Is this PPD? Feeling hostile towards baby - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 11-17-2002, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm feeling so depressed lately and hostile towards my baby, who is now 6 months. He is NOT a good sleeper, for naps or at night, and I feel a lot of hostility towards him. When he was born, he had terrible colic for 2.5 mths (went away when I gave up dairy), then started teething (now has 6 teeth already!), and has never slept well, so sleep deprivation is fogging my thinking. It is a struggle to get myself out of bed in the morning, b/c I'm going to have to "deal with" ds all day again, and I don't look forward to going to bed at night b/c I know I won't get more than 1.5 hours of sleep at a time.

My inlaws are visiting, and yesterday I hardly held ds all day, between pop-inlaw, mom-inlaw, and dh, and you know, I was SO HAPPY! It's to the point where I don't even want to be with him anymore. If other people deal with him all day, I can spend some quality time with dd (4 yrs old), who is more fun to be with.

When I say I'm feeling hostile, I don't mean that I feel like doing any harm to the baby, I just would rather not be with him. I AP'd dd and developed a great bond with her, but even though I have done all the AP things (cosleeping, slinging, nursing, never CIO, etc.) with ds, I just haven't bonded with him.

Last night he was crying and crying before bed and I held him and sang to him, but he could tell that my heart just wasn't in it and he kept crying. He looks at me with this hurt expression, like he's saying "why don't you love me mommy?" and I still don't feel anything towards him.

Is this post partum depression? I'm wishing I'd never had this baby, and worried that my negative feelings are damaging him b/c he can feel my anger and frustration. I have NEVER physically harmed him, or even thought of it, but I just can't seem to summon up any feelings of love towards him.

HELP!
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#2 of 15 Old 11-17-2002, 02:54 PM
 
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It sure sounds to me like you need some time to nurture yourself. Do you have in-laws/family close by that can support you? Ask them for help. I have a book called "Raising your Sprited Child" by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka which may be appropriate. Right now it sounds like you need a few hours at a day spa or other very nurturing place for you (go with another tired mama). Ask those around you for support, get out to activities with other parents (our library has baby "story time" where we play together with our babies and learn baby bounces/games), and spend time with each child individually. My friends have been a great support when I've wondered if I'm a "bad" mama when I want to toss dd out the window in the middle of the night. I'd never actually do it, but being able to talk about our worst moments is so cathartic and lets the loving come right on out.
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#3 of 15 Old 11-17-2002, 05:18 PM
 
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It definitely sounds like it could be PPD. I suffer from clinical depression that went undiagnosed for a long time. I figure that it started when my ds was around a year (he is 25 months now.) I truly hit rock bottom both mentally and physically. I wish I had seen the signs sooner.

I would talk to your obgyn and if she treats it lightly, go to a psychiatrist. I have a friend who felt much like you did and when her babe was six months she went on antidepressants. She said that it was then that she really felt like she bonded with her baby and understood how much people love their babies.

PPD and clinical depression can really sneak up on you so you don't realize how different and depressed you have become. Please, speak to your doctor. There are many antidepressants that are breastfeeding friendly. I cannot believe the difference that little pill has made in my life. There are many people who can cope without meds, but if you aren't one of those people, don't feel bad. Depression is an illness that can be treated in many ways.

If you need to talk, please feel free to PM me.
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#4 of 15 Old 11-17-2002, 05:37 PM
 
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yes! i'm coming out of it now and ds2 is 7.5 mo. it hit me when ds2 was 5.5 mo, and three weeks ago I sought help for it. it can hit anytime in the first year after having a baby. for me it was different, in that I resented my 4 yo, not the baby.

sleep deprivation is also a HUGE issue. my dh took over the middle of the night stuff for three nights in a row and I got 5 hours straight sleep, a total of 8 hours each night. i felt like a totally different person. now he takes over at 6am and I get another hour or so of alone sleep. He's also started taking one night feeding so I can get one decent stretch of sleep. my 7.5 mo nurses every 1-2 hours still.

follow through on getting help. there are a wide range of things you can do (check thyroid levels, blood levels for anemia, etc), exercise, diet changes, antidepressants (some are safer than others for bfing), therapy. it's really worth it to get the help, because not feling that joy when you look at the children is really heartbreaking, and creates an AWFUL cycle. you feel frustrated/resentful, then feel guilty for feeling that way, worry that you're losing out on their babyhood, then get frustrated...and so it goes.

