I've ruined my life by having a child

(485 Posts)
LittleAmy Sat 30-Oct-10 21:28:53

I never thought it would be this way. If I thought it would be this way I obviously would never have done it. I would never have inflicted "me" onto a child. I feel like a really shit mother because I'm not 100% happy with motherhood. In fact I'm not even 10% happy most of the time. It's not my poor daughters fault. She's only 3 months old.

I have 2 first class degrees so I could have had a different future but I wanted to be a mother. I thought I would make a good mother. I used to be a nursery nurse then a primary school teacher. I've written for parenting and teachers magazines. I thought I had maternal stamped all over me. But I'm sitting here downing as much vodka as I can. I'm getting drunk and I'm EBFing. I've never done this before because I've always tried to be the perfect mother. But I can't be the perfect mother. I feel like I've reached as far as I can go. I wish I could just leave the house with no money, no car, no food and just run, run, run untill I had no energy to take another step then just colapse and not be found. I've often wished I could become seriously ill and sent to hospital so I can rest and be alone. My doctor has given me pills but I've been on antidepressants before and they numbed me and made me feel nautious. Also I put on weight. I'm already hideous-looking compared to my former self so I obviously don't want to make myself even more hideous by putting on more weight.

Probably the worst thing is that my marriage is going down the shit hole. We've been together over 5 years and having a kid seems to have completely ruined our relationship. We argue a lot. I admit I pick a lot of the arguments. I feel like I want to saboratge my life. I feel as though I'm trapped and have no choices anymore.

I'm a SAHM and I have no friends. I attend a baby group but I'm too embarrassed to invite anyone over because we live in a tiny flat and the cat has destroyed the sofa and our baby's nursery has still not even been started People will judge me and I don't blame them. My husband takes years to do one little thing, hence why nothing ever gets done. As I have no money (not even enough for driving lessons) I don't feel that I have any control over my life. I can't get a job because childcare is too expensive and I cant get free childcare because my husband earns too much yet we always seem so poor. We don't have a joint account so I have to ask for everything.

Also since having a child I feel as though I have become retarded. I used to have quite an active intellect and a sharp mind. Now I struggle to complete sentences. It's probably sleep deprivation but either way it's a sad transformation.

My mother tells me to pull myself together and grow up for the sake of the baby. She says I am traumatising my baby because my husband and I argue so much. Deep down I am so scared because I know she is right.

I don't know what to do anymore. I'm the lowest I've ever been in my life (and I've been in very low places before).

I can see now way out of this.

All I've got is this bottle of vodka and its nice whilst I drink it but I know it will only be hours until the hazy alcohol fog lifts.

I feel that by having a child I have ruined the following:

My marriage.
My looks.
My prospects.
My security.
My intellect.

I can't think that this can possibly be normal because otherwise people wouldn't have multiple kids, and most people do.

I honestly thought I would be a good mother. I had no reason to think otherwise. I would NEVER have subjected an innocent child to me in this state if I knew this was going to happen. I'm not an inherintly evil person. I thought I was a loving and gentle and kind person until now.

And having a child is irreversable. What the hell can I do now?

I don't expect many replies but this has been good therapy to get it all out and read it back to myself.

bloodychocoholic Sat 30-Oct-10 21:32:12

You poor thing. I'm so sorry you feel this way.
Sounds like PND to me but I'm sure someone will be on who has more experience in these things.

It will get better. x

Eleison Sat 30-Oct-10 21:34:08

I hope that lots of other people will say this too:

You aren't an awful mother; you are EXHAUSTED. Everything seems bleak now because you are so tired. It is a traumatic transition, from childlessness to having a child. Things WILL get better.

Almost certainly you have not damaged your intellect. That will bounce back when you have more sleep. Other problems will start to get easier too. Meanwhile, be kind to your self, get all the help you can. Be kind to you partner too, if possible. And make sure he is kind to you!

expatinscotland Sat 30-Oct-10 21:34:32

Well, I'll reply because I don't want you to feel like you're alone.

I'm here to tell you you are not.

Also, that you may have postnatal depression (PND). You may not, and you may be suffering the results of extreme sleep deprivation, but I've had PND and I felt just as you describe.

There IS help out there. There are, for starters, many anti-depressants out there, you can also ask to be referred to a psychiatric nurse or consultant who can help you find one that works for you, and be referred for counselling.

And you're here!

I wish I knew about MN when I had my first and fell into a great big black hole.

Keep talking!

We are listening.

rubyslippers Sat 30-Oct-10 21:35:45

Stop drinking

A hangover is horrid with a small baby

I could relate to some of what you said - when we had our first, DH and I had some of bitterest rows

I thought I had ruined my life too - DS was refluxy, didn't sleep was permanently I'll and I lost "myself"

It did get better but at the time it felt like a bomb had gone off and exploded my old life away

I was isolated - none of my friends had children but I went to just one group and met some great friends who are still with me 5 years down the line

Have you got a good health visitor? If so, speak to her ASAP

Have a (hug)

expatinscotland Sat 30-Oct-10 21:35:45

stop beating yourself up, too.

you know something, if you really were a shit mum, you wouldn't even care, much less feel bad enough to write that post.

you'd be out boozing and not giving a toss about the kid.

rantyknickers Sat 30-Oct-10 21:35:56

You poor thing. Things will get better.

3 months is a real low point for most mothers and is not a reflection of how it will always be, either for your child or your marriage.

Sleep deprivation can do awful things to you and your relationship.

There is a kind of haze over new parenthood and I, with both my children, felt I disappeared for a while. Although I loved them I felt I'd lost myself.

Then when they hit 12 months I felt a kind of fog lifting and I felt my old self returning a little bit.

I'm sorry if this isn't offering any practical advice right now - will try to think of some.

But you are not a bad mother, or a bad wife, or a bad person.

We ALL feel like this at some point, usually when they are tiny. You go from being a competent, accomplished successful person to not having a fucking clue what you are doing, getting no feedback (!) and feeling and looking like shit most of them time.

sethstarkaddersmummyreturns Sat 30-Oct-10 21:36:02

oh you poor thing.
There are more people on here who feel like you than you think.
You are responding perfectly normally to a really difficult situation - having a child is hard hard hard especially with all the things you mention.
It is very, very early days if she's only 3 months old.
Having a child is irreversible but most of the things in your list will get better: you will get your looks back, you will get your brain back, you can rebuild your relationship and your job security and prospects will improve.
Please take care of yourself and don't do anything drastic, things will get better.

CaptainSquidBones Sat 30-Oct-10 21:36:45

As far as I am concerned to feel like this is completely normal. people will label this as depression but having a baby is associated with socail isolation and a number of losses. The good thing is that you have insight into the reasons behind why you are feeling crappy.

In shirt my advice to you, havign been is almost exactly the same position, would be to :

stop trying to be perfect -babys at this age only require love , milk and sleep really

Be kind to yourself

Find somethigns to do with your baby - MONKEY MUSIC saved me - stopped me sitting on the sofa watching the clock . Meant nothing to my 3 month old baby but made me get dressed and meet mums.

Stop drinking - it won't help and just make you feel a crappier mum and a failure

The losses that you experience after first having a baby you will recoup but it is hard to think so at a time. Your looks your slef-esteem and gradually your freedom will return.
Stop the drinking

HumphreyCobbler Sat 30-Oct-10 21:36:46

I am so sorry

It sounds like PND to me as well, although I am not a doctor.

You can try different anti depressants in order to find one that suits you, if you do decide to go down that route

When I had PND I felt that life could never be the same, but it was a symptom of my depression. I got better and things did not look that way to me any more.

Sequins Sat 30-Oct-10 21:38:22

Not sure I can be that helpful but didn't want to leave your post unanswered. The first couple of months are very hard and it does get better. Particularly the sleep. If you have depression anyway (which I think you are saying in your post) then if you aren't able to take anti-depressants are you able to go out for a walk with baby in the buggy in the day time to at least get some fresh air and exercise and sunshine?

Out of your list, I really really wouldn't worry about your looks for now, you won't have changed as much as you think in your essentials, just less time to look after yourself etc. There is a good shiney thread on here about taking small steps each day to help with self-esteem in this area.

Your marriage - well, yes it is important but I bet your DH knows that post-baby time is difficult and was not expecting it to be a breeze.

Your prospects - actually as a teacher it is easier to go back into work after a bit than in some other careers, quite a lot of women in the profession do it. Give yourself permission not to think about it for a good while yet, your baby is still only 3 months old!

Your intellect - this hasn't changed, it's just that sleep deprivation makes people feel dull and slow.

Your security - you will feel better about this in time because it relates to your other fears, which will themselves alleviate in time.

Have you had all of this conversation with your husband or just parts of it?

Shame your mum doesn't seem to be very supportive - those comments don't sound very helpful. Can anyone else babysit / come round to help for a bit so you can get some sleep or a bath etc.?

i'm sure it feels like a lifetime but it's only been three months - you're incredibly tired and whatever you've heard, most mother's feel like this at some point.

go to your gp, get the help you need and deserve - this too shall pass.

rantyknickers Sat 30-Oct-10 21:39:17

Also, DH and I can now laugh about the almighty argument we had when I packed up DS1 (3 months) in the car, complete with suitcase and headed to my sisters.

I had to turn back and go home as I couldn't work out a way to explain to her that it was about the fact that I had bought aubergines blush

thelunar66 Sat 30-Oct-10 21:39:48

Oh my darling. I know what you mean. I used to look at DD in her basket and think... 'what HAVE I done? feck feck feck. There is no going back now'

have you talked to your DP? Does he help you out with the baby? Does he know how you feel?

Where in the country are you?

springtulips Sat 30-Oct-10 21:41:26

You don't need to blame yourself, it sounds like you've got PND. You need to see your GP next week (book a double appointment when you call the surgery to give yourself plenty of time to talk) and, if you get on with your HV, give her a call and ask for her to come and see you at home so she can give you some support. You are not the first woman to feel like this and things will get better but you will need some help to get well again.

read all these posts - you're not alone - we've all been there at some level or another and we all understand how you feel - don't be hard on yourself

cobbledtogether Sat 30-Oct-10 21:42:35

You are not alone. When I had PND with DS1 I had to write everything down or I'd forget it. I'd pick fights with DH over ridiculous things. I felt a failure.

There is no such thing as a perfect mum. When I had a 3 month old, success was getting out of the house before midday and remembering everything I needed.

Keep talking. I know its hard to believe it will get better, but it will. You'll need a helping hand though - can you speak to your HV?

BTW - my house was (and mostly still is) a tip. No one will judge you for where you live - they'll just be interested in you and your LO.

winnybella Sat 30-Oct-10 21:43:26

PND, I would think. Quite common. Go and see GP, please.

Basically hormones plus exhaustion. GP will help you by prescribing meds and perhaps referring you for a therapy.

Please don't drink lots of vodka as not very good for a baby. I know you know and a couple of glasses of wine is fine, but half a bottle of vodka is not.

It's shit and I'm sorry you're feeling so down, but really, PND is more common than you think.

And you didn't ruin your prospects as plenty of women go back to work, you've got great degrees and experience so it shouldn't be very hard to find work when you feel it's time.

Wrt intellect, of course you're not so sharp at the moment, I don't think many women with 3 mo babies are- sleep deprivation, perhaps PND- normal. It'll take few months to feel like your old self.

If your marriage is not working now, it is not because of the baby, it's because there are issues that were present there before and need to be resolved. Baby just brought them to surface.

Smithagain Sat 30-Oct-10 21:43:37

Put the vodka away and listen to what people are saying.

You are not the first, nor will you be the last, to feel like this. You may have PND. You may just be extremely, chronically sleep-deprived. Whichever it is, it feel like sh*t and we do understand.

Having your own child is not the same as looking after other peoples'. I, too, thought I'd be the perfect, natural mother. I found the baby months absolutely horrendous and it was a huge shock.

It doesn't feel like it just now, but it is a short period of your life. You will get yourself back. Your brain has not turned to mush - it is just exhausted. Please see your HV or doctor and do whatever you can to get help to take care of yourself and your baby until these very, very hard months are past.

Wigeon Sat 30-Oct-10 21:46:33

Really sorry to read that you are feeling so low. Agree with others that it sounds a lot like sleep deprivation talking and that things will get better. I think non-mothers completely underestimate how truely awful sleep deprivation can be.

Keep going to the baby group(s) - you don't have to invite anyone to your house but it will help you feel sane and perhaps meet some people who feel a little bit the same.

Marriage - will get better if you believe it will and acknowledge that having a baby is a major life changing event.

Looks - will get better - my tummy got back to normal, the bags under my eyes eventually went, my normal body reappeared (all eventually!).

Prospects / security / intellect - your full time job is mother at the moment, not professional career woman. And in a few months you will have got to know your DD better, got more practised at your new "career" as a mother and might feel ready to resume a working life. For now all you need to do is try to make sure your DD is warm, fed and changed. That's it.

This book was written for you - someone who was successful and confident professionally and then was hit by the sledgehammer of motherhood. I'm just reading my local library's copy after having seen it recommended several times on here. It talks about loads of the things you are experiencing.

As others have said, keep posting because there's a lot of support here.

PelvicFloorTrauma Sat 30-Oct-10 21:49:05

Oh you poor thing. I am so sorry to read how low and bleak you feel. TBH I think having a baby is the single most challenging thing I have ever done and like you I have two degrees, I worked in the City and I was confident I would cope. DS is now 16 months old. When I look back at the early months, they were extremely dark. My DH and I fought more than we have ever before. I was exhausted and furious with the lose of my identity, career/ income, freedom, figure, social life, etc etc. It does get easier and also you adjust. THIS IS A STAGE in your life, your marriage and your baby's life. It isn't as hard as it is now for ever. Like you I felt hideously ugle, slow-witted, idolated and I was massively resentful because I felt my DH didn't understand what I was experiencing and that his life hadn't shrunk to 4 walls and a roof. I think hormones and lack of sleep pay a big part. Stop trying to be the perfect mother.

Lougle Sat 30-Oct-10 21:50:09

LittleAmy please, please hear everyone who has answered you. I remember vividly having an 8 week old refluxy baby. I was sooo exhausted, she didn't sleep at night, at all for the first 12 weeks. She would scream and scream unless I sung to her and patted her back constantly.

It was so bad that my Mum (who is extremely pro-BF) almost begged me to buy some formula to get a break. I couldn't do it, because I was so irrational that I had wrapped that up with being a good mother blush

It will pass. I have 3 children now, 4.11, 3.2 & 18 months. Despite the absolute trauma of her early months, when DD1 was 10 months old, I started thinking...another would be nice.

Honestly, I still feel 'dumbed down'. I feel isolated at times, and I crave intellectual stimulation.

You will feel better, you will enjoy her. Soon she will start gurgling, and rolling, and even crawling, and you will feel like you have a little person with you, rather than a sleeping, feeding, pooing machine with 3 settings - on, off and scream.

Talk to someone, anyone, you will find that they will tell you that they have felt the same, I am sure.

Just wanted to say that others are right- many, many mums feel exactly as you have described just many of them don't admit it!!! Very very few people find it a breeze though it can often look like everyone else is coping brilliantly from the outside the truth is that we all struggle!

Mine are now 5, 4 and 2 (youngest born when eldest had just turned 3) and to be honest I barely survived!! Just it wasn't till I'd had all 3 that I realised how difficult it was, lol.

Thing is at 3 mths it is SO hard because all babies do is take take take at that age and you have to do all the rest whilst being totally exhausted etc etc. However your baby will begin to interact with you more and become more interesting, funny, sleep better etc and 12 mths really is a turning point where your life seems so shift more towards normality again.

One of the biggest lessons I had to learn was to be MUCH LESS self critical and to give myself a break and carve out ME time and make sure I got it frequently- even if it means sitting in a bath reading a book while baby is sleeping or dh looks after her.

threenoisyboys Sat 30-Oct-10 21:52:06

the reason people have more than 1 child is believe it or not this exhaustion and these feelings or hopelessness will pass.

no-one is the perfect mum. some people try and show they are but no-one really is..... and you dont have to be.

she will love you even if your sofa is falling apart or you can only manage fish finger and chips for 3 nights in a row cause you are so knackered or if your stomach is more lumpy than you could ever image and your tits are down by your waist!!

i agree though hangover will make you feel more shit and you need to get checked out by your gp r.e PND.

MaudOHara Sat 30-Oct-10 21:53:05

LittleAmy we've all been there. It will get better - in a few months time you'll suddenly realise that its not so intensive - you will start to get more sleep and feel a bit more human.

Two bits of advice from me as I'm not as eloquent as everyone else.

Seriously stop with the vodka or you will have a monster hangover tomorrow and its really hard to look after a baby when you're being sick.

And GP appointment next week - you may need some low level ADs to get you through until you do start to feel better.

If you hunt the archives there are thousands of posts of people who have been where you are - it will pass.

oh and yes I have a 2:1 degree in psyhcology and feel like I have half a brain most of the time now. I play scrabble with friends on facebook- that helps a bit ;-)

cleanandclothed Sat 30-Oct-10 21:53:56

I think the majority of mothers feel like this at some point in the first 4 months. You sound like you have it a bit worse than most and it would be good to go to a doctor, but it will get better. Get out of the house as much as possible, get as much sleep as possible. For brain food try some audio books, simpler to multitask with than a book. Take photos of your baby - they don't stay small for long!

heymango Sat 30-Oct-10 21:54:49

I really feel for you - as will loads of mothers.

Life changes beyond belief when you have your first baby - you can never be prepared for it, no matter how maternal you thought you would be. It totally affects your relationship with your DH - you are just settling into new roles in life, with no sleep thrown in for good measure. Everyone rows, and a 3 month baby only has milk and sleep on their mind, so don't worry about how it is affecting your baby.

Most mums feel hideous after 3 months - I am sure you don't look as bad as you feel, but you have as much time as it takes to get back to how you were. When you are EBF you are doing an amazing thing for your baby, don't worry about a bit of extra weight at the moment.

3 months is quite a low time IME - you are starting to feel as if you would like a bit of 'normality' back - which you can if you want to head back that way, plenty of women do. Alternatively you may find a new way of life - go out as much as possible, meet other mums, don't worry about going back to your flat - arrange to meet in a coffee shop instead.

Persist with the anti-Ds - don't know much about PND, but I am sure they will help you.

Sorry for rambling (tired here too!!) but you are not alone - it WILL get better. Take care of yourself, relax - it's such early days, things get so much better and more fun.

xx

PelvicFloorTrauma Sat 30-Oct-10 21:55:32

I could have typed your comment about how this can't be normal because otherwise how do couples manage to have more than one child! My husband and I repeatedly had the same conversation. In fact we agreed that our DS had had such a negative effect on our relationship that we might not have any more. That has changed now though. I think we all react differently to motherhood and I think (prepared to be flamed) that if you have worked at a job and enjoyed a happy success career then it can be a harder to cope with an existence that seems to be only about no sleep, wiping bottoms and crying.

LittleAmy Sat 30-Oct-10 21:57:27

Thanks for all the replies. I'll try to address some points.

I saw my GP. He said "Why are you crying for? Most women are happy when they have a child. Do you want antidepressants?" (I said yes just to get away).

My first degree was in primary education so I did a lot on the job training. But I've never actually been employed in my life. I conceived after I graduated from my second degree so I don't even know how rto properly get a job or if I could pass an interview.

As for the alcohol, what else can I do? I feel deeply alone and if I think about my lonliness too much I'm scared that I'll do something stupid. so the alcohol takes the edge off how I'm feeling and blurs everything. I truly think its stopping me from doing something stupid.

Rantyknickers - tell me all about your argumkent with your husband? My latest argument this evening was about: today I went to the hairdressers. It was the first time in 8 weeks that I have had any time apart from my baby, time to myself as it were. However I couldn't relax because my husband constantly texted me to say how the baby was howling and upset. What was I supposed to do sitting in a hair salon 20 miles away? I just wanted 2 hours away from the baby (2 hours in 8 weeks). I had left enough EBM for her. But I was not even aloud 2 hours. I feel suffocated and desperate.

AND honestly most people won't care about the nursery or your flat not being as nice as you'd like. Especially other mums who know how hard it is! So please don't worry about inviting people round for those reasons- I'm sure they would love to come and cuddle your dd for an hour while you have a cuppa and a chat.

Nuttybear Sat 30-Oct-10 21:59:36

LittleAmy Blimey. You've let it all out now. If you are an intelligent woman you know how to do treat your problem like a project.
1. Get DH to do some child care. Tell him what to do once and then leave the room. Don't chip in or go on that he is doing it wrong. Just let him get on with it then when you get back Thank him (I know he probably doesn't thank you but that's not the point you need him to be a capable Dad.)
2.Go for a walk even a little sun helps you and the baby. I had rules that we had to go for a walk between 11am and 3pm. To the point I walked through town all day and fed him on a cold bench when my house was 5 mins away (nuts!)
3.Work on a routine that works for you. If you work it out you can have time to yourself while baby naps. Not yet but quite soon you might be able to work out that baby sleeps at around 9-930am after milk or 2pm Just watch the little one.
4.Don't worry about every little cry. If you know the LO is hungry but you have to do X first say to the baby 'Your not in a refuge camp in (add country of your choice), so you won't starve & you are safe.
5. Find out what other Mum's did before baby I found the baby talk very boring.
6. A study showed that parents rowing isn't always bad for children as it helps them cope with real life, compromise and make-up. I promised DH that we wouldn't row in front of Ds and I regret it now.
7. Have a night out. It will feel very strange but it will break the spell a bit.
7. accept help from where ever it come from MIL & SIL just smile and say thank you.
I know this probably doesn't help but... maybe...smile

Doodlez Sat 30-Oct-10 21:59:46

What everyone else has said and....

Stick a bloody big rocket up your DH's arse and tell him to finish the child's room off. She needs her own space and you need her to have her own space.

I also think you could try switching your mind set - you're stuck with an old belief that you SHOULD be a great mother because of your past experience but I suspect you're ideals are unrealistic.

Lower the bar.

Meow75 Sat 30-Oct-10 22:00:19

Who ever manages to be a perfect anything?!?!

Why not try to be a good enough mother to start with? And as things improve, you'll find that meeting the standards you set yourself are easier and easier to achieve.

You also need to have a sit down with your husband and talk about the baby's bedroom. It doesn't need to be super fantastic, but painted and furnished would be good. See if you can agree with him a timescale in which it would be reasonable to have certain tasks done. Tell him that you need more support from him - the child is his daughter too, so he should step up for as many of the roles for which you are not essential when he is home from work.

And perhaps tell your mum that a bit of support would be good from her too, as a fellow mum, you know?!?!

Doodlez Sat 30-Oct-10 22:00:30

YOUR not you're - soz.

phipps Sat 30-Oct-10 22:00:53

You poor thing sad.

I thought I would be a good mum too. I knew what I wanted for my children, read all the books, was a brilliant nanny and just wanted to be a mum.

I had my baby and then wham got pnd and everything was turned upside down.

You need to tackle one thing at a time.

Don't listen to your mum.
Go see your GP.
Stop drinking.
Start eating properly.
Make sure you go out at least once a day even if it is just for a 20 minute walk.
Get access to the bank account. You should be getting the child benefit.
Talk to your husband.
Sleep when the baby sleeps at least some of the time.

Good luck.

rubyslippers Sat 30-Oct-10 22:01:44

Your GP sounds very ignorant Littleamy

Your husband should not have been texting you every few mins - he needs to gain confidence in HIS parenting. Slings are excellent for young babies

Yes - you shouod be able to have and you needed to have a few hours away ... Could your DH read parts of this thread?

The situation today in the hairdresser- so typical of first time dads!! They think every time the baby cries that only the mum can make it stop- it's very normal and VERY annoying. You just have to make it clear next time that- she will cry, she may or may not stop if he tries x, y and z, and that if she doesn't he will just have to deal with it as best he can as that's what you have to do all the time too but he must not call/text you unless it is an emergency as you need a break. Also explain that the more he looks after her by himself the easier it will become and make sure he does it at least once a week.

threenoisyboys Sat 30-Oct-10 22:03:10

ok your gp sounds like he was being very shit... are there any other gps you could see have they booked a follow up appointment? ( I am a doctor.... and that sort of thing makes me very angry!!!!!).

if you are drinking because you are worried about harming yourself you need a supportive doctor or health visitor you can talk to about all this.

heymango Sat 30-Oct-10 22:04:13

Your DH probably feels really nervous about being left with your baby. All he has seen so far is you managing to soothe her with BF and is worried that he won't be able to do the same (obviously!). My DH is exactly the same (and we have 4 DCs now) - he is terrified he won't be able to do anything if DD starts crying and prefers me to be around.

It's just something I accept now although we had some huge rows about it. I couldn't believe how much my life had changed, whereas he could just carry on as normal. Perhaps he needs to practice a bit more with you around, or going out for shorter periods of time?

TheBolter Sat 30-Oct-10 22:04:26

Oh you poor poor thing. I had feeling similar to yours when dd1 was born. She had reflux and I was in total shock for months.

It does get easier, but right now you probably don't see that. I really wish I could offer you some advice, but all I can say is that as the children get older, your life comes back to you.

I feel as though I have almost been 'reborn' over the last seven years. I'm me again, but with a much more rounded,better developed sense of self and personality. I know that that has only come to me because I found early motherhood such a test. It took me out of a comfort zone and planted me into an alien world where I didn't feel truly at home for several years.

Now however I do feel 'at home' and I am blissfully happy. I'm not the best mum in the world and still have bad days, but I now the children are older I am not just a mum - I am a wife, a friend, a working woman, and by re establishing myself I feel some sense of equilibrium.

Good luck smile.

TheBolter Sat 30-Oct-10 22:05:13

PS some of the worst (for want of a better word) are the smug ones who never question their parenting skills... go figure.

rubyslippers Sat 30-Oct-10 22:05:25

The best piece of advice I ever got was this it is ok to be good enough

Perfection is unattainable

Your baby doesn't care what your flat looks like

Baby steps - shower and then porridge for breakfast tomorrow. The oats are good for slow release energy and for your milk ...

Call your HV

See a different GP

You will find so much good advice and support on MN

EBF is also very tiring - co sleep If you can to maximize your sleeping

pozzled Sat 30-Oct-10 22:07:03

You are absolutely NOT traumatising your baby. Don't listen to such comments from your mother.

