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To hope that it will get better? Bereavement and a newborn

(19 Posts)
Stripesandstars44 Sun 15-Oct-17 21:14:12

NC for anonymity.....

I gave birth to my beautiful DD 8 weeks ago, and whilst I love her dearly and enjoy spending my days with her, being exhausted all the time is having a huge impact on my relationship with DH. Events occurred before the birth that have made life difficult emotionally for us (we lost a very close family member unexpectedly just 2 weeks before DD was born). I can see DH is struggling with the loss, but it’s like he’s shut down emotionally. He won’t talk about what happened, and when I attempt to bring it up he gets very moody and walks away. I’ve suggested counselling but he won’t entertain that idea at all. He just won’t discuss it full stop. I’ve asked him to see the doctor but he won’t.

So, getting back to the exhaustion, obviously having a newborn is tiring and we’re both incredibly irritable, and we’re just snapping at each other all the time. I’m hoping that as DD gets a bit older and settles into a routine I’ll be able to spend a bit more time with DH in the evenings. I’m just tired of feeling disconnected from him, and I know part of that is down to the bereavement and him processing his feelings internally. I also feel like he’s not as connected to the baby as he would’ve been had the events prior to the birth not have happened, and I really don’t want this to have a long term effect on his relationship with DD.

AIBU to hope that it will get better in time? Today has been a rough one, both very tired and had a huge argument over nothing. I’m just trying to hang on in the hope that things will get back to how they were because we really do love each other underneath it all. I just miss him being the fun, loving person he used to be.

TheRealGussieFinkNottle Sun 15-Oct-17 21:16:32

I'm so sorry for your loss OP flowersflowers

RefuseTheLies Sun 15-Oct-17 21:20:40

My adored DM died when my DD was a newborn. It was just awful and my marriage nearly ended because grief plus a newborn is a recipe for disaster.

Our DD is approaching her second birthday and it's only after counselling and anti-depressants that I started to feel like my old self again.

Stripesandstars44 Sun 15-Oct-17 21:23:09

Refuse - I’m struggling myself but it’s DH I’m worried about more. I think anti depressants may be the answer (counselling won’t work because he’s never been much of a talker) but I just can’t convince him to see the GP. I don’t know what to do, and I’m so tired with it all. Every day just feels like a battle.

flumpybear Sun 15-Oct-17 21:24:42

I lost my mum when my DA was 12 weeks old. She lived on the other side of the world so couldn’t see her before she died as I thought DS was too young to fly so far without any immunisation

It was hard, plus I had a 3 year old DD too - my husband was away for two weeks when it happened too so dreadful times, I went to stay with my brother to grieve

It took time, I even fell into a depression and went back to work earlier than normal because I needed to be around people not feel depression of mat leave too (I struggle with maternity leave - feel lonely and not myself)

That was 2012 - it’s taken time but I’m getting better on the inside all the time, having my wonderful children helps - it will get better flowers

flumpybear Sun 15-Oct-17 21:26:50

Oh yes eventually turned to counselling and anti depressants - it did help too - get him to the GP and ore warn them if you like

Aquamarine1029 Sun 15-Oct-17 21:28:21

Antidepressants do NOT fix a person who is grieving. All they do is make you numb and that helps nothing.

Floellabumbags Sun 15-Oct-17 21:31:03

You've got a lot on your plate. Bereavement is bad enough (I lost my Dad last year and I'm nowhere near over it). Having a new baby is a huge test of any relationship, especially your first because you've no idea what to expect.
And you've got these conflicting emotions, which are impossible to balance. Go easy on yourselves and each other. And congratulations on your daughter, I bet she's absolutely beautiful flowers

Bobbiepin Sun 15-Oct-17 21:33:47

I second aquamarine, anti depressants are for people who are depressed, your DH is not depressed, he's grieving and sleep deprived. Do what you can to support him and let him know you are there for him. Encourage him to bond with DD and take a deep breath and count to 10 before replying to anything that pisses you off. People have to work through bereavement at their own pace. I'm so sorry for your loss flowers

ParkheadParadise Sun 15-Oct-17 21:45:26

I lost my dd1 in tragic circumstances, when I was 7mths pregnant with dd2. I also shut down emotionally, it was the only way I could cope. The first 6wks of dd2's life are a blur. DH did most of the caring for her.
I didn't want to talk about it and blocked everything out. Eventually I got bereavement counselling which did help.
It really was a horrible and upsetting time for all of us. Dd2 is nearly 2 now I still have my bad days but I can cope better.
Congratulations on your DD.

