Finally admitting it's PND, I have no one else to talk to please listen

(30 Posts)
Poycastle Mon 26-Jan-15 08:24:37

Well I tried to hope against hope that I didn't have postnatal depression for almost the entire 6 months of the twins' lives because I was scared what people would think of me - that I was ungrateful, that I had said I could manage when I became a single parent and couldn't manage, in case they thought I was mad and would hurt the babies. I do not want to hurt the babies, I just wish I was not a mother and I feel really sad and guilty about that. I feel like I am in prison. Just feel like I'm walking down a long grey street with no end.

Everyone else seems delighted with the fact they are twins from strangers in the street to my mother's friends. I'm constantly told how lucky I am I DON'T FEEL LUCKY. I have a ruined body, no chance of a man, relationship with my mother has gone down the pan as she adores the twins and just tells me "it's not so bad" "they are here now". She can't understand why she thought I was a nice person and I am not maternal. I find it much easier with my daughter who is quiet and easy to manage as babies go. Sometimes if someone else helps me look after my son I almost feel the weight lifted like it's not so bad. Everyone notices that I find it difficult to look at my son or enjoy feeding him. I never wanted to breastfeed, I'll admit it's vain but I had really nice breasts and very low self esteem about the rest of my body so I wanted to keep one thing that was nice about me. When I was honest and told people this they said it was unbelievable I wouldn't put my child first. So when he couldn't latch on I was secretly pleased and it didn't do them any harm because they were in neonatal for two weeks due to low birth weight and needed the special formula anyway. I managed to do it a bit with my daughter but it was difficult because my son had awful colic, I mean he would scream from one feed to the next and it's impossible to relax with another screaming baby next to you. So I bottle feed him and normally use the time to think about something else as I find it all so monotonous just feeding and changing and stopping babies crying all day. I honestly can't remember why I wanted a baby so much. When I bottle feed him people comment how I don't look at him fondly and he is looking up at me but I don't notice it and just how generally miserable I look and how they don't understand.

He is very noisy and active and although the colic has settled down he still has a tendency to be very whingey, sometimes I can hear the crying ringing in my ears even when it has stopped. I am ashamed to say I don't find him cute or enjoy holding him. I started a course, which I thought would be good to get out the house and meet other people as I don't know anyone near my new house and everyone else was sad because they had to leave their children in the creche, I loved the break. I had my first night out two days ago and thought how much I missed my old life, it wasn't perfect and I suffered from depression and anxiety before but I was someone with a job and not such a monotonous existence. I am meant to be going back in March but am despairing how I will cope with two lots of nursery fees, when I was pregnant i was so optimistic I said I would manage anything and maybe even meet another mum to do a nanny share but I haven't met anyone.

I feel constantly overwhelmed, and ashamed because when the HV kept asking me initially I said fine, fine great because people told me they would take the babies away if I was depressed and then I thought my family would hate me. I thought children would be an addition to my life, not my whole life that I am judged by. I wasn't expecting to look after twins alone and I was secretly in denial they were twins while I was pregnant and would tell people in the street if they asked one day I had a boy next day a girl as I felt so overwhelmed by the idea of looking after them, but always hoped it would be so magical and natural it would be OK especially as I was previously infertile and thought it would solve all my loneliness and problems.

Please please don't judge and if anyone has had similar experiences could you please share them, I am going to the doctor today again to discuss a bit more and I think in part this is my fault for leaving it rather than nipping it in the bud as it's only got worse.

Nolim Mon 26-Jan-15 08:29:34

No one is judging you. Having twins and being a single mum are challenging enough. Please be kind to yourself and give yourself some room to understand your feelings which are perfectly normal.

You are not a bad mum for having pnd. In fact by admiting it and getting help you are a happier better mum. Have reached out for help with your gp?

Nolim Mon 26-Jan-15 08:30:12

Oh sorry. I just realized that you are seeing your gp today!

Grokette Mon 26-Jan-15 08:39:42

I am listening.

I have twins. I had PND. Well, I am bipolar so it was a bit more complicated, but still.

