To think DH could be a bit more interested in remembering our DS as a baby?

(38 Posts)
slatternlymother Wed 09-Jan-13 22:29:12

Following really from watching OBEM tonight, and I'm well aware I might be being a bit unreasonable; I'm on atm and starting a new diet, so a bit emotional anyway.

I was chatting about DS and his birth (it wasn't difficult; just very quick) and DH kind of went 'mmm' and 'yeah', I was asking him questions about bits I'd forgotten and it was clear he just wasn't interested in talking about it.

I asked him why and how he felt, it's not something I talk about much (this is the first time in easily 6 months) so I don't feel it's an overdone subject. He said that he struggled so much during the first year, that he doesn't like talking about it.

I understand he suffered; perhaps he had some sort of male PND. I certainly had very debilitating PND for the first year, and it was hard. I know there were some shit times, really horrible ones. But there were some good times too. DS' birth being one of them, and there are so many things I'd like to ask DH and get an answer for. I know he suffered, but I did too and I'm ready to put it away now, and try to remember the good times. I don't want it to be some kind of 'black year' that no one talks about because it was so shit. Because it wasn't. We're out the other end now.

I don't know. I'm probably being a sap. But if I can't reminisce with DH, who can I reminisce with?


CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 22:33:03

YANBU to feel the way you do, but you can't assume that because you are ready to put it away now that he will be too.

Maybe in time he will want to talk about it, but if he doesn't at the moment then it doesn't mean he never will.

slatternlymother Wed 09-Jan-13 22:34:22

It makes me feel like I've failed sad

slatternlymother Wed 09-Jan-13 22:37:15

Everyone else I know coped. EVERYONE. No one else got PND. It was JUST ME. I know this for a fact. Because I asked.

No one else cried for weeks on end, saw the weakest side to their DH. I was so disappointed in us both. We were so confident, and we were crap. Our world fell apart and it took us a year to put it back together. If we could go back now, I know we'd do better. I just know it, and that just adds to my disappointment.

Purpleprickles Wed 09-Jan-13 22:39:24

Maybe he isn't quite ready to talk about it just now but this doesn't mean he won't in the future. If it was tough for him too then I think you are being a bit unreasonable to expect him to be ready to open up just because you are. Maybe if you try mentioning the good times you remember every now and then and the things you feel positive about it will help him to start open up? Also some men find it very hard to talk about emotional things. At the moment my dh and I are trying and failing to conceive dc2 and he finds this very difficult to talk about so the conversations around it are very hard and have I feel have to be well timed.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 22:40:16

Your post doesn't read like you have failed at all. I don't mean to sound like I'm belittling your feelings, the way you feel is the way you feel. But you said quite a lot in your OP that makes you sound strong and positive.

You had debilitating PND at the same time as your DH was suffering with depression, and now you are ready to move on and remember the good things. You're out the other side of something very very difficult. That sounds far from 'failed' to me.

marriedinwhite Wed 09-Jan-13 22:41:08

DH's are funny buggers. My DH didn't want to talk about that sort of stuff but just this morning he blurted out about how cute ds was at 3 years old on a train journey albeit difficult to keep still and entertained and under control and went all sloppy about him being white blonde and thigh height. Most unusual. DS is 6'2", 18 and drives btw.

They do register - just not when we want them to. DH can talk about it now and lot's of other stuff he just couldn't when I really needed him to. May be it's taken 22 years for him to loosen up - give him time.

And well done - the early days are crap and hard and then by the time your dc are 5ish everyone else admits they lied and it was crap for them too.

Purpleprickles Wed 09-Jan-13 22:42:33

Just because everyone in your rl coped (though I'd be amazed if they all sailed through) doesn't mean you are alone in this. I didn't have diagnosed PND but I found the first 6 months very tough. Dh and I argued constantly and I saw a very different side to him too and I did wonder if he had PND too.

You can't be responsible for the way your dh feels. He has to work through that himself.

Bananapickle Wed 09-Jan-13 22:44:42

I know exactly how you and my DH were a complete mess when our DD was born, we fell apart. It is only now that our DD is very nearly 2 that we feel remotely normal.
My DH isn't that keen on talking about her birth and the first year really was a blur (I also suffered PND and didn't tell anyone).
YANBU to want to talk about the good times but it may be that your DH needs a bit more time.

slatternlymother Wed 09-Jan-13 22:46:39

I felt like everyone was looking at me and thinking 'God, look how badly she's coping... Glad that's not me!' They probably did!

purple I know I am being a bit silly. But sometimes, and it really isn't often, I promise you. I don't feel like I'm skewed in my perception here; I really want to talk. Fill in some of the blanks and hear about his emotions. I really want to hear his side of the story, and I'm afraid it will be locked away in his heart forever sad

slatternlymother Wed 09-Jan-13 22:49:03

Thankyou for all your lovely stories btw.

banana Thankyou for sharing that.

