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Having a hard time with DP and new baby

(65 Posts)
sadnewmum Sat 15-Mar-14 11:04:51

I have been with DP for nearly 5 years, and we have a 4 week old son. I love him dearly, he has many good qualities and has always been very loving to me. We have a great connection and have been very happy. Until I got pregnant.

The pregnancy was planned - we tried for a year with one miscarriage. He did say at the time that he would prefer to wait a few more years but I am older than him and that would make me nearly 40, so we decided to go ahead.

The pregnancy was really tough. I was very sick with hyperemesis. We had no idea it would be like that. We both said during the pregnancy that we couldn't go through that again.

When DS was born, I was hit with severe post natal depression.... I went and stayed with my mum for a few weeks to get help. I am a lot better now, much calmer and in control, and have been back home for a week with DS.

So the problem is: DP is not making any effort to bond with the baby. Since we got home, he has done 2 bottle feeds and 1 nappy. While we were at my mums I kept offering to bring DS over to him to visit, or inviting him to my mums but he wasn't going for it. (15 min drive, I have a car). He is clearly annoyed by the fact that DS sleeping in our room is disturbing his sleep, even though I am getting up with him, but the noises he makes in his sleep and so on are waking up DP.

He doesn't seem to like DS or have any warm feelings for him and yesterday told me if he could go back in time to the decision to have a baby, he wouldn't have him.

I would - I am besotted with DS and want more than the world for him to have a loving daddy.

I could always leave him and move in with my parents - but I don't want to do that. I want us to work as a family. Any suggestions?

FrigginRexManningDay Sat 15-Mar-14 12:18:26

You poor thing you've really been through the mill, hopefully things are getting better for you now.
It sounds like your dp is having trouble adjusting to being a dad. Instead of embracing his son he is distancing himself from what made you ill, the hypermeresis and pnd. Not right at all,but he may not be consciously doing it. Have you spoken to him about how you feel?

Fairylea Sat 15-Mar-14 13:58:54

To me it all seems a bit doomed from the start - he hasn't really sounded on board from the get go and (as someone who was nearly hospitalised with severe pnd and an unsupportive partner) it seems very telling that you would go to your mums for support rather than your dp. What does he think about you going to your mums? Was he glad or is he resentful - maybe he feels he hasn't had a chance to be the parent?

I think you may be better off as a single parent if his heart just isn't in it. He sounds like a bit of an arse. I left my horrible ex when dd was 6 months old for similar behaviour and amazingly my pnd became so much better - still a long slog but I did get there and now 10 years on I am remarried and had another dc and the difference has been amazing.

Don't settle for this.

Vinomcstephens Sat 15-Mar-14 14:21:13

Blimey, I think it's a bit early to be advising OP to go it alone as a single parent shock

OP, you need to talk, talk and talk some more to your partner. He said he'd basically prefer your son not to be here but that's obviously not going to happen. I think he's just overwhelmed by it all - your baby arrives, you're ill and then you're whisked off to stay with your mum - I'd be very surprised if your other half wasn't confused and a bit unsure of where he fits into everything now.

I'm my opinion, it seems to be a fairly common thought on mumsnet that men just have to kind of "shape up" and get on with it once babies start arriving but I think that's unfair. It sounds as though it's been a difficult time for the both of you, perhaps even more so for your partner if he wasn't fully on board with having a baby in the first place, so rather than considering whether you've got a future together, I think you need to talk and try to work things out together first smile and I wish you both the very best of luck that you can get back on track and both enjoy your beautiful new arrival!

GimmeDaBoobehz Sat 15-Mar-14 14:30:19

He sounds incredibly selfish.

To say he wished he didn't have his son in his life is very telling to me and a disgusting thing to say to a woman who is going through PND. He sounds completely self indulgent.

He can't sleep because of a little baby being in the room? Diddums. Maybe he should sleep in the spare bedroom or on the sofa then! What a selfish man.

He didn't even have to help because you were at his Mum's, so he's been able to relax.

He's showing what he's going to be like as a far now I'm afraid. I wish it wasn't the case, because as you say it would be lovely for him to have a supportive Dad but unfortunately you can only change your own behaviour, you can't make another human being bond with a baby, no matter how much you would like them to.

I really do sympathise with you as it just sounds horrible.

