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Antenatal/postnatal depression

Struggling after premature birth

4 replies

AlisonL1981 · 26/03/2013 08:29

Hi, I'm really struggling to cope 9 days after my baby boy was born. He was 7 weeks early and I gave birth at home on my own. My labour was very quick and I didn't have much time to take it in. I started getting pains at 17.15, my waters broke at 17.30 and I called an ambulance. Baby was born 17.50 just a minute before the paramedics arrived. He's healthy and was taken off oxygen after 10 hours, he was out of an incubator after 7 days but is still in high dependency as he is tube fed. I've been through the motions.
First of all stated off feeling cheated I didn't get to finish my pregnancy. Crying when I could fit into my old jeans after a day of looking at where my bump was when in the shower or in bed.
Then feeling guilty that he came early and my body didnt keep him in.
I'm now just an emotional zombie. We visit the hospital 3 times a say at his care times. The hospital is 25 minutes drive away so we spend a lot of time going backwards and forwards to him. When at home all I seem to do us express milk. We moved hour only a week before he arrived so everything is still in boxes. Trying to sort everything out us tiring.
I'm beginning to resent having to express milk, especially waking myself up in the middle of the night when I'm already exhausted.
I don't feel like Harry's mum. He's a baby I visit in hospital and take milk to. I hate myself when I resent leaving the house at 9pm to go and see him when I just want to sleep.
On top of it my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer yesterday. My family are all 400 miles south and I'm now upset I can't be with them as my place is here looking after Harry. I want my dad to meet his first born grandson.
I wish I could curl up in a ball and hide for the next month. ??

OP posts:
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CelticPromise · 26/03/2013 08:37

Hey Alison. I'm so sorry you are going through this. I've been there and it's really tough. Congratulations on the birth of your boy. I'm rushing now and will reply properly later but just wanted to recommend the Bliss family support line if you need someone to talk to, they are great.

Could you stay at the hospital between cares? You would have more time for skin to skin and just spending time with your boy, and maybe try feeding. Expressing is very hard but for me it got easier when DS started to feed from me because the end was in sight.

Wishing you a gentle day.

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duchesse · 26/03/2013 08:50

Oh, you poor thing! Your body has had a massive shock. Of course you need to sleep. Any birth is a shock to the system, but a precipitous one like that is a psychological shock as well. With your dad's diagnosis on top of that, no wonder you are struggling. For goodness sake be kind to yourself and don't do too much unpacking yet- limit it to finding essential things!

The things to focus on are

  1. that Harry knew what he was doing and was sensible enough to come out when he did- is the hospital having a good look at his placenta?

  2. he's in the best place he possibly could be and it sounds as though he's doing brilliantly!

  3. Of course you feel tired! Unfortunately that is the lot of the new mother. Unfortunately you don't have your baby with you, but he will be back with very soon. You are doing the best you possibly can for him by expressing, even if it seems horribly disconnected at the moment, it will be so much easier to have him breastfeeding when you get him home (and that time will come very soon, much sooner than you think) Are you able to put him to the breast in the SCBU?

  4. many/most mothers feel strange having their babies in scbu while they sort of get on with "normal" life, you are so not alone with that! Even when it's your 4th baby (and I should know!). Hang in there.

  5. Have you considered asking the hospital for a debrief? They will talk you through what happened. And counselling could help too. After what you've been through, you might really benefit from some support. Keep talking on here- you'll find that loads of people have been through similar things.

    (unmntty hugs)
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CelticPromise · 26/03/2013 15:52

Hello again. Hope you are having an easier day. I am so sorry about your father's diagnosis too. What a dreadful time for you.

It sounds as though Harry won't be in for too much longer, then hopefully you can visit your father.

Your daily routine sounds as though it's not working for you. All that driving time for limited time with your boy. When my DS was in hospital I would go in for about 9-10am and stay until late afternoon, sort of like office hours. I rarely went in the evenings once he was past the worst. Can you make a plan to suit you better so you do less travelling and spend more quality time with him? It really doesn't matter if you miss cares, the nurses will do them. If you can spend longer in the day you can also try demand feeding when he's ready, if you plan to bf. It may be that being there longer and cuddling him when you choose will help him feel more 'yours'.

Give yourself breaks and make sure you eat. If you need a day off from visiting, or just one quick visit in a day, do it. It might help you recharge. What's your expressing routine? Can you double pump to save time?

The way you are feeling about your pregnancy and your body- I felt exactly that way, and I never met a SCBU mum who didn't. I still feel sad about it sometimes, but it gets easier.

Is there any support available on your unit? There might be a parents group, or some sort of professional support.

I hope you are home soon with your boy. Best wishes.

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duchesse · 27/03/2013 15:36

Hope you're doing OK, OP.

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