How much should I be able to cope with? Or should I go to the doctor for ADs?
roalddahl · 27/05/2012 18:38
Apologies for this being my first post after only lurking for some years but I could do with some opinions from the mn community.
I had a traumatic birth 15 months ago (caesarean by general anaesthetic after a 4 day 3 night labour with no sleep) and still really struggle with the day to day of looking after a baby.
My husband and I have no family support. His family live nearby but have never helped with childcare they are "too busy" and won't drive to our house. My parents live 100 miles away and my mother has slow terminal cancer so I feel I cannot ask them to do any baby care given that my Mum is not able to pick up and carry etc our baby and my Dad is already full time carer for my Mum.
My husband is now a stay at home Dad as he had to give up his self employed business last year when his epilepsy returned. I work full time. I struggle to keep up with the cleaning, laundry shopping and cooking. My husband works very hard on doing up our house whenever he can but he cannot cook and prioritises the DIY as our house needs a lot of work. I can't really afford a cleaner on one wage.
Our baby has been a very bad sleeper since I went back to work so I frequently sleep 4 or 5 hours in 2 to 3 cat naps. I can't catch up with daytime sleep as it is always too noisy to sleep in the day at weekends. My husband has only taken our baby out without me and left me to rest in the house 3 times - he says it's too hard for him without being able to drive. The only time I get for any "me time" is going to work.
I am finding that I have a screaming fit tantrum around once a fortnight to once a month and I am beginning to worry that it's not good for our baby for him to see this. I am beginning to think that it was perhaps a mistake to have a baby as I don't seem to be strong enough cope with my life. I feel that I don't have a chemical unbalance that needs to be rectified with anti-depressants. I am just totally knackered with what life has thrown at me and need to find ways to cope. When I have had sufficient sleep I feel like a different person.
But am I wrong? Should I be able to cope? Should I therefore go to the doctor for ADs to get through?
Is this what other people are able to cope with? Or do other people feel like this and not say so?
scottishmummy · 27/05/2012 19:35
gosh you've had lot on your plate
go to GP for a consultation and assessment.
tell GP exactly what you've typed here. there is range of medication and different dosage GP can discuss this at consultation
and try be kind to yourself, no so harsh
DialMforMummy · 27/05/2012 19:43
It sounds like what you need is sleep. Can you get a sitter to watch your LO while you catch up on overdue sleep? AD won't help your tiredness IMO.
I feel for you it sounds very hard, don't beat yourself up about it, lack of sleep IS torture.
NiceCupOfTeaAndASitDown · 27/05/2012 19:45
I have a 16 month old and things aren't as bad as they sound for you and I still have days when I feel like this.
Having been on ADs for many years in the past I personally don't think that's what you need. I think you need sleep!
Does your DH do his share of night wakings? The fact he doesn't drive is no reason he can't take the baby out, I've managed to parent a baby without a car, that's what legs and pushchairs are for! I appreciate that you don't have family on hand to help out but do you have friends?
You say your DH 'doesn't cook' - maybe it's time he learnt! It sounds like he does his share obviously being a SAHP isn't easy and the DIY, but maybe you need to have a word and tell him how you feel.. The DIY can wait, if you don't sleep you're heading for a crisis situation. Work is not an alternative to rest!
DialMforMummy · 27/05/2012 19:46
Oh yes, the other thing to tackle would be some sort of sleep training for your LO but only when YOU feel better and have caught up.
roalddahl · 27/05/2012 19:59
Thank you ladies. I too tend to think I need some good sleep but then I worry that I am in denial. Nice to hear you think this is at least where to start to see if it works. My husband does put himself on duty for all the night wakings bless him but it's rare that I can sleep through DS's nighttime shoutings and I can't seem to sleep well with earplugs.
I do have a friend who has offered for me to go and sleep in her spare room (she has no kids) and my DP is encouraging of this so I think that should be the place to start. An overnight sleep break! I have just felt until now that that would be a bit weak of me (yes, I know, I wouldn't think that of anyone else!).
