Tired mama to my wild child
My child has a very different diagnosis, but hearing it when she was 5 weeks old sent me into a very painful place for... I'm not sure how long, it kind of blurs. You are not the only one to find that the grieving and the fear that come with a baby's diagnosis, piled on top of postpartum hormones, and added to the stress of becoming a mother for the first time, can be completely overwhelming. Huge hugs to you. It's very important to recognize the existance and the legitimacy of your feelings and all your reactions - this is huge, life-changing stuff, it does not get more serious or closer to your heart than this.
Have you seen a counselor who specializes in this area? It can really help a lot. How well are you hanging in now, day to day? How old is our child? My girl is 2 now, and I'm in a much better place with her diagnosis than I was last year. That said, I may have an easier time dealing with the world because my daughter's diagnosis is currently invisible. I have to worry about her getting progressively sicker and maybe dying in her 20s or 30s, but for now, no one looking at her thinks there's anything "wrong with her" so I don't face a lot of those challenges day to day.
I wish you the very best.
I really feel for you having to have all those "what ifs" and worries about the future hanging over your head all the time. I worry about what the future holds too, but try not to think about it too much--
Tired mama to my wild child
It is a steep curve, and you really need to make sure you have the right support available to you. If you don't, then find it. Your child needs you healthy. Are there support groups in your area?
Welcome to baby Fiona with a giant omphalocele, 6/17/10!
We always think that having a baby will be a joyous time but when there's a special need, sometimes the joy is pushed aside by sorrow.
It took 11 months for my son to get diagnosed, and those 11 months are a blur of no sleep, worry, research, dozens of dr appts, severe illnesses, surgeries...and that was just him. Also in that first year I changed jobs (got out of the military because of him and his needs), moved houses, my husband quit work to stay home with him, my oldest went through horrible behavior issues, etc. It was an incredibly stressful time.
Looking back, yes I had a version of post partum depression. Everything got easier for me once we had the diagnosis and I had something to focus my research/energies on. I had a "name" for this thing wrong with my baby. My husband hit his own depressive period in the second year, though. He was not prepared for the diagnosis, so what came as a relief to me came as a shockwave to him. It was a hard time in our family for sure.
I had a few friends that I clung to a lot, and I came here a lot to talk about the stresses. That helped a lot and got me through that time. My husband still struggles, he tends to struggle with depression even in the absence of stressors, so even though our son is 3.5 years old, my husband hasn't been able to pull himself out of the initial "bottom out". Doesn't help that we've since had another baby that has brought him own challenges (although he is thankfully healthy).
Hang in there, join us here, write it all out, every thought you have, we all understand and will be here to give you a virtual hug. Ask your daughter's specialists for recommendations to counselors, books, videos, webpages, support groups, etc. There is help out there!!
My DD's dx is different in that it came about slowly, over a series of years, rather than being so solid, so my experience is different. However, there are times when it just hits me and I get depressed. Last year her birthday was really horrid for me, but this year it was OK.
I've spent time in therapy working on how I feel about having a sn child, and how I feel about someday having a sn adult. My Dh and I have spent time in marriage counseling, and part of that was working on issues surrounding our dd and different ways we process what i going on with her and how it plays out in our relationship.
This is REALLY tough stuff. And most parents can't relate so their ability to be supportive is pretty limited. You aren't the only one, but I found my best support by seeking out professionals.
but everything has pros and cons
Cassie, mom to Alex(4/7/05), Aidan(7/12/07), and Andrew(8/18/08)
The emotional pain I felt after learning he had DS was staggering. I went from blissfully basking in the afterglow of a beautiful home birth to wanting to die, the pain was so intense. It was very disturbing to feel rejection for my newborn.
You are not alone.
One happy momma to a very spirited little girl , her tough little brother , and a happy little suprise late April 2012 . Wife to an overworked and under paid husband .
That's just my story, briefly told. I wouldn't wish that time upon ANYONE and I sincerely hope that your situation improves 100%. Do whatever you need to do - therapy, pills, whatever it takes.
My DH has been my rock. You are never alone in this-this board is so helpful.
My DD is 2.5 years old. We didn't know anything was "wrong" when she was born - we were expecting her to be healthy and all the ultrasounds indicated so.
