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Will having dc3 put me back to being suicidal?

(27 Posts)
luckywinner Tue 28-Jun-11 13:57:02

I just found out I am accidently/unplanned pregnant. I already have 2 dc aged 6 and 4. Last year I suffered a monumental breakdown where I became suicidal. After help from my mum and mum-in-law, a psychiatrist and seeing a therapist, I have managed to get myself to a place where I am beginning to enjoy life. I take pleasure in the little things, I enjoy being with my family, I am not so afraid or anxious. I was even booking myself into a course on upholstery.

But since peeing on that stick, I feel like things have spiralled out of control. I am frozen with fear. I have gone back to being barely able to cook my children's tea. I feel numb. Its like going back six months. I have even made an appointment with BPAS for tomorrow to discuss a termination. I just am so afraid that I won't be able to cope. That this is going to send me back into oblivion. I cannot risk the well being of my mental health, or making my children suffer with a mother who can be so unwell. And my dh will also suffer too. I have fought so hard to get to where I am, I just can't believe it can unravel so easily.

I feel like I cannot make a decision when I am so overwhelmed by fear. Either option feels like a bad decision. I don't know what to do. I am not sure what I want to achieve with this thread. I just wanted to put it all down. I am all over the place. Plus feeling so sick and and tired is really not helping matters. Dh works really long hours and I feel alone with this worry. I really don't have long to decide what to do.

Chocattack Tue 28-Jun-11 20:37:51

Sorry to hear the position you're in. I don't envy you at all. I don't really have much advice to offer having never been in your situation. However, I really think this is one you need to talk/decide with your dh (apologies if you are planning this only I interpreted your post as you singular). What does he think?

You identify fear as a major factor. Understandably you fear becoming suicidal again but did you actually become suicidal due to having a baby? You cannot predict if and when you might become suicidal. You could have a termination and still become suicidal. Then what? Perhaps you should decide whether (breakdowns aside) you want another baby. If that answer is yes, then ask for the support (dh, gp, psych, therapist, mum, MIL etc) that would enable that to occur. Really hope it works out for you whatever you decide. Must be an extremely anxious time.

luckywinner Tue 28-Jun-11 21:33:08

I do have a dh. I think he feels he doesn't want to influence my decision so I do feel quite alone. I think if he could choose, it would be to terminate the pregnancy as he's so worried about me. He has had a tough couple of years. My depression was not triggered by having a baby, I have always been a mild sufferer of depression but this awful episode came about after losing a baby from miscarriage. I think it was the last thing I could take and it all came tumbling down.

I hope this doesn't sound too terrible but I am not sure I did want another baby. But now it has happened, I am not sure I want to terminate. I am just so frightened of my ability to cope. I just wish I could believe in myself. Thanks for your reply though.

dontrunwithscissors Wed 29-Jun-11 17:05:28

Assuming you're in the UK, I think you'd probably be watched very closely by mental health services if you do decide to continue with the pregnancy. (And presumably you could ask for a referral from your GP, if necessary. Your post suggests you had a postitive experience with them before.) You don't have to crash down in the way you did before. You presumably have much greater understanding of your mental health, and how to manage it. I can understand why you're worried, and how you're mood has crashed down, but it's not inevitable that you will end up where you were before, and -as pointed out by chocattack - you might crash down either way. I'm not saying this to suggest that you continue with the pregnancy; I can see how tough this must be. But try not to allow such anxieities to completely dictate your decision. (I realise that's easier said than done.) I also think you need to have a heart-to-heart with your DH. Saying it's up to you is fine, but I suspect you really need to sit down and talk this through. It's not so much about him making a decision, or influencing you, as you both figuring out how you as a family and a couple can move on from the current situation. The last thing you need is for you resent your DH, or vice versa, in the future. Perhaps a chat with a good friend might help, also? Someone who is a bit more detached from the situation? I really and truly feel for you, best wishes.

TheRhubarb Wed 29-Jun-11 17:10:06

I think you need to also consider whether having a termination will also take you down into that dark place?

You need to speak to your GP as a matter of urgency and ask him/her to refer you to the mental health team. They will have access to your medical records and will be able to go through each option with you, advising of the help and support you would get no matter which you choose.

If you decide to terminate you could ask for a nurse to be there with you for moral and mental support. Or if you have the baby you could have weekly appointments with a CPN to be able to talk over your fears.

When I was pregnant I suffered from pre-natal depression which was very very scary indeed and cause a breakdown. During my second pregnancy I had a CPN coming to see me every week and I had an emergency number to ring if I felt it all get too much. Dh could also call it if he became worried about me.

