It’s all right, we all have our own kind of “crazy” in our heads!

Author:  Jen McCall As I looked at the faces of the other people in room, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. For the past few years these faces and many others had been so integral in my life, knowing I would soon be leaving them filled me with bittersweet sadness, my time here was coming to an end and even though I know I must move on, I can’t help but wish I could stay. Eight years ago my mother died. Four months after she died, my first child was born. Two years later my second child came along. When I fell pregnant for a third time my husband told me this was the last one. I secretly thought to myself, “That’s what you think, Buddy!” At 19 weeks and 6 days I woke up in labour and found out a few hours later my son had died. I will never understand how the world turned from sunshine to darkness in the space of one day, one hour, one minute, one second. A year later, at seventeen weeks, I lost a daughter. I plunged deeper into the dark. I could barely breathe for the grief I felt; it was crushing me and those around me. It seemed insurmountable. It seemed infinite. It seemed like there was never going to be a time when I could see the light again. A few weeks after a big night on the champers, I discovered I was pregnant again. I was terrified. How could I possibly face going through this again? How was I going to cope when yet another baby died? How would...

This is my story…

Author:  Emmay Day  (for PNDA Awareness Week) This is the face of postnatal depression and anxiety. Well, one of them. It’s the face of crippling self-doubt, relentless self-hatred. It’s the face of throbbing guilt and constant, constant failure. I know, because it’s my face. This picture was taken during the most difficult time of my life. But you wouldn’t know, would you? Like a lot of parents with postnatal depression and anxiety, I was very good at hiding it. After all, here I was holding this beautiful, healthy, thriving baby – my very own “bundle of joy”. What right did I have to feel miserable? What was wrong with me? It’s a question I spent a lot of time considering, because as far as I could see, I was the source of the problem. Parenting was not supposed to be like this. Just look at all those mums out at cafes, beautifully dressed, their babies sleeping in the pram beside them or gurgling happily over a toy. They were managing. They were able to get their babies to sleep. Their babies weren’t screaming all the time. Surely that’s what motherhood was supposed to be like. It’s roughly what I expected. Sure, I’d heard a few comments about how life changes. I knew I wouldn’t be getting much sleep, but until you experience it, I don’t think anybody really understands the bone-aching exhaustion that comes from having your sleep constantly interrupted, night after night. I was no different. I heard “you’ll be lucky to get out of your pyjamas before lunchtime.” That didn’t sound too different to the odd lazy...