What i would of changed about my post natal care.

What i would of changed about my post natal care.

After having my son there are quite a few aspects of my care that i would of changed for the better. i felt neglected and although i had a few nice staff my care was pretty appalling. After talking with my counsellor and my mother the other day about aspects of my care i would of changed i thought i’d talk about some things i would of changed so people can feel somewhat comforted in the knowledge they should and can ask for more from their care staff. After all you expect the moments after your babies birth to be the most beautiful moments of your life but for some people it can and is the complete opposite.

So first of all the first thing i would change is the staffs introduction to you. In previous jobs in healthcare i have always been told to introduce my self and then explain my role to put the person i am treating at ease. This was not done for me and it was quite confusing when different heads constantly popped in and out. There was also no goodbye from the staff so i knew they had gone home. In shift rotations i expect to of been introduced to who was looking after me but i was not. This made me feel quite unsafe and scared at times as people would touch me without explaining who they where. The few staff who introduced themselves i remember and the others i do not and this is why.

If you are coming into my room knock. Do not just barge in and start touching me without speaking to me. Do not just presume i will be okay with strangers waking me from my sleep by putting a blood pressure cuff on me. For many woman this could cause great upset and also if you’re a victim of domestic violence or something similar it can really unsettle someone. In healthcare you are supposed to always explain you are about to touch someone and really its just polite to ask if you can do certain things.

Explain what is happening each step of the way. When coming around from GA after my operation i didn’t know what was happening and scared. Then i was taken to my ward and not explained to where i was going and still i was scared. I wasn’t explained to what checks where needed and how often and to my baby and i wasn’t explained to how to breastfeed exetera and just left to it after dumping me in my room.

If mum and baby are separated due to their baby being unwell please explain to them what is happening and make the effort to find out. I wasn’t told what was wrong with my baby and they couldn’t even tell me how he was. I sent James with the baby and was left alone with no answers and nobody to talk to sobbing. Every time i asked for a update they didn’t even know why he was downstairs in the first place. It is so important that staff familiarise them self’s with every last patient and their babies case so they can put them at ease.

Check mums regularly if in nicu. I missed meals, medications, observations because i was with my baby on the ward. I was forgotten about and i got quite ill from being forgotten about. The pain intensified as they forgot about medications top ups as i was forgotten about as i wasn’t in my room. They where always made aware i was downstairs and asked to call me for meals and medication and so on yet they did not bother.

To check on the mums mental health. Check they are okay and feel okay emotionally as well as physically. When a mum is going through hell with a complete change in life a little how are you feeling ? do you want to have a chat about your birth and how life has changed now would of made me feel so much better. A mums mental health can take a complete beating and how they are treated can worsen that experience even more. With one in ten mothers getting post natal depression it is really surprising there is no information available to mothers and fathers/significant others are not explained to what the signs are either. You just have this baby and your expected to know everything and sent into the big wide world.

Have a information point. To have someone or something to give out information. Such as leaflets or advice on practical things like breast feeding, bottle feeding, safe sleeping, basic first aid , basic care of your baby,numbers for support and the list goes on. Any number of mum knows the anxiety of taking a baby home knowing nothing and with internet causing panic of the risk of sids and so on these information sheets can be a godsend and put someone at ease having a little just in case to have readily available.

Overall there is much more that could of been improved in my care but i wont mention it all. I also completely understand the nhs is underfunded and understaffed but that is no excuse when duty of care is repeatedly failed and polices not met.But if you feel something isn’t write with your care please pull them up on it while you’re there. Don’t be afraid to talk about how your’e feeling and remember how you’re feeling is justified and completely normal. Giving birth is a crazy thing and getting used to being a parent straight away with no previous experience is a crazy thing. So be kind to yourself and remember your midwife and g.p are only a call away.

