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(35 Posts)
Koalagone Sun 19-May-13 23:15:38

I was advised to post here after posting in parenting, and I saw my GP on Friday who told me it was likely I have PND so I thought it might help.

I don't really know how to lead in gently so I'm just going to try and get it out as best I can. I have a month old DS, my first child, and I haven't bonded with him at all. I look at him and I feel at best nothing and at worst annoyance/frustration/trapped. My DP is clearly entirely in love with him, my best friend and his godmother adores him and I just feel so awful and inadequate. I can't seem to bring myself to even try to interact with him in a maternal way, I look after him but I always feel detached. I know I should smile at him and talk but it's like I physically can't bring myself to.

I've considered leaving a lot over the past couple of weeks. I feel like he'd be better off without me, he'd be much happier if he had a mother figure who was any good at being a mother rather than someone who feels nothing towards him and is doing it all because she has to. I had to stop breastfeeding because I just couldn't bear it anymore, and I feel now like he really doesn't need me anymore so I could go. I just want to leave. I know that's terrible and awful.

I'm not fully sure why I'm posting... I think because I don't know how to explain this to DH and I need to let it out somehow.

PurpleThing Sun 19-May-13 23:29:25

I also didn't bond with ds. When I was feeding him I used to stare out the window at the neighbours' fence. I couldn't bring myself to look at him.

Children need their parents, even if they are not actually great people, just because they want to know where they came from. He loves you just because you gave birth to him, you are his mum. He isn't magically going to get another one just because you don't think you are doing it right.

What help has gp suggested? Some places you can get specialist mother-infant counselling. The sooner the better so you don't have to go through this for a minute longer than necessary.

In the mean time don't beat yourself up for how you feel. It is what it is. Set yourself little goals. Sit on the sofa with your feet up, put baby up against your knees and smile, talk. Do 1 minute to begin with if it's difficult. Then congratulate yourself for having done something you find hard.

It's great that his dad has bonded, that is really positive for ds. Do try and discuss it with him. He may not get it but he needs to know how to support you.

There may be a good reason why you are protecting yourself from getting close to this tiny vulnerable person. It's not because you are inadequate, lots of mothers don't feel that instant rush of love.

How was the birth?

Winetime1981 Mon 20-May-13 11:11:09

I was just going to was the birth?

I really think now after having gone through two labours that the first affected me in such terrible ways mentally although I refused to accept it was a factor at the time.

Koalagone Mon 20-May-13 15:18:24

The birth was okay, it wasn't as bad as I'd built it up in my head. The pregnancy was a shock though, I agreed to try because I thought it would take time and it happened straight away. I know that makes me lucky but I think I spent most of the pregnancy in denial... and now I have to face it.

The GP is referring me to a counsellor, in the meantime he wants to see me again next week to check how I'm coping.

I'm trying to make the effort to smile at him and interact, but he doesn't seem interested. It sounds odd but it's almost like he can tell I don't love him because he cries all the time if I hold him but with other people he's contented and happy, especially DH and mate. DH is trying to help even with the limited stuff he knows (Not that I don't love the baby just that I find it difficult) but he just seems convinced that any difficulties are down to the fact I'm tired, he doesn't seem to understand that it's deeper than that and I know it.

Winetime1981 Mon 20-May-13 15:51:11

Seeing a counsellor to talk through all of your feelings will be a great help, I'm sure. My DH is very 'positive' about things too and I can understand how you feel. It's really annoying to get something all consuming brushed off and chalked up to tiredness, but it'll only be because he wants things to be okay smile

How are you today?

PurpleThing Mon 20-May-13 20:42:27

(OP, you have used someone's name in your post. You can report your own post and ask MNHQ to edit it for you.)

I can understand about the pregnancy. I have a nearly three year old and I'm still trying to come to terms with the fact that I ovulated 10 days early that month! I think that contributed to it for me.

That is good about the counsellor. Be absolutely honest with them even if you think it is a terrible thing to say. They will have heard worse (friend of mine had delusions her baby was evil, really shocking stuff and counselling got her through it).

He's only a month old so don't expect much back from him for a good while. It's Input, Input, Input for the first 6 months if not a year imo.

If dh has fallen for this baby he may find it hard to come to terms with the fact that you haven't and be hoping it's just sleep deprivation. He also might be trying to let you know that he can't see a problem, you are doing fine etc. If your gp is good maybe take him along to an appointment to help him to see. Some counsellors also want the partners input.

Koalagone Tue 21-May-13 17:08:54

Thanks Purple, I reported the post!