Having others to talk to and having that support and back-up helped enormously. So before you decide you need to find out what support your local mental health unit can offer you.

luckywinner Wed 29-Jun-11 19:09:32

dontrunwithscissors I am in the UK, yes. I have yet to make an appointment with my GP as I have been a bit in denial about it all. However I am under the care of a psychiatrist, who wants to see me at least once a month. I will continue to take my anti-depressants although this is something that is making me feel a little guilty. I had an appointment with BPAS this morning and I cancelled it as I just couldn't face it. You are absolutely right, there is no inevitability to a crash, but I think my last one was so recent - November - that things, although getting better each day, are feeling quite precarious. I think its going to take a lot of digging deep.

Rhubarb0 I agree with you about the termination also having huge potential to send me crashing. There is something about guilt and anger that seems to undo me. All I see is guilt if I go through with an abortion. I really like the idea of having a number to ring, especially for dh, who is so worried about me/this. My GP is a complete arse when it comes to my mental health, but I will try and see another one in the practice.

Thank you all so much for replying. It means a lot that you have all taken time to reply to me during what feels like an incredibly difficult time.

Chocattack Wed 29-Jun-11 20:48:59

I'm hoping you don't need to rush into any decisions luckywinner. Only I'd hate for a termination to send you crashing sad. You and your dh really need to sit down and talk about this. It would be unfair for him to leave you to make the decision.

natsyloo Thu 30-Jun-11 23:14:27

luckywinner you've had some good advice here from posters about the support that is available to you whatever you choose.

It sounds to me like you are paralysed by fear in terms of making a decision. I know, from recovering from a severe bout of PND that mental illness can really rob you of all confidence when it comes to making a decision.

I agree that this is something you should talk to your DH about - it affects you both and it is far too much pressure to take on your own given how vulnerable you feel.

I know it's incredibly difficult but try not to 'catastrophise' what will happen should you make a decision either way. I used to do this dreadfully when I had bonding issues relating to my DS and thought I would never love him and would never feel well again. Eight months later and I am so in love with him and barely recognise the sad woman I was back then.

My point is that life will unfold regardless, you can't predict it. You can only take a decision based on your thoughts/feelings at that time and then accept it. You are understandably in a place of inner turmoil at the moment as you're in conflict with yourself and feel trapped by each hypothetical outcome.

A fundamental element of your post to bear in mind is that you have recovered from a debilitating breakdown. That is tremendous. It tells you that you can cope, no matter what happens. It might not feel like it but your inner reserves are much greater than you imagine.

Sorry for the long post, I just wanted to offer you some form of comfort and reassure you that you will come to a decision that's right for you and your family. :-)

luckywinner Fri 01-Jul-11 18:27:43

Natsyloo Please don't apologise for a long post. I really appreciate the sensible words you have all taken the time to write.

So yesterday, DH and I had a huge talk and decided to keep the baby. I felt better today. It felt like I had been considering a termination because of huge fear, and that didn't seem right.

Today however, I feel like some horrid karma has come my way. I go to the loo and there is rather a lot of blood. I am now sitting on the sofa feeling very sorry for myself. I don't really know what to do. You would have thought at the beginning of the week I would have been pleased this was happening. Now I feel really quite sad and upset. Plus I don't really know what to do medically. Do I call my gp? Do I go to A&E? Or do I just sit it out?

Chocattack Fri 01-Jul-11 19:58:29

Are you ok luckywinner? Sorry I don't have any experience of this. If you haven't done so already please get some medical advice. GP, A&E, NHS Direct etc - it doesn't matter. Do you have someone with you?

luckywinner Fri 01-Jul-11 21:45:02

Hi Chocattack, I am at home with my dh, who is being v sweet. I just had an almighty sob though because his dad called (he's a gp) and started asking me about was I still on my meds, because he read in his book they were not recommended in pregnancy, and did I really think that this pregnancy was a good idea considering my history and the past year. I had to hang up. I was/am so angry. I feel like he thinks this possible mc is a good thing and that I am a derranged nutter. Thank god he has retired. Arggggghhhhhhh.

I am going to go to A&E tomorrow if it hasn't stopped/got better. I am in central London and I just can't face spending a Friday night in A&E.

I have had 4 mc in the past. You would think I would know what to do. But I just feel a bit lost.

natsyloo Sat 02-Jul-11 22:12:23

Sweetie, just wanted to check in with you to see how you're doing.

The last thing you need is people trying to patronise you when you feel so vulnerable-what an inconsiderate thing to do.

So sorry you've had a rough time-you need to be kind to yourself after such an ordeal.

