Ashamed to admit this

(40 Posts)
itsallinmyhead Sat 29-Dec-12 22:35:08

but I'm not sure I'm coping very well with my newborn.

I haven't name changed for this, as I feel it's important not to if that makes sense? I offer others advice, when I feel I am able, so it's only right I seek support without name changing.

My 3 week old DS is wonderful. He sleeps better during the day than he does at night and as a result, I'm knackered.

My DP is brilliant but despite it, I feel overwhelmed.

DS is my DC2 and my DD is 14yrs old, so it's been a long time since a newbie was in my care.

I love my DS but I am feeling a creeping 'scared' feeling coming over me. I'm not sure what I'm scared of, maybe just the massive responsibility of another child.

I had an horrific time in labour and afterwards too, staying in hospital 9 days in all and needing to go to theatre to be 'fixed' after a botch job epidural left me leaking spinal fluid (none of which was picked up until my DP forced me back to hospital 3 days after discharge by calling an ambulance).

I feel shattered, scared, overwhelmed and ashamed that I can't 'enjoy' my new baby.

I am pro active in so much as I will ensure I speak with my GP about this after the weekend but I'm just looking for some supportive hand-holding, in the meantime.

Many thanks, in advance.

TheElfOnThePanopticon Sat 29-Dec-12 22:41:04

I'm really sorry that you are having such a rough time, but you sound very self-aware and proactive, which probably bodes well for things getting better sooner rather than later. I'm on the phone so links are tricky, but as well as your GP, you might be interested in contacting the Birth Trauma association. With any luck your health visitor can find you some good local support too. I hope that things change for the better before too long.

Meglet Sat 29-Dec-12 22:42:43

oh bless you, you have been through a rotten time of it. So, you have a 3 week old but have spent over a week in hospital - including an ambulance journey for emergency treatment? IMHO even if you hadn't had a baby then you would be within your rights to feel shell-shocked, adding a baby to that is bound to make you vulnerable.

Going to see the GP is a good idea, and go back again if you are fobbed off or you don't start to perk up.

I'm sure someone will have more experienced advice than me but please be kind to yourself and gently muddle through while you recover.

itsallinmyhead Sat 29-Dec-12 22:47:55

Thanks TheElf and Meglet you have no idea how your soothing responses are appreciated.

shellshocked I do believe that's the word Meglet. I'm struggling to cope.

As I say, my DP is great but he thinks it's all done, and I should be as right as rain now. I wish he were more empathetic, however, it's hard if you've never known what feeling low is like. He's trying, and thank goodness he's helping with washings etc. His practical support has been great.

Pleasenomorepeppa Sat 29-Dec-12 22:49:35

You poor thing. Do you have any Surestart Centres, breast feeding classes, baby massage classes, under 1 stay & plays you can go to??
I felt very much the same after DD & became a baby group junkie. I found masses of support at the above & 3.7 years later am pretty close to a few of the people I met & we still offer each other help & support.
Hope things start looking brighter soon & congratulations on your DS smile.

Hassled Sat 29-Dec-12 22:54:26

It feels overwhelming because it is overwhelming. It's overwhelming with a straightforward delivery and no complications - given your subsequent problems it's an achievement just to have managed to post.

I had a whopping great gap between babies too and you do get lulled into a false sense of security - you think "oh, I coped fine last time, it wasn't so bad - why is it hard now?". And the reality is that it was hard last time, and you're 14 years older so more prone to tiredness. You'll get there, but lower all expectations, take all the help you can get and if you can get to the end of a day with everyone still alive and well, then that's enough for now grin.

itsallinmyhead Sat 29-Dec-12 22:55:06

Please I definitely plan to do so after the holiday season has passed and 'normal service' has resumed for groups, thanks.

itsallinmyhead Sat 29-Dec-12 22:57:24

Hassled grin I tend to see my days as another one down without anyone getting hurt. Seriously, thanks, I hear what you're saying and most definitely feel my age this time! thanks for pointing that one out grin

You have been through a really tough time at a difficult time of year. Your body (and mind) need time to recover while you have a new responsibility and a demanding one at that.

I must admit I found the first few weeks with both my DC tough & there's only 21 months between them. I had a difficult birth with DC1 & in hospital 10 days. When we got home I was so happy but overwhelmed by this little bundle & can remember looking down at him and thinking 'what have I done, I can't look after you & give you what you need'.

He is now almost 3 and makes me laugh every day. It does pass.. ( this was a mantra in the early days with DC 2!).

BluelightsAndSirens Sat 29-Dec-12 23:21:14

You have done it before and will do it again.

