If my baby was different, would I still have PPD? And IS this even PPD? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 10-24-2010, 04:42 AM - Thread Starter
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I know it takes having a baby to have PPD, but does anyone out there feel like if their baby was different that it wouldnt be so hard?
I dont know if I can make this sound right and not like a whine, but for ds first 3 months of life, I didnt complain, even when I was up with him every half hour all night long. I didnt complain when I was glued to the couch with him and couldnt get up to pee or get food. I didnt complain when I woke up to crying all night long and dh slept like a log and worked waay longer hrs each day than he agreed to pre baby. I just assumed that this was the way newborns are and this is part of parenting. At our birth class, the teacher said if you are un happy with your baby's temperament, wait 6-8 weeks, especially if you have an epidural. I was induced but no epidural so I figured we wouldnt even have to worry. This also seemed like a life time, but when it came and nothing changed, we read in a book to wait for 3 months. So when this milestone came and went, and nothing changed, and he in fact seemed to be getting worse, we just kept holding out. I can look back at this time and realise this was when my mood changed. Nothing we read indicated that if we kept waiting there was a chance for change later, it was 3 months or thats the permanent temperament. At least thats what we got out of it anyway. It was around three months that I decided that I couldnt be around girls with babies better "behaved" than mine. I live 2 1/2 hrs from where I grew up, and I moved when I got preg to be closer to the man who is now my dh. So I know a limited amount of people here that I connect with, but still it was easier for me to lose contact with two girls I met in my birth class because hearing stories about babies sleeping through the night and not crying 24/7 was too hard for me. I dont regret this, as I needed to survive with as little anger as possible, but It wasnt me that didnt want a friendship. It was like I physically couldnt maintain one without becoming rageful in my head at someone who wasnt going through what I was. As months passed after this point, I have found that ds isnt getting a whole lot better and I find I go through the motions with him because I dont find alot of joy in spending time interacting with a baby that just fusses and crys most of the time. If I put him on the floor to play with toys, I get maybe ten minutes max and most of the time, he kind of groans and prefusses from the start. Hes not happy or content most of the time and he still doesnt sleep well. We have managed to get him to sleep in his crib without the whole "crying it out" business but it took weeks, and I only did it because I wasnt sleeping when he was with me in bed. He will LITERALLY nurse all night. My nipples will be so sore they feel bruised the next day and he wont have really slept.
So I guess Im explaining all of this because I dont want anyone to think I think Im depressed because I dont have the perfect baby. I know I dont and Im ok with struggles and frustration, but hes now 71/2 months and I cant even go to the bathroom without him crying. Even if hes laying on the floor next to me. I try to spend time each day just holding and singing to him and relaxing with him, but he usually fusses through it. He doesnt want to be held, doesnt want to be put down, just unhappy.
So all of this to ask: Does anyone feel like me? Like maybe I wouldnt be struggling about actually wrapping my mind around calling it PPD because of the behavior of the child and not just me? Am I mean to even feel like this? I just dont get it or know how to feel, I go to a PPD group and all the girls there seem to have babies that sleep through the night, etc, and from what Ive gathered the problem isnt the baby at all. Ive heard people say "I have a really good baby, etc" and I think "I wouldnt even be here if I had your kid!!!" Not that I am judging these girls, I feel very close to them and protective of their situations. I guess Im rambling because I feel rude even saying or asking this. I have met girls where I live through my dh that have babies months younger than ds and they are happy, they sleep, they play, they eat contentedly, while I end up nursing ds many, many times a day just to shush him and soothe him. I love my son I really do. I am not blaming him. I just think "would I be this way if he were different?"
Am I alone in feeling this way?

wife to dh the love of my life, and mommy to ds 3/10 . I get to spend everyday with my hero and my miracle.
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#2 of 13 Old 10-24-2010, 07:19 AM
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Lake of sleep can make PPD worse, or turn a simple case of baby blues into full PPD. That's certainly what happened with my first child.

Are you working with the baby's doctor to figure out if there is anything medically wrong with him?

If this is just the way he is then you're about to see the light....MOST fussy miserable babies become new people when they learn to walk. Once they have control over where they are going and what they are doing they are much happier.

Even if you don't have PPD, it could be regular depression because of your lack of sleep...either way it can be treated.

big hugs!!!!!!

Heather married to my highschool sweetheart 6/7/02 :cop: Mother to Dani age 14 and Timmy age 10 Nadia 1/29 :
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#3 of 13 Old 10-24-2010, 09:51 AM
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Our babies sound soo similar! And no, mine isn't sleeping through the night and fusses a lot also. I can't go to the bathroom alone either. <sigh>

I think part of it is just normal baby behavior, because when DS is held, he stops fussing, so I think he just wants to be held by his mamma- no blame there, right?

