some perspective and advice maybe too please?(14 Posts)
So i read mumsnet a lot when looking for advice on certain things, this time though i have something to post myself.
I have two children, one 10yo boy with a previous partner who is here 50% of the time (more in the holidays) and with my current partner a beautiful 8 week old little girl.
Since the birth things between my partner and i have gotten worse, we don't necessarily argue, we try to talk problems out as much as possible. My partner though rarely actually talks listens but rarely reflects to me how she's feeling until she becomes overwhelmed by it all and has a bit of a flip out. Recently this has gotten worse and i find she just closes off and won't face anything that involves emotions or having to sort a problem out, and instead walks out to her dads and with no reassurance if or when she's coming back.
I've ased her what can i do to help, and i only get the one word answer of "nothing" all the time at the moment. she's breastfeeding too and her eating the past week has been virtually nonexistent (maybe a piece of toast mid morning) and that really worries me as obviously this will also affect the feeding of our daughter. we've talked about how she feels and it's very obvious she is pretty depressed in general. it doesn't help that she doesn't get along with her mother and also her nan that she's close to is on her death bed. so yeah, a lot to deal with at the moment for her.
This week my son is staying over and he and my partner get on fantastically. the other night he was watching a film with her and was also interacting with our daughter ticking her nose. he hurt the little one by mistake by simply prodding too hard the once, not badly at all but enough for her to cry like the world had ended for a few minutes. Understandably this upset my partner, it upset me too and she told me about it and i discussed it with my son - i don't like to give a row, i prefer to help create an understanding of why something is not right or whatever - he was really upset about it all and went to apologise to my partner, they then spent the next two hours together watching cartoons and joking around, and with our daughter there too.
So yesterday, my partner is having a really hard day and hasn't eaten all day, and to be fair my patience are wearing a tad thin with the constant negative stuff that's said to me and nothing positive at all, i know that's due to the depression but i also know that to continually be told i'm not doing enough when I do do a lot is really heartbreaking and hard to deal with, especially as the truth is i do as much as i possibly can, most of the housework, all the financial stuff i deal with, shopping etc etc and my fair share with our daughter too. granted some days i could do more, i find it hard being so tired to keep the energy levels up too. anyway i digress, to cut to te chase i was asking what i could get my partner to eat and all she would say is "nothing" i calmy talked with her about how this not only affect her health but could our daughter too and all hell broke loose, not about the eating but about how she's scared of my son being around our daughter and how he might hurt her. I can't lie, hearing that devastated me, it broke my heart and i felt so torn apart. all the emotions i felt at once were too much - resentment, anger, confusion, panic, heartbreak - i suggested that she needs to be the adult and address that because it's maybe a bit of a strong overreaction to an innocent mistake and we'd sorted it out earlier in the week.
She immediately upped and left, and hasn't been back since, just a text asking when she can get her stuff and no reply to when i can see our daughter or if she'll try to fix things. I get she's protective of our daughter, more so because shes her first child, and could maybe take what I said as perhaps belittling of her feelings.
I'm not sure if i'm clear in what i say or what advice there is to have, or if i'm just posting to get it out of me. either way i have no idea what to do anymore and i feel in myself really depressed too.
Hunny it sounds to me like she has post natal depression. She needs to seek help for it how is she sleeping obviously with a newborn sleep is hard but when the baby is asleep is your wife actually sleeping? Or does she seem to be sleeping to much?
I think the thing with your son is just because she has pms. After the birth of my children I would cry for hours if someone picked them up. She needs to see a doctor.
Thanks for the reply, yes it dies seem that way. We did talk before all this kicked off and I suggested maybe she talks to her doctor, the HV sensitively suggested that also but my partner just refuses to accept she needs to ask for help like that, in fact it really pisses her off and she get annoyed at the idea. I get it's part if the circle of how she's feeling, at the moment though I can't do anything as she's not here and isn't willing to talk to or message me. I'd understand that of I'd actually done something crappy, yet I genuinely know I haven't.
Oh and yes recently she has been getting a fairly good sleep at night since the little one has settled a bit, but then my partner also refuses to go to sleep in the day or says or isn't tired feeling enough to sleep, she does crash out really early in the evening though and looks pretty exhausted around then too
Can you express your concerns to her parents? I know it sound silly but I'm more likely to listen to my mum or someone else I view as being in authority than dh when depressed.
Heh not at all, she doesn't talk to her mother at all due to her mum being really horrible to her last year. her mum and I really don't like each other over what she did. And her dad is ok I guess, but I haven't spoken to or seen her parents myself in nearly a year and don't feel I could approach them as the only one that I have a contact for is her mum :/
Then I suggest you go to baby clinic and address your concerns with her Hv. Or call the Hv.
I'm nervous about calling the HV, although it's crossed my mind, I don't want to add fuel to the fire as I know it'd really nark my partner, but at the same time I also know I need to do something. Fixing our relationship somehow is so dominant in my mind I'm conflicted what's the right thing to do
If your wife is suffering post natal depression the earlier intervention is started the easier it will be to stop. If left untreated she may end up either unable to care for your baby or in a mum and baby unit.
It sounds like you are doing everything you possibly can, and well done to you for sticking up for your son. If your DP is suffering depression and it's manifesting in a way that is detrimental to him and the way he bonds with his new sister, then you may well need to continue to do that.
If there's any way you can, I think you really need to try and get in touch with her Dad, at least to let him know that you are worried and doing everything you can do. Getting in touch with the HV is a good idea too, it sounds like this is a situation that has gotten to big for you to deal with alone.
Oh and for the record I have a major mental illness and on my first episode dh was scared to alert authorities in case I wouldn't forgive him but I would have when I was feeling well.
To quote Scrubs, "you're a man, so you're wrong." That's nothing against you, it sounds like you're trying to hold your family together. But the best person to talk to is the HV. Your DP needs advice from another woman who knows what to do.
She sounds like I was after I had my first child - which looking back I can see was PND. The trouble was I didn't see it then, and I regarded my husband's wellmeaning attempts to help as either interfering or implying I was incapable.
I would say 2 things - do you do nice things for your wife (without her asking), this includes getting up at night even if she is breastfeeding. Making her feel supported will definitely help!
Secondly, does she have a close female friend who you can confide in (preferably one who's had a child themselves) - my friends were my life in and it was a couple of friends who eventually noticed how down I was and took steps to help - chances are your wife may be putting a brave face on to the world.
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