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PND putting me off having a second baby -- please share your experiences

(8 Posts)
YourMam Sun 04-Sep-11 11:05:17

I had bad PND with DS, and am terrified I would get it again with another DC. But we had always planned to have 2 DCs, DS is nearly two, time's a-ticking and it feels like now is the time to start trying... Does anyone have any positive experiences with the second child after having PND with the first?

I just found the lack of sleep, tiny baby stage so unbelievably bloody awful I am worried how I'll get through it the next time. But nearly two years on, I love my DS and although still knackered I do at least now feel he's my son and I love him and I'm me again. But it did take a good year to get close to feeling that. I wish you could just fall asleep through the first year and wake up when it's over. Is that an awful thing to say? I just can't see how anyone would enjoy it. Or is that only something a depressed person would say?

GetDownYouWillFall Sun 04-Sep-11 18:43:16

Hi there, I had the same worries. Really bad PND with DD, hospitalised with it as well. I found the sleep deprivation absolute torture, and failed to understand how anyone could revel in the newborn days. Like you, it probably took a full year to start enjoying being a mum and feel even slightly "normal" again. Even then, it still felt like a daily struggle.

DD is now 3.5 and I am just about to have DC2! (38 weeks pregnant!) Can't say it was an easy decision to reach, but we got there and firmly believe it was the right one (maybe ask me again in a month or so!!)

Basically I felt that although we'd had an horrific time first time round, there was a lot that could be done differently to help this time / prevent it happening again. And I didn't want DD to be an only child. I'm being much more closely monitored this time by mental health services, and we've got support in place. I think for me, having a decent age gap of 3.5 years is a good thing - DD will be starting school nursery, I will have a bit of time each day to myself (well, myself and the baby) and she is that bit older so more independent / able to explain things to / able to fetch things / be helpful etc. I don't think I would have been ready for number 2, had DD been any younger than she is now TBH.

It's such a personal decision. What does your DH / DP think? He needs to be fully on board to support you after the birth. And your HV needs to be well aware too so support can be put in place to make sure you don't get so low again. Were you on medication>? You may need to get it checked out if you plan to get pregnant on ADs. I managed to get off all my medication, but it wasn't easy, that is a whole another story!

Although I feel a bit anxious, I do actually feel really positive now. I came through PND. I love DD now and I love being a mummy. PND was not the end of my life, I survived it, and if necessary I will survive it again.

YourMam Sun 04-Sep-11 22:30:02

Thank you for posting GDYWF. It's v interesting to hear from other people. DH will be led by me but would like another. I would like another too, I think I'd just like a full-time live-in nanny as well! DH very kind and supportive, but he just doesn't really understand how I got so sad when he fell absolutely in love with DS on day one. He just had the unconditional rush of love thing on sight with DS, whereas it took me months not to feel like they just got DS out of a cupboard and handed him to me at the hospital. It didn't feel like this baby was anything to do with me. Maybe I am not a very nice person. DH seems to have infinite reserves of patience and love and I do not.

I managed without ADs with the first one but TBH I think I would just take them if I got it again. I was obsessed with keeping up BFing and worried the ADs would be a problem -- and I know doctors say BFing on ADs is not a problem, but I was still worried -- of course, I was worried about everything.

I'm a freelancer and what really helped was going back to work part time when DS was 1. I wish I had a proper job with maternity leave. If I had a guaranteed 'end-of-SAHM' date the whole thing would be easier I think. As it is, it's always touch-and-go and feels like a mountain to re-climb if I have another baby.

I do think whatever happens it's surely got to be less of a cold hard shock the second time round, hasn't it. Even if it's harder in lots of ways dealing with two.

reallytired Sun 04-Sep-11 23:06:00

I had really bad depression with my first child, but I more or less avoided it with my second child. I believe the risk is about 50%, but there are ways of minimising the impact.

For example the CPN I saw recommended trying for a spring baby as the long summer days makes life nicer. Its a good idea to avoid stressful events like moving house with a young baby.

My health visitor has been wonderful and has really helped me. I had anxiety, but it was nipped in the bud with listening visits.

It might help you to look at the website

Self help websites are more useful when you aren't actually ill. Learning to spot unhealthy thinking patterns is useful. There is also information on problem solving, assertiveness etc.

I found this book helpful.

I found it easier with the second as I had more idea of what I was doing. I was more confident and sure of myself.

Lottieloulou Mon 05-Sep-11 13:22:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lottieloulou Mon 05-Sep-11 13:23:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YourMam Wed 07-Sep-11 12:22:38

Thanks all. Lottieloulou, I saw a psychiatrist who I thought was sensible and good, and a very bad psychotherapist who set up a group for PND mums which was totally useless. He used to try and get us to meditate while holding our babies (impossible with crawling wriggly babies), and say stupid things like, when helping me get my buggy up the steps, 'Oooh are you a first-time mum? [he knew I was after my extended, tearful assessment] Yeah, thought you were, first-time mums always carry a lot of stuff around.' Um -- a) don't criticise people's parenting skills when they're feeling shitty anyway, and b) perhaps you've forgotten but you tend to need a lug a lot of stuff round with a baby! He just had no sense of what people might feel like. If people expressed distress at how much their babies cried, and having interrupted nights because of it, he would say brightly, 'Well -- you should just leave them to cry!'

My experience with him really put me off CBT, as it just seemed like trying to look on the bright side and about as much use as that sounds.
I think the next time I get preg I will definitely try to get a referral to a (better) counsellor. Maybe I should see one now. Maybe I haven't got over it yet. It is very hard to know.

I think the spring baby thing is a really good tip, thank you. The lack of sleep bit is the bit I find SO hard, and at least if it was sunny outside it would be so much easier to stay awake.

Thank you reallytired for the book recommendation, I have ordered it. I totally get what you're saying about self-help sites being more useful when you're feeling better. I will have another look at that livinglifetothefull one.

NanaNina Wed 07-Sep-11 13:59:12

Yourman - who in god's name decides that a male is the right person to understand and help new mothers.....crazy!!

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