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Pregnant with horrific negative thoughts-am I evil or is it the illness?

(167 Posts)
LosingItBigTime Wed 19-Sep-12 13:15:34

I've not been overly ecstatic throughout this pregnancy. It was a shock-my second-I'd vowed I'd never do it again but it didn't work out that way. I have had PND and have now been diagnosed with AND

I am an overly anxious if not OCD type mother and get ridiculously stressed and worked up over my child's routine and sleep. I simply cannot function when sleep deprived. As I get so anxious about my child's sleeping patterns (or lack thereof) my own sleep is completely out of whack. I think I hear crying when there is none. I've resorted to sleeping in spare room with ear plugs in while DH keeps monitor with him in our bedroom (next to our child's room) because I get far too agitated at every sound. But even with these measures I'm not sleeping well at all. 2-4 hours per night.

I have been panicked beyond belief about how I'm going to cope with this and the further sleep deprivation that comes with a newborn. My irrational and negative thoughts often seem to be linked to the days when I feel particularly sleep deprived,

Anyway, I finally admitted some horrific negative thoughts to the midwife on the MH team today. I am scared to death of the thoughts I'm having and I had to be honest with her in case I end up like one of those mothers on the news.

I hate the child growing in me. Every movement makes me mad. I want to punch my belly and wish it would just go away. I am scared of it and feel like I don't want it anywhere near me when it is born. I don't want it and I just cry and cry when I have to go through all the motions of having to prepare for its arrival.

I am sickened by myself. I know these feelings are utterly disgusting but they are there. I am evil because I know there are so many people desperate for children and I've been 'blessed' but I really don't feel 'blessed'. I just want to run away from it all but I can't. My DH and mum know how I feel-I've told them I have fears I could harm this child. I have told them I should give it up to someone who wants it. I told this to the MH midwife too. But they all seem to think that once the baby is here, I will magically feel different.

Please someone, anyone, have you experienced these kind of thoughts and then they went away? Or am I just pure evil? I think I could be. I hate everything about my life. I don't enjoy being a mum-and I don't feel like I can do it a second time round. Oh God, I sound so bloody awful and pathetic. If someone offered to cut me open with a rusty knife with no pain relief to take this baby away I'd happily agree. I am truly evil. God help me.

Mylittlepuds Fri 28-Sep-12 14:28:23

Yep I had that too - petrified of being with him on my own. I don't know how i survived it. It was hideous and I felt like it was the cruelest punishment a mother could endure. My heart really goes out to you.

thunksheadontable Fri 28-Sep-12 14:32:35

Just want to share my experience of being right where you are. I became obsessed before the birth that the baby was going to die because I had wished it on him. I was just in total brain lock about it. I went to all these consultant appointments and just wailed and snivelled and snotted about how I couldn't go through with the birth: I didn't want a cs, I didn't want an induction, I didn't want a vb... I became ridiculously obsessed with the birth plan, switching from cs to homebirth to induction in the last three weeks of pregnancy. I cannot now convey to you the certainty with which I BELIEVED that my baby would die no matter what I chose, that I would make the decision and that would be that, it would be my fault. I was just as scared he would live but I didn't want to admit that because it meant I was evil and that he would die (see the circular thinking here? morning, noon and night). It was sheer torment.

Here's how all that fear played out in reality: a beautiful waterbirth (!!!!) in a room that looked like a day spa with twinkly stars in the roof and colour changing lights and a perfect, beautiful baby boy that has (at 14 weeks) settled into a great routine and is smiley and happy and content. Every single fear I had? Did any of them come true? No.

Of course, in some ways this is no comfort to you. I know you will think: yes, but that's you.. there's no guarantee. I was the same. I know you will think: but it's going to be worse for me. I know you want someone to tell you the future but know they can't and are paralysed by that. It's all okay.

