Has anyone resented being pregnant the entire time and still bonded post-birth? Or not? I don't just want the stories with the happy endings. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 07-31-2013, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have three previous pregnancies & births behind me - my first a stillbirth at 29 weeks, my second with my 9-year-old (both of these to my former fiance), a 14-month-old to my husband and am currently 34 weeks pregnant. This whole pregnancy has been a nightmare - not because I didn't want another baby with my husband, someday, and not because it's been especially complicated, because it hasn't, but it's completely changed our lives - for the worse. It's destroyed my breastfeeding relationship with the youngest, which devastated me as I fed my older daughter for 3 1/2 years, and it totally came out of the blue as my mother tandem nursed my brother and I who were 16 months apart - so I assumed I'd do the same. Near 20 weeks of severe morning/all day sickness put an end to the daily walks to school my daughter & I used to take, in the sun, baby in sling. And the fatigue. And my skin looks dry, blotchy and horrid - I look, and feel, like a meth addict.

I was keen to put this baby up for adoption. My husband wouldn't hear of it. Honestly, as much as I expected things to change, they really haven't and I still feel like I could give this baby over to another family and be perfectly okay with it. I'm exhausted, I'm in pain, my 14-month-old still wakes during the night (this began when I fell pregnant, as a result of low milk supply) and never sleeps in the evening, nor much during the day, so my husband and I never get time alone - to watch a movie uninterrupted or have a bath. And looming imminently is the fresh hell of a newborn on top of this - a newborn and a very rough pre-verbal toddler who will need to be separated at all times.

People I know, casual acquaintances, strangers, even friends, say "You must be getting excited!" and "Not long to go now!" and I just want to reach across and punch them. Because, given my son came spontaneously at 38w 0d, I might only have three weeks to go. I know that, and it's looming like a dark shadow, and I don't want to be reminded of it. We have NO family close...we moved less than a year ago, so no close friends either. Not even anyone I feel I could impose upon to ask to the birth, let alone some adoring group of female friends who'll be so kind as to make me a birthing necklace, light candles and bring home cooked meals. Whatever. Plus, some of the comments surrounding third babies are just downright rude. My father-in-law will be staying in this house again over my dead body, after the things he said when he announced the news, on our son's first birthday. I desperately want to run away. My husband won't consent to adoption, but I can birth in a car somewhere, unmolested, leave the baby with him and then just keep driving, and driving, and make a new life as someone else. Not that I probably will - I can see myself just suffering silently until one day I snap, make arrangements for the kids, and drive off a bridge somewhere. But I don't want this baby. Not now, not yet. My husband says I'll change my mind when I see it, but I'm not convinced, and all I feel is guilt for ruining his joy. Has anyone felt such utter dread at the prospect of having another child (not the birth itself, which doesn't worry me a jot) and still gone on to bond with and love this new baby that they really, really didn't want? 

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#2 of 16 Old 07-31-2013, 07:17 PM
 
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Honestly you sound depressed. Please talk to your care provider about these symptoms. A little bit of antidepressants and some therapy could make all the difference in the world. Hang in there.

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#3 of 16 Old 07-31-2013, 07:21 PM
 
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Having babies close together is hard.  I'm so, so sorry you're having such a hard time.  I do agree that you need to seek professional help - otherwise I fear you're setting yourself up for PP Psychosis.  What state are you in (praying it's near me so I can befriend you).  Can you look into some local playgroups, etc or at church and see if you can meet some other moms?  


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#4 of 16 Old 07-31-2013, 11:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am depressed, but I had a long, long and unsuccessful history with antidepressants in my teens and 20s - something I don't want to go back to. My options are pretty limited. I'm outside of the USA too, unfortunately :(

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#5 of 16 Old 08-01-2013, 12:22 AM
 
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That sounds horrific. :( I'm so sorry you're feeling this way.

