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My PND is back

(13 Posts)
firsttimemum1404 Sat 18-May-13 21:34:26

My DS2 is 3 weeks and I fear my PND is back. I suffered with it after my first son, and with help and medication I got through it. But it's back on the horizon again. I know it. I have tried to deny it and have tried to deny that I was depressed while pregnant. However this morning I woke up again with that feeling of fear and dread in the pit of my stomach. I felt that I wouldn't be able to make it through the day without something terrible happening. I live with my elderly mother who is not well and can sometimes be confused. Although most days she can look after herself there are days when she can't, and since I have had DS2 these days are getting more and more. She can clean herself but needs help with everything else. Plus I have a 2 year old who is going through the terrible-two stage plus he is trying to get used to his new baby brother. DS2 was not planned and so I knew that it would be challenging having another child but thought I could do it. Now I fear I can't do it. That I will not cope. Until dad gets home I feel constantly stressed. My attentions if not with my sons are with mum, and I feel that I have to be defensive with mum. In her opinion I am a failure. Yes I have 2 sons but am in a relationship where we cannot afford to get our own place, hence why I am still living with my mum. She feels i should be in a better position at this stage in my life.
I feel like a failure. I cannot even give my sons the living space they need. Most times I feel like I am going to explode. My greatest fear is that my DS1 will stop loving me because I have become a monster - who is always irritable.
Today, i have finally accepted that my PND has returned and I am going to seek help. Until I can get to see my HV/GP, has anyone any coping strategies to keep me calm especially when DS1 is being challenging and when mum is being antagonistic?

mikkii Sun 19-May-13 15:20:30

I don't suffer with this, but my friend does, so I hope I can offer you some suggestions. Firstly you have done fantastically to recognise your symptoms so early. Hopefully getting treatment earlier will mean the treatment will work sooner, my friend found this.

You know you aren't a failure don't you? With house prices and rent the way they are, it is a huge expense, I suspect my kids will never be able to leave home. But that is something out of my control, so I try not to dwell on it.

You are caring for your mum and 2 kids, you are probably shattered, but do you think your tiredness is "normal"? My friend would retreat into exhaustion as part of her PND.

DS1 won't stop loving you for being grumpy. You're his mum. He may feel pushed up by the baby. Can you give him jobs to help you? I know he is only 2, DS was 2.7 when DD1 was born and he liked to fetch muzzies for me etc.

You say you feel constantly stressed until your dad gets home, that's normal too. I have 3 DC and DH works shifts, I have looked after the kids alone all weekend and I heave a huge sigh of relief when they go to bed.

Please don't feel alone or a failure. You sound perfectly normal but having a tough time, but doing your best.

Make sure you get to see the gp tomorrow. Can I also make one more suggestion? Don't downplay how you feel to the gp. If you make out it is ok, they won't offer the help you acknowledge you need.

I'll put a watch on this thread in case you want to talk again later.

firsttimemum1404 Sun 19-May-13 16:36:26

Thank u for ur response Mikkii. It has made me feel a bit more human today smile
I feel there is a pressure on me to just get on with things even though the HV and friends will say take it easy, I'm not sure how u do this with 2 kids. My partner understands but also feels low because of our living conditions. I know he feels guilty that he cannot provide for his family as he would want. But like all men (!) he buries his head in the sand rather than to talk about things and this frustrates me as its always me making suggestions, viewing properties, contacting the council etc. He is very very good with the kids though.
The exhaustion is part of my PND because I experienced last time. I also get very thin skinned eg, any negative comment I see as a personal attack. The major difference this time is my lack of patience which worries me - as u need loads of patience to deal with a 2 yr old. I am just worried tht I will lose my patience with my Ds1. I am normally the most calmest person in the world, now I am that woman that wants to stand and argue-this is NOT ME. I don't like the person I am becoming. I don't it one bit!