You know, (and I bet I sound incredibly patronising or blase here, but I don't mean to, honestly, even if we are in AIBU! grin )
it's quite true when people say, with your pfb, you want to remember every little thing, you have loads of photos, and lock of hair, and little shoes, and fill in the baby book, and remember every single milestone, even ones like "Baby's First Fart" and discuss their poos and keep all the little things like the cord stump hospital id bands and whatnot, and then you have DCno2 and take a few pictures, and maybe remember their first word cos it's a swear word and how much they weighed at birth. Then if you have more, like me by the time you get to number 4 or 5, they're lucky if they have a sock on each foot, let alone matching ones, and you go through all the names, including pets, before saying "oi you, the one with the panda, you know which one you are" and the school ask for a baby picture for a project so you send one of your pfb thinking they'll never know because there just aren't any of no5 child, and their first word is well, it must have happened at some point because they can say "mam he's looking at/breathing on me" when the fight breaks out, and as long as nobody is bleeding or on fire, it's all good.
Be kind to yourself lovey - nobody expects you to remember every little thing, honestly.
I had pnd after my pfb was born, and if I'm honest, probably ptsd too - I have just blanks where his first year should be for a lot of it, and he is 22 now, with his own home, a job, planning his wedding to a lovely fiancee, and it is ALL RIGHT that I can't remember his first word, or when he walked, or much else. If all else fails, make it up. It just doesn't matter after a while, really... he is healthy and happy and beloved and that's what counts, not the minutiae.

marriedinwhite Wed 09-Jan-13 22:49:31

And OP your ds is not going to remember the bad first year. He is going to remember his mum and dad shouting from the touch line, being at his first school play, reading his favourite story, the size of his baby brother or sister's tiny hands, the day his best friend pinched him, the day you hugged him and wiped up his first graze, his first time on a two wheeler without stabilizers, his favourite dinner, father christmases muddy footprint on the sitting room floor - all the things you will share as a family and a mummy - all the things you will laugh about, some of the things you will cry about and most of all being loved. And they always remember the occasion you called them a little shitbag - every time you tell them not to swear.

slatternlymother Wed 09-Jan-13 22:51:50

I want to talk it through with someone so much, I get these moment now and again where I want to so much. I don't know why.

DH shared that with me. It feels like he's withholding his side of the story (not on purpose), it's just how it feels.

I'm not talking about it with friends; id probably bore them to death!

It doesn't seem fair that I can't talk about it without being met with a steel wall.

Purpleprickles Wed 09-Jan-13 22:52:47

Oh please don't think I think you are being silly. I don't at all. I just get annoyed by the situation of new mums (and I include myself) feeling that we should find it all so easy and I don't think the ones who pretend it is help that situation at all. Becoming a parent is the most frightening thing I have done and of course the most rewarding. I will always remember standing in my kitchen wishing I was at work teaching a class of 30 because it was easier and less frightening than looking after my newborn.

I can totally understand you wanting to talk to dh and you needing answers but it seems like he needs a bit more time.

marriedinwhite Wed 09-Jan-13 22:54:10

PomBear - you just made me realise how much I need to pee grin.

OP - you are undoubtedly a great mum.

Would talking to a counsellor help maybe OP - maybe your DH would even go with you, if he knew it meant a lot to you?

slatternlymother Wed 09-Jan-13 22:54:40

pombear you didn't sound patronising at all. Honestly.

It's all so helpful, especially as I'm a bit hormonal atm smile

Purpleprickles Wed 09-Jan-13 22:54:55

Can you talk it through here?

marriedinwhite Wed 09-Jan-13 22:57:00

Talk it through with us. We've all been there and we've all had DH's who didn't much want to listen. First babies are hard, harder because often when you have them you don't know how your partner will react. By the time you have the second you know your partner better and you know what to expect.

If you really need to talk can you talk to a counsellor and get it out of your system that way. It's really normal to feel as you do I think. My DH's response was "well we've got a lovely baby so that's fine".

slatternlymother Wed 09-Jan-13 22:57:46

I'm not a good mum; passable maybe! My offences include making him have a bath and clean his teeth even though he screams all the way through (he is just too damn heavy to shower any longer), hiding his doctor's case for a week so he'd play with his Christmas presents, and still occasionally using the pram because I need to get a trip done quickly. Oh, and last week I fed him a bit of Twix blush

Fakebook Wed 09-Jan-13 22:58:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Glitterkitten24 Wed 09-Jan-13 23:00:11

Op I kind of get where your DHis coming from.
I had a failed induction, followed by eventual crash section. At the time I only thought 'at least me and baby are safe', but as time has gone on, I find it difficult to think back to my son being born and feel anything but terror at how scared I felt and how out of control I was of the whole thing.

I guess it wast a traumatic birth compared to what some people experience, but I can't really talk about it yet as it only brings up bad memories for me.
And when hubby stopped tv channel hopping at OBEM the other night I all but bit his head off that I didn't want to watch it (loved it before!)

Anyway, I'm rambling but I guess he will talk when he's ready to. Don't take it personally, and enough of the 'failure' talk, I don't believe for a minute that you aren't doing a fabulous job as a mum.

slatternlymother Wed 09-Jan-13 23:00:36

I have had counselling for PND and it did really help; it helped me realise my DH had been depressed as well and that it wasn't his fault. I felt an irrational anger (and this is fucking HORRIBLE. Evil even), that if I had such severe PND, he shouldn't have gotten ill. Like he didnt have the right, like he should have looked after me more, taken care of me.

