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Ante natal maternal ambivalence -or what's wrong with me?(3 Posts)
I am posting here in the hope that someone will be able to either reassure me that what I am feeling is normal, or signpost me in the direction of some clarity. I'm sorry it is so long, but I think I have one shot at writing this and don't want to have to come back to add bits I should have said to start with.
I am 9 weeks pregnant with DC2 and am worried as I am feeling completely underwhelmed and lacklustre about it. I am trying to unpick what it is about and find that there are lots of little contributing factors but none of which, on their own, can't be rationalised or just got a grip of. I think I'll just throw it all in, and see what someone might make of it. I am not normally an anxious person, nor have I ever suffered with depression or low moods, so this is very new and uncomfortable territory for me. In fact, I have just read my post back, and feel at sounding a bit of a precious Bambi about it.
This, just to start off on the right footing, is a much wanted baby. After a fantastic summer enjoying our small family of 3, we decided it would be lovely to try for a DC2. We were lucky to succeed at once, and I was thrilled for the first few weeks. We are settled and secure, if not particularly flush, and parenting DD1 has been a relaxed and rewarding delight. Yet now that it is really happening, I feel sick at the thought of it.
I was pretty ecstatic throughout my pregnancy with DD1. I suffered horrendously with nausea etc, but whereas I was able to roll with it then, this time around each bout of nausea leaves me feeling like I am panicking, at the edge of an abyss and wondering whether I should actually be doing this. I am not sure if it is just a more intense physical experience this time, compounded by being more tired, having a 2 year old, or whether those moments are windows to my real feelings about it, which is how I am experiencing it.
I had a difficult birth with DD1, but haven't given it much thought as I promised myself at the time that I would never have to do that again. Now that I am pregnant again, I am finding myself in a complete anxious spin about giving birth. I am talking driving far out of my way to avoid passing the hospital, feeling sick at the thought of my booking appointment next week. I am hoping to share some of how I am feeling with the MW, but I'm scared she'll think I'm just a wuss and tell me to man up.
A few months after DD1 was born, DP suffered a breakdown; he was under a lot of pressure at work (caring profession under pressure from cuts), and becoming a father brought up some painful issues from his own childhood, which he had never processed. This escalated into a psychotic episode which then petered out into a period of depression. It was a very frightening and lonely time during which I was really caring for two. DP has had some fantastic treatment (on-going counselling) and is now back to good mental health. I have not really talked much about this to anyone, and wonder if I'm still "sitting on" some of the anguish and desperation I felt back then.
I also find that I am obsessing about screening for everything you can screen for. Obsessing isn't really right, it's more of an avoidant thing; until I have had whatever test I decide to have, I am not allowing myself to 'connect' with this baby at all. I get crazy thoughts like; "DD is so perfect, you can't possibly be this lucky twice, something is bound to be wrong!" As a result, I haven't told anyone I am pregnant, no friends, not my family.
DP (who is so pleased to be a father again) is being very supportive and is really trying to understand what is happening for me, but I just don't know myself. I just feel no joy, no little secret tingle of excitement, just overwhelm and loathing, and I shudder when I feel my new, rather early bump.
Any one? I am hoping it is just hormonal and will disappear in a few weeks with the nausea, just as it started, but I am obviously worried about it perhaps being the insidious onset of something like antenatal depression. I'd be grateful for any insights.
Don't have any real answers, but didn't want to read and run. It sounds like the difficult birth had been suppressed but that this new pregnancy has resurrected feelings that are not fully resolved. I don't think this is unusual. Equally, your husband's breakdown is also clearly linked to the post-natal period for you so that the prospect of pregnancy and birth is, understandably, associated with trauma, hence the avoidance of the hospital. In the circumstances, it does not seem surprising that you feel the way you do. Be kind to yourself. It sounds like you've been incredibly strong and courageous through some difficult times, but while focusing on others' and especially on your new baby's needs, your feelings got lost and buried. What you need now is a chance to process what you have been through so that you can lay any ghosts to rest and enjoy your pregnancy and your much wanted baby. In some places you can get counselling through the EPU or the midwife; otherwise, I would speak to your GP who should be sympathetic. You sound like someone who is strong and determined, but we are all vulnerable as well. Now it's time to take care of you.
You might get a better response to your post if you move it into the pregnancy section.
Dear InSearch, I have PMd you to say thank you.
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