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DH says no more kids because of my PND and I'm so upset(52 Posts)
During a lighthearted conversation 2 weeks ago DH mentioned he didn't want any more children (we have a 7.5mo DD). This came up when I said 'when we have another we'll do so and so'. To which he replied 'I don't want anymore...look what having DD has done to us'.
What he means is I've had mild PND only quite recently confirmed and I am also having sort of counselling from a maternal support group re anxiety and stress. I know I haven't been the easiest person to live with but I asked for help and now I'm getting that he'll things are much much better. At the worst when DD had colic etc and my PND was also at its worst we were on the brink of splitting up.
Fast forward to this morning. I'm back at work 3 weeks today and mentioned that I'd be at work slaving away at this time then. He then replied 'you'd better enjoy the next 3 weeks then hadn't you'. Fairly innocent I know but like red rag to a bull I then said 'well yes considering I'll never be on maternity leave again because you've decided we're not having any more babies'.
So a frank conversation happened where I questioned (interrogated??) him into telling me exactly why he'd come to this decision. And it turns out it's all my fault he's been put off another child because of the way I've struggled. It's irrelevant that I'm on anti depressants or the counselling is helping because in his words the damage is done, by DD being born and by me being the way I have been.
I'm so upset. I'm hurt. I tried to say didn't he think I'd change the way I am if I could? Does he think I want to worry constantly or stress about every last little thing in life? So he's hurt my feelings so much I could just cry. I'm prepared to accept I'm being a bit of a baby here but we got married with the intention of at least 2 kids.
I'm now so frightened of the future and the possibility that in order for me to have more children we may split up. He feels that passionately about it and I suppose I do too. He even said 'well I think we should have a conversation about a divorce then hadn't we?'
And also who is going to want me with my humongous jelly belly and stretch marks, thunder thighs and grey hairs sprouting thorough? I'm 26 and I feel like life as I know it has gone and I'm so scared for what might happen now. I never wanted DD to be an only child and we both agreed this was important to us.
How can I get over this hurt? He's taken DD to playgroup alone as I'm struggling to not cry my eyes out and can hardly look at him.
Sorry but he sounds like an unsupportive arse.
I do think it's ok to change your mind about having more than one DC but there's a way of discussing it!
I suppose it boils down to what is more important to you - your relationship or another baby. It doesn't sound like your DH is the kind of man I would even want another one with if he's this horrible about you having PND. Has he been supportive while you have been going through it?
I think this is a very tough situation. PND is a horrible, horrible thing, as is any form of depression. It is awful for the person going through it. I do think, though, often people don't realise just how awful it can be to live with a person with serious depression. The old analogy that having a baby can be like throwing a grenade into a relationship is really quite a good one and we know that some just don't survive it because the reality can be so different from what you expect. Throw in one partner being clinically depressed and it can really, really put untold strain onto a marriage/relationship, even one that was very strong to begin with.
I feel for you both. But I do understand where your husband is coming from. I've known men who nearly lost their wives through complications during birth and say they just couldn't go through that again and they should just be grateful for one healthy, happy child and two healthy parents than take such a risk. I think it is understandable.
You are still very young, both in terms of having more children - regardless of who the father might be. I really think you should put the idea out of your mind for a while. You may find as your baby grows up, your DH changes his mind - at the moment, it's all very fresh.
If in a couple of years down the road he still feels the same, then you may need to make that decision. But you would still be plenty young enough to have more children then.
However, I do think there are better ways of talking about it than your DH has gone about it (even allowing for the fact that we haven't been there at the time).
Ok so you've only been recently diagnosed. That presumably means that things were very bad until very recently?
I'm glad you feel more positive now. But it doesn't sound like he's over it AT ALL.
And tbh you don't sound well yet at all as your reaction is pretty 0 to 60. You interrogated him this morning knowing full well there is only one answer to the way he's feeling - the horrific stresses of the last few months and almost losing everything.
My reaction would have been "I get that you're traumatised - i'm traumatised too. Lets shelve this conversation till next year and see how we all are then".
It's faaaaar too soon after your diagnosis to be having a conversation about 2nd children. It was never going to end well. Never.
It's not that he's not supportive, he doesn't understand it (or me). How it makes me feel. And I totally appreciate I have been hell to be around sometimes.
I know I'm young and another baby isn't even on the horizon anyway...it's more the fact that he's so adamant a baby will NEVER be on the horizon that's upset me. And he's saying I've wasted my mat leave by being miserable and cooped up at home with DD. (This is based on my anxiety that at a certain time I couldn't bear the faff and fuss of going out)
And I just feel so small and stupid. I don't want DD to be an only child but it's my own fault she will be because I've been depressed and miserable for the last 7 months.