Long story short, Kate's first year (actually, two years) was full of surgeries, MRI's, therapies, medical equipment and disheartening diagnoses. I literally felt like we kept getting kicked while we were down - we just kept getting bad news after bad news.
I am prone to depression - but it was always pretty minor. I had never tried meds and eventually I came out of it on my own. What I experienced after Kate was born was horrific. I would sit at home and basically cry almost all day. Any news we were given, I immediately made it into worst case scenario. She had several cardiac issues - I knew for sure it meant she was going to die. She had developmental delays - it meant she was going to never live independently, etc.
I was basically a shell of a person and was so completely NOT there for my husband (who didn't really know what to do - he tried to be supportive but I don't think he knew how to deal with this) or my son.
For me, I saw a therapist. She told me that she is not quick to recommend meds, but that the chemicals in my brain were so completely depleted by the stress that I needed to put them back in balance.
I did go on Prozac - a relatively low dose - and was astonished at the results. I paired this with 2x/month therapy and after a little while, I could actually function again. I didn't even realize how bad I was until I could look back with a much clearer head.
I just wanted you to know that you're not alone...
I'm responding to this older thread--maybe there are some who might be able to respond now. I feel like I'm going through the ringer. Some days are better than others. Our DD was born with brain abnormalities. Uncertain future wondering if she's be able to talk, crawl, walk... she's going to develop in a way that's uniquely her own. I'm mourning the loss of what we wanted and expected for her and what I hoped for when I envisioned being a mother. Spring is blossoming before our eyes and inside I feel very low. I told my counselor that feeling the sunshine makes me angry... she said maybe I should consider antidepressants. :-/ To an observer, our daughter looks "normal" and I feel so conflicted when well-meaning people offer congratulations and "enjoy every minute with her!" I don't think I've ever cried so much. I love my daughter fiercely and at the same time I wish I were anywhere else but here sometimes. My husband also feels sad, but remains hopeful about her future. He tells me it's hard to see me so sad, but it's not like I can just turn myself around on demand.
BlueSkyeMom-- I'm a natural-methods kind of mom, and I say consider taking the antidepressants (whether it's a standard pharmaceutical, or a practitioner-prescribed herbal blend, or a flower essence, or whatever). You don't have to take them forever. You will feel better, and you'll be able to enjoy your daughter.
In the beginning, I allowed myself secret Denial Days when I pretended DD was just a regular baby. My neighbor, whose child was diagnosed with a life-long illness, told me she and a friend would go for Sad Walks when she could talk about his ailments.
What you are feeling is perfectly normal. After DD's brain injury, I was so overwhelmed, that it took me a while to process. I went to a couple of therapists. One wanted to start me on meds, which I did not want. It took me a while to find someone who could help me process my feelings and not feel guilty about them.
DD is 5 now, but is still about 6 months developmentally. I cycle through being grateful she is still alive, feeling guilty about how having a child with such intense needs deprives my DS of a more "normal" life, feeling sad that I should be dealing with Kindergarten and dance lessons instead of therapists and home health nurses, and wondering what our future holds.
I can tell you with certainty that day to day life will get better. If you think the meds will help, take them and don't feel bad about it. If you do not want to take the meds, then look for a therapist that can help. I have a friend who lost a child (at 5 days old), who would have been the same age as my DD. I look at her and I am grateful I still have my beautiful girl. She has told me that she looks at me in awe of the strength I have, since she would not have been able to cope with what I do on a daily basis. I guess it is all in how you look at the situation.
I am so, so sorry for what you are going through.
There is an old post from me on this thread, as this issue has had a massive impact on my life. For me, so much of this journey has been making peace with the not knowing. Nothing is ever solid, and I really don't know what my daughter will be able to do in a year a two. She is a teen, and in some ways has a wonderful life, and in other ways, I still fear the future.
but everything has pros and cons
i would describe me and my family as happy, even though we are often worried, overwhelmed and exhausted. Not knowing is hard but i am getting very good at worrying only about the problems immediately ahead and ignoring/repressing everything else. If you have a diagnosis very early in pregnancy it means that yes, you di get the option of "giving back" Once you have accepted your child "as is, it makes it easier. DS2 comes with SB. Thats it.
We get it.go easy on yourself. Use the crutch of medication fir as ling as you need it. Hugs!