So here we are, 2 years on.

So here we are, 2 years on. This time 2 years I was on a mother and baby unit going through the hardest time in my life. Some days were darker than others, some days I would bang my head against the wall whilst sobbing and whispering to myself “die, die, die”. Others days I could feel hope, hope that I would go home and hope that I could be ok.

I spent my days hanging out with Arth, Jord and the other patients. Watching movies and TV, going for walks and talking to the doctors. We did classes and workshops to help manage anxiety and low mood. I remember sitting in the group and we were going around saying what we were afraid of, what made us feel most anxious. I broke down and just simple sobbed, saying “everything, it’s just everything”. I was fighting everyday to get through low mood and depression but I was also in the midst of crippling anxiety. Where everything and everywhere I went posed a risk to Arthur.

It was exhausting to try and want to stay alive whilst everyday I was convinced Arthur was going to die. Cot death, childhood cancer, choking on his own vomit, dehydration, bronchiolitis, a freak accident. I was afraid of the world and I was afraid of a life without him. Often I thought about how it would be better if I wasn’t alive. How much easier it would be. How much I didn’t deserve to live and how I didn’t deserve to be Arthur’s mother. I sometimes thought of death as being “free” I think because I was just so exhausted. There are days were I still feel the tiredness from the darkest times. It’s like they are a part of me.

It’s hard to describe postnatal depression and what it does to you. It’s strange to think having a baby caused me to become unwell but having a baby also caused me to get better. Every day I would hold Arthur and he was always my light. I would smell him and listen to his noises, and he would always help by just being there. By just being him.

Times have changed in so many ways but that has always stayed the same; my love for Arthur. A feeling that is stronger than the darkness, the anxiety and the tiredness. Now 2 years on I’m on a new journey, awaiting baby number 2. The anxiety still hangs over me at times. Thinking about what I’m eating, what I’m doing. And the biggest thing as always; babies movements. But I feel so much more in control now. I can feel the anxiety brewing. I can see when I’m spending too much time sleeping. I know the triggers and what I need to do to get out of the dark spiral.

One of my biggest fears is thinking, what if I don’t love this baby as much as I love Arthur? Don’t get me wrong, the love for babe is already there but Arthur is my world. What if when they are here the feelings just don’t compare? What if, I don’t feel the same rush of love I did with Arth? Because what if, what happens last time happens again. I need that feeling of pure love to help get me through.

But there’s not much I can do now right now. I can prepare. Preparing for depression sounds super depressing am I right? (Excuse the pun). I can have all the things in place if something does go wrong. I know the signs and I’m hoping if it does, I will be able to seek help earlier, before I can only see the way out as being taking my own life. Way, way before that.

Most importantly I have the people I need around me. As always Jordan and my family. The ones who know what really happened, who cried beside me and held my hand. My friends who visited me and know what happened but still love me for me. Who never judged and still treat me the same. The professionals who know my past and are there to help protect my future. And lastly, my support from this blog, my instagram, my writing.

So here we are. 2 years on. So much as changed but yet, so much is the same.

Here’s to 2020. I hope it brings you all health and happiness.

Love, Kate. X

So I feel like I am finding myself again.

So here I am. I feel like I lost myself a little when I became a Mum. Part of that was PND and I think part of it is just becoming a parent. You forget who you are a little. Your life is all about this tiny little human. I lived in leggings and joggers. Found it hard to shower and eat. I was with my little dude, either feeding him or trying to sleep all the time.

Now we seem to be into everything a bit more. I’ve remembered what I enjoy. I feel like I can take a little bit more time to eat and to sit down every now and again. I still haven’t left Arthur for more than 1 and a half max but for me it’s still early days. He will always been my main priority forever now. He’ll always be my little boy. But I feel like I’m figuring who I am again.

I’ve found my own style. I’m getting back into exercise. Enjoying eating and cooking again. I have a horse and have done for 7 years, now I feel like I can give him some time again. Things are settling down. I’m a mum and always will be, but I’m also Kate, my own person.

It took me a long time to realise that you need to be well in yourself to look after your little one. It sounds so silly but when I first became ill I didn’t care about anything to do with myself. I’ll never forget, when I was having one of my many difficult times with feeding I was talking to someone about “fed is best”. I was trying to figure out how long I was going to be able to breastfeed for. I felt like it was slipping away from me and I just wanted what was best for Arthur. A health professional turned round a said to me – “Actually, a well Mum is best.” I’ll never forget it.

How can we look after someone else if we can’t even look after ourselves? Whatever your parenting choices are, you have to feel at ease with them in order to look after a mini human. You have to feel well in yourself. Part of that, I think, is doing things for yourself. Taking care of yourself. Mentally, physically, emotionally. I think to myself – I want to eat well and exercise because I want to be around for a long time for my son. I want to be a grandparent maybe. I want to see him graduate or travel or get married.

I think we all lose ourselves a little bit every now and again. But it feels really fun and exciting to find yourself again. I’m going to take up dancing again. Something I haven’t done in years. I haven’t gotten on my horse since finding out I was pregnant. I’m terrified. But I’m also excited. Everything feels like new again. I’m enjoying fashion and totally excited to match with Arth (yeah I’m that embarrassing parent). I’ve had my haircut and maybe, maybe not, I might put on some makeup again some day haha.

I’m totally winging everything- life, parenthood but it’s all part of the excitement!

Stay tuned peeps.

Love, Kate x