Issues in the school playground… (written a few weeks ago)


So I have spent most of my morning crying.. Over some bitch in the school playground. Yes I am 31 years old and I am crying over the behaviour of another school mum.. Screams ‘pathetic’ doesn’t it? Well it is, but my idiot brain and emotions won’t let me calm down. My make up is ruined, (the one morning I bother putting some on and this melted mascara is stinging my eyes making everything 1000 times worse), puffy bloodshot eyes, and snot streaming from my face like I am full of a really terrible cold, I am sobbing and borderline hyperventilating like a 5 year old child who needs to just be held. 

Screw her.. Screw that one who made me feel like I did when I was 6 and being called names in the playground for having a birthmark on my forehead. Children are so cruel – no, corrected, people are so cruel. 
Playground gangs and groups are lovely when everyone is friends, organising mum’s wine nights and play dates (for the kids – no kinkiness) but when one school mum decides for no reason that she doesn’t like another, and she forms a little playground alliance against that one person (me) it makes the school drop off and pick up unbearable. This morning was one of those occasions. I’m stood there chatting. She approaches. All backs are suddenly turned and I am somehow out of the circle twiddling my thumbs. It was just one of the moments you wish the ground would swallow you whole, no one would notice anyway. 
I’m not lowering myself to bad mouth her but I just don’t get it. I obviously don’t know this game of playground politics it’s like some sick musical and I don’t know the taunting songs they are all singing. 
There is no point to this post I just needed to vent. At least it’s Friday and I don’t need to visit the playground for another 2 whole days. Over and out.

(Photo: At least these two munchkins make me happy 😊) 

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So… it’s been over a year since I posted…


So sorry for my absence, as my regular readers will know I have had the toughest time mentally since having Emily. 

I am on the mend though, the dark cloud has lifted and I can see clearly through the fog. Thank you so much for all of your comments, inbox messages, Tweets and everything else you lovely lot. And thanks to Milton who shared my first PND post which got 30,000 views! 

I have more to say but I just wanted to write a post to touch base. 

Peace out mummys, Lou x

(Photo taken yesterday by the eldest pink one – flattering I know 😂) 

I have postnatal depression. The woman behind the smiley mask


I knew I was ill when Emily was about five weeks old, my health visitor had visited me that afternoon and after telling me that Emily wasn’t gaining enough weight, yet again, she sent me to the doctors for a check up. She made me feel like I wasn’t producing enough milk for my baby to grow big and strong and that annoyed me to start with, she said she needed to decide if Emily was just slow to gain or if she was failing to thrive. I hate that phrase. I knew she was having enough milk, she gulped it down, I felt my boobs fill from under my armpits, and when I expressed some off I got about 6 oz which is a big feed for a baby her size. I felt angry and offended, I felt watched and like I was already failing as a mother – like the voices in my head weren’t already telling me that. 

I had a dull nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach, a churning panic that I didn’t love her and I should feel something by now. I didn’t. All I feel is nothing. A numb, lost feeling like I didn’t belong. A detached, emotion-less, zombified version of myself I didn’t recognise in the mirror anymore. It’s all in the eyes. It’s not the knackered woman with blood-shot eyes and bags under them that I mean, when you look deeper and end up staring intently, searching, because there has to be more than what you see? But the eyes staring back at me are blank and emotionless, blank, dull and they see life in fuzzy shades of grey, rather than full high definition 1080p sharp picture quality with bright colours. 

  
 

When my health visitor returns a few days later she asks me to fill in a mental health questionnaire, a mood chart with questions like ‘are you feeling hopeless? Do you feel like you would be better off dead?’, I panicked and circled ‘not at all’ like a normal person would, and laughed the questions off as ludicrous and unnecessary when inside I was ashamed and embarrassed that any mother could feel nothing for her baby. 

I feel itchy and uncomfortable in my own skin, I want to tear my face off, that fake smile and ridiculous bubbly laugh I have mastered, it sounds like my old laugh but like I’m playing a recording, not me actually generating the noise. I have a mask on, under the mask I am the sullen, sad, emotionless, half-person but the mask I am holding up has a huge overcompensating smile drawn on, and bright, loving, attentive eyes. I hold whole conversations and act so normally, using deflection methods to keep people from asking anything too much about myself incase the paint of the mask may smudge. When I am back in the comfort of my own home I can’t remember a thing that was said, I panic I may have made a fool of myself and decide to avoid social situations where possible.

At home I was irritable, snappy, and tired. Not just tired because Emily wasn’t sleeping it was different. A tiredness that can’t be cured by sleeping, my whole body aches but I can scope with that it’s the lack of concentration and memory loss which has me puzzled. I am angry and confused by the fact I can’t remember anything, not baby brain, I can’t even picture my baby in my head when I close my eyes. I wouldn’t recognise her in a room full of babies, I can’t even read a trashy gossip mag or scroll through my Facebook newsfeed or text people back. I used to be ‘fun mum’ to Jennifer, constantly chasing her round and playing on our hands and knees, colouring, jigsaws etc but now I am just boring mum, useless mum, fucking idiot mum who just sits on the sofa feeding Emily wishing she was anywhere but here. 