 

I didn't exactly resent being pregnant with DS (baby #2), but I hated it. He was planned, and sort of wanted - had a really rough time with DD's pregnancy, birth and babyhood, so it was more "We don't want her to be an only child, so we'll grit our teeth and have another one and get through the next few hellish years", than "Awww babies, let's have more!", KWIM? And then my pregnancy was worse than DD's - for several weeks I felt faint whenever I got up - and I was fearing another birth trauma incident, and somewhere in the middle I got depression, the worst I've ever had it, and really wanted to drive off a bridge. (What is it about bridges?)

 

Anyway... it isn't the same situation, but if it's worth anything, I did bond very quickly with DS and he's the apple of my eye. I did Hypnobabies, and his birth was miles better than DD's. I did end up on antidepressants several months after the birth, but it wasn't as bad as it had been during pregnancy - more of an "I don't want it to get that bad again" precautionary measure.

 

This might seem like an odd question, but do you know what your zinc levels are like? I just wrote an article on back-to-back pregnancies, and it's TOUGH on a woman's body, especially when you're still breastfeeding. Chances are you're low in folate (which is a risk factor for depression), iron (also vaguely related to depression) and zinc (which is necessary for bonding). If your intake of omega-3s during pregnancy is low, the baby will take it out of your brain (creepy, no?) - specifically, if rat studies are applicable to humans, to areas around your dopamine receptors. Another bad thing for depression.

 

So it's worth a shot to start popping supplements. At the very least, they don't have side effects like antidepressants. D'you think?

 

Do you know this baby's sex? I wonder if finding out might be worth it, if it gave you something to "bond" with. Have you thought about names, looked through the old baby clothes and so on? Would it be possible for you to get a doula? I know it's not the same as a circle of female friends, but it's something.

 

No chance you live in NZ, I suppose?

 

I don't really know what to say, but you have my sympathy. Pregnancy can do a number on your head even at the best of times, and it sounds like you have a confluence of sucky circumstances even aside from the pregnancy itself - moving away, unsupportive family, a hard toddler, long-standing issues with depression - any of which would be hard!


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#6 of 16 Old 08-01-2013, 08:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That sounds horrific. :( I'm so sorry you're feeling this way.

 

I didn't exactly resent being pregnant with DS (baby #2), but I hated it. He was planned, and sort of wanted - had a really rough time with DD's pregnancy, birth and babyhood, so it was more "We don't want her to be an only child, so we'll grit our teeth and have another one and get through the next few hellish years", than "Awww babies, let's have more!", KWIM? And then my pregnancy was worse than DD's - for several weeks I felt faint whenever I got up - and I was fearing another birth trauma incident, and somewhere in the middle I got depression, the worst I've ever had it, and really wanted to drive off a bridge. (What is it about bridges?)

 

Anyway... it isn't the same situation, but if it's worth anything, I did bond very quickly with DS and he's the apple of my eye. I did Hypnobabies, and his birth was miles better than DD's. I did end up on antidepressants several months after the birth, but it wasn't as bad as it had been during pregnancy - more of an "I don't want it to get that bad again" precautionary measure.

 

This might seem like an odd question, but do you know what your zinc levels are like? I just wrote an article on back-to-back pregnancies, and it's TOUGH on a woman's body, especially when you're still breastfeeding. Chances are you're low in folate (which is a risk factor for depression), iron (also vaguely related to depression) and zinc (which is necessary for bonding). If your intake of omega-3s during pregnancy is low, the baby will take it out of your brain (creepy, no?) - specifically, if rat studies are applicable to humans, to areas around your dopamine receptors. Another bad thing for depression.

 

So it's worth a shot to start popping supplements. At the very least, they don't have side effects like antidepressants. D'you think?

 

Do you know this baby's sex? I wonder if finding out might be worth it, if it gave you something to "bond" with. Have you thought about names, looked through the old baby clothes and so on? Would it be possible for you to get a doula? I know it's not the same as a circle of female friends, but it's something.

 

No chance you live in NZ, I suppose?

