Letting Them In

Everything you read about this journey I write about will always lead back to two beautiful souls who came into my world and rocked it like an earthquake…

I shared in my last blog post the fear of them being taken away was a big demon.

It was the biggest fear I had to face up to when I was placed on the mother and baby unit at Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth.

Walking into the unit I just had one image stuck in my head. That image is of my beautiful first born Ava-lily.

She had no idea where her mummy was and if she was ever coming home.

I was simply numb and just kept putting one foot in front of the other as we were directed to my room. My husband stood by my side the whole time and Baby Anna-leigh just stared up at me from her pushchair.

I remember our Nurse and she was amazing her name was Heidi.

She told me it was normal for me to feel like I was and that I could stay in the room as long as I required.

I remember looking around the room and noticed that every tap, door handle or feature of the room was made in certain way.

It was getting close to late afternoon by this point and I was told that Anna-leigh would sleeping in the nursery for the first two nights.

The next step was a meeting with the emergency psych team. The female doctor that sat with me was very open and told me I was safe and had nothing to be concerned about.

I started to share with her what was floating around in my head and then I burst into tears and broke down.

I just could not even begin to think about letting them in.

What if I tell them my intrusive thoughts?

What if I tell them I had been struggling to feed myself and the kids?

What if I tell them I had not showered for 4 days ?

What if I tell them about the nightmares?

There were so many what ifs and my brain would just not shut up. I was so scared by this point that I actually now believe I was in shock.

The evening staff where due on shift and I was just handing over Anna-leigh for her first night in the nursery. I didn’t feel sad and the strange thing was I had this feeling of relief rush through my body.

What was that?

Well for that whole next week I questioned myself everyday.

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Mental Health Ward

Imagine feeling like you have lost control and it does not matter which way you turn you see no way out…

I know how it feels and as I tell you my story from my very first mental health admission I hope that if you too are feeling this way you take that first step and reach out because it will be the bravest thing you ever do and such a big step in your journey that you will begin to believe again.

Believe me I have been there!!

So here I am in a unit with two doctors (shrinks) sitting in front of me asking me questions that I didn’t have to think about.

My husband was sitting next me on a couch. I will never forget that couch because it was solid and rough to touch. I was running my hands down my legs and the sweat in my palms was beginning to build.

Suddenly I think it was real and I was rethinking my previous steps considering 2 hours prior to this moment I was sitting in a room all alone waiting for my husband to arrive after the GP had called him.

Anna-Leigh was in a hospital glass cot next to us and she was peacefully sleeping after a nurse in the emergency department took her for a little walk and got her to sleep.

And then bam…

I’m admitted into a cold dreary room with curved taps. Not a handle in sight or a window. The nurse came into check my paperwork and said that Anna-Leigh would be going home with daddy as it was the safest option for everyone.

I was laying there on the bed and I looked at my husband. His eyes told me everything and from that point I knew he was also scared just like me. He didn’t know what was next and then we both cried together.

We said goodnight and it was about 7 pm at that point and I was extremely tired. I climbed in to the cold hospital bed.

My biggest fear and question in my head was ” what had I done and when I wake up the children will be taken away from me”

That Friday morning…

It was 7:10 am and she was screaming at me for her breakfast (boobie milk)

I felt empty and useless at this point because I was very lost in my mind and all I needed to do was get Ava-lily to daycare by 8:45 am because a trip to the movies was booked and she was not to be late.

I remember at this point I managed to get a small feed done and put her back in her Moses basket.

She screamed and screamed none stop getting louder and louder as each minute went by on my watch.

It’s was now 8:35 am and there was no way I could get everything done so I put her in the capsule and threw Ava-lily in the car still in her pjs and off we went to daycare.

I had no way out and that is all my brain was screaming at me.

There were a thousand images going around in my head and the daycare owner answered the door. I walked in and she said you look exhausted my love!

I didn’t really reply and just simple kept smiling but inside my heart was just crumbling to pieces. I bumped into another daycare mummy who actually was a close friend of mine and just remember her saying good morning or hello and my reply was a hand to her arm because I had no words. Nothing would come out. I walked out and jumped in the car. She was still screaming.

I started the engine and drove around the area we lived in for about 20 minutes.

All of a sudden there was this flash in my mind of my husband David and Ava-lily (my first born) without me around and Ava-lily was much older.

It was in that second that my hand started to turn the steering wheel slightly towards on coming traffic.