You need time to recover and get over all that you have been through, your DS has spent 9 months in your womb and is looking forward to spending lots of cuddly time with you.

You need to speak to your DH and explain that you are having some trouble recovering and need help with this.

Biggest step I ever took was being brave enough to admit to DH that things weren't as rosy as they should be, he was fantastic.

Hope things feel better for you very soon.

itsallinmyhead Sat 29-Dec-12 23:22:59

Itlookslike You've just brought me to tears, because l look at DS and think the same. I feel like i'm going to let him down. In fact, I feel that i'm going to let my little family down.

itsallinmyhead Sat 29-Dec-12 23:26:08

Bluelights I've vocalised my fears to my DP. Despite being a wonderful man who takes the strain as best he can, he can't do it all.

I agree that communicating with him is the way to continue though, thank you.

Tolly81 Sat 29-Dec-12 23:26:33

Three weeks old was really hard. Everyone thinks the dust has settled and the offers of help and visitors are thinner on the ground and you still haven't got the LO figured out by that stage. I know I kept thinking that I'd got through another week. I also realise how different it is having a baby at different times of year as right now this has coincided with the post-Christmas lull. I hope things start to feel a bit easier really soon.

DonderandBlitzen Sat 29-Dec-12 23:33:52

You have nothing to feel ashamed of. When I read your post I didn't think. "Oh dear, doesn't sound like she's coping well." I thought "All sounds very normal to feel like that 3 weeks in." I think the fact that you are prepared to ask for support is very positive. I don't have much advice to offer, but go easy on yourself and give yourself time and ask for as much support as poss.

CoolaYuleA Sat 29-Dec-12 23:39:42

You have absolutely NOTHING to be ashamed of. As Donder says, it all sounds very normal for three weeks in. I remember just feeling totally shellshocked.

The only bit of advice I can give is sleep when your DS sleeps - if that is in the day, so be it. Sleep makes everything seem so much better. The house won't fall apart whilst you sleep, and you can rope DH and DD in to help, or (and this is what I did) do the tidying in the middle of the night seeing as you're up anyway. My days and nights were a bit back to front for a couple of weeks, but tbh nothing mattered except getting some sleep.

This stage won't last forever, and you will be doing so much better than you actually think you are. But, for now at least, sleep when you can, no matter when that is.

MrsPennyapple Sat 29-Dec-12 23:46:51

I think it's normal to feel the way you are feeling. I was very lucky to have a very easy birth with DD, and I still spent the first six weeks or so like a rabbit caught in the headlights. So I can only imagine how hard it must be for you, having had such a traumatic experience. I can say with absolute honesty that during the first few weeks, I used to think to myself "all I have to do is keep you alive until 5.30" (when DP would be home). I even told DP that I thought DD was desperately unlucky, having got me for a mother.

Try to be kind to yourself. Your DP sounds like he wants to help, so let him, as much as he can. It will get easier, I promise.

Hand holding and support here if you want more. Can you get some RL practical support (meals, washing etc) so maybe your DH can help you in ways you need emotionally?

When I had PND my lovely GP said that husbands do not like their wives to have any form of sadness/depression because they think that they should be able to "fix it". It is a husband's job to make his wife happy. BTW not saying you have PND - but just that really helped me understand why initially DH was not "accepting" the issue - oh am not explaining myself very well. So although was quite an old fashioned view from my GP I think there is a big chunk of truth. DHs often do not know what or how to help. So this can make them brush it away...not in a horrid, abusinve way - but in an I do not know what to do, I must be failing somehow, so if I pretend it isn't happening it will go away. Once I began to tell/ask him how to support me DH was a) relieved to have a guide and b) brilliant.

So anyway - the point I was trying to make (badly blush )is if you could free up your DH with RL support what would you want your DH to do? Take you out for a walk holding your hand? Snuggle in bed with you for a mid-morning weekend snooze? Talk through the birth? Go with you to the GP? He will probably not have a clue how to support you - can you work out a little of what you need and tell him.

Oh and if you are North Herts area I can come and grab some washing/ironing for you and bring a caserole over. It is the kind of stuff I would have loved people to do for me - but I was so busy pretending to cope no-one ever offered. PM me if in the area. Totally meant offer. Would love to help.

May09Bump Sat 29-Dec-12 23:57:49

I didn't appeciate how much my bad birthing experience had effected me until a year later looking back without the hormones, etc. Give yourself time to heal and if possible a bit of time to yourself - even if a long shower or bath.