I'd go back to your Mum's, at least for the short term so he doesn't make your PND worse and you can have some hands on help with your son. Perhaps in a few weeks things will settle down. How do you think he'd feel if you walked due to this?

gamerchick Sat 15-Mar-14 14:31:27

It sounds as if the while thing traumatised him in its own way as well.. its not something that would make me sack off the relationship though.

It might be time for a heart to heart to clear the air
. I agree you both need to get talking.. He needs to talk to about how he feels and both of you acknowledge the hard road you both travelled to get where you are.

gamerchick Sat 15-Mar-14 14:31:46

*whole

AnnaBegins Sat 15-Mar-14 14:42:07

He does sound traumatised, I know my SIL had a very difficult birth and BIL found it very difficult to deal with the fact that having their lovely child had caused so much hurt to his wife. He was able to get through that pretty quickly, but I think it is easy to forget that men can get a form of PND also or can just find it very hard to recover from seeing their partner in so much pain.

Having said that, he does need to step up, but you do need to talk about this.

crazykat Sat 15-Mar-14 14:46:58

You need to talk to your DP. It sounds like its been a really tough time for both of you. Yes it was you that had a tough pregnancy and pnd but it will have affected your DP too.

Sometimes men have a tough time when they become a father no matter how much they wanted the baby.

I agree its not on him saying he'd go back and not have your ds but why did he say it? If he's tired and finding it hard to adjust then its more understandable. When my dd1 was 5 weeks old and I'd hardly slept due to her having reflux I had a moment when I wondered what I'd done. I wouldn't be without any of my DCs now but it was a very hard adjustment to make at first.

Fwiw my DH is a brilliant dad but was more hands off when they were babies as he was worried about hurting them. He's used to throwing big lumps of steel round all day at work and coming home to a tiny person who is delicate and helpless left him feeling a bit lost.

He's also hardly done any night feeds as its more important that he gets enough sleep so he doesn't get hurt, or hurt someone else, while he's working.

You need to talk it through or it will lead to resentment.

Nomama Sat 15-Mar-14 14:47:23

On the other hand....

You did take the baby and go home to your mum. That was telling him that he was not enough for you. It also stopped him from having that primacy in bonding. You had it, so did your mum, but he was left out. 15 minutes in a car and you took the car, leaving him with no easy transport to you.

Add that to his having compromised for you after your miscarriage and his not being able to help/understand your PND and you have one unhappy and confused man.

The you come home and expect him to do all the things you have prevented him from doing by being at your mums. You have moved back in and are doing things the way you want, the way you and your mum arranged them, DS sharing your bed, then you say you are besotted with DS, so you are possibly offering a bit of a cold shoulder.

Yes, he is sulking. Yes, he is confused. Yes, he is being unreasonable.

But so were you.

Long talk. Apology. Re-start required. Oh, and ask your mum to keep a bit of distance for a while, so he can gain that special person/daddy perspective.

Good luck.

juneau Sat 15-Mar-14 14:54:06

It's very premature to be advising the OP to leave. FGS having your first child is like a bomb going off in your relationship - or it is for many people - and this couple have struggled through a pregnancy with HG, followed by the OP and DS disappearing for weeks - its hardly surprising that dad feels disconnected and resentful.

OP, let the dust settle. Four weeks is really, really early days. If it's any comfort my DH was crap through both my pregnancies - both wanted and planned. He hardly touched me, was distant, not really excited, hated being present for the birth of DS1 (he missed DS2's - thank goodness!), and he struggled to bond with tiny, screaming infants that only wanted mummy and fussed when I handed them to him. Some men are great with babies and hormonal, struggling wives, others aren't, but it doesn't mean you should be separating - or certainly not yet.

What I did was tell DH it was okay for him to sleep in the spare room for a bit. He got his sleep, I got to BF in peace without worrying I was disturbing him, baby and I got to bond. It wasn't great for our relationship, but it removed a source of antagonism and he seemed more willing to help me during the day when he was well rested and ready for work.

It's not forever. Talk to each other. Try to be kind to one another. This is a tough time in many couples' relationships and you just have to ride it out and hope you're still both there in a few months' time.

hamptoncourt Sat 15-Mar-14 17:37:29

I am concerned that OP says everything was fine until she got pregnant. What was his behaviour like then OP whilst you were going through your pregnancy?