Just remember these things:
1) Sertraline can make you more anxious in the first 4 weeks as it sets in. This happened to me but it has worked well. I am on 100g now and may be set to go higher, only time will tell.
2) About 34% of people will at some point in their lives have enough anxiety to be clinically diagnosed with one of the anxiety disorders. Next time you go out, count people: one, two, three; one, two, three. Imagine every third person has probably felt as you do now. One in TWO will have given serious thought to self-harm or suicide: one, two; one, two. This is not as fucked up as you imagine. It's part of being human. We all have pain and suffering. You are not alone.
3) Can you think of your worst fear in one word or phrase? e.g. failure/murderer/evil/fuck up or something like that? If so, you can do things to defuse from it. One suggestion would be to write it on an index card and look at it several hundred times a day, even if it is as awful as: "you are going to crack up and kill yourself and your children". If that's too hard or you fear seeing it written down, imagine Daffy Duck or a toad or Bart Simpson or someone totally and utterly ridiculous saying this to you. Or write it on here and look at it on your phone (so it's anonymous). Say it in lots of different voices to yourself e.g. Darth Vader, Arnie Schwarzenegger.. anyone with a ridiculous, highly stylised voice. Make it deep, high, camp, squeaky... do it over and over really rapidly until the sound of the words separate out from their meaning like many children do with words like cuff to trick their friends into swearing! Expose yourself to it again and again. It will make your anxiety ROCKET but it honestly can do wonders for you. These are only words and right now you don't believe it. Our whole culture sets you up to believe that what you think is true that it means something. It doesn't. It really is just words. T

The other thing I would have said a lot of is "it's not me, it's OCD" because that was my official diagnosis... but you could say AND if you wanted.

I hope you get some relief soon. When are you due? You will get through this. I am here with my two boys and though I have several rushes of anxiety a day, I can cope with it now and am getting on with life. There is an end to this tunnel. You will be okay.. its just going to take time x

thunksheadontable Fri 28-Sep-12 14:34:01

Also can I just say - how amazing is this - I am crocheting at the moment and can actually go to sleep beside a large sharp scissors without being paralysed of the fear of doing something with it. That's how far you can come in the next 2-3 months (even more as I refused to start sertraline before birth as I was being silly about it, so I could be even further along probably if I had done it when you are doing it).

Mylittlepuds Fri 28-Sep-12 14:39:50

Thunks - your post has helped me too. Thank you.

thunksheadontable Fri 28-Sep-12 15:32:47

Glad to be of help. I remember so, so well. I never in a million years would have believed I could at 14 weeks into my small boy's life be out walking with them both, picking blackberries, making flapjacks (which we have done today). I was just prostrate with fear. I hadn't cooked in months, barely showered, was just overcome with terror most of the time. I couldn't imagine even leaving the house with two of them (and it was hard for the first few weeks but this was a big part of my therapy). Everything was a threat. I'm very grateful to the NHS, their support has been brilliant and they really helped me through the birth and the aftermath.

LosingItBigTime Fri 28-Sep-12 17:01:24

Thunk...thank you. You've been so helpful and given me some hope which I've simply not had any of throughout this pregnancy. From the bottom of my heart I want to thank you for all your advice and for posting personal stuff that must have been quite difficult for you. I've had to tell my husband to hide paracetamol in case I try to overdose and have asked him to hide the big knives and scissors so that I don't obsess over using them on myself.

I understand why you wouldn't have wanted to use the sertraline in pregnancy-I insisted I didn't want to take them until the birth but I was under a lot of pressure to take them so I gave in to it in the end. I'm still not quite sure but it's done now.

LosingItBigTime Sat 29-Sep-12 16:44:19

I still wish I had the guts to end it all. But I'm too scared. I am alone today. DH has taken DS out this afternoon. I feel very empty for some reason. I like being alone sometimes just for the peace and quiet and to just be. But sometimes I feel scared and the anxiety starts to take hold and I feel vulnerable to the intrusive thoughts. I have to say the posting on here has been somewhat therapeutic and has helped a lot. Thank you to all of you for supportive and kind words. It's all helped.

Viviennemary Sat 29-Sep-12 16:51:05

You are not evil. And the fact you are admitting to those thoughts is a good thing rather than keeping them secret. Nobody can really say how you will feel when the baby is born. So the only thing you can do is get a counsellor to help you through this difficult time. Or perhaps join a PND group. I agree that this awful time will pass.

LosingItBigTime Sat 29-Sep-12 17:33:07

I feel like such a failure

Mylittlepuds Sat 29-Sep-12 17:52:47

You're not a failure - you're a bloody hero for getting through each day with all of this to cope with. And you will keep getting through the days, I promise.

achillea Sat 29-Sep-12 17:53:03

I'm a bit out of my league here, I can't imagine what you are going through, but I am wondering if you would benefit for a few days in a respite centre of some kind - this may help so they can observe you better and it might make you feel safer and therefore you may be able to get some sleep. It sounds as though a decent nights sleep is your priority, along with the medical intervention.

thunksheadontable Sat 29-Sep-12 20:20:52

I am glad my words are of help, keep posting.. you need the support.

