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Post Natal Depression

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Post Natal Depression

Postby Jackie S » Sun Jan 15, 2006 10:11 pm

Hi

My son Joshua is six months old now and is so gorgeous with such a cheeky personality, he is perfect in everyway and I never thought I could love anything like I love him.

The first month following his arrival was awful I was petrified of him and was convinced he hated me. I was diagnosed straight away with Post Natal Depression and put on anti-depressants. I am now on my 4th different anti depressants due to side effects. I am also on sleeping tablets -I had less than an hours sleep a day when I was pregnant and things haven't improved since Joshua arrived. I feel so tired and washed out all the time, like I have nothing left to give.

Joshua had severe colic and I couldn't put him down, he screamed constantly and there was absolutely nothing I could do to help him. It lasted over 5 months, screaming over 16 hours a day (he has always slept straight through the night without waking -thank goodness). It was so bad I have lost 3.5 stones during my pregnancy and since his birth and have gone down 2-3 clothes sizes. Words cannot explain the desperation I feel, and the feeling of being so alone.

People say I have 'the blues' or 'pull yourself together' my mother-in-law even said 'you don't know how lucky you are some people can't have children' for goodness sake I went through 3 cycles of IVF of course I know how lucky I am!!! I don't want to not cope, I don't want to feel like I'm such a terrible mother, I love my son and want to show him.

I don't know what I am trying to say, I think I just need someone to say they have been through it and it will get better etc I feel like nobody understands and I have no right to try and make them.

I feel guilty even saying this on here- so many people would give anything to be able to hold a baby of their own and yet here I am unable to cope.

Sorry for the moan

Jackie
Me 36 husband 38. Been together for over 16 years.
2000 -2003 Clomid
Sept - Oct 03 IVF abandoned due to poor response.
Dec -Feb 04 IVF early m/c
Sept -Nov 04 IVF ++++

10 July 2005 -Our precious son Joshua James was born.
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Postby bubblymichelle » Sun Jan 15, 2006 10:40 pm

Hi Jackie

I am not sure I can help really because I have never been in that situation, I had other things thrown at me and now I am a single mommy which is horrible but I am getting there.

Having a baby is a big change to our system and they take up so much of our time and it takes alot for us to change our lives from what we had to what we have.

I am sure that over time things will get easier for you, I hope it does, I can't really offer any advice on Depression etc.. because I ain't been there, so who am I to say.

All the best though.
Chin Up.
Love
Shell.
xx
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Postby BelB » Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:14 am

Hey there Jackie,
I had a very similar situation that I am more than happy to share. From the outset I will say that it DEFINATELY got better, just so you know that thre is in fact light at the end of the tunnel.

Like you, we had a number of IVF cycles to fall pregnant with Annie. We certainly appreciated how precious she was (is) and how lucky we are to have her in our lives. The change in our life was MONUMENTAL. I was told that women who conceive via any form of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) have a higher incidence of post natal depression. For me I believe, this was because we put so much time and energy into getting and then staying pregnant, than not for a minute did I think about the realities of having a child. And I don't know whether anything to be honest really prepares you for the reality of having child. The constant sleep deprivation (which is in fact a form of torture), the constant strain on your body, carrying a baby ALL day some days is bloody exhausting, the unknowns..am I doing the right thing, is this OK etc etc etc..

I used to spend a lot of time crying in those first six months, I was really hard on myself about breastfeeding, so didn't take the antidepressants that the doctor prescribed for me, but retrospectivity I should have.

What helped me through this time:
1. Counselling - highly recommended.
2. Escapism - my counsellor (a psychologist) asked me what I was reading apart from baby literature, as a previous avid reader I was shocked to admit that I had read nothing apart from baby stuff for six months. He said that getting out of your current zone is really healthy. Whether that's a book or a movie, or coffee with friends without the baby.
3. Baby free time - kind of like escapism I guess, time to you, remember, like you were for the first however many years of your life. It's invigorating and uplifting.
4. Talking to other women who are out there with this experience, and there are LOTS of us. I found some women just so dishonest after having a baby, they would lie to my face about how perfect their babies were, how well they slept etc etc etc. It's all about making them feel good and you like crap. IGNORE THEM. I did lots of reading on some great postnatal depression websites and chatted to women on forums like this who were going through exactly the same thing. It reaffirmed that this is a completely normal reponse to an extremely stressful situation.

I wish you all the very best, it does, and it will get better.
Belinda
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Postby kappy » Tue Jan 17, 2006 6:25 am

Hi Jackie,
I can't say that I suffered from Post Natal Depression, but I definitely had my moments (and still do). Like everyone else said ... having a baby is a HUGE change, and there really isn't any way to prepare yourself for it. I made it a point to read a good deal about depression since I also heard that women who go thru ART are at a higher risk of Post Natal Depression.

Counseling and finding the right meds is #1. Also, joining some type of "mommies" group is really helpful. It's a wonderful place to vent and also good for networking (finding babysitters, good doctors, tips on feeding, etc.) I did this for some much needed support (we really don't have any family close by) and it helped tremendously. And as Belinda said ... getting out by yourself is essential! I find that leaving Hannah with her Daddy and going to the grocery store or grabbing a cup of coffee is so great! Or even locking myself in the bathroom for a long hot bath =) Another must is finding a baby sitter and getting out with DH for a "date night". We're still working on this one, but my husband and I are ready to get out for an evening alone ... even if it's only once a month.