I lost my temper with my mum in December really badly! She accused me of being a bad mother because I told my DS1 off for bad behaviour. My anger really frightened me so I went to the children centre for help/advice. The outreach worker raised a CAFF requesting adult social services intervention for support for my mum, but because the CAFF mentioned I had suffered mild PND with DS1 adult SS referred it to child SS (i was 5 months' pregnant). They hve visited and are going to close the case, but I worry that when I go to the GP and announce tht my PND is back tht SS will become interested again.

mikkii Tue 21-May-13 06:44:26

Sorry not to have replied before, I was working yesterday and very late home.

At this stage, I would be more concerned about treating the PND that SS being involved. You say they are ready to close the case, so, to me, that suggests they are happy with how you are doing prior to the PND. Please see that as a positive.

Did you get to see the gp or HV yesterday?

Whilst your living conditions aren't ideal, at least whilst you are with your mum you aren't worrying what is happening between visits to her. I remember when my nan was very sick, my aunt lived 2 roads away and was popping in at least 3 times a day, plus visits from meals on wheels and various cousins. If you moved out, do you have a plan to deal with your mum's care?

I'm really sorry, but I always try to find something positive about every situation, and focus on that. I know you will be finding this hard at the moment.

Part of the situation, your DH not wanting to talk is just the difference between emn and women, it's frustrating, but it isn't going to change much. If you focus on what you can change, then you will be able to see the results.

You mention that you are starting to argue, maybe it isn't you that is changing. You are now dealing with a mini person with his own opinions, that isn't always easy. I have 3, DC3 is currently 2.7 and at this age you can't reason with them. She has more tantrums in a day than the other 2 ever had. It could just be your 2 yo is now pushing the buttons.

If you find you are losing patience, put him somewhere safe, cot/playpen/in front of the tv and take a cup of tea outside, give yourself 5 minutes to calm down, then go back, hopefully refreshed. Welcome to the world of 2 year olds.

You mentioned Losing patience with your mum. She is probably finding it hard having to rely on you. Do you get any support at all? Perhaps you could raise this with the gp as I suspect you are exhausted and that and the PND may feed each other and put you into a spiral.

I wouldn't worry about your mum having a different idea about DSs behaviour to you, there are loads of threads on here that can show you how normal his is. My PIL were always telling us we were too hard on our DC, but then they tell us how beautifully behaved they are and how much PIL love to spend time with them. Do you think here could be a reason for this? It is really frustrating, and arenting has changed since their day, and they forget how hard it can be.

Please go and see the GP, ask for some medication, abbé some counselling, ask for some help with your mum so you get a little respite, even if the help is only temporary, to help you get over this.

firsttimemum1404 Sat 25-May-13 01:52:05

Hi Mikkil thanks again for the response and the positive spin on things. The big thing about PND is everything seems black and there is no or little hope, so thanks again for the positive spin. I am sure you were a great help to ur friend. My close friends, I feel, are fed up with me and my moaning.

I am taking it one day at a time and enjoying my 2 sons. Trying to keep
Positive and block out mum's negativity and my OH's "we cannot do any better/good things happens to everyone else" attitude.

I have to move. If I had sat down and planned my life I would not have had 2 kids in this flat, I would have moved and then thought about kids. But I had them, they are here and I love them. As for mum. Mum can do most things for herself I do a lot of the cooking, organise her hospital visits and pay her bills. All things I can do whilst not living with her. But u r right to highlight this issue.

I think u r right PIL do forget how hard it is to bring up kids. I know my mum has. Hence the criticisms over my way of disciplining. When I know that my mum's brand of disciplining was so much more stricter.

I contacted my GP today and he has prescribed some ad and an urgent appointment with him on Tuesday. I also spoke to the HV on Wednesday and she gave me a pep talk and she will monitor me. I just can't believe I am here again!

mulranno Sat 25-May-13 11:39:59

I am so sorry pnd has visited you again. I had PND a second time with my 4th - but it was not as overwhelming as I knew what the symptoms were and like you recognized and treated it much earlier than the first time.