I will say that it's easier on days that I have some relief, so I think you should (if you haven't) get the point across to your DH that you need help.

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I survived 16 mos! Ask me about breastfeeding a baby with posterior tongue tie, high palate, and weak oral motor skills- whew!

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#4 of 13 Old 10-24-2010, 01:04 PM
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My son was the stereotypical perfect baby and I still ended up with horrible PPD with him.
PPD can be diagnosed by most care providers such as an OB, midwife or psychologist. It is very treatable and please please don't worry that people will judge you. Your feelings are valid and it does not matter what other people think you should feel. Please get yourself some help. You might find that you feel better seeing a psychologist or someone on your own instead of in a group setting.

Mama to 5 busy bees (12, 9, 7, 3, 2) and expecting #6 June/2014
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#5 of 13 Old 10-24-2010, 01:25 PM
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I don't think the way our babies are can make PPD any easier, but I think the support we get form our partners can make a difference. It sounded like you are the one doing most of the baby care - can your dh take on more of the baby stuff to give you a reprieve? Even if baby ONLY wants you - its OK to give him to his dad to take care of so you can have a break!!
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#6 of 13 Old 10-24-2010, 05:21 PM
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When my son was about 7-8 months old I remember writing a late-night crying jag induced forum rant about how "I know, deep down, that I *must* love him - but I just really don't like this kid" or something to that effect.

My baby was so high needs it was past ridiculous. Sounds like yours has a similar temperment.

Honestly, I don't know how I made it through that first year. And when he was 10 months old his little sis was born. I thought I was going to lose my mind, but she turned out to be an easy thing compared to him.

As toddlers they're still handfuls but it's nothing, NOTHING like that first year. That first year was HELL.

You're more than halfway through it, lady. Way to go! If you think you need treatment, then go for it. I didn't end up getting any and I ended up OK as they got older and I started getting more sleep. But if you feel it would help you out, don't hesitate.

I didn't have any practical help with the kiddos either; IF you can get your DH on board, then all the better.

You'll make it. And honestly, yes, I do think that moms of harder babies have it harder. So sue me. All babies are difficult, but some are just more so.
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#7 of 13 Old 10-24-2010, 05:54 PM
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I had a baby just like yours & know how difficult it is. Colic is pure hell, and some temperaments are more difficult to parent than others. When my child was an infant, one of my friends even told me that my son's behavior wasn't normal (but she had never seen a baby w/ colic before). It's only natural to feel marginalized when you can't soothe your baby, and it can cause real feelings of anger and grief when you compare your experience w/ that of your friends'. It feels like a life sentence.

Sleep deprivation is a major risk factor for PPD. Breastfeeding an around the clock feeder only makes it worse. Everything started getting better for us when the colic disappeared, and once he was weaned at 11 months. Our son didn't start sleeping through the night until about age 2, but hey, at least it happened. After that, parenting became more and more enjoyable. Now at age 5, our son still has a sensitive temperament (ie. finds transitions difficult, gets frustrated easily, cries readily in certain situations), but he is also a pure joy. We have learned how to parent him, and simultaneously, he has learned how to self-soothe and moderate his emotions. He is now a very normal kid, a fascinating person, incredibly smart and insightful, and a love bug. We love him absolutely for who he is, and no way in heck would I ever trade him for a different kid or change things about his temperament or personality. Over time, love and bonding just grows.

So please don't think that what you're going through now will last forever. There is no correlation between colic and personality. And though temperaments are fixed, behaviors change as the child develops. One day you will find that you feel like a "survivor" for getting through that infancy period, but you will also be amazed that his older self was even the same person as that difficult baby. Everything really does get better over time.

************************************************** ***************
Edit: Just reread your post & realize that your kid may not have colic, and what you're describing could just be temperament (ie. inability to self-soothe). Regardless, know that there are lots of parents w/ difficult babies out there, and for all of us, it's a struggle. Whether you call it regular depression or PPD, the sleep deprivation & daily struggles all contribute to feelings of despair and incompetence. Just remember that it's not forever, and things do eventually change. I remember the greatest help at the time was meeting other moms w/ difficult babies -- I was lucky enough to meet two, and we're still very good friends. Knowing them has been of invaluable support. Like you, I was less able to relate to Moms w/ easy babies...
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#8 of 13 Old 10-24-2010, 07:17 PM
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I saw this in new posts & the title caught my eye because I can totally relate.