I think DH does just want everything to be okay. I told him the GP thought I might need counselling because I could have PND and he was obviously worried and went on about whether we wanted/needed people interfering and that he's sure it will be okay even I feel a bit down now. He's just so in love with the baby I think he can't see how anybody at all would feel differently towards him, and least of all me.

winetime1981 Wed 22-May-13 13:16:19

Do you look after your baby? Simple question but when they're babies I don't think there's being 'in love'. It puts too much pressure on yourself to think like this and I almost drove myself crazy analysing my feelings for DS. If he's warm, clean and fed that's love. Whatever your feelings are your feelings - the thought police will not arrest you. My DS is two now and the feelings came - the ones you hear everyone go on about. They were always there just buried in a sea of anxiety.

I hope that makes sense. My new baby girl is just beautiful and lovely - and this time I'm holding onto that and not getting drawn into 'love' 'being in love' and 'motherhood being the Best Thing Ever'.

Koalagone Wed 22-May-13 22:06:21

I do look after him, but I'm finding it harder and harder. I have to admit that if I can avoid having to do it, if there's someone else here that would help, I can't wait to hand him over and let them do it. DH does much more than I do. I don't have to feed him now so DH has even been doing more of that now. He's getting up to do night feeds then going out to work. I feel terrible but I just can't do it, I can't bear to hold the baby or be with him. I feel like I'm going out of my mind when I'm trapped alone with him when DH is at work. I would never hurt the baby or neglect him but I feel like he's missing out on an emotional level and he can pick up on my negative feelings and that will affect him.

winetime1981 Thu 23-May-13 02:19:25

It is hard work though! I can't wait to run upstairs and read or similar when my DH gets home as I've been pawed at all day and need time alone.

And then there's the fact that babies are extremely boring. What can you 'do' with a baby exactly? It's hard. Toddlers are far more fun.

When I was at my worst I just wanted to go to bed and sleep. DH would often take over for days on end to give me a break but it would just exasperate the problem as I'd feel far less bonded with DS. When DH was at work for several days and I had to look after him I'd feel far more comfortable with mine and DSs relationship - so if possible do what you can for him even though at first it will feel like a Hercilian effort.

Koalagone Fri 24-May-13 15:58:23

I think part of it is that he's boring... combined with the way he just seems to cry all the time whenever I'm with him. He really doesn't like me, he is much calmer with everyone else. I'm cold and horrible and he knows I'm an awful mum. He hasn't even smiled at me yet, he seems to smile for everyone else though, the nurses when I took him to be weighed even commented on how smiley he was for his age.

I'm trying to do as much as I can to make myself feel like he does need me. I know if I stop doing anything with him then I'l never even have a chance to be able to bond.

winetime1981 Fri 24-May-13 17:26:05

Honestly try and get the word 'bond' out of your head. For now just accept things as they are and trust that your feelings will change in time. Don't judge yourself - you are only capable of being 'you'.

Read back at what you've written and try, if nothing else, to laugh at the situation. I had similar feelings and so I know it feels very real but with hindsight I can see it was my anxieties being reflected onto him. Babies don't know what it is to love or like in the sense we do.

OliviaMMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 24-May-13 20:47:58

We have amended the rl name out of your post
Really hope that you can get some suppport in RL and on MN for this - please be kind to yourself - it really is VERY early days.
All v best to you

pebblepots Fri 24-May-13 21:22:34

Hello, did your gp suggest medication? From your posts it sounds like maybe not.

You may need to bring it up with your GP, I certainly found I had to.

Things are rotten for you at the moment but these things will change with help & probably medication, you just need to get through this bit until you start to feel better. Which it will.

Is there anyone who can be with you for company & help with day to day stuff?

scottishmummy Fri 24-May-13 21:45:39

ok,pnd is a treatable illness with support and medication you'll get well
share what you can with dh,if its hard show him your post.let him help
any deterioration or scary thoughts you can go to a&e ask see psychiatric team
keep in touch with hv and gp,let them advise wishes

Alicia26 Fri 24-May-13 21:49:51

Hi, I had exactly the same feelings and I look back on it now and realise that wasn't me. I was poorly and I wish someone had told me not to worry or over analyse how I was feeling because it was the chemicals in my brain making me react the way I did. As soon as I took meds and they started to work I felt completely differently - just how I thought I'd feel. I only stayed on them for 6 months and my 2 year old is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I look forward to every day with him. My only regret is that I missed out on feeling this way for the first 3 months of his life but at least I got help quickly and it was only 3 months. You will look back on this in a few months feeling completely differently towards your baby x

winetime1981 Sat 25-May-13 15:45:58

Apparently your hormones settle down by week six if you feel you can wait a couple more weeks? I've re read your post and it's still VERY early days.

winetime1981 Sat 25-May-13 15:50:23

Also my six week old is lovely but don't really feel 'bonded' - I don't even really know what that means! She's warm and safe and fed and cute! That's about it!