You are a very caring mum (or you wouldn't be on here) who is finding motherhood a little more difficult than expected. IME this is true of most mums, no matter how much you've worked with children and babies it is very different caring for a newborn 24/7.

It WILL get easier, your DD will sleep for longer, interact more and begin to show you how much she loves you. Part of what I found hard in the first few months was that newborns can't say thank you or show much affection. I sometimes thought 'My DD would be better off with someone else'. As they get older they start to show how much you mean to them- your DD really does want to be with you, she doesn't care whether she has a nursery yet (my DD didn't either until she was 6/7 months) or what your sofa looks like. She just wants you.

I do think you should have a long chat with your husband about how you are feeling. There are some simple steps that you can both take to help- for instance you are stressing about money and have to 'ask him for everything'. So, you need to discuss your finances, work out a sensible monthly budget, and either put his wages into a joint account, or have him pay a monthly amount into your account. If you choose the latter, you need to make sure that you have a fair share of any disposable income as well as plenty for the house, DD etc.

Can you also ask your husband or mum for more practical help- get an afternoon or evening off of childcare, meet up with some friends or do something that gets you out of the house and makes you feel more like the 'old' you.

trixymalixy Sat 30-Oct-10 22:07:23

Poor you. I found the first few months absolutely hellish too. Honestly it does get better and easier and life gets back to almost normal.

Take the anti depressants, there's no shame in it.

newbiemummy1 Sat 30-Oct-10 22:08:14

Hi littleamy,

I lurk most of the time, but wanted to post as I recognise some of the feelings you mention.

Firstly, I'm glad to see you back after the thread that kicked off with you talking about SAHM's being the better way over working mums and all the rest of it - I think you were misinterpreted then and it's good you've come back for support.

Secondly, I've wrestled with being a good mother too, but a good enough mother is a very good thing! YOu aare doing your best! Please see a different gp though x

tabouleh Sat 30-Oct-10 22:09:05

LittleAmy sweetheart smile - no one can really tell you before your DC is born, what being a mother can be like and how desperately tough it can be - especially in the first few months.

Your experience with children is with other people's children - it is impossible to be objective and rational with your own child. (Dr Tanya Byron has written about this).

Please go back to your GP and ideally see your HV. Your meds can be adjusted and you could have some counselling.

I am a bit worried about what you say about your DH: "my husband earns too much yet we always seem so poor. We don't have a joint account so I have to ask for everything."

Are you getting the child benefit paid into your own account? £80 per month.

You need to sit down with your DH and look at a budget together - regular monthly outgoings for the house, shopping, an amount for things for DD, savings and an equal amount of £ for you both each month.

You need to have a regular amount paid into your account each month not be asking your DH all the time. sad

Your DH needs to be helping you in the evenings at weekends - you're both working in the day. smile - I suspect you are working 24/7!

Your Mum is not helping at the moment sad - she obviously doesn't know how to help/maybe doesn't want to acknowledge you struggling and bring back her own memories?

Can I recommend a book to you - it will make you feel massively normal - What Mothers Do - Especially When It Looks Like Nothing - you can get it second hand for just £3.10 (including P&P).

Keep posting - and maybe give us some more info about DD and DH.

winnybella Sat 30-Oct-10 22:09:05

Oh, yes, tell your husband that he needs to assume the role of the parent. Texting you every few minutes, ffs.angry

You need more time than 2 hrs every 8 weeks to yourself. It's necessary for your wellbeing. Can you make sure you get at least one afternoon a week- leave baby with dh and ebf and they'll be fine. You'll be able to see a friend or go browse in a bookstore or just sit in a cafe.

hester Sat 30-Oct-10 22:09:42

Everyone else has already said it, but I'll pile in anyway.

The early weeks after having a child is, for many of us, utter utter shite. Actually, it is pretty shite until you start getting some decent sleep. It will get better. But it is really hard to endure at the time, when everyone expects you to be blissed out and you don't feel able to complain without sounding disloyal to your baby, and in any case you're isolated and can't go out and do things that would make you feel better.

Having a new baby is also like chucking a hand grenade into your relationship. I admit, there were many times when I couldn't see how my relationship could survive. But it did, we rebuilt, and now I can't imagine us being apart.

Oh and yes, your brain kind of goes for awhile, and your body. But that is not permanent, I promise.

It gets better. For most of us, it gets so much better that we actually choose to do the whole thing again! Motherhood is bloody tough, but it's also the most rewarding, fascinating, funny, tender, meaningful thing I've ever done. I didn't feel like that three months in, though.

You may or may not have PND. Check that out. Stop drinking. Prioritise getting as much sleep as you can. Agree with your dh that neither of you will leave each other for at least six months - just sit it out till then. Stop worrying about your flat - I lived in a small flat, too, and didn't sort out the baby's room for a year; we just lived in squalor till then. Don't let that stop you going out and making friends with other new mothers: they were my lifeline.

Best of luck.

Appletrees Sat 30-Oct-10 22:09:48

Hi LittleAmy

You are falling very hard because you thought you would be great at it and your expectations were too high. Because of this you have fallen hard and fast.

You do need some help from the GP but you also need to lower your expectations. You probably thought you would be different from other mums because you're so bright and you have so much childcare experience. Having PND has blown that out of the water.

Nothing else matters now except you and the baby. These sorts of feelings can turn into being cross with your child for crying even when you're doing your best despite utter exhaustion.

Please get some help.

threenoisyboys Sat 30-Oct-10 22:10:29

oh and try and get the hang of lying on your side and feeding whilst sleeping.
honestly was a complete lifesaver for me as it meant I could maximise my sleep and start to doze off as they started to feed.

things always worse when you are exhausted.

Appletrees Sat 30-Oct-10 22:13:29

I absolutely agree with rubyslippers. Have a shower, wash your hair, eat something, put some make up on tomorrow and a clean pair of jeans and go to a different doctor.

If I was your mum I would come round with a casserole, run you a bath, make you a hot water bottle and a hot chocolate and comb your hair through while you feed before bed, then set out your outfit for tomorrow so you don't have to think about a thing.

You have to forge ahead without your dh support for now, he is totally secondary.

Good luck, I hope you smile again soon.

TheBolter Sat 30-Oct-10 22:14:03

Agree with appletrees... it is worse if you think it's going to be easy.

aaaaaAAARGHandbreathe Sat 30-Oct-10 22:17:48

LittleAmy - I thought I remembered your name from another thread and you posted before you gave birth didn't you? about all the awful things people had said/you'd read about having a baby such as terrible effects on your relationship and lots of the things you'd read in some book off Amazon. You sounded anxious then and I think you might have placed very high expectations on yourself.

You sound like a perfectionist (a messy perfectionist! I am very messy - I prefer to pay my lovely cleaner once a week who is much much less expensive than a therapist - I would very much recommend that if you are finding mess/housecleaning a cause of disagreement with your husband and can afford it - although he should he very much sharing the load with you) and like you might be setting yourself impossibly high standards (even before giving birth) and worrying about failing to live up to those standards.

I am 34, a lawyer, pretty well regarded career wise (though I do say so myself...modest too), degrees, blah blah and I think it does not matter what you've done before, nothing prepares you for motherhood.

I was talking to my friend's nanny the other day and she's amazing but she was saying even being a nanny doesn't necessarily prepare you since you stil get to go home and get some sleep.

I'm aware that i've been lucky enough to have a pretty easy baby but christ...it's been a lot more fun since he turned 6 months. As soon as he could sit up he became this autonomous being that could be amused and amuse himself. Just give yourself 3 months. Ease up on the drinking at home (but do plan a night out with friends where you can have a drink...giving up breastfeeding at 6 months made me feel guilty BUT a lot lot better in myself too). Lots of good advice from other posters but I think the main message is speak to the GP about how you feel and check whether it's PND and in the meantime, ease up on yourself. It is still very early days. I practically burst with pride yesterday when my 10 month old son hit me on the head with the hairbrush when I asked him to brush mummy's hair. That's the other end of this strange spectrum you're on but you'll be over on this side soon enough. Please keep posting if you find it helps. Lots of good support here.

Georgimama Sat 30-Oct-10 22:17:55

Tip the vodka down the sink. Make a warm milky drink, and go to bed. Read this thread tomorrow on a clear head.

sungirltan Sat 30-Oct-10 22:18:19

hey op!! over here look look!!

wanna know who could have written your post at 3 months??? ME!! 3 to 6 months was about the worst, worst period in my life for absolutely everything which made me feel awful because dd was so cute and everything. anyway i digress. the first 3 months were just tiring but i was quite pleased with myself that i was managing quite well like getting myself washed and dressed and made up and the house was in an ok state and i got the laundry done and made dinner for dh and every couple of days i'd stroll into town and buy some more baby crap and i really though yeh i've nailed this!

however after 3 months it tuens into groundhog day and thats when you start assessing everything and what are you left with? a ost pregnancy body with all the mad hormones, a decent nights sleep is still far away and all the visitors you get with a new baby have tailed off, not to mention having nothing to say if you do meet up with your pre baby friends! oh its just heaven isn't it!!

and then.....you get upset and lonely and frustrated and start concentrating too much on your dh and then doing that counter transference thing where you are convinced everything is their fault (for example it wasn't dh's fault i was isolated but it was that he wasn't v sympathetic etc) and so on until the whole thing starts to implode and get worse and worse.....

first things first try and get some routine back. go on netmums (sorry mn but their local site is better - there is also a meet a mum board where you can find someone to make friends with - i did - was easier than i thought) local and look up activities for mums and babies in your area. if you are low income the ones at childrens centre are free and most libraries do a rhyme time session which is free too. it took me about 8 months to really make any mum friends but i feel much more socially supported now - you just have to persevere.

re the work situation. what about trying to do some freelance work from home? you could write a piece about how you feel now and submit it to some magazines. you have to begin somewhere.

meanwhile i think you need to impose some structure on yourself. i too specualte about pnd but i think the way out of depression is positive action. you could try some 'solution focused brief therapy' what you do is this imagine that your life was perfect, write down everything about it, where you'd live, what you would do every day, everything. look ast this list and try and work backwards from perfect life to now and try and work out the way forward.

re the nursery - i think you would feel better if it got done - sod the sofa - anyone who's ever had a cat will laugh with you and sympathise about that. can you think of a few people who might help you out for a day or so and get the nursery done? family? in laws? you could even ask some friends from the baby group if you felt comfortable doing that?

i am a right list preacher. make a list of everything that needs addressing in your life. pick the easist thing on the list to do and do it. you will feel just a tiny bit more in control i promise x

Nuttybear Sat 30-Oct-10 22:19:05

Hide the phone. You haven't left the baby with another child. Make sure it rings in a cupboard he can hear it so, he knows you've ..erm.. forgotten it. Don't get even,get clever... work out ways to get the best from your staff ops!... I mean DH....
Kiss him when he has done something. Smile at everyone apparently it can help even if you fake it. Write all your tips on a sheet for him. I did this with DH and wrote out a complete day plan when I went out for the day! smile
My sister in law was fab too. I did send my Mum nuts. To the point that she moaned so much about my bad temper to my sister and brother-in-law that he brought Mum a ticket to Canada, to see the other grandchildren... She didn't come back for 6 months! ops! again. You could also entertain yourself by correcting this post... I'm not that intelligent. Could you do some tutoring for kids in the local area at your house?
You need housekeeping money and seprate account so when you do earn you decide what to spend the money on not a great big lump. It help both DH and myself to feel independant.

hubblybubblytoilntrouble Sat 30-Oct-10 22:21:10

You're not a bad mum at all. What you're feeling and going through right now sounds very much like me after DS was born.

I too thought I'd be a wonderful mother and I fell very short of my own expectations, I couldn't even give birth properly.

When DS was just 3 weeks old, I packed my bags and fully intended to leave home, over some silly row I'd had with DH. Can't even remember what it was about now.

I was driving myself insane trying to be the perfect mother. The hours I spent perfecting our routine, then falling to pieces when DH refused to do it my way. It was an awful time but a distant memory now.

My DH would be driven mad by me starting to say something then just stopping half way through. I was sooo tired, I would actually forget I was talking out loud.

I saw my GP, who was wonderful, prescribed anti depressants and CBT which helped me enormously. Things started to improve really quickly after that and the CBT helped me to deal with all of the practical issues that were bogging me down.

Can you possibly get to see a better GP in your practice? This other one sounds like an idiot.

sungirltan Sat 30-Oct-10 22:22:41

oooh i remember you from back along too. weren't you doing nct classes? all my mum friends already knew eachother from their nct class. even if you have lost touch with your group the nct still do bumps and babes groups and tea parties and this that and the other - look them up x

and i meant to say, my dd is 12 months now and my god what a different place i am in. i know you feel like shit now but you will come back from there. we all do

Hey.......baby is fine, you're fine, everything will be fine.

What you are experiencing, post natal, is pretty normal IMHO, you are obviously a high achiever and intelligent, please stop beating yourself up!

We all expect ourselves to be a perfect mum, we all expect birth to be easier than it is, we all think breastfeeding will be easy and we all expect baby to sleep. When one of these doesn't live up to your expectations illusions get shattered and you start analysing yourself and your actions. Then you start doubting yourself. It's shite, isn't it petal?

There are, as many posters have said, other anti depressants out there. Tell your gp your concerns, he/she will research into the right one for you. They will work! I have been on them for 4 years now, they turned my life around.

Please, for us, go and see your gp?
Please try them.

newbiemummy1 Sat 30-Oct-10 22:30:56

Please talk to us sweetheart.

Please know that if breastfeeding is making you as miserable as I tihnk it is (that is you, isn't it?) you DON'T have to carry on. Ok? I'm sorry if I have you mistaken there, but if it's you, you really, really don't have to carry on. You've given your DD a brilliant start already xx

hubblybubblytoilntrouble Sat 30-Oct-10 22:38:51

Yes LittleAmy, I specifically asked my GP not to prescribe anti depressants that wouldn't make me put on weight.

I can't remember what they were, but they worked and I lost weight, once I was on the road to recovery.

wannabeglam Sat 30-Oct-10 22:39:09

It all sounds normal to me. The first months of motherhood are hard, very hard.

Ignore your mother, and stay away from the vodka - it will only make you feel worse.

Go for really long walks in the morning to get you out in the fresh air and you'll get fitter too.

When at home, put on Radio 4 and leave it on. Some things you'll like, others you won't but you'll feel in touch and stimulated.

The best marriages are tested by newborns, that's normal. Be kind to each other and weather the storm. A new baby coming into the house is like being hit by a tornado.

I had a nightmare with my 2 (yes I had a 2nd - had to give a sibling although it was a frightening thought). But you know what, they grew to be very contented older babies, toddlers, children...

You're not a crap mother, you're just having a crap time. It will pass. Everybody has crap times in their lives, and they do pass. You also probably had a rose-tinted notion of motherhood.

Meet friends at toddler groups - too much pressure for any new mum to have people round.

Trying to be perfect only leads to disappointment. Your baby has a lovely mummy who's having a bit of a hard time. Don't make it harder on yourself.

Sending you a big hug!

LittleAmy Sat 30-Oct-10 22:50:46

Thanks everyone. I've put away the vodka and am now drinking some tea. I've also put baby to the breast as she started crying and BFing seems to have calmed me. Plus she smiled at me as she fed. Gosh I love her so much. It breaks my heart.

I am very angry with my mum. Her lack of support is really upsetting. She wants to see us regularly but when any problems arise she comes out with the strangest, most unsupportive things. This evening when I phoned her in tears she said I was traumatising DD. She said I should never argue infront of DD. She said I should now forget about myself. That I don't need any time to myself. Baby comes first. But she is not a model for motherhood. She has tried to commit suicide twice (first when I was 12 years old then shortly after) so who the HELL is she to tell ME that I traumatise my child by arguing infront of her?!

Why would my mother say that?? (Genuine question). Has anyone had a mother like this?

My DD really freaks out when we argue infront of her. She cries real tears and the look in her eyes is heartbraking. But I'm praying and hoping that she will have no memory of this. I can't remember being 3 months old, can you? What effect, if any, does arguing and shouting have on a baby? Please be honest, I can take it.

"I sometimes thought 'My DD would be better off with someone else'."

Absolutely I have thought that. When DD was a few days old I said we should get her adopted.

newbiemummy1 Sat 30-Oct-10 22:56:05

Don't worry about arguing and stuff hun.

I don't have a baby yet (am pg) but have stepchildren who I feel so, so close to (their mother is not really around).

DSS1 used to raise voices, shout scream and pull scary faces at DSS2 when he was a baby. He would cry real tears but recover really quickly. I'm sure as long as it's not happening all the time so as to become the norm it's ok.

Big hugs xx

expatinscotland Sat 30-Oct-10 22:59:41

Amy she will not remember it.

Keep talking here!

See, told ya you weren't alone .

sungirltan Sat 30-Oct-10 23:04:14

if your mum is like that then seek impartial advice. sounds like mum has an agenda or two and thats really unhelpful for you. talk to health visitor if gp is pants. mine is really clued up about pnd and ptsd from difficult births etc

aldo re the thinking it would be easy, amongt my mum friends, one is a clinical psychologist, two have phd's. honestly you should hear them! they sounded just like you a few months back

hubblybubblytoilntrouble Sat 30-Oct-10 23:06:11

LittleAmy, well done, I'm glad you've put away the vodka. The last thing you need on top of everything else is a hangover.

Your, I'm sorry to hear about your Mother, the relationship doesn't sound terribly supportive sad There are obviously some very deep issues there, perhaps linked to how you're feeling now as a new mother yourself?

I fell out with my mother for a few months whilst I was going through PND. I couldn't cope with her criticism of me, when I was feeling so low. Things are a lot better now. She has managed to hold her tongue for over 3 years now and she's back in our lives.

You so obviously love your DD so much and it seems that you're beating yourself up over everything you do and say, because you think you're letting her down somehow.

That will get better as you get on top of the PND, really it will.

I used to hate myself for crying so much with DS, I didn't want him to grow up thinking he made Mummy sad. Still brings tears to my eyes thinking back to it all.

TheCrackFox Sat 30-Oct-10 23:11:04

Your mum is an arse - my mum was similarly unhelpful and managed to re-write history to become the perfect mother. She certainly contributed to my PND and I had to cut right back on seeing her for me to get well again.

It is a well kept secret but the first 0-9 months of a babies life are utter, utter shit. It does get better, promise.

Your baby will not remember any of this. I was a snivelling, hormonal, embittered mess but my DS1 (9yrs) seems unharmed by it.

DeadPoncy Sat 30-Oct-10 23:17:38

The worst word you can use right now is "perfect". I am firmly convinced that perfectionists are in great danger of ending up miserable as mothers, because what is less perfect than a little being which isn't finished yet? An unpredictable, needy little being...

You go into great detail about your first class degrees and ambitions, but did you ever learn, or train, how to fail?

If you cannot get over your perfectionism, please take this as your new project, one you can make your own. Learn to fail, and to re-make yourself and your life. You have achieved a lot so far, so you can do this.

However, give yourself a rest first, and a break. It is hard for everyone, and you really have to stop thinking things are over for you. Everything is just different.

Also, please show your husband and mother this thread, or some of the things you have written. They ought to understand why you are acting in this way, and see how you interpret the way they have been trying to help.

Good luck!

LittleAmy Sat 30-Oct-10 23:23:28

hubblybubblytoilntrouble - what antidepressants did you use? Also what was the final straw that made you brake up with your mum? How did the relationship end?

sungirltan - what agenda do you suspect mum has?

TheCrackFox - what did your mum do?

DeadPoncy - I don't cope with failure very well. The way I see it is: it's hard to know when you're being a good mother, but it's easy to know when you're being a bad one

WillYouDoTheDamnFanjo Sat 30-Oct-10 23:24:38

Just popping in to show some support for you LittleAmy. I have been there and back again. You'll find your way.

Doodlez Sat 30-Oct-10 23:25:54

I don't think you can call it when the child is so young. I don't think you can know if you've been a good enough mother until they're standing at the front door, fully grown, and you're taking the front door key back off them!

DeadPoncy Sat 30-Oct-10 23:35:55

Sorry, I missed your later post about your mother. That is out of order. She is being selfish to make such demands (emotional manipulation) on you without considering their effect. After all, she is not sleep-deprived and hormonal, is she?! Your DH also sounds insensitive, but much more understandably so. Your GP was obnoxious. I'm not surprised you are feeling so crap, surrounded but not supported, by such negativity. Please try to understand that some of your despair is due to this, not to you, and not to your DD!

Keep posting here. You're really not alone with this, and people here can be really positive and practical.

hubblybubblytoilntrouble Sat 30-Oct-10 23:38:35

I think it was sertraline LittleAmy, but it was a few years ago and there may well be newer ones in use now.

The story with my mum is a long one. I felt criticised by her all my life tbh, whatever I did wasn't quite good enough, it meant I could never be happy with my achievements, whatever I did could always be done better, quicker whatever. (I didn't rationalise any of this until I went through CBT though?

Things came to a head when DS was just a few weeks old. Everything I did, I did it wrong according to her. Birth complications, jaundice, very sleepy baby, wouldn't feed etc. The maternity ward nurses/gp/midwife told me to keep him awake when he was feeding, tickling him, taking off his babygrow if necessary, to make sure he got enough milk. My mother told me I was torturing him, that sleep deprivation was a recognised torture method hmm. It sounds silly now, I should really have just been able to laugh it off, but she really hurt me. It was a similar pattern to my childhood really, my mother's right to express her opinion counts above anyone's feelings.

Anyway, we had a huge row, a slanging match, a lot of stuff was said that was very unpleasant, on both sides. It was actually over an IM site blush but I couldn't talk to her without crying and I wanted to say my piece.

We didn't contact each other for a few months. I got better, I got stronger and I learnt how to deal with her negativity.

We did make up and she has never criticised me again, although I noticed the other day she was having a moan over the wallpaper I've chosen for my kitchen, so I'll have to keep an eye on her!

You're so right about how hard it is to know how well you're doing! That's it exactly. I used to think, if someone could just come in and tell me 'well, you did that very well, a bit more of that, a bit less of that and a few more of these tomorrow' life would be so much easier.

I've learnt now to trust myself and, like RubySlippers says, good enough is good enough.

Failure, for me anyway, is easier to accept if you also allow yourself to accept your successes and count them at least as equally important.

DeadPoncy Sat 30-Oct-10 23:41:26

"it's hard to know when you're being a good mother, but it's easy to know when you're being a bad one"

Not true. None of us know how our efforts will pan out. Anyway, some of it depends on the relationship with the child, so even the most "incompatible" people can find an understanding.

sungirltan Sat 30-Oct-10 23:50:10

oh i dunno - re the agenda - what i mean is that sometimes our parents find it impossible to just be helpful if they are already dissaproving of something else we have done as in they likie to say things like 'well YOU married him/turned that job down/gave up bf/went backl to work too early/etc etc' even if you just told them that your dc was having trouble sleeping or osme such innocuous problem iyswim

if you talk to gp/hv/us lot then since we don't know you we have no agenda to project on you whilst giving advice

arabicabean Sun 31-Oct-10 00:01:46

OP - I expect being a good mother is about many things. You insinctively put your child's needs first and are happy to do so.

If the child is happy and contented, developing well and you are in a good place, I would expect that you are doing a pretty good job.

wishiwas21again Sun 31-Oct-10 00:13:02

LittleAmy - I may be off the mark here but I think your feelings will have something to do with your childhood and your relationship with your mother

Having a baby can trigger long repressed emotions about childhood.

I would urge you to seek counselling and if this is the case visit the Stately Homes thread in Relationships

I felt as you do when my firstborn arrived. Like you I wanted to be the pefect mother. I did have a course of anti-depressants because they helped lift me up from the very bottom of the black hole, just enough to see a chink of light and realise that my childhood was shit and that my parents were wankers. Counselling and posting here set me on the rest of my journey to where I am today.

Yes now I am a happy mum and I did go on to have another baby but I was where you are. One day I just wanted to jump in the river behind our house and go to sleep.

You are not alone as others have said and you are not a bad mum.

maktaitai Sun 31-Oct-10 00:33:29

'If the child is happy and contented, developing well and you are in a good place'... yes, well, that would be easy to spot. But it's not great if you have a baby who cries a LOT (and let's face it, some of them just do), development happens in fits and starts and you only ever hear about other childrens' development when they are ahead of the norm, and the OP sounds as if she is very far from a good place. In those cases you do start wondering what kind of mum you are because it really does feel pretty shit.

But you're still doing as well as most of us Lily, believe me.

wannabeglam Sun 31-Oct-10 00:43:48

My sister-in-law made a decision not to argue with her husband and...kept to it!

She said life was much easier. She was arguing over little things that in the scale of things didn't matter.

Your mother has a lot of issues. Ignore her. But also, don't ask her for advice. You know she's going to upset you. I have a friend with a very odd mother. She has totally accepted that she's odd and her life is happier for it. She told me if her mother died she wouldn't miss her. As someone whose mother has died (we were very close and I miss her terribly) I find that very sad. My mother-in-law had a difficult mother who ruled all her children till she died aged 100. Don't cut her off literally, let her go in your head. You have your own family and you will find your way. Give your hubby slack and hopefully he'll give you slack too.

I hope all the lovely posts here give you confidence. You will get through this. No mother is perfect, thank God, how would children live up to them if they were?

Enjoy the good moments. As you say, you love your DD so much - hang on to that. You are all she wants and needs. xxxx

gaelicsheep Sun 31-Oct-10 00:52:57

Oh my God, you poor thing feeling like this. I will echo many others and say this really does sound like PND. Your post describes exactly how I was feeling a couple of months ago.

There's currently a kind of support thread running that you may find helpful here.

FWIW, the first 3 months are absolutely the hardest. They barely give anything back, they just feed, scream, poo, feed again, scream again, throw up, etc. etc. It feels endless, but it does pass. Soon she'll be really communicating with you, and you with her. You will see that you are the most important person in her world, the person she wants to be with more than anyone else. And it will make you feel a bit better, it will.

But please do take the advice on here and pop over to the thread I mentioned where a few of us have related our experiences.

