Too scared for help - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 06-24-2014, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Too scared for help

My baby girl was born 13 weeks early. So I didn't get have the "normal" pregnancy like everyone in my family. This is my first baby and I do love her dearly but I know I am not myself. I could sleep all day I don't dress up, I just so don't care anymore about myself. I feel like since I can't care for my baby it is my fault she is like this. I am helpless all the time. I have two step girls at home and sometimes I take it out on my husband that he has two healthy daughters but he couldn't give me one. I know it's not his fault and I know it's not mine but I can't shake that feeling. She is still in the NICU and has many problems to overcome before I can take her home and it sucks sometimes. Most days I just want to be left alone. I refuse to tell my doctor because I do not want to be put on medicine. I don't tell my husband because I don't want to fight because I have no strength for that. So I keep it all in and just think, which I know is not good either. I don't have any answers anymore and tired of trying to pretend I am happy.
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#2 of 4 Old 06-24-2014, 02:40 PM
 
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You poor thing. It sounds like you are feeling dreadful. Maybe you could talk to the NICU social worker as a starting point. It's very normal to have feelings of anger and grief and frustration but it sounds like it is really affecting your quality of life at the moment. The SW will have experienced this with many families and can probably give you the names of some psychologists who have experience helping NICU families.

Is there a particular reason you don't want medication? I don't necessarily think it needs to be the first thing you jump to but it can be very effective at rebalancing brain chemistry. When you have depression it changes the way you think. It can be very difficult sorting through and dealing with your emotions with this disordered thinking. You may of need it. Not everybody does, of course. But I would suggest that you remain open to the idea as you seek treatment. It may be a useful tool for you.

All the best. I hope you can find someone to help you through this difficult time.
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#3 of 4 Old 06-24-2014, 03:44 PM
 
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I second what Katelove says about medication. IT is sometimes helpful. However, if you don't want to consider it at this time, I also second all the things she says about NICU social workers, and I'll add in that hospitals typically have chaplains on staff. Whether or not they have a chaplain in your faith tradition, they should have someone who has experience with people in your situation. It may sound corny, but talking really, REALLY helps. I cannot say enough that I think you should find someone you can talk to. Social workers and chaplains don't prescribe medication, but they can offer a lot of things that are likely to help you feel better - reality checking your perceptions, helping you figure out what to ask friends and family to do, helping you figure out and cope with your daughter's prognosis, whatever it is.

My daughter was 7.5 weeks early, and it was pretty awful. Here is what I know about the NICU:
- It's scary. Without anyone meaning it to be frightening, it is.
- You can feel useless. There you are, with arms and breasts ready for a baby, and there's your baby, hooked up to All The Machines, and the arms and breasts seem really irrelevant.
- It's hard to know what to feel. Happy you had a baby? Terrified that she might die? Grateful for all this modern medicine? Devastated that you lost out on the newborn period you reasonably expected to have? All of these, and some other stuff, all at once?
- No one knows what to say. They tend to pick from the list above, but not the last option, and everything they say can sound stupid.
- Sometimes, people not only don't know what to say, they don't know what to do. If you tell them what to do, some of them might come around and do it. Check out www.lotsahelpinghands.com, or spend half an hour on the phone with one good friend. I found I could usually forgive people for saying stupid things if they showed up with a casserole, or mowed the yard.
- The outcomes for preemies vary a lot. Some of them - even as early as yours - wind up as totally normal kids. Some of them have lasting challenges. Right now, it may be impossible to know, so you have to somehow keep all the possibilities in mind, which is difficult, and stressful.
- It can be really hard to see the baby. She's in the hospital, surrounded by all these machines, and there's terrible worry, but she's in there, and she's growing and changing and getting better every day. Sometimes, bringing other people by to look at the baby helps, because they don't see her every day, so the changes will be more obvious to them.
- It may not seem like it right now, but the things you can do DO matter. Pumping breast milk matters. Putting the baby's footprints on cards matters. Picking out a baby blanket, or selecting the cutest things from the NICU stash of preemie clothes matter. Taking pictures of the baby, drawing her a nameplate, or writing her letters matter. Going to a NICU support group, taking care of yourself, and feeling better matter.
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#4 of 4 Old 07-25-2014, 09:57 PM
 
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I'm so sorry you're having a rough time. I agree with those who posted above me. Social workers and the NICU staff can be very helpful when you're feeling this way. It's a scary and stressful time when it should be a time that you feel bliss. Try being open to different treatments when you're seeking help. You never know what might work for you.

I have two little boys. One is two and was born 7 weeks early. He stayed in the NICU for 19 days before he came home and I was subsequently treated for PPD. While I did not take medication for my disorder, I did go to therapy and it helped a lot with the anxiety and overall malaise. I just gave birth to a little boy in April who also had complications, but he came home. Nonetheless, I am suffering from PPD again and this time I decided to take medication for it. Being open and wanting to be a better Mom helped me make the decision to medicate.

You know your body and your situation. Look into your heart and decide what is best. Make sure communicate with your hubby and I think things will work out. Never be ashamed or afraid to get help. <3
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