The thing that saved me is walking -if your recovery allows. I was extremely sleep deprived and my husband simply couldn't help any further - walking helped me and my son relax, blew some of the cobwebs away and really helped me feel much better. Maybe have an objective - go to a coffee shop where you can eat and drink, even read if the baby is asleep or do some small shopping.

I also think the gap in between children mentally I can understand may be a factor - I'm thinking about a second and tbh, my energy levels are worse being that bit older and to start the whole process again is dauting. Time flies so fast - your little one will be smiling before you know it and then these weeks will be behind you.

Playgroups are good, any kind of socialisation helps. And if you need to speak to someone regarding your birth experience - i'm sure your GP will help.

Sometimes just admitting that we are having a hard time helps - do speak to your husband.

Try walking if you can! Best wishes.

joanofarchitrave Sun 30-Dec-12 00:03:35

God. You are dealing with such a tough time.

[arm round shoulder] Go to bed. Ring your HV and GP as soon as you can. Tell your DP that you need the cavalry in. His call what that means - do you have parents who can stay nearby, friends who can look after your dd, help out generally? Sounds like you need to just recuperate and spend time with your baby. It's not even a fortnight since you came out of hospital FGS!

The best advice I've ever been given was by my dearly departed MIL. She said that children make you feel emotions of a depth you could never have imagined, both good and bad. There were times I struggled so badly with DD1 as a baby that I honestly imagined myself lobbing her out of the window. I would never have actually done anything to harm DD1, but it was such a help knowing that weird thoughts and emotions are normal, in their own way. Childbirth and new babies are an unbelievable mental and physical trauma. Be gentle with yourself, take things as easily as you possibly can, and remember that each day is usually a little easier than the last, until you find yourself coping fine. As long as baby and you get food and rest, everything else is details. hugs....

itsallinmyhead Sun 30-Dec-12 17:04:16

Thanks everyone for the amazing support here!

Fishfingers that is one of the kindest, most generous offers I've ever received, however, I am oop north, in Greater Manchester.

My DP is great, as I've mentioned but, but, but...I've explained as best I can that I don't want/ I'm not up to company at the moment and just today, he's asked me if two of his friends can 'pop' by to visit and then, just now, he's asked if two of his friends can come and spend NYE here, with us. Does anyone have any advice on how I can get through to him that entertaining is the last thing on my mind, without upsetting him? I've suggested that maybe he would like to go visit them instead but he's rejected that idea.

I feel like I'm letting him down but I am just not physically nor mentally up to meeting or greeting visitors right now.

Maybe you can suggest to DP that although you don't feel up to having guests round at the moment you'd be happy to have a few friends round in a few weeks time when you are feeling more up to it.

Maybe DP could go out in the afternoon rather than the evening to meet friends for a drink?

Hugs x

TheFantasticFixit Sun 30-Dec-12 21:17:45

Oh Op, I so feel for you. I felt exactly the same, this time last year when DD was a newborn. To be honest, overwhelmed didn't even come close - I was totally shell shocked following a horrific 60 hour labour, resulting in emcs and then complications following which included double blood transfusion and complete bowel failure. I literally spent days just staring at her and thinking 'FUCK.' I was bewildered, had no idea what i was going to do but had the most awful feeling that i had brought her into this world and that i shouldn't have done because i wasn't cut out for it. I didn't feel a connection with her at all and i had really expected this absolute 'knowing her' feeling when she was born so was at a total loss as to what to do and how i should feel. My DP didn't quite 'get' it.. he was very similar to yours - did jobs as i asked, but was also suggesting people visiting and i just remember feeling like i was a bit outside of my body. I desperately wanted to crawl into a corner and just heal my body and there was this baby who needed to breastfeed and cuddle etc - it didn't help that i found bfeeding very difficult and painful - just pain on pain on pain.. argh. HOWEVER.. it gradually got better, i got into a routine, i did a fantastic postnatal group that really gave me an outlet for how i was feeling - they are some of my closest friends now which is amazing given the first thing i said to them was 'FUCK this is FUCKING HARD! Why did no one tell me how fucking HARD this was going to be?! WHY?!'

As crass as it sounds time really is a great healer BUT sometimes it's not enough though and definitely seek more support if you need it. Really hope you feel better soon smile

itsallinmyhead Sun 30-Dec-12 23:01:52

ItLooks I hear you re; suggesting visitors are put off for a few weeks. I have already made that suggestion, thank you.

TheFantastic Are you me from a parallel future? Our stories seem so similar in a lot of ways. Thank you for sharing and I'm so pleased things are better for you, it really, really gives me hope!