The relationships board seems to be littered with men who are perfection but turn into arseholes when they impregnate someone.

StarGazeyPond Sat 15-Mar-14 17:37:49

Absolutely what nomama said.

LadyLapsang Sat 15-Mar-14 18:30:18

Agree with Nomama. Did you go and stay with your mum while your DP was at home on paternity leave? I would place less emphasis on him doing things like nappy changes and feeds and just let him have some cuddles when the baby is peaceful.

Also, with regard to your miscarriage, did the two of you have any counselling? Maybe he was more upset than he let on when you miscarried, possibly wanted to be strong to support you, and his feelings about losing your first baby have not been resolved.

Maybe he would benefit from the chance to see someone to talk about his feelings.

Offred Sat 15-Mar-14 20:00:16

I completely agree with gimme tbh.

As for this belief being unfair;
"that men just have to kind of "shape up" and get on with it once babies start arriving but I think that's unfair."

WTAF?! I mean oh dear how unfair it is to expect an adult man and father to behave as such(!)

Men are not special fragile little things who need to be cajoled and comforted and babied when a newborn arrives unless they are the kind of controlling and entitled misogynist manchild who feels threatened by the baby taking the attention of their mummy woman away.

I happen to think a postnatal (and particularly vulnerable woman if she had PND and a difficult pg) should go wherever she wants to get support after the birth, nevermind the apparently fragile ego of a man used to getting everything his way, the recovery of the mother and baby is most important and sham on the people trying to guilt the op over this choice.

He has made several choices in this described scenario which he is unwilling to take responsibility for and perfectly willing to sulk like a toddler over making the op responsible for two young children instead of one it seems to me.

He should absolutely pull himself together, grow the fuck up and stop the passive aggressive self pity. I too an wary about this having begun in pg which is common for abuse. I don't know whether it is too early to LTB but I definitely think that at this stage you need to be around supportive people not supporting unreasonable people and that you should probably go back to your mums if he can't pull himself together and not return until he does. If it's only 15 mins away he can visit as much as he wants.

RedFocus Sat 15-Mar-14 21:14:27

I totally agree with everything offred said.
I am concerned about your dp's behaviour too op, after all that has happened he really should be a doting dad. Not everyone is gushy and hands on but saying you wish you could go back and not have had the baby is pretty awful. I personally couldn't be with someone who said that and who will probably resent the baby.
Maybe go to your parents and see if his attitude towards the baby changes after a few weeks. If not then at least you will know.

sadnewmum Sat 15-Mar-14 21:26:18

Nomama - some points to clear up...

I took the baby home to my mum after discussing and consulting with him. It was not arbitrarily done without him - he agreed it was the best thing for all of us as he was struggling to cope with me being so unwell with the depression and the baby. He was very much part of that decision. And yes, I took the car, but he has no license and doesn't drive.

DS is not sharing the bed, fwiw, he is in a moses basket beside the bed. A small difference, but there you go. I consult with him on pretty much everything - I involve him as much as possible. I am also NOT giving DP the cold shoulder, we still have lots of affection between us.

I don't think I am being unreasonable. I am not expecting him to be superdad - but I do want him to try.

--

As for how he was during the pregnancy - he was supportive but quite negative about how sick it made me. I think he views the whole experience in a negative light.

--

Update- We had a talk tonight. I told him I was hurt by his comment that he would undo it. We talked it through and he admitted that he doesn't feel like a father. I know these things don't always come naturally.

I suggested he think about the qualities that his father has that he respects, or even qualities that he would like to see in his father and then try to emulate those. I also said he needs to spend more time with DS, cuddling and so on. I said that I wouldn't just expect him to do the drudge work, we could do things together, bathing DS, taking him out for walks and so on.

I don't think changing nappies is going to make it happen - I think he needs to see the fun side of DS - he really is a lovely baby.

We are only 4 weeks in. I will give him time and as much support as I can to try to help him bond with DS. I am not ready to write off our chances to be a family.

