Since having Miss E I have had a flood of memories about how things went with Master X. Her life from the start has been different from our little boy’s and I feel guilty saying the truth which is that I am thankful. There would have been no way that I would have had a hand free to write let alone cook dinner or go for a rid eon my indoor bike. And yet here I am at 5 weeks postpartum doing these very things as Miss E sleeps or entertains herself looking at the beige couch covers.
I have gone back to some rudimentary goals
- Sleep – this includes a chunk of the afternoon being carved out every day for nap time. This means that we actively dissuade anyone attempting to visit after mid morning, turning off the phone alerts and sometimes missing out on mother’s catch ups. Sleep is my main trigger for a manic episode so it is vital that this is the firs consideration on the list even above eating. Food comes naturally as I am not able to rest if I haven’t eaten, but I can easily keep going on little sleep until it has been days without sleep and I am entering a hypo episode.
- Walk – I should have listened to my doctor with Master X that walking is a major protective factor against post natal depression. Getting out of the house for a walk, even just around the block, is important to making sure that I get out of bed, get changed and take note of how I am travelling for the day. I have pelvic pain still and know that I have been overdoing the walking this week as I have had extreme discomfort sleeping. I need to pare back the walking next week and focus on the indoor bike and my physio exercises for fitness.
- Feed – Not that Miss E would ever let me forget, but the third thing I must accomplish every day is to feed my baby. At the moment we are exclusively breastfeeding, but I need to remember that her crying is not always for food. This morning for instance was because she needed to sleep, so I packed her into the carrier and walked her to sleep around the neighbourhood. Feeding also reminds me to check in with the health of my breasts as I had horrid experiences with mastitis with Master X and want this experience to be blockage free!
Mr A is still at home for another week so it is easy for me to keep on track with these goals as he reminds me. I am a bit nervous about when he returns to work and the loops that I can get stuck in that lead me to not getting out of bed, out of my pyjamas or out of the house during the day. These elements are all important in keeping my mental health in check and so fuelling my other goals like losing weight, writing and cleaning the house. These three goals although basic are interlinked with the other goals and a larger picture of ‘being on top of it’.