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Finding it hard, my wife has PND

(7 Posts)
skscotchegg Sun 26-Jun-16 23:43:44

Dealing with my wife’s postnatal depression:
After our first baby was born, we were both so happy and everything seemed so great, life was just perfect! A short time after (several weeks) my wife’s mood started to change and she would often be very snappy and short tempered with me, even for the smallest of things, such as letting the scoop fall into the tub of powdered milk or even just asking a question.
As time has gone on things have gone from bad to worse. She’s gone from snapping at me and being irritable to shouting and screaming at me and calling me names. The day after she will often text me and apologise or apologise to me in person when I get home from work. She’ll say she didn’t mean it and that she just needs more sleep and feels angry and resentful all the time and that she can’t explain why. I always try to understand how she’s feeling and help out as best I can with the house cleaning, baby feeds, nappy changes as well as getting up in the middle of the night so that she can catch up on her sleep.
From the first couple of weeks when this started to now, 3 and a half months later, things just keep getting worse. At first she would just explode at me and shout and scream maybe once a week, and then it was maybe twice a week, and eventually every other day. And now its at a point where every day I go to work tired, stressed and upset and at the end of my shift I don’t know if I’m going home to a happy wife or an angry wife. And before the birth of our baby girl she was always a happy and chilled out relaxed person. And she really is an amazing person with a big heart, we’ve only been married 1 year in July and the whole time we’ve been together has been the happiest time of my life.
Sometimes I have come home from work and I’ve heard her crying or shouting or both in the living room by herself. I try to calm her down and tell her she’s my beautiful wife, and then I love her more than anything in the whole world, and that she’s an amazing mother and doing a fantastic job at bringing up our beautiful baby girl! I tell her I’ll do anything to make her happy and she just needs to tell me what she wants and I’ll make it happen. At weekends she’ll want to go out for rides and walks, and I’ll buy her chocolate and take her for meals and anything else I can think of. We have two holidays planned in July to Dublin and Italy as she wants to go away and she’s an outdoors kind of person.
I feel like I’m trying so hard to help her get through this but it’s so hard sometimes and sometimes I feel so alone. It’s almost like my actual wife has gone and been replaced by a very unhappy person. She will say things like “I’ve lost my life”, “I feel trapped”, “I feel like I’ve lost my identity”, “my life is over!”, “I wasn’t ready for a baby, what have I done”, “I’m never going to be able to do all the things that I wanted to do, like travel and go hikings/camping”, “I feel like I’m a bad mother”. And I think there’s a lot of other things she says but that’s just some of the things I can remember. Whenever she says these things I try to comfort her and give her big cuddles and tell her I love her and that we have a good life. I really try to make her smile and make her feel happy again, each and every time this happens. I know this must be a big life change for her with being on maternity leave and she’s only 24 so I really try to be understanding and to help her in every way I can.
Often it will feel no matter how much I do, no matter how hard I try, or how nice I am, that it doesn’t make a difference, like nothing I do is appreciated and it really gets me down sometimes. Especially since I am so tired all the time myself and I hardly ever get a good sleep. Even when it’s her turn to get up in the middle of the night, I’ll be fast asleep at 4am and all of sudden I’ll be woken up with my wife shouting and crying and saying “I can’t cope!”, “I can’t do this anymore!”, “my life is over”. And it really makes me jump as one second I’m fast asleep and the next I’m woken up with so much loud noise, banging, shouting and crying. I often feel like I can handle the baby just fine, and the baby doesn’t bother me one bit. It’s actually harder to deal with my wife with PND then it is to deal with a three and half month old baby.
Babies are easier compared to a wife with PND. Nobody ever warned me of this, and I never thought or imagined this would happen to us.
When it’s my turn to get up with the baby, I just pick the baby up, take her to the living room so not to disturb my wife, I don’t make any noise at all and I change her nappy and feed her and get her back to sleep and then I go back to bed myself. I never have any trouble with doing this. It is hard sometimes when I’m tired but I just accept that it has to be done and I just get on with it. I don’t get upset about it because I understand my baby just wants feeding and nappy change, which is normal and to be expected. And at first my wife was also very good at getting up in the middle of the night to feed the baby, but now it’s got to a point where every time it’s her turn she starts crying and shouting. So in the end it leaves everyone sleep deprived. And we actually have a very easy baby that just eats and sleeps very easily.
It took me a long time to convince my wife that she had PND, and I finally got her to accept this and to go to the doctors about four weeks ago. She told the doctor everything and the doctor referred her to a councillor. But since then it has been weeks and she’s still not called the councillor because she often feels like she doesn’t need to or feels embarrassed and doesn’t want to discuss with someone else what’s she’s going through. And every day I ask her to call the number or to let me call the number and she keeps putting it off. Now she says she’s called it but can’t get an appointment for weeks but it just feels like it’s never going to happen. And even if we do eventually end up going it feels like we should have had help months ago and that it’s all just taking too long.
We’ve now also had discussions about her maybe getting some pills, like anti-depressants from the doctors because her hormones seem all over the place and she’s never feeling herself. Every day she feels sad, angry, sad, angry, at different points in the day. And about a week ago she admitted to me that she’s angry towards me because she feels resentment towards me, and that having a baby is my fault that she’s lost her life and her freedom. But we discussed having a baby for a long time before we got pregnant and she came off contraception so that we could try for a baby, it was a joint decision. But yet she still feels angry towards me.
I often feel hurt and upset by some of the things she says, I feel upset when she’s upset because all I want is for her to be happy. I’m really trying my best to be a good husband and a good dad but I just feel like we need some help. I don’t feel like there’s anything more I can do to try and help her or fix the problem on my own. Sometimes I feel like I’m going to have a nervous breakdown myself because it’s so hard living with a wife that has PND and I’m worried how much longer this will go on for? 3 months, six months, a year? When will it end? When will I have my wife back?

