Normal or do I need help?(103 Posts)
I gave birth to twins three weeks ago and already have two children 21 months and 6. I feel really lucky to have four beautiful kids but I'm starting to worry that I just can't cope.
I have a diagnosis of bipolar and have been sectioned many times in the past so I am wary of telling the truth of what is going on in my head in case people over react.
The twins feed every hour through the night so I am exhausted. The house is a tip and I have no time for my big two. I feel trapped and overwhelmed and my life is going to be a permanent struggle. I'm not sure I am good enough for my children.
I feel extremely anxious about the babies. I see extremely distressing scenes play out in my head where they get hurt. I'm frightened to leave them.
As I write this I know it's perhaps not normal but I don't know what to do.
4 kids must be really tough without your diagnoses.
I'd go to the gp and health visitor pronto. You might also be able to get some support from surestart or similar.
Is your dh/dp around? What support do you have?
My husband is very hands on and is brilliant but he goes back to work soon and despite it being me getting up to feed the girls all night, he is feeling exhausted too. Our families are local but work full time so mon to Fri 9-5 I'm on my own.
Before having the girls I have been really well for a long time, have held the same job for three years and have done some consultancy work on improving my mh services. I feel such a failure to let things slide. My thoughts are racing around and I am struggling to feel the positive. I really don't want a load of anti psychotics which is what I will get if I see gp.
God it sounds awful and you're absolutely not a failure - quite the opposite.
Bumping for you x
It's not awful in that I have four beautiful children, it's just really really hard. I have the four of them by myself this morning and just feel so overwhelmed. I'm terrified of my toddler around the babies. Doesn't help that my body is wrecked from the twin pregnancy and c section.
I know people will judge our decision to have a big family with my mh problems and so I feel under so much pressure for everything to be ok. Can't tell anyone how much I'm struggling.
Thinking about running away.
Thoughts are spiralling. No one can help.
I could just put my coat on and walk away
No, don't do that - you know it won't help, right?
No experience with children but have some experience with MH problems. 3am is horrible at the best of times.
I don't know what to do, I feel like the babies don't want me. Maybe it best if I just go.
You really really need to sit down with your husband in the morning and outline exactly how you feel. Please don't just walk away - as a family you can work things out. Four kids must be hard but it's not impossible. Sending a hand-hold.
Your babies do want you; there's absolutely nothing else they want/need like they want and need you.
Poor you, you must be feeling so rotten. Your posts show that you know what's going on in your mind isn't quite right at the moment. You do need to get some help.
Of course they want you!
3 weeks in with a newborn is really really tough, you have twins and older children. Try not to be so hard on yourself you're all still finding your feet as a family of 4.
My baby isn't even here yet and I have to calm myself every now and then because of fears from "what if" thinking. I am the same with my work. I prefer to think of it as planning ahead. Thinking through potential situations and resolving them.
It's actively encouraged in my work. It's called "reflection"
Also, you must be so sleep deprived! Time to sit down with your dh. (In the morning rather). This is a joint venture. You can't be the only one to be up feeding. You BOTH need sleep to function.
If you breast feeding, can you express so he can feed babies with a bottle? Also, you say house is a tip, can he not do the tidy up? Or can you afford a cleaner for an hour to give house a jump start?
Also, please speak to your hv. I'm sure you are doing better than you realise and sometimes saying things out loud helps. Tell them your fears re your diagnosis. Please do this. Don't keep it to yourself as that's where the problems escalate.
And you'll probably be surprised when you realise how common these feelings are.... bipolar or not!!
I'm expecting to feel awful when my baby comes as its all New and I won't be the one in control for some time.!! Trying to teach my OH my ways of cleaning (unsuccessfully so far mind you)
I think you probably have pnd - and honestly there is very good help. I had the manic feeling you have and the awful scenarios playing out and the spiralling. This is all down to the chemicals and hormones - all naturally occurring with child birth and of course sleep deprivation. I have had this twice - and took ages to get sorted with dc1 but with dc2 I went to doctors straight away for medication called seroxat (paroxetine). I take 15mg which is just enough to take edge of spiralling thoughts and allows me to sleep. Go see your doctor ASAP to see if that helps you - and at the sane time I think just concentrate on your twins as others can help with the older kids? You are going through an awful
Phase - but it is just a phase. Please hold on and see doctor. Wishing you serenity xx
Go to your gp and get help. PND can be a sticky customer and mixed with sleep deprivation and a history of bipolar it's not easy to manage! Your not going to be doing anything wrong by seeking help now and protecting yourself from later potential problems.
