I really hated my baby.(8 Posts)
I felt as though I had to write this, even though it’s shameful and a part of my life that I would rather forget, in case anyone else feels the same now or in the future. I know that when I had these feelings I looked online for anyone who had felt exactly like me, without success, so it is only right that I put something out there.
My baby was born after a fairly quick but traumatic labour. As a result of circumstances I didn't get to hold him for about an hour and when I did I waited for the magic moment when I would get the huge rush of love that everyone talks about. Nothing. Or rather I recognised that I must love him, somewhere, deep down, eventually. But I didn't love him in that moment. And it got worse when I took him home (after three long days in hospital and a traumatic start to breastfeeding). I actively hated him. People came to see us and I smiled along but inside I thought ‘I can’t believe they don’t know that I hate him’. I resented him just being there (I would look at him and think ‘urgh, you’re still here’). I wouldn't take him out on the balcony of our flat because my instinct was to throw him off (and I wasn't worried about what would happen to him if I did, but what would happen to me). I did tell my mum and best friend some of what I felt, that I would like to put him on ebay, give him away to anyone or simply leave him out for someone to find.
I was very aware of what was going on in my head. I checked the symptoms of postnatal depression on a daily basis but it just didn't seem to fit; I was perfectly happy, engaged with life and my relationships with others and full of energy. Everything was fine (apart from the fact I hated my baby, of course). I was also aware of postnatal psychosis, but that didn't fit either. I felt like a horrible person, the worst person ever. Who hates their baby? It is the opposite of everything that you are told about motherhood.
For the first couple of months I was an awful mother. I didn’t neglect him and I played with him, but my heart wasn’t in it. I was irrational, telling my partner that my son wasn’t smiling at me because he wanted to spite me. I remember going to the health visitor and she held my son and when she gave him back to me he started crying hysterically. “He doesn’t like you, you must be so tense!” she said. I walked home feeling like the worst person who ever lived.
Anyway the whole point of this was to say that, if you feel like this, it does get better. I love my son so much now, my heart bursts just thinking about him. It is hard to believe that I ever had such negative feelings, I don’t know where they came from and they took me by surprise. But eventually, inevitably, the love of a mother wins out every time.
Thanks op, really honest and potentially very helpful. Glad to hear everything worked out in the end.
Did you see a doctor about your feelings at any point?
Just wanted to say that a lot of what you have said is similar to my experiences with my first child. I had a very quick and painful labour, which was very traumatic and nothing like I had been preparing for. I held my daughter and like you did not have that rush of love.
In the first few weeks I would sit there with her in her moses basket and just cry - thinking of ways I could give her up for adoption, but crying as I would have no way of explaining it to family. It got so bad that at one point I considered the practicalities of giving her up for adoption and telling family she had died! It was awful. I would play with her, feed her and change her - but I had no engagement with her. She used to want to be held all the time, and I resented this, feeling that she was a difficult baby who was manipulative. It was only by around 9 months that I started to properly bond with her and I started to feel a spark of love. She is 4 now and going to school in September and I love her beyond what I ever thought was possible.
We went on to have a second DD who is almost a year old now, and I can't believe how different the experience with her has been. My problem is I now feel so guilty for the early part of DD1's life.
Thank you so much for sharing.
Wow, thank you for sharing your story. My sister had a similar experience which lasted a number of months and I just couldn't understand her. It just shows how much stress pregnancy/birth can affect women. It's sad that you had to go through that, and for the other women going through the same.xx
Oh my gosh thank you so much for sharing. The same happened to me although the labour was a long 40 hour one, I had a c section under general anasthetic because I caught an infection and didn't have the strength to do it awake. It all went wrong my son got an infection and was on neo natal, I lost 2 L of blood and wasn't stable when I woke up I didn't hold my son for hours as it probably wasn't safe.
Breast feeding was traumatic I tried so hard and sat on a pump for hours but nothing came!
First month at home was a nightmare, I really didn't like my baby and then hated myself for activly disliking my son. Everyone else could soothe him, everyone else could wind him, not me, I could do nothing. I would just hand him to the midwife or health visitor when they came round and at one point hid in my bathroom. I always cared for my baby but the bond was not there.
My health visitor got me some very intense support, I saw a few psyciatrists and I still see a mental health nurse daily as I am not quite through the otherside. They are actually changing all my meds today to a different anti depressent and anti anxiety tablet as they knock me out and that is obviously dangerous when looking after a newborn (my sons 2 months now). I came to stay with my Mum as my parnter works but I am going back home Sunday and I am so scared.
Thank you for sharing its helped me a lot as I have a bond with my son now and I can honestly say I love him but I still hate myself for being an awful Mum even though my son is fine and healthy I just don't feel any good.
How do you get through the otherside? It just seems so far away.
I experienced severe post natal depression with the birth of my daughter 8 years ago. Since then I have had a little boy who is now 3 and I managed to avoid the PND with him through a combination of support, monitoring, medication and being able to make choices regarding my labour. I am now embarking on writing a play about the subject of PND - partly based on my own experience but I also want to use interviews and the experiences of others to shape the narrative. My main aim in the piece is to raise awareness of PND, and allow women to see that this is an illness and that they can recover. I will never be the same person I was before I had it and I actually think this is a good thing as having this condition opened my eyes, my tolerance towards others and made me aware that mental illness can effect us all, at any time. I remain on medication and to be honest will continue on this for the rest of my life, in the same way I would if I had high blood pressure or any other medical condition.
I have read some of the comments on here and am looking for women (and their families) to share their stories. If this is something that you would be interested in then please let me know. All information will be treated sensitively and names can be changed if you would prefer. Thanks and love to you all - I promise you that it does get easier and you are not alone.
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I feel like u did, I haven't actually had any help yet from GP but its in hand,, if you don't mind me asking how long did it take you to actually love your baby? Because I mean this, I actually do hate my dd and I feel like I don't want to love her if that makes sense, I feel evil but I have kinda got to that stage where I don't care about her or myself i only care about my sons,,, thank you very much for your post makes me feel like I'm not the only one Xx
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