Jennylee Sun 31-Oct-10 01:14:54

I felt like this with my 3rd, but the first 2 and a half months were the worst, he si now 6 months, it s lot better than a newborn. I felt about exactly the same as u.

we think ur partners will be so helpfula dn lovely but a baby can set the gender roles back 100 years adn u realise its all on u. the magazines lie to us and the media. I think if u accept ur life changed but mens really does not that much and not hate him for it, as the resentment will just make thigns worse, wish u were in scotland I would try and help. as i am better now and can see the sun not just blackenss anymore. My mum used to be the same too, I hate that mums are meant to be wise, I used to get so upset that ididnt have the kind of mum who would be helpful adn wise and friendly. I still can't understnad the way my mum used to be with me. do u have a friend in rl? well u have mumsnet stay on here, this site is so important its helped me through so many things, keep talking and i will know ur not alone

Jennylee Sun 31-Oct-10 01:19:31

I meant you will know u are not alone. i keep writing big posts, of advice but i don't know what to say as I had a bad day today myself, but they are few and far between. I just wanted to fast forward the first 6 months as I know its gets easier. I'm glad there are posters who know what to say, things will get better the baby will get bigger adn grow older and get easier, this is just a bad bit of time that will pass

jennifersofia Sun 31-Oct-10 01:40:49

I feel for you, I really do. It sounds like PND. I had undiagnosed PND with my 1st dd, and I was off the deep end. I shouted at her, even as a tiny baby, I was so angry with her- I feel uncomfortable thinking about it even now. I felt so trapped!
Things that helped me:
- going to baby groups regularly. It is a bit mundane, but at least you can have a chat and a bit of a moan to someone who is not your dh and will understand a bit, and you get out of the house.
- I had a friend who is a homeopath who treated me, and it really did help. I am not a big believer, and don't know if it would help others, but it really seemed to help.
- It can get better. My dd1 is now 9, and we have an occasionally rocky, but mostly pretty strong good relationship. I couldn't imagine it at the time, but I ended up having 2 other dc, and I now feel really glad.
Keep posting, and maybe change your GP. It can get sorted.
I wonder if your mother has some of her own unresolved issues that this is all bringing up, hence her making comments?

mollycuddles Sun 31-Oct-10 03:09:00

Hi

A lot of useful stuff has been posted already. Hope you can see it really isn't just you. Anyway, fwiw here are my thoughts.

- you're a perfectionist. I was one once, pre ds and that definitely contributed to my PND. I used to wail that I could never tell if I was "good enough" but I now realise that surviving the day intact - baby fed and loved and clean is "good enough"

- on the subject of "good enough". This is one of the most important concepts in child psychology. You could google Winnicott who described it. A child with a perfect mother is screwed as life will constantly disappoint them so less than perfection is good for your dd.

- your dh was a twat when you were getting your hair done but he's scared of your dd. Which is a bit crap for you. He needs more time with her and to do more of the caring on a daily basis.

- arguing won't damage her but isn't good for you. Try to let go of the little things with dh. He isn't perfect either. If he can't get round to doing the nursery then get someone in. You need to sort out the budget so you have access to money.

- go back to your GP or better still a different one or your HV. Sertraline is usually weight neutral. I'm a GP myself and what you're feeling is common and will pass with time and help. I can't tell on here what you need but you deserve help.

- tell your mum to eff off.

- stay away from alcohol, it makes everything worse

- keep on meeting up with mums. I almost never have people to the house (now have 3 dcs, 2 dogs and a messy dh). Going out for a coffee is great especially if it's somewhere with nice comfy sofas to veg and bf on.

- walking and fresh air is good and helps babies sleep (and if they're crying it's not so loud outdoors)

I'll shut up now but it does pass and you'll be grand in the end x

WickedWitchSouthWest Sun 31-Oct-10 03:51:11

Oh poor you. I felt exactly like this at the same point after having my DD. I didn't tell anyone and lived through it but it was bloody awful. Please go and see your gp, please. Don't do what I did and try and be 'brave', it's not worth it. I've just had my ds and I can't believe how different I feel about him and I wish I'd felt the same about DD.

You've got some brilliant advice here, please take it and get some help.

Good luck x

Georgimama Sun 31-Oct-10 05:39:03

I was going to try and post something more helpful to this thread than my previous effort (although I'm actually touched that you did in fact put down the vodka and make a cup of tea - I don't think anyone on MN has ever followed my advice before) but mollycuddles said everything I was trying to phrase.

rubyslippers Sun 31-Oct-10 05:53:33

Just checking in to see how you are this Morning

Why is your mother like that? God, who knows. She's not being helpful, but she is a human being, and she's wrong.

I remember how vulnerable I was at that stage and comments from other people could really sting. But it is normal to row with your husband when you're tired, normal to think you're a shit mother when you're exhausted. And what you said about always being maternal? You will get that back. I can totally relate to it because I was always a fabulous aunt, loved children, always wanted to be a mum - and then I had a baby with reflux and the horror... it was awful at times, and like you I fell a long way. But it does, does does get better, and soon. You're at an "always darkest before dawn" stage.

Your intellect, like your self-esteem, will return. Deep down you know this is tiredness. I was horrified by my inability to form a sentence as articulacy is a big part of my job. With a 14 month old DD, I'll admit to you that on my days in work I am totally normal, just as I was, and the other days I'm saying things like "pass the thingy, the umm, you know, saucepan" But I've learned to have a sense of humour about it. The smarts come back when you need them. The brain's a funny old thing.

There's an excellent book called "What Mothers Do" by Naomi Stadlen which I strongly suggest you read. It will reassure you no end.

Listen to all of us who tell you this is both normal and temporary. We're not soft-soaping you (why would we, we're a bunch of vipers, have you not read what the Daily Mail says about us? grin) We're telling you this because it's the God's-honest truth.

Your partner is going to have to ship up. I would show him this thread if I were you. My DH revised his opinion of my habit of going into the en-suite (out of DD's earshot) and yelling to relieve the stress on screamer-nights after speaking to some friends of ours where the woman did just the same. Just like you, he wasn't expecting this because no-one talks about it. He needs to understand that a) what you're going through is normal and b) it's in his power to make things an awful lot easier.

Are you getting one lie-in a week on one weekend day? He doesn't get both lie-ins at weekends. You should be giving her her morning feed and handing her over so you can get some extra sleep.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 31-Oct-10 06:29:33

So sorry you feel like this but as you can see from the number of posts you've had, you aren't alone and the first few months are horrible.

It's nearly 12 years ago since I was a first time Mum, I had just started a PH.d. I found DD's baby photos the other day and we were shocked at how truly ill DH looked, there weren't any of me as I used to hidd from the camera. I remembered the hell that was those first few months vividly and it wasn't a pleasant memory but having clocked up a fair few years if parenting I have so many others that are lovely and the benefit of seeing my lovely DD blossom and very much become her own person, as different to me as I am to my Mum.

Please find another GP in your practice to see or consider changing if there isn't anyone else. Is your HV any good ? Mine was rubbish but the one decent thing she did was introduce me to my lovely friend when our DD's were only a few weeks old. That made a huge difference as I stopped feeling isolated. It is really important to find something that brings you into contact with other people in the same boat. I saw a buggy fit group in the woods the other day where they all trudge off with prams and an instructor and stop every so often and do exercises. There was a lot of smiling going on and I thought what a great idea as I was trying to keep my dog from getting too excited by the arm waving.

Mothers come with their own agendas and as people say, having a baby of your own does make you look at the relationship between you and your Mum. Mine caused me a lot of grief when DD was young and I only found out recently that my very mild DH told her to back off when DD was little.

A new baby puts huge strain on a relationship while you learn to accomodate their needs, it is a huge shock but things settle down. Your DH will get the hang of looking after your DD. I think men sometimes feel at the beginning that being pregnant and carrying a baby for 9 months means you instinctively know what to do. They soon learn you don't know and they start learning.

The biggest lesson I learned about Motherhood was you only need to be good enough, I had to figure this out myself as there wasn't MN then. I am truly rubbish at babies but as my two are older now (There is a fair gap between my two as we thought we were so rubbish after DD we didn't want to inflict ourselves on another child but nature took its course and DS turned up just as DD started school, what a revelation it was second time round, so much easier). There are no prizes for having an immaculate house etc. The only prize is the love of your child which is unconditional and you get anyway, simply by being there for them

Please keep posting, things honestly will improve but do try again with a different GP as the right one can help you right now.

Georgimama Sun 31-Oct-10 07:09:27

That another good point - every mother isn't good at every stage of motherhood. Some bits you just have to get through best you can.

And cheerfully ignore people who say new babyhood is the "best stage". This is nonsense. DD is one and huge fun. This stage is much more rewarding than screamy-baby-phase. I think some people wear great big rose-tinted-nostalgia-glasses.

Nuttybear Sun 31-Oct-10 09:36:45

Longtalljosie So true. The best age for my Ds was when he started walking and talking. 4-10yrs is the absolute best. That reminds me I was a spinster Aunt to my sisters boys. My sister had her children when she was just 16 yrs & 18yrs. Nephews are now in their 20's & fine I had my Ds at 41 yrs. Neither of us had kids during the 'normal' phase.
LittleAmy Do you have any brothers or sisters maybe close cousins that could chip in?

homeboys Sun 31-Oct-10 09:37:47

Message withdrawn

homeboys Sun 31-Oct-10 09:40:22

Message withdrawn

sethstarkaddersmummyreturns Sun 31-Oct-10 09:44:16

how are you this morning LittleAmy? Hope you are not too horribly hung over. smile

FakePlasticTrees Sun 31-Oct-10 09:50:04

Hi LittleAmy,

I hope you're feeling better this morning. Just wanted to reply to your comment about DD getting upset when you argue - it's the noise. DS was 6 months old during the world cup - when England scored and DH cheered, DS screamed the place down and looked terrified. They just don't like loud noises, and if you're holding her, she'll feel the tension from you.

It's normal to want to get your hair done. Seriously, you can't go 5 years before you have your hair cut or have a wax. If this was the first time your DH was left alone with your DD then it will have been stressful for him, but actually, it would be more selfish of you to withold your DD from her father - little girls should get on well with their Daddy. It will be easier next time.

So get on to the hairdressers tomorrow when they open and make your return appointment for 6 weeks time.

I agree with the others regarding a routine, I found it was easier for me, but also DH - I could write out for DH times and what needed to be done, so if DS was getting stroppy, he could see that it was time for milk, or time for a sleep etc. Made it easier for him to be in charge without contacting me.

And of course, rather unfortunately, the hairdressers I go to is in a location where I can never get a mobile signal... wink

TrappedinSuburbia Sun 31-Oct-10 12:58:54

Yes, 'forget' your phone the next time you get out without dd.

I had pnd as well, I think it was lustral I was on, don't know the generic name.

Can you talk to your dh and tell him how desperately difficult you are finding things and please try and speak to a different GP, that one sounds shocking!

It is very hard at the start and no-one tells you, I also thought my baby would be better off adopted, but guess what, im not perfect but im still his mum and we've both survived nearly 6 years later.

And I know others may not agree, but I found breastfeeding very stressful and wasn't very good at it, because of the effect it was having on me, hv recommended I bottle fed ds and tbh it relieved a lot of stress for me. I know its a very personnal decision, but just a thought.

wannabeglam Sun 31-Oct-10 14:46:21

I'm big into breastfeeding, but if it was making my life hell I'd stop. At the end of the day your baby needs nourishment and formula provides that. I remember being told the first 13 weeks (God knows why) were the most important in breastfeeding.

Swangirl Sun 31-Oct-10 15:28:24

Hi
Lots of people have posted lots of helpful and supportive messages.
Having a young baby is hard work as you know but things verrry slowly start to get better as baby becomes more independent of you.
Talk to your DH about how you feel. Talk to your HV about referring you to Home-startSo that you can have couple of hours break once a week. I have a homestart volunteer and she is wonderful and the break is nice too.
I really feel for you and Sort of know how you feel about the isolation. I wish I could help you more. Please talk to someone and I would change you G.P he sounds not very useful.
please take care of yourself sneak off and have a bath when Baby is asleep or just do something for you no matter how trivial it seems.

motherinferior Sun 31-Oct-10 15:42:28

O lovely. I echo what everyone else says here - you should have seen me when DD1 was three months old, I was a fat knackered miserable weeping wreck, wondering what in hell's name had happened to my life and why oh why was I not as blissful as I was supposed to be...

Get all the help you can - although I suggest you don't ask your mother for anything, just leave her to it (I would think she is going through some horrific Guilt Stuff of her own, but frankly that is not your problem at the moment) and you will get through.

You should see DD1 now - she is nine, she is glorious and she has a younger sister. And I am still grumpy as anything, and I shout at them and at their father, but actually we are all making a pretty good fist of it and most of the time* I am a quite presentable dame who weighs what she did when she first got pregnant.

*although today I am slightly the worse for wear and hungover it should be said...

minxofmancunia Sun 31-Oct-10 16:13:25

Littleamy so sorry to hear you're having such a horrible time. I could have written your post when my dd was 3 months, God how much did i hate Motherhood, it nearly killed mine and dhs relationship, I was sleep deprived, depressed and hallucinating.

My Mum wasn't great, I remember calling her desperate saying someone had to come and take dd for a few hours as I felt like jumping out of a window. She said she couldn't come as she had a flute lesson. hmm

I doggedly carried on with bf even though there was a direct link between that and the way i was feeling. I could not stand the feeling of being so restricted, it made me ill. Once dd finally took a bottle at 7 months a lot of the crap lifted. BF can be bloody awful, smothering and suffocating. It leaves you with no life of your own. If this is the case for you then stop.

I also hated what it did to my body, I've found it very hard to reconcile myself to the fact that i feel it's trashed my body (which although i say myself was great prior to babies).

Please follow some of the advice on here, I really hope you start feeling better soon.

scaredveryscared Sun 31-Oct-10 21:07:27

LittleAmy listen to the brilliant advice here. MN has kept me sane in my hour of need and we ALL need support and advice. Having a baby is THE hardest thing you can ever do..... and I thought it would be hard but had no idea it would be this hard.

You will get to a point where 'things' don't feel as horrendous as they do now.... and you will suddenly feel better about things little by little. It's not gonna be over night....

My DS is 10 months now and it's still hard at times but you get better at being a mum each day.

Sending big hugs xx

Numberfour Mon 01-Nov-10 08:55:30

I felt so much like you did, OP, when my DS was born just over 6 years ago. It took about a year for the fog to lift, as a PP so rightly put it. I now adore DS completely and utterly and he is just a normal, cheeky little boy.

You will feel better. But you do need to be proactive and take the very good advice given here.

I hope that you're feeling a little better today.
x

DirtyMartiniOfDoom Mon 01-Nov-10 09:27:23

How's it going, LittleAmy?

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 10:58:25

I've been drinking every day since I wrote this. I thought I was okay this morning but something tiny happened and it was the last straw

Whitethorn Mon 01-Nov-10 11:42:20

You need to go and see a GP now - for yourself to help you come out of this.

You will come through it but booze will just make it worse. Please make the appointment and get some help.

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 11:55:58

i tried to speak to a HV over the phone but my baby wouldnt let me. she was screaming so i had to hang up.

bloodychocoholic Mon 01-Nov-10 11:57:22

Can you go into another room with a cordless phone? If not, can you pop the baby in another room for 5 mins whilst you speak to the HV?

sethstarkaddersmum Mon 01-Nov-10 12:00:34

she won't come to any harm in her cot for 10 mins while you phone doc or HV, even if she is crying.
do call your GP or HV. They really can help & I can guarantee that sitting there with a GP or HV telling you this is all normal will make you feel at least a bit better.

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 12:04:30

basically HV suggested i give up breastfeeding. it makes me want to shut myself off from all professionals and anyone

bloodychocoholic Mon 01-Nov-10 12:09:29

Stunning HV advice as always. hmm

Please don't shut yourself off from everyone though. You need to keep talking at the moment, even if it is just to tell everyone how crap you feel.

Can you go out to see anyone or go somewhere today?

Whitethorn Mon 01-Nov-10 12:09:30

Breastfeeding is not the be all and end all. I gave up as it was driving me mad!

Baby will thrive either way - on formula or breast milk. Do what is best for you and your sanity.

sethstarkaddersmum Mon 01-Nov-10 12:10:26

oh they do get bees in their bonnets about bf - I had that too. You just have to stick to your guns and repeat ad infinitum that bf is not the problem. I kept being told 'It does drag you down' even though I wasn't having the slightest problem with it and it wasn't dragging me down one little bit! I think maybe it had dragged her down so she was generalising from her experience.
Don't let it put you off seeing them. They can't make you stop bf. (And btw, there are people on here who know lots about bf and antidepressants, so if anyone suggests you can't have them because of bf you can tell them they're wrong and find the details of what you can have easily enough.)

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 12:13:24

whitehorn - thats what the HV said (2 HVs!) I resent comments like that because BFing is the only decent thing I am doing for my baby. How on earth can I ever give it up?

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 12:20:09

I've told my husband to stay out tonight. Not to bother coming home;. Why should we both have a miserable night when only i need to

phipps Mon 01-Nov-10 12:22:40

I understand the not wanting to give in breast feeding as I felt that was the only decent thing i could do. I don't think stopping BF will make everything else okay.

phipps Mon 01-Nov-10 12:23:19

To be fair, the HV might be reacting to what LA said and feels that BF is what the problem is.

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 12:26:50

i cant believe this is my life for the foreseeable future sitting on a sofa weeping with my breasts out all day and night.

why do people send congratulations cards to new parents??

i cant see a way out of this

DirtyMartiniOfDoom Mon 01-Nov-10 12:30:09

LittleAmy, come on. You can do this. It's not a choice between perfection and disaster, there is a middle ground. You're a smart woman. You can, with help from us and in rl, feel your way to it little by little. And from there, you can make progress to getting to the higher ground again.

The baby wasn't not letting you talk on the phone; you are in charge of that, it's not her fault. Next time if she is screaming, put her down and walk away to talk at a distance so you can concentrate. It may seem mean to leave her but it's better than holding onto her and then blaming her for obstructing your phone call, right? You know this.

Not trying to be harsh. Rooting for you.

Lancelottie Mon 01-Nov-10 12:33:33

But Amy, if you're really drinking every day and not just using that as another stick to beat yourself with, then frankly the baby might be better getting a formula feed.

I'd start by pouring the vodka down the sink and not replacing it (you say you don't have ready access to money. Well, that might help at the moment). Hot chocolate is great for breastfeeding (and general gloom, though yours sounds more extreme than that). Bugger the possible weight gain for the moment. You'll have an energetic toddler to run after before too long.

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 12:36:55

DMOD, After finally speaking to the HV I'm not sure if I want her to visit afterall. Not after her attitude to BFing. It seems like everyday a new source of support is severed:

Mum - severed because she made my PND worse by telling me how harmful I am to my baby.

Husband - severed because we always argue and resent eachother.

Friends - severed because I don't want them seeing me and the house - both in a state.

HV - severed because I don't want to be pressured to give up breastfeeding and made to feel like a failure.

You online people are all I have left.

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 12:37:59

Lancelottie - people on MN and at NCT antenatal class said you can drink whilst BFing???

TheCrackFox Mon 01-Nov-10 12:42:09

Little Amy - you have to make an appointment with a different GP as you really sound like you have PND. This is not your fault and it is not an indicator that you are a bad person/mother, it can happen to anyone, even somebody with 2 degrees. If you don't feel up to making an appointment then get your DH to do it for you.

The drink will not help but will only make your moods worse as it is a known depressant.

Whitethorn Mon 01-Nov-10 12:42:27

LittleAmy, you really need to think rationally here or get help from someone who will help you to. Online is not enough.

On one hand you say you sit all day with your boobs out and intimate that bfeeding is not helping and on the other hand you say its the only decent thing you are doing for your DD.

Its either total exhaustion or PND that are causing this fog and both can only be helped by visiting someone sympathetic. The HV may only be trying to help you so i would give her a hearing.

phipps Mon 01-Nov-10 12:42:49

I will come round and help you if you want.

I don't know what to say. You need some help. You are a good mum, you care and youy love her. At her age that is really all she needs, as well as the practical stuff.
What would help at the moment do you think? Time to yourself? Does your baby cry? Sleep? Where abouts are you in the country?
Please call the samariatns if you need to.

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 12:46:46

breastfeeding is good for DD but not for me. however her needs definately come first. no question about that.

if i speak to GP all they can do is give pills. ive got a box of pills here but pills make me feel ill.

yes her needs come first but not to the complete detriment of your own. If a middle ground can be found then please cut yourself some slack. Would time alone help?

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 12:49:00

why does my DD get freaked out when i get freaked out if all she needs is milk and sleep?

sethstarkaddersmum Mon 01-Nov-10 12:49:40

I think what the drinking/bf thing comes down to is that the evidence suggests only a teeny tiny bit of the alcohol goes through into the milk, so if you are just drinking a normal amount it's not likely to do any harm, but if you are drinking a lot it is going to mount up. Only you know how much you are drinking. The other concern is the safety element - you don't want to fall asleep while feeding her and drop her or roll on her. Moderate drinking while bf=fine, heavy drinking=risky.

and all the links you say are severed, they are not severed forever, you are just finding them hard at the moment.
I'm sure your friends would far rather be told how you are feeling and be given the chance to help, than find out later on that you were feeling shit and didn't tell them. Motherhood isn't a competition! Some of the most capable people I know struggled in the first months and it has no bearing whatsoever on what great parents they are now.

You didn't mention the GP in that list of sources of support, so that should probably be your next step.

And if you can cut the vodka out, that will be something that you can be proud of doing for your baby, to add to the breastfeeding.

TheCrackFox Mon 01-Nov-10 12:51:16

No, GP's can arrange therapy and help.

I volunteer with an organisation called Homestart which offers friendship and practical support for new mothers. Very often GPs and HVs refer new mums with PND.

Unfortunately the way you feel is very common amongst new mothers but, more often than not, not spoken about. You do not have to suffer this by yourself.

Whereabouts in the country are you?

Igglybuff Mon 01-Nov-10 12:53:46

littleamy where do you live?

You won't have friends over. Can you go to theirs?

Who else is there who can help apart from your mum and partner?

Drinking alcohol isn't just about your breastmilk. It's about how you can properly function.

My mum was an alcoholic. She started when I was young, got worse then after she had another baby she spiralled out of control. She drank to blur things, make things easier to cope at first. It became a glass a night to a bottle to drinking in the day to not eating, just drinking. In the end she lost everything.

sethstarkaddersmum Mon 01-Nov-10 12:55:29

'breastfeeding is good for DD but not for me. however her needs definately come first. no question about that.'

if you are a in a plane with your child and the oxygen masks drop down you have to put your own on before you help your child with theirs. This is exactly the same: your dd's greatest need is for you to be in an emotional state to look after her.

Igglybuff Mon 01-Nov-10 12:55:45

Littleamy she's picking up on your mood. I found if I was trying to calm DS when I was wound up it didn't work. I would make sure he was safe by putting him in his cot, leave the room, calm down then try again.

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 12:55:49

if i cut the vodka out then i will be cutting out all the pleasure i have in life. and im not being precious when i say that.

GP just wants to give me pills.

HV is going to visit tomorrow and weigh baby.

Neither GP nor HV has mentioned Homestart, which says a lot about how limited they are.

TheCrackFox Mon 01-Nov-10 12:58:17

You can self refer to Homestart.

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 12:59:41

theres no homestart in my area. ive checked the website.

LittleAmy do go talk to a sympathetic GP, I thought the same - it's either pills or nothing - but eventually went when I was really struggling with dd at about 7 months and they helped with CBT and the support I needed to get through a difficult time, and although they would have prescribed pills if that hadn't helped, it was far from being the only option. In retrospect I wish I'd gone a lot earlier. Also agree that the pills you have that make you feel ill may not be your only option.

You sound exhausted. It does get easier but there is no shame in needing help to get through the first few months. Our culture is very, very odd in expecting new mothers to cope with it alone. There are so many other cultures where it is taken for granted that dealing with a new baby needs lots of experienced support from family, friends and community. I'm not surprised there is so much PND. You are absolutely not alone. Take care x

sethstarkaddersmum Mon 01-Nov-10 13:00:18

If they don't bring it up then you can - tell them you need counselling, tell them you need support.

do they know about your drinking?

have you seen the mental health team in your area, eg a community psychiatric nurse? If not then believe me, there is more help they could be giving you.

Igglybuff Mon 01-Nov-10 13:00:50

When you look at your DD how do you feel?

BF is a good thing you can do. When you're drinking, giving her formula or expressed milk taken when you've not had a drink is another.

Google children and family centres and your town to find your local centre. They're usually drop in so you can pick up a timetable today and find someone to talk to.

sorry x-posted with you - try a different GP in the practice if you're not getting help of a kind that helps you from the one you've seen?

lavender11 Mon 01-Nov-10 13:07:31

I havent read this whole thread but it sounds like sleep deprivation to me. I sympathise. I have a 23 month old and a 6 month old. My husband and i are holding on to the threads of our marriage, it has been hard but i am optimistic we will make it. I dont drink, not even a drop, not because i dont like alcohol (believe me i do) but because i like to think i deserve a break in this nurturing young babies thing and what with sleep deprivation, the break from alcohol is only helping my body even tho sometimes the whole thing might feel so stressful that only alcohol will calm you down. If you can possibly give up the alcohol or cut down a lot i think that might help in the medium to longer term. I mean this in a totally non judgemental way as I can relate to a lot of your original post. if you can feel proud of getting to three months with your gorgeous baby that will also help, you have done well and should be congratulating yourself

Swangirl Mon 01-Nov-10 13:09:32

To self refer to homestart you just ring them up contact details www.home-start.org.uk/support_tools/make_contact/c ontact here
I hope your health visitor will sit down and listen to you when she comes round to see you. Ask her to refer you to homestart and talk to her about how you are feeling at the moment

Swangirl Mon 01-Nov-10 13:11:39

more info on home start here www.home-start.org.uk/needsupport/need_support
I hope this helps

blue22 Mon 01-Nov-10 13:14:13

Just read this thread - I feel so sorry for you - you sound like you're having such a hard time of it. But when you said 'she smiled at me when she fed, I love her so much' it was the loveliest thing. Keep remembering that moment. Being a Mum is so hard. My DD is now 13 months and is a total delight but at 12 weeks I remember just crying and constantly googling 'when does it get easier'. Where are you? I'd be very happy to come and take your baby for a walk to give you a break.