I care for Emily but more like I would a niece. I change Emily’s bum, not because I want to but because I have to, same with feeding, winding, changing her clothes, bathing and all the other mundane, yet essential rubbish us mothers are supposed to absolutely live for doing. I do nothing spontaneously, I don’t really care but the mask I wear daily says I do. The mask says I am a wonderful doting caring mother. I am not.

A week before my eldest daughters 5th birthday when Emily was almost 3 months old I was diagnosed with post natal depression. I went to a weigh in for Emily at the local sure start centre and my health visitor was there. I felt sick to my stomach, I was avoiding eye contact but my mask mustn’t have been on straight as when she looked right at me she must have known. She looked right at me, into my sad, empty eyes and asked if I was ok. I just started crying, like a sobbing, snotty, uncontrollable yet hysterical child. It would have been utterly embarrassing if I had been in my right mind. 

She came to see me the next day where I admitted to lying on the mood assessment and told her a bit of how I was feeling. I felt a little relief from sharing, like someone had just turned the valve, let some steam out and the pressure wasn’t quite so tight on my temples anymore. 

Emily is 6 months old today and I am still completely suffering. Every day is a battle. I wake up and put my mask on, push the ‘autopilot’ button and get through each day acting as I should. Only this method isn’t working for me anymore as this morning I woke to find that half a year has gone by since the birth of my baby girl and because of my ‘mask/autopilot’ method I have zero memory of the last 6 months. It’s like I have moments of clarity and I am puzzled as to how I even got here – like when you are driving and you get to your destination and think ‘how did I even get here? Did I run any red lights? How did I even indicate or drive on the left if I cannot remember any of it?’. I want it all to be clear, but with the clarity comes the sad woman under the smiley mask and I don’t think my friends, family or husband can cope with that pathetic excuse of a person. None of them asked for this. When my husband said ‘I do’ and agreed to try for a baby he didn’t agree to me being an unfit wife or mother. I know marriage vows say ‘in sickness and in health’ and I know I am ill but it’s not a visible illness, I can’t put a plaster on it or put my head in a sling. 

2 weeks ago I visited the GP on advice of my health visitor, I was prescribed some anti depressants but the long list of side effects, combined with me breast feeding, and feeling like even more of a failure by popping a pill is stopping me even collecting the prescription. 
I have tried CBT and got referred by the mental health team to see a counsellor who I am seeing weekly, and my health visitor fortnightly… 
I am trying, I just don’t know how I will ever feel like myself again. I don’t know if I will ever again see in colour. 

 

I had a baby, 6 months ago… Welcome to the world Emily


   

  


I woke up this morning to the realisation that today my baby turned 6 months old and I haven’t even introduced her to my online world yet, no birth announcement, no birth story, no ‘welcome to the world’ blog-post or Tweet for which I can only apologise. I wish that it was because my life just got busy having two little girls running me ragged but sadly this isn’t the case – I will get to the reason of my radio silence in my next blog post.

Emily Edith Mitchell was born on the 20th January 2015 weighing 6 lb11 1/2oz, all natural, no pain killers… In fact, no monitoring, no planned epidural, not even a peek at my specific birth plan the team of cardiologists had spent time planning throughout my entire pregnancy – I actually almost gave birth in a wheelchair in a corridor between the induction bay and the delivery suite. It was scary. I will write my story when I can get my head around it. 6 months on I am still not able to talk about it, anyway this is supposed to be a happy and short announcement post, I will get to the nitty gritty soon enough.

Emily is a tinker, the complete opposite of Jennifer, who by 7 weeks old was sleeping through the night. Emily appears to be allergic to sleep, she is a boobie monster and spends hours grazing on the boob. She is grumpy for absolutely no reason – so much so that Jennifer calls her ‘The Beast’. That being said Jenny loves being a big sister, she turned 5 years old when Emily was just shy of 3 months old so there is a substantial age gap which works for us. Jenny thinks she has her own real-life dolly and says she is lucky to have a little sister, she writes me cards and picks me flowers to say Thank you for giving her a little sister, there is thankfully no resentment towards our new addition at all.

Before I got pregnant we were singing along to Frozen’s song ‘Do you want to build a snowman?’ and she reminded me that Anna and Elsa’s parents die at one point in the song, she looked at me with sad eyes and said, ‘At least Anna and Elsa have each other, If you and daddy die I will have noone’. I almost died inside at that cute yet morbid thought. The point I’m trying to make is that all of her friends have siblings, even her fictional friends, and she saw herself as being different. Now we have given her a sister, even though she is a nightmare baby, Jenny loves her unconditionally and can’t wait for Emily’s milestones, can’t wait to teach her things, to play with her, to show her off and just have Emily in her life.

