linky. We don’t like being the blog police but it is not fair to just drop your own link when #BlogCrush is all about sharing content written by others as well as yourself. Also, my badge code doesn’t work sometimes, if you have any problems please message me and I will try to sort it. THANKS!

Here are the rules ..
* The linky will run every Friday 6am – Sunday 9pm (UK time) 
* You can link up 2 posts per week – 1 of your own posts and 1 post by a blogger that you love, your #BlogCrush
* Please add BC in the inlinkz form when you add the link for your blog crush post
* Add the #BlogCrush badge to the post you are linking up from your own blog.
* Tweet @naptimenatter and @lucy_at_home on twitter and we will retweet your links
* Also, tweet your #BlogCrush to let them know you have added them to the linky
* Comment on one of my posts and one of Lucy’s posts, 1 personal post and 1 blog crush post – that is a total of 4 comments please. This  linky is all about sharing the blogger love so if you want to comment on more posts too then please go ahead 🙂
* Lucy and I will comment on all the posts and share them all on our Twitter accounts.
* Each host will choose a favourite post and feature it in the next linky post as well as linking it up as their #BlogCrush post in the following week’s linky.
* If you could also follow Lucy and I on social media then we will love you forever. Naptime Natter twitter , Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube Lucy At Home twitter , facebook

Happy linking lovelies!

 

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10 things I hate about teething

teething

Ugh, teething. That horrible stage in a baby’s life where they make the transition from adorable little gummy creatures to red cheeked, grouchy beings with fangs. I am not ashamed to admit that I HATE teething, it is the worst thing about the baby days; give me sleep deprivation over a day stuck in the house with a shrieking teething baby any day. I understand that having their gums tortured by spiky little milk teeth isn’t exactly a load of laughs for babies either and I’m sure if my boy could talk he would tell me that he friggin hates teething too. If you haven’t guessed it already, Alex is teething (duh) , he has one little tooth at the bottom of his mouth but no matter how much he chomps on his little fist, no more teeth have made an appearance yet.  These past few weeks haven’t exactly been baby bliss with my little one feeling the full of effects of teething and to take out some of my frustrations I have decided to write down all things I hate about stupid f***ing teething, in true 10 things I hate about you (best film ever?) style. If your baby is teething too, I am sure you can relate. View Post