If you think that title is a mouthful, wait till you listen to the episode…
I was so overwhelmed to be invited to be part of Maisie Nicholls’ ‘The Postnatal Podcast’ that despite being way out of my comfort zone, I couldn’t refuse.
With very little preparation, and no real plan, I dialled in with Maisie to share my first hand experiences around motherhood and the postnatal period. Maisie was also particularly interested in my relationship with alcohol throughout which ultimately lead to me deciding to become alcohol free. Of course none of these conversations would be complete without a discussion around mental health.
So we recorded the podcast, and I talked. And talked. And talked.
Following the period of edits and production, the podcast was published this weekend, and I have to admit I was slightly terrified at what the hell I had waffled on about for the best part of an hour. I was also dreading hearing my ridiculous Gravesend accent talking back at me.
So I listened, and I had a totally unexpected reaction.
Well, I still cringed at the sound of my own voice. But I felt hugely proud of the story I shared, the messages I stand by, and the open and frank vulnerability in which I articulated the lessons motherhood had taught me. It also reaffirms why I am sober, and what that means to me.
So, instead of hiding away and pretending this podcast never happenned, I want to shout it from the rooftops. I am chuffed to bits to have been asked to contribute, and I know my contribution is valid. I sincerely hope it reaches another Mum, Dad, person who might relate to some of the content.
So please, listen, share. I hope you like.
Thank you Maisie for the incredible honour.
Maisies Intro / Podcast summary:
This week I’m chatting with Sarah. Sarah is the writer behind the blog ‘mum muddling through’ where she has written about her experiences of motherhood for the past five years.
In this episode we cover loads of topics and Sarah is really open and honest about some very difficult experiences she has had. I need to share that Sarah talks about the loss of her second daughter when she was 24 weeks pregnant so this episode comes with a trigger warning in relation to that.
Sarah talks about her postnatal experience with her first daughter; she talks about feeling quite overwhelmed with all the visitors she had and we had a discussion about it sometimes being hard to balance wanting family members to meet the baby and also wanting to have time to rest and recover.
Sarah talks about the loss of her second daughter and how this impacted on her. Sarah became pregnant with her third daughter a few months after her loss and she shared how she felt very anxious during that pregnancy and didn’t really believe she would be having another baby until she had her in her arms.
We also talk a lot about Sarah’s relationship with alcohol. Sarah has been sober for just over 18 months and she shares how her identity used to be closely intertwined with drinking culture and wanting to still be ‘fun’ and not boring (I think this is something lots of mums struggle with – I did!) Sarah talks about there being a time that she wouldn’t be able to comprehend not drinking again. However, her relationship with alcohol became more tricky after her birth of her third daughter and started to have a negative impact on her relationship with her husband and her children which led to her quitting alcohol completely.
We also discussed how stopping drinking led to Sarah realising she had depression and anxiety and had been using alcohol to mask this. Sarah sought support from her GP and has found ways to recover from this; we talked about some of the self care techniques Sarah has used to recover from her mental health difficulties.
This is an information packed episode with loads of different topics covered. I really love the way Sarah is so frank when she’s talking about some of the difficult experiences she’s had and I think this is a must listen for anyone.
Timed podcast guide
Just in case you want to scroll to any given topic…
05.40 How did you prepare for your first baby?
07.22 What was your postnatal experience?
10.09 On scheduling visitors…and failing
13.03 The first few weeks and months
14.53 ‘ The Fog’ – Finding it hard to focus on anything (Eastenders No More)
“Everything just felt different“
16.36 The Fog lifting
18.30 Finding a tribe
“I was in inner turmoil of Who Am I?”
21.08 Falling pregnant for the second time
“This wasn’t part of the plan”
23.38 Life taught us a very hard lesson – baby loss at 24 weeks
25.30 Empty arms
” I desperately wanted that second baby back in my arms”
25.55 Pregnant again; Hope, happiness and fear in pregnancy after loss
26.40 Our family was complete
27.07 Coping strategies in Pregnancy after loss
“I’m a talker; that is my coping strategy”
29.57 Third pregnancy postnatal experience; managing visitors and prioritising bondng
“We made some big differences”
32.38 Adapting to life with two young kids
“It felt a lot more natural”
34.19 Redundancy, the next chapter becoming a stay at home Mum
“It was an easy decision to make”
37.04 Starting a blog
“Writing has always been a huge part of how I let off steam…”
38.04 The transition from party girl
“Alcohol had come to represent the old me”
41.56 The seed were sown – giving up alcohol
“[Before that] I couldn’t imagine a life without alcohol”
43.00 Something in me snapped…
“I didn’t want to be that person anymore”
44.24 Sober lifebuoys… Island Living 365 and The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober
“I didn’t identify as an alcoholic”
47.00 Attitudes towards drinking, women and societal norms
48.38 Repercussions of not drinking; mental health
“There was nowhere to hide”
50.00 Diagnosis and treatment; anxiety and depression
51.44 Treatment; medication and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
“Every piece of the jigsaw came back together”
52.30 Returning to work
“We found a way”
53.40 Motherhood is an evolution, don’t fear change
54.40 Were the mental health issues there all along? Social anxiety
57.00 Self awareness and self care
“In this moment, what do I need?”
58.20 “As women we are too good at sending the wrong messages. As a society that’s really damaging…In a world where women champion women, we should be championing them to do something more productive – not just to get obliterated in a bottle of wine, because that is not the answer”
Find me at
Instagram @mummuddlingthrough and @_Last_Orders_