Twins are HARD. I can't even imagine doing it as a single parent. It is so, so hard, and I have to say that people who don't have multiples just do not understand. And the people who say how lucky you are, yes you are lucky, and so am I, but the truth is no-one in their right mind would ask for multiples. It is a whole other world of difficulty, stress and the potential for things to go wrong. It is fucking hard, and you've done six months' worth. That IS an achievement.

None of how you feel is your fault and you must not feel ashamed. I was terrified too that 'someone' was judging me and would take my babies away if I so much as faltered in my smile, so I always said everything was fine. It wasn't.

See the doctor, tell them what you've said here. No-one who is worth anything is going to judge you for admitting you need help or are feeling unwell. Admitting it and seeking help is bloody smart. Hiding it and letting it fester will slowly destroy you.

I will tell you, not flippantly either, that with twins it does get easier. Then it gets hard again, then better for a bit, then hard again, then better. It's a fricking rollercoaster, but you can do it. You can. I swear.

SewingAndCakes Mon 26-Jan-15 08:40:13

Not judging you flowers

This is not your fault. It takes time to develop those feelings for you child/ren sometimes. I too hid my feelings from the HV and wouldn't admit to myself that I was depressed. When I finally did ask for help, no one took my kids away, no one judged me, and I'm so glad I did get help because I feel like myself again. My first baby really knocked me and I felt like the whole world was passing me by.

I carried on and waited it out. Did the same with my second baby. When my third son arrived, it took me 8 months to get help. That's 7 years of depression that I could have addressed earlier if it weren't for the shame I perceived in being depressed (there is no shame in it by the way).

Ignore what other new mums say if they're gushing about motherhood; your feelings are your own and very real to you. You are not a bad mother. You may find that you just prefer a different stage of childhood (personally I prefer toddlers to babies as they are much more interesting).

Are you up for telling anyone (GP/HV) about this yet? flowers

SewingAndCakes Mon 26-Jan-15 08:43:14

And take any offers of help you can! The course was a great idea. I did the same once, mostly to get some child free time. With my 2nd and 3rd I put them in nursery for a couple of mornings a week when they reached 2 years old. Best thing I ever did, because I now have some free time and I'm happier and more engaged with them as a result.

Poycastle Mon 26-Jan-15 08:44:44

Hi thank you so much for your really kind replies. Actually people have made comments like "I don't see how anyone could regret having such a lovely little boy" or " all he wants is his mummy and you don't enjoy comforting him" so that's why I feel I'm being judged.

I went to the GP on Thursday because after the course I realised how I felt like a black cloud was over me as I went to collect them and how I had to act delighted to see him when all I really wanted to do was go to Starbucks or something without pushing a double buggy which is too big for me and makes me look like I'm a little girl pushing a doll's pram. As I left, a woman stopped and said "you are so lucky". It was such a contrast to my feelings I merely said "I was up all night last night" and she said "I wouldn't care if I had such beautiful children"

Anyway, I just said I couldn't sleep when I had the chance to and couldn't when I wanted to as they kept waking up and was feeling overwhelmed, they gave me a short course of zopiclone but I know that's not enough.

I know bipolar is a bit different but I was also scared they may notice my previous history of depression, did this make them more worried about you Grokette? How did the GP manage it with you (of course only tell me if you want)

icklekid Mon 26-Jan-15 08:45:47

Colic is just an awful awful time, my son is also very hard work. I only have him and I'm not a single mum but the I was on the verge of pnd. Be open and honest with your gp, I hope after that perhaps your mum might be a bit more sympathetic. Don't feel bad about looking forward to going back to work/leaving them in a creche I know I am looking forward to it. I hope you can get to some baby groups and meet some lovely mums to help support you

LooksLikeImStuckHere Mon 26-Jan-15 08:51:08

No one will judge you, PND is a medical condition and certainly not your fault.

I found a local group, organised by PANDA that really helped me.

Panda website

It may be worth a look. Also the American website Post Partum Progress

Lots of advice and people talking about their own experience.

It took 7 months for me to admit something was wrong. Please tell your HV, they are usually pretty good on PND.

flowers OP.