 

I don't really know what to say, but you have my sympathy. Pregnancy can do a number on your head even at the best of times, and it sounds like you have a confluence of sucky circumstances even aside from the pregnancy itself - moving away, unsupportive family, a hard toddler, long-standing issues with depression - any of which would be hard!



Ha, yes I do live in NZ - I'm thinking I know you from elsewhere? I've just had zinc suggested to me. I have a horrid liquid supplement crystallising in the bathroom cabinet somewhere - I'll have to see if I can choke it down on top of the heartburn, which is what is keeping me up at the moment. I have an omega 3 supplement...probably not taking enough. Does anyone even have doulas in NZ? I've never seen them advertise.

The only way in which this pregnancy was remotely 'wanted' - by me, anyway - was that it gave me an out from my contract at work, meaning I could stay home with DS, who I adore despite the fact the little bugger never sleeps. DH is happy. I could have been happy with another...in a few years. Not now.

I folded the baby clothes again a few months ago and it didn't make me feel any better. There's been no reason to buy anything this time either, as they're so close, so it's all a bit 'meh'. Nothing exciting to do in the way of prep (who doesn't like a bit of shopping? And I don't mean for sensible car seats). I was at a friend's birth in April. It was a home birth, but she had a beast of a midwife and it was horrific. She got an injury that will probably stay with her for life. I found it all very traumatic - my births weren't like that, this one won't be like that, but just seeing her like that and everyone being helpless to stop it...it didn't help. It's made me even more fearful and mistrustful and I don't want my midwife in the room any more when I deliver, because frankly, I'm not sure I like her. And then her baby...I just got feelings of horror and dread looking at her. Like, what have I done? I've known this friend more than half my life and all I could think of was how little I wanted one of those again, as I stood beside her, pregnant. She thanked me later for giving her and her husband space to get to know their daughter, but truth be told, I had no desire to hold her. It creeped me out.

We left the sex a surprise again - but I know it's a girl. That part's not helping, either. My eldest daughter is stubborn and moody and we have all kinds of issues. I struggle to be close to her too - it's a passive-aggressive, tumultuous sort of relationship, similar to the one I had with my mother, and the one she had with her mother, back to cavewoman days I guess. If my husband could have a vasectomy that purged him of X-grade sperm, I'd have signed him up long ago. We have a name picked out for a girl...we've named her. Daughter wants a sister. I've tried imagining her with her name and tried to bond...nope, not working, don't want to go there. Plus, I have a brother 16 months younger than me and I hated him when we were small. So DH thinks it's all kittens and rainbows and they'll be close because they're close in age - I think my toddler will want to kill it with fire. And I can't blame him; at his age I felt the same. It's so bad that I just want to wish it all away - as horrific as it sounds. I'm thinking, stillbirth, I can deal with that, I've been there, it was horrible and painful but I know how to get through it now, and it's not the death of my life as I know it, as this seems to be. It helps to know you still loved your son. Was it as soon as he came out, or did it take a few weeks? I've always desperately wanted my babies in the past. I just can't imagine being saddled with this pooping, crying, wriggling creature that wants to suck on my boobs and being expected to feel something for it and then...not.

 

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#7 of 16 Old 08-01-2013, 08:48 AM
 
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I'm so sorry that you're feeling this way, Mama.  I don't have anything to add regarding the post-birth bonding, but did want to mention that your breastfeeding relationship with your son might not be over.  My daughter largely stopped nursing about midway through my pregnancy with her brother (she was ~19months) when my supply decreased to practically nothing, but then fully resumed (and then some) once the baby was born (she was 2 years).  She nursed until she was almost 3years and likely would have gone longer (I encouraged weaning...another story).  Hopefully that can bring you some comfort as you try to work through these feelings.  Good luck.