Also have you tried speaking to Parentline? 0808 800 2222 http://www.parentlineplus.org.uk/ They do telephone and email support - I've not used them myself but a close friend found them really helpful when she was at a similar point to you.

plupervert Mon 01-Nov-10 13:22:18

This is desperately sad, especially: "you online people are all I have left". That's really not good, as we only appear to you when you look for us, rather than being able to insist on seeing you in RL.

However, if we are all you have left, why not tell us whereabouts in the country you are, and hopefully make a RL connection, rather than severing? I'm in SE London/Kent, and although from Saturday we will be away for a week, I am a SAHM/WAHM, so can be flexible about days. I have a car, so don't worry about the transport side of things.

noeyedear Mon 01-Nov-10 13:22:18

Don't really know what to add, but I also thought I was going to be a brilliant mother, and I even acknowledged that it would be hard and the problem was with people who romanticised babies- roll on to when I had my own- I've never been so angry with anyone in my life as i was with my lovely much wanted baby! I shouted at him constantly, threw him down on the bed to stop myself throwing him out the window, left him downstairs in the kitchen in his buggy in the middle of the night because he cried so much. It was the most awful time. My mother wasn't much help either- He was her first grandchild and if he was being awful it was because I was breastfeeding ("Tell mummy to give you some food!")was one particularly helpful comment, or because I was doing something else wrong. Writing this I can't even think how I did those things. My son still loves me and doesn't remember any of those things. This isn't your life from now on. It's a very difficult part of your life for a little while. I found HV's to be useless too and out of date with their advice. The only thing that saved me were my friends in my NCT group and going to every mother and toddler group going, just to break up the day. Everyone will have their boobs out there, and if you're lucky, someone will even make you a cup of tea and give you a biscuit!

Catilla Mon 01-Nov-10 13:22:55

LittleAmy, you've had a lot of good advice on here, I only have one thing to add:
Everyone I know who has had children has talked about looking back on the first three months as nightmarish in various ways. But you have got through this far, so just have a think about how things might be in another 3 months, and then another and another.
A 6-month-old baby is really quite different from a 3-month-old. Getting much more interactive for a start, and usually crying less, and sleeping more. A 12-month-old is completely different, could be walking even. Their independence grows so quickly, and you get gradually more of your independence back, to decide how to use your time and get more focus on yourself. This goes on and on happening - my children are 6 & 3 and I'm still getting waves of realisation of how much easier things are becoming - even though I thought we were past most of the the really restricting stages.

You haven't mentioned many of the concerns lots of people express - for example how are nights, are you getting some sleep, does your baby nap in the day, is she feeding well? If not, then you can get help to resolve those immediate issues, and if those things are going well, you can start planning how to organise your time so you get back some of what you're missing - for example:
- seeing friends (for coffee out if you don't want them at your home)
- meeting other mums - just pick a baby activity and go along
- exercise - can you have a brisk walk with the buggy?
- food - take time to shop, then make healthy & tasty meals while baby sleeps... make double and freeze some for a bad day.

Your friends really won't mind seeing you or your house in a state - if they knew, they'd probably be desperate to help. I know I often don't contact friends with tiny babies in case I distub them... so you need to reach out. Do any of your friends have children?

Also if you can stand back enough, can you ask your husband how he feels about having the baby in the family? Perhaps if you can understand this (he may also be feeling traumatised that his wife seems to have gone away and time at home is not the same now) then you can work together to create bits of time to do things together. Do you have a baby sling? We had some lovely walks which just let us spend time together chatting, almost ignoring the baby as they sleep well in the sling - just looking at the beautiful sleeping face occasionally in wonder.

Really it does sound like what you are feeling is because of the fog of hormones and you mustn't make assumptions about it being a permanent state of affairs. None of this will stay the same, please remember that when you feel down.

theQuibbler Mon 01-Nov-10 13:23:53

LittleAmy - I'm not a healthcare professional, but you do sound as though you have PND. It's quite recognisable if you have any experience of it and it can be treated.

Your GP and HV have not helped you so far, and that's not your fault, at all.

Please try and get some more support - this is a great helpline 0207 386 0868 - they are open every day until 2pm and the helpline is staffed by people who have had PND or are specialists. If the baby is napping or if you get a chance, please try and phone them. I think you do need some help out from where you are at the moment. I know that you're doing the best you can for your little one - it's really obvious how much you care for her.

noeyedear Mon 01-Nov-10 13:24:03

But do the other stuff too- I wish I had rung Parentline. I was to ashamed at the time.

plupervert Mon 01-Nov-10 13:24:03

P.S. Was Dead.Poncy, upthread.

pagwatch Mon 01-Nov-10 13:30:09

Littleamy

if your DDs needs are more importantthan yours do you not see that the thing she needs most of all is a happy functioning parent.

I was right where you are - right there except I was suicidal too.
The gift you can give her is to act upon the advice you would give HER in your situation.
getting help is not weak nor selfish. It is about her as much as you.
Go and see your GP. Be very specific about how you feel. Tell your DH too. I used to poick fights with DH . I felt so shitty about being such a failure that I assumed he would leave anyway so I kind of pushed him before he could go IYSWIM. Actually he stuck around and he helped me - got me to book some counselling which helped hugely.

And invite friends over or go meet them somewhere neutral. There is nothing worse than staying in all day.

I would tell you to stop drinking but you don't actually need to be told that. It makes you feel better in the moment but it makes you feel worse later on. It is a depressant - not exactly what you need.

sponkle Mon 01-Nov-10 13:35:12

Try to remember that nobody else is perfect at being a Mum however convincing they seem! I tried too hard to be the best Mum when my DS was tiny and it left me with exhaustion and in a complete state! I used to try to recreate my own perception of what being a great Mum is...lovely house, home cooked food, slim and attractive etc....it wasn't until I got very ill and had to reconsider how I do things that I realised what really matters...friends. I went to every baby session going- it got me out of the house so I didn't need to bother with house work when I wasn't there...people can be so lovely and I now have many friends who not only can I really rely on, but an insight into real Mum's lives and how they have to struggle at times too...we are all in it together. Please go and see another GP and try as hard as you can to be nice to yourself...you deserve it!

blinks Mon 01-Nov-10 13:42:54

how long have been drinking like this?

it concerns me that you're depending on alcohol and in denial about the effect it might have... you need to confront the alcohol issue asap and find pleasure in other things.

often people with depression self medicate with alcohol. it does numb the pain but it creates a whole other enormous problem that can ruin lives.

you need to work on finding ways of coping- mumsnet is great for venting and gettin honest opinion, look into homestart, speak honestly with your partner, avoid your mother who sounds like a right twat, see another GP about organising some counselling for pnd.

i didn't have pnd buth the first few months of my first child's birth were ridiiiculously stressful and difficult. it put an enormous strain on my relationship with DH and brought lots of issues with my own parents to light... it can be utterly isolating without a support network.

you will eventually look back on it all in a hazy way and think 'what the fuck was that all about'.

Hi there LittleAmy

I remember you from your "NCT/SAHM" a few months ago. I'm sorry things haven't turned out as you imagined they would.

You are a clever woman and have a good brain. Use your brain to get yourself out of this - treat it like a problem that requires your intelligence to solve.

Obviously the first thing is to not drink. Anything. It isn't your only pleasure in life - and it definitely isn't a pleasure for your child. If you are BFing and drinking the amount you say you are then your child will be getting alchohol in her milk. Not good - but you know that. I also suspect that is one of the reasons why your HV is suggesting you stop BFing. Stopping drinking will also give you the 'head-space' to think more clearly about the problem.

Then think about the little steps that will make you feel better. High on your list should be:
* More sleep for you - sleep when your baby naps during the day and co-sleep if you can as most babies sleep for longer stretches at night if their mum is nearby
* Regular 'time-out' for you during the day every day when DH has responsibility for your DD (we did an hour every morning when I could hand DS over to my DH) It will help your DH get used to being responsible for your DD and also will give you a break from the emotional intensity of being primary carer for your DD
* Fresh air - opening all the doors/windows at a minimum every day and going out for a walk with DD is best
* Getting some contact with other mums/parents - surestart is a good place if you don't want to be around your NCT mums.
* Getting control of your home again - start with a room at a time and gradually get on top of it
* Sort out your relationship with yourself - I liked you when you did your NCT/SAHM post as I could see past the slightly sillier things you wrote which inflamed many other people, and thought I could see the essence of the question you were asking. One thing I remember from back then is that you seemed to enjoy the discussion and the debate rather than wanting to come to a solution itself. Alcohol will exacerbate this trait. I suspect you need to sit down and do some self-analysis about yourself and also about what you expected motherhood to be. Ask yourself WHY you expected motherhood to be like that and whether it was appropriate or even desirable to expect motherhood to be like that.
* Sorting out your relationship with your DH. It was commented on the NCT/SAHM thread you started before that your relationship with your DH was a bit disfunctional but you didn't like that comment back then. Come up with an action plan for making things better - maybe this will involve relationship counselling, maybe you just need neutral time together - at the park or something where you're on neutral ground and can break some of the habits
* Sorting out your relationship with your mum/upbriging - write things down; explain what you need, not what you don't need, from your mum and hopefully she can change

I hope that is helpful.

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 13:48:43

I once had an appointment to start therapy but I could never attend because I'm exclusively breastfeeding and they wouldn't let me take the baby along so I had to cancel. I'm off the waiting list now.

ladymarian Mon 01-Nov-10 13:53:07

LittleAmy - so sorry you feel like this. It does sound like PND as I had a lot of the same feelings as you. Unfortunately I was not diagnosed until my DD was 14 months old by which time things were pretty grim. My advice for what its worth;

Ask to see a different GP. The one you saw sounds crap! I saw a brilliant female GP who really helped when I was at my lowest ebb

Find out about different antidepressants - different ones have different side effects and they do sometimes take a few weeks to start working.

Speak to your DH about how you are feeling - he needs to know and hopefully he will be more supportive

Give your mum a wide berth if you can as her attitude is NOT helping

Get out of the house! Even if it feels like the last thing you want to do it really helps just getting fresh air and speaking to people

Try to cut down on the drinking at least

Best of luck - I really hope things get better soon x

homeboys Mon 01-Nov-10 13:53:16

Message withdrawn

Paribus Mon 01-Nov-10 13:55:12

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 12:26:50
i cant believe this is my life for the foreseeable future sitting on a sofa weeping with my breasts out all day and night.

You poor thing. Gosh, I know it's hard. So hard that you want to run away, hide somewhere in the corner and weep your heart out. I really do know, because I've been through this. And I promise you, it will get better. Really, honestly, it will get better.

My daughter had a reflux and was crying 24/7 for the first three- four months. Hated the stroller, so was starting to scream the moment I was out of the door with her, planning to have a nice civilised walk to the coffee shop with my beautiful pram. I had to use sling and carrier until she was 13 months- and she was 12 kilos at that point. Had to rock her until she was 15 months. And honestly, I was feeling like a wreck most of the time- took a year for the fog to lift.

But listen to me, she is 20 months now and is a delight. I remember I was listening to the people telling me that it will be better, and thinking to myself that it never would. But it did!!! Once they start walking and communicating, it's so much easier. So, so, so much. The difference is AMAZING! And no, you won't spend your life on the sofa with your boobs out- my DD was exclusively BF until she was 12 months, and I still BF until now- but it's only once a day for 10 minutes.

Hang on in there- it WILL get better. Try to get out every day- that really helps. Try sleeping or resting when your child is sleeping. And try and find baby groups near you- I didn't, 'cause was too tired and stressed, but now I think that it would have been the best thing for me, as would make me get out of the house no matter what. And remember, so many people went through what you are going through now. Hugs.

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 14:01:18

"When you look at your DD how do you feel?"

Guilty. I see the innocence and concern in her eyes. She's only 3 months old and already she's concerned about me. She tries to smile at me to cheer me up and when that doesn't work she cries. She's only 3 months old!

ohh that's lovely. Tiny babies are programmede to smile and cry
Other than all this, is feeding going well? Does she cry a lot? Does she sleep?

headingtongal Mon 01-Nov-10 14:04:56

Amy on the therapy front give yourself a break (I sympathise on the "no babysitter" front). Say to yourself you will have therapy just as soon as it is practically possible and in the meantime get yourself to a GP and tell it like it is with every single detail and don't miss anything out, that way you will get any help you need and deserve.
In the meantime I have found being determined to be proud of my baby helpful even if the baby seems to spend a lot and a lot of time crying and it feels stressful. Resolve to take photos of those small moments when your baby is smiling and have the photos printed and hang them up somewhere you can look at them and say "i did that" (because you did) - take lots of photos of the good moments if you can. If you can be pragmatic instead of perfectionist about things you need to be that will also help (eg consider giving up breastfeeding so you can agree with your husband that he takes baby out in the pram for at least an hour when he is home with a bottle of formula so you can have a soak in the bath - tell your husband you need this and it is only for the next couple of months and he might be relieved that he then knows of a practical way he can help you) This is just a suggestion so if it is not right for your circumstances totally understood

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 14:08:19

plupervert - everyone around me criticises me: HV, mum, DH, GP. I've got to the point where I cope better being alone. Hence why I've told my DH not to bother coming home today. I've told him theres enough food in the cupboard to keep me going for a few days. I've told him that I've locked the door and left the keys in.

People tell me what to do and undermine me all the time and it brings me down. People like mum who is supposed to love me. And DH is constantly reminding me of everything he does as if I do nothing. Other human beings are making me less able to cope.

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 14:09:18

I'm in Tyne and Wear.

Amy please please get some help. You are a good mum but you are ill and you need help and support to get better, and it has gone beyond "eat well and have a walk with the pushchair". You need some attention now. Please please call someone or go to the doctors now. Your daughter needs you well and you deserve to be well.
Where abouts in the country are you.

where?? PM me if you'd prefer

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 14:12:09

noeyedear - I don't know a single BFing mother. And I attend 2 baby groups at a childrens centre! No one BFs here. I'm like a freak.

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 14:13:55

When I feel like this I just want to stay away from all other people because they all bring medown in some way. HCPs undermine my breatsfeeding, mum undermines me full stop. DH reminds me of all the things he does and says I do nothing. The formula mums at the baby group cant understand why I dont know how much milk my baby is getting.

plupervert Mon 01-Nov-10 14:15:06

With regard to babysitting, there is a way to get some time, and that is to swap for it. It is probably easiest when they are quite small, and haven't got the "clingy" issues yet. Are there any mothers at the M&B group you go to who would welcome a chance to have a shop unencumbered by baby? You could simply sit in a cafe with her little one (especially if it is FF), and yours, feed yours if you need to; you can do that, and the sense of achievement could really help you. The next advantage would be your "turn"- the chance for you to have your hair done/browse the library unencumbered. You will receive two benefits in one (three if you count getting closer to someone you know casually). If you are worried about money, you can do the "sitting" in the library children's section (no need to be inhibited about noise there).

The whole thing should be for a maximum of 1 hour, in order not to stress either of you. However, it could be a good step.

Got to go, as work to do. Yes, work, and at home: your mind and your ability to earn can come back!

Best wishes.

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 14:15:10

I spend all day looking at the clock. And then I stop and think "Why am I looking at the clock? What exactily am I waiting to happen??"

headingtongal Mon 01-Nov-10 14:15:31

Amy I can only speak from personal experience not expertise but your desire for complete isolation and lack of contact when looking after your baby says to me you are very depressed and deserve help. persist in seeking a sympathetic gp and tell them how it is as honestly as possible. do it for your gorgeous baby girl who smiles at you because you are the most important person in her world and she needs you (in a good way)

Whitethorn Mon 01-Nov-10 14:18:16

LittleAmy
Please don't take this the wrong way, but you need to start making positive and proactive decisions to pull yourself out of this. Isolating yourself and offering up reasons as to why nothing will help is counter productive.

are you anywhere near fenham or washington

Both have La Leche League meetings where you'll meet loads of bf mums. They will be supportive. I go to the washington one and it's lovely.

here

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 14:19:06

pagwatch - I've considered suicide. But then where would my baby get her milk from? Suicide runs in my family.

flyingzebra Mon 01-Nov-10 14:19:26

You poor thing.

I know there are many more issues than any of us here can resolve.

Something that saved my sanity when my first was that age was going to a cafe with a load of books, nabbing a comfy chair in the corner and just feeding, drinking tea, reading and eating chocolate muffins.

I so miss those days now that I have a second baby and a toddler to entertain all day too. I felt it gave me me-time even though I had baby too, as she just used to feed or nap.

You need to see this as more than breastfeeding. No matter how down you are now, your baby needs you, her mum. Feeding is a big part of that now, in a few months, she'll need your cuddles and comfort just as much. In a few years she'll need you to show her how to make a rocket out of toilet rolls, and pick her up from her first day at school. She will need YOU.

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 14:21:07

"I used to poick fights with DH . I felt so shitty about being such a failure that I assumed he would leave anyway so I kind of pushed him before he could go IYSWIM."

Yes I know exactily what you mean. I do that. Did your DH always remind you of everything he did around the house, etc? I've given up asking for help.

plupervert Mon 01-Nov-10 14:22:40

Sorry, missed your last post : "food in the cupboard to keep me going for a few days. I've told him that I've locked the door and left the keys in."
StealthPolarBear is quite right: this is well beyond talking online.

You have hated all interventions up until now, but there are reasonable people/ professionals out there. You've met such a small sample of the people in this world, and it may seem as though the odds are really against you (*none* of them sound helpful), but don't use them to judge everyone. Consider that you have felt "at home" on this thread and have opened up. You wouldn't be talking to us if you really believed everyone was like your mother, GP, HV, DH, would you?

We'll remain here, but please reach out again, beyond us.

sethstarkaddersmum Mon 01-Nov-10 14:23:50

It sounds like you and your baby have bonded really well and she really loves you - and not just for the milk, she is emotionally connected to you and you are irreplaceable.

pagwatch Mon 01-Nov-10 14:25:06

The thing is. I realised that there was more to my job as a parentthan feeding and cleaning and even nurturing. It is also my job to show my children what living looks like.
I could flaw myself and grit my teeth and do thethings they needed - but what I was doing was showing them how to live. And it was hit - sad, tired, miserable.
So i realised I had to get better and show my DD what a happy mother lived - how great the time ahead of her could be.

I couldn't make myself someone I was not and I have accpeted that I will often have times where I struggle. But I needed to get better or all the meal providing, napopy washing etc didn't matter . she would just be learning from me how to live life feeling sad and not fighting for it.

Bloody hard. But I made myself do the small steps - the chats withthe GP the talking to DH and asking him for help.
It was a dozen years ago now and I am very happy with beautiful children and I know part of me had to chose to move towards that and not let the sadness just be part of who I was.

Does that make sense?

good post pagwatch

pagwatch Mon 01-Nov-10 14:28:02

"Did your DH always remind you of everything he did around the house, etc? I've given up asking for help."

at times he tried to help by doing me a list of jobs hmm or a meal plan [bigger hmm]
But actually he was lost. he was sitting there looking at his wife fall apart and he had no earthly idea how to help. He was pretty terrified and his only instinct was to try and get order. Hopeless but I realise now he was just terrified

sethstarkaddersmum Mon 01-Nov-10 14:32:52

makes sense to me Pagwatch.

I used to get my dh to lecture me about how much my children needed me and the implications for them of growing up without a mother. It was horrible but contemplating that was worse than contemplating going to the GP so it helped give me the kick to actually do something.

wannabeglam Mon 01-Nov-10 14:41:33

I wander if DH is frustrated because he tries to help but it isn't good enough. Locking him out really isn't going to help you. Remember, he is your darling daughter's daddy.

There are 185 posts here, including yours, at the moment - a huge amount of support. They don't seem to have helped that much.

I really think you should listen to your GP and get some medicine to help you out of this negative cycle. There is no shame to needing medical help - if you'd broken your arm you'd want a plastercast wouldn't you?

You seem to think EVERYONE is against you. If you're suffering PND, that is a symptom.

If you want to cling onto the vodka, your false friend, you will only get worse. Please, for your daughter's sake, see your GP and take the pills.

memoo Mon 01-Nov-10 14:46:55

Little Amy,

You are NOT a bad mum, you are ill, it’s the illness that is making you have bad thoughts and making it hard for you to cope.

I have a 13 month old. She is my 3rd baby and so I thought having her would be so easy.

I started to get ill when she was a few months old. I began to find each day harder and harder. I didn't drink but started taking painkillers just to numb the pain that I was in, and it is pain, like you have a great big gaping hole in your heart that hurts more than anything you've ever experienced.

I saw my GP who put me on anti depressants and arranged for a CPN to come and visit me.

I took the medication but continued to get worse.

I began getting paranoid and confused. I had periods where I didn't remember having my baby and couldn't understand where she had come from. At other times I was convinced there was something wrong with her, that she had been born with some evil spirit in her.

I wanted to run away too. I wished that I would get cancer and die. I once stood in the hall sobbing and begging my DH to kill me because I couldn't take it any longer.

I spent every single day wishing I hadn't had her, and feeling that I had ruined my life.

One day my CPN came out and I was just a wreck, I had got to the point where I was consumed with thoughts of killing myself. I even planned in my mind exactly how I would do it. He arranged for me to go into a psychiatric hospital.

I stayed there for a few weeks and was finally put on the right medication.

When I came home I needed a lot of support but slowly got better. Now DH is back at work and I'm managing, some days are better than others but I'm doing it.

I use to think that I was somehow flawed, that there was some fault inside me that meant I couldn’t be a good mum but now I can see that wasn’t true. I was ill, and you are too.

I'm telling you my story because I want you to see that you can come out the other side of this. I promise you that you can get better

But You must go back to your doctor, see a different one if you can. You can't carry on like this, you will only carry on getting worse.

Please keep posting

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 14:50:39

"I also suspect that is one of the reasons why your HV is suggesting you stop BFing."

HV doesnt know I have alcohol.

"Regular 'time-out' for you during the day every day when DH has responsibility for your DD"

I tried to do that recently. I had 2 hours to myself for the first time in 8 weeks and DH spent that time texting me about how DD was howling. So I spent my time away as a nervous wreck.

"I suspect you need to sit down and do some self-analysis about yourself and also about what you expected motherhood to be. Ask yourself WHY you expected motherhood to be like that and whether it was appropriate or even desirable to expect motherhood to be like that."

Yes you're right. I foolishly thought that motherhood would enrich my life not make it 100x worse. Why did I think it? Because everyone has kids. I really dont understand why they do it now??? I was foolish and fucking stupid. How the hell can I claim to be intelligent?

"Sorting out your relationship with your mum/upbriging - write things down; explain what you need, not what you don't need, from your mum and hopefully she can change"

I fear I can never sort out my relationship with my mum. She is childish and selfish. I would completely cut her out of my life except she helps us financially. It's another aspect of how I feel controlled by other people.

"Speak to your DH about how you are feeling - he needs to know and hopefully he will be more supportive"

I constantly speak to DH. I'm like a needy broken record. I'm exhausted at explaining myself to him.

Paribus - when will I be able to go out for say, 6 hours without worrying about breastmilk? In another 9 months time?

If it would help, you could do that now. After a couple of trial runs to get her used to a bottle, she would be fine with formula now. She might miss you a bit but she would be fine. You always have that option.

sethstarkaddersmum Mon 01-Nov-10 14:55:12

do you have a breastpump? you'd probably need to express if you left her as long as 6 hours now, but it's perfectly do-able.

I think dhs being a bit hopeless and scared the first time they're alone with a dc is fairly normal - he will grow in confidence as he does it more often.

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 14:56:52

"I wander if DH is frustrated because he tries to help but it isn't good enough."

Yes that's spot on. He does some of the night shifts (with EBM) while I pump my boobs then go back to sleep. But what is the point of "helping" then reminding me of everything he does? I'd rather he FUCK OFF than hold every little thing over my head. Sometimes I wonder if he only helps me so that he can remind me about it during arguments? It seems that every argument we have always ends up discussing how many night shifts he does with the baby. Like, totally irrelevant conversations will always end up discussing his night shifts?!! I've told him that I'll do all the night shifts from now on. Really, is there even a point in him being here? He may as well go to his friends and have a good time.

Why offer to help me then hold it against me later??

And why the hell is looking after HIS child seen as doing ME a favour??

You are right. Looking after his child is just looking after his child, and it isn't helpful in the slightest if he just does it for brownie points. You need to tell him that, do it as calmly as you can - I'd be tempted to iron it into one of his shirts but resist

have you tried co sleeping?
Obviously not if you have been drinking, but if not, it can really help to make the night feeds feel like less of a chore.

sethstarkaddersmum Mon 01-Nov-10 15:05:21

maybe he keeps on going on about what he does because he feels like you don't need or want him and it's his way of saying 'Look, I am useful, honest!'
but it's not helpful if it just makes you feel useless.

pagwatch Mon 01-Nov-10 15:08:17

"maybe he keeps on going on about what he does because he feels like you don't need or want him and it's his way of saying 'Look, I am useful, honest!"

Exactly !!
That is what DH did too. It was him trying to remind me that he was trying! Of course I had no grasp at all atthe time about how I was totally disinterested in him in any way whatsoever other than to weep to. He felt like a member of a weird audience in his own home while I freaked out in front of him.

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 15:08:57

Today is the first time I truly 100% do not want DH to come home. I'm not testing to see if he loves me and will come home anyway. I really don't want him to come home. I've texted him saying this. I've told him to go to his friends there and have a good time playing xbox and sleep over. Mum gave us £100 for food but I've even said he can spend it all on himself if he stays away. But he says hes coming home anyway?? Some days I think he deliberatly tries to antagonise me. I've given him the opportunity of a great night: £100 on booze, food, xbox, no screaming baby, no weeping wife, a good nights sleep.

WTF I just can't win.

Is anyone elses husband like this?? He complains that he's exhausted then I say "go to your friends, sleep over, etc" and he says NO.

What the fuck in hell.

Why is everyone trying to mindfuck me?

I genuinely think he is trying to do the right thing. He would be a rat if he said nice one and stayed out.
Why do you not want him to come home?

pagwatch Mon 01-Nov-10 15:12:19

He isn't trying to mindfuck you. He is coming home because you shouldn't be alone.

sethstarkaddersmum Mon 01-Nov-10 15:15:25

LittleAmy, do you think your dh could really sleep a wink in someone else's house, worrying about whether you and your dd are ok?
Seriously, if you had a wife in this state of mind would you leave her on her own for a night with the baby and the vodka?
It is scary for a dh to have a depressed wife. I know this is not nice for you to hear, and I'm sorry, and I have no idea about your relationship and who is right and who is wrong and all that, but I do know that he will be worrying about you and he needs to be with you to know you are ok.
I don't think he is trying to fuck with your mind, honestly.

