Personally I have never been diagnosed with post natal depression but I have had times in my life that I have been hugely up and down - the most recent being after the birth of my daughter, India, who is now 16 months old. I spent the first 6 weeks of India's life in tears, not quite sure how I was going to get through the day. No idea how to juggle a demanding two year old and a tiny baby that just seemed to cry SO SO much. She was beautiful, she is beautiful but she's never quite got the hang of sleeping all that well which was quite a shock to the system given my son, Marley, seemed to sleep so well from the start. I was out of hospital within 24hours and back to the real world - exactly where I wanted to be but my frame of mind started to suffer. My husband didn't get much time off work and although his parents came from interstate for a couple of weeks and took Marley out and off my hands most days I still couldn't quite seem to pull myself together and get on track.
I do remember that I wasn't exercising as much as I did with Marley - not strenuous exercise that early on but with him I was out walking everyday, everywhere - I had the TIME to take my time back then. This time round trying to convince a very busy little boy to sit in the pram while I 'took my time' was not going to happen. When my in laws left two weeks later I think it really hit - life went on, everyone gets on with their day and you somehow have to get through yours...... there were many tears (mine and hers) and sleepless nights that I just couldn't handle my daughters cries - what kind of a mother doesn't have the patience to sooth her own baby? I wanted to hold her, comfort her and make her stop but the anger and frustration can be overwhelming - I wanted her to go away, to be quiet.
I am very lucky that my mum arrived from the UK when India was six weeks old and she has been here ever since - she actually leaves in two weeks time so I know I am then going to have some big adjustments to make not having someone to lean on all of the time. My mum pulled me out of that hole - she helped me with my children and does so almost everyday even now - she is a huge part of my life and their lives and we will all be very sad to see her go. It is a little scary to me to figure out what to do when she is gone - I know that I have to make time for myself and to prioritise exercise in my life - it keeps me going and makes me tick.
We all need the support of someone around us, someone or something to get us through a tough day and with more and more of us not having family around to help us raise our children it is important that we factor ourselves into our day to day life. It is all too easy for mum to look after everyone's needs and not her own.
With The Bluebird Community I aim to provide mothers that need it an opportunity to be part of a friendly and supportive group, to do something for themselves and for their baby to be looked after allowing them some time out. By partnering with local business we take away the financial aspect of starting an exercise program and welcome these mothers into our group. Endorphins are released through exercise and we often find many of our mums create friendships which carry outside of their training sessions which is incredibly important.
I am SO SO excited to be able to announce that we have welcomed Taylors Real Estate Agents in Randwick on board as our first sponsor of The Bluebird Community - Mark Taylor has welcomed us with open arms and is very keen to make a difference in the lives of women experiencing PND. With our launch just two sleeps away things couldn't be going better.
Tomorrow I will introduce you to our ambassador Amanda Cox who shares her experience with PND and how exercise helped her to get through it - stay tuned.