Monthly Archives: November 2016

2 Ways You Can Win My Fully Full-On Awesome Book; “Confessions of a Mad Mooer”

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Do you like free stuff? ME TOO! This must be true love. We have so much in common. In which case you’re going to doubly love this announcement. I am giving away not one, but two print copies of my memoir, Confessions of a Mad Mooer; Postnatal Depression Sucks, which will be released in December. Hooray. You can win a copy either through Facebook or Twitter.

 

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/confessionsofamadmooer/photos/a.289580744550640.1073741830.289544227887625/669519129890131/?type=3&theater

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For your chance to win your very own copy of Confessions of a Mad Mooer: Postnatal Depression Sucks simply share and like the pinned post, and then write “MOO” in the comment section.  The winner will be drawn 15th of December at 4pm (AEDT). Good luck!

Entry are only available to Australian residents. And remember to share publicly so that I can see that you’ve done it. Competition runs from 19/11/2016 – 15/12/2016

 

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobinElizabee/status/799815859199819776

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For your chance to win your very own copy of Confessions of a Mad Mooer: Postnatal Depression Sucks simply tweet your own confession about life with a new baby and mark it #CoaMM.  You can enter as many times as you like. The winner will be drawn 8th of December at 4pm (AEDT). Good luck!

Entry only available to Australian residents. Competition runs from 19/11/2016 – 07/12/2016. I will happily report any trolls to the police who choose to “confess” illegal activities. And people cannot profit from their crimes so… NO BOOK FORF YOU!

 

I’m confident that you’ll love it, but don’t just take my word for it, read the blurb and the words of praise.

 

What happens when a mother says she isn’t okay, and nobody’s listening? That’s the situation Robin faced after the birth of her identical twin boys. She already had a needy toddler and a husband who worked long hours, but no matter where she turned, her desperate cries for help went unanswered. It wasn’t until her newborn twins ended up in hospital with bronchiolitis that the medical staff realised it was Robin who needed the most care.

The hospital diagnosed her with postnatal depression, and sent her and the boys to a psychiatric hospital. Inside the Mothers and Baby unit Robin finally found her confidence, not only as a parent, but also as a writer and a worthy person in her own right. Her periods returned, too, but she didn’t consider that as much of a blessing. “Confessions of a Mad Mooer” is her story, told with warmth, humour, and unflinching honesty.

 

Words of Praise for “Confessions of a Mad Mooer:”

 

“Ugh, do I have to read it? Do I make you read my work stuff?” – My husband (Still hasn’t read it.)

 

“That’s nice that you wrote a book. Have you seen the new app I downloaded for choir?” – My mother (It really wasn’t that impressive.)

 

“Fanwah. I love that word. I’m going to use it all the time. Did you make it up?” – My friend Helen. (No. Robin does not sit about in her pj’s all day making up words for her vagingo. Her friend Tash made it up.)

 

 

So, win my book and you might just beat my husband to reading it… maybe post a review about how great it is and then send it to him.

 

 

Confessions of a Mad Mooer: 20 Celebrities That Had Postnatal Depression 

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It is the final day of Postnatal Depression Awareness Week for this year so I thought, what better way to let you know that you are not alone than to show you? So here are 20 well known women that have also battled postnatal depression, or postpartum depression as it is termed in the US, and quotes they have said. Each woman experiences  postnatal depression differently, celebreties are no different, so each woman has a very different perspective and therefore different quotes. I hope you find this educational as to the full spectrum of postnatal depression.


Adele

Brooke Shields 

Drew Barrymore 

Gwenyth Paltrow 

Alanis Morissette 

Courteney Cox 

Kristen Bell

Marie Osmond 

Bryce Dallas Howard 

Amanda Peet

Hayden Panettiere 

Amy Davidson 

Lena Headey

Lisa Rinna

Carnie Wilson

Natasha Hamilton

Jessica Rowe

Miki Brzezinski 

Valerie Plame Wilson

Kerri Sackville 

And of course, I had it too. I’m no celebrity, but I’m there with you.

If you or someone you know has postnatal depression you can find good resources on the following sites:

  1. Gidget Foundation http://gidgetfoundation.com.au/
  2. PANDA http://www.panda.org.au/
  3. PIRI http://www.piri.org.au/
  4. Black Dog Institute http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/
  5. Lifeline https://www.lifeline.org.au/ 

Confessions of a Mad Mooer: We Don’t All Make It Out Alive

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My heart breaks for the family of Florence Leung of New Westminister, Canada. She was a woman, a human being in her own right, as well as a mother and a wife. Like me, she has battled postnatal depression, unlike me, she didn’t make it out alive. On Wednesday her lifeless body was found.