FrigginRexManningDay Sat 15-Mar-14 22:14:46

Its really good that you talked and that he opened up about how he feels. Its unfair to just say grow up as some posters suggested. Women and men are bombarded with media images of happy smiling mum and dad with a smiley baby. The reality of parenthood is often very different and comes as a shock to many.

wouldbemedic Sat 15-Mar-14 23:45:26

Glad things are improving, OP. My DH didn't feel warm and gushy when DD was born. I think our expectations for new parents of both genders can be very high these days. It wasn't until DD chose DP to smile at first - and coo at first - that he began to feel he couldn't do without her. I would give it time. It isn't at all uncommon for a new parent to think, 'What have I done?' when a baby arrives. Doubly so for your partner because in a sense, he lost you - first to a very frightening and difficult pregnancy, then to a terrifying illness. I was also ill when my baby was born and it definitely doubled the stress on DP. In terms of wanting your DP to 'try' harder with the baby - maybe he's experiencing a bit of depression of his own, as well as feeling 'out of step' because of not having lived with your baby for as long as you have. Again, in my own experience, I wasn't able to hold my baby for a long time and was horrified to find this made it easier to 'opt out' of caring for her at times. When you see someone else as the responsible one that the baby 'needs', it's very difficult to relate to that child as needing you. It could be that a little time on his own with the baby, perhaps not now but later, could help him feel on board and needed.

Nomama Sun 16-Mar-14 08:36:16

OP - I was trying to balance the negative comments your OH was receiving. Sometimes this place leaps on men as though they are quite literally the font of all evil when all that had happened is a breakdown in communication.

Glad you talked it through an I hope he manages to find that spark.

Offred Sun 16-Mar-14 08:54:18

The problem is not being of the male gender or a breakdown in communication.

The problem is that this person who is supposedly jointly and equally responsible for a vulnerable newborn and loosely required to support the vulnerable mother of said newborn is choosing to opt out of his responsibilities and sulk.

He is not doing this because he is a man. That's a view that expresses serious misandry and is quite offensive to me and all the fantastic partners and fathers out there.

He may well be doing it because his ego is bruised or because he's put out about 'losing' his female but really why would anyone defend this behaviour or make it the op's responsibility. He is a grown adult, he can choose his own actions and so far he's chosen not to come to op's mum's (despite going home to your mum's after a baby nevermind difficulties not being uncommon), not to visit his baby, not to interact with his baby, not to help the op with the responsibilities and to sulk and wish the baby had never been born. The op has had much more to deal with and much less control over what's happened to her, why does he get a free pass to make life harder for her just because he is a man and he has a pathetic ego problem?

Op - I would advise against spending time just now trying to engage him with the baby. Don't make yourself responsible for his relationship with your dc, he is responsible for that and you'll do no-one any favours assuming responsibility. If he can't be supportive I think you should go back to your mums and not return until he has sorted himself out, must stress this is not to punish him - he is really irrelevant, but to ensure the physical and emotional safety of you and your baby.

slightlyconfused85 Sun 16-Mar-14 09:18:23

This sounds really hard. I feel for you PND must be really hard and it's great to have your mum on hand. However, not to be with his DS for the first 3 weeks of his life is bound to make bonding difficult - it is a HUGE life change and if you're not there feeding/changing through the night and being with that baby all day then it is going to be difficult to switch it on 3 weeks later.

I think he needs time. You won't be able to push it - just carry on looking after the baby, and let him help where he wants to. Eventually, they could spend a few hours together without you while you get a bit of time to yourself. Eventually, as your son grows a little personality and pass through some milestones your DP is more likely to bond with him.

Offred Sun 16-Mar-14 09:24:27

Why is no-one asking why he chose not to be with his baby for the first 3 weeks? Why make out like the op stole his baby from him and has now given him irreparable bonding problems?

The op's own words on the subject do not support that view;

"I took the baby home to my mum after discussing and consulting with him. It was not arbitrarily done without him - he agreed it was the best thing for all of us as he was struggling to cope with me being so unwell with the depression and the baby. He was very much part of that decision. And yes, I took the car, but he has no license and doesn't drive."

It may well be true that he improves over time but it may also be true that the pg unmasked him as an abuser and I wouldn't risk my baby or my health on finding out which it was. The op can't make him interested, small babies are boring as he'll and difficult, you have to be responsible for them and he has already opted out of this, I'm not sure what the op can do to change it. He needs to make the effort himself or it will just make things harder for op IMO.

ThisIsYourSong Sun 16-Mar-14 09:35:52

You might find the Reluctant Father thereluctantfather.com/ an interesting read

LadyLapsang Sun 16-Mar-14 09:41:31

OP, pleased you had a productive talk with him yesterday. Maybe your health visitor may be able to help you both at this time.

