The depression about this is overwhelming at times... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 28 Old 06-05-2009, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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and no one seems to understand.

I know that I should be thrilled and overjoyed that we are expecting two babies. We tried so hard and for so long and were finally successful.

But I can't get happy. I have no idea if it is mostly related to how I am feeling physically right now (I feel awful) or if is due to something deeper.

But the thoughts I have sometimes scare me. Like, how can I possibly do this and come out with my sanity and marriage intact? The baby stage was really hard on us with our son. He was extremely high needs and still is. There was very little sleep involved for a loooong time. How on earth am I going to survive two?

I just don't think that I can. I just am so scared that I cannot be a good mother to that many. And no one understands this fear. They say things like "You will do fine" or "You will adjust." And frankly, that just isn't helpful right now.

Not to mention that the thought of something traumatic happening during this birth brings about severe anxiety. I had a traumatic birth with my son and barely made it through.

I don't know what I am really wanting. Basically someone to tell me that these thoughts aren't crazy and that they had the same feelings.

I am also wondering if I should see a therapist or something. The thoughts and feelings that come with this are really piling up on me.

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#2 of 28 Old 06-05-2009, 10:08 AM
 
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I think that all of these feelings are completely normal. There is an actual word for it--- "twinshock".

First, all babies are different. Chances are that your twins won't be as high needs as baby #1.

2nd- You have a lot more experience now... nursing experience, baby experience, etc.

3rd- Yes, go see a therapist. Your first birth was traumatic and it will help to work through it. I went to see a therapist over the intense guilt I felt when I gave birth to my twins early. It helped IMMENSELY.

Hugs to you mama..... I'm PMing you, too.

Mama to lovely twin girls 1/08
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#3 of 28 Old 06-05-2009, 10:13 AM
 
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I'm not a multiple mom but I saw this and wanted to post
I agree a therpaist is a good idea.
I also want to say that I think the depression has a lot to do with how you are feeling physically. The hormones that are realeased that cause the bad physical feelings during pregnancy can also affect our emotions. I know for me with each of my pregnancies I am happy until the day the morning sickness kicks in and then I become very depressed.
Good luck. I hope you find lots of help and support.

Mom to Iris and Henry
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#4 of 28 Old 06-05-2009, 11:47 AM
 
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If you need someone to say that they had the same feelings, well sign me up! The twins were our "1 more baby". I already had 2 kids, and my 2nd was very high needs as well. She was still nursing, still waking up at night and very attached to me while I was pregnant. Then we found out at 21 weeks that it was twins and I was so stunned that I couldn't even wrap my brain around it for weeks. And I was really scared.

And I'm sorry to say, but yes, it's been really hard. But we are 1 month shy of turning 2 years old and I wouldn't trade it for the world. And I can really see how it will just continue to get better.

I remember when I was trying to convince my dh to have another baby and we were still dealing with my high needs dd, I said something like, 'we've already been through dd, how much worse can it get?' Ha ha!

But you'll just prepare the best you can. You'll ask everyone around you for a little help (even more that you're comfortable with). You'll sign up a cleaning service to come a couple times a month (trust me, even if you can't afford it, it would have done wonders for my sanity in that first year.) Have everyone you know make you a meal to freeze, and then make a couple dozen yourself and you'll do it.

I really would agree that seeing a therapist would be a great idea. It certainly can't hurt. And while it's completely ok to be nervous about the upcoming new arrivals, dreading and depression are not how you want to start things out. It will just make it harder when they do come.

But I do know that since the twins I have really had to cut myself more slack on being the perfect parent. My dd watched way too much tv that first year, but I just couldn't play with her like she wanted. Since then we've cut way back and you know, I could feel guilty about it, but why? I did what I needed to do to get by. And I'll confess that my twins are eating pretzels for breakfast so that I can have 5 minutes to be online, but you know, they'll be fine. So my point is, even if you're not the perfect mother, that doesn't mean you won't be a good one.