Getting out of the house really helped me -- even though it felt like an enormous effort to get organised....meeting up with other adults - even though this was the last think that I wanted to do - was good for me - it forced me to interact and smile and be calm and it proved to me that I could smile and interact and stay calm when forced to.

With the children, at home, I was highly irritable with a short fuse -- but I recognised this and committed just to one thing -- that I would not shout.

So when my toddlers were kicking off although I wanted to scream at them I tried really hard not to REACT by shouting but RESPONDED by walking away or giving them a soothing cuddle. My motivation for not screaming was so that my neighbours didnt hear me shout!!!

I had the fatigue/exhaustion bit too - which no matter how long you slept you never felt refreshed.

I would try to divide your day roughly into quarters 6am-9am, 9-12, 12-3, 3-6 identify the most common stress point in each timeframe and just focus on one simple step that would work for you to take the sting out....It might be that you all go to the park with a packed lunch or tea everyday - it might be that the toddler has his bath in the morning or afternoon as that evening slot is so busy etc.

Would echo the you are not a failure message but an incredibly strong person - you are juggling pnd, new born, toddler, ill mother all under one roof.

What will make you a success -- is doing the best for yourself and little ones right now, this minute -- and that isnt a house -- its a calm soothing hug, a walk in the park, a smile and a joke.

Good luck - you will get through it - your have brilliant insight into what pnd does to you which is an enormous step in the right direction

mikkii Sun 26-May-13 21:09:09

Firsttime, I'm so glad to hear back from you and that things have started moving, you know from before that once the levels build up things will seem easier.

You say that you feel your friends are fed up with you. I bet they aren't, but maybe they just don't know what to do or say to help you. I certainly didn't know what to do. I'm lucky that I know my friends husband very well and could also talk to him. At first we thought she would be mad about us talking behind her back, but when I later let her know (when she was a little better) she said she was glad that he felt he could talk to me as his family are not supportive and he doesn't have close friends he could talk to.

Please think about mulranno's advice as she has personal experience.

You are coping with a lot, and you are coping. You are not a failure, you are just dealing with a lot. Make sure you push for enough help for your mum.

I'm afraid I'm about to ask a personal question, you don't need to tell me the answer, it is just a thought about progressing from here.

You are living with your mum and dad in a flat with your 2 DC. is the flat privately owned, or perhaps council or housing association owned? The only reason I mention this is that there may be strict rules about overcrowding which may mean the council or housing association would have an obligation to move you and DCs into another property.

I would like to congratulate mulranno for being able to not shout at her children, that s something I aspire to.

firsttimemum1404 Fri 31-May-13 01:28:07

Thank u Mulranno and Mikkii for your support and advice.

I have been quite low. Went to the drs on Tuesday and was in tears. i feel so guilty for bringing my lovely Children into the environment i am in. And i couldn't see the light at the end of this tunnel. Today was different! It started off with me feeling sooo very low and I was so anxious that I could hardly get out of bed. I did because I had to to look after my kids. But I just wanted to sleep so badly that everything was an effort. DS1 & 2 both crashed out at the same time so I joined them for a midday nap and woke up feeling better. I achieved something as a result, i got out the house with DC. I normally get so anxious when we have to go out, it's getting two kids ready plus yourself, making sure u've got everything u may possibly need and then the worry tht something may happen tht u can't deal with. But today I just took the kids out to the local shops with almost no baggage and no pram and just enjoyed walking and talking with my toddler whilst little one slept.

Mikkii: my dad doesn't live with me, but my partner stays over quite a bit especially since DS2 was born. I must have referred to my partner as "dad" previously, sorry for misunderstanding. I have been to the council re our housing situation and we are not classed as overcrowded. However I am getting housing advice organised as we clearly are. Plus I am thinking of other ways of getting funds together so we can move in the near future.

Mulranno: u r right, and I am aiming to do the best things for me and DC each day, and that for me, is remaining in the present and enjoying the moment with my DC. Cutting the day into manageable chunks is a really good idea which i will try. i find mornings the hardest part of the day especially if i have to go out, i normally wake up stressed and anxious. Also I am taking a leaf out of your book and trying hard not to shout at DS1 when he misbehaves. I notice that he responds better to me when I don't shout. When I shout he becomes more rebellious plus I feel like I've lost control.

