Family doesn’t always have to be blood.

Last night I was really upset and emotional because of my so called family. Today it wasn’t much better to start with, I shouldn’t be surprised by the way i get treated by family but it still hurts. I have a handful of very good close friends one of them happens to be an ex going back 10 years ago but we remained friends he’s now married to another one of my close friends. Anyway he’s the kind of friend that doesn’t really do serious but normally makes me smile by being daft. I got a very touching heartwarming message from him this morning because he’s known me 16 years now he knows my family well. He was disgusted by what my family have done over the years. More so this last year with everything I’ve been through with my youngest son.

The message made me cry because it was so sweet what he said to me “don’t be dragged down by others. Concentrate on the people that are in your life supporting you and who are there for you. Yes your family should be playing that role but it’s their loss not being involved. Your kids have plenty of loving people around them and although your family should be stepping it up to support you, take it from the people who are choosing to be there for you – the ones that don’t have to. They are your family. They say you can’t choose your family – but you can. People don’t have to be blood related to be apart of your family. Don’t dwell on who’s not there as it will push you away from who is” he’s right I can choose my family. My best friend I always refer to as my sister. She might not be blood but who said blood has to be thicker then water. She has been there for me through everything for 16 years and I’ve been there for her too. 

I have another friend I met through my mum many years ago but she has been a very good friend to me, I’ve been on the phone to her many times in tears and she’s talked to me about everything telling me how strong I was when I felt so incredibly weak. I didn’t feel strong but somehow she knew I was stronger then ever I thought I could be. She’s been an incredible friend to which I’ll never forget. I hope she knows how grateful I am to her.

Another friend said to me she can be my little sister well to be fair I see her more then I do my actual sister’s and she’s been there more in the last year then my “real” family.

So yes family doesn’t always have to be blood related they don’t have to be there to support me but still choose to be. I love my friends dearly i don’t know where I’d be without them. 💜

 

 

Advertisements

My promises to my children

This is coming from me finding out my mum is going on holiday when it’s my youngest boys first birthday. My mum has always favoured my sister and always made me feel like I’m not wanted. My sisters two boys are also favoured over my two. She never offers to help me with them, never has them overnight or spends time alone with them. So growing up feeling left out all the time and even feeling like that now this is my promise to my kids.

I promise my boys to always love them unconditionally, to protect them from harm and to always make them feel special. I’m not a perfect mother and I make mistakes more then I care to admit but I promise my children that i will always be there for them day or night. I’ll be there whenever they need me for whatever reason.

I promise to tell them every single day that I love them and let them know it’s OK to make mistakes. I want them growing up knowing they can tell me anything and they can talk to me about everything. I promise to hold them tight and wipe away their tears when someone breaks their heart for the first time. I will do my very best to the the mum they deserve every day so they grow up feeling loved. They will grow up never feeling like a mistake. Never feeling pushed out or that I love one more then the other because I love them both equally. My boys are the most important thing in my life and nothing and no-one will ever come close. When they have kids of their own I’ll be there every step of the way. I’ll look after their children without notice and do whatever I can to help through good times and bad.

I never want my kids to feel the way I do. Never being able to talk to your mum. My mum not knowing what I’ve been through or going through. She doesn’t know I still get support and that I still talk to people to get help. I’ve lived a very lovely life not having help from my mum and it’s sad because I sometimes wish I had someone else’s mum. My best friends mum was there for me when my mum should have been. My mums friend (now my friend) was there for me when my mum wasn’t. I sit here crying thinking of all the times my mum should have been there but wasn’t. Other people have been filling her role wether they are friends or professionals and they have been the ones listening to me when I had no-one else.

Support

I mentioned that I get a lot of support from various people for my mental health now but the support I’m lacking is from the one person that should be supporting me the most. My husband. As I’ve said before I’m not the greatest at talking but I have tried and failed several times to talk to my husband. Every time I talk to him about anything he always makes it about him and somehow comes off as if he’s got it worse. It’s no competition but here’s what I’ve he to deal with that he hasn’t.  We have an older son so while i was in hospital for 3 days after having the baby he was with our other son. When the doctors found the heart murmur i was alone, when they did the ecg I was alone and when they did the echo on his heart again I was alone. Then the diagnosis came and once again I was alone.

A couple of weeks after the baby was born he went to work full time and there was me on my own 5 days a week with a newborn and a nursery age child. I dealt with everything alone while he was at work. Nurses coming in to check sats and our health visitor coming to weigh the baby once a week. I did it all alone. I went to the hospital appointments to the cardiologist alone too. I’m not saying he didn’t feel things too but he didn’t have to deal with what I death with on a daily basis.

