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Major maternal ambivalence

(10 Posts)
thehatethatdarenotspeakitsname Sun 28-Oct-12 19:43:42

Name change for this one.
Bit of background - got pregnant super quick after getting married. We'd planned to start a family but hadn't expected it so soon (honeymoon baby) so it was a bit of a shock. Anyway, was v excited about coming baby and all good.
A few days after birth, massive PND set it. Was borderline suicidal for first three months of DS's life. At three months I went on to sertraline and within a few days was totally euphoric.
From 3 months to about 8 months, things were great - I was totally in love with baby, couldn't even imagine going back to work (which had previously been v important to me), totally loved being a mummy, besotted by baby, etc.
He's 9 months now, and over the past few weeks it's like a lightbulb has just switched off. I feel like I'm either constantly annoyed at him, or just feel nothing. It's really scary how indifferent I feel to him. And all the old thoughts I had during the PND are coming back - wish I hadn't had him, feel like a slave, bored of dealing with him, etc. It's absolutely horrible, and I can barely raise a smile for him.
At the same time he's hit the separation anxiety issue head on and can't bear for me even to put him down (let alone leave the room). I think he can feel how cool I am towards me and I feel so guilty. But the constant crying and clingyness drives me nuts and sometimes I just feel like smacking him in the face. (I know this is TOTALLY wrong and don't believe I would ever actually do it, but that's how strong the feelings are).
Before anyone else says it, yes I know I'm being an absolute bitch. I hate myself for it. I hate myself for talking about this tiny human being as though he was just some irritating object. I want to get our mojo back. I want to feel LOVE for him again!
Please tell me (a) I'm not alone (b) I'm not a monster and (c) I'll snap out of this very soon. I feel like I'm sliding back into major depression, but I'm still on the medication and I don't understand what's changed. I'm like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. My baby doesn't deserve this. sad

LollopingLil Sun 28-Oct-12 19:48:43

You need to go back and speak to your GP. The only thing that's changed here is that your medication is no longer working, and needs reviewing. Make sure you seek the help you need and you will be feeling yourself again very soon.

You're not alone. You are not a monster. But you can't 'snap out' of this alone - you need help and support. Is your DH aware of how you're feeling?

crackcrackcrak Sun 28-Oct-12 19:54:37

I agree - you need to her the dose assessed because it was working so well before.
One thing I say all the time to a fear friend with Pnd is 'you are allowed to feel how you feel' a lot of her anxiety comes from her thinking she shouldn't feel the way she does - how you feel is how you feel.

The separation anxiety of your ds will be a contributing factor though. It's a bloody hard phase to go through. I recall a mum at dd baby yoga class who could stand up to do the stretching without her baby on the floor turning puce with distress - it's hard fecking work without being depressed!

What's he like at night?

fourbears Sun 28-Oct-12 20:02:06

You poor thing. I understand absolutely where you are. This happened to me. Severe PND, went on to citalopram at 8 weeks after birth. Had to step up the dose a couple of times but it basically worked. Then at some point (can't exactly remember, memories from the time very hazy) maybe when Dd was about a year old, it stopped working. I got very distressed again and had horrible thoughts of hurting myself. The GP changed me on to fluoxetine and that helped a lot.

Maybe at some point the brain chemistry changes and a different drug is needed to achieve the same thing. I would advise another trip to the GP to see what they can do.

You're not a monster (unless I am too) you just need some help. I understand the deep love but also the ambivalence that can, counter intuitively go along with it. I don't know how you're placed but I got my little one off to a childminder one day a week at 13 months because I needed the break and chance to recover. I increased that as she got older as I wasn't able to go out much.

Be kind to yourself. I can honestly say PND is the worst thing that ever happened to me. Sending you a big hug and thanks

thehatethatdarenotspeakitsname Sun 28-Oct-12 20:29:03

Thank you so much everyone, I hadn't expected so much support so quickly!
I will go to the GP and see what they think. I fought for so long NOT to start the ADs in the first place and then they really helped, so I don't know why I'm so reluctant to think about upping the dose.
fourbears - sorry to hear you owent through this horror too. As my psych nurse kept saying back then, NOBODY should have to go through PND, it's the most horrible feeling imaginable.

narmada Sun 28-Oct-12 21:32:53

I have also had PND. Similar intensity to you by the sounds of it, although it took a bit longer to get sorted out meds wise and I have been on more than one type of ADs at once.

I agree I would go back to your GP and see if he or she can recommend anything.

Have you just stopped or reduced breastfeeding? That can seriously mess with your emotional state. And/ or- have your periods come back/ could they be coming back? That again can make things a bit hairy, mental health-wise.

The nine month age mark is really very difficult and it's not surprising you're feeling suffocated. I did at the same stage. They do get less needy as they grow older and that all-consuming mummy-focus does dissipate.

Actually, separation anxiety on your baby's part is a very healthy sign - it means your DS is properly attached to you, his primary carer. Don't worry that you're not a good mum. I am sure you are.

PND is hell, tho. I hope you get some help soon.

scottishmummy Sun 28-Oct-12 21:51:35

congratulations on baby,sorry for your troubles.pnd is a treatable illness
go see gp,if hard to talk print your op out
you arent monster,you are in need of support and reassurance. let gp help you

fourbears Wed 31-Oct-12 11:01:27

Hi the, how are you feeling now? Did you see the GP? Hope you're ok xx

TheSilverPussycat Wed 31-Oct-12 17:24:34

How euphoric were you? I know it is hard to tell 'over-euphoria', if I may put it that way, from enjoyment and amazement at new baby. Some ADs can induce mania in some people. Not meant to be alarming, just something to consider, and hopefully, reject...

narmada Wed 31-Oct-12 18:52:28

thesilverpussycat the same though occurred to me.

People who are bipolar are particularly likely to react yo SSRIs with mania. I have been wondering if I have this, too, recently

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