Hi everyone, I'm new to the forum and have a 4 week old daughter. I'm 35 years old and (I thought) was well equipped and excited to care for her, but motherhood is so much harder than I thought it would be, and I have to admit I'm struggling.
I laboured all day, then had an emergency c-section as my daughter was stuck in my pelvis, but delivered safely and the staff were amazing. I wasn't prepared for the baby blues that hit around day 4 and lasted until day 11 - that's not as bad now but I'm still teary most days, mostly due to sleep deprivation I think. I've been feeling anxious an worried all the time and have lost my appetite. I'm hoping things will improve but am wondering if any other mum felt like this at first. My partner is trying to be supportive but I don't think he's sure how to help. I try not to cry in front of him too often as I know he's adapting to the changes too...Peoole say it gets better so I guess we just have to hang in there. Don't get me wrong, I love my daughter to bits, she's beautiful - this adds to the guilt about feeling unhappy as it took us a couple if years to conceive her.
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22-05-2015 16:42 #1Junior Member
- Join Date
- May 2015
Struggling first time mum
22-05-2015 17:26 #2
I'm sorry you are feeling this way but be assured you are not alone. I also had my son by emergency c section and was in hospital for a week as he needed antibiotics and I remember on day 4 just having a complete meltdown. Just couldn't stop crying hysterically and didnt want to be near my son as half my problem was he was latching on pretty much 24 hrs a day and would cry if I was close. The Dr in hospital was lovely and said everyone gets the baby blues around this time.
Things do improve but I found as baby grows new challenges come in. You can never be prepared for how much your life changes and don't beat yourself up for feeling this way. I never suffered pnd but have found motherhood hard. I think one of the hardest things is the guilt you feel for not enjoying every moment. You feel that when it's hard to get that baby you need to appreciate every second but there are many days when I'm looking at the clock counting down the hours until bedtime. This is normal!! We don't have Angels and there will be times when you're exhausted, sore, frustrated and you just want to curl up in the sofa but you can't as you've got a baby that demands your attention 24/7.
I think the main thing that helped me during the first few months was my new mummy friends. I don't think partners can appreciate how we feel but other new mums who are going through same thing can relate. Don't be afraid to tell people how you feel as it might appear that everyone else is loving motherhood but they will all have felt the same at some point.
If things do get worse it might also help to talk to your Dr. As I said I didn't suffer from pnd just baby blues from time to time so I'm not the best person for advice but I'm sure there are plenty people on here who can offer some good advice.
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22-05-2015 17:33 #3
Please don't beat yourself up. I cried for weeks after my eldest was born. All the time. It took me forever to work out all my jumbled up feelings.
This is normal. May I ask if you are breastfeeding???
wifey of hubby who is always away. mother of two girls who are always amusing.
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22-05-2015 18:05 #4Senior Member
- Join Date
- Nov 2012
Take care of yourself. I felt like I had been hit by a truck when my DS1 was born. A baby is life-changing, terrifying, and permanent. I felt completely unprepared for the reality of a baby. It ain't no Huggies commercial! I ended up with PND diagnosed 5 months in, and I went to counselling. I vividly remember saying to the counsellor "but I'm not good at this" and complained that I could hold down a well paying job but I couldn't be a mum. She asked me how long I'd give myself to learn a new job. I said "6 months". Then she asked me how hard I would be on someone at work if their jobs kept changing and they never got 6 months to learn the job.
It's still a thought I come back to when I start to think critically of my ability to be a mum. Every day is different. It might not feel like it now. But months will fly past. They grow up so fast.
Be gentle with yourself and enjoy this time with your beautiful baby. *Big hugs *
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22-05-2015 18:31 #5
I don't think we are ever truly ready for the massive shock to the system that comes with being a first time mum. People can try and warn us, and we can read all the books and forums we want, but it is not something we will ever truly understand until we experience it.
So- welcome to the club. I cried a lot with my first as well. I vividly remember rocking in the foetal position and then calling my mum one night in hysterics begging her to tell me what I should dress them in for bed. Poor woman- what an experience that must have been for her.
I found because no one else that I knew or was friends with had babies at the same time as me, that bh became my lifeline. And not just the general forum, but my due in group- the bunch of women who had babies in roughly the same time of the year. Being able to chat with them about milestones or teething or terrible sleepers was a real life saver.
You know your limits. If you feel that this may be more than just a case of the baby blues, see your gp or MCHN.
