I’m excited to share today’s My Mountain guest post. With all the things I’ve struggled with since becoming a mum I’ve often wondered how parents of multiples cope, especially when also experiencing PND. Today, Isabel is going to share her story.
I’ve never been so happy and terrified at the same time in my entire life like the day I found out that I was carrying twins. I knew it was going to be difficult, but I didn’t know that it was going to be that difficult. With my career as the Body and Mind Consultant, I was always used to having a balance in my life. Needless to say, the balance that I held so sacred disappeared with the birth of my twin boys. And then the chaos came along with the postnatal depression. My husband was completely dedicated and willing to help, but due to the nature of his job as a captain, he was away every four months. However, despite being alone most of the time and under extreme pressure, I found my way through it all and here I am now trying to impart my “wisdom”.
Dealing With Change
Being pregnant comes with a lot of changes. Being pregnant with twins will test the limits of your strength. First, you need to accept the fact that your body will be put through a lot and that it may take you a while to get back your former look, but that’s the least of your problems. Afterwards, you’ll need to get everything ready for the little ones. Since I could barely think straight, my friends and family were there to help me out as much as possible.
Once the boys came, my life completely changed. I had all those mixed feelings, fears, worries, happiness, bliss, pressure, agitation, etc. As I learnt to accept things as they were, everything started toning down. I became more mindful of my thoughts and feelings which helped me get through the most difficult period in my life.
With so many sleepless nights and days filled with crying and screaming, I must admit that there were times when I felt like disappearing into thin air. It wasn’t only about constant fatigue – I used to fall asleep a little every time I sat in a chair – but also about the terrifying feeling that I wouldn’t make through all of that. I had these two beautiful little boys in my arms, but somehow, I felt disconnected. I blamed myself for not being able to bond with my children, building up pressure and deepening my depression. Feeding, nursing and putting them to bed were nothing more than a tedious duty to me. There were nights when I couldn’t sleep, days when I couldn’t eat and occasions when I couldn’t get out of my bed.
I felt as if I had lost myself in an abyss of desperation, depression and exhaustion, not knowing how to get out. My husband, friends and family helped me as much as they could, but I used to put on my brave face to hide the fact that I had no idea what I was doing. Throughout my life, I was always the one who advised and helped people around me and not only because of my profession. However, when I became completely overwhelmed by depression, I realised that I was the one who needed help, so I turned to counselling services. Of course, my family and friends were always there for me, but talking with a professional helped me gain a deeper understanding of my situation and myself as a person and a new perspective on my life.
Having Some ‘Me Time’
My sessions with a counsellor helped me realise that I needed some time for myself. When I started taking care of my needs more, taking care of my children was much easier. I became more mindful of my feelings and thoughts and learnt to accept them. I also became more thankful for my blessings, realising that even the most difficult periods (and believe me, I had my fair share of them) will pass.
My life now is chaotic, challenging, overwhelming and far from perfect, but it’s also thrilling and filled with happiness, joy and even a certain kind of harmony. Although, I went through a lot, I learnt a valuable lesson: we all need help from time to time and there’s nothing wrong about accepting it.
Isabel F. William Body&Mind Balance Consultant. Lover of literature and philosophy, every day runner, and Tai chi master. Believing that to travel sometimes is just enough to enjoy a really good book, smooth jazz and a cup of coffee.