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To be mortified that HV thinks I'm struggling

(36 Posts)
midnightsunshine Tue 15-Dec-15 11:54:59

I am struggling a bit but thought I was hiding it really well. At 2nd visit HV made an extra appointment to come back at 3months (I thought it was to discuss his colic) she admitted it was because I seemed 'fragile'!

I appreciate her coming back today and it was good to chat and I'm really glad of her support... but I'm so embarrassed to be earmarked as someone fragile! I've just realised the baby massage course I attended at children's centre (everyone recruited by their HVs) were all mums who were struggling or had PND. It was a great class with half the session as group discussion, but I never thought of myself as being obviously in need of support (though I had wondered why the ladies running the centre were so nice to me and knew me by name!)

I've had clinical depression in past and this does not feel like that at all. I try to keep positive I'm just finding it hard coping with a small baby. Getting out the house is a struggle. At home I cry when he won't stop crying. He scratches and headbutts and screams in my face when he's in pain with colic and I know it's not his fault but it's horrible when it lasts for hours.

I love him very much it's just the crying that gets me down and the anxiety over whether he's ok and never having time to finish anything or go anywhere. And not having time for DH upsets me. Surely these feelings are normal though and will get better soon? HV suggested visiting GP but I don't want to go on antidepressants.

Anyone else felt like this?

wafflerinchief Tue 15-Dec-15 11:59:43

i remember having all of those feelings & it IS hard having a small baby, especially the first one - keep on getting out the house as much as you can. Staying at home listening to a crying baby would lower anyone, especially when you're already tired. I stayed in too much due to fear about leaking nappies, slipping on pavements etc and it was silly, the more I got out and met other mums, the easier it got & I realized that none of them were particularly coping better. I don't think going to the GP means you'll definitely go on anti-depressants though, they can instead see you weekly to check that you're coping and provide non-drug related support.

ImperialBlether Tue 15-Dec-15 12:01:25

ADs can make such a huge difference to the way you feel. I was put on them for PND and I found I could switch off from things that were driving me crazy. They made me able to think straight. You sound as though you've got a lovely HV - she's recognised you're struggling and has done something to try to help. However, if it's gone on for three months now then she knows her remit is up and it's quite reasonable of her to want you to see the doctor.


Owllady Tue 15-Dec-15 12:01:47

Don't feel embarrassed! She's just doing her job I suppose
Did you enjoy the baby massage course? If you did, I really wouldn't worry
Yes it gets easier!

TheSecondViola Tue 15-Dec-15 12:02:47

I don't know why you are mortified, you are struggling, you do need some help. Take it, all of it, because it doesn't just get better on its own.

CMOTDibbler Tue 15-Dec-15 12:03:04

Theres nothing to be embarassed about at all, and it sounds like you are having a tough time atm. But its not normal to be crying, and being upset over not having time for your dh - but PND is incredibly common and does that sort of thing.

ADs aren't the end of the world, or failing. They are just something to help you cope till your hormones and brain chemicals settle down again. Just like you put a plaster on a scrape till your body fixes the wound.

Be kind to yourself flowers

theycallmemellojello Tue 15-Dec-15 12:05:27

Sorry you're feeling like this. It is hard. Many others have felt like this, so you're not alone at all in that sense - but that's not a reason to put up with it. I would encourage you to visit your GP. There are a range of options, not only anti-depressants (I've also had exceptionally good results on anti-depressants and would personally suggest not ruling them out). As waffler says, the GP will also be able to discuss other options with you. If the heath visitor is sympathetic (and don't worry - she won't be judging you - she knows better than anyone how very hard it is for new mothers) then perhaps she will also be able to recommend support groups and similar. Good luck smile

Buttons23 Tue 15-Dec-15 12:05:38

There is nothing to be embarrassed about, there is no shame in struggling with motherhood and from what you have written it does sound as if you are struggling. Lots of mothers do, I had pnd and was placed on antidepressants for a year.

It sounds as if you have a lovely hv, a great children's centre and lots of support available to you. They are not judging you.

Alfieisnoisy Tue 15-Dec-15 12:06:07

Oh bless you. FWIW I used to be a HV and I also had terrible PND. .

Please don't worry, your HV is definitely not judging you,make has just identified that you've had a difficult time. Adjusting to a new baby is horrendous sometimes...especially if you have one who cries a lot. My DS was like this and it was a massive struggle.

You will find that the ladies at the children centre will be like this with everyone and not just you. In my area all first time mothers were invited to he baby massage classes so don't necessarily assume you have been picked out for them because the early days have been a struggle. It may be that like you these other Mums have identified a way of getting out and having a bit of social time.

Wait and see about antidepressants, have a read about them. In the end I did decide to take them and they were helpful. I suffer from clinical depression from time to time so I know where you are coming from.