My heart goes out to you. Hang in there! It will get better!
Kelly
Me (35) Premature Ovarian Failure DH (33) OK
IVF Aug 04 -ive, IUI Oct 04 -ive, IUI Dec 04 +ive!!! Hannah Bryce is 18 months!
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Postby Kim » Tue Jan 17, 2006 7:47 pm

Hi there Jackie

I won't say that I know what you're going through but I want you to know that I'm here for you.

We were pregnant together and I know you've had a really hard time - you say you're not coping - you may feel like that but it's not true. Try not to be so hard on yourself, you adore your son and are doing everything you can to get the help you need in order to conquer your PND. You've come on here and asked for advice - it just shows how determined you are !!

The advice from Belinda and Kelly is excellent and I've found that getting out and meeting and talking to new mums is wonderful. Time to yourself is also important and it will be good for you and Joshua to spend a little time apart.

Sounds like your mother-in-law is about as subtle as a sledge hammer ( and talks crap to boot ) but you have to realise that's her job :wink: , mine also has her moments !! :roll:

I just want to say how much I admire you and how you're not alone. There are lots of woman out there in exactly the boat as you. And there are women like Belinda who have been there and come through it just like you will !!

It will get better !!!!

All my love

Kim xxx
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Postby Jackie S » Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:39 pm

Michelle, Kappy, Belinda & Kim

Thank you all so much for taking the time to reply -you have no idea how much it means to me. It is nice for someone to actually say they understand. You have given some really good advice.
Joshua and i have only been apart for about 10 hours since he was born. I saw my GP just before Christmas and cried so hard, she kept me in with her for about 45 minutes and really was lovely. I saw her again yesterday and again she was great and even took the time to prescribe some medicines for Joshua even though the appointment was for me. She said to hang in with the antidepressants, I have been on the new ones for a month and she said they should kick in very soon. When I saw her at Christmas I was at the lowest point of my life, I didn't care what happened to me.
There are a few family issues that i can't go into on here but asking my family to look after Joshua is out of the question, I would never do it. John's parents are the only ones who have had him, and we are very grateful, like I said we have only been apart for about 10 hours in total. John's parents are mad about him and have bought him milk or nappys every week since he arrived.
Today hasn't been that good it took a real effort and Joshua was crying all day. It drives me mad, he cries all day with me and then as soon as his dad comes in there he is acting like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth -all cute and cuddly!! I know all babies do that but when I feel down it makes me think he hates me -but then he looks at me all gooey and laughs.
I'd better close now, Joshua is crying again. I think it is storytime. we get through at least 12 books a day -his favorite is Room On The Broom so we have that everyday, he likes it when the dragon arrives, and laughs.

Thank you again so much for taking the time to reply, its good to know I am not alone.

Jackie
Me 36 husband 38. Been together for over 16 years.
2000 -2003 Clomid
Sept - Oct 03 IVF abandoned due to poor response.
Dec -Feb 04 IVF early m/c
Sept -Nov 04 IVF ++++

10 July 2005 -Our precious son Joshua James was born.
Jackie S
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Postby ogr1 » Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:40 pm

i dont know anything about this.
but i wanted to let you know
that i do know that no one would go threw what we all go threw to have a baby and that there is no way in hell any thing that you are going threw is your fault..


i know oprah did a show on this and she had brook sheilds on there and she had even thought about killing her baby. you might be able to go on her web sight to find some info.

i know brook had gone threw ivf to.

know that you are a great mom it is good that you are trying so hard to get some help..

good luck
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Postby JustinesBaby » Thu Jan 19, 2006 10:26 pm

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Last edited by JustinesBaby on Sun May 11, 2008 6:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Juliana » Fri Jan 20, 2006 1:21 pm

Hi Jackie,
It seems almost as if I can read through the lines of your last mail how hard things are for you. All I can say is, hang in there, the medicines must kick in after a week or ten days and you will feel better. having a kid that cries all the time can test even the strongest person so you should not think even now that you are not coping. If anything Joshua wants you to be with him and he does not know it if you feel helpless. At least that is what I used to tell myself when I passed through some hard time in the first six months of my twins. I don't think it was full blown PND but it was bad enough.
Three or four weeks after my Nadia and Alex were born my DP went back to work and I was alone with them. I cried the whole day and was convinced I could not cope with them at all. We have no family here so I begged him to get help ( actually I was looking for someone to talk to I think) when he came back and he was almost angry at me because he did not understand why I was so scared to be alone with them. After a day we agreed and got a student who came for 4 hours three days a week and I waited for her every day to have someone to talk to. and I called my friends in other countries and cried and asked them if it ever gets better. On top of that I was terrifed that my DP would say you wanted those kids so much why are you nt happy to be with them. I used to say this to myself and felt so guilty. But I am also convinced there is a big hormonal part in this and big part is just tiredness - it does horrible things to your brain. Now that I am not so sleep-deprived everything seems so much easier and almost insignificant. So please remind yourself that things will in certain respects get better simply as Joshua grows up. paradoxically there are more ways now for my twins to hurt themselves (they try to run nowadays - at 16 months) than when they were six months and yet I am now more confident I can handle them so I am not so scared any more that something would happen to them and I would not be able to cope.
Anyway I agree very much with Bel that some time off, even just in your head, helps a lot. it is silly to advice a sleep deprived person to read but like Bel I read a non baby book in the early months even if that was cutting into rest time and I felt better escaping to another world. and maybe you can go out when the in laws are there if you can, it is even better just to be out.
That's what helped me, I do hope you will feel better soon, but if not, you should feel free at least to share with us, it has happened to many more women than we realise.
love from me and a couple of very wild, refusing to sleep Nadia and Alex.
juliana
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Postby Jackie S » Sat Jan 21, 2006 12:15 pm