Let's see what tomorrow brings x

firsttimemum1404 Sat 01-Jun-13 03:45:15

Had a busy but fun day today. Invited 2 mum friends to the park and we had lunch there too. The kids then played and one of friends came back to mine for the rest of the day. I was determined to have a good day however, caught DS1 hitting my friend's daughter as he wanted the toy she had and disciplined him, plus his behaviour deteriorated as he became more and more tired. My mum, though she was helpful when DS2 cried, spent most of the day critically supervising me, then finally having spent 2 hours preparing dinner I had mum telling me that dinner was late - the kids are starving etc, and then my OH and friend saying 2 hrs was too long a time to take to prepare dinner! My OH said he could have done it in 10 mins. Ok maybe it was but why not just say thank you. Then my friend starting to laugh at the fact that I water down my DS1's juice and I used to buy Organics snacks for him.

Sometimes I feel nothing I do is right or correct. And my OH sometimes doesn't stand by me, especially when this particular friend starts to criticise what I do with my DS. I had to say to her that he is my son so I can do what I feel is right for him.

I know (I think) that this is the PND but I dislike my OH at the mo. I often feel that we are not on the same page. He does help me with the DC but he can be so critical. We had an argument the other day about DS1's bedtime routine. I wanted to make DS1's bedtime earlier to give us some alone time, plus I wanted to teach DS1 to self settle (again) but at first OH took the mick out of my effort to streamline our night routine and he seemed sabotage it. Then all of a sudden (it seemed) he changed and agree with it, after telling me the very night before that it was my fault that DS1's routine is so late (true) because I am a night owl and didn't sleep during the later stage of my pregnancy with DS2, and then going on to say he couldn't help with that! It frustrates me that he never takes the lead and can make me feel that some of the decisions I make is rubbish (because he didn't do it with his daughter).

Anyway I did have a gd day. Despite the mad rush i managed to get myself and DC ready and lunch prepared for our picnic. DS1 really enjoyed it and went to bed early because he was so tired. Plus I did a nice dinner from scratch and I got to check MN wine

StrangeGlue Sat 01-Jun-13 17:15:54

Hey, I bet you're doing a fab job! That's so much to deal with but you are dealing with it. I'd go to your gp and see what they suggest.

Do you have friends and other family who can help?

Hold on in there!

firsttimemum1404 Sun 02-Jun-13 21:42:49

Thank you StrangeGlue. I am taking things one step at a time. My GP was good when I saw him last Tuesday but away from giving me a listening ear and medication there's not much else he can do. He did make me see that I have a lot on my plate and need help. He gave me the number for a carers support line which I haven't yet been brave enough to ring, but i will. I have another appt with him in the next few weeks.

I have to stay the course because I have 2 little ones depending on me. That is my reason to wake up and put 1 foot on front the other on days that I just want to curl up and die.

smile

mikkii Fri 07-Jun-13 22:56:50

Hi first time, how is it going?

Some of the things you mention above are normal, but you may be a bit more sensitive as a result of the PND.

I often struggle to get up and out in the mornings with DC, DH doesn't seem to struggle, but he doesn't understand that as he doesn't normally do the mornings it is a novelty to DC when daddy does mornings so they are more co-operative than usual.

You say you don't like OH much at the moment, well DH has hacked me off for the last 10 days or so, again, completely normal. It does sound like OH could be more supportive, perhaps you could calmly mention to him that at the moment you need extra support an suggest how.

Keep up with trying to get out, especially if the weather is good. I hope you are still managing not to shout. I aspire to this and will try for the weekend.

mikkii Fri 07-Jun-13 22:59:10

First time, do you have a sure start children's centre near you? They arranged for someone to help my friend out, the lady came and played with her DD, they still see her socially now.

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