I hope things get better for you soon flowers

NoSquirrels Tue 15-Dec-15 12:10:18

It sounds like you got a great HV, OP. She saw you were struggling a little but has tried to get you to connect with other in a sensitive way - baby massage is great - and everyone finds it hard, honestly. Babies with colic are the worst.

Antidepressants could be useful if you need to feel on a more stable emotional keel. But the GP can help with deciding, and no one will make you take them if you don't need them. A chat with the GP is just that, a chat.

Getting out and about is good. It's my number one top tip for having small people. Not least because if you aren't in the house you can't see the unfinished jobs. You are on maternity leave to care for your tiny baby, not for doing the housework, remember.

Don't fret about your DH. He is a grown man who can presumably be supporting you, rather than you needing to support him. The baby will get bigger and you will all settle into your new life as a family. If your DH is moaning then he's in the wrong, but if it's just that you feel you wish things were easier and a bit more "like before" then that's natural, and you need to remind yourself it will get better!

Make sure your DH takes the baby a lot when he's home. Crying babies are torture and you need a break from it to function well. Look after yourself. flowers

knobblyknee Tue 15-Dec-15 12:18:25

But neither is your HV...
Its so hard on you, when you have made that much effort to cope, and it is rated by someone else as not up to the standard. And I hate being treated as fragile or special, like I'm going to collapse any minute.
I am recovering from PTSD, before that I had PND and a colicky kid.
It looks to me like you are still at the 'thin skin' stage. What other people think about your coping strategies affects you.
If you can move into 'thick skin' mode it wont stop you asking for help when you need it, but its like a suit of armour. Other peoples 'niceness' wont hurt you.
Hang on in there. It will get easier. Sending cyber hugs and these are for you flowers smile

Panicmode1 Tue 15-Dec-15 12:18:38

I'm going to give you a huge hugs (I know that's not remotely Mumnetty but sometimes you just need one). I had four babies, all of whom had horrendous reflux and it was HARD! I had huge HV support with my last because he was very unplanned and I felt very unhappy about having another baby and I think she was worried about me. I had counselling because I was feeling so negative about the baby. I am always a 'coper' and very much of the 'stiff upper lip' school of life and felt terrible that, as I saw it, NHS resources were being 'wasted' on someone like me who should just be able to 'get on with it'.....she told me to stop being ridiculous and to allow myself to be looked after; I was of no use to anyone if I collapsed.

Don't feel embarrassed - take the help that's being offered - she's there to support you and help you to get through this amazing, difficult, wonderful, challenging life changing event that's happened. she won't be judging you at all but trying to do the best for you so you can do the best for your baby. It may be that ADs are the answer, or it may be there are other options - I am afraid that I can't advise having not had PND myself so don't feel qualified at all to comment on what may work...but it will get easier and they do stop crying eventually!

(If it's any use at all, and this only works if you are breast feeding, but when I eliminated dairy from my diet whilst I was BF, it made a HUGE difference to their reflux/colic).

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Tue 15-Dec-15 12:23:36

My two children didn't have colic and I still found it a huge struggle. The first 12 weeks are just damn tough. Colic is a hole new level from what I have seen though.

I love him very much it's just the crying that gets me down and the anxiety over whether he's ok and never having time to finish anything or go anywhere. And not having time for DH upsets me. Surely these feelings are normal though and will get better soon?

They sound completely normal to me to be honest. And it will get better soon. Never having time to go anywhere is a little more concerning though. A lot depends on what is on near you, the weather and whether or not you slept a jot overnight but while it is damn tough to get out of the house in the morning from a mental health perspective it is definitely worth it to get out of the house at least 3 mornings a week, or have people come to you for another baby massage session [but that takes organisation and time to tidy up the living room grin ]. Even if it is to do some power walking with a pram in the park followed by lashings of hot chocolate

HV suggested visiting GP but I don't want to go on antidepressants
Lovely as they sound, they could be just covering their arse, or suggesting that if you have an established relationship with a GP already that you may talk more openly to them [as their patient, so not all about your child]

Does it do any harm to see your GP for a check up? To discuss key indicators or triggers for clinical depression and agree when you should return if there are any signs? Is it better to be cautious about it than to feel judged and slightly defensive and put yourself at risk of a relapse?

BluePancakes Tue 15-Dec-15 12:26:10

You're not alone thinking this. I was depressed as a teenager; after I had DD1 I found it really hard, but it was totally different to how I felt when I was depressed as a teenager. Luckily I had a lovely HV who was happy to listen to me when I needed it, supported me, and I went to as many groups as I could (I couldn't hack it in the house on my own). It is only since I am far away from the baby stage (DD1 is now 8yo) that I can admit, yes I had PND. I didn't recognise it at the time because it didn't feel like what I thought depression was, however not only does depression manifest itself differently in different people, it can be different for the individual at different times. I am very thankful for the HV I had at the time.