Thinking of you x

luckywinner Mon 04-Jul-11 09:30:07

Hi Natsy, thanks for checking in on me. I have come to the heartbreaking decision to end the pregnancy. I have an apt to talk to someone tomorrow but I just want it over and done with. I have to remember I don't actually want any more children. Perhaps if I was in a stronger place mentally I could go through with it but I've just had the most god awful weekend and I can't put my family or myself under any more pressure. This has been the most hideous decision ever.

natsyloo Mon 04-Jul-11 17:31:03

oh luckywinner I feel for you - it's a difficult situation to be in.

It's really important you're comfortable with the decision you make. I'm only saying this because on Friday you said you had decided to go ahead with it after chatting through with your DH.

In no way am I trying to influence your decision - I think it's just important that other people/your current mental state aren't swaying your decision.

Make sure you talk it through thoroughly. I know you want it all to be behind you - that's completely understandable.

Just remember that while your current mental state obviously has to be taken into account, it doesn't dictate your future - it's a situation that can be managed with the right support.

Look after yourself - you will get through this, whatever happens x

Chocattack Mon 04-Jul-11 20:07:46

Hi luckywinner, I really hope you've not been pressurised into your latest decision. It's just that you seemed to be pretty certain on Friday that you and dh wanted to keep the baby (you even referred to "horrid karma" when you thought you were possibly miscarrying (btw sorry I missed your post)). Plus you quite reasonably hung up on your dh's dad...

I can't imagine how hard it is. Here's to getting the right support to help you with your decision. Good luck tomorrow. Know it must be very painful. Best wishes.

luckywinner Tue 05-Jul-11 13:20:31

Hello you two, thanks for coming to check on me. I really really appreciate it.

So I have booked a termination for next week. I had the most dire weekend where I was utterly frozen. And I thought about how much I was missing out on my dc in the beautiful sunshine. And I just thought I don't want to miss anymore.

I don't want another child. And perhaps if I had been in a stronger place, I would have sucked this up and got on. But I can't, and even when I thought it was all ok to keep it, I have a complete panic. I am absolutely dreading next Monday. But I have weighed it up and I would rather suffer the guilt of an abortion than go through with this pregnancy. This has been a really hard decision as I am trying to be logical when I feel anything but.

I am sat in Pret on tottenham court road watching people walk by, getting on with their lives. I want to be like them. I just want to get on with my life.

natsyloo Tue 05-Jul-11 20:59:17

I just feel like giving you a hug. It sounds like you've given it great thought, I know that making a decision mustn't take the emotional pain away.

Have faith that you too will be one of those people you watched, who in time, will be getting on with life with their family. It will happen x

Chocattack Tue 05-Jul-11 21:54:52

You are being very brave smile. Be gentle on yourself. The fact that you want to get on with your life means that you can. Take care x

luckywinner Thu 07-Jul-11 11:23:47

Natsyloo and Chocattack, thank you again for 'looking after me'. I really feel like you are two very special people who are really helping me through this hideous time.

If you have five mins, could you come back?! I am constantly u-turning. This morning at about 4 (my dd, who is poorly, woke up and I couldn't get back to sleep after settling her) I lay in bed thinking about this baby, and wondering whether I really could get rid of it. I have a strong feeling that it is a girl and all I keep thinking about is meeting her. I keep thinking about picking up ds and dd at school in September with a bit of a bump, and imagining I could be one of those mums who breeze through, cope with chaos and mayhem that comes with young children.

But then I feel filled with fear. Fear that I won't be able to cope and become suicidal. Fear that I will fear as bad as I did when I was suicidal. Fear that I won't recover for my children or husband, or even myself. I feel so alone with this decision.

I am scared about the fact that I have made a decision to terminate because of what might happen. I am not like normal women. My presence of mind is in a hugely vulnerable state, and things feel incredibly precarious. I worry that there will be huge fall out if I go through with it on Monday. Fall out with my husband mainly because I feel that he is terrified and he just wants things to back to normal. He is terrified he is going to lose me to illness again.

Fuck fuck fuck. I don't think I have ever ever been in a more difficult situation. Even being suicical felt easier than this. There wasn't such a conflict, and I felt like I didn't have a choice anyway.

One more thing I am worried about is being swallowed up again by a baby with huge demands. I am very much on my own with my dc. My dh works really long hours, rarely home before 9pm on most nights, and often brings his work home with him. I had started to enjoy some time for myself and had signed up for an upholstery course for September. I want something for myself and I am terrified that having another baby will take that away from me.

natsyloo Thu 07-Jul-11 21:57:42

Sweetie, you're clearly in a place of great conflict. Is there any chance you can just buy yourself some time at least to be a bit clearer in your head about the decision you're making?