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#8 of 16 Old 08-01-2013, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm so sorry that you're feeling this way, Mama.  I don't have anything to add regarding the post-birth bonding, but did want to mention that your breastfeeding relationship with your son might not be over.  My daughter largely stopped nursing about midway through my pregnancy with her brother (she was ~19months) when my supply decreased to practically nothing, but then fully resumed (and then some) once the baby was born (she was 2 years).  She nursed until she was almost 3years and likely would have gone longer (I encouraged weaning...another story).  Hopefully that can bring you some comfort as you try to work through these feelings.  Good luck.


Thank you. It really helps hearing stories like this. It's been one of the hardest things about all of this - hating the breastfeeding, then having him wean. It's been a big breeding ground for resentment since he's SO little. From the time he was about 10 months (and I was about 18 weeks pregnant) there was virtually nothing there and we were heavily relying on donor milk. He started losing weight when I was about 8 weeks pregnant. The last few weeks he's been having a feed every day to every other day, but just a token one, really. The last week, I guess, he's declined when I've offered and I assumed it was all over. He's so young that I don't know if he'll remember what to do when baby gets here. I think it'll ease my resentment and disappointment if he does. It's one of the most tangible way in which this pregnancy has hurt the older kids.

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#9 of 16 Old 08-01-2013, 10:33 AM
 
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When I was pregnant with my second I had many of the same feelings. They were so much closer together than we'd planned, i was heartbroken that my toddler had stopped nursing more or less, worried as heck that my son would be emotionally devastated over the new baby. My oldest has high functioning autism and i spent many hours crying and wondering what in the heck had i done?! I was also certain he was a girl, which i was not keen on at all.

 

After the baby was born though, my oldest immediatly started nursing again, and like the previous poster said, even more than he had been nursing before my pregnancy. He too ended up nursing for quite some time, 3 1/2 actually.

 

For all the worrying i'd done that my oldest would be jealous, i shared the baby, nursing, cuddling, and talking...and honestly he adored his baby brother. in fact all the pictures i have of them that first year is of Ds1 staring adoringly into ds2's eyes, playing with him, or "holding" him.

 

Now days they are pretty average siblings. they bicker like crazy but also love each other like crazy. They are actually totally non-jealous of each other or other children and are happy well balanced little boys

 

I know when i was pregnant with my second that soon after my first pregnancy, regular prenatals were not enough. I drank tons of RRl tea, took fish oil supplements, floradix, and sometimes 5 htp to stay stable.

 

as for bonding, i actually ended up bonding quicker with my second then i did with my first. Funny how that works out. lol

 

I am so sorry you are struggling and hope you find some peace soon

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#10 of 16 Old 08-01-2013, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When I was pregnant with my second I had many of the same feelings. They were so much closer together than we'd planned, i was heartbroken that my toddler had stopped nursing more or less, worried as heck that my son would be emotionally devastated over the new baby. My oldest has high functioning autism and i spent many hours crying and wondering what in the heck had i done?! I was also certain he was a girl, which i was not keen on at all.

 

After the baby was born though, my oldest immediatly started nursing again, and like the previous poster said, even more than he had been nursing before my pregnancy. He too ended up nursing for quite some time, 3 1/2 actually.

 

For all the worrying i'd done that my oldest would be jealous, i shared the baby, nursing, cuddling, and talking...and honestly he adored his baby brother. in fact all the pictures i have of them that first year is of Ds1 staring adoringly into ds2's eyes, playing with him, or "holding" him.

 

Now days they are pretty average siblings. they bicker like crazy but also love each other like crazy. They are actually totally non-jealous of each other or other children and are happy well balanced little boys

 

I know when i was pregnant with my second that soon after my first pregnancy, regular prenatals were not enough. I drank tons of RRl tea, took fish oil supplements, floradix, and sometimes 5 htp to stay stable.

