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Postpartum Anxiety/Intrusive Thoughts Relating to Baby

(14 Posts)
AkashaCat Mon 05-Jan-15 02:49:11

Hi, I gave birth to my beautiful baby daughetr 12 weeks ago after years of fertility treatment and eventual IVF. I didn't suffer with pp depression as far as I know, but have noticed I am getting more and more intrusive thoughts: awful fears and anxieties about something going wrong or losing my baby somehow. I have a history of depression and anxiety (relating to fertility issues and loss/bereavements). The thing that's worrying me most is that as time is going on I am feeling worse instead of better. I worry that I might fail as a mother in some way or that there's some underlying health problem with my baby. It is getting so bad that I will sit up at night for hours with her, just watching her sleep. My husband doesn't know how bad this is and I'm scared to tell him, but I am absolutely exhausted and starting to worry that the exhaustion in itself is a further risk factor to my baby. >< I'm scared to seek help in case they think I am unfit to be a mother and take her away from me (as silly and extreme as that sounds). I tend to feel more relaxed during the day time and can shake off my worries more easily and really enjoy being a mother, but as the night time approaches - after about 6pm onwards I start feeling that dread again. Am I alone feeling this way? Any words of advice or empathy would be appreciated. Thank you.

cupofteaplease Mon 05-Jan-15 02:52:26

You aren't alone. I can't really offer any advice, but I currently feel the same and my ds is nearly 6 months and my 4th child. I hope you manage some sleep tonight x

AkashaCat Mon 05-Jan-15 02:58:30

Thanks, cupofteaplease. I know I'm stating the obvious when I say that I love her so much, but I've even gotten to the point in my head where I've made a pact with myself that if anything happened to her (God forbid! Touch wood and all the prayers and wishes in the world that she is safe and healthy always!) I would end my own life because I wouldn't want to live without her again. And I know how bad that sounds even as I type it. It's something that keeps going through my head over and over. An intrusive and highly disturbing thought. I wished I could make them all stop. I waited so long for my little one to arrive I want to celebrate and enjoy her, not be thinking these awful, horrible things. sad

mupperoon Mon 05-Jan-15 03:14:24

Your daughter is very lucky to have such a loving mother.

Is there any reason why you feel scared to tell your husband how you are feeling? Did you do antenatal classes and is he aware of PND? (not that I am diagnosing you!)

I had similar feelings in the first few weeks and despite misgivings was open with my husband. He was very supportive and although he didn't really understand exactly how I felt, he was able to provide support such as being awake with me, ensuring that I got a bit of "time off" etc, which really helped.

In the meantime I hope you are able to rest. flowers

TipseyTorvey Mon 05-Jan-15 03:23:53

I had massive worries and overwhelming feelings of responsibility with my DS1, I'm not a MH expert so don't have a great deal of advice but wanted to say I totally understand the strange night time 'other world' sort of feelings. I felt most anxious and down with DS1 at 3am staring at him during feeds than any other time. With DC2 I feel totally relaxed so i think it may have been the shock of motherhood smile. Hang in there, I think you sound just normal new mother stressed but someone with more experience and advice will no doubt be along soon. Sending an Un-MN hug though as it's the middle if the night. Don't stress too much.

WorryWurta Mon 05-Jan-15 12:29:39

You're not alone - I have similar issues that developed since I got pregnant (like you after a long time and a lot of fertility treatment). I worry about catching a disease and giving it to the (as yet unborn) baby, the thoughts are very intrusive. Like you I am also a lot worse in the evening (my husband sometimes sends me to bed early just so I can't wind myself up!!). I would say get some help, you are in absolutely no danger of having the baby taken off you and they help pregnant people/new mums get access to CBT/talking therapies super fast (weeks as opposed to months in my area). But it's a very difficult cycle to break by yourself, it's exhausted me and I'm not even having to deal with a baby yet! Somebody on here gave me this link: I found them very nice to talk to and I'm going to start attending their support group monthly.