Best of luck to you and keep us posted on your progress.

Andrea mommy to G(2/97), S : (1/04), E & J (7/07)
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#5 of 28 Old 06-05-2009, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for the responses so far. I appreciate the lack of judgement in your words and the general feeling of not being so alone.

Andrea- A cleaning service is an excellent idea. A messy house causes me a lot of stress so I can't imagine dealing with that on top of the babies.

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#6 of 28 Old 06-05-2009, 12:41 PM
 
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I'm not a multiples mama, but I just wanted to say that I had an extremely high-needs first child who is now a very spirited and challenging toddler.

My second child is an absolute angel; positively the easiest, happiest baby you could imagine. I had many moments of panic before he was born that he might be as challenging as our first, yet he has been completely different and so easy as a baby.

There's no guarantee, but there's also no reason to expect that you will have two high-needs babies. I'm absolutely certain we could have handled twins like my second baby. He is such a dream. Don't spend too much time worrying that the twins will be high-needs - I think there is every reason to believe they may be very different from your first.
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#7 of 28 Old 06-05-2009, 03:13 PM
 
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I know I sobbed when I found out we were having twins. I felt so bad that I wasn't embracing the brilliance of it all, but I was worried that it would lead to a lot of medical intervention (which DD1 had), and I also had an extremely high needs child already. DD1 was so high needs that she nursed fairly constantly when I was around, even at the age of 3 1/2. She still woke in the night, and needed someone with her all night. I was so freakin' afraid of the birth if I was going to have to be away from her for too long, as I knew she would have had a really hard time. We had never spent a nite away from her.
I had to grieve a lot of things before I could really look forward to the twins' arrival. The MDC board really helped me, but it does sound like a therapist could be very helpful for you if you don't feel like you are moving through this storm.
And yes, a housecleaning every now and again will really help. I am a big advocate of getting as much help as you can, even if you have to extend yourself a bit. I think that keeping your relationship with your partner is extremely important, and feeling like you are meeting at least a majority of your children's needs is equally important as a mother. I think there is a lot to be upset about, and I wouldn't worry about other people's opinions of how you feel. I think most everyone here really was in shock about carrying more than one baby.
Hugs, mama.
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#8 of 28 Old 06-05-2009, 04:03 PM
 
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I still sometimes feel like I'm still in Twinshock and my babies are already a year old It took me weeks and weeks to accept the fact that I wasn't getting what I hadn't even bargained for (the pregnancy was completely unplanned and unwanted). I mourned that I was never going to have an easy toddler stage (I wanted our last child to come much later so I could slow down and enjoy it more--I've always either been pregnant or had a new baby). I was SO scared of being able to nurse two babies at once. I was afraid of the sleep deprivation. I could barely juggle the four I had, how on EARTH was I going to handle two more. And our fourth was SUCH a high needs baby. Two babies like that at once might have killed me.

It DID all work out and it probably will for you as well. I think a therapist is a magnificent idea to help you work all this out and feel stable and strong once they are born.

I remember on the way to the U/S to see if C had her feet up or down (day before I went into labor) I SOBBED at my husband because I was just terrified of having a c-section. Give birth to a breech at home? NO problem. The idea of recovering from majory surgery with newborn twins, four older children under 6, and not enough help was TERRIFYING!

Huge s to you. I'm sorry this is so hard right now. Make sure you're taking care of all your physical needs. As much water and food as you can get down, plenty of rest, lots of time spend caring for your emotional needs.
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#9 of 28 Old 06-05-2009, 06:08 PM
 
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Please don't feel any pressure to be thrilled about expecting twins. It isn't what you were hoping for, even if you had been trying for a long time to get pregnant.

It does sound like seeing a therapist would be a good thing. The pregnancy hormones and feeling awful are likely to be increasing your depression and sense of overwhelm, but your fears are valid, too.

I, too, had a high-needs first and was worried that I would have three more. I got one more, and he is less so than his elder brother.