 

as for bonding, i actually ended up bonding quicker with my second then i did with my first. Funny how that works out. lol

 

I am so sorry you are struggling and hope you find some peace soon

 



Thanks Selissa...your story really helps. I'm so glad your eldest resumed nursing - how old was he, and how long did he go without nursing before the baby was born? I probably am nutritionally deficient - I tend to lose weight during my pregnancies, at least during the first few months, due to the morning sickness, so I've spent four months or so being very malnourished (I have the weight to lose, but the nutritional deficiencies still worry me). I have some RRL tea - I didn't know it could help with moods. In fact, I've been a bit reluctant to drink it too early because I fear preterm labour, as my last came at 38 weeks exactly after a three hour labour and I felt as though I was 'holding him in' the last few weeks. I'll have to look into that.

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#11 of 16 Old 08-01-2013, 03:20 PM
 
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My midwife had me drinking Rrl, nettles, dandelion leaf, and red clover for nutritional purposes. She was totally unconcerned about it causing preterm labor and I used quite a bit daily.

DS1 was 20 months but due to being autistic was emotionally behind. He was almost completely non-verbal and at about the same place developmemt wise as your average 12 - 15 month old.

I don't know about you but for me with ds2 being malnourished took my regular concerns and made them seem untenable. Like the worst pms ever magnified by severe lack of sleep. It does make me wonder if that might be at keast some of what is going on for you.

Any and either way (hugs). I wish I could give you a real hug...and maybe a nap. I know I need one right about now
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#12 of 16 Old 08-01-2013, 04:30 PM
 
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Ha, yes I do live in NZ - I'm thinking I know you from elsewhere? I've just had zinc suggested to me. I have a horrid liquid supplement crystallising in the bathroom cabinet somewhere - I'll have to see if I can choke it down on top of the heartburn, which is what is keeping me up at the moment. I have an omega 3 supplement...probably not taking enough. Does anyone even have doulas in NZ? I've never seen them advertise.

Well, random! No, I don't know you from elsewhere (not as far as I know!) - it was just a long shot. I'm in Hamilton. :) If you're close by and want a friend, well, I'm a bit weird, but I'm a good cook. :p

 

There are doulas here - not as many as in the US, but some. I've googled 'em in the past. And if you haven't had a baby here before, NZ maternity care is considered to be world-class. At the birthing centres, at least, they're pretty non-interventionist and don't push immediate cord clamping; they're big on skin-to-skin, promote breastfeeding, all that jazz. So that's something! You can change your MW at any time, too.

 

I get what you mean about your feelings regarding your friend's labour. After I had DD I went through a real "What have I done?" phase. Everything from resenting my mother for "pretending" that having kids was fun (which is ridiculous in hindsight), to vaguely wishing DD and DH would crash off a bridge so I could move to Paris and start life anew as a pastry chef, forswearing men and the progeny they engender. And when friends of mine got pregnant, I found myself being very bitter and cynical about it all. I felt sorry for them; if they seemed to be happy I thought they were naive idiots. (Not a charming attitude, and in retrospect I really should have been medicated or in therapy or something.) One friend got pregnant again because she missed being pregnant, and I looked at her like she had two heads. Actually, I still feel that way. :p

 

I'm very happy to say I'm over that now, and can goo and gaa at babies with the best of them. It took having laid-back, happy DS to make me realise that birth and babies don't have to be hellish. I love DD dearly, of course, but her infancy was not fun.

 

I did bond with DS very early. Funny story, really - when DD was born I was paranoid throughout pregnancy that she wouldn't be cute. I was worried I wouldn't love an ugly baby (and I don't care what they say, there ARE ugly babies.) When she came out my first thought, along with relief it was over, was "Thank goodness she's cute." When DS was born my first thought along with relief it was over was "Huh, this one's not so cute." He wasn't ugly, just kinda goofy-looking. But we bonded very easily - I was as proud as punch that I'd held it together through the birth, and that I'd birthed such a big baby (9 pounds 6) standing up with no tears - so that helped a lot. And funnily enough, I was thrilled to find that I could love a funny-looking baby! I genuinely didn't care that there were prettier babies on the block - he was mine and I liked his squashy face and sticky-out ears. This was something of a revelation. :p (And then when he was a few months old, he got male-pattern baldness and looked ridonkulous, and people laughed at him in the supermarket! He's gorgeous now, though... his hair grew back in curly.)