fb1978 Mon 05-Jan-15 13:36:42

Second WorryWurta, get yourself to the docs. It's so so common. First dc I got pnd and intrusive thoughts; second dc not a whiff of pnd but intrusive thoughts (health related) and post natal anxiety. Intrusive thoughts can be on the ocd spectrum and can be treated as such.
It's scary but once you realise just how common it is - and how treatable - this can take the power away.

vomistheworst Tue 06-Jan-15 10:13:42

It's really common, honestly. I had this, and my intrusive thoughts were that I would hurt or kill my baby. They were so distressing as, obviously, I did not want to hurt him at all, I was just scared that I would be compelled to because the intrusive thoughts were so strong. It's a form of OCD (known as Pure O), and it often affects women in the months after giving birth because of your hormonal changes. It can go hand in hand with PND, but not always. Have a chat to your doctor - they will be entirely used to seeing women who are struggling with this. Nobody will take her away from you - I was having intrusive thoughts about snapping my son's neck, and nobody even mentioned the possibility of taking him away from me because it is a common form of postnatal OCD. Google it and you'll at least feel more normal! Just talking to your GP will help, and they may prescribe an SSRI to get you back on track for a bit, or some counselling.

Mumblepot26 Tue 06-Jan-15 13:43:54

I second that, please go to your GP, there is no way they will take your child away. I had similar feelings of dread to you at 12weeks post natally, was diagnosed with post natal anxiety and am currently in fourth week of anti depressants, they are working a treat.

LollyLondon Thu 08-Jan-15 12:41:54

I had similar thoughts at about when my first child was 4 months old. Scared the hell out of me and ended up in me having a huge panic attack type episode. Definitely speak to your GP - the biggest sense of relief I felt was when I was told it was fairly common and I was not going mad. I ended up with PND but bounced back pretty quickly after ADs and therapy. Good luck.

AkashaCat Thu 08-Jan-15 23:38:10

Wow! Thank you so much for all the reassuring messages and experiences relating to mine. I'm sorry any one else has experienced the same as me (it's awful!) and yet strangely relieved! (If that sounds sane.)
Sorry I'm just responding now. I did read these yesterday, but haven't had a chance to post a response 'til now due to being busy, busy and also because my husband insisted that I catch up on some sleep.
I decided to try to talk to my husband about it and he was unbelieveably understanding to the point where he admitted he sometimes had awful thoughts and worries himself, although they weren't affecting him as much as they were clearly affecting me, but he thought they were still to be expected, to some degree, and fairly normal after everything we'd been through to get our little one. He immediately insisted I have a break and catch up on some sleep and took over everything for 2 whole days, so all I got to do was to sleep, and in between, when I was awake, he brought me meals in bed and my daughter to have a cuddle. I must admit, I felt much better just letting him know the situation and the sleep was most welcome. I've agreed to go and have a word with my doctor, anyway, before it does get worse. But my husband thinks one of the triggers has been the fact that we are shifting DD out of her moses basket (2 foot away from my bedside) to her big cot (across the other side of the room). He is now rearranging the whole room around so that I can have the room to have the big cot alongside my bed. I don't know whether it's coincidence (catching up on sleep, sharing the problem or the idea that she'll still be close) but I do feel slightly less panicky, generally. Who knows. I suppose time will tell, but in the mean time, I have an appointment to see my doctor next week. Thanks again, ladies! xxx

LollyLondon Fri 09-Jan-15 09:52:29

Ah that's good to hear. Am really pleased you spoke to your husband. He sounds so supportive, which is fantastic. Hopefully a bit of a break will do you the world of good. It's good that you have a doc appointment - hope it goes well and shout if you want to chat!

Mumblepot26 Fri 09-Jan-15 13:51:42

Your husband sounds lovely! Let us know how you get on next week

PacificDogwood Fri 09-Jan-15 13:55:56

Seek help.

Nobody is going to think you are an unfit mother.

What you are going through is not uncommon, v horrible and responds well to treatment.

Intrusive thoughts can get worse if left unchecked and can be really quite disabling - please stop beating yourself up for not feeling better in yourself and seek help. Speak to your GP and/or HV - you will find that they have dealt with this kind of thing before.

Well done for speaking to your DH and well done him for being so lovely thanks.

And yes, prioritising sleep is always a good idea!

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