I guess I should rewind to where it all began, it was around 6 years ago and I had just packed up my life in Melbourne and bought a one-way ticket to Paris, I was heading the South of France to being my career in the yachting industry. Fast forward two years and I had and I had just met my now husband, we spent the next 8 months travelling around SOF on our weekends and decided that summer season we would quit our boats and go on the adventure of a life time, we travelled from Berlin- NYC- Mexico- Guatemala- Nicaragua- India- Sri Lanka. We spent 9 Months living the dream, travelling. Lets go back to India, that’s when the party really started and life took a very unexpected turn, I had started to feel a little off, no energy and feeling like I just wanted to lie down which is very unlike me, I thought it might have been low iron due to eating mostly vegan/vegetarian throughout the trip. We decided to rule out all possibilities, so I decided to take a pregnancy test… it was positive so I took another one just to be sure, also positive. This came as the biggest surprise of my life as I literally hadn’t had a proper period for about 3 years, I had had the most unpredictable cycle and no one could ever really figurer out why, we were always safe but it’s a little hard to be safe 100 percent of the time when you’re never really sure when or if you’re ovulating, so you can imagine the shock we were both in. We went to the local hospital to see how far along I was, we had a scan and was told I was either 5 or 13 weeks, not having any periods to go off I wouldn’t have had a clue how far along I was. Not knowing what to do we continued on as planned, my partner flew back to NZ and I went on to India to complete my yoga training, I decided I wouldn’t tell the teachers or anyone on the course as I was still shell shocked and taking it all in myself. The yoga training was a very spiritual, soul searching time for me, I think anyone who has done a TTC will agree.
Fast forward and I was in birth care welcoming our little man into the world, it was such a surreal experience, I just remember wanting to look at him and see who had been in my belly all that time, labour was long (30 hours) all natural and he was born in the bath. I totally recommend a water birth.
Post birth is where things became interesting.
I’ll paint the picture for you, I had just moved to a new town, just given birth, lived in my partners dads house and didn’t have any of my family around me. My four sisters live in Melbourne, my brother, parents and relatives all live in Dunedin, about a three our plane ride away. I was thinking “how hard can it be” My mum stayed with us for abut ten days post birth which was amazing but it was sort of all went down hill from there. I knew something was wrong but was too scared to face the music, I was having really anxious and sometimes dark thoughts and just generally had no energy, I talked to my partner and we just thought it would be something that would pass, it didn’t,
I battled with PND for Months and it wasn’t until Luca was about 1.5 that I decided enough was enough and that I needed to go on medication, I was tired, anxious and wasn’t really sleeping at all, it was a vicious cycle. The months leading up to me taking medication I had literally tried everything, seeing counsellors, taking everything herbal under the sun, meditation, yoga, all of the feel good mind body activities I could think of. It wasn’t until I stopped fighting it and actually started talking about it openly and letting people know how I actually felt and what was actually going on did things start to ease up. With the help of medication and a wonderful group called mothers helpers did I start to feel a little clearer and the good days were actually happening again. Mothers helpers is run by a women called Kristina Paterson, who runs and funds this solely to help women who are going through PND, they survive solely on donations. It was like a group skype session every week and we would learn all about PND and how to look after ourselves.
I had never really been through depression so wasn’t really sure at the time what was happening, I actually thought I was going crazy and if I told someone the thoughts going on in my head someone would take the baby off me, I would imagine worst case scenarios constantly, even me being the one to hurt Luca, it was awful. I have such sympathy and respect for any person going through their own mental health journey, it is heart breaking, frightening and lonely. Luca is almost two and I am almost back to my old self, I am still learning everyday and trying to get through this bump in the road. I
am a real enthusiast about food and nutrition and have become to realise how important it is to feed and move our bodies with love and respect, I look back to the life I lived pre Luca and not having a period for three years, it was no wonder! I was very selective with what I ate, drank about 20 coffees a day and just wouldn’t stop moving, my poor little hormones. Motherhood is a huge transformation and giant serving of vulnerability all thrown into one, we are programed to do everything for ourselves and to never ask for help, I’ve realised how important it is to have those people in your life you can go to and just be authentically you, to hold your hand and uncover all the ugly stuff together. I try to use my social media account to talk about mental health and the things I do in my day that make it all that little bit easier, I get such an amazing response whenever I talk about my battles and it has really inspired me, there are so many beautiful souls out there going through this on their own. I’m currently completing a Personal Training course and my focus is to help Mothers pre and post natal and just women and girls in general, I feel like so many women struggle with weight and their bodies and the sad part is they probably starve themselves to achieve their ideal bodies, which as we know causes all kinds of problems, I could go on about that and the effects social media has on young impressionable girls but we wont go there. We can be so mean to our bodies and our hormones without realising, I’m currently on a mission to have my hormones looked at properly to see if I could be doing anything a little differently.
My advice for any new mums or mums to be, get your loved ones around you, sign up for the mum and bubs groups or the coffee groups, I was too cool do any of that which is so silly because they are your people, they’re going through the same things that you are, you can’t do it all on your own. Eat the good food, do the meditation, move your body in ways that make it sing and self love, you’ll have bad days and you’ll have good days, don’t be so harsh on yourself when the bad days happen because sometimes they do and that’s okay, just be easy on yourself, get out of the house in the fresh air, watch that trashy T.V series and as much as you don’t want to, call someone or meet that friend for a coffee, it might just be the mood booster you need. Love to you all green girls and thanks for reading my story.
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