AnnieLoBOOseder Mon 01-Nov-10 15:17:05

I should think your DH is worried sick about you. He wants to come home and help you. If I were him I'd break the door down if I found it looked in order to be with my partner and child, and to try to make this terrible situation right.

Please let him read this thread to understand what is going on in your head. He's probably desperately confused and has no idea what to do.

And please keep speaking to GPs and HVs until you find one who will really help you. But equally, listen to their advice. You seem to be so convinced that everyone is against you, you're rejecting any advance of help.

You need help. You need to stop locking yourself away. Hand your baby to your DH and go to bed. Ask him not to repeat back anything useful that he might have done because you are aware and appreciative. Get some sleep, trust your DH - you must have married him because he's a good, decent and sensible man, right? So trust him to be one.

why don't you want him to come home? is it just that you're sick of arguing?

Eddas Mon 01-Nov-10 15:21:23

you sound so so sad in all your posts, some wonderful advice has been given and I just wanted to add that I have been(and probably still am to some extent) depressed. Not diagnosed but looking back I'm 100% sure I was. I was and still am fairly paranoid that everyone and everything people say is against me, a dig at me, a snide comment intent to hurt me.

I remember many many ocassions when dh would list everything he'd done in the day. I'd then list what I'd done back, we'd end up aruging with me thinking he thinks i'm a lazy cow who does nothing. I still sometimes think this(like I say i'm not 100% 'me' again yet-but i'm getting there)

But I'm trying to get it into my head that actually he truely didn't knwo what else to say, that him listing jobs he done was his way of saying I'm trying to help.

Eventually a few months ago I broke down int ears and told him how i'd been feeling and that I think I was depressed. He then asked how he could help. All I wanted was a few simple things. From memory the only things were to help me work out what dinners we'd have for the week ahead and to think about getting the meat out for that day in the morning, to turn on the loaded dishwasher last thing at night(he always went to bed last and didn't turn it on, even though it was loaded!) There must've been a few more things but I can't remember now. His reply was 'is that it'I think he was expecting me to want the earth!! He also now makes me go out as he knows I need me time. It's not always a massive night out but like you said, to the hairdressers for 2 hours-it's not much to ask at all.

I'm not sure this post is helpful but I just want you to know that your dh does care, he wants to help but he doesn't know how. You need to talk to him.

I'm also sure your friends would hate to think of how you're feeling and think they wouldn't want to be around, I still haven't told alot of my friends because I don't know how. One friend I saw reguarly at my worst said a month or so ago that I was very very down and depressed and wasn't sure how she could help.

I wish I'd asked someone for help

I wish I'd talked to dh sooner

But when you're down you think no one wants to help or listen. but they do. honestly.

Take care of yourself and your precious baby, she needs her wonderful mum

{{{{{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}}

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 15:21:49

if he comes home we'll just argue, and I'll have the night shift shit rubbed in my face. I hate arguing infront of DD. It really freaks her out. I would rather he stay out and enjoy himself than spend the night arguing with me. Everytime we argue I feel like a shitter wife. So I want him to stay away and he'll think I'm a good wife for caring for DD 24/7. I'm aware that perhaps I'm not thinking in a 100% sane manner at the moment, but surely him staying away is better than a night of arguments? I know his presence tonight will irritate me. He'll be the fun, calm, happy parent whilst I sit on the sofa with my boobs out weeping. It rubs salt in my wounds. I already fear that as she gets older DD will prefer DH to me. Because he doesn't have depression. He's the fun parent. I'm the worrier. If I was a child I know who I'd rather be around.

GoreRenewed Mon 01-Nov-10 15:23:03

So are you going to do anything about this littleamy? Or are you just going to stew and ignore the advice?

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 15:25:26

"I remember many many ocassions when dh would list everything he'd done in the day. I'd then list what I'd done back, we'd end up aruging with me thinking he thinks i'm a lazy cow who does nothing. "

Yes that's what happens with me and DH. But because there is no monetary value to being a SAHM I "don't do anything".

pagwatch Mon 01-Nov-10 15:25:30

But honestly now - which scenario is better for your DD at the moment - your DH coming home to play with her and give you a break ( even if it makes you feel bad) or you on your own?

He isn't the fun parent. You are not the worrier.
He is a new dad and you are tired and depressed.
That is not the way things will be even in a few months.

But you need to take the steps to change it.

DinahRod Mon 01-Nov-10 15:28:48

Wish I were closer to Tyne & Wear, I'd be round with the biscuits and support, sound like you could really do with some.

Take one step at a time, my love. What one positive step could you take today?
How about phoning your HV and just saying, "I need help"? I know you are eloquent but if you can't find the words when she comes round, just show her this thread, especially your OP.

That would be a GOOD FIRST STEP.

I am near tyne and wear and can offer biscuits but not sure how much help I can be!
Are you anywhere near the metro centre? Fancy meeting up?

Eddas Mon 01-Nov-10 15:31:22

Yes that's what happens with me and DH. But because there is no monetary value to being a SAHM I "don't do anything".

Has he actually said those words or is that what you're hearing him say. That is exactly what I heard dh say(although I work part time) but I have realised he didn't ever ever mean that and never once utter those words.

Depression is horrible. It twists your thoughts into thinking things that aren't true.

If you can, ask to speak to him tonight. Say you want to explain how you feel. Everything. Don't hold anything back if you can. Ask him not to say anything. You don't want answers from him or suggestions you need him to know what your mind is feeling.

Please try, you will feel better if you cansmile

cestlavie Mon 01-Nov-10 15:32:00

Hi LittleAmy, sounds like you’re having a tough time. Bloody good on you though for keeping the little one well and healthy and coming on hear to speak to a lot of sensible people.

Just to give a quick DH’s perspective on your last comments. I don’t think there’s many guys who’d spend a night away from their wife and baby if their wife was shattered and the little one was up squeaking through the night.

Yep, course he’ll complain about being knackered, I mean, let’s face it, most new parents spend half their first few months semi-functional and shouting at each other about who’s the most tired - but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to be there to support you both, even with all the hecticness that it entails. Sounds like he’s absolutely doing the right thing for you and the little one. Oh and so don't worry about arguing in front of the little one screwing her up at this age - if parents arguing in front of a baby screwed up kids then 95%+ of kids (including ours) would be screwed up... which they're not (well, not obviously!)

By the way, one both our two I recall three months being about the lowest/ hardest point - when you’ve been sleep deprived for long enough to drive you insane and things haven’t started to improve. It definitely got easier from month four or five onwards with both of ours.

Best of luck with it all

tiktok Mon 01-Nov-10 15:33:39

Amy, you are ill. Nothing about your responses or your analysis of what's happening indicates you will get any real help off a talkboard.

Too many voices, too many well-meaning people saying 'everyone goes through exactly this' (no, they don't), as well as people who offer good suggestions which you are not in a position to listen to at the moment.

If you feel you can do something, then you can show this thread to the HV when she comes tomorrow, or else write down some of your feelings and show it to her, if you feel you might not be able to tell her.

You need help, and your dd needs you to get it.

Feeling this bad about yourself is not good for you, or for her - and there is help available, but no one can force you to get it. You need to take the initiative to seek it out. I hope you do....

Paribus Mon 01-Nov-10 15:38:03

"Paribus - when will I be able to go out for say, 6 hours without worrying about breastmilk? In another 9 months time?"

LittleAmy, it depends, really. My DD didn't want solids (believe me, I tried!) until she was about 12 months, so I had to exclusively BF her with roughly 3 hours intervals. Yours might be totally different and might take it to solids like fish to water, ie you'll be breastfeeding less and less regularly.

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 15:39:19

pagwatch I wish I could get across my fear of HCP. Every one I have dealt with has either been uneducated on the subject or not understanding me. Most have acted in a way as to sabotage my efforts (mostly re: BFing). I've heard some really ill-advised things come from the mouths of HCPs. I can't trust HCPs. I'm tired of them. I've lost count of how many I've dealt with.

Going out and meeting friends is impossible when you are an exhausted wreck. I'm now going to take on all baby night shifts so will not have the energy to go to my baby groups anymore. I'm not sure if they were helpful anyway. I'm the only BFing mother and spend the sessions worrying if my baby will make me get my boobs out infront of all the FFing mums. If this happens each and every one of them gives me a 20minute presentation on why they couldn't breastfeed for a thousand reasons. I feel like I have to apologise for breastfeeding to everyone. How can this be of help to me?

I really appreciate the comfort of this thread. It is comforting because people have listened to me and I haven't had to worry about you guys forcing me to do anything.

I don't want you guys to think I'm unappreciative for picking fault in your suggestions. A lot of the suggestions are not feasible for me. The HCPs and baby groups being the main ones.

would you not even go to a LLL meting? Think there is one in Fenham on Wednesday. It will be crammed full of bf mums

forget that, it was this morning

pagwatch Mon 01-Nov-10 15:44:53

God you couldn't get me in a baby groupfor love nor money

But there is an extent to which you are negating every single suggestion on here. You can see that can't you?

I breastfed but I didn't feel negative about it n the way that you do. There is an extent to which you may have to do the equation about which is better for your DD - to be Exclusively breast fed with an upset mother who won't take her out of the house. Or a child who is mixed fed whose mum takes her to the park or maybe to a cafe.

No one is going to try and bully you to do anything.

But you do need to ask yourself why you are finding very good reasons why every suggestion is a bad one and everyone one around you is messing with you or trying to upset you.

What do you think?

wannabeglam Mon 01-Nov-10 15:45:30

LittleAmy, your DH is not the problem here. You are unwell and need some medical help.

And don't be a martyr. If stopping breastfeeding would take some pressure off you, why don't you stop.

You sound like you are heading for a full breakdown, please get help.

My father suffered from depression. The worst thing was it took so long to get him to get help, then when he did and was stable again he'd take himself off the medication because he thought he was well and didn't need it. The cycle started again.

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 15:50:04

"No one is going to try and bully you to do anything."

Why do HCPs, family and other mothers keep mentioning formula? I find that it undermines me. It hurts me. I'm sick of it.

OK, apologies, I did that too, despite knowing exactly what it's like when formula is set up as the magic bullet.
I think it's because you seem to need some time off, either to sleep or relax without the responsibility of being the only person who can comfort or settle your DD. Despite that, formula isn't necessary.

Oblomov Mon 01-Nov-10 15:53:10

Oh I thought this thread was a joke. I thought LittleAmy was the previous poster who had given us all a giggle. Maybe i was wrong.

pagwatch Mon 01-Nov-10 15:54:24

perhaps because they are anxious about the effect that breastfeeding - the way you feel controlled by managing it and the way it inhibits your taking your DD out - is concerning them.

I breastfed all my DCs including feeding DD until she was nearly four. You could not be speaking to someone more pro breastfeeding. But when feeding means you won't go out and you worry about having to get your boobs out in front of FFing mothers and describe sitting at home with your boobs out, weeping perhaps they worry thatthe good effects are being out weighed by the negative?

confused oblomov??? You haven't already posted, have you?

plupervert Mon 01-Nov-10 15:54:32

"So I want him to stay away and he'll think I'm a good wife for caring for DD 24/7. "

But that's not working. And that's not what "being a good wife" is about.

tiktok was very right about "Too many voices". I hope there are enough of us voices that you have been calmed, to hear your fears and despairs echoed, but you do need real voices as well.

GoreRenewed Mon 01-Nov-10 15:55:17

amy - could you try the GP? I had PND with DD and I took some anti-Ds that were compatible with bfing.

Oblomov Mon 01-Nov-10 16:00:08

maybe i have confused the OP with another poster.

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 16:00:12

Oblomov - oh FFS. Now I'm a joke.

mistaken identity I think

TheCrackFox Mon 01-Nov-10 16:04:07

Your DH wants to come home because he loves you (and your baby) and is more than likely worried about you.

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 16:10:42

i really, really dont want him here. his presence will irritate me and make me resentful. i know it will.

sungirltan Mon 01-Nov-10 16:13:05

oh littleamy - 'a 20 minute presentation about why they couldn't breastfeed' did make me laugh! i know EXACTLY what you mean by that and i've had to hear it many times. what you need is a social setting where there are lots of bfers. are there any latch on groups in your area? might be just the thing - a social event where you dont have to explain yourself all the time or constantly have the bf/ff debate :-)

LittleAmy, please can I suggest that you do one tiny little thing for yourself tonight?
When your DH comes home, don't look for a fight. Instead ask him to sit with the baby for 15mins while you take a walk around the block on your own - no baby, no phone. If the weather is yucky, put on a coat and still go out.

A little break, a gentle walk, fresh air, time to yourself should make that 15mins feel like a break.

And do the same tomorrow and the next day.

Fresh air and exercise has been shown to help all new mums, and is good for helping with PND too.

OK, I know you're depressed and tired and stressed out, but you can't shut your DH out of your and your DD's life just because he annoys you. Please let him help you. Instead of just getting annoyed by him, explain to him, very slowly and carefully, what you need from him, and what you need him not to do.

Please let him help his wife and be a father to his child.

Lucy85 Mon 01-Nov-10 16:23:22

You are EXHAUSTED. You are probably shocked by the relentless demands on your body, soul and brain a small baby makes, endlessly.

Who wouldn't feel like a drink?
Who wouldn't feel down?
Who wouldn't be irritable and want a fight with their DH?

You are completely normal ... and this will pass.

You will both adjust, you will sleep a bit more and you will learn to face the challenges of parenthood together.

In the meantime, stop expecting yourself to be perfect. Sleep when you can and do not feel guilty. Try and be kind to your husband when you can.

Honestly, it will slowly get slightly easier with time. Can you ask for some help from your family?

LittleAmy Mon 01-Nov-10 16:25:48

his version of helping me is always followed by reminding me of all the help he has ever given me.

What's the point in that? I'd rather do it all myself than have any help used against me.

PacificWerewolf Mon 01-Nov-10 16:30:02

I have been lurking on this thread as your OP had struck a chord with me (as it has with many others on here obviously).

Absurdely, I want to add to the 'too many voices' opinion by adding my own voice confused.

Clearly some aspects of what you are describing/experiencing, I and others recognise from our own experience of early first motherhood - it is very very hard and the 'culture shock' can be vast; particularly for women who find it hard to submit to a little helpless pocket dictator.

Also, having a child is IMO by far the most challenging thing to happen to a relationship and you and your DH are not the only ones to be arguing a lot.

Having said all that, you need help in RL. Now. I am sorry to hear that HCP have let you down so far, but you owe it to yourself and your DD and your relationship to keep trying. There is help out there. It is up to you to seek it out, keep asking for help and the accept it.

IMO the most important thing you can start doing is to lower your standards and expectations re motherhood and be kind to yourself.
May I also heartily second (or third?) the recommendation to read 'What Mothers do' - it will change your perspective entirely. I wish I had read it before I had DS1.

I am sure there was loads more I wanted to say, but my short, concise and brilliant post that was going to solve all your problems has become nothing of the sort...

Cut yourself some slack (and your DH) and find a sympathetic HCP (they are not all rubbish) smile.

plupervert Mon 01-Nov-10 16:30:28

Then he has to stop reminding you of all the help he's been giving you. Not stop helping. The first would be helpful. The second - not.

So find a little phrase you can say when he starts repeating the litany of help. Perhaps just say 'I do realise how helpful you are'. Then carry on with what you were doing.

If he keeps going, just repeat the phrase every few minutes.

Let it wash over you.

Lucy85 Mon 01-Nov-10 16:32:17

I know how you feel - tis the same in my house. Having read the previsou page now I do think you could maybe do with a bit of help from your GP or someone though - I remember all too well how F*****g depressing it is to have the fat belly, enormous sore boobs, loads to do and a screaming baby you don't know what to do with but have to do something. 24-7 with no one who can help. It's the loneliest I have ever been and I had lots of friends.

What you really need is support from him - and I promise you he needs it from you even though it doesn't seem like it.
You also need to FORCE yourself to go to a baby group or something - it is essential to get out of the house. It kept me sane during the dark days that you are gong through.

It is because you are jsut so knackered and you feel so alone but if you really can't face the day and it's affecting your marriage, it would be worth having a chat with your GP. Depression is a chemical inbalance ni your brain - it's a physical disease on a micro scale. Honeslty, you'll feel better.

Do you have parnets or anyone who could give you an hour or so off? Just to have a bath? Blow dry your hair? Pluck your eyebrows?? All those 'luxuries' we took for grant ed...??

PacificWerewolf Mon 01-Nov-10 16:34:07

Do not fall into the trap of competitive parenting/tiredness with your DH - it just breeds bitterness and contempt.

He is likely to feel quite helpless and being a man will be prone to offering 'solutions' ("you find BFing hard, well, just stop and we give FF") rather than supporting you ("yes love, it's hard going at the moment, you are doing a wonderful job, here is a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit").

Oh, and one other thing: alcohol is a depressant, as long as you are drinking your mood is likely to dip further, even if alcohol is taking 'the edge off' temporarily while you are under the influence of it.

Oh gawd, I am really going now....

not sure what to suggest, other than if you got on well before you had your DD, you can get back to that!
What would help, now?

Igglybuff Mon 01-Nov-10 16:34:41

littleamy can you meet up with stealthpolarbear?

Igglybuff Mon 01-Nov-10 16:35:22

sorry stealth not meaning to force you into anything.

no that's fine

memoo Mon 01-Nov-10 16:50:28

Amy sweetheart, You remind me of how I was when I started getting really ill with PND. I pushed everyone away and when people try to help me I had a thousand excuses for why I couldn't do what they were suggesting. I don't want to sound hard, I really want to help you. But do you really want to live like this? is this how you want your life to be? Please accept the help that is being offered to you. You don't deserve to be suffering like this, you owe it to yourself to get better

I know some HCP are complete idiots, I know because I've met them! But many are absolutely amazing, they will listen to you and help you. Please get the help you need

hubblybubblytoilntrouble Mon 01-Nov-10 17:08:29

LittleAmy, I'm in Gateshead, is there anything I can do for you?

I'm happy to come over and help out - don't worry about the house, you want to see mine! I'll send you pics if you want to check out who wins in the 'must be decorated' stakes grin

dizietsma Mon 01-Nov-10 17:48:09

LA, having a newborn is fucking hard in the best of circumstances, and from all that I've read in this thread, you are not in the best of circumstances.

I am no HCP, but to me you do sound like you have PND, that or are suffering very badly from sleep deprivation. I know you feel like there are no avenues of help open to you, and understandably don't feel you have the energy to pursue getting some, but there are and you can.

The one thing that shines out in all your posts is that you love your daughter very, very much. If you want to be the best mummy you can be for her, if her needs always come first, then you have to help yourself too. She has a need for a healthy mother that is as important as her need for milk.

Please just try googling the name of the area you live in with post natal depression support. I know that in the area I live in there is a PND support organisation that offer a creche and counselling etc. If not, then how about trying a breastfeeding mother and baby group? I know La Leche League have some see here. There's bound to be some groups about, perhaps phone the NCT and ask to be put in touch with a post-natal group? Most of the mothers in my NCT post-natal group were breastfeeding at 3 months just call your local branch. The NCT might be a good place to call for more support with PND too, they should know what services are available to you.

Your mum sounds like someone you don't need in your life right now, please just cut her out if she's adding to your burden. My mum was also a massive disappointment when DD was born, so for the sake of your health and by extension your DD's health, take a break from her if she's causing you more pain.

Your partner sounds like he's trying to help, but is being rather ham fisted about it. You sound like you are bickering exactly the same amount as DH and I after DD was born. It gets nasty when everyone feels so crappy all the time. I think it's a bad idea for you to try and do the night shift all alone, you sound like you're isolating yourself completely which is not a healthy thing to do and in fact a really dangerous sign.

I understand you feel like everything is shit (apart from DD), and everyone who is supposed to help you is crappy at it (sadly all too common), but you cannot keep doing this alone. If the people who you try to get help from aren't helpful, keep trying until you find someone else. There will be help out there for you, but you will have to make a few calls/emails to find it.

Also, try a different GP. Sometimes you have to cycle through them all until you find one that is actually helpful. And if none of them are helpful, change practices. You need proper support right now, not crappy HV and disinterested GPs.

wannabeglam Mon 01-Nov-10 18:56:11

Nearly 250 posts here. I think LittleAmy has enough information to work with and I suggest we let her get on with it.

memoo Mon 01-Nov-10 19:17:08

Trouble is wannabe, when somebody is in the grips of depression they can be confused and paranoid and not really in a position to seek help themselves.

I am very worried about this OP, I think her responses to some of the comments on here suggest she may be suffering from paranoia, she is cutting off everybody and is trying to do the same with her DH. I really think she is beyond just taking herself off the the GP. She needs somebody to take control and take her to the doctor, somebody who can insist she is refered to the CMHT because they are the ones who are really in a position to help her.

sponkle Mon 01-Nov-10 19:19:57

I agree memoo, I just cannot stop thinking about the OP and am extremely worried for her.

Please keep posting Little Amy. xx

aob1013 Mon 01-Nov-10 19:28:24

Hello,

I am so sorry you are feeling so down. However, i want to reassure you that you haven't ruined your life.

Having a baby is tough on everyone. You feel like you have to be the perfect Mum, perfect, wife, perfect this and perfect that. It just isn't like that. We aren't perfect.

You sound extremely depressed. I think you have a very severe case of Post Natal Depression. You must get yourself to your Doctor/GP as soon as you can.

The good thing about your situation is that you are aware of it. Being aware of how you feel and acknowledging the fact that something isn't right is a good step in the right direction.

Keep talking, there is alot of support here.

Good luck!

Ally

DirtyMartiniOfDoom Mon 01-Nov-10 19:49:14

LA, what time would your husband normally get home?Has he come home. Hope you've let him in.

The best, healthiest thing you can do for your daughter is take small steps towards seeking support for yourself. It sounds like you'd rather hide away and I guess that is a natural self-protection instinct, but really, it's far more likely that you will get on the road to feeling like yourself again if you make the first small moves towards proper, competent RL help.

gaelicsheep Mon 01-Nov-10 20:22:40

LittleAmy - do you think breastfeeding is contributing to the way you are feeling? It is a difficult balance, because PND and/or sleep deprivation can really make you blow things out of proportion and it is definitely most important that your baby has a mother who can care for her, breast fed or not. I am speaking as someone who became completely obsessed, and I mean obsessed, by breastfeeding my DD when I was at my lowest ebb. No one understood why I didn't stop and it half killed me continuing. I did and I'm now climbing out of my depression, but I had loads and loads of support from my DH and friends. It doesn't sound like you do, or perhaps you don't realise that you do just now. Just be careful not to be so obsessed that you make yourself more ill.

Can I ask how much you are drinking? I know my mum had a gin and tonic every day while feeding me - not that I'm recommending it. You can have small amounts of alcohol, but it sounds like it might be quite a lot in your case?

I totally agree about getting some respite. I have a family support worker after a referral from my HV. I don't think she's from Homestart, I think she's an early years worker for the council. There may well be something similar where you live. Please ask.

gaelicsheep Mon 01-Nov-10 20:25:33

And don't push your DH away. I suspect he has no clue why you are being irritable and aggressive towards him and he's on the defensive. You need to talk to him about how you are feeling. But first you need to come to terms with it yourself.

wishiwas21again Mon 01-Nov-10 21:19:34

LittleAmy - I can't emphasise enough how much your depression will be linked to your relationship with your mother and possibly other childhood/family matters.

I felt a lot of the things you do and I still find this hard to admit, but I went as far as hurting ds. I nearly shook him and threw him down on my bed once. God I was such a mess, I even thought about self harming again something I had done once in my teens. I thought about boozing, I thought about suicide. I thought I was not only the shittest mother and wife on earth but the most god awful human being that walked the planet and I wished it would all just end. I loved ds but his crying drove me insane.

Yet I know to the outside world I seemed happy and normal. I had always wanted kids, couldn't wait to have them in fact. Through the pregnancy I dreamt about how much my baby would love me and me him and it would all be perfect. Motherhood would finally give me the validation I had been seeking all my life, that I was loveable and I was good at something.

My parents came to stay when he was born because I still felt indebted to them. It was awful. They undermined me and my adoptive mother just wanted to show off at how much better she could settle ds than me. I was so low, so so low. Very overweight, I also felt ugly and hideous. I used to bf my ds and look at myself in the mirror beside my bed at a huge, miserable failure of a mum.

5 years later (and another baby) and I realise how ill I was. I am happy and content and enjoy motherhood. The birth of my dd was a joy and a very different experience.

It can be done but it has been a journey. I had to accept and process a lot of childhood hurt and I had to put up strict boundaries with my family.

Your mother is manipulating you with money and from the little you have told me she sounds emotionally abusive.

But I had to take anti depressants intially as I was too low to even begin the journey. You don't have to be perfect LittleAmy, you just have to embrace the flawed but beautiful person you are and how much you mean to your dd. Looks, money, careers pail into insignificance compared to giving a child a good and loving childhood. It builds generations. And you are and will continue to be a good and loving mother to her even if you don't see it right now.

My ds was 16 months before I got therapy but it was the best thing I ever did. It maybe you need treatment before then, before you can get enough time away from dd to do it but I would say it is essential that you do.

I am thinking of you LittleAmy. Your posts struck such a chord

LittleAmy, how are you doing? Is your DH home?

FunnysInTheGardenWithASparkler Mon 01-Nov-10 22:28:35

I don't suppose anyone remembers Little Amy's rather contentious thread when she suggested that WOHM were all but abandoning their children? That was in the summer and AFAIR was deleted.

LA I hope you are OK, but perhaps this is a lesson, with the benefit of hindsight, that judge not lest thee shall be judged?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gaelicsheep Mon 01-Nov-10 22:34:48

I'm not sure that's particularly helpful just now Funny. I didn't see the thread, but perhaps all has not been well for some time.

Funnys no one should be judging her!

TheCrackFox Mon 01-Nov-10 22:46:14

There is a time and a place for everything *FunnysInTheGardenWithASparkler" and this wasn't one of them.

