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Coming out the other end of PND and feel devastated about what I have 'missed'

(21 Posts)
BotBotticelli Tue 16-Jul-13 14:13:23

DS1 is now 7-and-a-half months old, and thanks to some really good CBT counselling, I am starting to feel like I am coming out of the other side of this horrible illness.

However, now I am feeling less anxious, less bleak, and am starting to enjoy my DS more, I keep having these horrible moments like vertigo where I look back on the early months of his life, the first 4 months in particular, and feel abolsutely devastated that I I didn't enjoy a single minute of it sad

I HATED the newborn stage. Does that make me a terrible person? I am never going to get those months/weeks back again. I want to stamp my feet like a child and shout at the top of my voice ITS NOT FUCKING FAIR!!! why did this have to happen to me?? Why couldn't I just find it easy? Or at least find it hard like most people but not to the extent where I lost myself for a few months sad

Not helped by my best friend just having her baby a couple of weeks ago, who seems to be a really settled happy little baby who's taken to breast feeding really well and is to all intents and purposes, a delight (compare and contrast with my colicky, breast-feeding fail DS, who spent the first 4 months of his life mostly screaming his head off).

Anyway, I don't know why I am writing this post, or what I am looking for....reassurance that it's normal to feel like this? Reassurance that it won't definitely happen again if we ever have another child? Just empathy from someone else who has felt like this?

Just wish I could put the clock back and go and have a word with my 40-week-pregnant self and tell me that the sleep deprivation would get better, the colic would get better, the bottle feeding wouldn't really make a massive difference to his development so stop stressing about it etc etc.

peggotty Tue 16-Jul-13 14:18:54

I totally understand. I can't really remember much of ds' first year, except the fact I was miserable and resented him. He's 5 now and I can tell you that those feelings are completely normal and they will fade. I still get pangs of guilt but then I have to tell myself I was actually ill It's not a case of being able to go back and have a word with yourself because you had an illness that you had no control over developing. Be kind to yourself about this, you owe or to yourself to do that as you wouldn't beat yourself up about getting a physical illness (I hope!). Just focus in your present and the lovely future you have with your ds smile.

aliceinapalace Tue 16-Jul-13 14:23:48

I understand absolutely how you feel. I felt exactly the same, like I squandered the first few months of dd life in the fog of pnd and it was only at about 8 months that I really felt I loved her in the way everyone else did. I am just coming to terms with the loss of those first few months of her life. U must remember it is NOT your fault, you have done the best thing by getting support, and you have all the years ahead to enjoy

mylove81 Tue 16-Jul-13 16:03:35

Completely understand your feelings and thoughts here, my DD is nearing 14 months and I have only really started to enjoy my time with her in the last 6 months or so.
I still sometimes get in a panic if I have to be alone for any length of time with her (partner can be away from 6 in the morning till 10 at might some days!!)
I get upset when I think of all the time I lost out on with the big black cloud of PND hanging over me, when family members ask if you remember when she did this or that and I honestly don't I only remember the colicky screaming for hours on end and the resentment I felt towards her in the beginning and also the resentment I felt towards my partner, and then the guilt takes over again!

I now take each day as it comes to me, sometimes I struggle however I now have the courage to ask for help and let my close family know how I am feeling in order to get that extra bit of help should I need it.

Dont know if this helps or not, however you are not alone, and we can beat this!! xx

Liquidambar Wed 17-Jul-13 20:27:03

I can also relate to your post and I'm glad you have written it. The first months were so difficult. Very often I feel so guilty and sad that I did not enjoy my time with Ds.
I still remember being in tears and saying to the HV: "I thought I would love him more. I want to to love him".
CBT has helped a lot and I feel I have made a big progress.

My best friend also had a baby 8 months ago and he is the super easiest baby you can imagine. I can't stop thinking: why wasn't my baby like that? why was it so bloody difficult?

Ds is now three and a half years and I am completely in love with him. I have learned what is unconditional love despite a difficult beginning.


AndMiffyWentToSleep Wed 17-Jul-13 20:30:28

I didn't have PND but I think the best bit started at around 10 months. They seem to do a new 'thing' every day around then. Before that it was just HARD.
So you're in time for the more fun bit!