I think I said earlier those bloody hormones really sent me mad analysing feelings for DS. He's two now playing in sandpit. He's amazing as he's a little person grin. Babies are little eating, weeing, pooing, sleeping machines.

Koalagone Sun 26-May-13 22:02:47

My GP didn't mention medication, so I will ask him when I go back this week.

My friend has been helping a lot with the day to day stuff, even just having her there makes me feel better because I'm convinced if I'm alone with him I'm going to somehow mess up completely. When she holds the baby I can't quite describe my feelings, jealousy I suppose, like she's everything I want to be as a mother but can't be.

DH has noticed how little I feel towards the baby I think now. We had a huge row this morning about it, how I palm the baby off on anyone who will take him and make him do everything when he's here. I tried to explain how difficult I find the night feeds and that they are the ones where I really feel so trapped and like I could actually run, but he was too angry to listen. I know he's right too.

pebblepots Mon 27-May-13 20:30:01

Hi, I think it's going to be difficult for your husband to understand, can you get him to look up pnd on the internet? that might help him get a better understanding.

Yes, nights are very tough. I used to fantasise about running away, putting baby up for adoption, getting admitted to hospital! This is something that will improve as your pnd gets treated.

Hope your appt this week with the GP goes well & you possibly get some medication.

Glad you have help & company during the day, you will be everything you want to be as a mother, just need to get through this rough patch!

BlackSwan Mon 27-May-13 21:07:53

PND isn't a choice, it's a terrible affliction, debilitating at a time when you need all your strength, emotional and physical - and you find it isn't there. Know that you're not to blame for what you're going through, it doesn't say anything terrible about you as a person: it's just a bad card you have been dealt and you need to just do all the things which will help you get through it. Firstly, get practical help. Get paid help if you can afford it, and if not, rely on family and friends as much as possible. There's no shame in feeling you can't do all the work by yourself. Don't just hang about at home while there are others able to help. Get out of the house and go for a walk, do some grocery shopping, anything. Secondly, speak with your GP about anti-depressants. Thirdly, believe me when I say this is not forever and once it passes you will discover yourself to be a good mother.

Koalagone Thu 30-May-13 00:09:36

I had my GP appointment this morning and it went much better than I was expecting. He suggested we hold off medication just for the near future, he said his recommendation would be to wait until 8 weeks to give the post-birth hormones time to settle. DH came along, he's been much more supportive since we argued, I think it was mostly sleep deprivation and stress talking.

Koalagone Thu 30-May-13 02:36:05

Just done a night feed. Everything is so quiet and I feel so trapped, like I'm going out of my mind. While I was feeding him I was imagining running, actually running away not driving, in the bed clothes I'm in, just to get away from DS as quickly as possible. I imagined various other scenarios that could get me away as I waited for him to go back to sleep, and it's taking everything I have not to act on this. I'm posting mostly for myself, so in the morning Ill have a record of how I felt and I need to calm down before I can go back to bed. I just want to run and leave DS in more capable hands, I know if I let him get attached to me then something will happen. It's better if I go now before he has chance to miss me.

Alicia26 Thu 30-May-13 07:31:59

Morning, i so feel for you as i was exactly the same. All I can say is that you will get back to normal and look back on this as just an experience that you went through. I am happier now than I was pre PND. I'm really not sure why your Dr said to wait re ADs. They were a life saver for me and quickly balanced out chemicals in my brain and made me better and most importantly ensured that I started to enjoy this most precious time with my baby x

pebblepots Thu 30-May-13 10:27:13

hi K, What do you think about your gp's suggestion to wait until 8 weeks before considering medication?

If you're not happy, tell him or see another GP, maybe female. Is he really understanding how desperate you're feeling? Another 4 weeks seems a long time when you feel the way you do.

pebblepots Thu 30-May-13 10:32:56

Cos it will take a while for the meds to kick in & get your dose at the effective level.

I just re-read your last post & you thought the GP appt. went well. It's not a failure to be 'put' on medication

Koalagone Sat 01-Jun-13 08:42:12

DS is 6 weeks old now, so it would be two weeks, but I still see your point. It does feel like forever when I'm sat here thinking about it. GP seemed pretty firm that he didn't want to prescribe before that point so at the time it seemed logical and sensible... But now I'm wondering if it was the right decision. I selfharmed when I was up with DS last night, he was safe in his moses basket he'd already fallen asleep again, and I feel like I'm slowly spiralling out of control completely.