When things turned into an emergency situation and the baby was rushed into hospital he stayed at home and looked after the older boy while i once again dealt with doctors and nurses and had more sleepless nights. I slept in a chair next to his bed that’s when I actually slept. I slept with my head leant over on to his bed for the first few nights and was in hospital for just over 2 weeks. They came to the specialist hospital but still I was alone most of the time. When we came home once again he returned to work and I was the one dealing with hospitals and getting the other boy to school. Booking hospital transport arranging someone to be there for the older boy. Missing him and not spending time with him as much as I wanted with going back n forth to hospital.

Now when I’ve tried to talk to him several times and failed I gave up trying. I write a mood diary every night for one person to read to see how I’m doing and what I can improve on. It’s my therapy. It’s private I let one person read it and only that one person. So I caught my husband reading my book I confronted him a day he came up with some pretty pathetic excuses and turned it round to say how bad he was feeling. I told him under no uncertain terms it was private and asked for respect of that privacy. He’s once again breached my privacy and read my book cover to cover. So right now I’m nothing short of pissed off and upset. There’s no point confronting him again it clearly had no affect last time. I’m sad that he felt the need to read my personal things. I know some will say there should be no secrets in marriage but it’s not like i haven’t tried to tell him everything he just doesn’t want to listen. He’s got it much worse then me why would he listen?

Depression and what’s it’s taken away from me.

Since being told i have post natal depression I’ve lost so much of myself. So much so that sometimes I don’t actually know what’s going to be a permanent fixture in my life. If it will eventually go away or whether or not I’ll be depressed for years or just a few more months. Right now I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I keep walking through but it’s been months now and I still see no light, no end. I really want to find the person I used to be again and not the shell of a person I am now.

i’ve lost my confidence. I mean I wasnt ever overly confident but I had enough to keep me going. Now I second guess everything even down to the clothes I wear. I second guess my parenting skills, my judgement, my self awareness. If i buy new clothes I have to ask if something looks ok all the time until I feel OK in it. I feel uncomfortable most of the time in what I wear as most of my clothes are now too big. I have to plan what i want to wear a day or two in advance. I  can’t cope with picking something on the day incase it doesn’t look right or I feel uncomfortable it just saves time doing it in advance.

I can’t be alone for long periods of time or sometimes at all. I used to love having my own space now I hate it. I can’t spend time on my own now. I have anxiety being away from my youngest. Everywhere I go he’s with me even when I have a bath 99% of the time he’s with me. But that’s because of him being in hospital and having the problems he had. Everything has to be on my terms I have to have control over practically everything or I just go crazy.

It’s taken my appetite away from me before I got pregnant and felt sick 24/7 I loved my food. I’d eat all day long if I could. Some days I’d eat my way through a packet of biscuits when I got bored. Now I barely eat and think it’s becoming a problem. I skip breakfast and lunch almost everyday and only eat at teatime if I feel like it. Sometimes I don’t eat at all I just have no enjoyment of food anymore.

I take every single criticism to heart and over think it all time especially if it’s something I am doing “wrong” with the kids. It gets to me and it upsets me. Sometimes on a good day I shrug  it off other days I sit and cry about what been said.

I hate how I look. I am forever changing how I look,  wether it be hair colour, hair extensions,  cutting my hair off or growing it long. I’m my own worse critic I hate looking in the mirror, I hate having photos taken so much so that I’m rarely in them anymore. I have to wear make up before I leave the house which I mentioned before. Even on a pj day if I have to go to the shop I have to put some make up on even if it’s concealer and foundation and I have to wear something I’m comfortable in. I hate that it annoys me but I have to do it.

I cannot stand being in a room full to the brim of people it makes me very nervous. I get twitchy and anxious and I have to leave before it gets too much. Even when it’s a little bit busy in a small area I have to be in and out of that area keeping myself out the way.

I hate attention being drawn to me it embarrasses me and I go very red and feel very silly. It makes me nervous. I can’t take compliments I don’t believe them I think people are lying.

I hate that I have to write things down instead of being able to talk about it as it would actually make things easier for myself. I hate that I rely on people to talk when things get bad and even though I have fantastic support I still can’t open up fully. I have trust issues.

I feel like a bad parent when I get tearful, I feel like I shouldn’t have kids because they deserve better then me. A crying irritable wreck of mum who is going through a tough time. Maybe I should have just given in and accepted the referral to a mental health team and taken the medication better to be a zombie then a crying mess sometimes. I just wanted to do it on my own. Prove to myself that I am strong, that somewhere the old me is still in there fighting to get out. I hope one day she breaks her way back through I’m not liking the new version of me.

CHD Awareness

5th of Feb is heart day… Something a year ago I knew nothing about. I knew next to nothing about heart defects the only thing I knew was some babies were born with a hole in their heart and that’s it. I didn’t know that 1 in every 100 babies will be born with a heart defect of some kind and I didn’t know that my baby would be that 1 in 100.

