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To ask on aibu, how do you know if you suffer/suffered PND

(7 Posts)
twinklingfairy Fri 07-Oct-11 10:19:08

Sorry, bit of an essay, putting it on here because the PND thread is so quiet. Please be gentle, not looking for sympathy just an idea about why I might have been so out of sorts for so long. sad
DS was born early after a lot of worries throughout the pregnancy including an air ambulance 200 miles away incase he came early after a large bleed out.
He didn't grow very well and at 36 weeks was only 4llb4oz.
He had to spend about 10 days, I forget how long exactly (DH has just said it was just 8 days) in special care.
During that time, I was glad he was born, the worry about him being ok was lessened now that we had him here, but I felt lucky in a way that he was in SCBU because most of his care was done by others. And, though they said I could come up whenever I liked, it seemed a bit silly to sit by his crib as he slept when I could sit in the ward awaiting a call to come feed him.

When he got home, he was no longer in his 4 hourly routine that they had him in and instead adopted a 2 hourly one. It consisted of sleeping 2 hours and then screaming solidly for two hours.

I spoke to my HV saying that something was up, he seemed to be struggling with something, but she just smiled and said that I had had it so easy with my DD (who was a beautifully placid baby) that a crying one was just a shock to me.
A week or so later I said again he is struggling with something, met with the same response.
The doc said it was colic, though I disagreed (DD had suffered with it, but this was different) but nothing I said made any difference.

DS was 6 weeks before we took him 100 miles away to a specialist appointment because they thought he had hyperspadious.
As soon as the consultant took off his nappy she popped his hernia back in and immediately called the nearest childrens hospital (another 110+ miles away) and suggested we continue driving in order that they could operate as soon as pos.
We knew nothing about it! I asked the HV to check him over twice I think I even went to the doc twice!!

ANyway, sorry, that was my DS start in life and I really struggled with it all. Didn't feel bonded and seriously could have thrown him in the dead of night when I was just sooooo exhausted and upset with frustration ( I get a huge lump in my throat even thinking about it)
I had such plans to use slings with him but couldn't stand to have him near me. I had to pop him into his chair and walk away when I needed to.

He didn't smile until beyond 12 weeks and I felt so low it was really hard to be around him. Whenever I went to my parents I was only too happy to hand him over and walk away.
I figured I was doing the best I could with a poor wee boy who had had a bad start. My dad told me he was impressed with how I was coping, but I just felt like I was barely managing, the only bright spot on my day was my DD.

I feel that he was a 'mizzy' baby until 9 months and 11 months until he became a happy baby.

3 years later and I love my wee man to bits, but I have only just been able to like myself enough to have sex with my DH.

Looking back I have hated myself so much during the last 3 years that I had zero sexual desire and very nearly drove my DH away.
Not to mention the bother I created with my family. Convinced myself that my mum hated my DS and wouldn't hold him, as a baby, because all he did was scream, partly true but I felt at the time that she should have helped me anyway.
Basically I felt totally alone and wouldn't admit to anyone how low I felt.
At one point I felt so at odds with DS that I thought it would be better if I left because all he did was cry around me, but if I left him with others he was fine.
My sis said that she would babysit to let DH and I out together but made such a fuss over what night, what time, that I accused her of not wanting to help at all.

Have I been suffering PND and only just come out of the fug, or has it just been a crappy 3 years?

I am mostly confused because I started to feel better towards DS once he got into toddlerdom, but yet finally getting it together with DH has made me realise that I was still not really ok with me.

aldiwhore Fri 07-Oct-11 10:26:30

It could be a mixture of both I guess. There could be many valid labels you could attach to it I suspect.

You sound like you've come through it, and that things look brighter, and that's the thing to focus on.

Although it wasn't baby related with me, looking back 9 years ago I think "Gosh I was actually in a bit of a mess and most probably suffering with some form of depression, wish I'd got help!" and I think that's probably the best way to look at it. I wouldn't focus too much on specifics, or diagnoses in retrospect.