Goodbye to anti-depressants

Goodbye to anti-depressants

Since November i had to take anti-depressants after hitting a really rough patch. I found that they helped me a great deal until i could do something about my thinking process which came in the form of counselling. I started counselling in December and have been going weekly since January. It really has been the break through i needed. I needed the safe space to talk, to let all my emotions out and to truly feel somewhere where the pain was controlled. I’ve been able to talk in counselling and talk to myself in a way and work out things in my head. I can process thoughts better and not take everything said to me to mean offence. I’ve been able to think about why others work and act a certain way and understand why others may treat me badly. I’ve learnt to not get so upset by many things and walk away from situations that may upset me. I have learnt to say no and that i am in control of what i do, what i say and my life. I

have learnt that i matter as much as everyone else and that not everyone will like you sometimes. But that is okay. I’ve learn’t its okay to talk about my mental health and it is not attention seeking but being honest to both myself and to the world in the hope that others can find that courage too. I’ve learned i am a good wife and mother and that i may not always think that but i am loved. I have learn’t how lucky i am to have such a lovely friendship circle and that they also love me too.

I have been of my anti depressants for a whole month. I spoke to my doctor first and she agreed that i sound and look better than ever. She said i seem a lot more relaxed and happy. The truth is i think that i am… Happy. I just don’t think I’ve been this happy in so long that i have forgotten what that emotion is. Of course if things change i will happily ask for another set of pills but for now i’m me again. I see the beauty in the world again and smile that little bit more, i step out of my comfort zone and am rewarded with joy.

Thanks for reading x

Emotional abuse does effect someone in the long run.

Emotional abuse does effect someone in the long run.

Since starting counselling I’ve really been able to find myself and explore bits of myself I’ve hidden away. While I experienced physical abuse as a child from other people around me I also experience emotional abuse. I think in the long run the physical abuse was easier than the emotional.

Once apon a time I was happy, in my childhood. As all children are they’re full of innocence and have a fun loving attitude to the world. But children are also sponges. I soaked up everyone’s negative energy, negative comments and abusive words. It slowly twisted around and moulded me into who I am today. Someone who is afraid to upset anyone, someone who gets hurt to easily, someone who takes everything possible to offence and someone who is afraid to let someone in and ruins relationships with others through this.

Little things count as child abuse/emotional abuse. I don’t think people really understand what they are doing is going to upset someone and cause hurt in the long run. It’s tho he like apologising for behaviour that can help someone move on from this. Emotional abuse is the act of saying or doing things to upset someone on purpose. To say comments or minipulate someone so that their feelings are hurt or to get something someone wants. With me I was bullied quite a lot. I was called weird a lot in school. I was WEIRD because I was trying to be happy all the time so people couldn’t see my sadness. I was WEIRD because I was worried about others opinions on me all the time and i was trying to be liked. I had comments made on my appearance and my style. In the long term it’s caused me to be self conscious and worried about my looks constantly in everything. Comments said to me in my teenage years really got to me when told “you’re so ugly”, “you’re so spotty nobody will like you, you ugly freak”. I was called Rudolph for years when my rosacea was at its worse and my nose was constantly bright red and swollen which made me not want to look in mirrors or leave the house.

I think a lot of my issues with trust have come from not being able to trust anyone. constantly being shouted at and having constant personal comments have made me somewhat scared to have human interaction. If I’m in any sort of situation of arguement or something like that I basically have a panic attack and have anxiety attacks for days loosing sleep constantly replalaying situations in my head. I worry why people don’t like me and if I’ll upset someone with everything I do. I’ve also started to care of people don’t like me and it cripples me when people don’t and I try my hardest to please. I’ve made cakes for people, brought gifts for people, I’ve tried to use presents to buy people’s love and affection. I struggle to make friends and trust people. I struggle to keep friends too as I worry someone will hurt me again. I worry I’ll be abandoned by family and friends all the time and it causes me to hate any form of confrontation or negativity. I put up with people negative attitudes and emotional abuse even now because I’m so afraid of loosing people and upsetting someone by not putting up with it.