Last June Allison Goldstein made headlines in the US for her suicide. She was 32, just like I was when I had my first child, bubbly, beautiful, and well liked. She seemed to have it all on the surface. but below the surface postnatal depression pulled her down.

In 2010 an investigation was launched into Joanne Bingley in the UK. She had postnatal depression and sadly left her family home as her husband and baby slept and then laydown in front of an oncoming train. She loved her baby but felt like she couldn’t cope. Joanne had begged health care professionals for help but they wouldn’t listen. The result was that a little girl will never get to know the love of her mother. 

These are just a few cases that made headlines, but they are unfortunately not isolated cases. Suicide is one of the leading causes of postnatal maternal death. I was nearly one of these women. Raging hormones, lack of support, complications with feeding, and exhaustion can provide a deadly cocktail for mothers. And yet women are still frequently dismissed when they ask for help. 

Health professionals are supposed to be vigilant for signs of depression and not coping but mothers often report being treated like hysterical first time mothers when they ask for help. And science backs them up. Studies have shown again and again that males going in with the same symptoms as females are more frequently referred for further testing and given medication, whilst  women are simply sent home. Mothers are on the absolute bottom rung despite the media releases from the health professionals declaring that they should be at the top. 
I was on the receiving end of this dismissive attitude, I thank my lucky stars that someone finally listened otherwise I’d be another statistic. I doubt I’d even make it as a news report. Simply dead and ignored.

My daughter came at 35 weeks. She attached fine to the breast but was a slow feeder. She’d take up to two hours to feed. Then I’d change her nappy, try to put her down to sleep, she’d shriek  in pain so I’d hold her upright in my arms so that she wouldn’t explode with acidic vomit. She’d sleep in my arms for forty minutes and the we’d start the process all over again. Day and night. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I’d  cry often. My legs would buckle underneath me at random moments. I’d vomit up bile. I was exhausted and my  body was failing me. I told the community nurse I was exhausted. She told me to just put the baby down and stop overreacting to every little sound. I told my GP at the time that I couldn’t cope. She said babies like to suck and a breast was better than a dummy. She said it couldn’t be as bad as I said otherwise I wouldn’t be able to smile or function. I felt like I was going crazy. I hurt. I couldn’t keep going. I wanted to kill myself so that my daughter could have a mother that people would help. And I would have done just that if things hadn’t changed.

My regular GP wasn’t available for my daughter’s four month check-up. I had to see a new GP. She diagnosed my daughter with reflux and hip dysplasia, both conditions were quite severe and had been missed by the hospital, community nurses, and my previous GP. Referrals to  specialists  were given. With medication for reflux my daughter was able to sleep better. Which meant I could too. She also needed two ooperation for her hip dysplasia, three months in a spica cast and several more in a brace. That GP improved my daughter’s quality of life and saved my mine. I doubt that I could have gone on another week the way it had been.

When my boys were born people said, just call, don’t get yourself into a tizzy like you did last time. But whenever I called  they were too busy. And they were too busy the next day or the next. And then they’d show up and help with my daughter but I still had the twins, born at 32 weeks, to take care of and dinner to make.It was a slap in the face. A tokenistic gesture of help given not when I needed it and not in a way that allowed me to get any sleep.

As for my guardian angel of a GP, my boys had been in the NICU I was in their system. I had to go back to them for the twins’ checkups. I didn’t have time to also see my GP. When the social worker would pass she’d ask how I was, I’d say exhausted, she’d laugh. During check-ups I’d mention to the pediatrician that the boys weren’t sleeping well and I was having trouble taking care of them and their 2 year old sister. I was told that was life with premi twins, just deal with it.
Again by four months I was ready to end my life. And then my boys got bronchiolitis and ended up in hospital. In the emergency room I just cried and cried because I was exhausted and desperately worried about my babies and it was a catastrophic  combination. I felt utterly alone. The emergency nurses were fantastic. They told me that they rarely got to have babies in there so would have no shortage of nurses who would want a cuddle. The nurses woke me to breastfeed then whisked my boys off to be cuddled. Nurses were coming from other departments on their break to get a cuddle with my boys. I got four hours of broken sleep that night. I wouldn’t have had much more than that all up in the past four months.

