Yippee Pills

I take a super-mild anti-depressant for PostNatal Depression.

It’s been surprisingly good for me.

I tried the psych approach – a long bout of appointments with a psychologist who made me feel like I was a bit of a mess because of various mother-issues,which I now realise was making mountains out of molehills. I’ve lived a sheltered life and, frankly, everyone has mother issues.

After a severe meltdown (where i sought the help of my mum, because she’s actually a really lovely person and I feel safe having a hysterical freakout in front of her) I saw a new psych who realised that all the talking in the world wasn’t going going to cure me.

The hard part was being diagnosed with PND. With my first baby, the maternal health nurse realised something wasn’t right, but obviously didn’t want to scare me, or label me with it. She suggested I see a GP and get a referral for a psychologist. The GP was a twit and said I was fine. I’m pretty sure he sneered, but maybe that was just his general countenance. I went and saw a counsellor off my own bat, anyway, because I knew I wasn’t functioning properly, and although she was helpful, I still struggled to curb my moodswings and temper.

That’s been the confusing thing with PND – for me, it’s not ‘depression’ as such, it’s a mood disorder. I get irrational, throw childish tantrums, throw scary adult tantrums. I roar like a cornered dragon because I can’t think of words. I sob like a grieving widow because I can’t work out where I’ve gone – the calm, reasonable, logical me leaves my body and inside I am empty and hollow. I get anxious about the tiniest things – an appointment time being changed, a friend’s comment on facebook, MLM not responding to a text message within an immediate timeframe.

Anyhoo, I finally found a GP who not only diagnosed me with PND after my second bub, but spent the time to really find out what was going on with me – and I’m so grateful she did.

I try to be as open as I can about these things. I’ve found that’s the way to connect on another level with people – and, particularly with motherhood, there’s a lot of “putting on a brave face” that goes on. Not one person has negatively judged me when I tell them I’m struggling, or that I have PND. I have a lovely, loose network of playgroup mums, old friends and beautiful relatives who have let me know that I’m not alone.

Plus, MLM and my kids who seem to love me no matter how horrible I’ve been.

My 87 year old grandma gave me a call to see how I was going. She was diagnosed with depression soon after undergoing a triple bypass 10 years ago – a huge personal upheaval that sent her physically and mentally to the edge. She calls her meds her ‘yippee pills’. Grandma tries to see the fun side of things.

I’m not sure how long I’ll need to stay on my yippee pills. Long enough so that I can be confident that I’m an active part of my kids lives again, rather than feeling like I’m watching everything from the outside. Long enough to know that I’m not going to revert to the mess I was.

I love my kids too much for that.

Postnatal Depression
by Aisling Longworth

Tummy Time

Nope, not for the baby.

For me.

I used to love my tummy. Always up for a tummy flash, I especially liked my belly-button: an outy in an inny. It actually looked like a little button.

Sigh….how things have changed.

After two kids it’s not so much a button now, as a squishy lump, and my tummy is so wrinkly that it looks like a 90 year old nanna’s tuck shop arm. You see, my second bub was a 10 pounder, I’m on the petite side, and my stomach muscles separated and decided to get permanently divorced.

My kids are fascinated with my tummy – always lifting up my shirt to look at it, poke at it and blow raspberries on it. Kind of cute, except it draws my attention to just how ugly everything is there.

I guess I should think of the stretch marks and lumps as war wounds. Battlescars. Wear them with pride. After all, I have two beautiful kids to show for them.

And I do – I look at their smiling faces, hear their giggles and think, wow – I made them, birthed them and have them as part of my lucky life.

But at the same time, I do miss my belly-button.

Josiah Jeremiah from 'Pastor Michael Comes Again'.
Nothing like a woman in drag...