Hi

Thank you Ogr for the Oprah suggestion -I will look it up when I have some time.

Justine -Thank you for sharing your experiences. I can't believe what you had to go through and hope so much that your health is improving.

I too had a hard time during pregnancy, I was under consultant care and was also seeing 3 other consultants for other health problems. I was taking about 30+ tablets a day throughout my pregnancy and have just stopped the iron tablets after over a year of taking. I think the stress from the meds and at least 2 medical appointments a week didn't help.

Juliana -My goodness it was like reading all my feelings and hurt when I read your post. John was great with Joshua when he was first born and was lucky enough to have a month off from work. I think though he didn't understand the physical side of having a baby and from the day I came out of hospital after the c-section we NEVER stayed in. I kept on telling him I couldn't cope but he wouldn't listen. I was seeing a Perinatal consultant and nurse and my midwife kept seeing me for the 28 days allowed, they were all telling him I needed to stay in and rest but it never happened.

On top of this 2 days after we had come home 13 people came round our house at the same time and started arguing (my family) after this Joshua was overwelmed and we couldn't comfort him. I think this is the point when I started going downhill.

When I started to grow in confidence and felt like I COULD be an ok mum a family member told me that Joshua LOVES John but HATES me. The pain that filled me when she said it to me I cannot describe. I cried for days and even now I can hear those words when I am feeling really bad. My consultant told me to ignore it but that is easier said than done.

It seems like I am so alone, John does his best but it is very hard for him to understand what it is like to feel like your baby hates you. I haven't really got anybody to talk to and to be honest when I really need to talk to someone I withdraw. I didn't go out for 10 days over New Year. John took Joshua out for half an hour or so, to give me a rest but I was not really benefiting. I lost another 3 kg in weight over Christmas any other time -great but I've lost nearly 4stones now throughout the pregnancy and since.

My GP suggested that John should take us out for a meal, if nobody will help us and give us a break -take Joshua along and ignore everyone if he starts to cry, babies cry!!!

Anyway, thank you all for taking the time to post -I really felt guilty posting on here but I don't feel so alone in my feelings now.

Jackie

PS I spoke to my nurse the other day, she specialises in Post Natal Depression and she too said that there is a high chance of PND in women who have undergone assisted conception.
Me 36 husband 38. Been together for over 16 years.
2000 -2003 Clomid
Sept - Oct 03 IVF abandoned due to poor response.
Dec -Feb 04 IVF early m/c
Sept -Nov 04 IVF ++++

10 July 2005 -Our precious son Joshua James was born.
Jackie S
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Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2003 10:54 am
Location: Warwickshire, England

Postby BelB » Sun Jan 22, 2006 1:00 am

Hey Jackie,
You should certainly not feel guilty about posting here with your honest perspective of where you're at, I think it's great that you can be so open. I also think that going out for dinner might be an excellent idea. We did this too (and try to do it regularly). We found Annie would love the change of scenery and often wouldn't cry (even though we expected that she might!!) and we would often get a more realistic view of babies (ie, they do in fact cry, it doesn't make you a bad mum or John a bad dad..they cry because they're babies).
Have you pursued the couselling idea?
Thinking of you
Belinda
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Postby bubblymichelle » Sun Jan 22, 2006 10:28 am

You don't have to feel awful about posting here we are all here for you and will support you the best we can. I try and keep up on here but being a single mommy and running my own site I don't always get chance.
Love
Shell.
xx
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Postby Juliana » Wed Jan 25, 2006 2:47 pm

Hi Jackie,
Just to say I hope you are feeling better and that you managed to out out for a meal with John as you were planning. Also hope you can stop your weight loss, I guess you don't feel like eating but maybe this will change if you get the best medicines for your situation?
I cannot imagine Joshua could hate you when he gets calm only with you. Whoever said this must have had a nasty agenda and must have been aiming to hurt you. I can imagine it stuck in your mind as it is so hurtful but if you can remind yourself it is malicious remark, not a truth!
I am so tired at work at the moment I cannot post much,, but all is well with us. We just passed our MMR vaccination two weeks ago without many side effects so I am happy it's over with.
love,
juliana
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Postby JustinesBaby » Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:33 pm

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