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PND...how to tell family/friends(15 Posts)
Hi, looking for some advice please.
Long story short, I had a pretty horrific childhood and as a consequence am not especially close to my parents. My mum is very narcissistic to the point of being emotionally abusive and so controlling of me during my teens that I have very poor self-esteem. Her and my Dad divorced early on and while he is not a bad person, he started a new life with a new family - he's more like a friendly uncle, I'd never confide in him.
During pregnancy, the black depression I have suffered with intermittently started to come back. I restart anti-depressants at 25 weeks after I started looking at train timetables to work out which ones weren't stopping.
At 36 weeks the anti-depressants aren't working. I've just moved into a new house, see a new midwife who for the first time asks me how I'm doing and it all comes out. Anti-depressants go up to 100mg, I'm referred for talking therapies.
My gorgeous baby is now here. I do love her. Despite my anxieties that I wouldn't feel any connection to her and even after a difficult birth, I love her. But now it's become overwhelming and I'm so scared I'm not good enough for her. I'm so upset when she cries, I feel like she hates me, I start thinking she'd be better off adopted by someone who can care for her better and knows why she is crying, who can get her to sleep. The midwife suggests giving her formula overnight so I can sleep. This makes me feel awful, out of all the crapness, the one thing I've felt good about was that I was one of the lucky few for whom breastfeeding' been going really well. Now that's being taken away from me because I'm useless and can't cope with a crying baby. Last night I gave her the formula, sobbing uncontrollably throughout. Then I went to write a goodbye letter to my OH and a sorry letter to her. I had my shoes on and was off to walk to a local high bridge. I just managed to stop myself by thinking about how much it would hurt her and OH.
Adding to this is that I'm being inundated with messages from family and friends wanting to visit. I don't know how to say that I don't want visitors. I can't cope with visitors. I can't stop crying and now my ducking wound is breaking down, it can't be resutured, I just have to have weeks of new pain while it heals itself.
How do I begin to deal with this? I'm in touch with the mental health team, they'll see me mid January. But I can't see any way forward.
First of all you sound like an amazing mum! I have a 14 month old and especially in the first few months there were thousands of times that I had no idea why she was crying and how to make her feel better. It's part of the challenge of being a new mum and over time I promise you that you will learn more about each other and it will become easier.
Your beautiful baby needs you and depends on you. If you're not due to be seen until January then get in touch with the mental health team/crisis team and explain that your risk level has changed and you are feeing actively suicidal and you are concerned about acting on the thoughts. They will see you sooner or refer you for more immediate support.
Finally try not to worry about family and friends. You don't need to tell them the ins and outs of everything. All your husband needs to say is that you're not feeling well and will be in touch about visits when you're better.
Take care of yourself and be kind to yourself. You are not a failure and you are good enough for your baby. You're her mummy and she adores you
It is hard to see the positives when you are so ill - but there are lots: you are feeding and loving your baby and those are huge things.
You need some help now, so you do need to contact your MH professionals and get the help you need. The hormonal chaos of pregnancy and afterwards is known to cause these problems in susceptible individuals. You have just been unlucky with this - but you will get well in time and be there to create a happy family.
I too suffered depression and know that sense of desperation that can overtake you. But I came out the other side of it by taking every single bit of help I could - from family, friends, and above all from the MH professionals.
You do not need to have lots of family visitors at this moment, especially as your relationship with them is strained already. Let your OH tell them you are not well enough for visitors yet and you will be back in touch when the time is right.
When I was at rock bottom a friend came round, sat on a stool in front of me, held both my hands and just kept repeating: You WILL get better; You WILL get better. And I did; and so will you. So here I am, holding your hands and telling you you will get better. You WILL get better.
Zoe I felt the same. Please don't get upset about giving formula. I remember being scared of dusk as that's when DD would kick off in a massive way until the wee hours. It got better and 17 months on its not fabulous but that feeling in my chest has got less and continues too. Take all the help from GPs, MWs and please tell your friends. I wish I had x
I know it sounds trite, but you are doing amazingly for taking care of your baby and taking the right steps to taking care of yourself. I have totally been there, and it's very very hard. But you're absolutely doing the right thing.
Keep talking to those who can help. Don't be afraid.