Offred Sun 16-Mar-14 10:45:33

How is the reluctant father blog (which is lovely and great) even relevant here? The problem is not his feelings so much as his behaviour. The father in the blog was involved with his child and supportive of his partner, he expressed very normal feelings about the pressure for both men and women to go gooey eyed over their newborn when in reality they have no clue how to cope, are constantly firefighting and in desperate need of sleep.

That isn't what's going on here. This man has made a series of choices to opt out in various degrees and make the op responsible for him and his feelings as though he were a baby and not the father. Why are people still suggesting it is the op's responsibility to try and understand and accommodate his crappy behaviour and to take steps to try and change it. Only he can change his attitude and his behaviour and the op's main job right now should be recovering from the birth and caring for the baby since he isn't bothering to help or even be supportive of her efforts.

sadnewmum Sun 16-Mar-14 13:07:04

Offred, I appreciate your point of view. I don't, however, feel that he is an abuser. I was in an emotionally abusive relationship before and that is not happening here.

I do believe that DP has the potential to be a very good father. I am keeping my options open - my mums door is ALWAYS open, but I think that with a little time, DP could hopefully get there. If not, then I will go back to mums. But not yet.

I am coping at home with DS, which was something that had worried me about going home - previously the depression had been so bad that I couldn't cope, now I can (thank god for meds). I will give him time and encourage him with DS as much as I can. I don't feel that the situation is hopeless yet.

Offred Sun 16-Mar-14 13:32:33

No, I'm not trying to say it is hopeless or that he's definitely an abuser, the fact it started in pg means you should be conscious that he may prove to be though. His behaviour is completely unacceptable, you don't get to wish a baby out of existence with self-pity. I'm trying to say that you taking responsibility for trying to engage him will not help. This absolutely has to come from him if it is ever going to be a relationship between equals between you two or a sustainable and healthy relationship between him and his dc. You need support not extra responsibility too.

Lweji Sun 16-Mar-14 13:49:05

I agree with Offred.

He should take the steps to bond with his own child. Why hasn't he? Part of being a parent is the hard work. The sleepless nights, the nappies, feeding, entertaining and so on. It's just not the smiles and playing. Yes, it's easier to bond then, but until we do, we are responsible for their care, as well as of caring for our partners.
If he finds it that difficult can't be arsed then maybe he should be out of your lives.
You had PND, you struggled to cope, but you didn't say you'd rather not have had the baby, and you didn't leave him. You had to leave your house because your OH would not support you, not the way your mother could. And she did because she loved you. I don't think he loves you.

sadnewmum Sun 16-Mar-14 15:24:34

Ok the main reason we went to my mums was that DP confessed that during a night of DS being very unsettled (and I was pretty ill) that he wanted to throw DS against the wall and that it took all his strength not to.

Then he cried and said he didn't think he would ever be like that, he thought he was better than that. I felt DS and I would be safer at my mums until we were able to cope without putting pressure on DP.

At the time it is not that he WOULD not support me, he COULD not - he was not in the right frame of mind. And that is why he agreed it was for the best for us to go for the time.

namerchangering Sun 16-Mar-14 15:29:01

You seem to be shouldering an awful lot of responsibility here OP. Being a new mum is overwhelming as it is let alone having PND on top of everything else. I think he should have sucked it up and helped you.

So now you're having to take on his selfishness too? Wouldn't we all love to check out of things if they get hard? You don't get the luxury of refusing to help with nappies and feeds do you? so why should he? The baby is here, he should be helping you as much as possible and you shouldn't be having to manage his hurt ego or whatever it is.

I feel mad for you OP.

namerchangering Sun 16-Mar-14 15:33:51

sorry x post

sad

That's pretty bad, no wonder you are doing everything. Have you spoken to your health visitor?

sadnewmum Sun 16-Mar-14 15:51:40

namechangering - No. I have told my mum and dad, but I don't want to tell my GP (who is monitoring me closely as I was so so ill) or HV in case DS ends up on some 'endangered baby' list. He is NOT endangered - I will never let anything happen to him.

Offred Sun 16-Mar-14 16:47:39

That's an extremely cavalier attitude I think.

If he's chosen to opt out because he genuinely felt he was a danger to your baby you absolutely need outside agencies monitoring things now you have returned and his attitude evidently hasn't changed.

