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Can anyone help? So low with sex issues and possible antenatal depression :((9 Posts)
I originally posted this in mental health but no one responded and maybe I put it in the wrong place as there's a relationship element too.
I think I might have antenatal depression. I'm currently 17 weeks pg with DC2 (planned and wanted) and it's been a terrible pg so far - very difficult 12 weeks and at the same time we moved house (along with all the normal 5-6 weeks of 'are we exchanging are we not') and then just as we moved 2 people left fro DH's business (of 3 people) so just leaving him, so I had to manage the whole house move alone whilst dealing with constant sickness, a 2.5 year old and DH being really stressed and working 16 hour days. I also work full time, and started a new job earlier in the year and don't feel as though I've fully settled in that, which has also caused me some anxiety. Anyway, the pg sickness went at 12 weeks, and I've just been ploughing on since then, but at my MW appointment on Monday I broke down and couldn't stop crying. She was great, and got me an immediate appointment with a lovely GP who has signed me off for 2 weeks, but now I've stopped I actually feel worse. I think it's because I now have space in my day to feel the anxiety - which is like a constant knotted stomach. Even the tiniest things (like not being able to find my driving licence to change the address) are causing me to feel like I'm about to do the scariest thing in my life. I keep waking up in the night and without realising it I'm suddenly crying - it's like my eyes are bleeding tears, they don't even roll down - there's just water flowing out uncontrollably. I don't feel quite this bad all the time, since I've been signed off I've had some hours of respite where I've felt calm and up to cooking a meal or reading or something, but I'm in a much worse mental state than I was.
On top of all of this, I'm worried about my relationship with DH. We have huge sexual issues which go right back to the start of our relationship. They're all my fault as I have a very low sex drive combined with recurrent thrush and I dealt with it badly for years. We did the relate sex therapy which worked really well, but then without really thinking it through, before we could consolidate the changes we got pg with DC1 and since then have struggled with all the normal things - I had a 2c degree tear with DC1 which made sex very painful for ages, then the mad toddler stage with both of us working long hours. Anyway, a few weeks ago we had a huge fight about it (just after sex) as I'd felt like I wasn't enjoying the sex we were just about managing to have and I raised it, and DH was really upset that I'd been 'just going along with it' which was true for a few recent times, but in no way true for any of the sex we've had since the Relate therapy. I've made myself feel even worse by reading 'sexless' threads on Relationships here which seem to be full of people saying they'd leave a sexless marriage and also talking about the hurt and pain it causes them. I'm so devastated I've done the same thing to my DH. I love him dearly, and want to be with him, and develop a tender, loving sex life, but the anxiety about it all is now so crippling it feels like a horrendous catch 22.
Sorry this is so long, but I had to get it out somewhere. Has anyone got any advice/experience of any aspect of this? I feel so alone.
I think you need to get back to the doctor. You clearly have had a very tough year and maybe longer than that. I never felt any desire for sex when pregnant fortunately neither did my husband. There have been other sexless periods in our relationship mostly driven by him - our record (without a pregnancy involved) was a year. I was pretty desperate and said some unkind things which fortunately he did not take to heart. I was never going to leave him or cheat and our relationship is stronger than ever. In fact it is currently him pestering for sex. I hope things work out for you too.
Please try not to think of the sex thing as your 'fault'. You've done so much to make sure you have a happy healthy sex life, and that's million times more than other people do. You and your DH commitment to that shows an ability to face and talk about it which is a wonderful thing. You have to look at sex in the context of the relationship that your in, and the value that's placed on it is unique to the individual, so in that sense it's not always helpful to read that people would want out when sex isn't working. What I'm trying to say is don't add additional pressure by measuring yourself to other peoples yardsticks...
Re potential depression, I'm not familiar with antenatal depression, but it it does sound like you've got a lot on your plate, and I'm really glad your GP has listened and given you some time off. The time off was never going to resolve everything for you,... but take each day at a time, and try and see every time you get something done as an achievement - no matter how big or small. I had a period of depression about a year ago so I know you have to start looking at things like cooking a meal (like you mentioned), going for a walk etc differently. I also found that writing lists of bits I needed to get done really helpful...not like re-paint the house, get promoted level stuff. Just, get washing done, walk dogs, sort pile of post out etc.
Do you have any family you can talk to? Sometimes just telling someone can be a huge relief...
The early years of having children are IMO the toughest on your relationship.
The tiredness combined with the new changes in your relationship do change the dynamics and it's how you come to terms with these that matters.
It's best to talk about these things with your dh because there are going to be more changes when this baby arrives. It is doubly hard but you can get through if by leaning on each other and acknowledging the situation is only temporary.
Could you work part-time? This might take some of the pressure away from you.
Also sex does go on the back burner for a while, this is often due to mum being exhausted, childbirth injury and adapting to the changes in her life. It is best to explain this to dh and tell him in the first few years people do have less sex but only through the above factors. I too have had a low sex drive but it was even worse after my dc were born so I actively encouraged a bit of DIY for my dh.
Re your anxiety, avoid caffeine?? That can set me off! Do you drink much of it? I'm sure there are ways to combat it without resorting to meds. Other folk on here might know about that.
It's Not 'all your fault' you have thrush and a low sex drive. If he had erectile dysfunction, for example, would you be saying to him: 'that's all your fault'. No, you work through things as a couple.
I agree a visit to the doctor should help, perhaps a course of ADs. Also communication with your husband, talk, talk, talk to each other. A lot.
You are both going through a difficult year so please be there for each other.
I can't add much the other posters haven't covered, except sympathy. Sickness and pregnancy is awful, just awful and you are having a tough time generally, so please let anyone who can help get you through it.
Just as an aside though, have you ever had your recurrent thrush checked out properly. There's a skin condition called lichen sclerosus which is often mistaken for recurrent thrush. It can be managed with steroid cream - might be worth getting a gynaecologist's opinion.
Thank you everyone, it's so helpful just to get it all out and yes DH needs to be my next person who I talk to. We were meant to be talking last night (I told him earlier in the day) but then typically he came down with the start of a streaming cold, I started being sick and DS refused bed until 9pm. After battling DS between us for all that time combined with our ailments we just went to bed! This is what life feels like ATM - make a simple plan to get on an even keel then bam chaos ensues! Will ask Gp about lichen S although I have t yet tried the long course of antifungals (and can't until after pg). If I'm religious with canesten I can keep it at bay so that's my plan for the pg. I'll report back when Ive spoken to DH
Re your son, get him to bed at 7 and make him stay there. This is your sane time, when the dc go to bed.
I would basically sit outside his door and each time he gets up, pick him up and put him back, saying time to sleep. Do not engage with him at all.
Yy quitelikely he's normally good or we rule with a rod of iron will to match his, but sometimes it just goes to absolute pot! Sometimes it's just so hard when your 2.8 year old who we don't see that much of keeps springing out of bed to ask the sweetest questions. I'm sure he's being a tinker though and knows we crack under extreme cuteness!
I think as for working part time, I'm definitely re-evaluating when to go on ML. If I can get well enough now to go back for a few weeks up until Christmas, then work for a couple of months, I should maybe consider starting my ML earlier than I planned, possibly around 32 weeks to give me time to prepare, and settle DS into pre-school etc. I was going to go until 37 but although I'll lose a bit of time at the end of ML with Dc2, it will be worth it if I am able to keep my emotional health in order and maintain a loving household for the dcs!
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