‘Twas the night before Christmas

1982, Christmas Eve…….fully pregnant, calm…… thinking I had a week to go before delivery, then suddenly while cooking dinner I  got a clear sign that baby had different ideas, I was alone, not even sure the phone would work as I was in a developing country, there was no ambulance service anyway but I rang a friend, somehow I got to another friend who was a midwife,finally the baby was delivered in the early hours of Xmas day.

Throughout the pregnancy I was physically well, but I was anxious that I may experience the puerperal psychosis my mum had when she had my older brother, some women experience it with each pregnancy they have, in between pregnancies they remain free from ‘altered states’. I don’t remember the birth being painful but it was an overwhelmingly spiritual and physical journey, where I felt pushed into a different level of awareness, perhaps for some it is just hard to tie those realms together, we all experience pain in  different ways. The baby blues, which is very common often comes the day after delivery, for me I sobbed uncontrollably for a couple of hours, this and the much  later experience  at menopause has made me curious about the connection between sudden hormone change and mental wellbeing.

The journey home from hospital later in the day was the scarier experience, this little scrawny bundle totally dependant on me for everything……anyway we all survived and I had her at home for 16 years, always independent, that’s the age she decided to leave home. For the most part she has made her own path with little input from me, but when she has been on the scary boundaries of ‘night country’,* she has called home.

Although we will be separated by a large distance tomorrow on her 30th, I know that’s where my thoughts will be, ‘may God bless and keep you always’, darling…….Obi…., she would never forgive me for using her real name!


* Sam Keen, American Philosopher calls this ‘the Dark Night of the Soul’

4 thoughts on “‘Twas the night before Christmas

    • Thank you for thanking me! I enjoyed the course and meeting the group. each of the team brings some ‘heart’ to the group, either on the blog or the Facebook group page, I look forward to seeing what friendship and group creativity can contribute to well being in Leeds.


  1. Another lovely blog post. You write about your experiences so well that my imagination and senses come alive. Your curiosity about the hormonal link between ‘mental illness’ (I never know what to call it!) is really interesting and there definitely seems to be a connection! If not causality. Is it the stress/change or the hormones? I wonder if there is any research or evidence?
    Thanks again,


    • Yet again I felt the post was too personal, however I felt I wanted to express a little of the drama of being a parent, or a child, physically of course the female, literally carries the weight of this enormity in the early stages of child rearing, it does impact on her own personal development, consequently it can result in all kinds of personal conflict, I understood my mum better after I had my child, interestingly, it wasn’t until I had my breakdown that I found ‘forgiveness’ for some of the unhelpful behaviour she demonstrated from time to time, she at least managed to be a more gentle mum than me, motherhood felt like a trap at
      times, I held some resentment for that. The hormonal/stress connection in
      breakdown is intriguing, perhaps WE can do the research? One factor in my ‘break’ could also have been described as ’empty nest syndrome’, sudden loss of long term role/identity, hormonal loss coming at same time?.
      Your ‘spark’ is alive and well! not sure who said it of ‘depression’ but they likened it to caged bird who’s wings are beating against the bars that entrap it.


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