I was 39 when I got pregnant and 40 when I delivered. But I was ready. For the first four months I was sick as a dog. All day and all night long. I started to question what I had done. But that passed and the rest of the pregnancy progressed without issues.
My delivery was long and not uneventful but no more than I expected, and I was presented with a beautiful baby girl. I bonded with her straight away and couldn’t believe I had produced something so perfect.
And then I couldn’t breastfeed.
I just had zero supply. I was told by a midwife that my baby was moving down the scale and unless I started to bottle feed she would be classed as failure to thrive.
So, there I was. Knackered, full of raging hormones and feeling like a failure by day 7 of being a mum. I started to bottle feed and although things got easier she had reflux and I wasn’t listened to by the Dr’s. I was ushered out of the door as an over worrying new mum.
By week six I suddenly had a thought pop in my mind and I couldn’t get it out. It buzzed around in my brain like an annoying wasp and before I knew it I had a plague of annoying thought wasps. The thoughts were all the same in nature and as I now know intrusive thoughts are a very common side effect of postnatal anxiety and postnatal depression. I told no one.
I found maternity leave very hard.
I thought I was going to swan around my town having coffee with friends with our lovely babies napping next to us. YEAH RIGHT.
I had gone from working in a corporate job that I was successful at. I am people person used to being surrounded by chat and banter. I adored my baby, but I was intensely lonely.
The hours from when my partner would leave for work used to stretch out before me like a never-ending road. My family is not local, and I didn’t have a huge amount of support. Having said that looking back the support would have been there, but I didn’t ask for it. I was a doer, a coper, I didn’t want anyone to know I was struggling.
Eventually I went to the GP.
They sent me for therapy. And here is the shocker… it DIDN’T work. The reason it didn’t work was first because I didn’t have rapport with the therapist. This is so important in therapy.
Most therapists would say you shouldn’t share too much about yourself. But my whole reason for re training as a therapist was BECAUSE of my experience. I know that my journey to recovery would have been quicker if I had felt rapport with the therapist.
Secondly, I didn’t do the homework.
REBT as a CBT therapy is an action-based process and a two-way street. You MUST do the work. If you do you will see fantastic transformations.
Everyone’s journey is unique to them.
My experience and my recovery will not be the same as yours. But the point is I did recover. I started to read and learn.
Eventually I followed this passion to begin retraining. I wanted to offer women the type of therapy I wish I had been offered. The chance to have appointments in the evenings or at weekends when you can get a baby sitter.
It’s always better to have therapy with out your baby close by as a distraction but you know what if you need to feed your baby whilst we talk then that’s cool with me.
My goal is to support women to start supporting themselves.
To give you the tools to become your own therapist. And you can do it. You just need someone to show you the way.