LetThereBeCupcakes Mon 26-Jan-15 08:56:49

I have one baby (well, toddler now), and a husband, and I had (still have) PND. I can't imagine how I would have managed on my own with twins.

I think people make the comments they do because they're not sure what else to say. People naturally want to look on "the bright side". I've done it myself (and then kicked myself afterwards).

I have a history of depression, too, and nobody threatend to take away my beautiful son. When the ADs kicked in, it was like being a different person. I suddenly found myself adoring this little baby like I was "supposed" to. Don't get me wrong - I still love my time off though! I work 4 half days a week and love it. There's nothing wrong with still wanting to be "you".

You say you don't know many people in the area - are there any baby groups you could join to meet local mums? I have found it so helpful to have other mums to talk to.

Hope the GP is able to help you. flowers

Poycastle Mon 26-Jan-15 09:00:07

Thank you so so much everyone. The bouquets of flowers made me cry a little.

I have to go out now and get them ready but I will be back later with an update from the GP and will look at the links.

I'm not very good with meeting new people as I'm shy but I try to go to a group at the children's centre most weeks, everyone else seems enamoured with motherhood and how they want another one !! But maybe one day I'll meet someone else who feels the same, in fact when I went to get the sleeping pills the pharmacist said she had the same experience.

You are all so kind x

Nolim Mon 26-Jan-15 09:06:07

Regarding finding another mum to share a nanny ask around at the childrens centre. Also check childcare.co.uk and i think there is another website like the nannysharers or something.

Nolim Mon 26-Jan-15 09:08:26

And when at the playgroups the other mums adore your kids i bet they are actually thinking how does she do it. I swear That is what i think every single time i see twins.

Stubbed Mon 26-Jan-15 09:11:19

PND is a medical condition, in my view you can think of it as a chemical imbalance. I know friends who have had it, and for them medication has made a massive difference. Re adjusting the chemical imbalance might really help - ask your gp

Grokette Mon 26-Jan-15 09:16:57

Good Lord, that woman who said she wouldn't care about being up all night was an idiot! Like i said, people who don't have twins really and truly have no idea.

My situation was quite messy, I'd been upfront about having depressed episodes in the past ( I wasn't diagnosed as bipolar yet), and I'd also had a really awful and unexpected bereavement during my pregnancy. Then my girls were premature and unwell, so during the time they were in NICU I definitely got a sense that I was being 'observed'. That being said the hospital really didn't offer much support, I think I saw the social worker twice in eight weeks, for ten minutes at a time hmm

A lot of it was in my head though too. I just had this horrible idea that I was so shit at being pregnant that my babies had to be taken away, literally cut out of me and put in incubators because I was such a bad mother. Which is utter bollocks, but at the time I believed it completely. I believed it because that is what depression does to your thought process

Depressio makes you believe wholeheartedly that the world is ending and you have nothing but despair and hopelessness and shame. That is what screwed up brain chemistry does. Everyone who is depressed thinks they are a terrible worthless person, every single one. That is what depression does. Please don't take your negative thoughts personally or to heart, because they are simply lies

Grokette Mon 26-Jan-15 09:25:13

Oh I was on such a roll and my iPad went crazy. Anyway.

There are so so many treatment options for PND and depression in general. There is a whole world of hope out there for you, even if you can't see it right now. There are so many things you can try, and you might have to try a few because treatment isn't always as straightforward as you'd like, so you have to be a bit patient and persistent. But then you are a mother of twins so you are already patient and persistent so no worries there smile

Good luck with the doctor. I am married to a doctor, so I'm a bit biased, but doctors in general are smart and all they want to do is help you get better. So you can put a bit of trust in them and use them for support. You really aren't alone.