The good thing about counselling has been that I’ve been able to accept what’s happening around me and that this behaviour isn’t normal. I’ve started calling people out on things that upset me so I don’t allow myself to be hurt as much and so people can understand that this behaviour is not okay. I’ve started to retaliate when people say horrid things to me and say them back. Why should I just sit there and take it when I’m not the one in the wrong? I’ve accepted not everyone is going to like you and that is okay. You can’t buy love and that’s okay too. I’ve learnt that trust is my biggest issue and that everything comes back to trust. I have built up walls that are very hard to get down and it’s not others fault that I don’t let them in. Being mistreated is not okay and it’s okay to have feelings about it.

It’s okay not to be okay. It’s okay to feel sad/hurt by negative emotions and words towards you.

The way I’ve been treated all my life has allowed me to be a better parent. I try to bring my son up as much as I can. I praise him all the time and constantly tell him how loved and good he is. I don’t scream at him when he’s being bad or get personal when he is being bad. I don’t hold on to anger towards him and move on from stress and negative feelings for the best of both of us. I explain bad behaviour is not okay and why. I tell him that I understand why he feels a certain way and that it is okay but there are ways to deal with it. I give him a lot more of my attention and don’t make him feel he has to earn it. I teach him to play nicely with other children and call him AND other children up if they are being unkind or hurtful to someone else. I don’t allow others to get him down too and try to limit contact with people who are negative for him to be around or make him upset or feel unwanted such as people not wanting to see him when repeatedly asked. I call people out when they are perhaps being hurtful and saying things that aren’t right that might hurt Elijahs feelings or teach him to hurt others. Things such as older family talking about race and culture I cut them off and explain infront of Elijah that race isn’t a thing that matters and that we love everyone.

At the end of the day we’re human and we are wired to feel so strongly so when things are said. Negative attitudes projected on you constantly and aggression towards you lingers in the back of your mind when situations get tense it is completely normal to feel bad. We also need to take responsibility and not project our negativity on others and apologise why we do. We can find people are more understanding why you are and behave a certain way, you’re not asking for sympathy but understanding that you take your time letting people in and they will never fully be let in. You are also okay to say you are upset and need time to yourself. You can have a break from people and negativity. It is not selfish and it doesn’t matter who it is. You are the most important person in the world as you are living your life not body else. You only live one life so take care of you and then you can take care of others.

Remember to always to be kind. You never know what your negativity can do someone in the long run. Apologise when you do wrong and love with all your heart but only who deserves it!

Weekly counselling

Weekly counselling

It’s a bit weird thinking about all these things that just randomly come up. Things that have happened to me and I have buried to protect myself. I’m getting to know myself finally. I think I try so hard to protect myself that I don’t even know who I am. It’s been therapeutic being able to be somewhere I feel safe to talk to someone about my feelings and my past. Someone who doesn’t know me and cannot pass judgement. It’s odd how trauma attaches itself to your memory and gets tangled up in all past experiences and you don’t even know it.

I’ve gone from going every few weeks to weekly which I think has been quite a shift. A good shift non the less as I’m more trusting and I feel I have a better relationship with my counsellor. She has picked up one of the biggest issues I have is trust. Trusting people to let my guard down and trusting people not to abandon me or hurt me. So I think creating a better relationship by seeing each other more is helping me to open up more. Last week I was actually enthusiastic about going to counselling. When I first came in I barely spoke and felt uncomfortable but the more I’ve gone the more comes out and the better I feel after.

I feel a weight is lifted of my shoulders immediately and I am able to think a bit clearer every time. I’m able to understand why I feel a certain way about certain thinks and how I process situations. Personally I think my childhood has a very big input into my behaviour and thought process. I have spent so long thinking everyone hates me and that I’m the issue when i am not. I worry everyone I love will leave me and I think it’s made me scared and a bit bitter. I am slowly understanding how to deal with my emotions which has been great and I think I might even be able to come if my anti depressants soon. I’m starting to take more time for me and for my family and to voice my emotions instead of holding them in incase j upset someone. I’ve got a long way to go but I’m so proud I’ve stuck to it and kept too a weekly appointment even if childcare can be a struggle. I know I need this for me and will continue trying to make myself better however I can. I have another counselling session today and I’m feeling positive not scared and I never thought I would be here today feeling this good.

Being brave.

Being brave.