If he really isn't a danger then this won't be threatening to you or him. If he is then you need the protection.

He needs to get help with this. He may also be suffering PND but what is clear is that you absolutely cannot manage this at home in private. Please speak to the health visitor.

Handywoman Sun 16-Mar-14 17:41:25

OP even though your DP is not 'an abuser' what has happened is that he felt he could not cope. Fair enough, but what has now happened is you have stepped up/compensated even though you yourself are unwell. This may be the start of an unhealthy pattern, particularly if he finds his anger can become overwhelming. Both of you have issues that need addressing. If you are shouldering all the burden you might find it a difficult pattern to break.

Trooperslane Sun 16-Mar-14 17:45:20

I agree with Rex manning.

Not an excuse but he sounds v traumatised (and you have been too).

All the best of luck op. It's feckin hard work.

Me and DH have been together many more years than you two and the adjustment is mammoth, without pnd on top.

I hope you can work it through

TheArmadillo Sun 16-Mar-14 17:57:16

My dh struggled when dc1 was born. I stayed at my parents for quite a while (months not weeks) and it created the problem as he didn't really have a chance to bond with baby. By the time the chance was there I had which made him feel it was better for dc to be left with me as I seemed to know what I was doing. Once I moved back and he started doing a lot more of the boring everyday stuff the connection with dc was created.

4 years later he became a sahp after losing his job. He was main carer to dc2 from birth.

It can be hard for parents with a new baby, male and female. We are sold this idea that your first look at your newborn and you fall instantly in love. It isn't unusual for this not to be the case. There is also a lot of sympathy on here for women who struggle with a newborn but apparently little for men hmm

I think also the fact you were ill during pregnancy and post natally could be affecting the way he feels about the baby.

Give him time, don't write him off straight away but he does need to be hands on, with both the boring and fun stuff , to build that relationship with his child.

Lweji Sun 16-Mar-14 18:50:43

Why hasn't he sought help?

Handywoman Sun 16-Mar-14 18:53:46

I agree with Lweji OP has been very proactive in all this. Am not hearing the same re the DP.

hamptoncourt Sun 16-Mar-14 18:55:41

I am a bit shock at the posters who seem to think that a father who has to muster all his strength not to throw his new born baby against a wall is just "having problems adjusting" or "not bonding straight away".

If my DC's father had admitted to such a thing he would have been nowhere near the baby again until he had sought professional help.

Lweji Sun 16-Mar-14 19:00:14

What posters? The information has just been given.

sadnewmum Sun 16-Mar-14 19:03:39

I don't know what kind of help he should look for. Counselling?

Handywoman Sun 16-Mar-14 19:06:32

My X admitted this too when dd1 was tiny and he was on his own with her.

He turned out to be a pretty inadequate, hands-off, passive, lazy and angry Dad who loved the status of being Dad but not the actual doing of it. Hence he is now my X.

Not saying the two are connected. But I AM advising the OP be wary. I hope this is just a blip though. Although I think the OP is vulnerable.

LondonNinja Sun 16-Mar-14 19:08:27

Crumbs. Four weeks is nothing.

Give it time. This is not easy. You're both shattered and it takes a great toll. I was I'll during pregnancy and in a state afterwards. My DH was similarly thrown by it all and we had some dreadful times. Things can get better. Of course, this isn't a rule for everyone, but the early days are tough tough tough. DH has a great relationship with DC now but it was touch and go at times. It was an adjustment for us - perhaps because we were older and also had our child after five carefree years together.

Hang in there for now. But do put communication high on the agenda.

Lweji Sun 16-Mar-14 19:09:59

Probably.
What help did you get?
He should talk to the GP and get lessons on how to care for a baby. Things like putting the baby in a safe place and walk away if it's too much. Getting outside help when it starts to feel too much.

Handywoman Sun 16-Mar-14 19:13:07

There are some fantastic courses run by children's centres.

HopefulHamster Sun 16-Mar-14 19:17:58

You had pnd but he wanted to throw the baby against the wall? So basically moving out at the time was about helping him as much as you. Yikes.

Look, this could go one of two ways.

He's traumatised by his life changing in so many ways, and by the fact it made you so well. He might eventually come around once the baby starts engaging a bit more (a smile at six weeks can do wonders).

