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When is it Post Natal Depression?

(4 Posts)
Mumtonone Wed 17-Jun-15 21:41:11

Mum now to a 15 month old boy. Full of mischief and pretty much demanding attention 24/7.

I have never really identified as a maternal type. No driving urge to have kids, but a husband who was desperate to be a Dad and it was clear he was going to be a great one.

I figured my biological clock would kick in at some point, but it never did. I fell pregnant quickly, after agreeing with husband to come off contraception and 'see what happens'

Pregnancy had a few ups and downs. Morning sickness and a mother with a deteriorating health condition. Little support, husband was dealing with heavy work pressure, so even he didn't seem overly excited by the prospect of the new addition. I think I needed some of that to rub off on me, but it didn't happen.

Due to my own health concerns I had a elective c-section. Everything went smoothly and our son arrived. There was no rush of emotion that I hear everyone talk about though.

I put this down to having to adjust and with time it would come. But over a year on, I still feel detached from being a Mum.

I do my very best. I juggle work and baby and with the help of a very hands on Dad, home life too. I'm very fortunate in many ways.

But I do have days where I struggle. And on those days, I would really like to contrast the downs with the joys of being a Mum. But I don't think I feel them. I still don't get that rush of love seeing my son or thinking about him. I have what feels like a very logical reaction, rather than emotional.

My friend has just had a baby, and is constantly telling me about her undying love for her new child. I can't relate to this. I feel jealous that she feels this way and I don't. I wonder what's wrong with me.

I keep telling myself these feelings will come with time. But 15 months in, I'm wondering whether it will.

Any one had experience of this?

Brightonmumtoatoddler Thu 18-Jun-15 08:34:43

Hello, just thought I'd offer a bit of a hand hold as I felt for you and had a few thoughts as I read your post.
I'm sorry you are feeling the way you do, it sounds really hard. I'm not in the same position as you as I very much desired my child and am quite enjoying the mum experience.
However I do know that what you are feeling isn't unusual as not everyone is cut out for the baby/toddler years. I suspect what you are feeling isn't actually postnatal depression as such. This is because you signed up for a massive lifetime project/commitment because someone else wanted it, not you. This would naturally produce very tricky consequences for you as your heart really wasn't in it in the first place, let alone now. Therefore I'm not sure how AD's would help as it wouldn't change your situation or your feelings towards it.
My thoughts are that obviously you can't change the fact you are a mum now but make sure you keep up your own interests, hobbies and friendships so you don't lose your sense of self. Make your partner have your son as much as possible and you go off and do your thing so you can return refreshed and yourself again. You might find you start to miss your son, and a bond may start to form.
As I said at the beginning toddlers and babies aren't for everyone and you may find you enjoy him more when he's a bit older and you can have proper conversations with him and he's more independent. That's also common. Toddlers are annoying, demanding and fussy little punks, it's a wonder any child makes it past the age of three without being left at a door stop!
Do you go to many groups at all? I have found a group of mum friends who I can have 'real' conversations with who don't all pretend it's great. This really helps too.
Let us know how you get on xxx

Brightonmumtoatoddler Thu 18-Jun-15 09:00:29

Ps: Bus stop. Not door stop. Door step also works. You get the idea.

LHReturns Fri 19-Jun-15 08:50:00

Mumtonone, you describe the experience I had way more perfectly than I ever could. That flat, sort of 'so this is it?' feeling sums up my mental state about motherhood (at best!) or the first 7 or 8 months of my son's life. In the other current thread called 'Shattered expectations' I outline a bit more of my experience, you may have read it already. When I had PND I obsessively read these threads.

When I stopped breastfeeding when my little boy was 3 months I turned into a complete mess. I spent the subsequent 4 months trying and failing to get into a proper SSRI, applying estrogen gel in case it was a hormone imbalance, counselling, CBT etc etc etc. I can honestly say at that stage I felt having a baby had certainly ruined my fabulous happy life. I was not connected to him in any more than a duty bound way, and cried constantly. No one understood me, I was desperately alone.

Finally I took the reins, spent 2 weeks (trembling on the sofa due to side effects) getting properly onto an anti- depressant (escitalopram for me), and as I mention in other thread, 6 weeks later I felt much better, and after a further few weeks felt pretty much cured. So he was more than 9 months old when I got better and there is not doubt that without the ADs I would still be in the flat, even regretful stage that I think you are describing. Without them the bond and devotion to my son would not have arrived (it happened slowly for me, and only when I was well). Also like Brightonmum says, I am definitely not excited by newborn babies, but love little characters.

My concern for you OP is that your little man is now 15 months. You have not had any all consuming joy in a long time, and you deserve it. The feelings of detachment could be so habituated now, I wonder if you would be able to drag yourself out of it? What you are feeling is absolutely common, but it is not normal, and you are very aware if this.

None of my business but have you considered some medication to give you the kickstart that you so very much deserve? It takes a few weeks but my god am I happy I did it for me.

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