I wish I had been more anxious to seek help during my pregnancy. I was in crisis mode from the time I learned I was expecting triplets until they turned 2. It has finally hit me that I never processed the grief, disappointment, fear, etc. I now don't have the time to see anybody until the kids start part-time preschool in October.

I love all of my kids to pieces, and I hope that someday I enjoy having a bigger family, but as an introvert with 4 kids under 6, I am totally tapped out. I am still grieving the small family I always wanted.

HTH,

Kate
mother of Patrick (7/31/03), and Michael, William, and Jocelyn (4/27/07)
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#10 of 28 Old 06-05-2009, 11:23 PM
 
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When I found out I was pregnant with twins, most people expected me to be happy and excited. I was mostly scared and worried. It was a while before I could feel excited about it. And to tell the truth, now that they are 13 months old, I still find myself thinking "if I only had one baby..." once in a while. Not as much as I used to, though, and I expect to feel less and less that way as the amazing aspects of having twins become more obvious. Now that they play together, obviously love each other and look for each other, etc., I just marvel at the miracle of it.

I think it must be completely normal to have the feelings you are having. I think if you didn't have them, the concern would be that you aren't being realistic. Anybody who thinks that twins are just fabulous and fun just isn't understanding the real difficulties involved. It's crazy and ridiculously exhausting and also wonderful and fun. You will be tired, and you will be overwhelmed, but you'll also get through it and end up feeling blessed
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#11 of 28 Old 06-05-2009, 11:44 PM
 
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Ditto. I can't even repeat what I said when I found out I was having twins. Acupuncture, yoga, and swimming helped me alot. The birth was OK, be prepped for every possibility (like 2, 38 weekers, both over 7 pounds, in the NICU). Once home I got as much help as possible, even help a night a few times a week.

Breastfeeding was pretty simple after the first month. My older daughter was 2.4 when we brought the twins home. I felt terribly guilty the entire 1st year. I tried to get out with DD every other day or so, even for just an hour. That made a huge difference (and I loved getting away from the twin newborns!).

Now they are 5, 2.5 and 2.5 and it's magic. I never would have believed it. Never. I never planned on 3 kids and the workload does kill me. But frankly, I don't even know what people with *only* one baby at a time DO? The interplay between the kids is such un unexpected blessing. Like a whole other dimension. When I think of having 2 kids, one after the other - that just makes me sad.

Twins are truly incredibly special. You'll see. In 2 years .
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#12 of 28 Old 06-06-2009, 11:35 AM
 
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Ditto. I can't even repeat what I said when I found out I was having twins. Acupuncture, yoga, and swimming helped me alot. The birth was OK, be prepped for every possibility (like 2, 38 weekers, both over 7 pounds, in the NICU). Once home I got as much help as possible, even help a night a few times a week.

Breastfeeding was pretty simple after the first month. My older daughter was 2.4 when we brought the twins home. I felt terribly guilty the entire 1st year. I tried to get out with DD every other day or so, even for just an hour. That made a huge difference (and I loved getting away from the twin newborns!).

Now they are 5, 2.5 and 2.5 and it's magic. I never would have believed it. Never. I never planned on 3 kids and the workload does kill me. But frankly, I don't even know what people with *only* one baby at a time DO? The interplay between the kids is such un unexpected blessing. Like a whole other dimension. When I think of having 2 kids, one after the other - that just makes me sad.

Twins are truly incredibly special. You'll see. In 2 years .

Mama to lovely twin girls 1/08
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#13 of 28 Old 06-06-2009, 03:59 PM
 
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s

It is hard, it is scary, it is a lot of work. So start now to find the resources you will need. And don't let them off after a few weeks, it takes YEARS of help! Seriously, I needed the most help when the twins were 1-2 years old, but that is different for everyone.

I also had a high needs 1st child. I prayed for the entire 6 months that I knew they were twins that they would be mellow children. And they were MUCH better than the 1st! I tell people that he made twins easy.