LittleAmy, I hope you are OK. Do keep posting because Mumsnet is full of supportive people.

wishiwas21again Mon 01-Nov-10 22:49:51

Look everyone has ideals before they have a baby. I would sit in public places and relentlessly judge parents 'oo I will never do that when I have kids etc'. You can't be too harsh on op for that and this is not the time and place anyway

Funnys - do you make a habit of kicking people when they're down? How nasty angry

FunnysInTheGardenWithASparkler Mon 01-Nov-10 22:57:32

No, just don't understand why people who hold such strong views can't see any paradox when they suddenly find themselves on the otherside of the fence

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gaelicsheep Mon 01-Nov-10 23:00:52

Oh FGS Funnys, the poor OP can't see anything learly at the moment.

Incidentally I was the world's best parent before I had my DCs. Weren't we all?

gaelicsheep Mon 01-Nov-10 23:01:49

Would you consider asking for your post to be deleted Funnys, before the OP reads it?

FunnysInTheGardenWithASparkler Mon 01-Nov-10 23:02:56

maybe I just don't then. I tend to have strongly held views and stick with them. I am not tutting over her posting history, just baffled as to how a person can change so drastically

gaelicsheep Mon 01-Nov-10 23:06:06

Have you ever suffered with depression Funnys? It does strange things to a person, I know!

FunnysInTheGardenWithASparkler Mon 01-Nov-10 23:06:22

GS no, I don't think there is any need for that. You may ask by all means.

And no, I understood, as I still do, my shortcomings as a parent well before I had children. Why would you presume to have a view about parenting before you had a child?

gaelicsheep Mon 01-Nov-10 23:08:11

You never ever judged a parent? Ever? Not sure I believe you!

FunnysInTheGardenWithASparkler Mon 01-Nov-10 23:14:54

GS No I didn't. How can you judge if you have never been there yourself?

TheCrackFox Mon 01-Nov-10 23:16:52

I judged loads of parents before I became one. Boy did I have to eat humble pie.

gaelicsheep Mon 01-Nov-10 23:20:12

"How can you judge if you have never been there yourself?" I dunno Funnys, you tell me.

gaelicsheep Mon 01-Nov-10 23:20:57

Or more to the point, explain to the OP.

FunnysInTheGardenWithASparkler Mon 01-Nov-10 23:23:26

There is nothing to explain. Just to say can't she, or anyone else, see the irony in this?

gaelicsheep Mon 01-Nov-10 23:25:00

<sigh>

plupervert Mon 01-Nov-10 23:29:42

"Just to say can't she, or anyone else, see the irony in this?"

Who the hell cares? Only a really mean person would be hammering this point right now. You backed yourself into this corner; you could have walked away from the first remark with loss of face but not having generated the extra bad feeling. Some MNers even manage to be big enough to climb down from unpleasant comments.

Maybe those earlier posts made you feel bad, and if that's the case, I'm sorry. It is horrible to be judged. But if that was the case, why multiply the hurt by reflecting it back now?

Sidonie Mon 01-Nov-10 23:32:10
gaelicsheep Mon 01-Nov-10 23:35:14

Good post Sidonie. Let's get this thread back on track.

plupervert Mon 01-Nov-10 23:36:56

smile

sungirltan Mon 01-Nov-10 23:38:43

Funny - i and i expect many posters remembered LittleAmy's previous thread but didn't feel the need to remind her/us of it.

I fully admit that since becoming a parent I have become the judgeyest, judgeypants EVER! Doesn't make me omnipitent.

LittleAmy could have name changed quite easily. Chose not to. Quite gutsy imo. Also more to the point LA did apologise to lots of us on her previous thread. If an apology isnt upheld then what does that say about mn?

gaelicsheep Mon 01-Nov-10 23:44:35

I would like to see Funnys have the balls to climb down and apologise. But I suspect, like too many on this forum, she will not.

sux2bu Mon 01-Nov-10 23:48:26

Hello Little Amy

I could have written your post 8 years ago - except for the vodka, (hate spirits) substitute chocolate for vodka and I felt the same way. Hit the wall at 7 weeks and found everything nightmarish.

DH would come home and i'd still be in a nightie with the flat an utter shit tip and me crying as I'd had DD with me everywhere even the loo.

Two degrees, PGCE, secondary school teacher, had been size 14 then was size 20, guardian papers strewn around left unread, crying watching cbeebies round the clock, down to single income, isolated and utterly utterly knackered.

This is why sleep deprivation is a torture method. YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS EVEN IF IT SEEMS DESOLATE NOW.

I am having a second one in a month's time (it only took me 8 years!!!) I am fully expecting to feel like you do very soon indeed.

I intend to do the following -

co-sleep with baby (but not if you've been drinking, not judging it's just not advised)
sleep when baby does little but often hopefully
get DH to help maintain flat/take turn so i can have at least a bath on my own
stop feeling guilty
try and read one news/article each day
talk about my feelings to DH
getting out house for walk each day (even if it's just meeting DD out of school)

re weight it will come off with bf or catching up with your kid once active.
re marriage use any babysitting support
or a dvd night in a few months when the sleep will improve a little
re intellect write a blog or read Naomi Wolf misconceptions Lionel Schriver etc if you feel maternally ambivalent
re career i went back after a year, it is doable even if it means part time or breaking even for a while

There will be a sense of loss of self there will be a sense of bereavement but it will pass. I don't think for me it got easier as my DD got older it was just a different challenge but it didn't get worse.

You are tired. You need to start forgiving yourself. Message me if you need to.

I didn't take anti-depressants (previous experience with prozac/seroxat not gd and i was bf). I didn't find the health visitors* that supportive - was referred to an ed psych who understood completely but think they* thought she fits the stereotype of middle class risk abuser...when all i wanted was access to some respite to go to loo on my own or do my washing up.

But my friend had great health visitor, took anti depressants and was just fine. If you feel you're losing it, you feel suicidal or you think you could harm little one if crying one more time Get The Help/ring cry-sis or mail me (have acis reflux at moment so am up all hours).

Take care. Love and light or some such bollocks. Be gentle with yourself. xx

plupervert Mon 01-Nov-10 23:53:57

Perhaps it is jealousy, and you are suffering, too, Funnys. I was once on a thread, about contributions to school trips, in which someone lost her head and had a massive go at someone who was having a hard time. It seemed fairly clear that she was upset and jealous at the support the OP was receiving, when she herself had not received such support (had not asked for it?).

The second poster did make up with the OP (but thank goodness there was a misunderstanding to work with there, too).

Sadly, there's not much to be jealous of in LittleAmy's situation. Only that posters have been pretty horrified at the despairing tone, and have been responding. We would have responded to your own hurt if you had let us, you know.

plupervert Tue 02-Nov-10 00:20:37

Good night, everyone.

Hope we all wake up to a better day, tomorrow.

gaelicsheep Tue 02-Nov-10 00:21:50

smile

I was going to report Funnys post but there is no point as it's clear from the subsequent posts that something was said, which would just leave LA wondering.

Oh and as for how do people change their point of view - well it's allowed. And why can't she see the irony, well I imagine she's got more important things to worry about than a theoretical thread she started months ago.

LittleAmy how are you this morning?

bloodychocoholic Tue 02-Nov-10 08:28:53

How did last night go LittleAmy?
I hope today will be a better day for you.

DirtyMartiniOfDoom Tue 02-Nov-10 08:32:34

LittleAmy, hope you're still reading and still taking on board the supportive posts

redhollyberry Tue 02-Nov-10 09:44:49

Haven't read the whole thread, but I read your first one.

My daughter's nearly 2 now but I remember the first 12 weeks or so were hellish. It will get better. You do sound very depressed so I'd go and see a GP as others have mentioned.

I didn't have PND and I don't really drink, but a lot of things sound familiar.

My husband and I never argue but after our daughter was born we would snap at each other, must have been a lack of sleep and a feeling of too much responsibility for a little life. We got back to normal after a few months though.

You feel like everything is changed and you won't get your life back but you will one day - just a different one as a family and it's going to be lovely.

My advice would be to go to your GP firstly and put the drink away, it'll only make you worse.

Also try some gentle exercise - go for a walk with your husband, dress the baby warm and put her in the pushchair. It will lift your mood, give you a chance to talk to your husband in peace and help you lose some weight.

With regard to meeting other mums, can you suggest meeting for a coffee (or the park / a walk/ swimming) somewhere if you feel embarrassed about your home. I've got loads of friends but we hardly ever meet at each others homes so I don't think that is really expected.

Hope eveything goes well - it will get better I promise you. You sound a little bit of a perfectionist, but nothing has to be perfect - just good enoughsmile.

Your baby is still very young, so you are putting in all the work now and not getting much back (and I bet she cries a lot too now? Mine did). I then remember getting to about 5 months and thinking how perfect she was and how happy and smiley she was. It's a massive difference between 3 months and 5 months old if I recall correctly. Just hang in there - it'll get better soon.

LittleAmy Tue 02-Nov-10 10:24:09

Thanks everyone.

I've got the HV coming out at 3pm. I'm not sure what to tell her or what to ask for? Do you guys have any tips?

Ask her to assess you for PND.
Tell her you are feeling very depressed and are worried about yourself.
Tell her you would like support and treatment to get better, to enable you to enjoy your tiny DD as you should, and that you would like any treatment to allow you to continue to ebf your daughter.
Good luck - you are taking the first step to feeling like 'yourself' again, in fact better - 'yourself' who has a wonderful daughter.

LittleAmy Tue 02-Nov-10 10:36:31

Will she mention anti-depressants?

Shall I ask about any outreach services?

I have no idea, sorry. By 'outreach' do you mean services like HomeStart - it certainly can't hurt to ask.
Well done for making the decision to do this.
Do not down play how bad you feel so you don't worry / overwork her - it is her job to help you.

that no idea was about anti depressants, sorry

Igglybuff Tue 02-Nov-10 10:42:49

Ask about outreach - the homestart stuff and details on your children and family centre. She should be able to give you details of the drop in centres.

Explain how you're feeling, how you're coping - perhaps make notes beforehand and give them to her if that's easier.

I doubt she'll mention specific ADs - she won't have the training. Maybe you can arrange a separate appointment with a different GP?

LittleAmy Tue 02-Nov-10 10:46:52

I worry that if I tell her the full extent that she'll think DD is in danger.

I self-harmed yesterday and I'm having to cover it with makeup. A few bruises, nothing severe but you know the stereotype of HVs as overreacting.

I would NEVER, EVER hurt DD. Not in a million years.

Hopefully you will get replies from people who have been in this situation, I don't know.
I think they will do a hell of a lot before they would consider your DD to be at risk, especially if you say things like that. They would prefer your DD to be with her family.
Can your DH take some time off - both to support you, to show her that you are working through this as a family, and to see for his sake, how serious it is?

You seem a bit more positive today - are you?

wubblybubbly Tue 02-Nov-10 10:50:26

LittleAmy, that's brilliant news. It's the first step to getting yourself to where you'd like to be and it's always the hardest one to take.

I'm not sure the HV will be able to prescribe anti depressants, but she might know something about them, I'm sure she's seen a lot of women in the same situation as you're in and will be able to help you find all of the help you need.

It might sound a bit odd but I found the easiest way to get across how I was feeling was to make some notes beforehand. If you just re-read your OP, you've described beautifully how you feel, perhaps take that as a starting point?

I'm soft as clarts me, I've got a tear in my eye reading this, I'm just so impressed at how brave you are in starting to tackle this. It's the best news I've had all day grin

(by the way, I was posting as hubblybubbly before - Halloween name thingy)

I know we have a couple of HVs on MN, if you want me to I can start a thread to ask for their advice or what they do/think when they are in this situation (as I'm sure they are, lots). I will only do this if you want me to though (or you can do it if you can be bothered)

Igglybuff Tue 02-Nov-10 10:53:08

LittleAmy they will want to support you, not take your DD away at the drop of a hat.
I have had social services involved since I was a kid - as my mum was in trouble. They did everything to help her and us. It wasn't until things massively escalated that things changed. You're not there.

By asking for help now, you'll doing the right thing.

wubblybubbly Tue 02-Nov-10 10:55:25

LittleAmy, I totally understand the fear, I felt exactly the same way but there was nothing to worry about. All I received was support and care, no one questioned my ability to parent, they didn't need to, that was why I was feeling so deep in the mire to start with.

I think it's absolutely clear from everything you've said that you totally adore your DD, that the problem here is how you feel about yourself, not any risk of harm to your DD. I'm sure that will shine through to your HV.

LittleAmy Tue 02-Nov-10 11:03:00

SPB - that's a good idea. What does a HV do when a mum selfharms?

Also I'm interested in befriending services so I'll ask about them.

Last night was bad. I was in a bad state. I kept hitting myself in the head and biting my arms. I kept telling DH to fuck off to his friends and enjoy himself but he wouldn't.

I've still got the (unopened) box of antidepressants that the doc gave me weeks ago. I might start taking them on Saturday (because DH will be there to care for DD incase they make me sick).

Right, I will start that now - can I link them to this thread or mention it's a thread about a thread?
See what they say about the antidepressents - you'd hope they can prescribe something that won't mkae you sick!

tiktok Tue 02-Nov-10 11:10:14

Amy, please tell the HV the extent of your concerns. The baby will not be removed from you.

It is important the HV knows everything, including the self harm (she may ask about it - if she does, tell her the truth), so she can refer you and your baby for the right sort of help.

will your DH be there with you?

memoo Tue 02-Nov-10 11:12:32

Amy, nobody will think you are a danger to your baby. I was really ill and suicidal but nobody ever suggested that I might harm my DD, not even after I had been in the psychiatric hospital.

memoo Tue 02-Nov-10 11:13:49

I meant to say as well that I tried quite a few different medications before they found one that worked for me. The ones I am on now don't make me feel sick or put weight on

dontdisstheteens Tue 02-Nov-10 11:31:07

I have not commented but wanted to echo the messages saying how brave you are in seeking help.

One thing, self harming is a coping mechanism (Ok not always the best one grin) but it is a means of coping with distress. The HV should know/understand this and see it as you needing help with coping techniques not anything at all to do with your baby being harmed.

I ahve started a thread here.

LittleAmy Tue 02-Nov-10 11:50:31

DH is at work.

LittleAmy Tue 02-Nov-10 11:51:28

Thanks SPB.

sazlocks Tue 02-Nov-10 11:59:02

Well done for getting the HV to come out to see you. FWIW if I was in your position I would tell the HV everything and take things from there. I think you are being incredibly brave.
Good luck smile

memoo Tue 02-Nov-10 12:04:35

Amy, one tip I was given is to put an elastic band around your wrist. When you feel the urge to self harm snap the elastic band really hard, it hurts like hell but its safer than other ways of inflicting harm on yourself. Its also surpose to build up a negative association in your brain with regards to harming yourself because at the moment it feels like a positive thing to do. Hope that makes sense?

Nuttybear Tue 02-Nov-10 12:17:56

LA I'm just off to have coffee with my close friend who had PND. Her boys are 6 & 4 now and doing very well. She has my DS for sleepovers at times. So there is light. [good luck] I better go now she'll be cross if I'm late!

Nuttybear Tue 02-Nov-10 12:18:50

opS! There is no Good Luck emotion

bloodychocoholic Tue 02-Nov-10 12:32:20

Glad today seems a more positive day. I hope the HV visit is helpful.

Does Simply walk run in your area? Might be another question worth asking the HV as it would get you out into the fresh air and meeting more people.

You know some of the best friends I have now are the ones I cried with and sat with whilst they cried after having children.

I think all new mums have doubts, fears, sleep deprivation, anxiety. It is just that not everyone is happy to let others see that they are not in the glorious happy bubble that we pretend comes with a new born.

LittleAmy Tue 02-Nov-10 12:37:16

bloodychocoholic - I'm scared to reveal my true, damaged self to the mothers at the baby group. Instead I try to come across as confident, layed back and funny. I think it's working so far, as I seem to be liked by everyone there. Just a shame I can't take the 'friendships' to a deeper level. No one likes a depressive moany drain.

LittleAmy Tue 02-Nov-10 12:42:09

I thought I would enjoy motherhood and that it would complete me. I thought it was my vocation. I thought that money doesn't matter that much. I thought I would enjoy it.

I was wrong on all fronts. And now there is no way I can escape this. I'm trapped. I'm utterly miserable. I have no independence. I leach off others. I hate this. The future looks bleak.

DD is going to grow up seeing me this way.

chocoholic Tue 02-Nov-10 12:48:24

The reason you might not be able to "take the friendships to a deeper level" is perhaps because you pretend to be some confident and laid back.
Most of them are probably feeling similar to how you really are and probably go home wishing they could be more like the confident front you put across.

I've cried in the most ridiculous places and never had anyone run away and leave me to it. Most people are pretty kind to new mums.

Have a go at being the real you next time you meet some mums and see if they are supportive. You have nothing to lose by showing you are a fragile new mum.

chocoholic Tue 02-Nov-10 12:50:03

Also, can you convince your DH to put some money in your account every month so you have some independance?
My DH was against this idea to start with but it made me fel rubbish having to ask for every penny and it works so much better now I just get a sum at the start of the month for bits.

sponkle Tue 02-Nov-10 12:50:34

When I had my first DS I lived in one room in a shared house of dossers with a useless junkie partner who was violent towards me. I felt utterly trapped as you describe and miserable and at such a loss of what to do to take things forward. I had no family support and blocked out all my old friends. I was not interested in meeting any other mums as they were all a good ten years older than me and felt they all looked down on me. What I'm trying to say is that I can understand how you feel just a little bit. Tiny steps in the right direction will build and build and before you know it you will be looking back feeling so proud of yourself for overcoming this not only for yourself but your gorgeous family too. You can do it. You must do it! You are not on your own. You are very intelligent and brave and that will be your saviour...you can escape this...little steps..xx

sethstarkaddersmum Tue 02-Nov-10 12:51:02

it's incredibly early days for you to be writing yourself off as a mother Amy! Lots of people don't really get on with the early stage. It's quite different from the later ones in many ways; a lot of people take to it much better once the baby starts to talk.
Plus, it sounds like you are actually doing very well in many ways, eg you have bonded beautifully with your baby and clearly adore her smile. You are struggling emotionally but when you can see things more clearly you will realise how much you have achieved in the last 3 months.

Hi Amy, just to let you know someone has posted on the other thread who was self harming and considering suicide. The health professionals felt her children were not at risk because she was receiving help.

Whitethorn Tue 02-Nov-10 13:02:57

I think there is lots of supportive messages here for Amy and perhaps it is time to pull back to allow her to explore the Real Life help options??
Just a suggestion as the tone of the posts is not improving.

LittleAmy Tue 02-Nov-10 13:04:10

Thanks for the kind words.

Sometimes I wonder if getting a job would be my way out. But I've never, ever been in paid employment so I can't say for sure. Also due to having no employment history (being a degree junkie) how will I get decent employment? How will I pay childcare? (I really don't want to give DD to mum. You've heard how evil she can be).

When I look at these questions, I can't see any solutions I see myself being tied to the sofa weeping all day for years to come.

I'll put these questions to the HV but I can't see her being any help (she's not a careers advisor). I'm tempted to dictaphone her to show DH.

phipps Tue 02-Nov-10 13:08:44

LittleAmy - if you have a headache you took a paracetomol, if you have a sort throat you would take a lozenge. Depression is a chemical inbalance in your brain which the anti depressant still resolve.

Please be honest with the HV. You say your baby is the most important person to you. Well you are to her and you need to be well for her as well as yourself.

sethstarkaddersmum Tue 02-Nov-10 13:12:03

Whitethorn - LittleAmy has the HV coming at 3, so she is exploring RL help options as well as chatting on the thread.
I agree online help is not enough by any means but I don't think by chatting right now that we are distracting her from seeking it.
I get your point but I think it is OK to not pull back right now IYSWIM.

arabicabean Tue 02-Nov-10 13:14:15

OP - I hope you get the help you need. Were you not paid when you were a nursery nurse and primary school teacher?

FlameGrilledMama Tue 02-Nov-10 13:28:20

Hi LittleAmy I have recently been refered for a emergency physc evaluation. I posted on the other thread and then saw this one. I have self harmed and got to the point where I have attempted to commit suicide. I pushed all my family and friends away to, however now they know there is something wrong with me and how to help they are very supportive.

No one has mentioned removing my children sweetheart although that was a big fear for me. Since diagnosis most people have been trying their best to help now that they understand. I have read your posts and may I suggest going to A and E with your baby and getting a hospital admittance (I am pretty sure this is possible I know I am able to do this at any time). This way the staff will take away all the cleaning and other stresses and you can concentrate on getting better and looking after your daughter. At hospital they will understand how you are feeling and try to give you the space and support you need.

If you do go make sure you tell them how you are feeling and all that your doctor has said. Getting treatment is the first and hardest step but once you take it things will look better and there will be people to support you HTH if not may I just offer my support to you and a ear for listening.

LittleAmy Tue 02-Nov-10 13:40:35

arabicabean - I did a tiny amount of paid employment as a nursery nurse 10 years ago, but I've pretty much went from course to course since then.

LittleAmy, just wanted to say that I have been following your thread. I hope the HV can give you some support this afternoon and she helps you to look forward and finding your way into a happier future.

I live in Northumberland, but work on the Quayside in Newcastle. I would happily meet you for a cuppa, if you would like some RL support.

When my DS was 3 months old, my whole world looked very bleak. I remember it well.

Have a hug (((())))

If you would like to meet for a cuppa, drop me a PM.

x

Hello lovely,

On one hand, it's important if you do take things day by day. On the other, let's think a little about what life would be like in a few months time.

Your baby will stop screaming all the time. She's behaving like a 12 week old at the moment (v hard work) and soon she'll start behaving like a six month old, and then like a one-year old. Much easier, much more fun. She will also be able to play with toys independently for short periods (with you watching, making enthusiastic noises and drinking a cuppa) and she can go to nursery or to a childminder, giving you a break.

And yes, you will be able to get a job. It's easy when you're depressed to say "oh, that'll never work" and dismiss it - but as a degree junkie you'll have stretched yourself lots and this will be stretching yourself too, but in a different way.

You know how when you've got your finals coming up, and you can't see past the end of them, but life moves on and soon you're somewhere else? It's like that.

LittleAmy Tue 02-Nov-10 13:47:50

FGM - Thank you for posting. I have a little experience with mental health hospitals. When I was 12 my mum tried to commit suicide (almost succeeded!) and I was sent to live with aunt for a few months. It was horrible. I've never forgiven my mum for that. I'd never admit myself to hospital because of the negative associations.

FlameGrilledMama Tue 02-Nov-10 13:51:24

I understand perfectly I have similar associations and I also found it hard to admit myself to one (I admitted to a general hospital not a mental health one). I now see you are going to speak to your HV that is really good I am glad you are getting help hopefully she will be helpful and supportive smile.

LittleAmy Tue 02-Nov-10 13:52:08

Longtalljosie - are free nursery places available to mums whose husbands earn over a certain amount? I worry about these sorts of things.

Also would an employer take a degree junkie seriously? Someone with zero previous employers?

And ouch, don't mention finals! :P Never again.

sethstarkaddersmum Tue 02-Nov-10 13:55:02

some employers do, some don't, so you start off working for the ones that do. It is a bugger being overqualified <voice of bitter experience> but it is not insurmountable as there are plenty of people out there who actually do value degrees (more than they should, in some cases....)

wannabeglam Tue 02-Nov-10 14:15:03

Why have you done so many courses and not got a job before?

Good luck Amy, don't hold back or gloss over anything!

PacificWerewolf Tue 02-Nov-10 14:36:08

LA, good luck with the HV.

If you don't know what to tell her, show her this thread.
You have been very eloquent about your problems on here.
smile

Also, your DD will not grow up 'seeing you like this' because you are going to get better.

So, go out there and get the help you need.

blinks Tue 02-Nov-10 15:21:44

you said you were a primary teacher. and wrote for magazines.

wannabeglam Tue 02-Nov-10 15:27:08

LA, don't worry about answering above, I'm signing off - got sucked back in for a moment but agree with Whitethorn, there's enough info/help here if you want it.

bobbyblue Tue 02-Nov-10 15:27:15

Oh yeah you did say that, so why don't have you have any employers?

Good luck with HV Amy, let us know how it goes.

(This is just a guess but if LA trained as a teacher and a nursery nurse (2 degrees) she would have done placements as part of the training, without ever having had a paid employer.)

LittleAmy Tue 02-Nov-10 15:31:51

HV arrived early. She's just left. It was horrible.

She weighed DD. DD has only put on 4oz in 3 weeks. She has dropped a centile on her chart. HV says shes worried about my mental health and is tempted to get child services involved. she also pushed formula really hard. She said that my obsession with EBF is harming DDs development. She said top ups would be best for DD.

She also said that the state of my mental health will be effecting DD ("The brain activity up to 4 months is astonishing", etc, etc).

She is coming back in 2 weeks. She said she is going to come back more regularly from now on.

I really wish I had not contacted her It's just ANOTHER person saying what a shit job I'm doing

It doesn't matter that DD is bright and alert.

It doesn't matter that DD is having wet and dirty nappies.

It doesn't matter that DD laughs every day.

It doesn't that DD has never ever lost weight.

All these things don't matter. What matters is the chart and nothing else.

Oh shit
What did she say about helping and supporting you?

LittleAmy Tue 02-Nov-10 15:52:52

hold on. I really think HV may have got the weight wrong.

How many lbs is in 4.92kg?

plupervert Tue 02-Nov-10 15:54:19

With regard to breastfeeding, it is worth keeping in mind the following:

1) EBF may not be the best thing for you and your DD. It's worth remembering that expressing is not the most efficient means of getting milk out! I never managed anything like my full capacity unless DS was embracing my bosom and guzzling away. That could also sort out the "slower weight gain" issue. A previous poster mentioned feeding while lying down, and that could help you manage night feeds again.

2) Don't worry about the chart so much. The La Leche League and similar bodies can tell you that such charts are oriented on FF babies, and bf babies may follow differently-shaped curves. If you want to arm yourself with such information before your next visit, there's now an extra reason to get together with these bf ladies!

plupervert Tue 02-Nov-10 15:55:37

10 lbs 13.6 oz

LittleAmy Tue 02-Nov-10 16:01:42

Nevermind. She has written it down wrong, but this doesn't effect the chart. She wrote that 4.92kgs is 10.12lbs. But the chart is plotted in kgs anyway.