SewingAndCakes Mon 26-Jan-15 12:23:20

Hope the meeting with the GP goes well. I started taking Citalopram then after a few months began CBT sessions. I wasn't sure how effective therapy would be but it really helped me to be aware of then challenge my negative thought processes. I stopped my antidepressants last May after being on them for a year.
You've already taken the hardest step so well done flowers

Poycastle Mon 26-Jan-15 18:17:25

Hi everyone, I'm back smile thank you very much for all your supportive messages. The GP was really nice I deliberately went to the one I normally have positive experiences with. He gave me sertraline. I just took the first one. Now I am waiting for my mum to come home, I know she will be delighted to see the children where I just wish I could be alone sad

LikeSilver Mon 26-Jan-15 18:26:34

Oh OP my heart is breaking for you. I have one toddler and a DH and I have no fucking idea how you are coping, you are Wonder Woman in my eyes. I'm sorry people have said such insensitive things to you, and a huge well done for speaking out to your GP. For what it's worth, even without PND it took me a while
to fall in love with my DD - now that I'm there it's worth it. It's so much better now she's a toddler - challenging for sure but I found the baby stage really hard.

Thinking of you and hoping your meds can soon offer some solace. You are very brave; your babies are lucky to have you.

AShiningTiger Mon 26-Jan-15 18:32:11

Poycastle I also wanted to be alone. I also went to babygroup and seemed happy when in fact all I wanted to do was read a book or have a stroll in central london. I am sure at least 50% of new mum fake it, willingly or not. Others, especially strangers, do not know when you have put on a brave face and when that is genuine happiness.

When your mum comes, take the time to be alone.

I had pnd but didnot realise till much much much later. Let yourself be helped, supported and cuddled. It is hard work. It is no skip in the park.

Lots of flowers your way.

Poycastle Mon 26-Jan-15 18:34:43

Thank you very much I really appreciate it. Most people just find it strange I dont feel a bond to him when I wanted a baby so much. I really don't mean any harm to anyone. I also look forward to when they are older and different stages although I know people say not to wish the time away.

LooksLikeImStuckHere Mon 26-Jan-15 19:07:19

So glad that you went to the GP and hope that the meds start working for you soon. They aren't an immediate cure though, give it a bit of time.

Could you talk to your mum? Tell her that you've been diagnosed with PND?

dalekanium Mon 26-Jan-15 19:30:30

Most people just find it strange I dont feel a bond to him when I wanted a baby so much. I really don't mean any harm to anyone. I also look forward to when they are older and different stages although I know people say not to wish the time away

I think it seems that way, especially when you talk to people who didn't have PND. But if you search on here there are hundreds of us who feel/ felt just like you. I faked it for the whole first year, smiling and nodding like a bloody nodding dog when anyone talked about bonding. It was utter crap. I felt like shit and didn't bond. I kind of lover the baby in an academic sort of way, and cared for it like a project that I had to excel in, but truly felt nothing but utter despair. I just wanted to jump off things.

That baby has now started school and we have a brilliant bond, despite some recent traumatic times.

There is hope. Talk to us. We understand flowers

AShiningTiger Mon 26-Jan-15 20:12:52

The not wishing the time away is a ridiculous argument. My mil used to tell me all the time and so, like you, I felt bad for not enjoying it and lookking at the future. My dc are now 9 and 6 and I love it. And although I melt when I see pictures from the past I do not want to go there again. Even when it was def not all bad and I enjoyed many things about it. But I wasn't me, I had no time to do anything, dh did not get it etc.

I have since realised that we all have different stages we live: a friend lives the newborn stage and hates the toddler, one likes the teenager but not the junior years etc. above mil told me she cried for a week when her dc started primary and felt so lost and useless. I rejoiced and filled the little time with all the things I wanted to do.

I love it that now I have days all alone because dc are at playdates, sleepovers or here doing their own stuff. I also love we can talk, laught, argue, chat, play, etc and that They can now walk, wee, poo by themselves. This is the truth. And I only sayiing it so that you know that not loving some bits of such a looooooooong journey is perfectly reasonable. As much as siblings who fights. It is a life long relationship and those are early days.

Just ask for help now. You might still not love this stage (because twins on your own it is bloody hard!) but you will not struggle as much. And it'll get better. And there'll be one moment when you'll say "yea now I get it!!!"

We've all been through it. You're doing a great job.

AShiningTiger Mon 26-Jan-15 20:15:15

I would like to suggest books you can read when your mum takes over. hide in the bath for an hour And then check how she feels. [evil]

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