Baby Blues

Postnatal depression. 

Two words that strike the fear into every single pregnant woman and their families. The fear that you’re going to spend nine months being excited to bring this little bundle of joy into the world, just to not be able to bond with it and be the star of your very own soap opera storyline.

Because that’s what postnatal depression is, isn’t it? It’s being unable to bond with your baby, it’s resenting your baby for being the reason you’ve given up your old life and it’s your life turning into some huge melodrama.

Or, maybe it isn’t. Maybe it manifests itself as a type of depression that nobody warns you about. Maybe it takes you by surprise, somehow making it worse. Making it even harder to open up about.

Postnatal depression is a type of depression that many parents experience after having a baby. It’s a common problem, affecting more than 1 in every 10 women within a year of giving birth


Postnatal depression seems to go hand in hand with prenatal chats with our health professionals, it’s mentioned between friends who have maybe suffered themselves, it’s talked about with our partners and it’s described by our national health service as a common problem, but yet it is still easily one of the most stigmatised and taboo mental health discussion topics.

I have suffered from anxiety for as long as I can remember, I’ve spoke with medical professionals about my mental health since I was 13 years of age. I’ve always been open about my own struggles with anxiety and depression. I’ll be the first to let someone know that they’re not suffering alone. I’ll be the first to share coping techniques with anyone. I’ll be the first to preach about just how important it is to talk about our mental health and raise awareness in order to reduce stigma.

But here I am. Skirting around saying the words, skirting around admitting it to my loved ones, skirting around mentioning it on a website that I have literally documented my mental health struggles on. Here I am, scared to say the following:

I have postnatal depression.

I have postnatal depression, but I don’t hate my baby. I don’t have a damaged bond with my baby. I don’t resent my baby for changing my life, as much as I sometimes miss that old life when I’m knee deep in laundry and dirty nappies.

In fact, I have a pretty great bond with my baby. We’ve attended a mother and baby group since she was 5 weeks old which has helped us bond by using techniques such as baby yoga and massage. We loved skin to skin when she was tiny. I sing to her at any given chance. I love nothing more than reading to her. I can be having the worst day and she’ll flash me a gummy grin and suddenly I’m Wonder Woman. Sometimes, even three months on, I’ll still just lie and stare at her and wonder how on earth we ever got so lucky.

What I didn’t expect was just how isolating motherhood could be, along with how how scary it would be. It’s the never ending feeling of being judged for not doing it ‘correctly’, whether that judgement is presented by someone else or by my own head.

Am I feeding her enough? Am I engaging her enough for her to develop at the ‘correct’ rate? Am I too quick to settle her when she’s upset – should I be practising controlled crying? Should I be cuddling her more? Or less? Should she be in a routine or should I let her decide when she’s ready for bed? Should I force bath time even when she’s not a fan of it, or should I persevere for her to get used to it? Is she too warm, is she too cold? Should we be out more or in more?

And the biggy: is she still breathing? Ever since those early hours in the delivery suite this has been the never ending fear. The fear of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Whether she’s lying on the sofa having a nap, down in her Moses basket for the night, in her car seat asleep in the car (just her travelling in a car gives me the fear, to be fair), quiet and settled in her pram or I can’t hear her babbling away from the other room while I try and battle the never ending mountain of housework – the one fear remains. The fear that one day I’m going to go check if she is breathing, and she won’t be.

I don’t know where the fear has came from, maybe it’s from being warned so much of the danger of SIDS and being told of all the preventative precautions that we should take. Maybe it’s because her heart dipped before she entered the world and I had the very real fear that we may lose her before we met her. Maybe it’s just my anxiety and I should just get over it. (Because mental health is that simple, isn’t it?)

Right now, my head is the messiest it’s been in a while, but the positive thing is that I’ve been aware of the change and since I started dipping have been taking as much care of it as possible and talking to the right people about it. I’ve reached out to friends, I’ve not hidden it from my husband, and I’ve spoken to medical professionals about the treatment routes that are available. Most importantly, though, I have admitted it to myself. I still struggle to let that wall down with a lot of people, but that’s something I’m working on. I guess the fear is that people have one view of PND, and that is the view that you may not be fit to provide the correct level of care for your baby, and as a new mother I can’t describe to you just how heartbreaking that thought is.

Along with my anxiety and depression rearing their heads, my once ‘a bit funny with raw meat and germs’ thing has become fully fledged OCD. My hands are red raw with cracked knuckles and dry hacks from washing them so much. Since Hallie has been born I’ve cooked around two meals that have involved touching raw meat, and both times have scolded myself washing my hands. I’ve noticed myself washing my hands around eight times in a row simply tidying the kitchen because I’ve put something in the bin.

If it’s not washing my hands, it’s constantly having them covered in anti-bacterial hand gel. I have a huge bottle that lives in my living room, a little bottle that lives in my handbag/jacket pocket, one that lives by the side of my bed, one that lives in the parent tray of my buggy and one that lives in the car. When Hallie discovered the ability to put her hands in her mouth I found myself freaking out when she touched my face or hands in fear of her taking germs from them into her mouth and so would wipe her hands clean with baby wipes. I’ve had two coldsores since Hallie was born and I think that’s where the majority of the damage on my hands has came from as I don’t think I went more than twenty minutes without dowsing my hands in hand gel after all of the horrific stories of babies catching coldsores on Facebook.