PND is a temporary state to be in. It ALWAYS gets better. And he is not going to 'lose his wife' because of it, like he might with birth complications. Totally different scenario
I had it severely with my first. With my second I was much more self aware, took ad's from 2 days before she was born in preparation, had a good relationship with the GP and HV by then and personally I felt I needed to have another baby to prove to myself that I could do it so much better.
I didn't have a hint of PND second time around (despite my then H telling me he wanted to leave me when I was 31 weeks... whole other story!)
Your DH needs to realise that with support and love you can have another baby and hopefully not even have PND again.
I agree with DrSeth - you've been through several huge upheavals in the last year: childbirth, getting used to a new baby, PND and anxiety. While he could and should have handled this conversation better, it sounds like he's worried about you - he didn't say 'look at what's happened to you', he said 'look at what having DD has done to us'.
I've had depression and anxiety for 30 years (no experience of PND though) and it's a vile illness and does put a huge stress on relationships, let alone with the tiredness that comes with a new baby.
You say that the PND has only recently been confirmed. I wonder if, when he sees that things are starting to change for you and that it's not a temporary thing but that you are actually recovering, he'll start to feel more confident about the future.
I think while you're suffering from PND, this is a bad time to be thinking about having more children anyway - for either of you. Try and focus on your health and on your new baby and on spending time together as a family.
Oh - and well done on getting help, btw. I hope that doesn't sound patronising - I know how hard it is to admit you're struggling. Best of luck to you.
You know what, OP? Your DD will be just as happy if she DOES end up being an only child than if she has siblings. Which may still happen. It really is silly to put so much pressure on yourself in that way.
But Whoa! Hold your horses, seriously! Your reactions show you are WAY off being in the right place to even think about this. Stop, right now, any thoughts about future and just concentrate on a) getting better, b) your lovely healthy child and c) your relationship. Put any other thoughts totally and utterly out of your mind and stop them when they occur.
I think it is unfair of PPs to be overly harsh on your husband as a severely depressed person can completely knock the stuffing out of someone as well who might otherwise be completely reasonable.
Please don't say it's 'your fault'. You really shouldn't blame yourself for your mental health (hard I know ) You are neither small or stupid. You have suffered from a horrible, horrible thing and now you are getting help.
I agree with a pp who said to look at the situation again in a good few months, when you have been feeling better and things are on a more even keel. I can completely understand why you feel heartbroken today though.
There's agreeing to have two kids or more without having any knowledge or experience of having kids and then there's talking about having that supposed second child after having the first one and knowing just how bloody tough life can be with kids and pnd and all that goes with it.
He might change his mind in time, he might not, but I think you two could do with a chat to see how you move on from here. I think you need to allow yourself time to heal, to deal with the pnd. I also think he needs to be more patient and understanding so I'd suggest you might want to discuss everything, get it all out in the open.
You are only twenty six and really you've only just been pregnant and had a baby and it's the biggest change you will ever go through in life and what your body has done is something truly amazing so don't put yourself down.
Having more than one child can be hard, it's doable but it's so hard at times and while I like the fact that mine are close in age I also wouldn't have minded a larger age gap, there are benefits and negatives both ways.
You are only 26 and like another poster said a year or two from now things could be very different but definitely you two need to talk more, get a counsellor if you think it will help.
I think l may have had pnd with dd1 but l wasnt diagnosed with it only that l was in a very bad place.
I have sailed through the second time, l mean surprised the fuck even out of myself this time with dd2.
It's not always a given you'll suffer again but even so you'll know the signs much earlier and have support already in place.
Tbh l am not surprised your dh is against it, it must have been tough on him also seeing you so unhappy and not being able to help.
OP pnd is not your own fault, no one can predict that they will have pnd or not.
Small steps get better first. Besides a year or two from now you might completely change your mind about having a second child yourself, honestly that seems ludicrous now I know but it can happen.
Your DC will be in nursery at three, school at 5? And situations do change a lot in that space of time, as do plans. You can't really think of the longterm right now, just get through it day by day.
it's too early to be thinking seriously about it either way - you've got plenty of time, and it seems like it might be an idea to focus on reconnecting as a couple and enjoying family life, rather than adding stress with having another DC. Why are you raising this question yourself? You're just starting to enjoy being a mum, from the sounds of it. Neither of you should be ruling anything out, but I can understand him saying 'not right now' and I don't think you should fixate on it given you're 26 and not 36. Worst case, you CAN always split up in 3 years time if he's still adamant no baby nbr 2 is acceptable.
I agree with DrSeth and Elsbeth.
Getting help is fantastic and maybe he didnt word things in the right way. But you are just getting better. Please just get better, enjoy the baby you have and put a pin in this one for a couple of years.
you both sound really hurt tbh.