Actually the skills I gained from my oldest served me well with the twins: babywearing, patience, "babyhood only lasts a few weeks, I can make it a little more" etc., dealing with family's nosy annoying suggestions and questions (are you still nursing? Why aren't you feeding him solids? aren't you tired of holding him all the time? etc.).

You are a much better Mom than you realize and it will be OK. Just take it one hour at a time and don't do more than you can! That is all anyone can do. (and start making lists of helpers and phone numbers to post on the fridge!!)

FInd a twinsclub near you, that will help a lot too. Those families have been in your shoes and already have the lists made. It will save you a lot of footwork!

Courtney wife to geek.gif and mom to 4 boys: chicken3.gif   . I need caffix.gif !
They're not typos. . . I can't spell!
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#14 of 28 Old 06-06-2009, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Again, thank you all so much. It is so nice to read the responses.

I have an appointment set up for a therapist on Wednesday. I really do think that it will help me.

Courtney- I love the suggestion of the twinsclub. I looked it up and there is one of those in my area. I am going to go to the meeting this month.

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#15 of 28 Old 06-06-2009, 05:33 PM
 
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That is great you are going to see a therapist so soon. That should really help.

I just wanted to mention that while you're pregnant with twins it's really easy to imagine the *worst* scenario. My first child was also very high needs, and it was downright hellish at times. I kept envisioning having two of those at once and I spent a lot of my pregnancy being incredibly fearful of my future. My twins are not high needs like that. One is even mellow--what a relief that is!! I couldn't even imagine a mellow baby, after my first. So you never know, but chances are pretty low you'd end up with two more children just like your 1st. DH & I have often commented that as hard as things are, they are not as bad as we were imagining they would be. Maybe that will give you a little hope!

And congrats on your pregnancy!
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#16 of 28 Old 06-06-2009, 05:36 PM
 
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Not a MM either but had to post:

I remember wishing for twins when pregnant. By 1 week postpartum I was praying to God to never give me twins. And I have a "happy go lucky" dd who STTN.

I don't think I've heard anyone else talk about their fear of a traumatic birth linked to twins. That is a big fear of mine b/c even though I've heard of good U/C twin births, it just seems to up the potential risk for having to go to the hospital. :


Sending good vibes your way!

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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#17 of 28 Old 06-08-2009, 10:32 AM
 
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Mandie - I'm there with you. However, I guess I had the advantage of expecting twins for 12 weeks before (our miscarriage). So, the initial freak-out sob-fest was during that pregnancy. Now, I'm still worried, but it seems easier to handle (or else I'm just deeper in denial). Regardless, I do know that the exhaustion during the first 12 weeks was awful and with that came some horrendous mood swings. I'm just now starting to get back on my feet and truly realize how tired I was. With that exhaustion, it's really easy to not be able to see the light and to just get down. Good job on getting help so soon. On our to-do list for pregnancy is to see a marriage counselor. DD was hard on the relationship due to her high needs and we really want to work thru issues now, before they grow into problems when the twins are here. Besides, I have no idea how we'd fit in counseling when stuck in the midst of newborn twin care.

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DD2 12/09 & DS1 12/09
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#18 of 28 Old 06-09-2009, 10:38 PM
 
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I was right there where you are too. I had a high-needs first baby and then was expecting twins. They were 2 1/2 years apart. It hasn't been easy and I still go through 'twinshock' and a little mourning, even though they are almost 2 years old! The truth is, I didn't plan on having 3 kids. I still mourn the easy singleton baby that I will never experience. I love my twins, I do, it's amazing, but sometimes, it is very overwhelming. It's okay to go through all of the stages of "AAAHH!" before coming to grips with your new almost reality.

I never wanted to drive a minivan, the grocery carts aren't built for 3 kids, the vacation packages are for a family of 4, yadda yadda yadda. At the end of the day, they are my babies, I love them and I don't know who I would send back --- j/k.
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#19 of 28 Old 06-10-2009, 11:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nummies View Post
and no one seems to understand.