There. I've said it. That's horrible. It was how I felt at the time. Not any more, but at the time.

slatternlymother Wed 09-Jan-13 23:01:00

No he is 2.3 blush

thebody Wed 09-Jan-13 23:03:13

Now u listen to me op!!! Hear it loud and clear!!!


It's perfectly understandable to want to chat about your birth to your dh. I do this with my dh about our oldest and he is 23!!! He nearly died and I didn't know.. Dh told me after and about how ill Iwe bith were.He still finds it hard to talk about it and its frustrating as you want to fill in the blanks.

I know it's because he loves us and thought we would die. Maybe your dh feels the same and wants to focus on the now...

4 kids later and I still want to talk about it. He still doesn't.

Op your dh means well but just wanted to let u know totally understand.

marriedinwhite Wed 09-Jan-13 23:04:42

That sounds like being a good mum to me *slatternlymother*. Being a bad mum include leaving them to sit in their poop when you are on the pop, not bathing them at all, hitting them, being unkind, showing no love and selling their Xmas presents for a hit. They like chocolate. Mine had a sweetie ration from very small because it was a very small thing that could be taken away when they were naughty.

A very wise mummy said to me once that it was perfectly sensible to give a child a packet of smarties if they were doing your head in because a filling in a milk tooth was far better than a wallop from a mummy at the end of her tether and I think there's some truth in that. And there's nothing at all wrong with a sweet treat.

slatternlymother Wed 09-Jan-13 23:04:49

Thankyou thebody

<sniffs, wipes snot on sleeve>

Purpleprickles Wed 09-Jan-13 23:04:58

Ok I'll see your bad mum stance and raise you (or whatever the betting talk is).... not strapping ds into his buggy when he was 2 and then accidentally tipping him into the road, yelling at him for various reasons on various days, forcing him to bath and have hair washed through screams, losing him for approx 5mins in legoland, opening the car door onto his head...

Purpleprickles Wed 09-Jan-13 23:08:01

And I don't think you are horrible for being cross that your DH was depressed when you needed support. You were being human.

slatternlymother Wed 09-Jan-13 23:10:49

The most he's ever said is he felt out of control and really frightened.

And I think 'talk to me then. Please. I want to listen. I want to know what it was like for you.'

It's the most intimate thing I've shared with anyone, I was so vulnerable at that moment and he won't share it with me.

I feel like there's this piece missing.

And honestly, that first 6 months was shit. But not all of it. By the time he was 1, we were so sorted. Well. There or thereabouts.

marriedinwhite Wed 09-Jan-13 23:11:11

OP - it just wasn't how you thought it would be and you are grieving for how it should have been. We can't change how it was but we can help you look forward.

I'm going to bed now but will look in again in the morning. And am really glad that some of the sensible mnetters who have been around a while and have older children have come on here for you.

Sleep tight.

Purpleprickles Wed 09-Jan-13 23:19:30

The fact he said he felt frightened and out of control sounds to me like he felt he let you and ds down. He probably felt he should have been in control and to admit that he wasn't and couldn't be must be hard.

I remember the day the drug addict from next door gave my pfb a stolen mars bar to eat, and when I took it away, gave him another one. I have never been able to eat a mars since, I swear it was on the ceiling and in every crevice and orifice... He was one (pfb not druggie) and we were living in a bedsit in a right dodgy area full of bedsits, and this particular person would come round when he was high, to play with the baby's toys confused apparently they are fascinating when one is off ones box on lsd or magic mushrooms hmm
So HA! to your wee bit of twix at 2.3 grin and probably shouldn't be really saying all this but what the hell my exH, pfb's father, once put 6 week old pfb, in his carrycot (in the days when straps for the carrycot counted as a carseat) on the roof of the car, then got in and started to drive off I have never ever moved so fast in my entire life. That was just one of the reasons he was my ex by the time pfb was one!

OliviaPeacein2013Mumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 10-Jan-13 00:03:48

Hi there OP
Do let us know if youd like us to move this to our relationships topic

slatternlymother Thu 10-Jan-13 00:18:08

Oh well, ok if you'd prefer it there smile

Avuncular Thu 10-Jan-13 01:20:34

Enter 'funny bugger' DH

I think we can all go as gooey as the next person - but you just have to choose the moment OP, particularly if it was a tough time for him

Just 'chill out' - it'll all come right in the end. One day you'll both be laughing about it together, and you'll wonder what all the fuss was about

'Men are from Mars', anyone?

piprabbit Thu 10-Jan-13 01:26:12

With hindsight I think I had PND after my DS was born (although it was never diagnosed and I sort of trundled on, going through the motions). I have very, very few memories of my DS's first years. Everything after we got home from hospital is pretty much a blank, I don't remember his first words, or walking, or crawling - just occasional flashbacks like photos of the odd specific moment. It makes me very sad to think about it. I can't even fill in his baby book, so DD has one and DS doesn't.

It is just possible that your DH simply doesn't remember much. Not because he doesn't care but because he can't. Don't assume the worst of him.

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