My DS is 20 months old & I was just saying this morning how ALLLL the other babies at church (who are all younger) are so content & happy and our DS is just always fussing & crying. He nurses multiple times an hour, he often wakes up every 5-10 MINUTES at night, he is very intense & willful. I cannot go to the bathroom alone, I can't eat meals nevermind cook them, I can't even THINK unless DH takes DS outside to play or something. And yes, at times I have gotten very depressed about it, about myself, about my inability to keep him calm & happy, about how long I may be dealing with these issues, about him only being somewhat happy in my arms & miserable everywhere else. It's tough seeing all those happy babies, I stare in shock when I see someone put their baby on the floor and she will just lay/sit there happily, my DS never would have done that as a baby (and I have no clue how anyone with a kid like this could possibly get chores done or prepare dinner!)

I think around 9 months old was the peak of the constant fussiness. I hate to say that, knowing your LO is not even 8 months & fearing you will look to that as your new deadline... but for us at least, once he hit 10 months, it gradually started getting a little easier. Around 14 months it got a bit easier again. Now, around 20 months, we have more good days than bad (and by 'good day', I mean that I don't feel like running outside & jumping into oncoming traffic lol)...

And my DS is amazing. He can talk to me, he can tell me what he wants or needs, he kisses me when I get hurt, he cuddles up next to me, he is so affectionate, so smart, so silly, he loves to read, color, sing... I didn't really get a gimpse of all this until he reached about 14mos. Finally the constant fussiness receded just enough for a bit of his personality to emerge. And every day he shows me more of who he is. To me, that made a huge difference. When that change happened, I finally started to enjoy being a mom a bit!!

Anyway, that's been my experience so far. Another thought for you -- if you haven't already, have you looked into allergies/intolerances? A lot of mamas on here have seen huge improvements with changing their diet...

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
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#9 of 13 Old 10-25-2010, 12:32 AM
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Chronic sleep deprivation is very similar to PPD, and can contribute to the development of PPD. My DD1 was a very high needs kid. She still (at age 4) doesn't sleep through the night. She has trouble self soothing, self entertianing, or even being alone for a couple of minutes. It is very hard when nothing you do seems to help. I feel absolute sympathy for where you are right now. I remember it. It was awful.

I went through a phase where I seriously thought the whole world was going to collapse around me. I felt like a failure at being a mom, a failure at my work (I WOH), a failure a being a wife, a failure at housekeeping...it was terrible. I think it was right around 5 months, when "everyone" was saying babies should start sleeping more at night, and my home life seemed stuck in a never ending cycle of screaming or breastfeeding. Looking back, it may have been PPD, but I never got treatment for that. What I found was I needed some time to myself, to reconnect with who I was, what I liked, and to get a little sleep. I put my DD1 in a daycare center with longer hours, and used the time between when I got out of work and picking her up to nap, read books, do my nails...anything I wanted that was not "necessary" to parenting, working, or housekeeping. A few weeks of this and I felt totally renewed and like my whole life was back on track. I felt guilty as heck about it, but I became a better mother when I was rested enough not to break down crying when DD needed to nurse for five hours straight.

Having a high needs child is seriously draining. Being a caregiver 24/7 is not healthy. Now that I have a mellow baby (#2), I know that most moms get breaks when baby is napping, or playing. They do not have to be "on" 24 hours a day. I was seriously SHOCKED when I discovered that baby 2 could be awake and not crying, which tells you what the first year of DD1's life was like. But I guess the fact that I had a #2 tells you that it gets better in time. Until DD was 2, we were sure she would be an only child because both DP and I were so drained from dealing with her daily.

Other than getting somebody else to care for my child (and not DP, since I would just hear about how she cried for him...) the thing that helped the most was communication. We did baby signs, and that really did help her to let me know what she needed, which made me feel more effective. She was still screaming while signing "milk, milk, milk," but not having to guess what she needed/wanted made me feel a little calmer.

Good luck and hang in there. Get some support so that you can get some rest. I must have a mean streak, but I look at those people with easy babies and think they are in for a rude surprise if baby 2 (or 3, or 4) is anything like my DD. At least I had my high needs kid first, so that my surprise was a pleasent one. (Babies actually sleep? For more than 20 minutes? Crazy.)