 

And during the last weeks of pregnancy with DS I was hitting the supplements pretty hard, too. Lots of zinc and fish oil, and I can't even remember what else. RRL tea (ghastly stuff). I really, really recommend the supplements. The liquid zinc sounds gross - supermarket tablet stuff is fine, isn't it? It's cheap, anyway. :p

 

With the close-in-age thing: yeah, in some ways I think a bigger gap helps kids get along better in the early years. BUT... your LO is so small that in a year or two he won't even remember life without his little sister. He won't remember the weaning thing. He won't remember any early jealousy. She'll have been there, as far as he knows, all his life. And when they're seven and eight, or fifteen and sixteen, it could be awesome. Don't discount the possibility! I'm one of six (all girls), and us three oldest were each 18 months apart. We did fight growing up, although the older two got on better; but as teenagers it was really awesome. We were each others' best friends. We're still really close, and I'm tremendously grateful for them. (And if it helps, out of six girls, only one of us - the eldest, as it happens! - doesn't get on well with Mum. The rest of us, again, are really close with her. It can happen!)

 

How are your finances, if you don't mind me asking? If you can afford it, I think you should go out and buy baby stuff whether you "need" it or not. Fun stuff, not carseats. :) Or get a pedicure or a massage or see a movie or whatever floats your boat. Heck, if your LO isn't nursing frequently, could you swing a night away, alone or with your DH?

 

After I had DD, in my "trapped" phase, I did do one thing that really helped. I figured out concretely what her presence was preventing me from doing - not pie-in-the-sky "I could be living in Oxford studying children's literature and wearing flowy dresses" stuff, but actual stuff. One thing was choir - I love singing and was in choirs throughout my childhood, but DD was too high-maintenance to leave even for an hour to go to practice. So I started up my own little singing group. We met at our house, DD breastfed through the songs, and later she played on the floor, then joined in singing with us. Now she mostly draws in the corner. She's five now and we're still singing! We kinda suck, to be fair, and it's not the same as being in a big eighty-person choir -- but we can choose our own music, and I make yummy supper to have afterwards, and it gives me a reason to clean the living room every week. :)

 

Is there anything like that you could do? Join a baby-friendly book club, take up a hobby, figure out some way to make your passion work with two kids in tow?

 

Sorry for the novel. :p I really feel for your situation - it's bringing back some interesting memories! It's good to remember that even at my looniest, I'm a HECK of a lot more well-adjusted than I was five years ago. Remember that the bad times won't be forever, k? Even if it's everything you're dreading, it WILL pass - they WILL grow up and be more independent.


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#13 of 16 Old 08-01-2013, 04:39 PM
 
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I have to agree with a PP in that you should seek some sort of professional help. You sound extremely depressed. I know in your 20s antidepressants were unsuccessful, and I am not sure how old you are now, but in the last 10 years or so they have made a lot of advances in the treatment of depression and there are many new treatments and medications available. However, if you do not want to use medication, I think even talking to a therapist could help a lot. Just having a neutral 3rd party who isn't emotionally attached to the baby or the situation can really help you sort out your feelings, why you are feeling them, and give some much needed perspective.

 

Also, if you are malnourished that can really mess with your emotions more than most people realize. There are real physical factors to depression and nutrition helps a lot. Please take care of yourself and use some of the above suggestions to improve that if you can. I know omega-3 fish oil really helped regulate my moods in my last pregnancy and was very helpful. I think I was taking a gram a day. There are other supplements you can take but to be honest I am not sure what is safe for pregnancy. Someone above mentioned 5-hpt, maybe talk to your care provider about that.

 

And please please please, do NOT feel guilty. Pregnancy, nursing, motherhood are HARD. They are hard emotionally and hard physically and it can really take a toll on you. Some women breeze through but so many do not and that is perfectly ok.

