Saturday, 27 September 2014

Diary of an expressing mum: #6


I am feeling 10000% better than I was in my last diary post. Thank you so, so, much to those who got in touch - it really meant a lot.

I had another sleepless-due-to-anxiety night that night but after looking up some positive affirmations for the new 'mom' (they are really American but some might help if you're having parenting anxieties) and going to Baby Sensory, I spent the afternoon with my mum in the shop that she volunteers in, and then went to the library. I borrowed a few books on weaning and one 'wildcard' called Challenging Depression and Despair by Angela Patmore. I've only read the first five chapters so far (they are short) and it's clear that Angela takes a hard-arse approach to depression; in fact she has been labelled a 'heartless bitch' by the New Statesman, however her book on stress was shortlisted for the MIND Book Of The Year in 2007, so take from that what you will.

I have a history with depression - most of my immediate family have suffered with it / are suffering and my own depression caused me to drop out of university in my final year. I was so consumed by self-doubt, criticism and loathing that I couldn't read or write a sentence, yet I was so desperate to be the 'perfect' student and nothing but a 'First' in everything I did would do. After some expensive counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and a load of Prozac I went on to work in the field that I'd studied for (albeit not the most exciting industry, heh) and I finally moved in with Ruari after six years together; and that's sort of where I feel like life really began for me. That was four years ago and, whilst I think I'm in a better place overall, it's not been plain sailing in my mind and I only stopped taking Prozac when I found out I was pregnant.

Anyway, this book just takes another view on depression which I've not really encountered before, not that I've read a lot into depression itself, and I am keen to read more as, to be honest, I wasn't a million miles away from asking my GP whether I could be reunited with my old friend, Prozac.

I was drawn to the book because I don't want to be negative or tearful in front of Joseph, especially when he's older and more aware of things. This book has reminded that being a bit sad is ok, and normal, and doesn't mean that there's something wrong with me. However, I think I need to address my 'everything I've ever done/ am doing is rubbish, wrong, stupid, oh and I'm a shit and boring person' attitude as, even though I'm feeling better, there's a part of me that thinks this is only temporary and that it's only a matter of time before I 'slip' again. But I think it's a good thing that I can even recognise that because before I dropped out of uni, I couldn't.

What has this post got to do with expressing breast milk? Well, nothing so far as I went off on a tangent, but I've come to the decision to stop pumping in the afternoons. I started (or stopped, rather) yesterday as we were out all day for a family wedding and there wasn't an opportunity, nor did I particularly want to as my current pump is uncomfortable (my right nipple is suffering particularly which, interestingly, is the same boob that hurt more when Joseph was feeding from me). Plus I had planned to stop pumping completely at six months anyway and I think dropping one session at a time is probably the best way to do it. My boobs were solid, sore and engorged when I did eventually pump in the evening but I think that will ease in time.

Joseph is really snuffly and sleepy today (he's having his third nap right now which is very unlike him) and he spent most of yesterday sneezing so I'm a bit worried he has another cold on the way. We're currently in bed and I'm about to make some lunch.

Love to you all xxx

P.S. Here's a shameless bathroom selfie- I liked my outfit yesterday. And, yeah, I'm holding a muslin.



  1. You, young lady are an inspiration! Xx

  2. By the sounds of things you are doing a fab job. Try not to doubt yourself and keep doing what you're doing. As a ftm to 4 month old easier said than done I know.


Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. It really means a lot! Nicki x