Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mummys love

There's an apostrophe missing somewhere!

Mummy's love - love of a mother?
Mummy's love - Mummy is love?
Mummys' love - love of all mothers?
Mummys (plural) love (verb)?

Take your pick.


I made the above over the weekend - aren't they cute? I suppose they're a kind of substitute for this which I love, but somehow, I don't want to buy for myself (but anyone's welcome to give me it as a present). Somehow, it just doesn't seem like the sort of thing I should be spending money on.

Anyway, the dolls above were crocheted using 4 ply yarn following the Mummy's Love pattern by Simple Arts Planet.

Then, I was reading Kitty's blog post this morning and thinking about being a mother and also the things it seems to be easier to share online than with 'real' people. (Not that people online aren't 'real' too, of course, but how to distinguish between poeple you know online and those you know in person?)

It got me thinking, yet again, about something I've been sort of meaning to blog about for a long time. Even now, as I think I'm ready to write about this, something still makes me pause and I'm not sure what.

It is something I want to share, I think I just don't want to sound too self pitying, self centred or sorry for myself. That's not why I want to write this.

Mummy and baby

I want to write this to tell other people out there that there is hope, that post natal depression doen not have to take over your life.

There - I've said it - post natal depression. I suffered from post natal depression following the births of both my children. With Alexander, it was untreated and is the one reason why I only have 2 children and why there is a 7 and a half year gap between them. With Iona, I knew that I didn't want to go through it all again, so I admitted to it and was treated.

Looking back to last year after Iona's birth, for the first couple of weeks I felt like the stuffing had been completely knocked out of me due to the hormonal changes. I could very easily have spent the entire 2 weeks in tears. After that, I began to love being at home and being able to spend all my time with my little baby.

But by the time Iona got to about 6 weeks, I was starting to have the same feelings I'd had when Alexander was a baby. I would spend my day in a constant state of panic. If she was asleep - what would I do if she woke up? If she was awake what would I do if she cried? How on earth could I cope? Goodness only knows why I felt like this, but it was exactly the same with Alexander. And at the same time, I knew that I had no need to feel like that. Both my babies were (and still are) good natured, they wouldn't cry for no reason and if you dealt with that reason, they would stop crying and be smiley little babies again. But the endless worry and panic took all the pleasure out of being with them and with being a mother.

So last year, early on while the hormones were still mucking me about and I was feeling pretty awful anyway, I spoke to my health visitor. And she listened and was very good and kept a lookout for me over the next few weeks. And when the anxiety and depression returned, she sent me straight to the doctor who put me straight on medication.

I was completely and utterly astounded at the difference it made. I went from a vague hope that the medication would make me feel at least a little better, to having the anxiety and depression removed completely. Suddenly, I loved every second I spent with Iona. I went from thinking maybe I wasn't cut out to be a mother to absolutely loving it. I loved the time I had at home being a full time mum and joining in the school run with Alexander.

I would dearly love to have another child, but it won't happen for a variety of reasons. But at least, this time, post natal depression isn't one of them.

So if anyone reading this suspects that they or someone they know is struggling with post natal depression, please act on it - it could make an enormous difference.