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#14 of 16 Old 08-01-2013, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Smokering View Post

Well, random! No, I don't know you from elsewhere (not as far as I know!) - it was just a long shot. I'm in Hamilton. :) If you're close by and want a friend, well, I'm a bit weird, but I'm a good cook. :p

 

There are doulas here - not as many as in the US, but some. I've googled 'em in the past. And if you haven't had a baby here before, NZ maternity care is considered to be world-class. At the birthing centres, at least, they're pretty non-interventionist and don't push immediate cord clamping; they're big on skin-to-skin, promote breastfeeding, all that jazz. So that's something! You can change your MW at any time, too.

 

I get what you mean about your feelings regarding your friend's labour. After I had DD I went through a real "What have I done?" phase. Everything from resenting my mother for "pretending" that having kids was fun (which is ridiculous in hindsight), to vaguely wishing DD and DH would crash off a bridge so I could move to Paris and start life anew as a pastry chef, forswearing men and the progeny they engender. And when friends of mine got pregnant, I found myself being very bitter and cynical about it all. I felt sorry for them; if they seemed to be happy I thought they were naive idiots. (Not a charming attitude, and in retrospect I really should have been medicated or in therapy or something.) One friend got pregnant again because she missed being pregnant, and I looked at her like she had two heads. Actually, I still feel that way. :p

 

I'm very happy to say I'm over that now, and can goo and gaa at babies with the best of them. It took having laid-back, happy DS to make me realise that birth and babies don't have to be hellish. I love DD dearly, of course, but her infancy was not fun.

 

I did bond with DS very early. Funny story, really - when DD was born I was paranoid throughout pregnancy that she wouldn't be cute. I was worried I wouldn't love an ugly baby (and I don't care what they say, there ARE ugly babies.) When she came out my first thought, along with relief it was over, was "Thank goodness she's cute." When DS was born my first thought along with relief it was over was "Huh, this one's not so cute." He wasn't ugly, just kinda goofy-looking. But we bonded very easily - I was as proud as punch that I'd held it together through the birth, and that I'd birthed such a big baby (9 pounds 6) standing up with no tears - so that helped a lot. And funnily enough, I was thrilled to find that I could love a funny-looking baby! I genuinely didn't care that there were prettier babies on the block - he was mine and I liked his squashy face and sticky-out ears. This was something of a revelation. :p (And then when he was a few months old, he got male-pattern baldness and looked ridonkulous, and people laughed at him in the supermarket! He's gorgeous now, though... his hair grew back in curly.)

 

And during the last weeks of pregnancy with DS I was hitting the supplements pretty hard, too. Lots of zinc and fish oil, and I can't even remember what else. RRL tea (ghastly stuff). I really, really recommend the supplements. The liquid zinc sounds gross - supermarket tablet stuff is fine, isn't it? It's cheap, anyway. :p

 

With the close-in-age thing: yeah, in some ways I think a bigger gap helps kids get along better in the early years. BUT... your LO is so small that in a year or two he won't even remember life without his little sister. He won't remember the weaning thing. He won't remember any early jealousy. She'll have been there, as far as he knows, all his life. And when they're seven and eight, or fifteen and sixteen, it could be awesome. Don't discount the possibility! I'm one of six (all girls), and us three oldest were each 18 months apart. We did fight growing up, although the older two got on better; but as teenagers it was really awesome. We were each others' best friends. We're still really close, and I'm tremendously grateful for them. (And if it helps, out of six girls, only one of us - the eldest, as it happens! - doesn't get on well with Mum. The rest of us, again, are really close with her. It can happen!)

 

How are your finances, if you don't mind me asking? If you can afford it, I think you should go out and buy baby stuff whether you "need" it or not. Fun stuff, not carseats. :) Or get a pedicure or a massage or see a movie or whatever floats your boat. Heck, if your LO isn't nursing frequently, could you swing a night away, alone or with your DH?