Dogsmom Tue 15-Dec-15 12:32:13

Unless you've had a baby with colic you can't imagine how bloody hard it is, dd2 had it and I hated every minute of her early months, the lack of sleep, noise and frustration is enough to make anyone fragile, it doesn't mean you have pnd though.

I had it with my first and although the colic with my 2nd make me feel like crap it was totally different.

I'm sure you've heard it many times but it really does get better and you have wonderful times to come, all this will soon be a distant memory.

I'm not one for talking things through face to face and wouldn't have enjoyed being in a group specially for women with similar struggles but I did join a colic support group on Facebook that helped, it was helpful to see so many posts showing the progression from being truly awful to getting better to being free from it.

LibrariesgaveusP0wer Tue 15-Dec-15 12:32:51

"Hiding" that you are struggling is not going to help though.

Your HV has identified that you need help and offered it politely and supportively.

I'd say that that is a win all round. You have nothing to be ashamed of, and I'd say in a few years you'll probably feel glad that your trying to mask a problem was picked up before it got worse. smile

ricketytickety Tue 15-Dec-15 12:39:48

Those groups are for all mums - I've been to a few and I'm a second time mum! It's probably more that being a bit low is more common than you think.

The way I get through is to go to all the local baby groups. There is one every day somewhere - churches, the library, community centre. When there isn't i go to soft play centres. There are regulars you get to know and before you know it you get to 11-12.

Then I pop to the shop and do a bit of food shop each day. All by foot too for the excercise. I have a nice waterproof coat and the buggy always stays dry. I find a quiet corner at the baby clubs for feeding. We come home for a nap/play after all that.

I try not to do anything whilst baby is awake at home as it is imppossible and stressful. Only do housework when they're kipping or with dad later on.

For colic...try infacol. They do grow out of it. For really bad times we put baby in bouncy chair as the angle stops reflux. I rock him sitting upright too. It's stressful but it will pass. Just go with it. It usually happens in the eve when they're digestion slows. The massage is supposed to help too, but try it before the colic starts (6ish maybe).

FretYeNot Tue 15-Dec-15 12:40:49

There's no shame in struggling with a colicky baby. Babies are bloody hard work. It's no reflection on you that she's picked up that you're feeling fragile, take all the help you can get. If you've had depression in the past, then being proactive with things now may pay off later. It will get better, just hang in there smile

Counttheshadows Tue 15-Dec-15 12:44:42

Don't feel embarrassed. There's no shame in struggling and there's no shame in accepting some support.

I'm struggling myself a little at the moment, so my HV is coming every fortnight. I find it helpful as it's great just to offload and ask any questions I've got and to get a bit of reassurance that I'm actually doing ok. You can refuse to see your HV if you want to, but I'd suggest you take any support that's offered smile Have you considered maybe going to your GP to chat about how you feel, as a first step? flowers

mouldycheesefan Tue 15-Dec-15 12:56:12

Your hv sounds supportive. You are struggling eg crying when baby is crying and you have a history of depression. Take the help available babies are hard work there is no shame in admitting it!

MySordidCakeSecret Tue 15-Dec-15 12:59:54

there's nothing to be ashamed about if you're struggling, it's tough, all mums know that. For some though like me with DS2 you need an extra bit of help, and if you think you may have pnd i can't advise strongly enough to see the gp. They won't be surprised, they won't judge you because it's everyday stuff to them but the medication for me made the world of difference.

Hang in there op, and don't be embarassed or afraid to ask for help flowers

Dontunderstand01 Tue 15-Dec-15 13:02:20

I know it seems hard to get out and about with a baby but the more you do it the easier it becomes. So many other people have been there and know what it's like. If you go out snd your little one starts screaming there will be a dozen sympathetic looks to go against any churlish types looking your way.

Lots of people love to coo over babies too it gives you a s uprising feeling of pride . I have plodded along eith my pram before wondering how the heck I am going to get through the day... that feeling goes a way a little when someone says 'oh isn't your little boy lovely'.

Be kind to yourself op. It is very hard.

ColdWhiteWinePlease Tue 15-Dec-15 13:02:58

These feelings are very normal. I've never had depression or PND, but I felt just like you when my DS was that age. It's such hard work! It's 24/7 and bloody exhausting. The mother and baby group sounds really good.

Doublebubblebubble Tue 15-Dec-15 13:05:15

I am struggling a bit but thought I was hiding it really well.

Definitely don't be embarrassed. First time round it really is THE most overwhelming thing in the world this motherhood thing. Its a good thing that your hv has "caught" this for want of a better word. She certainly sounds great. You are definitely not alone. flowers x

Pythonesque Tue 15-Dec-15 13:07:54

You might be at higher risk than average because of your history alone - so actually putting in support in low-key, useful ways like the massage group can be viewed as a preventative measure. Easier to ensure you have enough support to keep going than to pick you up if things slide downwards.

Take care and remember that this is a common or even normal situation - but still hard to deal with! In the past it was normal to have a lot more community support with small children than many of us have nowadays.

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