Agree with others; have your dh tell family you're not feeling well, and will keep in touch when you're on the mend.
All the very best.
Thank you all for your help and advice. It's good to know I'm not alone. Like ontheup I feel scared of night time. I'm so anxious she'll be distressed again. Last night I gave her the formula and she still didn't settle...so all that guilt for absolutely no benefit.
My DD didn't sleep any better with formula either. Just follow your instincts and do what works best for you. You have nothing to feel guilty about. It's sounds like you're doing an amazing job. Don't beat yourself up, none of us are perfect X
Zoe I know all babies are different etc but with the help of the GP we worked out that she was allergic to dairy. I cut it out and within a week I had a less screamy child. Could it be something to consider?
But for YOU...
YOU are doing very well. I don't know if this is your first DC but it's fucking hard. And at times I remember thinking that no one else could've felt like this otherwise we would've died out as a species. But I was so wrong. It is common. It's not that you're a crap mum. It's just it's not spoken about openly in some circles. And that doesn't help. I was the first of my friends to have a child so I had no one "in the trenches" with me. My DD is 17 months now. She's my sunshine. Always has been but the clouds started to lift and I now see her for all she is. Please go to the GP. We're still breastfeeding and there are antidepressants you can take. I've only been on mine a month but I can now think without the overriding emotions.
I'm so glad you realised how much DD and DH need you. Its so scary when we have those black thoughts, I've been there myself. It does get better, even though right now its hard to see that. I'm glad that you had a supportive midwife who got you help, not all ADs work for everyone so keep talking to your GP and letting them know how bad things are. I agree with blossom you shouldn't have to wait for MH services any longer it sounds like you are at crisis point now. You can go to A&E and they will keep you safe and get emergency assessment from MH crisis team, or you can call crisis team yourself. The number should be available online or through your local hospital switchboard. Other numbers that might be useful; Samaritans 116 123 or email email@example.com and Cry-sis line ( for parents of crying babies 9am -10pm ) 08451 228 669. You do sound like you are doing a great job as a mum
Thank you all for your help and words of wisdom. The crisis team are coming out to see me tomorrow. I now feel bad telling them what I was planning as worried about being sectioned or my baby being put into care. I know it's nuts. Think my brain is just grooved into finding reasons to beat myself up.
Well done for reaching out to the crises team. Hope they can help.
The crying. Oh lord the crying. My first was a very unsettled baby. Nightmare. Lack of sleep and distressed child. Enough to drive the strongest person to the brink.
If you don't want visitors can you send a message to say you're looking forward to people meeting your baby but you need a little while to recover first
So glad you have got help, its a really brave thing to do, and one of the biggest steps toward getting better. Remember anything that you tell them, they have probaby heard before however bad you think it sounds. Sectioning is an absolute last resort, they would much rather support you at home with DH and DD infact its really hard to get sectioned my DH has had multiple failed suicide attempts and been treated at home throughout. DD has 2 loving parents and they will want to keep you all together and support you as a family. Huge hugs to you.
So glad you have reached out to the crisis team. They are best placed to support you at this time and then once your suicidal thoughts have reduced, they will hopefully refer you for therapy if you wish to access it.
As PP has said, sectioning is a last resort and nothing that you have said sounds sectionable so to speak. Also your DD won't be taken away from you for feeling suicidal. You're no risk whatsoever to DD. Even in cases where social services are involved, it's very very rare for children to be put into care.
As I have said previously, you sound like a great mum and look at this as the first step in your recovery.
Hi Zoe, how are you today? How did it go with crisis team?
Thank you both and I hope your DH anxiouscarer is getting the support he needs.
The crisis team's visit was helpful. We're trying to work on coping strategies and sources of support.
I had a better day yesterday, although baby now had a very unsettled 24 hours so I'm back to having had no sleep and feeling pretty emotional. Thankfully not suicidal. Everyone keeps telling me to simply sleep in the day, but today she's literally fed every hour. If I don't put her to the breastfeeding she screams like she's being murdered. She won't take a bottle of expressed milk either - so literally no one else can feed her. I know that I myself had CMPA as a baby, wondering if she does too. I stopped the formula but she's just had more diarrhoea.
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