And then we had to go up to the children’s ward. I lost my beautiful angels of mercy who had come to help me in emergency. 

They had strict rules in the children’s ward. Most of them resulted in the nurses not being able to help. So I juggled my two babies on my own and stared out the window and thought about how I’d jump out if I could actually open it. I decided that when my husband visited I would excuse myself to go to the bathroom, walk outside, then walk into traffic so that I could finally die. I was in so much pain, physical and emotional, that I just wanted it to end.

Luckily the pediatrician who had treated my daughter for reflux was the doctor on the ward. He took one look at me and knew I was not  myself. He spoke reassuringly to me that there were options and that he was calling the social worker and that they would help. I was too tired not to believe him.

The social worker came. She said there were things that she could do to help but she also wanted to refer me to a hospital psychiatrist. He was there within twenty minutes. It became apparent that I was a patient along with my boys and that I was the more serious case. It was determined that I needed intensive support. Once the boys were well enough the three of us were transported to a psychiatric hospital with a mother and baby unit. And that’s why I’m still alive now.

If health professionals had continued to minimise my cries for help then I would be dead. I wouldn’t be typing this up on my phone next to my 5 year old daughter. She lies next to me sleeping peacefully as I type this because she was scared so came in for some mummy hugs. Last night it was my youngest child, he may only be younger than his twin brother by a minute but he’s still the youngest. He was scared and wanted to watch Yo Gabba Gabba. It was 3 am so I said no and he had an epic meltdown which I tried to soothe as quietly as I could lest he wake his siblings. The night before it was my middle child, all he wanted was for me to hold his hand whilst he dropped back off to sleep. If I hadn’t made it, my kids would have missed out. And to be honest, my death was only avoided by half an hour.

I owe a great debt  to both those doctors, but they shouldn’t be so few and so far between. It’s about time health professionals stopped paying lip service to the notion that they’ll be vigilant of mothers struggles and actually were. How many more avoidable suicides must we mourn?

My book Confessions of a Mad Mooer: Postnatal Depression Sucks will be out in December. It deals with my time in the psychiatric hospital aan what I have learned. If it stops one more mother from killing herself then it is worth it. You’re not alone. I’m here, I made it through and so can you.

If you or someone you know has postnatal depression you can find good resources on the following sites:

  1. Gidget Foundation http://gidgetfoundation.com.au/
  2. PANDA http://www.panda.org.au/
  3. PIRI http://www.piri.org.au/
  4. Black Dog Institute http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/
  5. Lifeline https://www.lifeline.org.au/ 





    Confessions of a Mad Mooer: 5 Uplifting Quotes About Motherhood

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    ​”Mothers are all slightly insane.”- J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

    “There’s no bitch on earth like a mother frightened for her kids.”- Stephen King

    “(24/7) once you sign on to be a mother, that’s the only shift they offer.”- Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper

    “It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.”- L.R. Knost, Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting Through the Ages and Stages

    “You don’t have favourites among your children, but you do have allies.”- Zadie Smith, On Beauty

    Confessions of a Mad Mooer: What Fresh Hell is This? #PNDAawarenessweek 

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    Sigh. It’s PND Awareness Week so obviously articles and posts about this issue are on the increase. I’m posting on PND every day this week rather than sporadically as I usually do. It’s good to raise awareness.

    However, there is an article that pisses me off more and more each time it come up on my newsfeed. I suspect it is thought to be so totes-mega-awesome that it has actually been paid to be promoted… I, on the other hand, feel it is a totes-mega-steamer.

    The article says that there has been a study into how society feels about mothers with PND. Good news, apparently there is no longer a stigma. hi5s all around. Apparently women with PND perceive that there is a stigma and that’s what prevents them from getting help…

    … Well isn’t that just an amazing coincidence. Somehow only women with PND are afflicted by this strange notion that there is still a stigma. I mean, you might even say that it’s downright bizarre and unlikely that only women with PND would think there was a stigma when really there isn’t one. It’s almost feeding into a stigma in itself, that women with PND are delusional with no grasp of reality. But hey, an article supposedly to help women with  PND wouldn’t do that, would it? So they must be right. It’s just an incredible ccoincidenc.

