Hi Shannon. Nice to meet you. What's your story?
Well... I’m a 31 year old mother of three boys; Hamish - 4, Liam - 2 and Nate - 11 months. I’m also an Early Childhood Teacher and emerging Author. I’m a self-confessed perfectionist and worry wart. I live in Brisbane, Queensland with my husband, Sean. I am currently a stay at home mother. I plan to return to work teaching part-time next year.
Originally published November 16 2015 over at Little Tsunami.
Nami, 36, is a mother to Mannus, 5, and Dulcie, 3. She believes the traumatic birth of her son played a significant role in triggering her experience of postnatal depression.
The birth of my son was incredibly traumatic. For days I was unable to even think about the birth without crying – I felt like I’d been in a car crash.
In the three days before Mannus arrived my contractions came and went and throughout this time I barely slept. I was behind the eight ball before the game began. My son had wedged himself on an unusual angle which prolonged active labour and I pushed for almost two hours. Midwives announced that I was minutes away from a Caesarian-section but we’d give it “one last go”. Suddenly I had a team of people around me and my legs were being stretched up above my head (I’ve since learnt this is called the “McRoberts Manouver”) and moments later a baby boy was being passed across the room. I held him for a few minutes but I think I was in shock. I felt that I’d been man-handled, that my body was not mine and it was necessary to do me whatever it took to get that baby out.
SELF CARE – the things you do to replenish your mental, physical and emotional health or “filling up your cup”.
When I first became a mum, all I could think of was my baby and his wellbeing. I also felt guilty if I was not 100% focussed on him. Ultimately, I forgot to take care of myself. Part of my recovery from postnatal depression was to think of self-care strategies that I could use particularly when my “cup” was starting to empty. Here are a few that I turn to:
You seem to be forgotten when you have your second baby… The presumption from a lot of people was that I knew what I was doing and that I must be ok… Some people who visited or sent well wishes after my first baby didn’t after my second. Even though I now have twice as many children as I used to, I am now lonelier than ever.
I WISH I WAS A BIRD, SO I COULD FLY AWAY.
After becoming a mum, one of the hardest things to come to terms with, for me, was not having any time for myself anymore. I still have not come to terms with this. I still find this hard almost every single day, and it’s not like I haven’t had time to get used to it, as Scarlett is now 3 and a half and Josie is 7 months old. I love my girls so very, very dearly, but does wanting time for me, make me a selfish person and a terrible mother???