Monthly Archives: May 2011

Creative play and why I LOVE play-doh

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The best part of having a young toddler for me is watching him learn and play with all the things around him, whether it is a stick at the park or some of the many toys he is lucky enough to own (courtesy of very generous grandparents!) It’s also a chance for me to re-live a little of my childhood through him.

Hence…. my LOVE of play-doh being reignited. I don’t know what it is but the smell when you open the tub is lush, and the smell stays on your hands. Endlessly people tell me to make my own it’s much cheaper, but it doesn’t smell the same! Other cheaper brands don’t even smell the same. When he’s older and having a post-beers-in-the-pub reminising with his friends (which lets face it we all do) what will he remember? Maybe the smell of Play-Doh like his mamma.

This blog post is a bit of a sales pitch. I’ve recently bought in a play-doh range for my shop all tried and tested on my little boy, and some tried and tested that haven’t made it onto there! His favourite so far is the pizza set. It gets endlessly rolled out (by me he hasn’t quite worked out that saying ‘roll it roll it roll it’ doesn’t make it happen you have to push the rolling pin along), put into the pizza pan, decorated and put into his play oven. The longest session so far an hour! For a 2 and a half year old with limited attention span that is amazing.

www.reebeebaby.co.uk

Play-Doh at ReeBee Baby

The others sold out really quickly but there are still some Elefun’s available. It’s one of his favourites, although he did expect the play-doh butterflies to flutter like in the real game. When they didn’t he chucked them in the air instead. Not something I’m so keen on I must admit.

So while I sit in the pub talking about the Play-Doh mop shop where you cut the hair he might talk about endlessly making Play-Doh pizza and feeding them to me.

If you fancy remembering what the smell is like wander over to www.reebeebaby.co.uk or even my Ebay shop reebee*baby 😀

Post partum thyroid disease and post natal depression

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Last week, researchers called for more screening of women in pregnancy for thyroid  function. A third of women who tested positive for certain markers went on to develop thyroid disease within 2 years. I am one of those women. This is my story, I can see what happened clearly now but at the time I was scared, very depressed and convinced I was a bad mother.

When my son was 6 weeks old my world fell apart. I went from being a normal tired and stressed out (but happy) new mum just about figuring out what I was supposed to be doing with a baby, to an insomniac, anxious, crying mum. I was living on 30-40 minutes of sleep a night and that wasn’t due to my son either, I lost an astounding amount of weight, had near constant heart palpitations and was so ridden with anxiety I hated leaving the living room let alone the house. The worst part was feeling like a baby sitter I went from adoring my longed-for son to no emotions at all, acting like his baby sitter not his mum. I lived like an actress, a smile on my face but a silent void of nothing behind it.  

It didn’t take long for my husband to realise something was wrong with me and get me to a doctor. My GP diagnosed PND at the time and I was put on paroxetine, sent to community mental health and very well supported in my recovery. When my son was 6 months old the hypothyroid stage kicked in. The weight rolled on, the extreme tiredness, fatigue, and a need for 8 times more sleep than I was getting, the anxiety lessened (taking with it those awful palpitations) but the depression got worse. My husband, mum and mental health nurse were practically the only people to see me cry. I couldn’t face being judged as a bad mother.

I was lucky 6 months later after insisting something was wrong and I wasn’t a hypochondriac nutcase, I got treated again and told about post partum thyroiditis. I am now on thyroxine replacement for life and still trying to get rid of the 2 stone I piled on in just 5 months!! Although I will be honest I could probably try harder. The cause? Who knows but one risk factor is blood loss at birth, I needed 3 units of blood as an emergency transfusion the day after delivery. That is a whole other story LOL.

The stigma of mental illness means a lot of people have no time for your illness or understand it. There was a physical reason driving my mental illness that only came to light when my son was 11 months old. How many other new mums suffer the same? My experience has taught me some good lessons. I am incredibly resilient and far stronger than I thought. That my husband is more amazing than I  knew for how he supported me through it. However, I still feel guilty for developing it even though it was out of my control, but am very thankful that my son was so young he had (still has) absolutely no idea.

How am I now? My thyroid dose is still being tweaked but for the last 5 months I’ve been great, back to my old self again. For anyone suffering PND in whatever form, take one day at a time, have small goals, and take comfort in those that support you and the fact that there are others out there who have been there and know exactly what you are going through. And those that don’t support you…. you’re better off without them.

Some helpful resources on PND and thyroidism:

http://www.mind.org.uk/help/diagnoses_and_conditions/post-natal_depression

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/postnataldepression/pages/diagnosis.aspx

http://www.endocrineweb.com/news/hypothyroidism/5549-antibody-test-predicts-risk-thyroid-disease-after-pregnancy

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/thyroid-under-active/pages/introduction.aspx

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/thyroid-over-active/Pages/Introduction.aspx

http://www.thyroid-info.com/articles/postpartum.htm