Think I may have PND - please help(4 Posts)
Name changed for anonymity.
My DD is 12 weeks old. I had issues with anxiety during pregnancy leading to a month off work and antidepressants which I stopped taking due to side effects and then felt I didn't need anymore. All relating to fear of miscarriage, then of preterm birth. Was convinced something would go wrong (had 2 early miscarriages).
DD born at 39 weeks following traumatic 4 day labour ending with episiotomy and forceps in theatre. Honestly thought I was going to die I felt so bad. Recovery much harder than I thought but for 2/3 weeks felt more happy and content than I ever have.
Fast forward to the beginning of 'milestones'. Around 5 weeks I began to compare to other babies born at the same time. DS has done everything she needs to, physically she's fantastic, socially she evidently knows me and DH, follows us around the room, fantastic eye contact, 'chats' to us, bats her toys, very interested in toys and faces/people. She has smiled since 5-6 weeks but isn't a smiley baby really - I really struggle to get a picture of her smiling and mostly she tends to grim rather than do those big gummy smiles you see pictures of, although she has done some. My problem is I'm now obsessing over this. I must have read somewhere that a lack of smiles has been linked to autism as it has stuck in my head....even though she does smile. My day consists of me trying to make her smile all day and I admit I feel frustrated at her when she doesn't. When she is excited she tends to go wide eyed and open mouthed. When she's asleep like now I am constantly googling or looking on Instagram at babies her age and feeling anxious that she isn't as smiley as them. I am obsessed, I don't feel hungry, I'm teary and so anxious even though there is nothing else about her that I feel I need to worry about. Do some babies just not smile as much??
I feel like I need help but I don't know what to do. My husband is a great support and is surprised that I feel something is wrong with her. I feel sorry for him that I'm going over and over the same thing all the time.
Honestly all babies are different, and some don't smile much, I had one that almost always had a paddington stare, it turns out that her concentrating face , she just spent the first two years taking very careful notice of everything.
Extreme births do take time, please give yourself the gift of time, it's really helps to say to yourself, well that was unexpected shit and I survived, and I will never forget it, and it's OK not to be over it.
Having spent a lot of time in extreme birth situations, it doesn't go away, just like any serious life trauma, you are going to get flashbacks, as your brain re-examines the incident and consequences, stir in bat shit crazy hormones, massive lifestyle change, for goodness sake give yourself a break, it would be bit weird if your brain wasn't giving you the run around.
Ask your health visitor or GP if you can have a chat, explain your worries , it's just a self audit, they are use to it, it would be far more worrying if you weren't self examine if you have an issue.
Honestly extreme birth does change your outlook on life, it takes a while to feel comfortable with it.
Honestly OP there is no such thing as a text book baby. They are all so different, pretty much like all humans really. Mines for example is teething at 3 months. Not unheard of but well before the average age.
You've got so much to get your head round and with your traumatic sounding labour and previous mc, it's no wonder you're anxious.
Firstly, I would get onto your hv or gp. Please tell them how you're feeling. Write down for them exactly what you have here. Counselling and ADs can help you through this. CBT is not for everyone but it sounds like it may help in your case.
You will get through this with the right help and please don't worry excessively about your baby. Easier said than done when it's your first in particular but do avoid comparisons. I see all these smiley happy babies on Facebook but then in RL I realise they're as whiney as mine!
Sorry OP, meant to add. You could also ask for a debrief regarding your labour. I was lucky in that I had an easy labour but I do know that talking over your experience with one of the medical staff who attended can help some women come to terms with their trauma and move on from it.
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