Fear is a dreadful thing-it magnifies your thoughts and haunts you, and very often it is fear itself that becomes the issue as it's possible to lose perspective of the issue at heart. I know this first hand-when I first had my DS I used to cry relentlessly with the despair of it all, I was beyond hopeless and genuinely wished I hadn't had the baby I had so longed for. I distinctly remember, in the midst of the hell, having a vision of my dh and I holding hands with a tiny boy at the seaside, laughing. It sounds silly but it really helped me in my darkest hours.

While you do of course need to assess the practicalities around the situation, ie day to day support, cpn support for mental health etc, please don't let fear stand in the way of what you want. As engulfing and terrifying as it may seem, as soon as you really look fear in the eye and face it head on, it will start to diminish its hold over you. Please don't hesitate to pm me-i know how hideous PND was for me and how important it was for me to have people listen without judgement. Thinking of you xx

Chocattack Thu 07-Jul-11 22:48:31

oh luckywinner, natsyloo is so right. I was also just thinking whether you could buy yourself some time. When is the last possible time that you could have a termination? I really think you should consider giving yourself the longest possible chance to consider your options.

I'm hesitant to try to 'advise' as obviously I don't know you in RL and wonder if those around you are in a better place to because they've seen how you are (in both good times and bad). For over 15 years I thought that I would never become a mum because I was petrified of my depression. I was convinced that I wasn't fit to be a mum, that I wouldn't be able to cope, that I'd end up dead and it wouldn't be fair on the child, that it was wrong for "someone like me" to have a child, feared PND because I'd got told that if you suffer from depression you're more likely to suffer with it etc. Eventually, on approaching the age of declining fertility I panicked and my then-husband and I agreed to ttc as I held the belief that whatever happened to me he would always be around for our child. (Unfortunately I'm now a single mum, and ex-H abandoned his responsibilities towards our child). I vividly remember breezing into my gps surgery a couple of months after the birth announcing that if I had known it was going to be this easy having a baby I would have done it years ago and had more! (I don't feel like this now btw grin).

Maybe you could take a long hard look at what support you have access to, not just from the MH aspect but also socially. Have you a tight network of willing 'mums' (mum, MIL, friends, sisters etc) that could help you out once in a while? Do those close to you realise the anguish that you are in right now trying to decide? What about discussing all this with your psych? Sorry for the essay (and all the questions). Whatever decision you finally make you need to be confident in it so the potential for regret, resentment and/or guilt afterwards is minimised. I only wish I could see into the future and tell you the answer but unfortunately I can't. I can only wish that the fear subsides long enough for you to see things in the clearest light possible smile.

natsyloo Mon 11-Jul-11 10:44:26

Just wanted to drop you a line to say am thinking of you today x

luckywinner Wed 13-Jul-11 17:52:22

Hello you two, just thought I'd let you know where I'm at as you have both been so fab. So I'm still pregnant. Dh and I went for a therapy session Friday night with a lovely lady and I felt a bit better afterwards, but then dh worked all weekend. He looked so tired and I felt so sad. He had Monday and Tuesday off as I was supposed to be recovering from termination. We had a monumental falling out where I grabbed my car keys and left sobbing. All he kept asking was why did I feel like I couldn't terminate. I don't honestly know and couldn't answer him but it felt like he was bullying me into justifying my decision and trying to change my mind. I sat in the car and sobbed. But it made something change. I came back after a lot of begging from him and he seemed to be calmer. He just said he loved me too much to see me in pain again.

I feel better as I feel like I have his support now. I feel calmer. Then I feel overwhelmed about what is going to happen. But I am glad I didn't terminate. Ask me that in February.

I just wanted to say thank you to both of you for your posts. I wish I had people like you in real life. Please accept a virtual box of delish chocolates from me. I just wanted to let you know you made a difference to a sad north London wife whose head was spinning like a washing machine.

natsyloo Thu 14-Jul-11 21:50:16

Oh I'm so pleased to hear from you luckywinner - it sounds silly because I don't know you but your story really touched me...more than you'll know as it took me right back to the terror of the early days with my DS and the blind panic.

I'm so pleased you've come to a decision with the support of your DH. It makes such a difference to be a united 'team' together esp during such a vulnerable time.

Although there will be challenges, I think your gut reaction was for a reason and I'm glad you stood by your instinct. You'll meet this baba in February and you'll realise it was worth all the pain. Facing fear is such an incredibly brave thing to do - I have the utmost respect for you and I'm only glad I cld help in some small way xx

Chocattack Fri 15-Jul-11 20:16:00

Thanks for coming back luckywinner and letting us know how you're doing. I'm so happy you've been able to discuss how you feel with your dh and that you now feel you have his support. That's beautiful. Hope you are able to have more calm (and less overwhelming) times ahead. Stay brave. Glad to have been able to help a bit. Good luck with the rest of the pregnancy.

PS thanks for the chocs. smile

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