OR

Over time he will get more and more resentful and one day he could hurt the baby - unfortunately you saying you'll never let it happen doesn't affect your partner's actions, does it? What about the next night the baby won't stop crying?

Sorry to sound so dramatic. It could just be a rocky start. But I am alarmed that you went through so much illness and trauma, and yet essentially you had to move to your mum's because of the lack of support or safe space at home.

LondonNinja Sun 16-Mar-14 19:18:20

Oh. Just read the post about throwing the baby and feel sick.

That is a massively scary thing for him to say. He needs to see the GP - and if you feel you can't trust this man, take action.

LondonNinja Sun 16-Mar-14 19:21:40

Really OP, what happens if you have to go out, or have a life, say an evening with a friend? Will you be able to trust him?

I think you both need to take this very seriously and get on record what he said. Just in case you need to make a break. I really hope it doesn't come to that, OP.

mameulah Sun 16-Mar-14 19:27:18

He sounds like he is in shock. Be kind to yourself. And be patient.

namerchangering Sun 16-Mar-14 19:38:51

Op, I know you are concerned about getting other people involved but something has to give doesn't it? He has to help himself too, what is the alternative for you? Tiptoeing round him, trying to make sure the baby doesn't annoy him in case he gets angry etc etc. that's not going to achieve the future you want. Is he willing to see his gp?

TheABC Sun 16-Mar-14 20:16:45

It can take a lot of time for men to bond with their babies. DH is a fiercely proud hands-on dad, but he only really got interaction with DS after the three month mark, when DS was a little more robust and developed. Before that, he would change nappies, bath baby and do whatever was needed, but it was more a case of essential maintenance than "daddy time". Plus DS was a total boob monster and its easy to forget mothers get a helping hand in the bonding department with the extra oxytocin washing around their system from breastfeeding (sorry, OP, not sure how this squares with the PND side.)

You sound like you are doing the right thing with communication and he does sound like he needs to get some outside help - so he can then support you and your DC. If he does not or will not, then you know how likely he is to be a good dad. Good luck and I hope it works out for you.

sadnewmum Sun 16-Mar-14 21:34:50

I am not breastfeeding, I was sorely disappointed that I wasn't able to, and then had to go on medication as well.

I talked to him at the time about putting the baby down and walking away if he ever felt angry like that again, and the next morning he said the anger had not lasted. I believe that he frightened himself as much as me. If he ever has to look after the baby and he feels worried about being on his own, his mum is in the next street and can come over any time.

He is not a violent or abusive person and he will take steps to ensure DS's safety. He is very conscientious about the car seat/ pram straps etc ... may seem like a minor thing but he does care about safety.

MistressDeeCee Mon 17-Mar-14 04:12:07

OP had a traumatic pregnancy and illness.. & is now a new mum

& women are talking about her DP as if HIS feelings outweigh HERS? As if she has to take on responsibility for his behaviour?

FWIW - when someone's been through the mill and is feeling rotten - you empathise, and you HELP. You do not display behaviour that is bound to make someone feel worse than they already do. That displays lack of character

OP I wouldnt say LTB - especially not now! and its good that your talk with him was productive. Just 1 thing - it would be lovely if he sees baby as 'fun' but since babies aren't always cooing, smiling balls of contentment and are often hard work, then your partner is going to have to deal with the reality of this. For a long time. Thats life.

Aside from that I agree with Offred

The problem is that this person who is supposedly jointly and equally responsible for a vulnerable newborn and loosely required to support the vulnerable mother of said newborn is choosing to opt out of his responsibilities and sulk

He is not doing this because he is a man. That's a view that expresses serious misandry and is quite offensive to me and all the fantastic partners and fathers out there.

FatherJake Mon 17-Mar-14 05:27:02

These feelings are not uncommon - to me it sounds like the guy vocalised what lots of dads feel. Yes he says he wanted to hurt baby but there is a massive difference between actually harming the baby and thinking angry thoughts. From personal perspective it took me a good few months to bond with both of my kids and I did struggle to keep calm - especially with the one who was difficult at nights. But as they get older, more expressive etc it becomes easier and easier. Lots of men just don't feel a bond with babies, even if they are their own.

BranchingOut Mon 17-Mar-14 06:23:03

DS is still little enough to enjoy skin to skin contact, would your DP consider doing this after a bath?

Using a sling?

