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Feeling suddenly distraught over my pg, birth and parenting to date

(13 Posts)
InsomniaQueen Wed 23-Jan-13 00:03:24

I don't really know what is happening with me - DD is now 10 months old and I love her "as a mother should", I'm no longer BF and feeling a lot more recovered physically. Today a good friend went for her 20 week scan and although I am really happy for her I found myself reliving my 20 week scan and all I remember was fear.

The more I discuss my friends pregnancy, the more I feel I missed out on enjoying the whole experience. Because of my poor health and complications I felt on edge for most of the time - I kept telling myself I would relax and enjoy it when I had my baby safely in my arms. But within 45 minutes of a difficult birth she was in the NICU with a chest infection, a few days later they diagnosed a heart condition. So I put my brave face on, like I'd done with the pregnancy and I promised myself I'd enjoy it when I had her home.

When we got home I tried to relax and love my daughter but I still felt on edge and worried, although I didn't tell anyone. Things have been very difficult with DH, both of us are to blame which we can admit to and have promised each other to make positive changes. I have been as cheery, together and helpful as normal but been very unhappy when I found myself with too much thinking time.

I'm not fully recovered from birth but I'm so much better than I was - I have fallen totally in love with my daughter and she is the most beautiful part of my life. But the more I think about the last 12 months I've come to see how lonely, isolated, stressed and scared I really was. Is this normal? Do many women have these regrets?

I feel a little bit like I've been living in black and white - but it's only now that I have colour I can see what I missed.

MoelFammau Wed 23-Jan-13 01:57:06

Couldn't read and merrily skip away. You've had a rough ride and you really shouldn't be beating yourself up.

If it helps, my own pregnancy was a joyless affair. (Ex)DH has Aspergers and was so emotionally uninvolved I was in tears. I watched other proud fathers-to-be trying out buggies, caring for their partners, reading the pregnancy books etc, and mine expressed no interest at all. He never even took a photo of my pregnancy, which hurt even more seeing as the guy is a photographer.

Birth was rubbish. I was told repeatedly I wasn't in labour, induced despite being in labour because they refused to believe me, and the damage caused by DD shooting out in less than 20 minutes still affects me now. I was in shock for the first 2 weeks, I felt nothing for DD at all.

BUT. BUT BUT BUT. It's better every day. DD is now 20mo and turning into a real person. I love her more than I can possibly express. You say you're full of regret because you can now see how black & white things were. Turn that around and be happy you can now see in colour. Some women (my mother included) never get there. You have an amazing life ahead of you with your little girl and I for one wish you every happiness.

InsomniaQueen Wed 23-Jan-13 02:43:56

Thank you so much for your reply - you don't know how much it means to feel like a hand is reaching out to you even though it's a virtual one, it's still good to know someone is out there.

I'm laying here listening to her snore and I really am grateful for my blessings. X

MoelFammau Wed 23-Jan-13 02:52:57

10 months is a fab age - they suddenly learn so so much, every day is new and exciting for them. Love watching their minds unfold :-)

My DD has just woken up screaming with trapped wind so I'm a tad jealous of the snoring!

As an extra thought, have you considered that the majority of pregnant women suffer doubts, worry, insecurity and all the rest of it? I'm sure they all do at some stage, especially the ones who breeze along in public. Childbirth is a ridiculously risky thing to pull off (I know this from failing the first time and almost messing up the second time) and you did it. You both got out the other side intact and it's onwards and upwards from there.

HilaryClinton Wed 23-Jan-13 18:43:15

My own experience tells me that we learn the hard way to enjoy This day of This pregnancy. I also think that fear is a very very common experience around scan times.

My friend told me her husband cheered when they discovered they were expecting, after miscarrying our first (four) two blue lines was greeted by not counting our chickens.

If fear is still spoiling motherhoodaybe talk to GP

TwelveLeggedWalk Wed 23-Jan-13 23:04:59

NICU is incredibly scarring. I think it takes a very long time to move past it so don't beat yourself up about that.

The first of my friends to have a new baby after ours is due soon, and I'm wondering how I'll react to it as well. I remember feeling very excited and in awe of all my friends who had babies just before my two were born. And I know at the time I had mine I was very conscious that I wasn't having the same new motherhood experience, but I wonder if now I'll find it harder to see what I missed, or easier because I know that it's a really short period of time, IYSWIM.

Time heals, honestly it does. I was very nervous of approaching their one year birthday, but in the end it was a really joyous occasion. A true celebration in a way that their birth was not.

