Monthly Archives: April 2016

Brighter than ever…

Standard

Post Natal Depression affects at least 10-15% of mothers…You are not alone…

If you are not sure what PND looks like, you can read more about the signs and symptoms here: PANDAS 

I experienced PND with both my sons…there were days when I felt that I had hollow bones… I would carry on my days in a drifting state of automatic mothering, smiling when expected, tending to the needs of my children, doing the essentials but I felt numb, hollow, so tired I sometimes didn’t know how I would put one foot in front of the other to leave the house…

PND left me feeling exhausted, anciently old before my time, I ached and I cried and I barely existed beyond the “good mother” persona I hid behind…

Looking back, I was in fact a good mother… My sons saved me… I knew they needed me and so I would drag myself out of bed, force myself to walk in the fresh air, idle in the park as they played, sit and chat at groups so they had social contact… Some days I would not even make it home before the tears would flow, the exhaustion overwhelming, the claustrophobic loneliness crushing my chest, and I would drop my head and sing quietly to my sons to get us to the front door, and once inside I would sob quietly and try to hide my anguish from my children…

I loved them… and kept them close, without breastfeeding and bed-sharing, I believe my own PND would have been deeper…being connected, feeling & responding to the

IMG_2512

Enter a caption

natural and all-consuming needs of my children was what kept me from spiraling deeper into the darkness… For me, the physical closeness of mothering – the family bed, nursing my sons and carrying them in slings – was the rock that allowed me to cling to reality… If you are trying to support a mother with PND, I beg you to find ways that do not remove her children from her care, she needs to feel she can focus on herself and her children… Do her dishes, fold her laundry, clean her loo… Invite her for a cup of tea and just give her a space in which to exist…

My husband took up the slack… I cooked, and cared for our children, but he did almost everything else in those months when I had nothing else to give… He tolerated the heavier work load, the lack of conversation, the loss of my affection and often just quietly held me whilst I silently cried my sorrow…

Why was I depressed? … I wanted my children… I loved them deeply from the moment I knew the new life was in my womb… I enjoyed being a mother… I just felt sad, tired, scared and overwhelmingly alone…

PND is indiscriminate and powerful… It does not just grab weak women… It is stealthy and insidious and it has a firm grip… It can last a few weeks or echo in your life for years… It does pass… And even so, there are good moments and glorious days…

PND cast deep shadows but for me, they were the balance to the brightest sunshine… My children have brought me the more delightful joy, and I cannot believe how blessed I am even now… There was a time when I did not believe I would ever have a child, but that is another story…

Beyond letting my children’s needs carry me, I found my way through with my yoga practice… Many days it was no more than chanting mantras as lullabies or spending the time it took to have a wee focusing on my breath (yes, door wide open & small people clamouring for my attention…)

Micro-practice was what pulled me back into myself when I felt I was drifting… child’s pose with my toddler tucked up underneath me, savasana with my baby on my belly, alternate nostril breathing whilst breastfeeding at 2am…and 3.30am..and 5am…

Yoga never did make me a perfect mother, it still does not guarantee me a life free of anxiety or doubt… I choose to practice & offer yoga for joyful motherhood because even when the joy is only glimpsed fleetingly through the gloom, it is worth it…

I believe that my children and I are here now because of yoga… If that deepening dark is pulling you into the shadows, I offer you yoga to bring the sunshine breaking through the clouds… The light will return, and when it does, it will be brighter than ever…

OMx

 

 

Advertisements