Look after yourself. Because its do easy to lose yourself- you put off having a shower, or you skip a meal and next thing you know you realise you haven't done one thing just for yourself in months. It can be depressive. Treat yourself to whatever makes you feel a bit special. A massage, a pedicure, a home made facial treatment. A night siting down watching trash tv and eating junk food. If you love doing it, then make time for it.
And the old cliche- when baby is asleep you rest. Don't sleep if you find day naps hard. Sit in front of the tv or read a book or a magazine, enjoy a hot cuppa and do nothing. The chores will still be there later. Naps are your sanity time.
And dot worry about not enjoying your daughter- I learned very early on that while I love kids in general, I'm not a little baby person. And that's ok.
22-05-2015 18:32 #6Senior Member
- Join Date
- May 2012
Cooltasmum, please give PANDA a call. They are the PND support group.
They gave a talk at our Mother's Group this week and the symptoms you are experiencing are exactly the sort they described. Please please call them before things get worse for you as I'm sure they can help. A woman who works for PANDA spoke about her personal experience and she got to the point of deciding to suicide before seeking help.
I am a new Mum too and it is really hard. No doubt about that. But, if you can't get past the negative feelings then there are people who will understand and can help you. Their counsellors are largely PND survivors.
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22-05-2015 18:51 #7
I just want to wrap you up, hug you and then cry with you. I get it. As I know, so many parents on here do.
Lessons I learned:
1. It's not like the books/movies/internet says it will be and this unfairly causes guilt
2. I didn't feel overwhelming love at first sight with my DS. I felt guilty and hated myself. But the love comes, eventually.
3. Be vocal about what you want and need. I didn't and people couldn't read my mind
4. Ask/cry/scream/beg for help. Do whatever it takes. You're not a burden. Services are there to help, but the wait can be long. Whatever you do, don't downplay how you feel.
5. The idea of Super mum is bullsh!t.
6. Talk or write about how you feel. It can help and others can empathise or offer support
7. It took 2 to make a baby. Be clear with your partner about what you need. You don't have to do it all.
10. Be kind and gentle to yourself. I'm 8 months pp and I'm only just starting to feel like elements of me are back to my old self.
If there's anything you need, feel free to message
22-05-2015 19:01 #8
Absolutely nothing prepare you for it. I cried for days even though I was happy. Then the tiredness kicked in. I felt like a string wound too tight that could snap.
Firstly focus on looking after you. Easier said than done I know. But make sure you eat as you need it. Even if it's crap just eat it. Keep strawberry milk in the fridge for a quick energy hit. I had a leg ham in there and lived on ham sandwiches every night for dinner as it didn't require cooking.
With sleep do it in shifts. Go to bed when bub goes to bed in the evening, it's your hubbies job to look after him till midnight. At midnight you take over and your hubby sleeps. I'm a solo parent but my family would be on DD till they went to bed at 11. If I went to bed at 7-8 that was 3-4hrs already under my belt.
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22-05-2015 19:02 #9
OP what you are feeling is very, very common. That's the first thing. So any thoughts you may have about it not being supposed to be like this, or there being something wrong with you - tell them firmly to rack off.
The second thing is you - make sure you get (at a minimum) one healthy meal, ten minutes in the sunshine and some exercise every day. Work with your DH to make sure this can happen.
Thirdly. It gets easier. The first 12 weeks are a blur of anxiety, fatigue, bewilderment, hormones and did I mention fatigue? After that time you should get to know Bub a little better, and fall into some sort of (however fractured) rhythm. If you are still feeling as you are now after 12 weeks, please seek help with your GP. If it gets worse or your thoughts turn to harmful ones, please seek urgent help. Many of us on BH have been there. There is no shame in it.
Finally - you don't need to protect your husband from the bumps along the way. Parenthood is hard. He doesn't want you to pretend you're coping if you aren't - because eventually you may fall to pieces from the pressure and no one wants that. Please tell him how you're feeling.
As bub gets older the hard times are softened a little bit by all the firsts - the smile, the babble, the sitting up, the crawling etc. You want to see those moments and feel your heart fill with joy. Believe me.
You deserve it. You are nurturing your little one and have done for almost a year now. So please, please, look after you, because you are worth it.
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22-05-2015 19:08 #10
I haven't read all the replies, but just wanted to say it's completely normal and it does (eventually) pass.
It's bloody hard being a parent, I struggled with my first massively! And then when my 2nd was born, I walked out of the hospital on day 2 like I was on cloud 9, I thought I knew it all and that I could handle it, I was so so wrong. It all came crashing down once we were home. I guess my point is, no matter how many babies you have, it never gets easier because they are all different and the sleep deprivation is the same.
It does get better though. Take help and sleep when you can get it
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