A year later I know more about heart defects that I ever wanted to know. Tetralogy of fallot something that until almost 10 months ago I’d never heard of. Basically it means 4 things wrong with the heart – 2 holes ASD (atrial septal defect) a hole that should close at birth a VSD (ventricular septal defect) a big hole between the two pumping chambers of the heart mixing blue and red blood. Right ventricular hypertrophy the right side of the hearts muscle thickened due to it having to work harder and an overriding aorta the main artery on the heart in the wrong place because of the VSD. Worst part of this particular defect is its only correctable by open heart surgery. So that meant a major operation on my 5 month old baby. Before the surgery it meant a nurse checking oxygen sats weekly, weekly weigh in’s with a Heath visitor and monthly hospital visits for ecg’s and echos. All the things you would expect to see on an episode of Holby city not real life.

I joined groups on Facebook to get more Information and read other people’s stories, I googled the diagnosis every night and hoped every night that the hospital had got it wrong. Sadly not. I lived through months of worry and sleepless nights, week after week and month after month of constant check ups. But nothing could have prepared me for the actual operation. You never expect to be told your baby is sick but if there’s one thing I’ve learnt its that my son is much stronger then I ever thought possible. Much stronger then I ever was. He had major heart surgery almost 5 months ago and bounced back to being a healthy baby how he should have been born as. I’m so proud to be a heart mum to my little superhero ❤️

Dealing with me

Coming home was amazing I couldn’t wait to get back to normal (whatever that would be now) I missed my home comforts and being in my own bed I missed my oldest boy and loved not being disturbed by nurses or doctors.

We were to go back to the hospital in a weeks time for a post ward check but I had 7 days of no hospitals to look forward to yet.

We went for the post ward check up the operation was a success. It did what it needed to do to repair his heart.  He just had a little extra fluid around his heart so yet again go back in a week for another ecg and echo. The following week it was cleared. It was such a relief because I panicked that it would involve more surgery or some kind of other procedure to drain the fluid.

Treat him like a normal child they said something I struggled to get my head around. He’s just had major heart surgery he’s not a normal child he was also on 4 lots of medication 4 times a day. Normal children don’t take medication. Normal children don’t need to recover from heart surgery. How is he normal? He will never be normal.

I struggled so much with the diagnosis and the months after and in honesty I struggle now. A couple of months after the operation my anxiety and mood didn’t improve. Then came the words “postnatal depression” I refused to believe it and accept it. I was fine I just had a hard time adjusting to what normal is now . I got a lot of support leading up to the operation and get a lot of support now it’s something I’m not ashamed to admit. I eventually accepted  that I have post natal depression and although I have refused mediation on several occasions I’m working on getting better. 

I tried talking therapies but it wasn’t for me after 3 sessions I was coming out of there in a worse state then what i was going in. Instead now I get other support. I have a lot of people around me and I’ll be forever grateful to them. They will probably never know how much they have done for me and my family.

I write everything down and it gets read. It’s easier for me that way I can’t talk openly and truthfully about how I’m feeling I’ve never been great at it. Nobody tells you how to cope with it all. Nobody tells you that it’s hard work. Nobody tells you that you get tearful for sometimes no reason . Or something so small can put you in a bad place. I had a lot of anxiety over leaving the baby I wouldn’t go anywhere without him not after leaving him in theatre. Something I had to work hard on and get used to leaving him and it was hard. The first time I was due to leave him I cried about half an hour before and got so worked up and I felt embarrassed because I felt weak.

Depression is such a taboo subject and I haven’t told my family that I suffer with it and they have no clue what’s going on. I haven’t told many people at all just a couple of close friends. People look at me and they see I have my hair done, it’s clean, styled and straightened, I dress decently in clean clothes, put make up on and  I have my nails done every couple of weeks. That’s the person I allow people to see not the mess of a person underneath. I can’t leave the house without make up on. I can’t leave the house without doing something with my hair even when I can’t be bothered. I can’t just throw on some clothes that day and hope it looks ok. I have to plan what I want to wear at least one day before if not I can’t cope.

I’d always been the one that was there for other people when they needed someone to talk to. I always thought I was quite a strong person but I feel broken I don’t feel like the person I used to be. I never had to rely on anyone before. It’s so hard that with this depression I’m relying on people when I have a crap day. I ring people to talk, I go to talk to people who support me and they are all brilliant. They probably have no idea how grateful I am to have their help and support It’s just I never used to have to do that. Everyone says to me how strong I am, how well I coped with all that’s happened it’s all lies I don’t cope, I haven’t coped. I’m a fraud because I don’t post it all over Facebook they don’t see what’s really going on. They don’t see my tears or the pain behind my eyes. I keep them closed off afraid of being vulnerable. I sometimes still hide how I’m truly feeling saying I’m ok when I’m not or that I’m fine when I’m not. I’m afraid if I tell people all the time I’m not ok they will think I’m not coping or get other people involved. Something I don’t want happening.