Now what?

phipps Tue 02-Nov-10 16:03:29

LA - what do you think will make your life easier and what do you want? Not necessarily the same thing.

LittleAmy Tue 02-Nov-10 16:05:22

plupervert - DD gets most feeds direct from the breast. She gets 4 night feeds per week using expressed milk. And that's it.

I don't know why the HV was so obsessed with the chart. She kept pointing to it all the time. She wouldn't listen to me or anything I was saying about virgin guts, DDs general wellbeing, etc.

LittleAmy Tue 02-Nov-10 16:07:32

phipps - I want to EBF. I thought I was doing well in that regard Now HV is making out that I am damaging DDs development (She actually said that).

sethstarkaddersmum Tue 02-Nov-10 16:08:30

now ring GP and make an appointment as it doesn't sound like HV is going to help. Get back on the list for counselling, get a different sort of anti-depressant if the ones you have aren't helping or you don't want to take them because of side-effects.

and you know what,
'It doesn't matter that DD is bright and alert.

It doesn't matter that DD is having wet and dirty nappies.

It doesn't matter that DD laughs every day.

It doesn't that DD has never ever lost weight.'

You're right, it is daft to disregard these things. And you sound there like someone that actually knows, deep down, that you are doing a good job as a mother.

phipps Tue 02-Nov-10 16:09:42

When I was BF my children the charts weren't a great help as they are designed for formula fed babies. You need to access a chart based on breast fed babies and see where she is on them, without becoming obsessed with charts.

HV are not Gods. They don't know everything and make mistakes. You need to ask her to qualify her statements and tell her not to say things she can't back up.

You also need to see a GP tomorrow.

please don't let this set you back, you seemed so set up for getting help today and that hasn't gone well. Tomorrow it might, you need to keep fighting.

plupervert Tue 02-Nov-10 16:16:30

Sorry it doesn't seem enough to make a huge difference.

I ought to point out that if you believe FF/toppping up will help
(a) with weight gain
(b) with taxing your physical resources less
(c) with getting HVs Off Your Back (sometimes as mothers, we just have to compromise!)

... it is really not the end of the world. It is really not "the only thing you are doing right". It is really not poison or junk food.

I definitely preferred bf because of health benefits, lack of sterilising, lack of preparation needed, generally being more easy (I had better things to do).

However, I myself was ff, and I not only have an excellent immune system (possibly a result of a year in a developing country, toughening my immune system, so nothing to do with breastmilk!), but I have 2 degrees, one from Oxbridge (so am not exactly stupid). Although I said upthread that I was emphatically not a perfectionist, I hope the above means you can identify with me and me telling you that your DD needs you more than your milk.

How do you feel about compromise in general?

sungirltan Tue 02-Nov-10 16:16:48

littleamy - you are an academic so i know you can do this. next time dd is asleep do some really in depth research on the net about ebf babies and weight gain/growth etc. knowledge is power. you are an intelligent adult and perhpas this will make you feel empowered.

meanwhile i really think a latch on group would be good for you. i think you would enjoy meeting other passionate breastfeeding mums in a place where you dont have to pretend bf isnt all that so you dont offend ff. seriously i really think it would help because i think someone telling you that you are doing a great job and acknowledges that bf is hard work would do wonders for you in the short term :-)

wubblybubbly Tue 02-Nov-10 16:19:46

LittleAmy, if you don't feel up to calling your GP today, would you consider calling Mind?

They've got local branches up here (Washington & Gateshead) who offer counselling services, but they also have a helpline 0845 766 0163, which is open until 5 every day.

It's totally confidential and, from my experience, they are wonderfully supportive people who have vast experience in dealing with all kinds of problems, including PND.

They might just be able to offer you some advice about how to get some solid real life support, it's worth a try maybe?

Nuttybear Tue 02-Nov-10 16:22:10

LA did the HV say anything nice? My HV wasn't helpful when it came to BF! The HV charts are often wrong as phipps said they are for formula fed babies. I'm surprised it's not changed in 6 years!shock Have you gone out for a walk today? If not put it top of your list tomorrow come rain or shine.

She wants to ebf

Mirrorball Tue 02-Nov-10 16:24:54

The early days are horrendous, but honestly your child will become enjoyable very soon, and then toddling and talking then it really is fun and you will be SO proud!

Please be nice to yourself, and stop drinking vodka.

Agree with the other who have said get yourself to doctor, anti-depressants helped me, I thought our relationship was doomed, but with lots of talking and a lot of work we're mostly happy now.

Thinking of you, been there, and I know there's light at the end of the tunnel for you too.

The charts were based on babies whose method of feeding was not distinguished. IN my area (not too far away) they have changed, I had DD in 2009 and have a breastfed chart.

sungirltan Tue 02-Nov-10 16:30:42

plupervert- i agree. i think ebf is great but not at the expense of the mother's mental health. however i do think the OP could do with some other help/support before a decision is made about feeding. also it does seem like the one thing that the op feels in control of and i wouldnt abandon that at present as i think she is a bit fragile.

littleamy - i have an amazing 1 year old dd who is charming and healthy and very chatty and can win over anyone - i get compliments all the time about her. BUT this is at 12 mnths. At 3 or 4 months or probably both i was breaking down in front of dh because i thought i'd never ENJOY motherhood because i was so emotional/anxious/sad all the time. i drove myself mad thinking out all sorts of terrible accidents that had about zero chance of happening but thats all i could think about. i felt very mentally unstable. here is an example; our flat is based around a long corridor down the middle. in winter i put the washing rack by the radiator in it. i sued to lie awake at night almost shaking with fear thinking that i would trip over the bloody washing rack, whilst holding dd, and that she would be impaled on the plastic uprights or at best lose an eye!!! i felt like i had no way of quashing all this anxiety back then and that ergo, i would never enjoy dd. thank effing god, the post birth anxiety seems to have a half life and started tailing off after 3 or 4 months, had massively reduced by 9 months and well i feel quite normal now :-)

When you say she's dropped a centile, from what to what? Was she following a perfect curve before?

Plus... what chart was she using? See here

Dropping a centile isn't a problem if she's still gaining weight - your dd sounds happy and healthy. My ds is 3 months and breastfed, born on the 75th centile and at his last weigh in was down to just above the 25th. But he's fine.

LittleAmy Tue 02-Nov-10 16:52:25

"LA did the HV say anything nice?"

She said I had lost weight and was looking fab. That's about it. But I don't really care as much about MY weight.

"The HV charts are often wrong as phipps said they are for formula fed babies. I'm surprised it's not changed in 6 years"

In the book (my book is yellow. everywhere else in the country it seems to be red) it says that the chart is based on breastfed babies.

piprabbit Tue 02-Nov-10 16:53:16

LA, what support did the HV offer you in respect of your own feelings and emotions? You obviously didn't find her BFing comments useful (I second what everyone has said about the chart being really unhelpful for BF babies), but not mentioned if she tested you for PND or made any suggests about helping you get through this time.

LittleAmy Tue 02-Nov-10 16:54:46

sungirltan you are right that ebf feels like the only thing I have control of. It's the only tangible decent thing I'm doing for my DD. And now HV is saying I'm fucking that up!

It sounds like the HV may be wrong on that, as you say, steady weight gain, weeing and pooing, alert and happy. Failure to realise she should be following an arbitrary line

LittleAmy Tue 02-Nov-10 16:58:37

I'm worried because HV threatened to get child services involved

Why on earth did I contact her

phipps Tue 02-Nov-10 17:01:06

Remember your baby hasn't read the book smile.

If you get yourself to the doctor, have the check done which diagnoses PND and take the medication, then there will be no reason to get the child services involved.

You have to be willing to help yourself too.

LittleAmy Tue 02-Nov-10 17:44:45

Phipps - I'm going to start taking the antidepressants on Saturday.

I don't know what to do about DD's drop on the charts The HV was really trying to push formula.

I think you need to ask why she is recommending formula.
So sorry this has gone so badly

sethstarkaddersmum Tue 02-Nov-10 17:49:01

you could always make a double appointment, one for yourself and one for dd, and ask the GP about the weight issues.
It's very much luck of the draw what a GP is like, but the ones in our practice are clued up on breastfeeding.
IME also HVs tend to play safe and worry unnecessarily; GPs are more likely to have the confidence to say not to worry.

LittleAmy Tue 02-Nov-10 18:03:58

SPB - the HV seems obsessed with the charts. DD has dropped 1.5 percentile since her birth. So HV is convinced that she needs top-ups of formula. But formula top-ups actually interfere with BFing by reducing supply. Is HV just trying to cover her own back instead of looking at our individual case on its merits?

If DD drops another 0.5 percentile then she will have to be referred to a paediatrician. You would not believe all the things I have done to boost my milk supply It seemed to have worked, or so I thought.

phipps Tue 02-Nov-10 18:05:01

Please don't wait. Side effects are not so bad that you can't take the tablets without your h there.

exactly
She needs to justify recommeding formula
If you have supply issues (doubtful), then, as you rightly say, formula is not the answer

LittleAmy Tue 02-Nov-10 18:13:33

Thanks SPB. What is her true agenda pushing recommending formula?

If I were being cynical I'd say she's ticked you off as feeding at 6 weeks and now she's going for the easy way out

tiktok Tue 02-Nov-10 18:19:56

The 'child services' she mentioned are likely to be the 'child and adolescent mental health services' which may well treat mothers and babies together when there are mental health issues - this is normal, academically respectable and potentially very helpful. If this is the case, then do think about accepting this offer - when mothers are depressed, it does affect babies, but it does not have to affect them permanently, if help is taken at the right time. Hope you'll consider this.

A drop of 1.5 centiles is well within normal limits. I really don't know what the issue is here. No one who knows their job would think this is a reason to give formula - however, she may be considering the whole picture and suggesting formula for some other reason.

Whatever - it is your choice.

LittleAmy Tue 02-Nov-10 18:28:40

SPB - I thought the NHS target was 6 months?

tiktok - Apparently if 2 percentiles are dropped a paediatrician must be seen? Apparently these are 'the rules'?

sungirltan Tue 02-Nov-10 18:31:19

littleamy - who knows really - if she specifically said aptimil then ignore her.

however, did she say 'you must cease bf and give dd bottles this instant' OR did she say for you to 'CONSIDER' formula, which isn't unreasinable just a bit tactless.

right down to the science; i have just done all this on my breastfeeding peer suppport course THIS AFTERNOON!

the baby is getting enough milk if; you are getting 6 or above wet nappies a day (poo is a bit ambiguoys with bf babeis), there is a reasonable period between feeds, the baby is gaining weight, the baby is cheerful and alert and interested in non feeding things iyswim, the baby isn't crying all the time, you the mother instinctively feel that all is well with the baby.

i see your baby is gaining SOME weight BUT there MAY be a problem with attachement causing the weight gain to not be enough. ok i will explain but dont freak out and think you are doing something wrong please please please............

ok, calm? paying attention?

breast milk isn't just a case of volume being enough. the first stage of milk which the baby draws from the breast has a high water ocntent and is for hydration and thirst quenching, this is drawn out until the let down reflex is stimulated. the let down releases the much thicker, creamier stage of the milk which is the 'food' part (to over simplifiy but you get the idea) until near the end of the feed where you may notice the baby sort of 'flutters' her lips - she is taking in the the big globs of fattty milk. if the attachement isnt quite right the baby can take all the liquid but not get all the fat which can lead to poor weight gain. i only said CAN - doesn't make me right.

ok so when you are feeding dd do your breasts feel as if they have been really emptied at the end of the feed??

if they do then this is not the issue.

if they DO NOT, do your nipples come away from the baby all elongated?

tiktok Tue 02-Nov-10 18:32:38

Yes - this is a common rule, littleamy ....a drop of more than 2 percentile lines may mean a visit to the paed to check all is well. It almost always is. Your baby has not dropped this much, but 1.5 percentiles....well within normal, or have I misread you?

tiktok Tue 02-Nov-10 18:34:58

sungirltan - not quite right about the breasts needing to feel 'really emptied'...if your tutor is telling you this, then she's got it wrong

sungirltan Tue 02-Nov-10 18:39:01

well what is the answer then? (tiktok)

Referring to a paed if she drops 2 centile lines isn't a judgement of failure, Amy, it's just a protocol to make sure they catch the few cases where there is an underlying reason baby isn't gaining weight - that is, a reason to do with the baby's health, not a judgement on the mother's feeding. And most of the time there is nothing wrong, it's a to-be-on-the-safe-side sort of thing.

My boy went from 96th to 50th centile - and I had an oversupply problem!

sungirltan Tue 02-Nov-10 18:46:47

meanwhile not sure why you would be referred to CAMHS. no one is going to assess the mental health of a 3 month old.

if the mother's mental health is of concern it will be a straight forward referral to children's services who will come and do an assessment as to whether the child is being adequately cared for and whether it is at risk. if the risk is mild they will most likely refer you to outreach services through your local children's centre (groups, befriending schemes etc) and organisations such as homestart or the local equivalent. you may end up with a fmaily support worker to come and see you at home and help you a bit. the social worker will encourage you to seek help via your gp with mental health issues and may talk thorugh with you what is available locally.

sungirltan Tue 02-Nov-10 18:47:47

my dd has been on at least 3 different centiles.

homeboys Tue 02-Nov-10 18:52:37

Message withdrawn

memoo Tue 02-Nov-10 19:10:13

My DD was on the 75th centile and is now just above the 50th, thats a drop of 25 and nobody has said anything!

No, it's dropping two centile chunks - if you look on the charts, the centiles are divided into chunks by lines, and if the baby drops across 2 of those lines that's when they refer, I think - sorry not sure what the correct terminology is here!

tiktok Tue 02-Nov-10 19:42:16

sungirltan - child and adolescent mental health services do deal with infant mental health in some areas and this does indeed include treating mothers with PND and other disorders alongside their babies. They are seen as a pair because the long-term effects of untreated perinatal mental illness in the mother on the baby can be severe and can show in young babies. Yes, the mental health of a young baby can be assessed.

To answer the other question: Breasts don't need to feel 'really emptied' at each feed - of course the mother may well be aware of the breasts being empti^er^ than they were (though with well-established bf this may not be very apparent - that's ok). But there is no need to have this total emptying, and a lot of problems are caused by women thinking the baby should continue feeding until they (the mother) cannot squeeze another drop, and worrying that this never actually happens...and they think the baby is underfed as a result.

Hope that helps

tiktok Tue 02-Nov-10 19:43:32

systemsaddict - yes you're right. The correct terminology is 'centile line' and it refers to the lines on the chart, not the actual centiles/percentiles which are only 100th each!

MamaVoo Tue 02-Nov-10 20:05:26

I see the thread has moved on but I just wanted to say to the OP that I could have written every word of your post. It didn't feel like I would ever be happy or love my DS the way I should. I thought that I'd ruined my life and nothing would ever be good again. I was wrong though. Every month it got a little bit better.

It's a bitter pill to swallow when you realise - too late - that motherhood isn't like the rose tinted picture you had in your mind. You'll grow to love your little girl so much that if you could have your time again you wouldn't even dream of not having her.

I'm not sure I've expressed that very well. Hang on in there though (and do whatever you can to make your day to day life easier) because it does get better.

angel1976 Tue 02-Nov-10 20:11:38

LittleAmy Been following your thread and just wanted to give you some support. I feel like you some days and I have TWO boys! DS1 is 2.8 and DS2 is 1 in two days. Sometimes I think I am a sucker for punishment. We had such a hard time with DS1 when he was born. I remember the shock of becoming a mother, I was in my night gown crying everyday cos DS1 was such an unhappy baby and my attempted to EBF failed miserably. I tried everything, I really did - I even tried exclusively pumping and I can tell you hand on heart that nothing is more soul destroying than waking up at 3am in the morning just to pump. But I wanted DS1 to have a sibling and there is no way I would put myself through the first year of a baby's life ever again, my family is complete.

I had such an awful day last Wednesday. I was in tears all day and shouted at DS1 all day long. I felt I was going mad. I told DH when he got home that I need to go back to work (Ha ha, great one to come up with when my P45 just came through after I took voluntary redundancy). I love my boys to death and will die for them but some days, I wish for my old life back where I could by selfish and do something just for me... You really are not alone in feeling the way you do.

Talking about percentiles... my DS2 suffers from reflux and is the teeniest weeniest baby you could meet. He was born above the 25% line and at almost a year old, he is not even 8kgs and is on the 0.4-2% line... But he just started to walk and a really smiley and gorgeous baby so weight really isn't everything! (^And^ he is formula fed from birth! shock)

sungirltan Tue 02-Nov-10 20:14:38

titktok - re the empty boobs - thats not quite what i meant but i appreciate your info - i am still on the course - just a learner but saddened that the HV isn't really assessing the qulaity of the bfing.

re camhs. ok possible, though not down here but that would be a refferal made either by a gp or a sw. a hv will not refer directly to services i woldn't have thought. to the best of my knowledge they just refer to ss. i don't see how ss can be circumvented in this situation.

Amy,

I say this with love and my unending support: grow a pair.

Yes, it's hard because you're depressed. Yes, it all feels like climbing a mountain. But stop being so passive and take control of your situation. You can either be a passenger here or a driver.

So your HV is talking about a paediatrician to look at your DD? Goodo. It sounds like she's obsessed with formula, so it would be good to get a second opinion.

You need people to talk to about breastfeeding. They will be out there. You're on the internet so find one and go. You should be getting out of the house more anyway. Knowledge is power, as a previous poster has suggested.

Start your anti-Ds this evening. They make you sick? Well that won't just be over the weekend, even if you do take your first on Saturday. You're putting off taking them and every minute you delay you're further from getting better. And in the mean time, while your depression goes untreated, you're instead being referred to mental health services.

Exclusive breastfeeding is a marvellous thing but taking your anti-Ds would be on a par with this (at least) in terms of putting your DD first.

Stop making excuses, and start making plans. You are going to dig your way out of this. Starting now.

What are you going to do next Amy?

FunnysInTheGardenWithASparkler Tue 02-Nov-10 21:46:18

the LA on her previous thread and the LA on this thread seem to be two different people. ie the LA of previous seemed to know what she was about and quite staunch in her views.

LA you really need to take some of the advice given on here. Very good and detailed advice on all of your problems. I really do sympathise, but you do need to act on some of this advice. You can't blame other people forever.

Funnys - please, you're being really hostile to someone who just doesn't need it. Could you just leave her alone, please?

FunnysInTheGardenWithASparkler Tue 02-Nov-10 22:04:39

why hostile LTJ ? You have just told her to get a grip

plupervert Tue 02-Nov-10 22:29:14

Okay, Funnys, you're narked (or rather, you were narked, and now you're just holding a grudge).

Are you mirroring the behaviour of "driving everyone away", which we are discussing in LittleAmy's current situation?

Whatever the reason, it is dysfunctional. Now, I am not going to f you off, as this could be, perversely, what you want. If you are having a problem of your own, would you consider your own thread, to talk it out, maybe in Off the Beaten Track, so it's not searchable?

LittleAmy, you see, it is harder to drive people away than you thought...

gaelicsheep Tue 02-Nov-10 22:47:59

I might be way off beam here, LittleAmy, but I do think your depression might be playing a part in how you feel about EBF. I am speaking from experience, and one of the symptoms of PND is a tendency to completely obsess about things. Plus, you're a perfectionist which can only make this tendency worse. Now I am feeling much better and I have more perspective - I still care deeply about b/f but I do not have the irrational thoughts that I once did (I thought I would kill my baby by giving formula). I don't know if you are having similar thoughts or not, but just be aware that PND might be playing a part.

Regarding the child services, I really don't think the HV would be considering removing your DD if that's what you're worried about. I have admitted all sorts of stuff to my HV in the past - my fears of accidentally harming DD, the fact that I spent part of one night walking the streets with her, etc. The thing is that the fact I mentioned these things means that I know enough about what I'm doing and I am actually in control, despite how it sometimes feels. Because I haven't, and wouldn't ever harm her, I didn't get in the car that night, and the HV recognises that I am in control of my actions. It's clear that we are worried about our mental state precisely because we love our DCs and don't ever want to harm them. It's the people who don't admit these kinds of fears that are the ones they are most worried about. HTH.

gaelicsheep - I completely agree about the EBF.

tugamommy Wed 03-Nov-10 08:06:01

LittleAmy - have you considered the possiblity that alcohol could be affecting your milk supply? I know this must be hard to face as BF and alcohol are the two things (you think) are holding you together, but please try to cut down on the vodka. It will only make things worse in the long run.

Also, try to follow longtalljosie's advice. I think her post makes a lot of sense!

Good luck to you!

LittleAmy Wed 03-Nov-10 10:23:26

sungirltan - thanks for all the info. What would constitute a "wet" as opposed to "just damp" nappy?

"ok so when you are feeding dd do your breasts feel as if they have been really emptied at the end of the feed??"

Yes they do. I can feel it happening as DD feeds. Then afterwards when she drools sometimes I can see the fatty milk blobs in her drool.

How long should she be feeding for at a time? Should I offer the other breast after she has drained the first one?

One thing I have noticed is that my boobs never seem to have time to fill up near the end of the day. They never get hard with milk in the evening. They only really get hard in the morning and in the middle of the night. I think this might be relevant to your 'breast emptying' question.

"do your nipples come away from the baby all elongated?"

Yes they do. Is that good?

tiktok - DD has dropped 1.5 percentiles so far. The HV is coming out in 2 weeks to weigh her again. If DD has dropped the further 0.5 we will see a paed. I have heard that paeds are quite pro-BF and will only reccommend formula in very severe cases. Would you say this was true? If this is true I would love to see a paed then maybe s/he can tell the HV to fuck off talking about formula. Then the HV and other 'professionals' can finally leave me alone in this regard. I'm tempted to ask to see a paed now.

systemsaddict - DD started on the 25th centile. Hardly big to start with

"the long-term effects of untreated perinatal mental illness in the mother on the baby can be severe and can show in young babies. "

Do you have any information on this? Cant believe I am damaging my DD. What can I do? DH says that DD wont remember any of this so its okay. I'd like some reputable links to show him.

"if the mother's mental health is of concern it will be a straight forward referral to children's services who will come and do an assessment as to whether the child is being adequately cared for and whether it is at risk."

So sungirltan - the HV thinks my DD is at risk?? Otherwise why would she mention/threaten child services? This is scaring the hell out of me. So basically I suppliment with formula or I am putting my child "at risk"? The HV said I was "obsessed with EBFing".

"I was in my night gown crying everyday cos DS1 was such an unhappy baby and my attempted to EBF failed miserably."

Did your HV ever threaten to call child services on you? Apparently crying in front of a child can damage them??

"nothing is more soul destroying than waking up at 3am in the morning just to pump."

I know I do it often.

"the HV isn't really assessing the qulaity of the bfing."

Exactily. And I BF infront of her yesterday. She didn't even bother to look.

Longtalljosie - you say i need to get out more AND you say i should take my pills now. But if i take the pills now and they make me ill then i wont be able to attend the baby group i have planned for today and the baby massage course i am booked on for tomorrow. so rather than wait until the weekend you want me to take my pills now and risk not being able to go out the house this week?? if i do not take my pills now im "not helping myself"??

LittleAmy Wed 03-Nov-10 10:31:28

gaelicsheep - re: EBF, I researched "the virgin gut" recently (after seeing it mentioned on MN!) and it made me realise how important it is to EBF. The research revealed that "even one bottle of formula is too much" (the words of the research, not mine). Up until I read that DD was getting a top up of formula each night. Once I had done the virgin gut research I completely cut out all formula. I went on Fenugreek and pumped and fed around the clock.

Re: my depression. I've always suffered from depression since I can remember (I've tried various anti-Ds over the years). But this is the worst it has ever been. AND I've got the extra guilt that my depression is HARMING my DD.

LittleAmy Wed 03-Nov-10 10:32:41

"have you considered the possiblity that alcohol could be affecting your milk supply?"

I only started with the alcohol this week. So it can't be that. I haven't been a big drinker up till now.

wubblybubbly Wed 03-Nov-10 10:59:13

LA, if you've been depressed before and gotten through it, then you know you can do it again.

What worked for you through the other episodes?

Re the anti depressants, when you talk about being sick, do you mean the nausea? I've had some that make me nauseas in the first few weeks and others that haven't. Can you try these ones your GP has prescribed and see how they go? You can always go back and get them changed if they're making you so ill you can't leave the house.

I know that you've mentioned you've had counselling before, what kind did you have, did it help? Is there a way you could get back into a course of CBT that would provide you with specific coping mechanisms for what you're going through now?

Sorry, lots of questions grin but glad you're back and still posting.

LittleAmy Wed 03-Nov-10 11:01:50

my mental health is really low. im getting to a very bad place, especially as everything i seem to do is wrong and in some circumstances even damaging DD I feel that ive been fighting to give her the best nutrition for almost 4 months now but i dont have much fight left in me im in a really bad place.

i want people to give me a brake and tell me im doing a good job.

i honestly thought EBF was a good job. its supposed to be "the best". but the HV seems to be pinning all my depression on EBM and hints that formula would be the answer to all my problems i know this is untrue. She is obsessed with the chart and convinced that my desire to EBF is damaging DD. I want to scream.

Most people give up EBF. And i didnt want to be "most people". I have the strength to carry on EBF if only people will LET me.

But obviously I cant risk loosing DD.

Amy - I am on your side. Don't get angry. I've scanned this thread to see if there's an answer to this so apologies if you've gone into this - but all I can find on it is you saying quite early on "pills make me ill". All pills? How ill are we talking here?

I think it's excellent you've got stuff to do today and tomorrow.

Re nursery and my earlier post - is your DH a higher rate taxpayer? He needs to register for childcare vouchers now while he's able to claim the full amount. They're offset against tax, so he'll gain far more in vouchers than he loses in pay. It's not too early - my DH and I were stashing them away from around 12 weeksish

Oh - and you are doing a good job with the breastfeeding.

Did anyone answer your question on wet v damp nappies? Are they heavy? If you dropped them to the floor, would there be a little thump?

gaelicsheep Wed 03-Nov-10 11:06:33

Oh LittleAmy, you might not want to hear this but you are sounding exactly like I did. I too was giving one bottle of formula in the night to DD - it sved my sanity actually - but I was very worried about the loss of her virgin gut and I was really angry with myself for not achieving the holy grail of EBF for 6 months. So I did go back to EBF BUT - and this is crucial - I did it when I was physically and emotionally ready for it. PLUS I had a very supportive HV and a very helpful DH.

