So much had happened in only 10 months and to give the way I was feeling a label of post natal depression just seemed wrong!  I was determined not to be given medication; I knew somewhere deep down I could be better than all of this….

I knew that it was just a battle of my mind and my thoughts; I needed to take action! I needed to get out more, make friends and learn how to get on outside the realms of a community that I once knew.

To cut a long story short I joined my local NCT group and made some lovely friends and had it not been for those group of women and babies I would most probably have been declared insane!  I didn’t find making friends easy by any means. Most of the ones I’d had previously I had grown up with and we just knew each other.  It was now a case of having to get to know people and given that part of me felt let down by my previous friends, I found it hard to let people in and trust them.  I still kept myself to myself and was very guarded, even now I tend to be more stand offish with people, especially those I have only just met.  It was only after Emilie’s 1st birthday, whereby I had invited all the new Mum’s I had met,  that I felt able to open up to them and explain what had happened.  Deep down I struggled with the sadness that I felt not sharing these happy times with my once best and closest friends.  I learnt to focus on the things I did have and the people that were now in my life.  I was truly grateful to these ladies for joining us that day and the support those last few months; whilst they did know why at the time, now they do, they have been as supportive as ever – a few in particular :)

I had returned to work when Emilie was 7 months old.  Oddly, when I was growing up and in my early 20’s I always figured that when I had children I would be a stay at home Mum and housewife; that was more of the culture I was surrounded by.  It was a little bit of a shock to me that I did not find it easy staying at home.  I got bored very quickly and still felt lonely.  Just before I had left work to go on maternity leave I had worked hard that year and received a promotion.  I was keen to get back to the office and pick up where I had left off.  It was not that we needed the money; I needed to work my brain and have that human connection with people.  I think there was also part of me that felt that I now had something to prove! Mark and I made the decision for Emilie to go to nursery 4 full days a week.

I remember the very first nursery we visited… I was certainly not prepared for the emotion that I felt!  The children seemed so young and the rooms seemed so small. How could I leave Emilie here? She needed to be at home with her Mummy; what were we doing? I was in tears before the visit was over and as we left I seriously started to question whether we were doing the right thing.  I had a gut feeling that particular nursery was just not right for us.  Mark suggested having a nanny, although given my experience whilst growing up I was quite uncomfortable with the one on one nature of that decision; for me it was just not right!  We continued our search and eventually found one.  I just had the right feeling when we went in, it was open, the rooms were bigger and all the children seemed happy.  I had to stop myself thinking about whether going back to work was the right decision.  At that time it was balance about what I needed, what Emilie needed and what we as a family needed.

My transition back into the office was relatively smooth and it was nice to be with my colleagues, some of who I classed as friends and had been extremely supportive the last year.  I struggled slightly with the guilt of leaving Emilie at nursery and the guilt of having to leave just before 6 to get her – I felt that I was being judged in that regard. Four weeks or so of having returned to work Emilie had 3 ear infections one resulting in a burst ear drum.  I really struggled at this point as I had noone to look after Emilie outside of nursery, and again felt a wave of guilt that I was letting work down.  Things settled after that and whilst I had more moments of similar feelings in general I feel that being back at work had really helped me.  It completely changed my focus and it meant that I now enjoyed the time I had with Emilie.

Who knew the strange and mixed up feelings that having a baby would bring?

Six weeks before Emilie’s 1st birthday, we discovered, much to our surprise, that we were expecting baby number 2.  I say to our surprise, as in true Davies style, we had talked about more children, we hadn’t planned when and after my first birth experience I was reluctant for myself or Mark to go through that again.  Again, I felt plunged into an unfamiliar world of mixed and strange emotions…

To be continued…

Yours in mastering the power of the mind…

Sarah xXx