    Hey, people who came up with those conclusions based on your extensive studies, ring up an insurance company right now and ask for life insurance and tell them you have PND. Go on, I’ll wait. Let me guess, you have an added clause for suicide because you have or have had PND? It is in effect for the rest of your life? Yeah, so weird that insurance companies consider you a suicide risk for the rest of your life given that there are no stigmas surrounding PND. Must be part of that same crazy phenomenon  that makes women with PND think there is a stigma.

    The article states:

    This week, PANDA is calling on the community to engage with this conversation and with the new parents themselves.

    “Even though we have these changing attitudes surrounding mental health, they somehow don’t seem to have made it through to this crucial time where life is created,” Smith said.

    “On one hand, the community is saying it is okay — that’s their belief. The next step is for the community to help mums to understand that.”

    Yes, let mothers with PND know that you’re thinking about them. Let them know how you don’t think there is any stigma. Hmmmm, I wonder if that’s a bit like when cases of maternal infanticide are reported people come up to me an ask me how I’m going because they’ve just heard about an awful case, and it’s suspected that the mother had PND, and to call them before I do something like that. That’s totes supportive. Letting mums with PND know that you’re there to support them. No sense of stigma that women with PND are ticking time bombs ready to go off and kill there babies. It’s all in our heads, thanks kindly community members for reaching out. And yes, everyone I know who has PND has similar stories.

    You know what this delusional gal, that is out of touch with the community, who has PND thinks?  I think people saying that they don’t judge women with PND is a bit like them saying they don’t judge gay people, or black people, or Islamic people. I think that  people claiming not to be a biggot might not be 100% honest with themselves. I also think it’s not at all helpful to promote an article, which could have been a brilliant article as it shares so many great stories, that implies women with PND are deluded and shame them further. It’s all in your head is a bullshit approach to women with PND and their experiences. Invalidating the group you’re trying to help is ridiculous. 

    I usually love the stuff done by that organisation but I found how they reported on their findings misleading and invalidating. Hook your respondents up to lie detectors, follow them for a few weeks and see how they really talk, then get back to me on how the stigma is gone.

    If you or someone you know has postnatal depression you cand find good resources on the following sites:

    PANDA http://www.panda.org.au/

    PIRI http://www.piri.org.au/

    Black Dog Institute http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/

    Lifeline https://www.lifeline.org.au/

    Yes, I know that one of the organisations above is the one promoting the article that makes my blood boil, but they have excellent rresource and I hope someone clues them in to just how problematic their phrasing is and that they rethink it in future. I’m just disappointed in them, certainly not calling for a boycott.


    Confessions of a Mad Mooer: The Movie… Sort of

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    I’ve done something new today, uploaded a video to YouTube. I’ve never done it before. It was exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time. Especially because my first post was the trailer or my book, “Confessions of a Mad Mooer: Postnatal Depression Sucks” which is out in December. 

    I’ve never made a book trailer before either. That was pretty nerve wracking in itself. In the end I kept it simple; just my words, and pictures of me with my little ones when we were going through my PND. I’ve attached the link. I hope you like it and I hope you’ll love my book. And don’t forget to check back regular for excerpts, give aways, exact release dates and links on where to get a copy.


    Thanks for supporting me. You all mean more to me than I can say.

    If you or someone you know has postnatal depression you cand find good resources on the following sites:

    PANDA http://www.panda.org.au/

    PIRI http://www.piri.org.au/

    Black Dog Institute http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/

    Lifeline https://www.lifeline.org.au/

    Confessions of a Mad Mooer: Let’s #StartTheConversation and Have a Virtual #LunchOutLoud 

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    Confessions of a Mad Mooer: Let’s #StartTheConversation and Have a Virtual #LunchOutLoud 

    Okay ladeez, this week is PANDA’s   Postnatal Depression Awareness Week. As most of you know postnatal depression  (PND) is a topic that is near and dear to my heart and I started blogging about it after the birth of my twins. This year PANDA is urging people to host a lunch in November and start the conversation about perinatal mental health. I’m not exactly the hostess with the mostess, so this blog entry is my version of having a “lunch out loud.” So let’s start the conversation about perinatal mental health. I’ll go first.

    I don’t just have PND and dyslexia, I also have questionable fashion sense.

    Hi, my name is Robin and I had PND with all three of my children. Granted child two and three are identical twins, so it was actually only two  cases, which makes it a little easier to cram it all in.

