I’d vote YES!

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pic of badges from Together for Yes website

In just three days, The Motherland will ask it’s people to vote on whether or not to repeal our 8th amendment. The 8th says “The states (Ireland) acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”

I remember at secondary school, we had some people come in to give us a talk on how abortion was basically murder. They even had little pairs of tiny, silver feet pins, we’re talking Barbie doll sized feet here, that you could buy and wear in support of pro-life. I remember leaving that talk thinking, well it’s a very simple answer, I would never do that, what kind of person would abort a child……As you get older though, you realise, there is no simple answer, it’s not just black and white. There is a grey area.

I know lots of Mammies, I know different types of Mammies. I am a Mammy. I know women who said they never wanted kids, but have them now and could never be without them. I don’t know anyone who’s first ever thought in life about pregnancy was “how shall I get rid of it?” I don’t think we knowingly plan ahead for an abortion. Most of us look forward to becoming a mother.

I now know about fatal foetal abnormalities, where the foetus may or may not make it to full term and even if it does survive the birth, won’t live very long. I cannot understand how despite knowing these things, but because there is still a heartbeat, our government insists a mother carries her unborn child until birth, allowing her to go through the trauma of knowing her baby is dying/will die but making her suffer the pain and sadness of going through the birth anyway. Can you even imagine the heartache that woman would feel?

I cannot understand how our government would refuse a victim of rape, a child victim of rape the right to an abortion. It was not their choice to be raped. The trauma of this whole ordeal must surely be unbearable?

I cannot understand how an embryo can come before a woman having life saving treatment as the drugs needed may result in a miscarriage or a FFA. How do you knowingly allow a woman with pre-existing medical conditions put her life in severe risk, forcing her to carry on with a pregnancy? I read on a pro-life site that today the abortion rate was one in every five pregnancies here in England & Wales, and that I should think about five people in my life, whom could I not live without? I don’t think comparing people I know now or even from when I was little is the same as comparing an unborn foetus to a born person. Yes, there may be brain activity but this is not the same as knowing a fully developed person.

What if a woman’s contraception has failed her, after all, no contraception is 100%, but what if you were actively doing what you can to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, but it failed….what do you do? There were reasons you were using contraceptive in the first place.

I had a look at the abortion info on the Irish Citizens Information Centre page and I find that slightly hypocritical too…..We do not advocate abortion in Ireland BUT we cannot prevent you from travelling abroad to have an abortion, we can give you names and addresses of where to go to have one legally abroad and we will give you some amount of counselling once your back. Oh by the way, if you don’t have the means to travel abroad and pay for it and we find you’ve taken it upon yourself to abort by means of pills or an extremely risky backstreet abortion, we’ll sling you in jail for possibly 14 years! Ireland should not be forcing it’s women abroad at a time when she needs it’s care and support. It should not be forcing them to extreme methods such as drinking bleach or self harming in the hopes of bringing on a miscarriage. It should not be forcing them to leave their families and their familiar surroundings to go through such an ordeal. It should not be making her feel ashamed and guilty. It should not be putting her life at risk. It should be reaching out to help her make informed decisions with the correct medical care and support.

Abortion has been around for a very long time, it will not go away Ireland, you can’t keep shipping it off to England (and with Brexit looming how much more stressful and traumatic will it become?). I believe that if a woman has chosen to have an abortion she has not done so lightly and although it is actually 14 times safer than actually being pregnant, I don’t believe it’s a procedure anyone really wants to have. We have to trust that women are doing these things for the right reasons, after all, whatever her decision, ultimately it is her body and her mind that will carry that scar forever.

For those of you who are voting no, did you step out of the black and white? I hope you considered the grey areas. I hope that you, your wife, your girlfriend, your sister, your Mam, your aunt, your daughter never have to be in any of the situations I’ve mentioned above.

For those of you thinking of not voting, you still have time to make an informed decision, but surely a vote for choice is better than a no?

Vote YES! Vote for CHOICE!

Be my yes,

love Donna x

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The Glass Case of Emotion

180328121125_wmYou may, well hopefully you’ve missed me enough to have noticed an absence of posts here recently and although the following is not really an explanation, it may give an inkling as to why. I never wanted to write, a sort of dismal post on my blog, but this is life and this sort of portrays my current mood inside. I don’t like this inner turmoil, I feel it doesn’t suit me.

I’ve never written a poem before, in fact I left out a whole section on poetry in my Leaving Cert (still passed though…phew!). I gotta say though, although it breathes feelings of forlornness, on reading it back I’m actually quite proud of it. Anyway, away we go……

The Glass Case of Emotion
It is a s
ound proof box
You stand inside it screaming
Behind a door that’s tightly locked

You’re banging on the windows
Your eyes are scared and wild
The glass looking in is rose-tinted
So they can only see your smiles     
                                                                                               
The Glass Case of Emotion
You pace around it every day
Looking for a crack of hope
To help aid your breakaway                                                                                                              

Sadness and despair creep over you
You can feel yourself ripping at the seams
Your inner light is being tested
It’s trying to quell your hopes and dreams

The Glass Case of Emotion
Is an unsettling place to be
It’s just like floating out in space
Nobody can hear you scream

Donna xx

That time I had a baby & almost lost my s**t.