You definitely won't want to hear this but I'm going to say it anyway. The whole point of the virgin gut theory is that one bottle of formula may change the gut environment so that the baby becomes more susceptible to allergies. Your DD (and mine) has had formula already, so the "damage", if any, has been done already. I had to acknowledge and accept this - having accepted it my reason for returning to EBF was mostly the desire to be able to do it, as simple as that.

chocoholic Wed 03-Nov-10 11:06:39

Glad to hear that you have things planned for today and tomorrow.
Have a go at being the real you to people and say how you realy feel, see how it goes. smile

LittleAmy Wed 03-Nov-10 11:08:14

yes WB I mean nausea, hence why ive decided to wait till a day when DH is around before i take them. So that someone is there to care for DD if i get sick. i thought this was RESPONSIBLE but apparently not.

"I know that you've mentioned you've had counselling before, what kind did you have, did it help? Is there a way you could get back into a course of CBT that would provide you with specific coping mechanisms for what you're going through now?"

I know this sounds stupid but I dont drive and there are no local sessions. the closest sessions are a bus ride away and i am EBF with a huge pram that doesnt fit on a bus. this sounds stupid i know. it sounds like im actively sabotaging my recovery. but my brain focuses on practicalities such as this.

"my brain focuses on practicalities such as this"

It also puts up barriers. You could get a stroller on ebay or take your DD in a sling?

gaelicsheep Wed 03-Nov-10 11:11:37

BTW, I am absolutely not saying you should give up EBF, not unless there are medical indicators that you should. It's terrific that you are so determined, it really is. I just want you to be aware of what might be happening. And be aware that, if you need to for whatever reason, giving formula will not harm your DD.

wubblybubbly Wed 03-Nov-10 11:12:31

LA, of course you're doing a good job, you're doing an amazing job in the circumstances.

It's just that you could be still doing a good job and getting yourself better.

As far as know, with regards to damaging babies, it's untreated PND that causes the long term harm. You're still in the early days, though it might not feel like it and you've got the opportunity to make things different for your DD.

I know it's the hardest thing in the world to do when your mind is working against you like this, but what other option do you have?

You mentioned earlier on in the thread that you can't imagine the rest of life like this. Well the good news is, it really doesn't have to be. To change the future you need to start getting better and, for me, the starting point is the anti depressants. They won't solve your problems but they'll help you get to a place where you're ready to seek long term counselling. The end result, for me anyway, isn't that you'll get back to your old self, you'll find a whole new you, a happier, contented person who values and likes themselves. Now isn't that a journey worth taking? For yourself and your beautiful DD?

wubblybubbly Wed 03-Nov-10 11:15:26

Don't worry about the counselling just yet, one step at a time.

Start the anti depressants and once your mood lifts you'll be able to see possibilities where now you can only see obstacles.

LittleAmy Wed 03-Nov-10 11:23:05

Longtalljosie - Anti-Ds in the past have made me ill. i haven't tried these ones yet though.

can you explain more about the childcare vouchers? do you have a link? i dont know what they are.

"Are they heavy?"

yes. how often should i change DD? I do so approx every 4 hours as that is when she feeds (longer through the night as dont want to disturb her).

"I had a very supportive HV"

how do i get one of those? ive been through 2 now and havent liked either. i thought the current 1 was ok until she started to bully me with formula.

"You definitely won't want to hear this but I'm going to say it anyway. The whole point of the virgin gut theory is that one bottle of formula may change the gut environment so that the baby becomes more susceptible to allergies. Your DD (and mine) has had formula already, so the "damage", if any, has been done already. I had to acknowledge and accept this - having accepted it my reason for returning to EBF was mostly the desire to be able to do it, as simple as that."

my research revealed that you can get the virgin gut "back" if you EBF for 3 weeks. or is my research wrong?

"Have a go at being the real you to people and say how you realy feel, see how it goes."

I'll be honest, I don't think I can do that. I don't like the fragile, weepy, depressive me. The confident front I put on is much more attractive. It seems to draw people in, whereas the weepy me repels people. Thats my experience.

I know im being weepy here and you're not running away but you can log off when you get sick of me. online is not as full-on as RL.

tiktok on the virgin gut hopefully she won't mind that I have linked to this.
However, you are saying that you want to continue to breastfeed, and you should be supported in this.
Could you call a breastfeeding counsellor to get some agreement that there is almost certainly nothing wrong with your supply and that your baby is thriving?

passionberry Wed 03-Nov-10 11:32:08

LittleAmy , so sorry you feel so low sad

Re. the pram/bus issue. We recently moved to the countryside and I don't drive so was in a panic about how I would get around. But it was fine - people are very helpful if they see you struggling with a pram and you will feel so much better for having achieved a bus journey successfully!. Would it be a possibility for you to ditch the pram and buy a lightweight pushchair? that's what I did and it did make it easier on the bus/train.

Also, please don't worry about EBF in public - I know it's hard at first but you get used to it really quickly and tbh I don't think most people even notice! I have to be honest and say I don't love doing it in public but just got on with it at the beginning and now she is 6 months she has formula in a sippy cup when we're out.

LittleAmy Wed 03-Nov-10 11:33:49

SPB - In that post tiktok spoke of "choice" but i feel as though my choice is being taken away via threats and scaremongering by the HV. How is this behaviour supposed to help me?

No I completely agree. I think you should agree with a referral to a paed. Who will hopefully say nothing is wrong!

Did you give birth in hospital? I know you said you have a fear of hospitals but is that just staying in hospital or going into them at all?

angel1976 Wed 03-Nov-10 12:20:39

LittleAmy No, my HV NEVER ever spoke about getting social services or anyone else involved. I had a very supportive breastfeeding counsellor at the hospital I gave birth at. She spoke to me for ages (over several days) and she was concerned enough about my mental state to call my local HV team to get them out to come and see me. They did and the HV that came out was very nice. I gave formula in the end (I have a medical condition that messes up my fertility and also the hormones that deal with BFing and they concluded that could have been affecting my supply) when DS1 was 6 weeks old. With DS2, I BF for a week and had the same issues again. I did not hesitate to give him formula as I was not keen to repeat those dark first few days with DS1 again. This time, I did not suffer the guilt of not BF-ing DS2 as I know then that being a mother is so, so much more than just feeding. But I do get a pang of envy when I see mothers BF-ing with ease as for me, BF was always associated with unhappiness. Please get all the support you can get but don't feel you have to do one thing or the other. Your DD will thrive and one day you will look back at all these and wonder why you were so worried...

tiktok Wed 03-Nov-10 12:54:54

littleamy in answer to your question about PND and the effect on babies, I was talking generally not about you specifically, and I was answering sungirltan who was sceptical about mental health being assessed in a baby.

I am not saying at all you are damaging your baby.

The research is clear that untreated PND does affect babies - babies can be protected to some extent by other people close to them being in good mental health, and babies do recover when the mother's illness is treated.

It's got nothing to do with babies' memories, by the way. Of course your baby won't remember these days, but again, speaking generally only, babies are affected by things that happen in their early lives.

This is not to scare you, but just to say you are doing the right thing in exploring treatment and support to enable you to be happier. Treatment for perinatal mental health problems is very effective.

MrsFC Wed 03-Nov-10 13:59:38

Sorry you are having such a dreadful time littleamy. What about any friends you met at NCT or antenatal classes, couldn't talking to them help?

memoo Wed 03-Nov-10 15:12:19

LittleAmy, I have a buggy that you can have if you like, its a bit pink hmm but is in perfect condition and is really lightweight, I only got it to shove in the boot of my little car rather than messing about with the big one but I have hardly used it. It would be perfect for nipping on and off the bus

DirtyMartini Wed 03-Nov-10 16:34:45

LittleAmy, I'm sorry if this has been covered -- I have followed the thread, but may have missed it.

You say in your OP that you have no friends. Is that literally true? Did you have no friends before your pregnancy?

I'm just asking because most people have at least one friend, and although I can understand your not wanting to talk openly to the baby group mothers (I couldn't be arsed with that either), I am surprised at you having literally nobody in your life who is an older friend and more likely to really listen sympathetically.

If you really have no friends at all, how did you get the idea that your usual confident laid-back "public face" is more attractive to people, as you have said? Maybe it really isn't, and maybe being your real self is worth a shot after all?

The reason I'm being forceful about the tablets is that if your HV does get other people involved, they will want to see you are being proactive in your recovery. But that said, Saturday's not the end of the world. It does potentially put the light a little further from the end of the tunnel though.

If your DD's nappies are heavy, that's very encouraging.

Childcare vouchers - see here

How was your group today?

gaelicsheep Wed 03-Nov-10 18:17:13

RE the virgin gut. I have also read that you can re-establish the virgin gut with a few weeks EBF - if I'm honest that was a driver for me, along with perfectionsim I've mentioned before. But what I was trying to get at is that if your baby is one that might be sensitised by giving formula - and as Tiktok said this is only likely to apply to a few - well, you've given it already. I'm not an expert by any means, but I doubt that can be undone. This is not to make you feel bad LittleAmy, just to make sure that you are not struggling to continue EBF for this reason alone. There are many many other reasons of course, but not to the detriment of your own wellbeing.

gaelicsheep Wed 03-Nov-10 18:22:10

I am really struggling to word these posts so as not to make you feel worse. Just to reiterate again, I have been where you are now. If you want to message me please don't hesitate. smile

This was me when I was becoming more lucid.

gaelicsheep Wed 03-Nov-10 18:25:39

One other thing (sorry!). Can I ask how old your DD was when you started formula top ups?

SparklePffftBANG Thu 04-Nov-10 07:46:45

LittleAmy, how are you today?

supergreenuk Thu 04-Nov-10 08:13:35

My dd lost so much weight. The health visitor left it only a week to see me not 2 which makes me think that they think you can do it and they are not too worried. I refused to use formula and eventually dd started taking enough. She would only feed for a couple of minutes before she fell asleep. Eventually it increased to ten minutes and then 20 minutes. I cried a lot about it and felt such a failure. DD is now 11 months. She was bf exclusively for 6 months and is still breastfeeding. I plan to stop at a year. Be strong and do what you feel is best for you. You can get through this. Much love and prayer x

LittleAmy, my offer of a cuppa is still there.

xx

SparklePffftBANG Thu 04-Nov-10 14:23:49

yes, and me, if you can cope with two of us

supergreenuk Thu 04-Nov-10 16:13:13

You really should take them up on the offer x

sungirltan Thu 04-Nov-10 19:32:39

hey littleamy - sorry for delayed reply - dh back from his oil rig so been out and about.

righty ho. the this with the long nipples was because i have friend who suffered poor weight gain with one of her ds when she was ebf. it was a comlicated problem about her ds attachment producing lots of the liquid bm but not enough of the fatty stuff. the solution that her bf counsellor gave her (after diagnosing it with the long nipples which 'looked like lipsticks' her words) was to express off some of the thinner bm prior to each feed - yes lots of hassle and took a bit of dedication. what i'm trying to explain is that sometimes the weight gain issue can have quite a complicated reason which sometimes only skilled bf specialists can solve. if you found either a bf peer supporter or a latch on group they can assess you like this and you never know, they might say 'ohhhh, you have a slight problem with xyz and what you need to do is la la la'. this porcess might really help and would make you feel super empowered about the bf :-) bollocks to the hv pshing formula - it is not a solution imo unless a specialist says so. again my love, equip yourself with knowledge - makes us stronger.

what you said about full boobs in the am but not in the evening sounds quite normal though - we produce the most milk in the morning - best time to express if you can.

re the hv talking about child services i am not going to lie - she means ss. however, an assessment from a sw is not the end of the world and i outlined earlier what might happen. its just as likely that a sw will turn up and assess you as not being in need/or dd. i wil say this though, if this situation goes that way you MUST engage with treatment for depression as not doing so elevates your risk in the eyes of ss.

aounds to me as if not being able to get the pram on the bus might be making you feel more isolated. again agreeing with other posters - what about a sling? lots on ebay second hand or you might find one in the local paper. if money is tight this might be a really good investment especially if its the difference between you being really isolated and not iyswim.

lastly - my dd was 25th centile at birth and for quite a while afterward - nothing wrong with that shes a bouncing one year old now who was never ill until i stopped bf at 12 months :-(

ps you sound like you might enjoy a book called The Politics of Breastfeeding. it is the most righteous pro bf book ever i love it. BUT i think you need some social support with bf - i think you are doing a great job - bf is effing hard work and all that but sitting around with other mums talking about ebf without having to pretend to be ok about ff is really good fun :-)

(btw i am a sw - i can explain in more detail about interventions and referrals etc if need be)

sungirltan Thu 04-Nov-10 19:34:33

oops forgot about the nappies - wet means evidence the baby has wee'd. i forgot we used terries when dd was little and when they are wet they are sopping - as opposed to disposeables which even when full they are only slight;y damp to the touch xx

sungirltan Thu 04-Nov-10 19:37:09

LittleAmy whereabouts are you?

SparklePffftBANG Fri 05-Nov-10 09:02:16

LittleAmy?

wubblybubbly Fri 05-Nov-10 16:57:19

How are you LittleAmy?

<lurks>

"how often should i change DD? I do so approx every 4 hours as that is when she feeds (longer through the night as dont want to disturb her)."

I was trying to get back to sleep this morning when I suddenly remembered this statement. Amy - is your DD in a four-hour routine, or are you feeding on demand? It sounds like you've had poor advice in a lot of areas so wonder if someone's told you to feed 4-hourly? Particularly if your DD's not gaining as much as you'd like, on demand's the way to go.

I also noticed an unanswered question re. alcohol and breastfeeding - the rule of thumb is, if you're safe to drive, you're safe to breastfeed. That's certainly what my NCT bf workshop lady said, anyway.

Witchcat Sat 06-Nov-10 16:50:05

Wow I couuld have written this.

There is loads of things i want to say but first off you have not ruined your life you have PND. You will get better.

I felt the same everything you have said is so ture of me. I have a degree, a good marrage a house i wanted my baby but when he was here i just feel apart. I did not know how to care for him, i couldnt think stright and because i was so scared of not knowing what to do i got angry and shouted at DH. I told everyone in my family i could not cope but no one helped me. It got so bad that i wanted to hurt my baby and that i hurt my DH and i filled for devoice and i give my baby to my DH and left. I see my HV and cried for 3 hours explaining everything i felt and everything i thought about me and my baby.

I was bf, i had no family or friend, i hated my inlaws and the only person i see was DH who i shouted at. I had trouble even going for a wee, i did need have shower as i had to watch my baby!

I had tablet, i found out what PND was, i had counciling and social service can out to see me and they paid and still paying for my lo to do 2 afternoons at nursary thios gives me a break and i get to clean my house and do all the things that make me me.

SS are there to help thats it. My HV told me that not one baby was taken away from a mother that had PND. You can look after your child but this needs to be learned. Everyone needs to learn its just that with PND it just takes a little longer.

I think i spent 15 months sitting in my livingroom with just my DS and no one else but now i have lost weight, i'm getting out, i am myself i just have a child now.

I love my son we go swimming, shopping, playgroup soft play and i meet and talk to other mums. I have made new friends and life with my DS is great. You will get to this point, it will not be like it feels now forever.

Please do not be scared of getting help.

If you would like to call me for a chat please send me a message and i will send you my phone number - you can call me day or night.

Sakura Sat 06-Nov-10 17:05:50

I have just read the OP, but I wanted to say that I have felt how you do.
What helped me was being respected and listened to. It sounds like the HV is not really doing that and is therefore not doing her job properly.
The way you feel is directly connected to the way modern society expects women to cope with little or no practical or emotional help from the wider community. In other words, feeling depressed in unbearable circumstances is normal. Feeling chipper and chirpy when things are less than perfect is a real sign of madness. So you are simply reacting normally to your circumstances.

I would definitely carry on breastfeeding because the hormones released into your bloodstream when the milk comes in have been known to alleviate PND and they are also very calming, for you and the baby.

Some people say seek help, but it depends on the person. I did NOT want people snooping in the ins and outs of my feelings and I used sites like MN to talk my way through how I felt. YOu need to talk to somebody but I don't think you need to get professional help unless you absolutely want to. Being coerced or pressured into seeking help is the opposite of being respected and listened to.

Finally, it does get easier and better, believe me. The lack of sleep is a big part of it and as babies get older they become more independant and you get your life back. Personally I think women who feel overwhelmed by the needs of their baby are acutely in tune with the baby's needs. Their needs are overhwelming and it takes an emotionally mature mother to recognise this.

scottishmummy Sat 06-Nov-10 17:41:57

wildcat,what an empathic sensible post.op do see gp and if you cant face going get a home visit.wishing you all the best at a really bleak time

this can get better with support and medication

pumpkinmouse Sat 06-Nov-10 20:39:59

LittleAmy I haven't read the whole thread as I am popping over from Lelarose's thread in mental health, Balloon Slayer thought I should tell you my having a baby is like going to sea story, I'll see if I can copy and paste:

Having a baby is like going to sea for the first time. You've fantasised about the cocktails you will sip as you lounge on the deck in the sunshine. You think it's going to be fabulous and you are desperate to get going. As soon as you're out the harbour (which was as far as you could see before you set out) a storm blows up. Only because you've never been to sea before you don't realise this is one of the worst storm, if not the worst storm you will ever have to survive and once you've survived it you can survive anything. Because you've never been to sea before, you think this is what it is like all the time and you were a bloody idiot to have wanted to go to sea in the first place, an idiot to have dreamt of cocktails on the deck, this is the biggest mistake you have ever made. So all you can do lash yourself to the helm or whatever it's called and just try to stay there. People will probably tell you you're doing well. You think "how can I be doing well, I'm just lashed to the boat and staying on?, what about the sunbathing and the cocktails, I'm such a fool to have thought I could do this and I'd enjoy it."

Then the day comes that the storm is over. Out of the blue it dies down and the sun shines and you realise that, actually, you might enjoy this, you can do it. You look back and realise that when everyone told you you were doing well, they were right and all you had to do was come through the storm in one piece, and it was the worst storm you will ever experience.

Pretty much everyone feels like this at some point, for me it wasn't right away it was at about three months, you are not alone and it is okay to feel like this,

It won't always be like this. When I was low I left DS in a safe place and went upstairs and rang the HV team. I was determined not to suffer in silence. I was on the phone for a while to a HV, baby cried. He was fine though. Three months was my absolute rock bottom and there were a few days I just lived through and then went to bed as soon as DS had. Then a bit later DS laughed for the first time. He was and is a stubborn child and the more he could do for himself the happier he got and the more fun to be with, I would say from 5 months it all starts getting miles more fun.

I felt close to telling DH we might as well go our separate ways. He has got more supportive in increments with some rages and tears from me and some calm chats as well.

You will get your life, your looks and your intelligence back. It only gets easier from here on in, you're just weathering the storm right now.

Sakura Sat 06-Nov-10 22:47:31

that was a brilliant analogy pumpkinmousse.

And then most of us forget how bad the storm was at first because of the pleasures the first child brings as it grows up and we go and it all over again confused

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Sun 07-Nov-10 08:39:25

LittleAmy, we're worried about you - please come back and talk to us.

LittleAmy Sun 07-Nov-10 21:10:50

Sorry for the huge delay everyone. I've not had any internet (bloody BT!)

I managed to get to the baby group on Wednesday. I can't remember getting there (!) but I can remember being there. I managed to put a nice outfit on DD and get myself dressed and even put some makeup on. It was hard work to keep the tears back. All the other mothers were comparing their babies weights and when they asked what DDs weight was you could see the shock on their faces (and I had added an extra few ounces!) I managed to keep my head up and act with dignity but I was balancing on the edge of crying. God knows how I managed to prevent the tears. I had a good cry on the way home though.

Thursday was better. DH dropped me off at a breastfeeding support group that we had discovered. I admit I started crying when asking for help (in front of EVERYONE) but people flocked to me. The HV at the group has been the first HCP to look at DDs length. She then weighed DD again. Turns out that DD is petite in length as well as weight. Which makes perfect sense as I am only 5ft and my whole family (even the men!) are small. The breastfeeding group HV said that she wouldn't advise topping up with formula as I'm doing nothing wrong. She is going to weigh DD again this week. I made sure this breasfeeding HV phoned my HV and told her that she was satisfied with DDs progress. Hopefully now my HV will BACK OFF.

I started my antidepressants this weekend. I feel a bit sickly but nothing serious.

I really, really wish I had not contacted my HV last week I don't want to see her again but she is coming next week. DH and I have told her that I do not want her to see me without DH present.

Do I have any rights to tell the HV that I don't want to any HV to visit anymore? Someone coming into my home with threats of "child services" and bullying me to top-up with formula are things I just do not need.

Northumberlandlass and SparklePffftBANG would you be interested in a group meet?

LittleAmy Sun 07-Nov-10 21:16:45

thanks for the offer Witchcat. Please message me your phone number

LittleAmy Sun 07-Nov-10 21:21:08

pumpkinmousse - thanks for that! I'll remember it

gaelicsheep Sun 07-Nov-10 21:55:54

LittleAmy, you are sounding so much better. Well done for biting the bullet and getting out. It sounds like your DH is being more supportive as well.

I think you would be well within your rights to request a different HV as there is clearly a clash of ideologies with your current one. I don't know how they would take it if you refused any HV. Anyhow, mine has been nothing but supportive - sounds like the one at your b/f group is too - so they're not all bad.

I'm really glad your DD is doing OK. You should be really proud of yourself. It can only get easier from here -honestly!

wubblybubbly Sun 07-Nov-10 22:30:50

LittleAmy, great to hear from you smile

I'm so glad you've managed to find yourself some support on the breastfeeding. It must be a huge relief for you to finally get some positive feedback on all the hardwork you're putting in.

Glad to hear the antidepressants aren't too bad on the nausea front, hopefully it will settle quickly for you this time.

As to the HV, I'm really not sure, I've only ever had one HV visit and DS just turned 4! I'm sure they can't object though if you ask for an appointment where you DH can be there.

Beccaboo2345 Sun 07-Nov-10 23:16:06

Just skimmed your post and wanted to add my support. My DS1 went from 25% to 4th (from birth to about 3 months) and (bullying) HV referred me to GP who said HV was being ridiculous and it was obvious from looking at my son that he was healthy and happy.

I was also depressed and bullying HV made it worse by saying things like he will be delayed in smiling and at risk of mental illness because of me ........ Think this HV was sacked in the end. She also told me he would probably be a diabetic dyslexic (at 10 days old!) due to family history.

I gave up bf at 4 months but it made no difference at all to his weight. He is now a very happy, heathy, slim but not too slim 6 yr old.

When I had ds2, I told HV on her first visit that I didnt want to see a HV due to my previous experience. She was v understanding and that was the last time I saw her. I has SIL who is a social worker standing by to
support me in case!

I would recommend seeing the HV at the breast feeding group regularly. You may be able to discuss your other fears in the confidence that she won't blame bf.

Hope things get brighter soon

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Mon 08-Nov-10 04:15:08

Amy, that's great news, thanks for checking back in. The breastfeeding group sounds wonderful - and, hey, look, you made yourself honest and vulnerable in front of strangers, and they flocked to you!

I think that at this age (your daughter's, not yours) the difference in weight along various percentiles seems significant to us because we're all obsessed about our children. I have a friend whose boy is 2 days older than my girl, and hers is 95% and mine is 50% - and even two years on, it always startles me if she mentions how much he weighs/what size clothes he's in. He's lovely and healthy and happy, as is mine, I just sort of think of babies as One Size Fits All, and then hers weighs SO much more than mine, it reminds me I'm wrong.

That might not make sense, but all I mean is that the group looking shocked at your daughter's weight a) might not have been, and b) don't know any better than you do, they've all got skewed hormonal sleep deprived reactions going on as well, is all.

BalloonSlayer Mon 08-Nov-10 11:05:42

LittleAmy I have been following your story on here and I think you are doing brilliantly.

A couple of things that occurred to me:

Firstly - if your HV was that concerned about you, and was seriously considering referring you to children's services, she would not leave it two weeks between visits.

The other thing is about feeling the HV was bullying you into FF. Hope I can put this across right . . . do you ever find yourself wishing that you were someone who didn't think BF was better than FF? Do you wish that the thought of FF didn't bother you and make you feel guilty? It may be that the HV is trying to be bossy about it to try to remove that guilt feeling, so that you can "blame" her if you add in a formula feed - "I didn't want to do it but the HV nagged me into it" sort of thing. Mind you she probably just IS a bossy old cow grin

homeboys Mon 08-Nov-10 20:29:00

Message withdrawn

ramblingmum Mon 08-Nov-10 23:02:50

Sorry I have not read all the posts, but I just wanted to say that not all babies will follow the weight charts. My dd2 never kept up with the chart and went from above the 50% to bellow the 9% . She is now a happy 18month old and is developing fine.
She always always fed ok and I had a suportive HV so I never tried topping up. I dont think it would have made any diffeance to her growth, She is just going to be quite small. Not a big supprise as I'm only 5'2".

chocoholic Mon 08-Nov-10 23:06:23

What fab news. Really please that you have found some RL support.
You sound like a new person so hope that keeps up.
As you can tell by the amount of people waiting for your return, we are all here if you need any more support on MN.

Just checking in to see how you're doing, so glad to hear things have looked up, the breastfeeding group sounds great. And what homeboys said about the HV - if you make it clear you're seeing the breastfeeding HV and getting support regularly, I can't see there would be any problem with seeing 'your' HV the bare minimum (just reviews and jabs maybe?). You could ask at your GP's if it's possible to officially switch (eg there are 2 at our practice and it is in theory possible to change between them if there is a problem I think) but even if there is only the one 'official' one you don't need to see her often as long as you are getting regular support from elsewhere.

And you should feel very proud of yourself for having taken the steps that you have done to get help smile you have done the right thing for yourself and your daughter at a really difficult point.

WillYouDoTheDamnedFanjo Tue 09-Nov-10 15:47:32

Well done LittleAmy

Katz Tue 09-Nov-10 18:59:49

Was reading this the other day, so glad things seem to be getting better.

DirtyMartini Wed 10-Nov-10 22:04:26

Good news, hope things continue to improve, but don't hesitate to post again regardless

Great news. Really chuffed for you