As my CBT therapist says LosingIt, if two soldiers at the front were about to go under enemy fire and one was terrified of dying and the other believed they would be fine, who would you judge to be the bravest in making that journey? There is no failure here. That is ALSO a thought. If you are a failure, 30-50% of humanity is too - does that make statistical sense?

How far along are you again? I felt much like you do now, that empty/hollow feeling, especially in the final weeks...

Is there anyone who can be around to support you? My sister came to stay for three weeks around the birth (she actually took unpaid leave!) and it really did save me. If you haven't got anything like this, do consider the MBU. I would have been offered it if my sister hadn't been around so I know how you will feel about leaving your toddler etc but the absolute priority here is your wellness... your toddler and your new baby need you, your husband needs you but most of all YOU NEED to be and feel like yourself again. Nothing else really matters!

LosingItBigTime Sat 29-Sep-12 21:24:13

I'm nearly 39 weeks now. I've been offered a stay at MBU. My name has been put on the waiting list. Thanks for the statistics and the soldier thing. I wish I could reach out and hug you. All of it helps. I keep posting because it helps to get things out.

LosingItBigTime Sat 29-Sep-12 21:26:23

achillea, mylittlepuds and viviennemary...thanks all for posting. You all are really helping me to feel like I'm not evil and I'm not alone. There is some light in the darkness.

LosingItBigTime Mon 01-Oct-12 17:23:38

Just trying to get through each day. Feels like in slowly dying from inside.

Mylittlepuds Mon 01-Oct-12 17:46:28

How's today been? What have you been feeling?

LosingItBigTime Mon 01-Oct-12 19:29:20

Just been feeling very empty and mournful. No tears. Sadness or some sort of grief for the change in relationship between me and DS once new baby gets here. Wishing I could go back to change things but I can't. I'm so tired. I know I'm about to get more tired still...scares the hell out of me. I think the ADs are helping in that my tearfulness has definitely been in check and I think I'm sleeping a little better. Would love a solid 7 hour night!

Mylittlepuds Mon 01-Oct-12 19:41:57

Can you have a lovely early night? Maybe a nice bubble bath when your DS is tucked up, read a book and go to bed? X

LosingItBigTime Mon 01-Oct-12 20:06:32

DS is tucked up bless him. I might just do that...the early night that is. Can't do baths.,, I have a problem with relaxing! Thank you xx

Mylittlepuds Tue 02-Oct-12 08:15:15

Hi Losingit. How are you this morning?

LosingItBigTime Tue 02-Oct-12 08:55:25

Hi littlepuds. I'm ok thank you. I did get a good night's sleep so that really helps. How are you today? Thanks for checking in on me.

Mylittlepuds Tue 02-Oct-12 08:57:08

Great smile I'm actually feeling good today too. It's so weird as I've not done anything different! Maybe the key is to stop fighting and accept things more smile

thunksheadontable Thu 04-Oct-12 00:40:49

How are things today? You fell off my "threads I am on" list for some reason. It is very hard to be so pregnant at the best of times... hang in. I had those same feelings of grief/regret about ds1 at that stage.

LosingItBigTime Thu 04-Oct-12 15:53:34

Thanks thunks. I'm actually feeling a lot less emotional. Less tearful in any case. I still feel very irritated and angry towards the baby which I know isn't normally me so I keep reminding myself that it's my illness and not me. This thread has been a bit of a lifesaver for me as getting g things out there has been therapeutic for me too.

The ADs must be working to an extent because I feel less in danger of harming myself.

Thank you for all your support and posts. Honestly. It had helped so much.

Mylittlepuds Thu 04-Oct-12 16:46:08

Glad you're feeling a bit better losing. Was thinking about you in bed last night - in a non sleazy was of course! It's so hard when your mind feels like it's got a mind of its own and 'you' are lost and losing the battle. That's how I feel a lot anyway. Please keep posting here, particularly if you find it's helping. Today I have called feeling strange (one of my anxiety symptoms) having a wibbly woo moment and for some reason that's helped today. Perhaps you could try a similar thing everytime you have an unwanted thought?

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