I know that I should be thrilled and overjoyed that we are expecting two babies. We tried so hard and for so long and were finally successful.

But I can't get happy. I have no idea if it is mostly related to how I am feeling physically right now (I feel awful) or if is due to something deeper.

But the thoughts I have sometimes scare me. Like, how can I possibly do this and come out with my sanity and marriage intact? The baby stage was really hard on us with our son. He was extremely high needs and still is. There was very little sleep involved for a loooong time. How on earth am I going to survive two?

I just don't think that I can. I just am so scared that I cannot be a good mother to that many. And no one understands this fear. They say things like "You will do fine" or "You will adjust." And frankly, that just isn't helpful right now.

Not to mention that the thought of something traumatic happening during this birth brings about severe anxiety. I had a traumatic birth with my son and barely made it through.

I don't know what I am really wanting. Basically someone to tell me that these thoughts aren't crazy and that they had the same feelings.

I am also wondering if I should see a therapist or something. The thoughts and feelings that come with this are really piling up on me.

nope .... you are not crazy at all .... this twin PG was incredibly stressful for me.

Hindsight being 20/20, a therapist might have been a good idea.

Hang in there.

Catholic homeschooling mom of 5 - a teenager, a kindergartener, twin boys and a tiny princess. Follow the Adventures! 

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#20 of 28 Old 06-11-2009, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all again for all the responses. It is nice to read through them when I am having a down moment.

I had a therapy visit yesterday and it went great. I really like the doctor and feel that I made a great decision! It was great to be able to talk about my feelings.

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#21 of 28 Old 06-11-2009, 11:13 AM
 
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Thank you all again for all the responses. It is nice to read through them when I am having a down moment.

I had a therapy visit yesterday and it went great. I really like the doctor and feel that I made a great decision! It was great to be able to talk about my feelings.
Glad to hear it.

Taking care of ourselves can be really hard, but we need to do it.

I'm having an up day today because the cleaners came yesterday. We can only afford to have them in every four weeks, and I am amazed at how much of an impact it has on my mood. The week after they come is always completely different from the week before.

Kate
mother of Patrick (7/31/03), and Michael, William, and Jocelyn (4/27/07)
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#22 of 28 Old 06-14-2009, 01:09 AM
 
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Thank you for this thread. My #1 was high needs, #2 wasn't but I'm not as scared about the after birth part as I should be. (Although almost a month ago right after I found out it was twins I watched a woman carry a 14 month old into preschool to pick up her other child and I was so jealous it was only one and so simple for her.)

I'm so scared about the pregnancy and birth. Every damned time I turn around there's something that's not going to go as planned with a singleton. I feel badly for not being appreciative for what we've got and thrilled (and people who find out are about shocked that I'm not beside myself with joy) but the logistics of it all are overwhelming. I'm still in mourning over the loss of knowing what's going on based on having two births before - this all feels new for me, like a first pregnancy again. Silly, but true.

I'm actually considering counseling and the midwives think it's a good idea to at least meet with a counselor before the babies come. I have a strong history of depressive types mental illness in my family and have escaped PPD twice now, but this time it may not be so. They think at least meeting with someone before the birth may make it easier post-birth if I need to see someone. It's something we're all keeping a very, very close eye on this time around.

Bean : Mama to DSs and (& :, 4 goats & 7 ) and two fraternal twin BOYS 9-19-09 (+ 1 daytime boy)
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#23 of 28 Old 06-14-2009, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for this thread. My #1 was high needs, #2 wasn't but I'm not as scared about the after birth part as I should be. (Although almost a month ago right after I found out it was twins I watched a woman carry a 14 month old into preschool to pick up her other child and I was so jealous it was only one and so simple for her.)