CD'ing, homebirthing, milk making school teacher. Supporting my family on my income and trying to get out of debt in 2013!
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#10 of 13 Old 10-25-2010, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I appreciate everyones responses. I was going to pull and quote but there are too many. It is comforting to know that my ds isnt the only one that makes me doubt having baby #2. My mom came and stayed with me last night, armed with a bottle. I slept hard a woke up with a new lease on life so maybe as many of you said, it is aggrivated by lack of sleep. (I would rather wake up leaking milk than leaking curse words).
I will continue to reread these posts, as the first time gave me a ton of encouragement. I SO OFTEN stare at other babies, not jealous, but envious of their temperments. I cannot put ds in his carseat without him screaming. I cannot change ds diaper without him screaming. I loathe bribery in children, but feel I have already given way to it as I will shove anything in his face to distract him for whats happening! Makes me feel terrible, but to be honest, it also give me some small sense of control of the situation (which is not the case I know, but feels that way) which helps me survive it. I guess thats what I do with nursing too, though I dont consider food or comfort bribery, but if we are having a hard day Ill just keeep pulling up my shirt. If hes latched he cant be crying right? (actually hes found a way to do both!)
Again, thanks, Just knowing Im not alone is a huge relief.
DH doesnt help out a ton as some of you have guessed, he works long hrs sometimes 7 days a week and on week nights he comes home and plops in front of the computer. If I ask him to hold ds while making dinner, Ill come into the living room to find ds on the floor. Im like "if you dont hold him now hes gonna want to be held all through dinner!" This kinda sums it up. I do feel guilty for passing him off to dh when Im not "busy" I know I need to get better about this as I know he probably wont become more willing.
****Also we did have an allergy blood test done for him, we get the results wednesday. To make a long story short, at 2 mos I offered dr to cut dairy bc he was so fussy, and I dont eat gluten already. Dr says no, itll be "too hard." Flash to 6 months, same office. Different dr suggests I cut dairy because he now has "preecsema." Thanks, you sure that wont be too hard?! So I cut dairy almost 2 mos ago and his skin has gotten worse. I called and begged for an allergy test, had to listen to ANOTHER dr blab about hydrocortisone cream....no thanks, and finally referred us for a test. I am jumping out of my seat to get the results, but dont have alot of faith it will change his whole personality. IF allergies is whats bugging him, would he still calm down if I pick him up? Would they only bug him when Im trying to sleep or wash a sink of dishes?
Sorry this is all over the place, I havent had my cup of coffee yet.

wife to dh the love of my life, and mommy to ds 3/10 . I get to spend everyday with my hero and my miracle.
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#11 of 13 Old 10-25-2010, 05:50 PM
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I didn't have PPD so I can't really respond to your question, but I can give you hope on the temperament question.

DS2 was exactly what you described for 6 months or so. There were two distinct personality shifts. One was around 6 months, right after he learned how to crawl -- there was an immediately perceptible shift in temperament from always miserable to tolerating the world most of the time. And then around 10 or 12 months there was another shift from largely unhappy to the happiest baby on the block. He is now close to three and while he's always been intense, he is also so happy most of the time that it more than makes up for the misery the first year.
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#12 of 13 Old 10-25-2010, 06:07 PM
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I don't have any PPD to relate, but it seems you're feeling a bit better after some extra sleep. Keep trying to fit in a nap as often as you can! It will help. When my lil guy had 'need mommy ALL the time/whiny all the time" kindof days, I would wear him. I have a moby wrap, a sling, and a mei tai. My suggestion, is to get a backpack carrier, or a mei tai style carrier, (or another if you want) but I liked the backpack style sometimes, because he could he held and close, on my back, but he wasn't in my face, KWIM? And you can't wear them forever, they get heavy, but I would wear him for 20-40 min, enough to do most of the lunch or dinner prep and wash a sink of dishes, or vacuum the floor, or rake leaves in the yard, etc. You can't really do any 'bending over' type of house work/activity.

And for some people, it takes a while to feel more like yourself (in regards to relationships, feelings, time management, ideas, thinking, etc) I definately didn't feel that way until he was at least 9-10 months old. Before then it was mommy mode all the time, it takes time to adjust to that and make a new balance in your life!
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#13 of 13 Old 10-25-2010, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Dov'sMom View Post
DS2 was exactly what you described for 6 months or so. There were two distinct personality shifts. One was around 6 months, right after he learned how to crawl -- there was an immediately perceptible shift in temperament from always miserable to tolerating the world most of the time. And then around 10 or 12 months there was another shift from largely unhappy to the happiest baby on the block.
This has been my experience with my youngest. He's only 13 months old now, but that last hurdle was HUGE- he's always smiling and happy- and not only does he tolerate being put down, he squirms to get down on his own!

I'm working on the PPD. Sleep deprivation has taken a toll as well, but it's so much better than it was when he was younger- I have space to breathe and work on putting some energy into helping meet my own needs.
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