To many it would seem I was a loner in a cafe by myself. It would look like I was waiting for someone or I have no friends, but that wasn’t the case. I was quite simply being brave. I’m quite socially anxious when out on my own. Especially since having a child, walking through town with Elijahs become somewhat my security blanket. Even though I would sit in a cafe with Elijah being alone is something that scares me quite a bit. The anxiety that people are staring and judging is just a bit too much for me. I hate waiting for people on my own in public let alone being on my own and I actively avoid going out on my own.

On Friday after counselling I did something I would never normally do, I went to a cafe on my own. I ordered a drink and cake and didn’t rush myself. I sat there and just relaxed into my own company. I felt anxious at first walking in and sitting alone but I soon got to grips with the fact nobody cared and quite enjoyed myself. Small steps are big steps and one day I hope my anxiety will go but for now I’m trying little things to make myself a bit more happy.

My first session of counselling.

My first session of counselling.

Today I went to my first proper counselling session. It felt odd but it was good. We touched on my upcoming surgery and how it’s causing me anxiety. We spoke about how I felt in my pregnancy and after my birth because that’s what triggered my worry about my upcoming abdominal surgery. We also touched on a few issues about childhood and my ability to block myself off and fall out with others.

At first I felt awkward, I found the woman quite condescending and being there stupid. But then I realised I’m defending myself and this woman is just nice and trying to work our why I’m here and help me. As the session went on it was a lot of me talking and her listening. She asked certain questions and it got me to respond and delve in deeper. She allowed me to feel safe and she seemed to give me time to feel, it felt like she was waiting for me to cry but I didn’t. I think I was to tense being my first time to fully let my guard down. I spent a lot of time looking at the door or at my cup of tea to try and avoid looking at her as it made me feel uncomfortable and like I’d cry.

I felt like I had a safe space to talk, I did not have to hide here as I didn’t know the woman. It made me feel oddly like I could open up. I think because I knew that’s what you do in counselling that it helped me. I’m not going to talk in big deal about what was uncovered today or overthought but I know that this was the first step. The first step to recovery is accepting help and I’ve done that. I’ve also accepted today that I have a lot of issues to work through and that I can feel better if I get it off my chest. Immediately after leaving I felt lighter. Emotionally and physically. I felt a bit more empowered. She helped me to decide to cancel my operation till I’m ready again and to allow myself to deal with that. She’s helped me realise that I’m not a bad person and that I’m not to blame for everything that happened to me.

I’m excited to see how the rest of my journey will go and how it’ll help me learn to control my thought process. I’m looking forward to feeling more in control and taking steps to be happy.

Anti-depressants can help.

Anti-depressants can help.

I’ve always had issues with antidepressants not working for me. I’ve been on so many now and the only thing they ever really did was make me tired and did nothing for my depression. After a really bad patch I went through recently I went to the doctors and asked for help. I straight away said I want nothing I’ve had before I want whatever I try to be a big dose so it actually helps me. There was only one thing I hadn’t tried which was fluoxetine.

I’ve been on them three weeks now and I’ve noticed a big difference. I’m not going to say it’s completely cured me but it is really helping me. I’m able to let go of bad thoughts. To rationalise with my self that I’m being anxious and think a lot more clearly. I don’t get so upset or hold on to things as long. My mood swings are less dramatic and I’m certainly feeling the black cloud leaving.

I’ve always been sceptical about whether they work or not but I feel now I’ve found the right one for me. They’re in no way a cure but if it can help me be a bit more rational in my thought process then it is so much more beneficial for me than not being on them. I think having a positive mindset and keeping busy and avoiding triggers has helped me too. I’ve decided to push back my surgery which may be stupid to some but it’s caused my depression to be so much stronger and until I’m done with counselling for my last surgery I don’t think I’d be able to have it done again without a whole lot of stress again (and all the physical symptoms that have came with it like reflux, headaches, delayed period and itchy skin).

I’m hoping to continue and see how it goes. I’ve got it on a repeat prescription now so I’m hoping the effects will be long term now. There is no shame in taking medication so if you’re struggling and feel like you may need it have a chat to your g.p.