I had planned on doing a book review, but for the day that’s in it and I’ve always planned on writing this post at some point, let me write it and see how it goes. I’m also writing it as this could be you, you may relate and you’ll find you’re not alone.

I like to think of myself as generally a happy person, of course it’s not 100% of the time but enough for me not to consider depression. Roll on August 2103, one month post baby.

When the Small Man was born, I had my Hubbalump and my Ma with me. Hubby had taken a week’s paternity leave. Mammy had come over from Ireland for this momentous occasion and I had her with me for a glorious 3wks. I also had my sister up for a few days. They left, and my bestie came over from Ireland for 10 days, I think. I was surrounded by people constantly, with the drop in visitors too. Then they left and the drop-ins had fizzled out.

Then I was alone.

Well, not alone alone. I had a spanking new baby and Hubby wasn’t put off enough by the whole spectacle to leave me, but otherwise, I was alone. Hubby, obviously, still had to go to work, so myself and the Sprogladite were on our own. My Ma would text me nearly every day, as did my sister and Ash, but a text was not the same as a physical being. I have friends here, of course, but my friends here tend to be a lot older than me (I blame this on the fact i used to work in a pub…with love of course 🙂 ) and they’re done with babies, their kids are all grown up. They work long hours and then have long journeys home, to their own families. My friends my own age…well I left them in Ireland and the commute to visit regularly would be a bit much. The people I thought, would definitely be there, physically and emotionally, who unequivocally said they would be there, like I had always been for them, weren’t.

I felt let down, lost, confused, excluded and alone.

I felt sad for my little boy, like he didn’t matter enough.

Our mornings started early..ish and they were kinda set. I’d be up in time to watch Lorraine with the first feed, Small Man would go back to sleep, Hubby would ring, I’d wash bottles, have brekkie, tidy up a bit, then scroll through FB to see what my friends were up too, this was my new lifeline to conversation. This Morning would start. Small Man would wake, the cycle would start again only with lotsa cuddling and talking to a little man who can’t yet reply. I wasn’t a total hermit, we did go out for walks and to the shops etc, but mostly it would be just me & him. I would crack sometimes and my need for company would take to those who I felt forgot me, and I would be happy and I would be happy for my boy, ‘cos ultimately the love was there. It just seemed that if they couldn’t see us, we didn’t matter. I remember once the Small Man had been a bit ill, and for 14 days, nobody checked in on us, by any means.

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I smiled though, because I was happy, delighted in fact with the new man in my life. I smiled because, generally, I am a smiler and I felt like that is what is expected of me, jayzus, shur I expected it of myself! I smiled because isn’t that what people expect when you have a new baby?! Secretly though I cried, I cried alot. When Hubby came home to find me crying, I’d tell him, I’d just had a baby, I was allowed to cry for no reason. I couldn’t tell him, that when the baby was asleep I’d spend a lot of the time crying, or that I’d get dressed just before he came home. I couldn’t tell him that I felt like that narrow piece of wall, dividing our bedroom and sitting room, seemed like a really good place to bang my head ’til it bled. I couldn’t worry him like that. It would be selfish.

I thought I was going mad. This was not me. This was irrational. There is no way I…ME…I could be depressed. I googled postnatal depression. Everything fitted. Ash could tell from just texting that I wasn’t right too, but I wasn’t ready to admit “happy Don” wasn’t quite so happy, and I felt guilty and stupid for feeling this way. Hello!! Didn’t I just have a perfectly healthy, little boy, who in the grand scheme of things, I’m told by my Ma, is a pretty good baby!

I took Small Man for a check up at our surgery. It went well, he was perfect. Dr Herzmark asked me how I was and I cried. I cried, I talked, she listened and made notes. She seen me once every 4wks for 6 months, to ask how I was and to listen. Dr Herzmark never mentioned the words postnatal depression to me, but I had a sneaky look at her computer screen one day, she had me down as border line. Half way through this time, she said to me, I’m not going to prescribe you anything because I know you can pull out of this yourself. I didn’t want anything anyway, her time, those 12 minutes were enough to help me find my usual get up and go. I began to get my groove back and started going to local baby groups and meeting new people, new friends.

I will always be so, so grateful to Dr Herzmark for her time.

Although, I was never officially diagnosed as suffering from postnatal depression, the roots were there and I think my loneliness fed these roots, if it wasn’t for a small “how are you” it may have festered into something worse. Sometimes a bright smile is just an illusion.

The only advice I can give you is, if you are suffering, take the advice YOU would give to somebody else and don’t be too proud or ashamed to use it on yourself. You don’t have to make like the new baby made life perfect. The Perfect Mammy is a myth.

#itsokaynottobeokay

#worldmentalhealthday

Love Donna x