StrawberryMojito Wed 17-Jul-13 20:38:53

Hi, I didn't have PND but I just wanted to say that I hated the newborn stage too, really hated it. My DS wouldn't be put down, screamed most of the day and woke every hour. I was so jealous of my friends with easier babies.

I am so thankful we are past that stage (although he is still a very 'wilful' toddler). I'm not sure what my point is really, other than enjoy what you have now, you may have found the newborn stage difficult anyway (like me). Please do not think I am trying to minimise what you went through, I bet it was awful, I just don't think you should 'romanticise' what is a tough time for many women. You've done brilliantly to come out of the other side, celebrate that.

BotBotticelli Thu 18-Jul-13 08:55:06

Thank you so much ladies. I guess you're right strawberry and Miffy - maybe I would have hated the newborn stage anyway, even if I hadn't developed's not much fun with a dificult unsettled baby.

I have also been told by a couple of friends that things start to get really delighful at about 10 months so I am kinda looking forward to that! Although that's just in time for me to go back to work when he turns one sad

cari1979 Mon 22-Jul-13 16:04:54

Im so glad o found this thread. I've just started CBT to help me with my pnd. I've been very open about it and feel like talking and accepting that i have pnd and trying my best not to let it grab hold of me. Im currently thinking why is my 4 week old so boring, why don't i know what each cry means, i should be doing this that or the other, when really i just need to focus on DS. Its hard when my thoughts are clouded by negative thoughts like 'why did i have him' 'i can't cope' 'why am o not a natural at this'. Then i have moments of clarity and Im positive for a few hours and wonder why Im not enjoying this stage more and I'll regret it later if i don't. Its good to know Im not the only one. Sorry if this is a bit of a rambled post. X

DumSpiroSpero Mon 22-Jul-13 16:27:33

I could have written your post myself.

I had a crappy pregnancy, induced lab our and EMCS, followed by a jaundiced, colicky, breast refusing, non sleeping banshee for four months and ended up with horrendous PND.

My little banshee is nearly 9 now and she's fab smile ! I do still look back and wish I could have enjoyed/had happier memories of those few months but...

...the longer you go on, the more special memories you will make with your son, and gradually the pain & regret will fade. It's completely understandable that it's raw at the moment as it's still early days and your friend's baby seems to have settled effortlessly, but she will have her downs just as you will have your ups!

Stripedmum Thu 08-Aug-13 09:22:42

Absolutely understand. For mr I'm coming out if it two and a half years on with a DD in tow as well as original DS that sparked it all of!!!!

Like Rafiki says from the Lion King - yes the past does hurt but we learn from it and move on smile

I absolutely get you though.

I have read hundreds of stories from women who are 20 years on and STILL suffering so I suppose at least we're not in that awful situation.

Love to you.

Stripedmum Thu 08-Aug-13 09:23:46

And a big well done for the work you've put in to get to this point. It will stand you in good stead.

Caster8 Thu 08-Aug-13 09:29:27

I didnt have this. But what I would say, op is think about now, and enjoy today. Dont even start thinking about when he is 10 months or 1 year.
Try to be grateful and happy and enjoy literally today with him.

MonstersDontCry Thu 08-Aug-13 09:39:43

Firstly, well done on getting help and getting to this point! Really glad the CBT has worked for you.

I had PND when my DD was born. I felt like I hated her. I didn't enjoy any minute of the first 6 months of her life. At least. I kept thinking I'd made a massive mistake in having her and at one point I even remember thinking I wish I could have had her adopted!

I had DS a few weeks ago and bonded with him straight away and I can't explain the guilt I felt about not feeling like this with DD. I can't think about her first few weeks of life without crying. Even just typing this is making me well up. sad

But thing is, you have nothing to feel guilty about. You cared and looked after your baby and that is all that matters. You have So many more months/years to enjoy your baby. The newborn/baby stage is hard, especially when it's your first, but it passes quickly and I am finding the toddler stage so much easier and enjoyable. It sounds like it will be the same for you too. smile

Stripedmum Thu 08-Aug-13 09:52:34

I agree! Baby bit is boring anyway smile

I'm the same as above poster in that my relationship with DD has been 'easy' from the get go. I have just had a two month wobble (she's four months now) but I'm coming out of that now.