TheFantasticFixit Mon 31-Dec-12 00:40:41

It'sall - be comforted that if both of us feel this way, you can bet your life that this is more common than many women ever admit. There is such a stigma that those early days are anything other than framed in disney bloody technicolor and that you are swanning around with said babe in arms, immediately in love, immediately an amazing mother and wife and immediately serene and complete. It's a load of SHIT. It's bloody hard and i desperately wish more women would admit that so that there would be more support available in those early days. In hospital, with all that going on they still expected me to be able to pick DD up out of her crib for feeding and changing - I couldn't bloody move! But you know what - she has just turned one and she is phenomenal. I look at her now and cannot believe how i felt about her in those early days and you must reassure yourself that it will not affect your relationship with your DS in anyway. You are, and will continue to be, an amazing mother - you just need time to heal, and be kind on yourself. Don't expect too much and take each day at a time. You will get there, i promise.

In the meantime if you want to pm me, PLEASE do. I'm here if you need to chat.

So true fantastic, you sound like you've had a tough ride of it too.

I also found that people think second time round - because you've done it all before- it will be easier. Simply NOT true.

I had a whole new set of difficulties along with the old ones - mainly feeling guilty that I could not give DC1 who was still v little all the time he wanted & deserved - so packed him off to nursery instead -which made be feel even worse! But it's how I coped in the early days & it was DS's usual routine before I went on maternity leave. Didn't make me feel any better though.

But again, fast forward a year and we are happy & I feel v fortunate to have my 2 gorgeous babies but I don't forget those early days.

fatfingers Mon 31-Dec-12 06:19:13

I have 2 dcs who were brilliant sleepers and I haven't coped well with the newborn stage either time! I agree with TheFantasticFixit that I wish people could be more honest about what a hard slog (with very little reward imo) the early weeks are. I remember at about 3 weeks someone said "it gets easier when they get to 6 weeks" and I was filled with a sense of absolute panic as I thought "how on earth am I going to get to 6 weeks?!" It felt like the hardest thing in the world to get through every day.

I also had dc1 6 days before Christmas and had well meaning friends deciding to come round on Christmas Eve night to keep us company and said friends then invited us round to theirs for NYE. I didn't want to do any of that - I felt ill and I was in pain - their visit on Christmas Eve was a disaster tbh but it was ok when I went to their house and we left early. Would you be prepared to go out for an hour or so instead of friends coming to you? That might be a compromise as you would be in control of when you went home.

applecrumple Mon 31-Dec-12 06:41:36

Hi OP just wanted to add my support here. It's taken me 3 months to actually bond with my dd & there are still days when I feel a sense of trepidation for the day ahead - aaarghhh what am I supposed to do sort of thing.

My birth experience was slightly different but no less traumatic. Dd had stopped growing at 32 weeks due to IUGR & I was induced at 36 weeks. Both ibductions failed & dd went into distress so had to be delivered by EMCS. I didn't even go into labour. She then spent 10 days in SCBU. I spent weeks blaming myself & thinking that I'd somehow failed her in not being able to carry her to term, give birth to naturally etc. fast forward 4 months & I feel so much more confident - she's also smiling which helps.

I agree with everyone else here - go out for walks if you can & meet up with friends/go to groups etc. bizarrely I started feeling better when I could resume baking (a passion of mine pre birth) - began doing this with dd in the sling. I think it gave me a sense of achievement - being a parent to a newborn can be soul destroying sometimes.

I too felt some pretty awful thoughts in the beginning.

It will pass & it will get easier, I promise.

X

SquidgersMummy Mon 31-Dec-12 13:42:57

Just sending a hug - it feels hard and overwhelming because it is - and a time when physically you're exhausted and quite frankly a little bit broken, battered and sore! We all need to say out loud when it's hard because it's when we can't feel we can say it that we suffer and are really at risk. IMO saying you're not sure you're coping is good coping itself (if that makes any sense??). It's such an adjustment without all the trauma you've also been through. Hope you can get some sleep whenever the baby is asleep or entertained. X

itsallinmyhead Mon 31-Dec-12 14:08:06

Sending thanks to all of you amazing women, we really can offer support and sisterhood. Thank you. I'm in floods of tears at the generosity you've all shown me.

Sending hugs to you apple what a traumatic time you and you're LO have experienced too!

The midwife came today. I told her how I feel. She called my gp (as I wasn't able to get an appointment until 9th Jan, when I called) and she's got me in on weds evening.