How are you feeling NOW? And do you think you could do with some help to reconcile yourself with the past few years? Have you talked to your DH about how awful you've been feeling and that although you're feeling better its playing on your mind?

It helps to talk about it even if its in the past. It certainly sounds like you have had a real struggle over the last few years, both in terms of life challenges and emotionally. Look to the future now, and I hope its a happier one.

SardineQueen Fri 07-Oct-11 10:42:51

I think things are often easier to realise in retrospect, when you get better. It's only looking back that you realise just how bad things were.

It sounds like you had a very difficult time and from what you've said I wouldn't be at all surprised if you were suffering with PND. I can take years to get over.

The thing is you're on the mend now and so it doesn't really matter now what was wrong then - as long as you keep improving smile

PhishFoodAddiction Fri 07-Oct-11 11:01:02

I think having PND massively reduces your self-esteem, and this could be why you say you weren't feeling okay with yourself until recently. It can make you feel like a terrible person, and it comes with a massive feeling of guilt IME.

With the rough start you got off to with your DS, it's not suprising that you had a difficult time of it. Some of the things you describe certainly sound like how I felt when I had PND.

However, I think the thing to concentrate on now is that you are feeling a lot better, you have bonded with your son and things are moving forward for you. I hope things continue to improve and your future is happy.

Counselling may help if you feel you need to talk about how you felt. I cried the other day when I realised I still feel very guilty for being depressed when DD1 was born, and for having negative feelings towards her when she so very little. It takes time to get over. (DD1 is now 4.5).

Good luck.

twinklingfairy Fri 07-Oct-11 11:02:33

Until recently I was over compensating with him, letting him away with murder, with my mum and sis constantly telling me that I was too soft on him. But then, they said that throughout.
When we co slept, they would tell me I ought to put him in his own bed, discussing me behind my back, not realising that I could hear them all ( sis DH got in on the act too) but it would have meant my wandering the house all night after him. How would that have helped?

But you are right I am in a much better place now, I just feel that the HV failed me both on not seeing DS hernia, which the consultant said was pretty obvious and then in just laughing off my concerns. I told her I was struggling, though who would admit, to anyone that they felt violence towards their screaming baby. sad
She missed it and I struggled on for so long. With my family not supporting me, but then if they didn't realise how bad it was. . . .?
Who knows, but it has all changed me.
Perhaps talking about it all/counselling would help but I have no idea how to go about getting any without it costing me and we have zero money. Would it be self indulgent?

PicaK Fri 07-Oct-11 12:15:16

No it would not be self indulgent.

If one of your mates turned up on your doorstep, ashen faced and crying about some horrible thing that had happened to her this week - what would you do? Hold your arms out probably, comfort her, listen, comiserate. Etc

If you are coming out of a fug of tiredness, pnd and realising what you've been through, then no I don't think there's anything wrong with granting yourself a bit of tlc and letting yourself come to terms with it.

Burying it, ignoring the fact you want to understand what happened and move on would be like slamming the door in your mate's face and telling her to poss off.

Be gentle with yourself.

PhishFoodAddiction Fri 07-Oct-11 12:32:50

Not at all self-indulgent.

If you go to see your GP and tell them how you are feeling, they can give you a referral for NHS counselling. In my area it's a 2-3 month for the first appointment, but they are free and really helpful IME.

I've been there with the violent thoughts, some nights I felt I could have thrown DD down the stairs sad and I feel so disgusted with myself. I never hurt her, but having the thoughts was bad enough. Of course I took myself off out of the way when I felt that way, for a breather, leaving her in the cot.

I also feel a bit let down by the HV/ midwife who looked after us, as now I look back I'm sure DD1 had some kind of acid reflux going on which I didn't have the first clue about, but I feel they should have known. This is another thing I feel guilty about though, that maybe she was just in pain all that time and I didn't know to get help for her sad.

A counsellor can help you pick your way through this, and hopefully find some peace with the situation. I'm just talking about it with my counsellor at the moment and it is helping.

As PicaK says, try and be gentle with yourself. You wouldn't condemn a friend who told you any of this, so try not to be too hard on yourself.

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