Right now, it’s as if Depression is a mountain that I’m climbing and I’m halfway up. No point in going back down, as there’s an equal distance to the top, but the top seems forever away and I simply can’t be bothered getting there, but Anxiety is at the top of the mountain dangling my baby over the edge and there’s OCD whispering in my ear that I better wash my hands in water as hot as lava before I can touch that baby because just think of all the germs on them from climbing this mountain.

I guess it just feels never ending, like I can never catch a break. I have a tribe of people begging to take Hallie for a few hours or overnight so that we can catch a break from her, but the truth is that I don’t need a break from her, I need a break from my head and if anything, my head is just worse when I’m not with her because I’m worried that she’s unsettled, or that she’s confused as to why her mummy has abandoned her, or whoever she’s with isn’t following the precaution guidelines put in place for SIDS and I’m going to get a call telling me that something’s wrong.

It’s like a never ending pressure. A pressure to be a good Mum, wife, daughter, sister, Auntie, friend, daughter in-law etc etc. It’s the self doubt, the fear of judgement and feeling like me taking time to get used to being a mum is unfair on other people, including Hallie and Andrew. The feeling that I’m being rushed into this adjustment and the pressure that I’m not adjusting correctly.

I don’t know what I hope to achieve with this post – maybe it’s an explanation to those people who aren’t sure where Chrisselle has gone since Hallie arrived, maybe it’s an explanation for those who think I’m trying to keep her all to myself, maybe it’s speaking about my own experience so that if there’s anyone else feeling the same as I do, they don’t feel so isolated, or maybe, it’s just a chance for me to get some quiet in my head, to make some room for the words of Three Little Pigs that have engrained themselves into my brain.

2017 brought with it a lot of fantastic moments in my life, but it also brought a whole lot of change, and maybe my head is just taking some time to catch up. I’m doing everything I can to make myself a better version of me. Not just for me though, for my loved ones, and mainly for Hallie and Andrew.

I might be halfway up the mountain, but one day I’ll be at the top and that’s the main thing.

Love x

This is No Miraculous Life

Hi. I’m Chrisselle Mowatt, a 21 year old girl from a town in Scotland. It’s not a special town, or anything like that; the homes here were made for the masses and we’re all ridiculously overcrowded as a town and there isn’t really a sense of community. It’s any modern suburbia, really. There’s teens who loiter everywhere, there’s graffiti on nearly every surface possible, there’s cigarette butts and chewing gum all over the pavements, but there’s something that Livingston has brought me; It’s brought me life.

When I first moved to Livingston I was a confused 11 year old who had been taken from the only town she’d ever known, where everyone knew each other and you could walk down the street and see at least five people that you knew, or the neighbours would pop round for a coffee and keeping your door locked was something that was only done at night. Ten years, two breakdowns, three relationships, countless friendships made and lost and here I am; a 21 year old girl, living life to the full and starting the path to having the two careers of my dreams.

How it happened, I’ll never know. Some people say hard work, others say talent, but I say luck and support from those who matter. I honestly don’t know where I would be right now if it wasn’t for any of them, they all mean the world to me and they all know who they are. Sometimes I think about how different my path would have been had I not moved to Livingston all those years ago, and it terrifies me.

Just the other week there I was given the chance to write for the local Livingston magazine; The Konect Directory and it made me realise that although I’ve never really felt like a Livingston resident in all senses of the word, I do have so many ties here that I would never change for the world. I have my best friends, my wonderful family and jobs that I love. Not only am I now writing for Konect, but I’ve also been given an apprenticeship at Livingston based photographic studio itsPhotographic and I couldn’t be more overjoyed at that. I get on with everyone I work with and I class each of them as a friend instead of a colleague.

My friends have managed to put up with my dreaming since I left highschool; first I was going to move to America and become a journalist, then I was going to be a fashion designer, then I was going to be a teacher, then I was going to be a nursery nurse and now I’m going to be a writer, author, photographer and save the world- Not too much pressure then , eh? I honestly don’t know how they do it, but they believe in me and hold my hand each step of the way. They celebrate the highs with me and help me fix they lows; they’re the best kind of people you could ever wish for in life and I just hope that they’re in mine for good.

My family are another bunch of people who have patience that only a family could have. I’ve been resisting their “Why not be a carer?” “What about college?” enquiries for six years now, and it’s finally starting to pay off. The thing that is most rewarding though isn’t finally getting my dream jobs, it is seeing my parents proud of me and excited for my future; that’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do with my life was to make my parents proud and as long as I’m doing that then I’ll be happy.