I begged DH to take him for a walk when he woke up this morning after he'd had his bottle and nappy done, it's horrible that I pushed them out of the house before 8am but I couldn't face the crying.

Hi, I am a former PND sufferer so a lot of what you say makes sense. Is there any chance that you health visiting team can come to see you? Mine came out a couple of times a week in my most challenging stage. They used to talk to me, reassure my that DS was doing well (I had OCD which needed the reassurance.).

If you are self harming I think you health care team need to know that. I know it is hard to come out and say it, perhaps show them your post on here if you can't say the words? I know that I used to hide the worst of how I felt, but would not encourage anyone to do the same.

PND is horrid, an illness caused purely by imbalanced hormones. It will pass, you will emerge stronger. Thinking of you.

Koalagone Mon 03-Jun-13 18:53:33

I feel like if I let the HV know how bad I am then they'll want to lock me up away from my baby. Which is silly because I want to leave him the majority of the time but I don't want to be taken away from him. And harming feels like I crossed a line somehow, and they'll worry that I'd hurt the baby.

scottishmummy Mon 03-Jun-13 19:05:11

you need some reassurance.the aim is support you with new baby,progress to recovery
there are various treatment options and community confide in hv or gp
pnd is a v treatable illness,with right support,although might not seem it now

I know what you are saying about not wanting people to split up you and the baby. However, this is absolutely the last thing anyone wants to do. The fact that you want to be with the baby is a good thing, as it shows that you are making a bond- although you may not feel that way yet.

I had many horrible thoughts during my illness, so I truly know what lies at the bottom of my own black pit, but I always knew I would never hurt my child. I think that is more common that many soap operas show, your health care team will have seen it all before. They will understand and help in any way they can. Please try to tell them how you feel.

Still keeping you in my thoughts OP.

working9while5 Tue 04-Jun-13 01:19:10

Hi Koala,

I don't know what you are having but please remember that there are a very significant number of people who have seriously scary thoughts about harming themselves, their children or others because of this illness.

The time to worry about the thoughts and to seek urgent medical help (e.g. 999) is if you start to feel that you WANT to hurt yourself or your baby or anyone else. However, this is still illness... it classes as a medical emergency, not a reason to take a baby away and if it did come to a medical emergency, you would be a priority to access specialist mother-baby care where you could be supported and helped back to wellness with your baby alongside with additional support and help at this awful time.

For what it's worth, your GP is actually talking out of his arse about the medication and it is not helpful or informed for him to take this line. I have been under the care of a specialist perinatal mental health service since the middle of my pregnancy and was on medication from the day I gave birth. I dread to think what I'd have sunk to without it. It isn't like popping a pill and then you magically get better, it is a crutch to aid you back to wellness and it very often requires a bit of tinkering with dosage etc in order to get you feeling better. There is absolutely no benefit whatsoever in waiting.

Can you talk to your dp about this? It helped us to be able to access specialist care. Ask your GP or HV about this.

MaMattoo Tue 04-Jun-13 14:45:07

Congratulations on your new baby.
I have been in your shoes and it was not love and 'bonding' at first sight. It took a whole (complicated preg and horrible birth) lot of time for me to start making eye contact!
You are lucky in many ways as you seem to have a good Gp, you are reaching out for help and support and hopefully getting some.
Take one day at a time.
Medication helps and it's not a negative if it makes you better.
Getting out of the house and away from baby for short periods of times also helps.
It will get better I promise you. Babies nap a lot and their smiles and behaviour is linked to the adults only much later. Don't read too much into it!

Take care and be kind to yourself!!

Koalagone Sun 09-Jun-13 14:54:52

I spent a day away from the baby this week. It would have been my mums birthday and I always like to go and visit her grave. It's a long drive so DH and I decided it was better if he stayed home with the baby. I felt better away, but there was almost a layer of paranoia attached, I was worried that everyone would think I was awful for leaving my baby at all and they'd all think I wasn't going back. Completely irrational I know.

Koalagone Wed 12-Jun-13 21:12:36

I have my GP appointment tomorrow. I'm going to ask for medication and some serious help because I can't go on like this without some help. My negative thoughts are multiplying and I can't hide them anymore. Everyone is noticing now, I'm trying so hard to hide it but I can't. They can tell by the way I am with DS and they are commenting. All the "Are you okay Koala? Are you coping?" questions that I can't answer. I know it's not healthy to be like this, for me or for DS. I do care I think. Somewhere I do care about him, I just don't want him to bond to me and then something to happen so he doesn't have me anymore. I don't want him to have to lose his mum.

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