I'm so scared about the pregnancy and birth. Every damned time I turn around there's something that's not going to go as planned with a singleton. I feel badly for not being appreciative for what we've got and thrilled (and people who find out are about shocked that I'm not beside myself with joy) but the logistics of it all are overwhelming. I'm still in mourning over the loss of knowing what's going on based on having two births before - this all feels new for me, like a first pregnancy again. Silly, but true.

I'm actually considering counseling and the midwives think it's a good idea to at least meet with a counselor before the babies come. I have a strong history of depressive types mental illness in my family and have escaped PPD twice now, but this time it may not be so. They think at least meeting with someone before the birth may make it easier post-birth if I need to see someone. It's something we're all keeping a very, very close eye on this time around.
Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. It really does help me to know that I am not the only one going through this. And I totally agree, I feel like a first time mother all over again. The unknown is what is causing me the most stress I think. Just not knowing what to expect is scary.

Anyway, I also think that a counselor may help you too. I have had two visits so far and it is so nice to be able to talk about my feelings without judgement. We set up some goals for my progress and I am really excited about working towards feeling better instead of staying in the same place.

Thanks again for your post.

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#24 of 28 Old 06-15-2009, 01:13 PM
 
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I was pretty overwhelmed when I found out we were expecting twins. My boys required a lot of work, and I couldn't imagine adding two more on top of them. I remember thinking at times that it would be nice if I'd just miscarry one (now, I'm horrified at the thought, but I was just so overwhelmed). You will make it. It will be crazy for awhile, but you will enjoy being a twin mom, too. It's still a lot of work (my twins are almost 3), but it's better than it was, and they really are a lot of fun. We've thought about having another child, but we're afraid to end up with two more, so that has affected our outlook.
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#25 of 28 Old 06-15-2009, 02:21 PM
 
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Looks like this thread really hit a nerve!

While I wasn't as scared during the pregnancy, the anxiety and stress of having two babies (and being a new mom) were overwhelming for me. My docs prescribed Zoloft but I refused it because I was bfing.

What I thought was 'baby blues' lingered, and we started calling it PPD. At 9 months I started seeing a therapist, and I did go on anti-depressants. I felt like a HUGE failure as a mom.

The happy ending: the meds and therapy are amazing. I wish I'd gone on meds a long time ago (like 20 years!!) but I gave in to the stigma. I didn't want to be 'crazy.' But now I finally feel normal, I have energy again, and I'm even gaining confidence as a mom.

Good for you for seeing a therapist. I just wanted to share my experience, because I always benefit from reading everyone elses. Maybe now that I'm feeling better I'll be back on these boards more often...

hugs to all!
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#26 of 28 Old 06-16-2009, 03:28 AM
 
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Leslie, what a nice suprise to see you on the boards, and I'm so glad that you have found what works for you. It takes so much to be a mom of multiples, and everyone is different as to what will work for them, and I'm so glad to hear that you found what works for you. HUG!!!! (and hope to see you more often!)
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#27 of 28 Old 06-17-2009, 11:49 AM
 
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For those of you that have had therapy/counseling...how did you go about finding the right provider? I'm looking for someone that can address the pregnancy/birth and newborn fears. I was also wondering if anyone went to counseling with their dh? We both have concerns, and definately some are about the stress on the marriage, but I'm not sure whether individual counseling (much cheaper since covered by insurance somewhat) would be sufficient or if we need to shell out the big bucks for couples counseling (not covered). Any advice?

J A with DD1 7/06, lost twins 9/08
DD2 12/09 & DS1 12/09
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#28 of 28 Old 06-17-2009, 01:29 PM
 
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You feeling are valid and you shouldn't feel any pressure to feel anything but what you are feeling. Our twins are now 17 months and I have to admit the first year was a challenge. I had the gift of my mother who spent a lot of time here helping out & if you can get some help - esp in the begining - I would encourage you to do so. As for the lack of sleep, the only way I got through it was finally giving into it and maintaing my sence of humor. I am sure seeing a threapist will help take some of the pressure off and give you some perspective. Good luck and know that they are going to bring you so much joy!! Big hug!
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