    Despite the fact I had several things that made me a prime target for PND I wasn’t diagnosed until 9 months after the birth of my first child. That’s an awfully long time to go untreated. I was picked up earlier after the birth of my twins, at 4 months, but by that time I was so far gone that I was immediately admitted to a psychiatric hospital with a Mother and Baby Unit. Hardly a postive reflection on our allied health professionals ability to pick and and begin ttreatent of  PND at this time.

    Some of the more obvious risk factors I had, but were ignored, were:-

    – Premature birth of all three children. my first child came at 35 weeks, and the twins came at 32 weeks.

    – I had been through major depressive episode twice before in my life.

    – I had limited family support and no paid support to fill that gap.

    These were not my only issues but they were three key concerns that health workers should have known to keep an extra careful eye on. They did not.

    My daughter, although born 5 weeks early, was big enough and strong enough not to need any medical assistance by the NICU. She roomed with me from the moment she was forceped out of my cut open vagingo. We were in hospital for 1 week and then  we took her home at just 36 weeks gestation. One week before full term, four weeks before her eestimated  due date.

    Awwww, she still melts my heart on sight.

    She looked like an angel and I loved her completely. However, she wouldn’t sleep and  would spend two hours on the breast, feeding. She out-right refused a bottle, and no, you don’t get to just let a premi baby go hungry to force them to eat, they’re small and have enough issues without adding tough love. Any time that I would try to lie her down she would shriek in pain and vomit.

    I was lucky if I got 30 minutes sleep all up in 24 hours. I was a mess. I cried, I vomited, and I began to collapse at random moments. My husband was angry that I kept calling him, begging for help. He told me that I needed to learn how to sort stuff out on my own like every other mother. He had a dreamy 1950s Hollywood fantasy and I was rudely intruding upon it.

    I told the community nurses, I told my GP, I told Tresillian, I told a social worker. Their responses varied from – I couldn’t really be sleeping that little or I wouldn’t be able to smile  (I’m a smiling depressive) – to – babies like to suck, a breast is better than a dummy, so I should just STFU. Nobody was willing o help me because I loved my baby and had bonded with her. As far as they were concerned, that was the only issue.

    I contemplated suicide repeatedly every day. Given that nobody could see an issue with my existence I concluded that I was the problem . I felt that I wasn’t good enough to be a mother to my angel. It never occurred to me that I might have PND because the vast amount of media coverage depicted mothers with PND as being distant and unbonded. On top of that, not one single health professional had suggested it. I didn’t fit the stereotype, I didn’t hate my baby, I hated me.

    When it came time for my daughter’s 4 month injection and checkup I couldn’t get an appointment with my regular GP. The receptionist recommended nother doctor. That doctor saved my life.

    The doctor immediately recognized that my daughter had reflux and referred us to a specialist. She had a particular bad case. It was a textbook case and should not have been missed. Medication was prescribed. The GP also picked up that my daughter had hip dysplasia and referred her to another specialist. Because this condition was missed by the hospital, community nurses, and my previous GP, it had progressed past the point of a harness or brace being able to fix it. Within two weeks she was in for surgery and placed in a spica cast. It was traumatic for all involved. She is five years old now, her hip is much improved but not 100%.

    Spica casts are not an easy ride, it gets better with time but don’t let anyone fool you into thinking it starts out easy.

    Soon after that the GP called my husband into her office and told him that I was exhausted and unless he wanted me to end up in hospital he better start helping. From that point on she became my regular GP, I dumped the old one. A good GP is worth their weight in gold. If you find one, keep them, they can truly save your life.

    After my daughter was treated and my exhaustion started getting under control my GP started working more seriously with me. So at 9 months post birth I was finally diagnosed with PND, put on a mental health plan, placed in therapy, and given medication. It was a long and brutal road but I got there.

    I tell more of my story and all about my time in a psychiatric hospital with my twins in my book “Confessions of a Mad Mooer” which is being released in December. I hope it helps to further breakdown stereotypes and makes PND more relatable for others. We really need to get rid of the stigma and start that conversation to gain understanding and acceptance.

    Okay, that was my turn, now it’s your turn to join the conversation. I’d love to read about your experiences in the comment section. 

    My book! It’s out in December. Woot!

    (Note: I’m dyslexic so if you wish to comment to gloat about spelling and grammar errors… your time will be wasted. I can not simply stop being dyslexic and see and write things as you do.)
    If you or anyone you know is depressed, here are some great links:

    PANDA http://www.panda.org.au/

    PIRI http://www.piri.org.au/

    Black Dog Institute http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/

    Lifeline https://www.lifeline.org.au/