Again thank you ladies. I needed to check that I wasn't going a bit bananas and therefore too bananas to see the problem straight.
peacefuleasyfeeling · 27/05/2012 20:09
Oh dear, poor you! I can't advise you as to whether you should request a prescription for antidepressants, but I just want to say that my heart goes out to you and I really empathise with your predicament. I would like to think that I am emerging slowly at the other end of a situation not too dissimilar to the one you are in; no family to support us, a DD (2) whose sleeping I'm sure most would describe as shocking, and a DP who, for his own sad reasons :( has rarely been able to offer me time to catch up on sleep (or anything else for that matter), leaving me to pretty much hold both the real baby and the metaphorical one by myself. Reading your post, it strikes me that since you state so categorically that you don't feel you have a chemical imbalance which would benefit from being corrected with antidepressants, you probably don't. It seems to me that you have made an accurate self-diagnosis when you say that you feel like a different person when you have enough sleep, and that you need to find ways of coping. It is so hard to think straight when chronically sleep deprived, and forgive me if I suggest things which I am sure you have mulled over endlessly already. I am not going to suggest "talking to your partner and persuading him to "do his bit", I honestly don't see the point in this. To me it is obvious that if persuading your partner was an option, you would have done it long ago. You clearly have your own good and valid reasons for why this isn't an option for you. I wonder if there is anyone else you could ask though? A friend with a child of a similar age? If you can't afford a cleaner, could you afford to pay a baby sitter (there are some very mature, trust-worthy "career-sitters" out there) to take your child out for a few hours while you catch up on sleep (my friend did exactly this, weekly, and it made a big difference just knowing that she'd have that time to herself)? Personally I never got very far with addressing my sleep deficit (DD is slowly sorting herself out now, we still co-sleep and bf) but I found that compromising on and cutting mahoosive corners with the housework has meant that I've been able to slow down a bit, and I keep in the back of my mind that it is for a limited period only :). Would it be possible for you to ask your GP to refer you for a series of counselling sessions instead of prescribing ADs in order for you to a) benefit from that almost alchemical process of sharing what is weighing you down and b) constructively explore ways in which you can create an easier time for yourself? For what it is worth, I think you can rest assured that many, many people feel like this, and just don't speak about it. I still meet my antenatal group 2 years on and luckily we speak very openly about our successes and most shameful of short-comings, joys and darkest hours. This has been a life saver for most of us, and a real eye-opener for me, coming to realise just how vulnerable and desperate we all feel at times, especially as, as appearances go, we are a group of empowered and successful professional women whom one might expect would have it more "sewn up"... Hm, I'm not sure how helpful I have been really, but I hope that you do find strategies to support you. From where I sit now, I can honestly say that as your baby gets older, it will get easier, and every day gets you closer to that point. Take heart, and one day at a time.
scottishmummy · 27/05/2012 20:11
there is no shame in taking AD
sometimes it's the impetus one needs,can address an imbalance
but get a thorough assessment and consultation at GP
peacefuleasyfeeling · 27/05/2012 20:11
Wow, lots of messages while I was typing away, saying pretty much what I've said but much more concisely :)
roalddahl · 27/05/2012 20:18
(And I hope very much that I haven't said anything unsubtle or non understanding that would offend anyone about antenatal or any other kind of depression.)
orangeandlemons · 27/05/2012 20:21
Dare I say this, but I think your dp needs to be a leeeeetle bit more helpful? I couldn't cook or clean at one point in my life, but I can now as I have had to learn. Can you show him how to operate a washing machine? Also is pushing a toddler round in a pushchair or taking him to the park really that hard? Or is it the epilepsy that is the problem.
I suffere when my d was 2 or 3, as she was just so demanding. My hv organised some free childcare in my house for me to give me a break. Is anyhting like that available?
Would sleeping pills for the short term be better than ad's? At least you might manage to sleep through any disruption.
I think you are just knackere, an trying to do all housework yourself an working is a no brainer. I understand DIY needs doing, but if general care of the house is all on you, then you have no slack in the system at all.
roalddahl · 27/05/2012 22:03
Thank you too to those of you who say you also sometimes feel the same. I wish we all didn't have these times but it is reassuring to know it's not just me. I think I should try a little longer to see if I can get some more sleep and if that helps me to see straight to cope better. And if it doesn't keep slowly getting better then I'd best go to see my GP. Definitely no shame in taking antidepressants If that's what I need.
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