I had suspected PND and was on meds by day 10! It honestly made parenting so much more enjoyable. I crashed again around 13 months after the birth but I'd simply come off the AD's too soon. Back on them and life seems a bit more balanced.
Have you got much family support? I used to hand baby over (granted not twins) and spend a 'normal' day with ds. This return to the familiar was a great feeling for me.
Thank you so much for all the replies. I'm here at the next feed and am so tired I feel sick. I will read your suggestions in the morning, Im fairly sure my thoughts are not all rational.
You are doing brilliantly and the fact that you recognise something isn't right, and that your thoughts aren't rational, proves that you are an amazing mummy. See gp today xx
Thank you. My CPN came out this morning. Trying to persuade me to bottle feed so I can take anti-psychotics or I will end up in mother and baby unit. Don't fancy either option.
Seroxat is safe for bf. is that an option?? If you have to bottle feed it's not the end of the world Hun. Xxx
That's a bit rock-and-hard-place. I hate antipsychotics and managed to refuse them, but if you struggle to manage your bipolar without them it may be better What was the original plan re: postnatal drug treatment?
You manage to get any sleep?
(I re-read my post and realised I never mention the hormones that play havoc with us! Glad pp brought it up)
Also glad to hear CPN came out for a visit.
If I were you I'd sit and write the pros n cons of bf v ff in relation to YOU. Like Ennn said, if your bipolar is better controlled with meds then it's something worth considering.
(If it helps at all I have been recommended by neuro consultant to go back on meds ASAP after baby here. Different condition from yours certainly but baby cant be bf if on meds. So I plan to bf for a couple of weeks then go to formula as I need to go back on meds)
The original plan was to take a combination of quetiapine and aripiprozole. Quetiapine works well for me but was just too sedative and I couldn't manage getting up. Aripiprozole was new to me and it made me feel agitated so stopped it too. Anti depressants make me very manic so are not an option I'm afraid. I generally hate psych medication and find the side effects as debilitating as most symptoms. I think after being forced them in hospital I have struggled to willingly take them, stupid I know.
I breast fed my other two for 12 months so feel like I need to try for these two. I know people will judge and think it selfish and irresponsible of me to have four children but I do love them and have tried so hard to be well. I'm so sorry that underneath I just feel so worthless and useless. Maybe I was stupid to think I could manage this.
I'm not going back to hospital. If the turmoil in my head continues maybe I will finally have the courage to end this mess. I hope someone will spread the message that mh services need reform. People don't need drugs and labels, people need hope and choices and people who care to support them. I don't want to formula feed and I don't want anti-psychotics and I have spent nine months thinking about it. I would like help to be supported in these decisions to make them work.
I'm sorry I'm ranting!
Ok. So first of all. When you say "courage to end this mess" what do you mean by that?
With regards to MH services I completely agree with you. It does need a overhaul. First things first. Let's get you on an even keel.
So second, you've had a c-section, is that right? What are your plans for when dh goes back to work? Can you talk to your mum/dad/family/best friends to let them know how you are feeling? Just because you already have 2 kids does NOT make you a supermom who doesn't need help.
Twins = 2 newborns at the same time. I defy anyone not to feel like running away when they've barely slept for 3 weeks!
I understand you don't want to ff. But would you consider mixed feeding for a few days (or nights, get dh doing them ). As a short term solution. You've had surgery and need time to recover from that as well.
There will always be someone with grand advice (like me ) try to view them as options/solutions/ways to help. It's easy for me to say, I know. BUT I'm a practical person. If I see someone struggling I provide alternative ways of looking at things. Not to judge or comment, but to try and help people see short term solutions. It's my way of showing I care.
I don't think you having 4 kids and MH issues is something to judge. Rather it's quite admirable. You are clearly a caring mum. Otherwise you wouldn't be looking for help.
Please try talking to you family.
see if anyone would be willing to take some sick time/annual leave to help you
A gp recently said to me 'if u can survive the 1st 6 weeks after childbirth, u can survive anything'. It's a crazily hard time - and multiplied if you have c section and twins. I'm sure that no one will judge you about having 4 kids - that's a completely personal totally reasonable choice - but one most women would admire as it must be so so hard. You sound v clued up, intelligent and strong. Focus on yourself now - then take on the issue re the crappiness of mh treatment next year. You could use this experience to really change things in the future. I feel so sorry for you - I hope that from your experience you remember that soon it WILL get better.
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