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So depressed with 3 week old(9 Posts)
Have a three week old baby. I'm feeling so low and depressed. I wish I didn't have him. I'm still have pregnancy related health issues and on top of that and the sleep deprivation, I'm really struggling.
I have a supportive husband and family but I can't cope. I cry all day and DREAD the nights. Stomach is constantly in knots. I love my baby and wouldn't hurt him but I don't feel connected to him and wish I was still pregnant or without a baby. I feel I have no life and everything revolves around the Baby.
He was a much wanted child but right now I'm at my wits end. When will I sleep again? Will I ever feel normal again? I just don't know what to do. I feel like running away. I've never felt so low and scared.
Please don't feel scared, you're not alone and things really will get easier. I felt that way too. I've got to put my baby to bed now but will be back straight after to chat with you more X
The answer to your questions is yes, things will improve, but you’re having a terrible time right now - and that’s what matters.
Please talk to someone about this. Your health visitor or your doctor. You can also ask your husband to call them if you can’t bear it. Post-natal depression isn’t your fault, and it’s astonishingly common. There is no shame or suggestion it’s becasue you’re not good enough, or anything else your brain might like to tell you - it’s an unfair side-effect of pregnancy and birth. You might need a bit of a help to feel as normal as you can on little sleep.
For now, get as much sleep as you can (and I mean really, just feed the baby if you’re breastfeeding and then hand them over and go straight back to bed, eat well, and know that it’s going to get better.
It is not unusual to feel besieged by a new baby and if you are dealing with health issues as well that is not helping with your energy levels. Homestart was mentioned on another thread, if there is on in your local area you may be able to get some help for a few hours, I think you would have to ask your health visitor it is probably a good idea to tell her how you are feeling anyway. Talk to your husband to see if he can lighten the load a bit even just making a something to eat that’s easy and quick so you make sure your energy level is boosted. If your are nearby family get them to help minding the baby while you have a break or helping you to take the baby for a walk, getting out might help you feel better. Hope you feel better soon, try not to waste time feeling guilty about how you feel it will pass.
Hello, well done for reaching out. I posted a very similar post back in October when my dd was 3 weeks old and I found the reassurance so helpful. (I’ve also posted recently about difficulties with my 5 month old but rest assured she is much easier than a newborn).
I hope I can share a few things that helped me and will hopefully help you.
Having a baby is a HUGE shock the system. However much you prepare for it, the actual experience of having such a high-needs and vulnerable individual is massive. I also found the unpredictability really hard- even if she was sleeping/happy I was already worrying about the next time that she wasn’t! I so remember that ‘feeling of knots’ that you are explaining.
My dd was unwell and had to go to hospital 3x daily for antibiotics for 2 weeks. I remember when my partner would take her I would lay in bed literally unable to move as I was so depressed, and I would wish they (mainly dd) would never come back. I also vividly remember the first time I actually felt love for my dd... she was 4 weeks old. In hindsight I can look back and talk about these things but at the time my guilt and depression over them was unbarable and I felt like I was living a lie of ‘wow my lovely baby I love her so much’. But my point is is that these feels did pass and I love her endlessly now, and this will happen for you, too.
It will get easier in the next few weeks as she starts to get into a routine of (slightly) more predictable feeding/sleeping. It will get easier again when you start to ‘recognise’ the different cries for different things. It will get even better at 8 weeks when she starts smiling. And come 3 months when she’s giggling at you, you will look back at your newborn struggles and see how far you have come.
My advice for now
- It sounds like you might have PND. Please talk to your HV or doctor.
- Remember to eat, you need strength!
- Ignore anything else you think you need to be doing such as house work- concentrate purely on you three
- Be kind to yourself, and also be kind to your partner. Try (and this can be really hard when you’re both tired and struggling) to remain a team.
- Take help where it is offered. Anyone that offers can take her in a pram for 2 hours while you sleep.
- General things that can help a newborn and hence help you- swaddling, white noise, dummy. Make sure she is fed well regardless of breast/bottle
This will get better. But please get help.
Sorry for this ramble, I just so empathise with you. My daughter was so wanted but her first few weeks were the worst of my life and it was so so hard. But I got through it and so will you
Hi there. I felt the same. I cried all the time. I felt like I was doing an awful job. I felt like everyone thought I was an idiot and they all thought I couldn't cope. I hated going out, I hated going to baby groups because they were filled with people who were better than me and all their babies seemed to sleep (they're almost definitely lying). I didn't want to see family and friends because I thought that they didn't actually want to see me, they only wanted to see the baby. I felt like nobody cared about me.
Please speak to a professional and don't stop until they listen. I had to speak to Hv, GP and finally refer myself to IAPT for counselling. Counselling didn't help me that much but it may well for you. I have found that as time goes by it gets a little bit easier.
Things that I found helped in the early days:
Taking some time for myself (showering for example) and give dad the baby
Getting out and seeing people - family or friends
Setting small tasks for the day (even just make some lunch) and that tiny victory was a good lift
DON'T stress about the state of the house, it doesn't matter
Making sure I slept when she slept (not always possible I know)
My baby is now nearly 8 months and she such a happy bright little thing. I didn't ruin her like I thought I would. I honestly find being a mum the hardest thing I've ever done. I didn't believe anyone could say it was the best thing they've ever done but I'm starting to see (very slowly) why people say it. Don't get me wrong, I still have days where I cry and think that nobody cares about me. But they're getting fewer.
You will feel normal again. It'll be a new normal but you'll start to smile again. I promise. I know it's hard to see when you're in the trenches.
Do message me if you like. Where are you in the country?
Thank you SO much for your replies. I don't feel so alone. It's so nice to know I'm not alone and it will get better.
I'm in London. I'm going to be honest with the midwife when she comes. I really do need help and I recognise that. I just wish I felt unconditional love for him. At the moment I care for him and do not want any harm to come to him but I'm so indifferent by him, that's what's the most devastating thing, as I was so so desperate to have him / get pregnant etc.
Not everyone feels overwhelming love from birth, it can take time, and I've seen a thread on MN a while back where many mums said that it took weeks or months. So please don't worry about this.
I know what you mean about dreading the nights. Is your baby gaining weight well and otherwise healthy? I ask as just in case there is any underlying problem which could be making the nights worse.
Could your DH do a night, or every other night? You put ear plugs in, he looks after the baby all night, brings him to you for a bf if you are bf-ing, but you don't do any of the burping, settling or nappy changing, so you can relax and sleep. Do you have a close friend or relative who could do this for a night? Or if you have the finances, a night nanny?
Morning @Emmastone123, how are you doing? The advice above is brilliant. I remember feeling utter fear as night aporoached, and also fear of being left alone with my son as i was so tired, i was scared that I wouldn't be able to look after him or cope. You do though, and each day that passes, they grow and things change. You are in the most anarchic period possible right now, and your body and hormones will still be going through a huge adjustment, so it's really important that you don't beat yourself up. I also agree you need to tell the midwife and HV exactly what you've told us, and more, and they can refer you to various therapies that can help you relax and understand your own capabilities as you move through this period.
I also strongly recommend getting some help either in the day or night, from anyone you trust, so you can catch up on sleep between feeds. I did this from 3 weeks which was also my breaking point, and it helped. I know a lovely, experienced newborn babysitter in London who could come to you for a few hours if you would like to try it-your baby will be totally fine. I'll DM you shortly with her details.
I know it can feel impossible but you are stronger than you might think right now. Keep talking here if you like, we're here.
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