PND or normal stress?(5 Posts)
My DS is 12 weeks old now and very demanding - he cries often when awake and only sleeps when held. He had a very difficult birth and we were both in hospital for 9 days afterwards. He was born by emergency section and by the time he was born I was really unwell and didn't feel the rush of love I'd been expecting.
12 weeks later I still haven't. He's a gorgeous baby and I am determined to look after him and show him all the affection I can but the frequent crying causes me to be extremely anxious and even when he's smiling I'm dreading the next crying spell, which is never far away. There's nothing I like about being a mum: I'm exhausted and stressed and I'm finding it very hard to like him, which makes me feel incredibly guilty.
I did the health visitor's questionnaire and she said I'm not depressed: I enjoy myself when I get a little time away from him, and I have absolutely no intention of hurting myself or anyone else. I'd just like to go back a year and not get pregnant. He was planned, I just had no idea it would be like this!
I want to bond with him and feel that warm love, rather than feeling my life as I knew it is over. Most days I struggle even to shower and eat as he cries when put down. Is my reaction suggestive of pnd or just a rational response to parenting a "difficult" baby? When will I get to like him and stop dreading being left at home alone with him? I try to get to baby groups most days as I find it easier when we're among other mums and babies but a trip to eg the supermarket is out if the question as I'm sure he'd cry. I feel resentful towards my lovely friends who have easy babies who entertain themselves, sleep, and rarely cry. My husband is fantastically supportive and basically cooks all the meals when he's home as it's impossible to shop or cook while in charge of the baby.
Is my unhappiness just because thus is a difficult stage? Will it end? I really want to fall in love with my baby before he's old enough to realise I'm having a hard time...
The birth was traumatic and tbh those first few days and weeks can be overwhelming for most people, regardless of how the birth goes and what support they have, so unfortunately the bliss we hear about and that rush of love we come to expect doesn't always happen.
It's great your husband is being supportive and pitching in. In the early days I was advised the baby can probably smell your milk, hence getting agitated with me, whereas with my husband he didn't smell of it so our baby was calm with him as he wasn't thinking about his next feed.
The fact your baby is crying (and believe me the rest do, you just aren't with them when they let rip) doesn't make him difficult, demanding or extra needy. It grates on you like no-one else because your baby`s cry is pitched to go right through you, so that you can't ignore him. But if you put him down to have a shower and he yells, he won't explode. If you are out shopping and he starts up, don't be embarrassed, people around you either tune it out or know it's what babies do. There's often someone who pipes up helpfully, "He's wanting his bottle" but just smile and press on.
Over time you can distinguish between him announcing through cries I'm hungry, I'm wet, I'm tired and I'm a bit cheesed off and letting everyone know about it. It seems unreasonable when you go through a checklist but no, they're wailing. Until the next unstressed person walks in and say hey what's all the noise about? and they magically clam up.
In the good times take a snap just to remind yourself at other times how quiet he can be, how relaxed things can get.
I know women who have matter of factly said, "Well, of course I want what's best for her/him, and feel protective, but I don't really like I know her/him yet", and that can easily last up to six months or over a year.
I am glad you are getting out and about and it's a help to mix with other new parents. Keep watching for what their babies like, how do they hold them, do they rock or put them in a different position?
Very good advice and lovely post Donkey. OP it is just so hard. Having babies is not for the faint of heart. I think you are just in the thick of a super rough phase. I've had 3 difficult, sleepless kids...totally easy births. But to combine a 'difficult' baby with a difficult birth and extended stay in the hospital would make any new mothers spirits plummet. I had PND with my 2nd and it was just exacerbated by total burnout and exhaustion early on in the game. So keep an eye on yourself. I found with my third that buying a nest type bed to cart around the house really saved my life! It could be that my 3rd was easier in many ways than my other two but I bought a Sleepyhead snooze pod and for me, it was the best investment ever. It was tgevothe one place my DC3 would happily sleep.
Also teething pain can kick in between 3-4 months and this is rough! No one talks about it, but this can definitely contribute to your baby's unhappiness. I also think it takes a good 12-16 weeks for the tummy to really get accustomed to digesting comfortably. Those first three months are so tough.
I always see the silver lining at 4 months. My DC3 is 7 months and still wakes in the night but has grown into an incredibly easy baby.
I know you're in that burnout place but lots of touch and closeness makes a real difference. Do you have a sling? I've had to sling my kids around the house from birth.
I think you're about to become a fellow online grocery queen. Welcome to the he club. I never see the interior of a super market! It's all online shopping for me.
Hugs and sympathy... happier days WILL come.
Thank you all. I think I'm just taking it hard today because I was holding out for 12 weeks like it was some magic target and things would be different overnight! I'm still flailing around trying to figure out if he has reflux or an intolerance or some physical reason for all the crying: my health visitor seems to think I'm just being a first time mum but I don't quite believe her that crying all the time is normal. She keeps introducing me to other mums who had a crying baby who tell me it got better but we're right at the point where most people say it does and if anything he's worse in the last couple of days.
I wonder if he's coming down with something: he seems generally out of sorts. I've just never done this before! Do I take him to the gp if he's out of sorts or give it a few days and see if it turns into a cold or something? There's no specific symptom beyond crying more than usual.
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