My advice would be to concentrate on getting yourself thoroughly well and repairing your relationship for the moment. It's not a time to be hitting the nuclear button, not for either of you.
Be kind to each other - maybe consider counselling, would you go for that?
Honestly, it's probably too early for you both to be discussing another one, it could be a very different conversation for both of you in a few months. Concentrate on getting well and back on track, and agree to get her that you won't make any hard and fast decisions on the future right away.
I suffered from terrible anxiety and panic attacks after my first, and had a traumatic birth. We always wanted two or three but basically pushed the subject aside and focused on the child we had, and realised we would be happy and feel fortunate with the one. Then when he got to around 18 months, walking, talking, sleeping more, we decided to try again and it was a completely different experience, and as someone said above I surprised myself with how relaxed I was.
The magnitude of having a child isn't something you can really understand until you've been through it and everyone is affected differently by it. Be kind to each other and take your time.
I don't think you're in the right state of mind to be having these conversations.
Put it on hold. Concentrate on getting better and on enjoying your dd.
Of course your PND isn't your fault, and it's not his either.
This is something that doesn't even have to be talked about for at least a year if you want dc close together.
Now probably isn't the time to discuss this. If your PND is only just confirmed, it sounds like you're nowhere near recovered. Your DH can't cope with the idea of a second child. The best way to deal with that is to drop the subject and focus on your life now. When the time is right you can talk again.
well I think we should have a conversation about a divorce then hadn't we?
That's a really strong statement, what did he say that in response to? Because if he threw it in there to hurt you that was very unkind. But if you had just pointed out that it's either another baby or you will end the relationship, then it is the logical conclusion to your ultimatum if that's how he feels.
I can see his point of view to. Having this vague idea of having two children when you get married is not a contract to make it happen later on down the line when you are more aware of the effort that is required in raising children and the pressure placed on each of you as individuals and a couple.
I don't think you need to see his decision as a scathing indictment of who you are and your mothering, or of your difficulty with pnd. You are just on opposite sides of the spectrum in assessing the value and difficulty of bringing another baby into your family.
It sounds like you're beginning to find your feet so I think you just need to be gentle with yourself, leave the big decisions about life for later and concentrate on those things you have been finding helpful.
1. It s not your fault you had/have PMD
2. Your DH is obviously still struggling. You have gt some support, he has not.
3. he's saying I've wasted my mat leave by being miserable and cooped up at home with DD. (This is based on my anxiety that at a certain time I couldn't bear the faff and fuss of going out) so he does know that you got no joy out of your MT... he does understand
4. You are just starting to feel better, you have support, meds etc. He still feels the same, nothing has changed for him. He is still living with a wife who has PND, who is now blaming him for her never being able to have another child.
Take a step back. Work on what you do have, getting your relationship back on safer ground. He needs to get what you have found... support, understanding, reassurance.
btw I agree - i was never ever ever having a baby number 2 until dd was 3. I militantly marched every single piece of maternity wear and baby item down to the charity shops and thought 'never going to have to do that again' with a smile on my face until DD was 3 and life was lovely, DD2 came along about a year later Both DH and I completely changed our minds when DC1 was 3 and they're both adorable and 4 years is a lovely age gap, we've found, any age gap can work, it's how you manage things.
Neither of you is in the wrong. but neither of you is in the right place to be making rational decisions right now.
A baby changes your whole life, all your perceptions of what you thought would and should be. For you it sounds as if it's been tough going the first few months, but it's been hard on your DH as well. Any kind of depression is not a condition which people have in isolation. It affects everyone around them, especially those who are there for support, because they have to remain strong for the person needing that support.
Now that you're coming through it, it sounds as if he suddenly feels that he's able to admit just how hard it's been for him too, and that as things currently stand, he never wants to go through that again. He's not wrong for feeling that way right now, and it's very obvious that you're not yet in a place to be making rational decisions about having more babies. Besides which your dd is still only 7 months old, there's no rush.
Make time for each other, be kind to yourselves and each other, and spend this time being a family with you two and DD rather than being resentful of what you want rather than appreciating what you have. In a year or two you might both feel differently.
But there's nothing wrong with having an only child, I have one, although that was fertility related rather than decision based, but now looking back I don't think that I would have wanted things any differently.
Take time. .
I don't think he's being unsupportive. He's being honest and telling you the impact of PND and his inability to cope with it happening again.
Neither of you are wrong or at fault. He saw your relationship getting to breaking point with your PND so why would he honestly want that to happen again.
I think there's a tendency to support women or mums here regardless of the situation by many posters. Yes, there was a plan for 2 kids or more, but that's before you both knew the impact on your health and your marriage.
If you definitely want another child in the future, which you have every right to do, then divorce is your only option from what your DH says. But then you should be honest and tell the next potential father about your PND in advance, so he can make an informed decision.
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