Can anyone offer advice or share similar experiences?


skscotchegg Mon 27-Jun-16 16:42:18

Todays update:

Feeling really down and stressed out. Feeling like I've got anxiety which I think is due to not having good sleep.

My wife went mental and started shouting and screaming at me last night because I was putting the baby to bed at 10pm and she was going to bed at 10pm and she thought the baby was going to wake her up and disturb her so she wanted me to give her another bottle of milk but I'd only just fed her 25 minutes before and she was in a deep sleep.

She shouted at me and called me names and swore at me, and I just stood their and took it, I didn't say anything back, I just stood their in silence. And then she went to sleep and then I wrote my first post on this forum above. Whilst she was shouting at me the baby never even woke up.

The baby slept for about 7 hours which I knew she would because shes a good sleeper but my wife thought she was going to wake up at 1am but she didn't wake up until 4:30am. It was like she was panicking and was dealing with anxiety before bed, like her mind goes into overdrive.

And now today I'm back at work and feeling really down and upset myself. I tried phoning the doctors to find out the number for the health visitor and the receptionist said the number should be found in the babys red book at home. And I know where the red book is located so i'm going to read through it tonight and see if I can find the number and then I am going to call the health visitor tomorrow and hope she can help.

I feel daft for posting on this forum. But at the same time perhaps it even just helps me to write this all down and to talk to someone about whats going on. I really can't believe how bad things have got and its so sad because i'm so happy with my beautiful baby girl, shes so perfect! The best daughter in the world! I just wish my wife could get back to normal so she could enjoy this time too. It's almost like she's missing out.

I'm working an 11-7 shift today and I phoned my wife on my lunch break at 2:30 to see if she was ok and she was upset, angry and shouting down the phone, I didn't understand why. It's just getting worse by the day, every day it gets worse. I try to make her happy but she's really not coping well. And I'm find it hard to cope now too because it's so stressful to constantly be trying to make her happy and nothing seems to work.

Fairylea Mon 27-Jun-16 16:52:18

I feel dreadfully sorry for you, you sound like an amazing husband. Would it be possible for you to take some time off work, unpaid or off sick if nothing else, as I think your wife is seriously unwell to the point of being a danger to herself so she needs to have you at home I think. From there I would be contacting the GP yourself and saying how worried you are and asking for a home visit or an appointment you could both go to together. She needs to get on some anti depressants fast. They take at least two weeks to work before she will start to feel any effect.

I suffered from extremely severe pnd after the birth of my dd and was very much like your wife. I was also 24 and felt my life was over. It took me being on some very high dose anti depressants and a lot of time etc to come back to any semblance of being normal. I did make a full recovery however so it is possible with the right medications and support.

flowers for you both. Having a small baby really is hell on earth to a lot of people. Thankfully it's a small part of being a parent really. For many people like me that initial baby bit is just one huge struggle.

SpuriouserAndSpuriouser Mon 27-Jun-16 17:00:40

I just wanted to say that it sounds like you are doing your best. Your wife sounds like she is in a very bad place, I would definitely do what you are doing and contact the health visitor or even her GP again, as well as carry on trying to convince her to see the counsellor. With the right help and support most women are able to beat PND, but obviously this is very draining on their partners and family, so be kind to yourself. Try not to blame your wife because it's not something she can control (I'm sure you don't really, but when you are exhausted and stressed like you sound resentments can build up) If posting here helps you to vent your feelings then by all means carry on. Wishing you both all the best flowers

Couldn't read and run. You are doing such a great job, I can't imagine what you're going through. However there are parts of the way you describe your wife that I can relate to. I get bloody awful postnatal anxiety and it's really out of a persons control; it's hard to do anything to be honest.

I agree with PP about you trying to chase up help for her. It's probably all completely overwhelming for her right now. She may feel that you are treating her like a child by taking control but it's also possible that asking for help is just too much for her to cope with right now.

I have no idea what to tell you, but things will get better. They may just need a big push in the right direction to get moving. But it'll be worth it. I hope things get better soon

MadSprocker Mon 27-Jun-16 17:08:21

She does need to see the GP and get anti depressants. She (and you) need to know that no one is going to take your daughter away from you if she admits she needs help.

As a pp said her mind is not her own, her hormones have got hold of it and made her behave in this way( I speak as a mother who has had pnd, not as a hcp).

Please try and take time off, and say to the receptionists at the doctors that it is an emergency, and get a doctor to you, if she won't go to them.

You sound like you are doing all you can.

Flanderspigeonmurderer Mon 27-Jun-16 17:28:48

Your wife really needs help, be that medication and/ involvement of more medical professionals. Could you possibly take a day off work and ring the GP/health visitor/counsellor and make them aware that she is deteriorating and needs to be seen asap? It sounds like she would benefit from starting anti depressants. The health visitor should be coming out to see her too. Hang on in there please, I know it's tough but your wife has an illness, with help she can get better.

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