Obviously I knew it was going to happen that I had this feeling of dread when my maternity leave end date was getting close but never thought I would have felt physically sick with it! Seeing her grow so fast, I am already starting to get the fear of missing out on her first milestones . I had to make a decision on my return to work as I needed to give 28 days notice so New Years Eve was the day where I had to make decisions. We physically can’t afford for me to continue on maternity from the yearly allowance as it would go down to only SMP (which is just enough to cover monthly bills) for 3 months and ZERO for last 3 months! I had 25 annual leave days to take which I was going to use for a extended phased return for 9 weeks working either 2-3 days a week but I have decided to take another month off and use the remaining to do a phased return over 2 weeks instead! I know that I could have really messed it up doing this way.
Reasons being that I could have got used to being away over long period instead of over a couple of weeks and another reason being that if I already feel this way now, it could get worst and get major separation anxiety. Luckily I work for an organisation that I’d really supportive so I know they have a Flexible Working Policy which I can look into where I can change my work patterns without having to reduce my hours.
As of today, I have 55 days until my phased return starts so I can try get into the right mindset and remain happy and healthy for Liberty as the last thing I want is to have an episode! #RemainCalm
I have struggled with mental illness for along time and was diagnosed with bipolar in 2008! I have had some extreme highs and some dark lows! I have learnt to take every day as it comes and know that it’s okay not to be okay and not be ashamed of my illness! I do struggle sometimes to work out whether some of my thoughts are what I actually think or are they medicated. I have tried all sorts of therapy to help manage my illness and the best method I have found is writing this blog!
This Blog allows me to write down my thoughts and feelings, share my life and be a place where I am able to talk about topics or experiences which I can relate to and then give my view to help me learn from them. This is the best therapy for me! I highly recommend it! I have helped a number of people with it which makes it even more worthwhile! #worldmentalhealthday
As you have seen, I have prepared everything from Liberty’s nursery to my visual birth plan, met with my care team several million times to prepare myself medically and packed my bags ready for labour. With all this, you could say that I was ready! That couldn’t be any further from the truth! I am so unprepared mentally. You hear many stories that fear and mental blocks can physically stop something from happening , this can apparently be the same with labour. Once you have spoken out loud and released the negative thoughts and fear and let them go, things start to happen. With 5 days to go, I need to learn to let go and become mentally prepared.
Back to the Birth Bible (Milli’s book) there is a section about overcoming fears and mental blocks so I have decided to review the list of ideas (Page 142) and chosen to write a letter to Liberty. This letter will explain how I feel about the birth and how I feel about her. I know this letter won’t be easy to write but will be an honest open letter of all the feelings I have addressed to my daughter. So here goes…
Continue reading “Are you prepared? Physically ✅ Medically ✅ Mentally – ❌ – Overcoming my Fear and Mental Blocks – Open Letter to Liberty”
Following on from creating my Visual Birth Plan, you may have noticed that there were two plans which needed to be referred to separately, these being:
- Special Requirements – After birth care plan
- Breastfeeding Plan
After the Perinatal mental health meeting, it was noted that a plan needed to be created for my aftercare once Liberty is here to ensure that if I am showing any signs of either postnatal depression or postpartum psychosis, then I can get the support I need quickly. Also a plan would need to be created if I was to breastfeed following on from further research relating to the whole lamotrigine in breastmilk situation where I am able to still take my medication and how much transfer into my milk is kept to a minimum.
Continue reading “WE HAVE A COMPLETE PLAN: The missing pieces to the mental health birth plan have been finalised (only taken 4 months) – Aftercare and Breastfeeding Plans”
Today has been a bad day for me to be honest! I have had a great day with my niece Amber but I am exhausted now! Not just physically but mentally! I am experiencing a lot of anxiety at the moment and my mask is starting to crack and can’t seem to hide it that much longer. I am nervous for the multi agency Mental Health planning meeting on Wednesday, maternity Leave is less than 3 weeks away and feeling unprepared and to top it off, I having a few personal problems where my mood swings aren’t been understood therefore have a negative impact in my relationships! All I want is to be understood! In particular, people to understand what it means to have bipolar! I feel a bit lost at the moment with so much going on that I am struggling to keep my shit together! I can’t control my mood at the best of times and especially at the moment adding pregnancy to the mix, I am an absolute NIGHTMARE! I can be unreasonable, angry, ridiculous, overreact then excited, obsessive and loved up within a matter of minutes! I hate that this happens 😢 I just don’t know what to do! I am going to try get some sleep, everything normally feels better after a good sleep 🤞🏻
Sorry for the delay, had a week full of appointments from meeting with my psychiatrist to meeting a family outreach worker part of the prevention team, the health visitor meet and greet and then therapy, Aquanatal and then just to top it off, I had to have a root canal at the Dentist #FML
Due to my mental health issues, I was referred to the Perinatal Mental Health service in Leeds for an assessment. It understand why as the Perinatal Mental Health Service provides specialist input to women experiencing significant mental health difficulties during pregnancy and the first year following a child’s birth.
Continue reading “You need to plan how to stay well before even thinking about how you want to give birth! – Intro to Perinatal Mental Health Services and other services”
There is nothing that I crave more than a Duvet Day when I am feeling stressed! It is important to understand and know how to manage stress in day to day lives before it can become dangerous and you could become very ill. With this in mind, Mental Health Foundation’s Mental Health Awareness Week 2018 theme is: ‘Stress: are we coping?’ Their aim is to ensure that people are aware of what is means, what the signs are and provide some practical advice to manage and prevent it as they want to move towards a less stressed nation.
Continue reading “Literally I’m going to lose my S*#t! – Mental Health Awareness Week Guide to Stress Management”
BLOG UPDATE: Mental Health Awareness week is here and this time focusing on Stress – I am going to continue this next week dedicating my blog to mental health awareness and sharing my own experiences with stress and how I managed to control it! Just remember you are not Alone and it’s okay to feel like you can’t cope!
Having heard about the story line for Coronation Street about Male suicide, it was great to hear that one of the soaps who have a vast following, were able to tackle this issue and raise awareness. I personally couldn’t watch it as it brought back some terrible memories of when I lost someone to suicide last year but reading some of the articles following the broadcast, it makes me happy that people are starting to talk about it.
It was noted that the writers for the story line has been working closely with mental health charities including Samaritans and especially CALM. The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is an award-winning charity dedicated to preventing male suicide, the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK. For more information about the charity, follow the link: https://www.thecalmzone.net/
Continue reading “You are NOT Alone! – Coronation Street’s suicide story raises awareness to male suicide”
There are so many delusions surrounding what to expect when you date someone who has Bipolar. There has been so much noise out there now about Bipolar as there has been yet another celebrity who has been diagnosed with the illness. Going through the list of the celebrities that I am aware of and the personalities that they all have, they are all completely different. Some of them have been battling with the illness for world and just goes to show that you can’t tell whether someone has it or not.
I am writing a list for you of a few things that you should know before dating someone with bipolar. This is not an official list and please note that this is based on my experience of the illness. Many people handle the illness differently therefore their lists may differ from mine. I do suggest that if you are dating someone with bipolar, do some research as it will help both you and them. Just having a basic understanding can help eliminate those feelings that you’re to blame for our mood changes and as you will be able to help towards identifying and stopping triggers etc. I know this all sounds scary and a lot to handle for most people, but we are not more hassle than its worth. We just struggle with emotions; the good and bad days are more intense and need some extra support at times.
Continue reading “I’m not CRAZY B*!#h (but I can be) – What you should know before dating someone with Bipolar”