Intrusive thoughts :( help??(14 Posts)
Hoping writing this out may help.
I'm 34 weeks pregnant with DC1. Quite relaxed and optimistic about the birth, good health, busy with work (which i passionateky enjoy) and very well supported by my lovely DH. We live in a small town in a house we love with our 1 year old Shih Tzu dog who we adore and who is lovely.
Okay. Despite all the peace of mind, I've started getting these very disturbing daytime intrusive thoughts and i ages that are distressing me. They fall into two categories - nightmares which are rare and have kind of ceased and daytime intrusive thoughts. All of them involve our little dog.
*distressing content alert*
Examples of nightmares - DH flinging Ddog out of the window and crushing her to death. (DH adores her as much as I do) Ddog being caught by dog fighters and being mauled. (Ddog only ever goes out with both of us for our family walks and enjoys a completely secure back garden) DH inserting Ddog into tumble drier and killing her. (Can I just say again, Ddog was DH and mine first joint responsibility, we met her as a 9 day old and neither he nor I can ever ever do such a thing, she has been the most low maintenance, obedient, delightful little bundle of joy)
Daytime thoughts - slow cooker falling in Ddog and crushing her to pulp. Has leaking owing to us leaving the hob on and leaving Ddog to gas to death in empty house when we are away. Returning to find Ddog has hung to death between the stair rails.
These thoughts all began from when I was about 30/32 weeks and they are very distressing, I am not scared about the birth, do lovely relaxing exercises and listen to mp3s to fall asleep, I love my DH and my job and I can't figure it what the hell this is.
You'll probably think I'm either insane or really stupid. But if anyone has any insight on this, I'll most appreciate it!
Do you know what, I think this is not about your dog at all but about your baby.
When I had my first child I had very similar awfil intrusive thoughts about him in the first month or so. Of course I never harmed him, nor would I, or DH. But I could not shake these images of awful things happening to him, either by accident or as a result of one of us losing our minds when he screamed and chucking him out of the window or something.
I know you haven't had your baby yet, but the armchair psychologist in me says there is something very similar going on with you, and for some reason because you don't have a baby in your arms just yet those fears about your ability to nurture and protect your child are being transferred onto your dog.
Also you could be subconsciously fretting about whether your feelings will change for your dog once your baby arrives.
I don't know what the answer is, but have some
Maybe, sounds possible.
The thing is though, love is infinite. Yes of course we love our babies with all our might. But I will never stop loving this vulnerable, speechless, completely dependant till her last breath little creature. My mum who has had me and three dogs says just the same - not one of their deaths was any easier than the others and not one was loved less because she has a child. And gosh did I love them too.
I will love baby. But yes I am terrified love will be finite and all my love will evaporate for everyone else. Everyone else can cope without my love but my beautiful little friend, my partner through morning sickness, hormonal crying spells, my faithful ankle buddy, she won't expect to be abandoned.
Oh dear. She won't be abandoned. I don't know what's going on with my head. It's literally like someone's given her a death sentence, and I am beside myself. And yet on this beautiful morning, here she is, lying by my feet, contemplating a bird outside on the patio.
Oh my goodness, you are getting yourself in a stew my love! Of course you will continue to love your dog and not abandon her! Go to your GP please or speak to your midwife. It's like your post partum blues have kicked in before you've even had this baby!
I had had my dog for 14 years DC1 came along. I remember these feelings well. I was terrified that I wouldn't love my baby as much as I loved my dog - I mean how could I possible ever love another being that much? Which of course, was unfounded. You do. You will manage to love your dog, your baby, any future children, friends and family. It's not a finite pot, it will expand.
As for the dreams and thoughts, please speak to your midwife, if nothing else just so that they keep an eye on you after the birth. I think that very vivid dreams are common in pregnancy but it sounds like you're getting yourself in a pickle. And I say that from the kindest place, having suffered with anxiety and PND myself.
Please look after yourself
Please talk to your midwife. There is a condition called ante natal depression, and having intrusive thoughts can be part of that. Dreams can be very weird in pregnancy, but maybe the perinatal health team can help you with the intrusive thoughts which sound very distressing for you.
Thanks everyone. I'm not depressed though. Not in the least. I'm a perfectly happy and energetic bunny who deeply enjoys all her usual activities, is bright and sparkly and in general am very happy with no changes in mood to report. Very vivid dreams are common in pregnancy I've heard, another lady's recent thread on the pregnancy board had ones wayyy worse than these.
I'm going to take it easy and enjoy the last few weeks at the moment. Of course it's great that help is avsilable if needed
I had awful intrusive thoughts exactly like you describe with both dc1 and 2 - mine didn't start until after the birth but were horrible even though I knew that the likelihood of any of the scenarios would ever come to pass was unbelievably infinitesimal
They went on for about 3-4 months both times but didn't happen with dc3. I didn't tell anyone about them at the time as it sounded completely mad and I knew I was sane, just very very anxious
and for you and a doggy for your lovely little friend
Yy to this not being about your dog, but about your baby - you poor thing!
Intrusive thoughts are horrible, and are an expression of anxiety.
If things settle, then fine. If not, then please don't hesitate to seek help - intrusive thoughts in pregnancy and just after birth are really not at all uncommon. Don't hesitate to speak to your GP of HV about it. Also, have a look at the MH boards here.
V best of luck
Oh, and I loved the saying that 'every baby arrives with its own bundle of love' - people fret when they have subsequent children that they won't love them as much as the previous baby (which is kind of your position if we give your beloved dog the status of 'current baby' ) and I find the concept that there is always more love really lovely.
Yeah, chatted with my mum who I don't see eye to eye with or am close to BUT she explained about her life and the child (me) followed by DDog 1 (companion through separation after I became a teen) Ddog 2 (the barky unhealthy ugly duckling one who was her favourite) and ddog3 (the pretty princess spoilt by all) and their lives and final deaths. And she explained how there was always more and yet more and then more love to give! and for love to be individually tailored to their needs and personalities.
I think the key concern subconsciously was - what if baby takes away every last drop of love abd I suddenly have zero left in the love bank for anyone else (including my mum dad DH and Ddog but because - out of this lot who are apparently about to lose my love - Ddog is the most vulnerable and dependent my gut instinct is to protect her).
Well bless you all, for your kindness! And bless my little D. Picture added from exactly this date last year - for perspective into the attachment factor.
Aah! That is a tiny sweet dog!
Why don't you repost this in a different topic? Lots of people (midwives, GPs, or just people who have experienced similar worrying feelings (though not necessarily about a dog!) might be able to offer you more reassurance, but they may have the Doghouse topic hidden if they don't have a dog!
Oh my goodness, what a sweet, sweet picture - cute dog, but the way you are holding her says everything about what your relationship is like <melts>
Isn't it a wonderful thing that love is never a finite resource and in fact, I'd stipulate, that the more of it your expend the more you have?
You, and your baby, AND your dog will be just fine
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