Another, extremely special person that has the patience of a saint is my wonderful partner Anthony. He’s been there for me through some of the hardest times of my life, and yet somehow he’s  still here. He manages to deal with me better than even I do. He knows how to make me laugh when I feel like crying and he knows just what to say when I need that extra push of motivation to get something done. He keeps telling me that he’s proud of me, but here’s the truth; I’m proud of him. I’m proud to be able to call such a wonderful human being my partner and I cannot wait for what the future holds for us. I can’t thank him enough for all that he does for me, or for just how much he supports me. He’s the most wonderful person I’ve ever met, and that will never change.

I guess you could say that life is pretty perfect right now, well, as perfect as it can be for a depression and anxiety sufferer; I have my bad days, but so does everyone and right now there is a lot less bad days than there is good. I’m taking my meds, I’m sleeping more than I used to and I’m talking to people when I need to instead of letting everything build up like I used to. Life is great, and I finally feel like I’m getting somewhere instead of being stuck in a dead-end town with no prospects. The truth is that where you’re from doesn’t determine the person you are or the things that you will achieve in life. If you believe and work hard at making your dreams a reality then slowly but surely it will happen.

Don’t Lose Your Grip is also coming on leaps and bounds which is intensely exciting and rewarding. We have provisionally booked the Regal Theatre in Bathgate, West Lothian in order for us to put on a charity concert in July 2013 to raise money for SAMH (Scottish Association of Mental Health.) We are also going to be holding regular coffee mornings, bag packing days and other fundraising activities in order to raise the money to have to hold the main event. As soon as we have more plans set in stone, I will let you all know!

Once again I’d just like to thank you all so much for everything – whether it’s for supporting me or putting me down because you’ve both played a role in getting me to the place I am today. Life wouldn’t be the same if it wasn’t for everything I have been through and for the first time in my life, I can safely say that I don’t want to be anyone but me.

Thank you for reading, have a great week!
C xx

Diary Of Depression


Well, when I say ‘diary’ I really mean that what this post is going to be about is pretty much how I go about living with depression. A lot of people won’t understand why I’m posting this, or maybe a lot of people who know me (even well) will ask me why I posted it in such a public form. But here’s the thing, I started a platform that encourages people to talk out about their mental health issues, eating disorders and self-harm. If I can’t speak out about my own issues, what gives me the right to tell others that it’s okay for them to talk out about theirs?

Continue reading “Diary Of Depression”

Day Nine – This Moment Seems So Long

Hello lovelies! Well, as you can tell my whole 30 Days Of Blogs thing isn’t going exactly to plan, although I’m still going to continue doing it! I’ve not posted everyday, but I’ve done the closest to it that I could. But yeah, on to the blog.

Well, as far as weekends go, I’d say that I’ve had a pretty good one especially considering the week I’ve had. On Friday night I decided to stay at my brother’s house and his girlfriend and I had a sleepover. We watched a movie and ate cakes and pizza, it was just what I needed. Something else that made my night was seeing my nieces. If you remember in my last blog, I spoke about Isla and how she seems to make the world a better place with just one smile. Well, she did. On my way to Jenni’s I popped into the shop to pick up some goodies for us and just as I was heading for the checkout I saw my ex, now he wasn’t just any ex, no, he was the one that wrecked my trust of guys. I think what made seeing him worse, was the fact that he smiled at me. I don’t think I’ve been that angry in a long time, but as soon as I got into Jenni’s, Isla turned around and smiled at me with her arms up. The anger? Yeah, that completely disappeared.


I love my Isla Bee

Family is the one thing that I don’t really blog about much, which considering I come from a family with 12 kids, is pretty surprising. I don’t know why I don’t do it, probably because they piss me off so much at times that I have nothing to write about them. But one thing I ever write about is how much I love them. My family have seen me through so much, and even now they’re getting me through a hard time, one that we both know well.

Every family is different, and people would probably think that my family is pretty odd. I mean, to be honest with you, my family is an odd one. We’re really open with each other, and you’re guaranteed that if you’re spending time with my family you will be infected with laughter. We have a lot of fun, but it’s not all fun and games. You see, we were brought up with the mindset “If you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?” We’ve all been through some really hard times, but it’s at those times that we’ve shown just how strong a family we are. When push comes to shove I know that my family will stand by me, and they know I’ll stand by them.

Speaking of family, you guys may remember how one of the facts in my 100 Facts About Me was that my sister was the only person that knew everything I’d been through. This weekend I’ve spent time with her and it’s so nice just to be able to spend time with her. She’s 29 weeks pregnant which means she’s only got 11 weeks until her babba is here. I’m so proud of her, she’s going to be such an amazing mum that words can’t even describe how lucky this baby is going to be. Yesterday we went and spent time with my dad, which is something we do every Sunday and on the way back we popped into the store and got the supplies to bake a cake. It was so much fun, and it made the week that’s been one of the toughest for me for a while end on a high.

The end product of a family Sunday.

I guess what this post is really about is family. It’s kind of a reminder to you guys and even to me, that family are the people that will love you endlessly, yeah they may piss us off and we my have ridiculous arguments. But at the end of the day, your family is where your life began, don’t take that for granted.

Love and thanks,