Scared of getting PND...

(7 Posts)
ChristmasPud9 Thu 19-Dec-13 16:19:35

My ds is 3 years old and recently dh and I have started to discuss trying for another. I had awful PND with ds which lasted until he was about 18 months. I did recover and he is now the most wonderful little boy, I am completely in love with him.

I am incredibly scared that if I have another I will get PND again. ds had colic and was a "crier" he had awful tantrums which I felt like I couldn't cope with and I would spend day after day in tears. I have only just begun to enjoy being a mother and I don't want to have that snatched away from me. I always envisioned having 2 or 3 children but I honestly could not cope with having PND again.

Has anyone been through this? Should I hold off until ds is a bit older? I really would like another child but I don't know if it would be fair to us as a family. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

domesticslattern Thu 19-Dec-13 16:30:43

It is wonderful that you are completely in love with your DS and totally understandable that you are scared about your PND recurring.

You don't say if you did anything to recover from your PND or whether it was just a matter of time. I had PND with DC1 and was very worried about it coming back with DC2. I had however, had a fair bit of therapy due to my PND to understand my "ishoos" (relating to my own childhood) so that stood me in much better stead. I also figured out that a big problem with DC1 was that I had very few friends and no support, so was incredibly lonely and isolated. I built up my support network so that with DC2 I had lots of people to hang around with, convinced MIL to come once a week to help, forked out for a cleaner and also DH dropped his hours. All of these things really helped me feel less abandoned.

I think you can take good steps to plan for PND, according to what you think might have set it off last time, and help yourself avoid it. For example, maybe anti-depressants worked last time, so you would get yourself prescribed them quickly. Maybe you would need more help with your DS- especially if your new baby is a "crier" too, so save money for a nursery place to continue. Maybe you might want to have some therapy to talk through the issues. All things to consider. You will know best what might work, if you reflect on what you think "went wrong" last time.

Does any of that sound helpful?

insomniacrisis Thu 19-Dec-13 16:42:47

I'm in the same position as you Christmaspud although a little bit further on as I'm actually 9 weeks pregnant with DC2. DS1 is 4 and I was adamant for at least the first 3 1/2 years that I did not want another as I couldn't risk PND again. DH however was very broody and although I know he would never want me to have another just to please him, he is such a good dad and I didn't want to deprive him of the chance of another child because of my fears.
Anyway, I am now telling myself that even if I do get PND again, at least I will know that I can get through it and that it isn't necessarily permanent. I also know what meds work for me ( though it took me so long to get off them that I would like to avoid them if at all possible).
I am having a horrible pregnancy so far with morning sickness, heartburn and insomnia though and I know if something was to happen and I miscarried ( god forbid!), I wouldn't be trying again.

ChristmasPud9 Thu 19-Dec-13 21:02:53

Thank you for the responses. domestic I was on anti depressants, citalopram which helped a lot. I think the worst thing was that I didn't have anyone close by to help me out, we live far away from family because of dh's work and I am quite shy so find it difficult to make friends. Our house is in a semi-rural location and I don't drive so to get to anywhere decent it is quite a long bus ride so I often found myself stuck in day after day just me and ds. dh helped as much as he could but he works long hours. My labour was horrible and ds was a difficult baby. Because he cried a lot it felt like I was failing as a mother to make him happy and I just withdrew inside myself. I didn't feel connected with him at all when he was first born. Gradually as he got older he stopped crying so much and I started to cope better, I got out the house more and started doing fun things with him but the first year was hell.

Thanks so much for the advice, I think I need to write down what I think the contributing factors were to my PND and go through them with dh and see if we can work them out before we start trying.

[insomnia] congratulations on your pregnancy, sorry to hear you're so ill with it! I had quite an easy pregnancy and thought a baby would be a breeze so I think it hit me even harder when I was struggling to cope. wink it's good to know there are people who understand how I feel.

Katiejon Thu 19-Dec-13 21:15:09

Also speak to midwifery team to see what additional help is available.
I had post natal psychosis with dd (now 5), and had the same midwife at every appointment to monitor me.
I am also being monitored by a psychiatrist.
Ds is now 7 weeks, prozac is helping to give me a lovely time with ds.

domesticslattern Thu 19-Dec-13 23:35:38

Gosh, I really feel for you christmaspud. It is a scary decision to make, and a lot of us have been there. However, you sound like you are able to put your finger on what happened, which is halfway there. And if you get pg you can talk to your MW quite early on about going back on anti-depressants, as Katiejon sensibly suggests. My experience was that they kept quite a close eye on me with DC2 after they found out about my experience with DC1- MW visits, HV visits, even a specialist mental health midwife. Felt a bit over the top at the time but in hindsight I can see it was reassuring.
I am very positive now about my experience of giving DC1 a sibling and also giving myself another crack at mothering a baby and this time managing to cope a bit better. The difference is huge, because I was going into parenting DC2 with my eyes open whereas with DC1 I was utterly naive and also refused to admit to my problems.
Isolation can be so hard, do you know more people locally now? Could you learn to drive? I would even move if I could. It is so important not to be isolated.
I do hope all goes OK for you insomnia.

Katiejon Fri 20-Dec-13 10:29:38

I agree with domestic, it's different second time around, I am much better prepared emotionally for baby number 2.

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