My journey with PND: 10 months on

I thought if I didn't have post natal depression after my first baby, then I'd be fine for subsequent babies too.

I wasn't.

I thought my second baby would be easy because I had already had a baby and I had an easy pregnancy.

It wasn't.

I thought my second baby would be a boy because my pregnancy was so different.

She wasn't.

I thought I'd be able to breastfeed my second baby because I breastfed my first for 14 months.

I couldn't.

I thought I could get through post natal depression without medication.

I couldn't.

I thought when my doctor said I might only need to be on anti-depressants for 6-months, that it would only be 6-months.

It wasn't.

I thought being on medication, every day would be easy again.

It wasn't.

I gave birth and nothing was anything like I expected. I gave a very raw account of my journey with PND back in March, when Miss O was 5 months old and when I expected I would almost be ready to come off my medication.

But moving your whole life to another town when you didn't expect to be doing that anytime soon (or ever!) definitely causes stress to the most stable of people, and I needed to remain on them for longer than I originally anticipated.

The last 5 months have seen plenty of ups and downs. I'm really happy in my new town and have made lots of new friends, but I still miss my old town, my family and my friends.

I have found a good counsellor and a good doctor here, and I was able to firstly lower my dose and then come off my medication altogether. That was not without it's challenges either, but I am finally standing on the other side!

I'm not saying that the other side is reached when you are not on medication anymore (some need medication for much longer or even their whole lives, and that's perfectly ok!), but the goal for me was to be balanced in my emotions and I finally am having so many 'good' days that a bad day is just a blip on my radar now, and I have so many strategies to help pull myself out when these days hit.

- I look after myself and ensure each week I have time just for me

- I have the girl's in day care so that I can spend one-on-one time with them/time alone (I'm an extrovert but definitely need my alone-time!)

- I go outside and get some fresh air and sunshine each day

- I try to eat well, drink plenty of water and exercise

- I listen to happy music! The girl's and I often have a dance as we are getting ready of a morning

- I ask for help and am open with how I'm feeling

- I am kind to myself. If I've had a bad day, we have an easy dinner - and hubby completely understands!

- I try to keep the house tidy and organised: for me, a clear space = a clear mind. If it's a day with little motivation, I just put on one load of washing, pack the dishwasher/wash the dishes, make my bed and do a quick tidy of the lounge room.

- I get out of the house if I'm feeling flat - we are lucky to live a very short walk to a lovely park.

- I know to seek professional help before things get out of control

- I don't feel guilty if we need a survival day (cereal for dinner anyone?) and I remind myself that I am a good Mum

Life with two young children (Miss M and Miss O are 21 months apart) is hectic and crazy.

But so many times I catch them giving each other a hug, or holding hands while in their car seats, or playing dolls together, or chatting away to each other, or sharing food, and it is just beyond beautiful.

My heart is full and the love for my two gorgeous girls is indescribable.

I feel so blessed.

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