It is also not too early to begin reading books to your baby, just simple things like 'the very hungry caterpillar'.

Something that is his 'job' might help at this stage.

Lweji Mon 17-Mar-14 06:35:42

From what you say, it looks like he can take care of the baby. He is just choosing not to.
I think he needs to choose if he is there for you and the baby or not at all there. He needs to understand that it's his responsibility too, regardless of bonding. We don't bond with people we don't interact with. End of.

ThisIsYourSong Mon 17-Mar-14 07:31:45

Please read the Reluctant Father and get your DP to read it too. There is lots in there that is relevant to this situation, including talking about 'baby rage' and wanting to throw the baby out of the window, losing his wife and their relationship, the screaming making him crazy, being on edge all the time anticipating the next meltdown, not connecting with the baby and feeling resentful. Yes the father in that was able to keep those thoughts and feelings bottled up and support the mother but not everyone has the same emotional capability. He is incredibly eloquent and that probably helped the situation, many men wouldn't even be able to recognise those feelings let alone write like that.

These feelings are not uncommon and after what you have been through it sounds like you both need support. Yes he needs to be more hands on but he is probably scared to death of what that might bring out in him. Make sure you tell him that these things aren't easy at first that the more you do them, the more natural they feel including just holding a baby.

All my babies loved sleeping on their Dad's chest, they were incredibly settled that way. Would he try that in the evenings, while watching TV? Then you could hopefully nap too.

You are doing brilliantly in such a tough situation. I hope things improve for you soon

Offred Mon 17-Mar-14 08:39:09

Feeling baby rage is completely different.

From what the op said her partner will not interact with their baby at all and because he felt so angry with the baby and that he could not cope with this it was better the op and the baby go and live away from him for weeks. Now they have returned he is wishing the baby had never been born and is on pins being woken up by the baby's breathing at night. Can you really not see the difference between that and the very normal frustration new parents feel?

Offred Mon 17-Mar-14 08:41:57

The problem is yes 'not everyone has the same emotional capability' or motivation but this guy didn't bottle up his feelings he acknowledged them and dealt with them appropriately. If you're dealing with someone who isn't able or motivated to deal with these things appropriately then you and the baby are in danger and it is very silly to think you can have any impact on helping your partner or keeping your baby safe.

FrigginRexManningDay Mon 17-Mar-14 09:17:30

I see that he has violent impulses which thankfully he has not acted on. I really think he needs to talk to his gp as from what you've written it sounds like he is suffering from depression. Yes I am very aware I am making a keyboard diagnosis before anyone leaps on me and I absolutely agree that the baby must be protected.
I had urges to hurt my baby when I had pnd (I didn't hurt her, but had the urge)
I met her basic needs because I had to but if someone else was there to do it I wouldnt have.
I ignored her a lot.
I felt no bond.
My experience is not unique and not exclusive to women. Pnd and depression takes many forms but we cannot and should not be afraid of reaching out and telling people we need help. Here is a father describing feelings I have read hundreds of times on mn from new mums, and the advice is always to seek help not pull yourself together you have responsibilities.

sadnewmum Mon 17-Mar-14 10:26:10

I definitely have the ability to keep my baby safe. I am not taking any risks with DSs safety.

I don't know that he has depression... but I will encourage himto see his gp if he doesn't improve.

He did take DS for cuddles while I made dinner last night, and he washed and sterilised all the bottles after the midnight feed. He also asked about what my night feeding routine is so that he can make sure that when he is doing it that he is consistent.

It is baby steps, but at least they are steps in the right direction.

Lweji Mon 17-Mar-14 10:28:32

I think he should see a gp anyway.

And make sure these are actual steps, not temporary acts to shut you up.

sadnewmum Sat 22-Mar-14 20:54:44

Hey, so DP has been making more of an effort the last few days. He sent me to bed for a nap yesterday and looked after DS, he fed him and changed nappies. He has been keeping up with the sterilising as well.

I know that there are still a lot of issues but I think with time we will get to where we need to be. I really want us to be a family, but I will always put DS first. I never thought that I would feel the kind of love that I feel for DS, it is amazing.

ThisIsYourSong Sat 29-Mar-14 08:11:51

Hi OP, hope things are still going well for you. It's great to hear that your DP is stepping up.

You sound like a lovely Mum, enjoy your baby smile

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