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or am i depressed?

(15 Posts)
gokwancarr Fri 17-Oct-08 09:40:13

I honestly don't know if i am reacting normally to a crappy life situation, or reacting crappily to a normal life situation.
i need objective views. i've only got itme to write this out quickly, then log off but will check again tomorrow.
Since dc was born 5 months ago, lots of v stressful things have happened to me n my partner involving severe family illness on both sides of family. DC is BF but refuses bottle, and is voracious feeder so never get more than 3 hrs between feeds in day. DC is good sleeper at night but i have had huge probs sleeping due to other stresses. this has resulted in massive sleep deficit which makes me feel physically ill most days. Dp runs his own business and is up at 6am nearly every day, and sees very little of dc, maybe half an hour a day 5/6 days a week, until his days off which we spend visiting family/doing chores (i can't drive which is really limiting my freedom and means i rely on him to do lots of things like visiting folk, shopping etc - i am having lessons again to try and rectify this.
I'm starting to feel really resentful towards him as i feel ike he is prioritising work over my needs for support at home. i have tried to discus this with him many many times, and i feel guilty because he is a lovley man and he is over worked and tired himself. I'm sure this situation is shared by millions of us....i just feel so unhappy sometimes and i've lost perspective of wheher this is normal part of new motherhood and extreme tiredness and stress which will pass as our situation improves, or whether it sounds like I'm depressed, or whether my DP is being unreasonable by not mking more time to help me out. it's very difficult to discuss this with him as he insists he only works 4 days a week -this is bollocks. he may be out of the house 4 days a week, but two of the days he is at home are spent holed up on the computer or onthe phone for hours and hours. i fel angry towards him because in the early days i was coping ok, but then he had 3 weeks without one single day off and that's when i started to get really exhausted. but then so is he! I don't know what to do.

Lauriefairycake Fri 17-Oct-08 09:47:33

You both sound like you're really struggling, you with no sleep and him with working his arse off.

potatofactory Fri 17-Oct-08 09:49:43

Yes it sounds grim. Lack of sleep ruins everything. Def crappy situation - normal, but not necessarily fair (as you realise) to start resenting DP.

Tortington Fri 17-Oct-08 09:51:25

yeah crappy life situation - its hard.

your dh is workin hard to support you but you need to delegate a certain area of baby to him - the nappy changes and nighly feeds on his days at home

zazen Fri 17-Oct-08 09:53:44

No, I don't think you're depressed. I think you're exhausted, and by the sounds of it your DP is exhausted also.

I was in a similar situation with my DD as DH and I have a business, but cos of horror crash section I couldn't do anything in business for about 12 months - had financial support for 6 months only (Ireland maternity benefit is crap)

Anyway, my DH got so stressed about being financially secure he worked morning till night, and even at weekends, leaving me with very hungry and badly sleeping DD, all the time - have no family nearby except elderly mum who needs me to do things for her.

I couldn't sleep as I was so exhausted and wound up!

I wish I had gone to the GP and explained how anxious and wound up I was, and asked for something, as it was, I just thought of those PND checklists and didn't feel depressed.
I now know that I had anxiety and PTSD from the birth, and there are drugs and counseling that you can do for that. I wasted a year jumping at shadows and in an exhausted fuzz.

So to answer the question are you depressed?, I think no, but you and your DP are exhausted, and you have anxiety which makes it difficult to relax and rest.

It all gets better btw when the babe starts taking solids - really things get better. It's difficult to see the woods for the trees in the early days.

Can you arrange anyone to take smallie off your hands once a week for two hours - anything? Just to take him/her out of the house so you get some time for yourself? To have a bath, a cry a scream! maybe even a lie down?

Best of luck with it. The exhaustion and anxiety is one of the major reasons why we've only had one. Our DD is 4 now and I've sort of relaxed!!!!

bloodsuckingbongo Fri 17-Oct-08 10:04:00

I had a similar situation as when dd1 was born we lived miles from anyone and had no support from anyone. It is exhausting and it helped me to realise that I was not the only one who was feeling like this. I think the first six months are the hardest from then on it starts to get easier. Honestly.

My DH was similar to yours. I think when men start families they feel under a new pressure (if they are the ones earning) to provide for their expanding family and initially panic can set in. Leading them to work all the hours they can to support you and the dcs.

I found I had to talk to dh and explain that I was still me and not only a new Mum. I still needed to do some of the things that I did pre-child to remind myself that "I" was still there (underneath the milk smears and constant nappy smell). I used to go and get my hair cut - take the dog for a walk - meet up with mates from work, anything just to have a break for an hour or two. I know its tricky but I found it essential.

I dont think you are depressed, I think both you and your husband are just coming to terms with the new addition to your family and are both exhausted. I hope this somewhat rambling post helps.

nowtygaffer Fri 17-Oct-08 10:08:30

Hang in there!! It does get easier after a while. When my DD was born we had massive problems with our business and I think my DH went into overdrive. My DH went abroad a lot and I really struggled for about 8 months. My DD is now 8 and we also have a DS of 4. The first few months after my DS was born felt like a complete breeze in comparison!!

sb6699 Fri 17-Oct-08 10:49:25

I think you're both just exhausted atm. As nowtygaffer said - it does get easier.

I can understand you feeling resentful towards dh but try to remember he is probably feeling under stress too trying to make sure you are financially secure so at least he is trying to his bit for the family - at least in his eyes.

Things will get better just try to hang in there - and rope in the family for some babysitting even if it is just so you can get some sleep rather than going out.