 

After I had DD, in my "trapped" phase, I did do one thing that really helped. I figured out concretely what her presence was preventing me from doing - not pie-in-the-sky "I could be living in Oxford studying children's literature and wearing flowy dresses" stuff, but actual stuff. One thing was choir - I love singing and was in choirs throughout my childhood, but DD was too high-maintenance to leave even for an hour to go to practice. So I started up my own little singing group. We met at our house, DD breastfed through the songs, and later she played on the floor, then joined in singing with us. Now she mostly draws in the corner. She's five now and we're still singing! We kinda suck, to be fair, and it's not the same as being in a big eighty-person choir -- but we can choose our own music, and I make yummy supper to have afterwards, and it gives me a reason to clean the living room every week. :)

 

Is there anything like that you could do? Join a baby-friendly book club, take up a hobby, figure out some way to make your passion work with two kids in tow?

 

Sorry for the novel. :p I really feel for your situation - it's bringing back some interesting memories! It's good to remember that even at my looniest, I'm a HECK of a lot more well-adjusted than I was five years ago. Remember that the bad times won't be forever, k? Even if it's everything you're dreading, it WILL pass - they WILL grow up and be more independent.



I'm further South or I'd love to be your weird friend! You're not Janet then? You remind me a lot of Janet. You can't be all that out there if you have doppelgangers. Funny thing is, as strange as it may sound, part of the problem is that I'm terrified of it passing - I'm terrified of it all passing while I'm in this horrible funk, and missing out on their babyhood. I don't want to 'not have' this baby so much as I just want to put it all on hold, or push rewind. I'm not worried about the birth - it'll be another home birth. Maybe an unassisted birth, if I kick everyone out. I just feel cheated of happy experiences. I feel robbed of a good proportion of my life by depression, and it's still stealing from me. I wish I had the funds for a night away, let alone shopping - we're saving for an old second hand car that will actually fit all the carseats. Casualty of giving up work. I have projects from time to time that keep me amused for the short term - right now I'm going to make my own fermentation jars. But it's so hard to do ANYTHING with kids - just basic housework. Anything. I feel like I can't even have anyone around at the moment, the kitchen is so tragic. It has ants now, or vermin, as CYFS would probably refer to them as. Your story really helps. And yes, I feel sorry for pregnant friends too. I'm even enjoying some schadenfreude that my friend of 18 years, who was a teensy bit judgemental, is finding out how hard it really is. And I shouldn't feel that way, as having a traumatic birth is hard enough.

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#15 of 16 Old 08-01-2013, 06:05 PM
 
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This sounds a lot like a friend of mine who was nigh on forced into her last pregnancy, much too soon, and at the worst time by her ex husband who wanted another kid no matter what. She dreaded his very existence and his birth was the hardest of her 4 but he just turned 11 and has been a delight to her since he was born. It was so overwhelming and she was not at all excited but he was just the right child to come at that time, with exactly the right personality and he's spent a lot of his years as her favorite since he's always been so easygoing and entertaining. Keep an open mind and let go of how you're supposed to feel. I imagine many women felt this way many times before women had a say in what their bodies did! BREATHE and enjoy the simplicity before the storm (relatively speaking).

And ask for help as needed :)

MA

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Mary Alice: Night working RN, Married to Mike and Mom to 2 unschooled boys 14 & 19 (years!)

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#16 of 16 Old 08-01-2013, 06:11 PM
 
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Nope, not Janet! Never been a Janet. I'm a Sarah, like every third woman I know. :)

 

I know what you mean about missing the happy stuff. I found some old photos of DD's babyhood recently and was all "Huh, that happened?" But there we were, and she was wearing cute clothes and had fat knees, and I was looking happy, and we were in a park. It was sort of nice to have proof that it wasn't all bad. So.... take photos, I guess?

 

This might sound weird, and feel free to decline if you're worried I might show up and axe-murder the lot of you, but would you PM me your address? I'd like to send you something. Just a wee something, because... well, because babies.

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