So enjoy toddler stage - hard but hilarious and when you're ready go for DC2! And get the enjoyment from the baby stage you missed out on.

My DH would KILL me if he knew but I'm planning to get myself properly right over the next few years and have a DC3...yippee!!!

Dulra Tue 17-Sep-13 11:18:10

Yes like the others said your feelings are completely normal but I think mums who had pnd cope better with other stages of kids because we had it so so hard at the beginning that nothing is ever as hard again. I had pnd on all 3 of mine, very bad on my second child and I am always envious of people who seem to love the newborn stage and really enjoy every second of it because it was hell on earth for me. Like you it was the first 4 months that I found the hardest but you just have to remember that you weren't well but you got through it your child got through it and you are stronger and a better mum as a result. Plus I think there are very few people whether they had pnd or not who truly enjoy the newborn stage.
I rememebr my mum said something very true to me when i was upset because pnd was returning after my 3rd baby and I was upset because I could see all the other mums coping so well and I as I saw it on my 3rd baby was a disaster. She said that I was stronger because I was not only coping with a new baby but I was also coping with a mental illness as well and she was right we are all stronger and missing out on a few months of our babies life is nothing when you look at the years of happiness we will have with them.

CostaLady Tue 17-Sep-13 12:10:37

I know completely what you mean! I feel completely cheated out of those first few months. The only thing I enjoyed was when he fell asleep in my arms and I could look at his peaceful face. Three years on and I mainly love it now.

One thing really stuck out for me - I put a photo of me and DS on facebook and someone commented 'You look so happy, isn't being a Mum the best thing in the world!' and I just thought no, it's the worst. I woke up every day filled with dread.

Mutley77 Tue 17-Sep-13 12:55:53

I found it very hard in the early months, especially with first. I had (probably I think) undiagnosed PND with DC1, diagnosed very late on PND with DC2 and not sure about DC3 (who is now 3.5 months).

All I can say is that I am not a natural with the newborn stage. I don't find it particularly fulfilling or enjoyable and feel very anxious a lot of the time... However with each subsequent child after DC1 I have tried to appreciate the bits I do like - cuddles and the smiles, nice bits of having a baby and recognise that it is limited and look at my lovely DC1 and DC2 to remind myself what DC3 will be like....

I do always look at those natural mums and feel sad that I didn't enjoy the early days of my baby the way they seem to but to me it is amazing when they develop each little tiny step of independence and probably enjoy that bit more than those who love the baby stage. Walking and talking the 2 big ones for me.

carolinasm Thu 19-Sep-13 04:20:23

I had pnd with my first. It lasted for about four months. To top it of DD was a coliky baby from 6 to 9 she will start screaming EVERY DAY. I can tell you, even if I found tricks that will help me (vaccum cleaner noise) I still dragged and hated those first months. I will look out the window and cry because it was sunny outside and I was stuck in. Will cry for feeling guilty about not being capable of motherhood. It goes away. Those days are foggy, but I´ve made my peace. When DS arrived I thought I´ve seen everything, but he was not coliky, but cried nonstop for three months. Whenever he was awake, he was crying. And he was loud. Really loud. Neighbours nicknamed him Lungs, what can I say. Good thing I didn´t get PND this time. He´s 11 months now and doesn´t cry that much. Neither does his 2.8 year old sister. It will get better, trust me. But I wish more people were aware of PND, so they know they are not alone. You are not alone!

brettgirl2 Thu 19-Sep-13 19:53:27

I had pnd with one not the other. It was better second time, had support right from the start. Saw perinatal counsellor in a couple of weeks, then a month later. I wasn't depressed so got discharged wink .

dd1 is now 4. What's happened has happened, you were unlucky you got pnd which you cannot change or control. You move on, make the best of the present and the future and accept your bad luck. A couple of years later you realise the experience has changed you, into a nicer, more empathetic person.

SheldorAFK Sat 05-Oct-13 06:27:35

I suspect that no one enjoys every min of everyday day with their children, even if they're on the easy side. All you hear from people and the photos they post on facebook etc are the edited highlights....I'm sure even your best friend has moments where she panics and feels like she's made a huge mistake.

Glad you're feeling better OP, I'm seeing doctor on Monday as I've been feeling ver low myself recently.

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