To ask if you think i have postnatal depression(17 Posts)
I'll preface this with I don't think I do but DH is worried so I should give it some consideration. It's long but I've summerised at the end.
DS is 4months, wonderful and lovely. He's usually a very happy baby, had jabs on Wednesday so has been a bit out of sorts since then. He is ebf, and a bottle refuser. He feeds every 2 hours day and night pretty much and is fed on demand.
I feel trapped, fat and like my life is nothing but housework and motherhood. I realized today that its exactly1 year to the weekend that I had a decent night out. As two days later I got my bfp. I don't need alcohol to have a good time but it's been a year since I've not had to worry about what I eat, drink, wear or been too sick/tired/uncomfortable to enjoy myself.
I feel trapped. I can't go out without DS except for an hour or so, and that's usually to the supermarket etc, as I don't really have anywhere else to go! We can't go out together and have no time without DS. We have no family near by and DM and PIL are the only people I'd inflict a cranky ds in need of a comfort boob on (all our friends whilst lovely are child free).
I've also got gynae issues which leave me feeling totally unsecured and dirty and so intimacy has suffered, actual sex is impossible, not that I want him touching me anyway.
I can't lose my baby weight, I'm comfort eating as a) breastfeeding leaves me starving and b)food is the only nice thing I have these days (other than DS). I can't do much exercise due to gynae issuesrestricting what I'm able to do and the breastfeeding meaning I can't reliably get to a class I could do.
So, in short, I feel fat (I am overweight), none of my clothes fit me and I don't feel nice in New clothes so am very reluctant to spend money on them (I've tried hoping I'll feel better about myself), I feel unsexy and dirty- the gynae issues are being addressed but it'll be a long road, intimacy is off the table and as a result my relationship is suffering- this is my fault, DH is being caring, loving and sensitive but is starting to get hacked off by my rejection. I feel trapped and as though I'm just a mum and nothing more, the many baby groups I go to aren't helping this. I'm not enjoying breastfeeding though having no issues and never have so to stop feels like a selfish choice iyswim.
I'm taking care of my appearance, wearing make up and showering daily, I'm keeping the house clean and tidy, I'm going out regularly and not spending my days cooped up. I'm very much enjoying my time with ds, he's so wonderful. I've had depression a few years ago- 10 or so and occasional 'down' periods since but I don't feel depressed now and I'm not displaying my usual depression symptoms (irritability, risk taking, itchy feet, poor sleep, ruminating).
Thanks for reading, views welcome.
You do not sound depressed (and if you have had depression, you would know how it feels for you) but you sound understandably frustrated, a bit bored and possibly slightly appalled at the huge change in lifestyle that has beset you, as well as loving your new little baby!
To me, this is all completely normal. It doesn't last forever, as well, the EB slacks off, I went for sleeping through the night (through sleep training) around 8 months, and have felt more and more like myself as the children have got older.
You sound like you are actually doing amazingly well!
The intimacy issue is more difficult, but you need to be honest with DH it is not due to depression but to physical problems which may be ongoing for a while. Keep talking.
It doesn't sound like you are depressed to me - it sounds like you are in a very tough position. EBF babies are really difficult and absolutely leave you feeling trapped.
Many will be along shortly to give more advice but one thing I would say is - ask your friends for help. I know it doesn't feel as though anyone can "do what you do", but one easy way of getting a little time to yourself is to ask them to take your son out in the pram. If he is happy in there, or if you can time it so that he will sleep, it's a very easy way for people with no experience to babysit. The weather is warm, they will enjoy the walk, and your baby will be fine. Meanwhile you can get a little time to be on your own.
Bottle refusers are difficult, really difficult. It's hard to accept that they will survive without you. However, he is getting older, and soon will be able to drink from a cup if he can't already. Maybe a little cup with an integrated straw. I would put a plan in place to reduce the breastfeeding if you are not enjoying it. One feed with formula, and also stretch those feeds out a bit so you are feeding more like once every 3 hours. Your son will resist, but only because he is in the habit of BFing every 2 hours. But if you are not enjoying it and it's having this effect on you, it will be worth it.
Things sound tough right now but they will get better. Do please ask your friends to help. This can be difficult to do, I know, but people actually like feeling helpful. They can take the baby round as they do their shopping, for example, it doesn't have to be a huge shift in their routine.
Good luck - sounds like you are doing really well.
I'm not a health professional but how you feel sounds perfectly normal to me. It's a massive change and I can identify with a lot of your post
I think you sound fed up but not depressed. Most depressed people struggle to keep themselves & the house clean & find getting out of the house difficult
Also have to say that your husband MUST adjust his expectations regarding intimacy. 4 months is really not very long - if he's already getting annoyed by your rejection, he needs to have a word with himself.
In my opinion I would say no. What have you have described sounds like how 99% of new mothers feel. Not belittling it as it is bloody hard! But most GP's are hot on PND and will listen to you and give their opinion if you are worried.
When I had PND, there were extremes of how I felt. At best I would feel sick, anxious, and have no interest in anything. I would go days without speaking to anyone, eating anything or washing. At my worst I wanted to literally slam my head through a window and I couldn't even look at my baby.
You do need to make time for you though. Even if you don't have PND now, your situation means it could eventually spiral down into that. It can take hold months after the birth. Could you try leaving DS with your DH for a couple of hours with no other option but the bottle?
I'm not a professional but to me you sound like you are having a proportionate reaction to the situation, perhaps with the exception of some of the words you use to describe yourself.