I hope your DD is doing well now.

stella1w Wed 23-Jan-13 23:10:02

I had a horrible pg...a terrifying birth, ptsd etc... It lasted abou 18 mnths and like you it,s only when i look back i realise how horrendous itwas. But you shd give yourselftons of credit for surviving thusfar. Don,t beat yrself up for not having the experience you think you should have had. Don,t blame yourself. Things will get better.

InsomniaQueen Wed 23-Jan-13 23:22:56

I had a MC before getting pregnant with DD which I know added to my overall worrying. The positive test the first time was pure elation, I wanted to tell everyone but as I'm a cautious person we kept it to DSis and my best friend. The MC was a real blow for me and so finding out I was pg again was lots of "maybe" and "if" day dreaming about names, no wondering about the sex of the baby - it was getting up everyday and saying to myself "today I am pg".

To be honest I don't think I am depressed, having done the questionnaire I can say that I don't feel that way about my life - I suppose I just feel distressed at the amount I've missed due to my detachment. Now I can appreciate fully what I have, how blessed I have been and what a wonderful life I am going to have with DD in it. I'm sad that it's taken me this long to understand and see it.

Thank you both for your replies - it is always helpful to hear other people's experiences, especially when it makes you feel like your not the only person in the world who has been through this or worried in this way. Xx

InsomniaQueen Wed 23-Jan-13 23:29:45

Sorry to twelve and Stella x-post with you.
Twelve I'm planning a huge celebration for her 1st birthday because I did think I might never have it. So I really want it to be special for me and DH and all our families. I hope your right about time healing, not really a lot I can do but wait and see.

Stella that sounds like an awful situation - we haven't even gotten to the 12 month stage so I suppose I will have to give myself a little more time to figure everything out.

rrreow Thu 24-Jan-13 15:29:01

It sounds like you had an incredibly tough, scary and stressful time and you've just been in 'survival mode' for a while. Now you're coming out the other end and it's actually giving you space to think about it and possibly feel some of the feelings you had to put away at the time in order to just keep going. There is nothing wrong with what you're feeling, and I think it's very natural to have to grieve in some way for what you had to go through. If you think it might be helpful you could look into getting a referral for counselling. You don't have to be depressed to benefit from it, it can just be a place where someone can help you make sense of your feelings in a safe place so you can move on.

Overreactionoftheweek Thu 24-Jan-13 15:36:43

I can completely relate to this post - I feel like I missed the first year of DS's life. After a stressful pregnancy, traumatic birth and then PND, it all passed by in a fog. I used to torture myself that he knew and so didn't love me like he did everyone else.

He's now 15 months and everything is so much better. I went to my GP and found just telling someone how I felt made a huge difference. I was also very open with dh (sounds like you are too).

I truly believed I would never forget how bad the birth was and how shit I felt at first...but we're now thinking about having another! So as trite as it sounds, time really does make a huge difference.

Just know that you're not alone - becoming a mother is the hardest thing I've ever done and I think pretty much everyone will agree with that.

blueblackdye Sat 26-Jan-13 19:39:09

InsomniaQueen, you are not alone, fear is what allowed humanity to survive, it is survival instinct, as we become mums, thisinstinct becomes more acute. And motherhood is hard work, as mum, we feel lonely, scared of the rest of the world, stressed out when LO is just communicating by crying... Take it easy, try to enjoy each day, 10 months is a great age, LO interacts with us, laughes, smiles.... Reply to your DD, it willmake you feel better to. Goodluck

Tolly81 Sat 26-Jan-13 20:04:10

I can see where you're coming from too. I had a hideous pregnancy and literally hated every minute. I had hyperemesis which went on right till the end. I also had an abnormal 20 week scan. It was quite literally the worst experience of my life and there was never any let-up. My DD is 8m and I do enjoy her. Tbh, I was relieved not to be pregnant anymore. I enjoy it much more now than the newborn bit which I think for many mums/parents is more about survival. I still shudder when I think about bring pg. I have nightmares about it. I was made to feel bad about not enjoying my pg. Try not to focus on it too much - it is behind you, it's good that you're enjoying it a lot more now, and you're not alone in feeling this way but don't beat yourself up about it. As others have said if you can't move past these feelings it might be worth seeing the GP or getting a referral for counseling. Also if the childbirth is a big source of anxiety still you can often get a referral for childbirth trauma counseling on the NHS - even if it isn't offered at the hospital that you delivered at there may be somewhere regionally that you can get referred to.

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