Saturday, 17 November 2012

Bliss - What They Mean to Me

You will have heard me talk about Bliss on numerous occasions. Before Joseph was born, I used to support a number of charities, but I had never ever directly benefitted from a charity before. Suddenly I felt very dependent on Bliss.

You see our unit, being a smaller Level 2 unit, didn't have Family Support Workers or counsellors. We had the nurses but very often they were very busy, and didn't have the time they would have like to spend with us as parents.

The very first contact I had was with their Parent Information Guide. I drank in every word, getting glimmers of hope, but also a very clear picture of the obstacles ahead. I hung on to that booklet and referred back to it often.

The next contact was on Day 5, broken and weeping I rang and spoke to a lovely parent volunteer who had stood where I had stood, who reassured me, who spoke to me gently and helped me regroup. Joseph was critical at the time, and I was terrified. I will never forget that lady's voice telling me that things could be ok. Not that they would, but they could be.

My husband rang them when he was worried about me. I lost the plot for a bit, the endless worrying, the ups and the crushing downs, and the medication I was on for my blood pressure, as well as the pressure of expressing breast milk, all had a dire effect on my mental health. I felt a huge pressure to be calm and happy all the time, which made me very difficult to live with.

I rang Bliss a number of times during Joseph's stay, and afterwards as well. Now Bliss have even better systems in place, including the new Bliss Buddy system where parents can be matched with a Buddy, like a mentor, before they take their baby home. Someone who can be a "go to" person and give vital reassuarance and support.

Through the Bliss message boards I have met loads of premmie mums who have been a constant source of support and deep friendship. Without them, I have no idea how I would have coped.

I am proud to be associated with Bliss and proud to be a premmie mum. 

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