Floellabumbags Sun 15-Oct-17 21:48:41

parkhead flowers I admire you enormously for getting through these last couple of years. I hope that things will continue to get easier for you.

Stripesandstars44 Sun 15-Oct-17 22:03:08

Parkhead - I’m so sorry for your loss. I can’t even imagine the pain you’ve been through. flowers

I suppose from my perspective I’ve blocked out what happened to the family member as it’s too much for me to cope with along with having a baby. I sometimes “forget” about the loss, maybe I’m just really good at blocking it out, and then wonder why DH is so quiet or moody (which sometimes starts off an argument). I want to be more aware of his feelings too, as I know he needs just as much support as me, but some days I just can’t cope with it all. I’ve got bereavement counselling arranged to start next week so I’m hoping that will help me begin to process what happened.

therealpippi Sun 15-Oct-17 22:13:24

Dh's dad passed away when ds1 was 1yo. Dh became a different person ovwrnighht and also withdrew completely. Spent entire weekend in the garage washing his car fir example.
I tried my best to understand he needed space etc but it was sooooo hard. Dh never sought counselling and put on a shield.
Unfortunately for us lots of illnesses and bereavents kept befalling on us year after year till the gap got too wide. But it was a lot to do with dh not opening up and staying emotionally frozen. Till he was paralised.

My suggestion would be that whilst you undrestand and support you also need to be firm at times and draw his attention to the present. I was too afraid to do it thinking I was being selfish. It was only when I suffered my own bereavent that I realised that there are different way to get through it.

ParkheadParadise Sun 15-Oct-17 22:38:56

@Floellabumbags Thank you for your kind words.

@Stripesandstars44 I really feel for you. I hope breveament counselling helps you. At first I was convinced it wasn't for me I couldn't open up to the counsellor, but I stuck with it and after a couple of months I started to feel more comfortable with her. Hopefully through time your DH will be able to open up about his feelings although its not easy to do under the circumstances.

Remember to take care of yourself tooflowers

Sugarcoma Sun 15-Oct-17 22:57:16

I’m sorry for your loss OP.

If you can afford it perhaps you could hire a maternity/night nurse, even just for 1 or 2 weeks?

It will help you both sleep a bit which might alleviate things.

The snapping at each other is totally normal but try not to let it become a habit - that’s what’ll kill a marriage.

Sugarcoma Sun 15-Oct-17 22:58:38

Sorry, I just realized the last line of my post is a bit abrupt. To explain, constant snapping at each other was what did in my parents’ marriage which is why it’s an issue I’m so concerned by.

WeAllHaveWings Sun 15-Oct-17 23:08:50

Dh lost his mum in February in difficult circumstances and it took months for him just to function normally. 10 weeks into losing someone close is still very early to be thinking about pushing him towards counselling as if he needs fixed. He needs time to grieve. I never forced dh to talk about his grief because he wouldn’t have been able to verbalise it to me, or ask him how he was feeling because there isn’t really an answer to that one, but I did make an effort to make day to day references to his mum now and again which he said did help.

Italiangreyhound Mon 16-Oct-17 00:31:51

OP I am so sorry for this. I lost my dad when pregnant with dd. Your dh needs some bereavement counselling or something to help him. I am sorry you are both going through this.

I hope your dh will come to his sense and realise that no matter how sad he is about the loss, this is his baby, her new life, and his wife, he needs to get it together and process the grief while also supporting you and bonding with the baby.

Good luck thanks

Stripesandstars44 Mon 16-Oct-17 00:49:35

WeAllHaveWings - my DH is exactly the same, there are no words to describe how he is feeling so I don’t ask him anymore as he finds it difficult to speak about. I’m glad you said that your DH found it helpful that you mentioned his DM in conversation as I’ve been doing this in the hope that it will help my DH. He did say the other day that he’s glad I’ve got such a good memory for the small things as there’s things his mum has said or done that he’s forgotten about that I reminded him of. Maybe I’ll continue down that route and hope that he can speak more openly in time.

It’s just so hard to deal with my own grief and a newborn baby whilst also worrying about DH. What was supposed to be the happiest time of our lives has turned into the worst.

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