Lemontart Fri 17-Oct-08 10:56:56

Agree with everyone else and sympathise xxx
You sound understandably exhausted.
I know you have talked to him about this, but it is the only way through it. Keep talking and talking and sharing and try to support each other through this.

I wonder if it is even worth taking the other tact and starting by telling DH how proud you are that he is working so hard right now and that you recognise he must be exhausted by all the hours. By acknowledging his needs and his situation, it might help him to see it from your point too.

Perhaps you could organise specific points in the week that become family time - like every Sat morning is breakfast in bed morning with newspapers and cuddles, or Sunday mornings become family swim mornings.. Anything that you can share together as a family and have time to relax and have fun. When life gets on top of me and I feel like I am struggling to keep the seams of our family from pulling apart, this is my best tactic. To go back to basics, locate a few points in the week and stick to it.

hellyberry Fri 17-Oct-08 11:01:09

in terms of help from outside, you can refer yourself to homestart, or ask your HV to do it for you. they are volunteers who come and help out eg play with baby, talk to you etc. they aren't allowed to babysit or do chores, per se. i've got one who comes to help me as i've got ds1 3.3 years and ds2 7 mths and have just been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (treatment going well now). dh also has own business and his dad has cancer and needs some help. mine volunteer comes just 2 hours a week (all i need now) at teatime on tuesday, when I am always knackered. she is a real boon, giving me structure to that day, and a safety valve of someone to talk to who doesn't need me to help her back, and who can play with the boys so i can just sit with them a drink a cuppa.

homestart

when my dh works at home, i can't bear it. he is a real help at other times, but can't be asked then, and i feel insane resentment...we were talking about it just last night. it's very hard to know he's there and can't help me, i feel like i'm working so hard and he's having a rest up there, not true, not even a relevant comparison, we're in it together. but it is so hard, especially keeping ds1 away from him. so if dh needs to do work away frm clients, he now tends to go to the british library where the wireless is good and you can call and get coffee. when he can, anyway.

i hoep something gives soon and gives you some much needed rest. xx

hellyberry Fri 17-Oct-08 11:04:38

other practical stuff: go to gp if not already done and check your iron and thyroxine levels. after ds1, my thyroid stopped working and i was wiped out (thought it was just 'having a baby'!). perked up on treatment. make sure these physical things are ok before spending your energy digging around your psyche/social/relationship energies!

VinegARGHHHTits Fri 17-Oct-08 11:13:03

Oh gosh sleep deprivation is so awful isnt it? no wonder they used it a as form of torture! also having baby feed every 3 hours means you get broken sleep which is sometimes worse than no sleep, you sound utterly exhausted, it will get better though you just have to hang in there, if you can express some milk and keep trying baby with a bottle then your dh will be able to take over some of the night feeds, dont give up with trying with the bottle. It doesnt sound like you are depressed, but i am no expert so if you really feel like you might be, go and talk to your gp, who will be able to diagnose if you really are or not, hope things start to get better for you soon.

cantpickyourfamily Fri 17-Oct-08 11:23:21

It is very difficult with a baby that is constantly bf. My dd only took a bottle with juice at 11 months and never drinks milk from a bottle or cup. She is now 15months.

You have got alot to deal with it is difficult being a new mum, and very hard without dp around to help.

It is improtant that you get out even tho you cannot drive, when dd was younger I didn't know where to take her and in winter things got on top of me and I started having panic attacks.

I started taking dd to as many baby groups as I could manage, sometimes it helps to get out and realise other people have similar problems to you.

Look for local surestart play groups.

Also you could try speaking to your doctor who may recommend councilling. I went to a councillor for panic attacks and I know they can help with stress as well.

Good luck and things will get easier my dd was the most clingly colicky baby ever and now she is 15months she has imroved so much... wink

gokwancarr Fri 17-Oct-08 16:16:33

thank you so much for messages of support.....was worrying that i was being a selfish bitch, or was showing signs of PND. you've given me some really good tips. xxxxxxx

sunnygirl1412 Fri 17-Oct-08 17:26:42

This could be depression - disturbed sleep patterns is one of the symptoms. In fact, it's the thing that I have found worst about my latest bout of depression - if you are tired, then everything else is 100times harder to cope with. Depression doesn't just mean feeling sad - it can be an inability to cope, tiredness, feelings of inadequacy/failure - Churchill described it as 'the black dog on my shoulder' - for me, it's a feeling of hauling a huge weight through the day that makes every task insuperable.

It would be worth talking to your hv or dr about this and finding out whether or not you are depressed. If you aren't, that will set your mind at rest and you can explore other ways to get the help you need, and if you are, then there's help available, and the sooner you start, the better.

I do recall going to a seminar on PND, given by a well-known specialist - Kathleen something (I can't remember her surname - sorry), and her theory was that PND was due to low progesterone levels, and that in order for your body to utilise the progesterone in your bloodstream, you had to have a reasonable blood-sugar level, because if it dropped, the progesterone receptors stopped taking progesterone from the blood, and started taking sugar instead - as that was the body's greater need.

What this means in practical terms is that she said you needed to eat something with carbohydrate within 1 hour of getting up, three hourly during the day and then no more than 1 hour before sleep - just small amounts like a rice cake would be enough to keep bloodsugar stable. At the worst, it might help your energy levels.

Have you tried things to relax you at bedtime - warm bath with lavender/chamomile, reducing caffeine during the afternoon and evening, lavender on the pillow, gentle music.

I do wish you well - and things will get better, I'm sure.

Huge hugs
sunnygirl.

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