Anyway, short and sweet I am glad I have written this, I am glad I have formally welcomed Emily to my online family now, I am glad that my writing has come back to me naturally even though my grammar is probably the stuff of teachers nightmares, but I am proud of myself. I will write again very soon and fill you in on the rest, until then wish me luck, the beast has awoken…

Lou xxx

Embarrassing moments – trials and tribulations of being a mummy


I am a magnet for embarrassing moments, they are attracted to me and where ever I am embarrassment follows – especially since having my daughter Jennifer! Even hours before Jennifer came into the world when I was laid on the hospital bed after my seriously satisfying epidural and I was drifting in and out of sleep with only my midwife for company. I heard a rip-roaring fart – I was disgusted that a woman working for the NHS could let rip with such gusto especially in front of a patient! Anyway long story short it was me. Yes I, a girl who has never even farted in front of her boyfriend of 3 years was able to ‘comedy fart’ like an amplified whoopee cushion. Pure embarrassment.

After Jenny was born my life became one embarrassing moment after another. There was the time I was shopping in Babies R Us; I asked a young shop assistant loads of questions about specific baby toys. After long conversations with several staff I left the shop feeling proud of my savvy purchases. In the car park I looked down at my grey top, it was soaking! I had two huge obvious circles of breast milk – I’d stupidly forgotten to wear breast pads I was crimson for the rest of the day and actually almost cried about it I was so mortified.

When Jenny was 2 months old we went shopping into the city centre and when we got there we realised that stupidly we had left the changing bag at home – *slaps self on forehead*. We thought it would be fine as Jenny had just filled her nappy before we left and had a fresh, clean nappy on – we were only going for the last hour and then a quick bite to eat, what could go wrong? Jenny was making some elephant trumpeting sounds from her bottom which had woken her up so I lifted her out of her pram hoping it was just trumps, it wasn’t – I had newborn yellow chip-shop-curry-sauce poo all over me, her outfit – all up her back – EVERYWHERE. I (covered in poo) ran to the nearest Tesco express, bought nappies and wipes and changed Jenny outside on a public bench. I had to dispose of her clothes as they were not only more poop than cotton, but they stank of that foisty newborn poo smell which was making me gag.

Another time, on my way back from visiting my mum who lives in Italy 5 month old Jenny did the worst poos in the most awkward of places. One was on the train to Pisa airport which had no toilet! I had to take Jenny, her pram and our luggage to the end of the carriage where the doors are. I laid the buggy flat and changed her god awful stinky cess pit of a nappy with Jenny screaming at the top of her lungs. We were not stable stood up even with the pram brakes on, the high speed train was making me stumble and make even more of a mess. Meanwhile the other passengers were muttering in Italian and swiftly moving away from us and the smelly poo. There was nowhere to dispose of the stinky nappy so I had to carry it on the hour long, sweltering hot journey. My face was a shocking shade of red! Jenny still managed to do another horrific poo on the plane just as the plane started moving. The seatbelt sign was on for obvious reasons and Jenny decided to push really hard and let rip with such might. The plane was packed and Jenny was sat on my knee when I felt something warm on my leg. Even before the plane had gathered enough speed to get us off the Pisa runway I had runny poo all over my jeans. The guy sat at the side of me unfortunately had a very sensitive gag reflex and started retching to the point of convulsion. We caused quite a commotion, it was absolutely awful. On the plus side Jenny found it hilarious.

I have many more poo stories of embarrassment but I think I’ve mentioned enough. When Jenny got a little older at about 18 months one of her first words was ‘cock’ which was her word for chocolate – a very inappropriate word but I couldn’t help the proud feeling, clever girl learning only what is necessary – I never saw her crawling full steam ahead at my ankles saying ‘broccoli’ or ‘grape’ it was always ‘cock’. Night mare. One of her moments to use this word was in the supermarket. Unfortunately on most isle ends they have chocolate and goodies on offer. EVERY TIME we passed an isle end she would scream “COCK!!!!” repeatedly, I told her no and that the chocolate was dirty – great parenting I know but I was mortified. My wonderful bundle of joy decided to make it worse by saying “TITTY COCK! TITTY COCK!!” which meant ‘dirty chocolate’ I was obviously looked at by all passersby like I was scum of the earth.

Basically my life since having Jenny is one ‘cock’ up after another but it’s how you deal with these little problems that counts. I have learned to laugh like I’ve never laughed before; I now shrug and plainly say ‘Kids!’ There’s nothing else you can do – if you dwell on things and take yourself too seriously then you’ll never look back fondly at these amazing memories. Being a parent is such hard work but so rewarding at the same time and the embarrassing times become humorous times – obviously the slap stick variety!

A video interview with me, Louise Hamilton author of Mummy Diaries: Pregnancy – Stumbling into the unknown!


Hi everyone – yes shock-horror, after months of radio silence I blog twice in one week?!

Well, I had forgotten that I’ve done this video interview with Farhan from workingparent.info. It was originally for the purpose of promoting my book for Mothers Day, but it is the first video interview I have done – and possibly the only one I will ever do – I sound terrible! I don’t recognise my voice at all! Anyway, I hope you enjoy it, it introduces you properly to me, gives more of an insight as to why I wrote my pregnancy diary in the first place and what gave me the idea and inspiration to publish it for everyone to read!

Please share and comment, would love to know your thoughts, Lou xxx

Here is a link to my eBook on Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mummy-Diaries-Pregnancy-Stumbling-into-ebook/dp/B00AO5MDL0