I sometimes think other people can use the "postnatal depression" tag to question the validity of perfectly valid feelings, if that makes any sense.
It's perfectly normal to feel like shit when your body has been through the mill and you have to wake up every two hours for months on end. So long as you are not feeling out of control and you are still enjoying your child, then it seems to me you are normal. Bits of motherhood are rubbish and it would be worrying if you didn't recognise that.
However, a couple of things stuck out in your post. You use the word "dirty" twice to describe your gynae issues. It's quite a loaded word. It's such a hard thing to talk about but I think there are places on here where you can start a conversation (not AIBU) about postnatal damage and you might get some good support there.
You also describe yourself as fat. Are you feeling under pressure to lose the baby weight? You sound like you are caring for yourself well (I didn't get out my make up bag for 5 months after I had my first babies and now it rarely makes an appearance even though all my children are at school). You might want to just check in with yourself about whether your feelings about your body are affecting your mood to a more than normal extent.
Finally, if you don't want to be intimate with your DP that is your prerogative and you are only four months in. Do you feel that there is affection in your relationship or is that on hold?
Just wanted to say I felt exactly the same! I ebf (still bf at 12 months!) Had gynae issues and had lots of baby weight to lose!
Very quickly though baby will feed less and less, in a few months time you'll be able to leave your ds and have more time to yourself / as a couple, and when solids are introduced it gives other people the chance to feed him instead of always being you. My DD is a bottle refuser but now we're on solids it's not an issue at all, in fact I wonder now why I got so stressed over it!
as for now, have you got someone you can confide in in RL? Can someone take ds for a nice walk in pram etc whilst you have a bath now and again or read a magazine? Leave housework slide a little!
And as for gynae obviously I don't know what happened to you, but I had a 4th degree tear and really felt like my sex life was over for good, it was awful. But actually I feel great now, having sex (when not too tired!!!!) And am fortunate to have made a good recovery, though I need to do my exercises more... But at the beginning I thought it was the worst thing in the world but it did get better. I hope you find the same
thanks for the replies, in response to some questions/responses- Japanese- I'm using intimacy in its broad sense, I won't let dh touch me- short hugs and Pecks on the cheek are my limit, I can see why he feels rejected- it isn't about sex per se, he's very understanding about that.
T1- I'm wetting myself, often and lots, I smell and therefore feel dirty, unclean, I'm wearing tena lady and do not feel good about it, so yes it's a loaded word but also a descriptive one! I don't like how I look, so am putting pressure on myself to lose the weight. I had weight to lose pre-pregnancy and was using ttc to prompt a lifestyle change, I was doing well but got pregnant very quickly! So didn't lose much before hand! I was very unhappy with my weight then, the flab left by pregnancy hasn't helped at all. I was very slim and comfortable in my body until about 3 years ago when I gained the weight, partially due to the comfort of being in a relationship but also an underactive thyroid, which is now under control.
Thanks everyone. I thought as you've all said and will take the things you've said on board and put some things in action.
Best of luck Junosmum - I am certain that things will get easier - but it is very hard to see that when you are in the midst of everything. But soon your son will be more independent.
One of mine was a bottle refuser - what helped in the end was nursery, is that on the horizon for you at all? Not for everyone but it was an unexpected perk. Absolutely would not accept a bottle from me!
When I had PND, I did the Edinburgh scale online, it measures PND. I scored quite high and took the score to my GP. Try that.
I can empathise with you I have a 5 month old and urinary incontinence from a traumatic forceps delivery and I feel exactly the same - dirty unhygienic and absolutely hate tena lady but have to wear as wetting myself in the middle of the supermarket is not a situation I wish to put myself through again. I'm also ebf every couple of hours plus have a toddler in tow.
My anxiety levels have been through the roof and I think i'm just about to be diagnosed with post natal ocd. I have started medication which is beginning to help and am off to see mental health team next week. You sound like you are doing amazingly well much better than me. I can't even face the thought of sex or intimacy after alot of internal tearing and a large episiotomy. I'm hoping things will continue to get better with time as I hope they will for you also.
Flamingoshoes- thanks for sharing. Horrible isn't it! It's a traumatic forceps delivery that's caused it for me.
Aw OP I can really empathise with you. My daughter will be 15 weeks on Sunday, EBF and bottle refuser. I'm co-sleeping, feeding to sleep and she feeds frequently day and night (hourly during the day, sometimes twice an hour, and about 2 hourly at night, think she is having a growth spurt).
For the past couple of weeks I haven't been able to put her down during the day as she just wants to be carried about all the time and is interested in everything. She totally refuses bottles so I can't leave her with anyone for more than half an hour. It's very VERY draining at the minute, and I feel like I don't really have much of a life! I look at all the bottle feeding mums having their nights out and spa days and can't help feeling a bit jealous.
But look at it this way, it's literally only a couple more months until you can introduce solids, the BF will become less and less frequent and you will gradually get some freedom back. However if you really don't want to BF anymore then don't feel guilty for switching to formula. Your mental health and happiness are more important and you have given your baby an amazing start in life.
Don't worry about your weight for now, be kind to yourself.
Your partner should be understanding. You have the rest of your lives for intimacy and couple time.
I know the days can feel so long but really the baby stage goes so quickly and things will get much easier soon (I tell myself this multiple times a day when my baby is fussing ).
Hope you are feeling better soon
Yes - Never again do I want to see a pair of forceps as i'm sure you don't either!
Join the discussion
Please login first.