The friends I mentioned all live in far flung parts. I'm from Scotland, DP from Yorkshire and we live in Manchester. So the friends were going to travel to visit with at least 2 of them having to stay over, so it's pretty impossible until things improve. Which now, i'm comforted to believe they will, in time.

MsPickle Mon 31-Dec-12 14:35:38

My dd is 18 days. Ds is 3 yrs. although I had an amazing home birth and was looked after at my Mum and Dad's last week (they did Christmas) and dd is, so far, a much better sleeper than ds I'm also feeling shell shocked so the fact you're still lucid and coherent is amazing! Dd lost weight last week and the midwife is back for another weigh in this afternoon so I'm anxious about that but otherwise it's 'just' the hormones/lack of sleep/ how will I cope/what do you mean I've still got to do banking etc/is it time to eat again yet/holy cow dh goes back to work in 2 days time etc...

Oh and I love that comment about children making you feel depths of emotion, spot on.

Hang in there. My brilliant midwives keep telling me to rest. I'm abiding by it as I know they're right but my capacity to do so is finite. So I'll pass on the stricture. No house guests unless you think they'll be more help than hindrance.

Also remember many people consider this stage as still embryonic, that human babies are born too early.

Sending you a Happy New Year. I hope you are being kind to yourself and remember you are not alone....big unmumsnetty hugs.

applecrumple Tue 01-Jan-13 10:43:55

Hugs to you too itsall & a happy new year! I hope things get easier for you

itsallinmyhead Tue 01-Jan-13 15:58:47

Happy new year all!

itsallinmyhead Wed 02-Jan-13 20:19:01

Just got back from the GP, who's prescribed anti-depressants. I hope things begin to look up soon, because I'm going under, fast. sad

Misty9 Wed 02-Jan-13 21:06:36

Really sorry to hear how you're feeling itsall sad
I felt shit for most of the first 10 weeks or so with ds (now 15mo) and looking back maybe it was a bit of pnd...plus traumatic bf problems etc.

Did your gp offer any talking therapies at all? If not, please talk to your hv/midwife. Have you thought about going back to the post natal ward? I think you can for up to 28 days or so afterwards? You might get more help that way? Have you got any friends with babies the same age who you could talk to? I can barely remember the early days now - I think a 14yr age gap may well put you back in the first timer camp!

Fwiw, I think these sort of shell shocked feelings are more common than we're led to believe - and I certainly didn't properly bond with ds until a couple of months down the line. The anti depressants may well help - I think the research suggests low mood is more due to chemical imbalance post natally than usual. But talking to someone is always helpful too.

Good luck x

Sorry to hear your not feeling any better itsall
I hope the tablets help.

When I reflect back on the early days you are in at the moment. I think one of the things I found most difficult was the lack of control that I felt I had over what was happening. I don't do asking for help in RL and I don't accept help very easily, it makes me feel vulnerable (issues from childhood I think!). But I'm always helping out others. Think a psychologist would have a field day with me wink

But I do remember 1 of the early days with DS a friend & neighbour at the time called round to see us. DH had been away working the previous night & I had been up most of night with DS. I just burst into tears all over her. She took DS out for an hour while I had a shower & I was 'twitchy' the whole time.

I'm only sharing this to let you know that you are not on your own - not to add to your difficult time. It is hard but you will get through it. Hugs.

minicc Thu 03-Jan-13 12:57:46

Op, I was in your position a year ago. Horrid birth, massively high expectations that no one could ever meet, no family near me. It was hideous and I just wanted to run away from it all. It took me nearly 6 months to get help (low dose of anti d and cbt) and I wish I had been as brave as you have been and gone earlier. I know it doesn't feel like it but you are incredibly brave and strong and it will get easier, I promise. Just 1 hour at a time and try not to think about it all to much. Have you a neighbour or a friend locally to come and keep you company for an hour a day till the tablets kick in? (They may take a couple of weeks to take effect but I felt very very different in 5 days. Don't worry about the side effects, they are nothing compared to how you feel at the moment I promise). Keep posting and chatting.

itsallinmyhead Tue 08-Jan-13 02:04:06

I just wanted to post a massive thank you.

I have grabbed the bull by the proverbials and i'm hopeful of a bright future.

I don't expect things to magically improve overnight but i'm sure it'll be sooner than later.

Thanks everyone.

mysweetie Tue 08-Jan-13 04:17:10

Hugs for you, Maybe your experiencing baby blues. Support from your love ones will really help. heres some interesting articles to read. Hope this helps! http://www.helpguide.org/mental/postpartum_depression.htm
http://www.helpguide.org/mental/postpartum_depression.htm

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