I was picturing a major accident and images of my car rolling flashed before me. The tears came thick and fast and then I took back control and pulled over immediately.

What the fuck just happened ?

I was completely lost and decided I had to go and get some help. I drove to my GP clinic near by and walked into reception. I was struggling to speak and the receptionist was looking at me.

I dropped the capsule on the ground and started crying.

I was quickly escorted to a room and seen there by a beautiful doctor (Dr Sarah Gane)

She asked me to explain what had been happening and eventually all the words of pure sadness came rolling off my tounge.

“I don’t love her” that’s what I said!

She is just a baby

My days are spent with a baby,

She is a baby! (How can it be that hard) My house is a mess, the bed hardly gets made, my washing is not done, my floors are not swept, (The Hoover blew up) my hubby goes and gets the groceries my hair well that just does whatever and my clothes are what ever fits these days!

Sometimes I’m lucky to get a shower amongst all the chaos…

I have a toddler who craves my attention so much it’s breaking my heart and all I want is my family in the uk

AND lately I’ve been just trying to stay the fuk on top of it all including my business and finally after 4 weeks of feeling like my little flame went out inside of me I am admitting to myself that I need to talk.

Because all you see is a woman , a mother , a wife who just keeps smiling and she looks like it’s all ok but it’s really not and on the inside she is slowly crumbling.

I don’t really care what people think and my heart has now allowed me to surrender and own I was scared to actually admit I was failing at motherhood the second time around and I was also afraid of the judgement it might come with as unfortunately there are people out there that do judge (not so nice) and this makes it really tough as a mum to know if your doing a good job.

Today I went to my GP finally and told myself it’s ok that I need this support and by doing this now I can get back the claire I miss so much.

My lesson from this week has been to truly own my feelings and sit in them rather than trying to hide them or block it.

The person I am like today as a mummy of two is not a happy one and although I love my children so much I’m no use to them like this and my road to recovery started when I took the first step yesterday.

My message to all mums out there is speak up, allow people in and don’t hide

#speakout

#speakup

#ownthefeelings

#postnatalcareisimportant

So now your confused right? So was I back then and this was my Facebook post on April 13th 2018.

This was the day I realised I could not continue and my next blog post will explain exactly what happened on that day of the morning of 13th April 2018.

I didn’t know how to love you

You arrived at 3:36 pm on 27th December 2017 and you were perfect but the moment the midwife lay you on my chest I had this dark feeling inside of me and it felt like my heart was being crushed.

I didn’t know why I had you and I was asking myself one question

“how will I tell your daddy that I didn’t know how to love you”

The pain travelled straight through me and my gut was being turned inside out. I was lost and it was only the beginning.

You seemed settled and happy and there was a small amount of time that I forgot you were around.

That night we had no visitors because it was late and we were all tired.

You latched on to my breast with no issues and I rang for the nurse because I was scared to handle you alone and was that because I didn’t feel love towards you?

I’m not sure and I can’t ever be if I’m honest.

This was just along road to so much discovery.

Three Years Later

The photo I took when I was hiding from the world and pretending I was ok when Infact I was falling to pieces and had no idea what my next move was going to be.

Pictures can tell lies and I will hold my hands up and admit that I was just trying to smile and get through the tough days. Taking pictures is something I really enjoy doing so when I reflect up on this and the many pictures I did take while feeling quite low I believe was an escape method and coping strategy.

The days rolled into nights and were just blended at one point that I remember sitting on the couch asking myself what even was sleep and why did I deserve it.

It was late February and it was slightly warm in Perth Australia.

I was feeding Anna-Leigh one night and she looked up at me with her big bold beautiful eyes and the only question in my head I had right at that moment was why do I have you…

“The Newborn Days”

Days to be remembered they say… hmm m no i don’t think so and here is why.

It was day three of being at home with a newborn baby and all i remember is starting to cry because i was not dressed. The tears just rolled down my cheeks and just did not stop.

There i was half naked with a life sucking human that was relying on me for milk from my boobs (Breastfeeding now there is a topic i will write about soon)

I looked at my husband and he said “its ok baby cakes” (Corney i know but at that moment he made me smile)

So on a side note if your lucky enough to have a supportive human and life partner by your side then take some time to appreciate them and tell them everyday because their emotions and feelings matter too.

And so i remember instantly feeling like it was always going to be like this from that day on i was now known as “Mumma Bear” not “Claire Bear”

Yep that’s right i slowly started to forget who i was and everything i did slowly started to become about Ava-lily.