good luck, and check with your OB/midwife, PCP, etc.

mel
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#5 of 15 Old 11-17-2002, 10:27 PM
 
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The same thing happened to be after I stopped breastfeeding Morgan. I don't really know if it is because I felt bad for stopping (having to stop) or pure frustration that it was his fault (it was his size and inability to latch that was the cause of our stopping), either way...I held him when he cried (he was slightly cholic as well), sang him to sleep...did all the "mommie" things...but when someone asked me one day how much I loved him? I said..."so much"...and in my mind I said..."I don't even know if I like him."

I held him and cried for the entire day...I didn't love my baby. How cruel was I? Then, as I was crying, his tiny fingers reached out and touched my face...I know it sounds corny, but it was as if he was saying "you do love me, you just don't know it yet."

Immediately, things started changing. I got more "involved" emotionally and just a few weeks later...we adore each other!!

Sorry for the rant, but...my point is, you may "think" that you don't love him...but you really do. You just need time or a reaffirmation to get that love, you need a "ME" day. It'll work out for you. *HUGS*
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#6 of 15 Old 11-18-2002, 01:21 AM
 
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Sounds similar to my PPD experience... Bonding is so difficult when you're dealing with PPD - my baby was the world's most planned pg, I wanted and dreamed of having a baby for years, but I felt empty and numb towards him. Sometimes I felt hostility, like in the middle of the night... I started feeling 'in love' with him at 7 months and now at one year I am so in love with him it hurts sometimes... It just took some time and some medication! And, AP really helps - I'm glad you're an AP mama. Even if it doesn't feel like it makes any difference right now, holding and responding to and acting like you are in love with your baby thaws you out little by little.

I also think you can't underestimate the effects of sleep deprivation. My babe sleeps poorly and has since day 1, and I'm not planning to go off my medication until he sleeps better! It really affects you to sleep like this for weeks and months.

Please be gentle to yourself. Know that you are doing the best you can right now. If you haven't shared your feelings with your partner (and he is good support for you), I would recommend it so you can get some support. And, please talk to your midwife or doc about it and see about getting some help. Taking medication felt like a big deal to me, but it made such a difference for us.
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#7 of 15 Old 11-20-2002, 01:12 AM
 
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I was diagnosed with PPD when my #1 dd was about 4 1/2 months old (now 2 1/2). I ended up on Paxil and continued to exclusively bf her. I don't believe that I fell in love with her until she was 5 months old. I was trying so hard to be the perfect mom, wife, student (at the time), and I just forgot about myself.

When I was diagnosed, I was feeling like I could walk out on my life and never come back--pretty much hopelessness. I never experienced the not wanting to get out of bed or not wanting to get dressed, but I did feel angry at the littlest things.

Find a medical practitioner to talk to. I talked with a nurse at our local hospital who is the ppd expert in the department of psychology. My dr agreed with her and we still continue to monitor my depression.

I stayed on Paxil all the way through my 2nd pg. and I can't believe how much faster I fell in love with dd #2 (now 4 months old and again, exclusively bfing). I feel great, I have much more patience, even though this kid is NOT a good sleeper The only days I get out of control is when my 2 year old is acting every bit of her age-- and who wouldn't?

HTH
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#8 of 15 Old 11-20-2002, 01:41 AM
 
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Alohamama--I sorry to hear you are having such a hard time. I am not sure if I experienced PPD or just plain old depression and anxiety ten months after the birth of my son. I did not seek help right away and reached a breaking point where I was almost unable to function for several weeks. It crept up on me over a few months and I just broke down one day. Please seek help now! See therapist and/or an experienced doctor. Drugs can help but they are not the only option. The most important thing is that you get help soon. Do not wait and expect to feel better. The best thing you can do right now for your children is to take care of yourself. Also, remember that you are not alone even though it may feel that way sometimes. Sending aloha your way!
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#9 of 15 Old 11-20-2002, 04:48 PM
 
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Pegsmom, that sounds just like what happened to me. It sucks, especially since there is so much that can be done.

Alohamama, how are you???
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#10 of 15 Old 11-24-2002, 02:19 PM
 
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Alohamama, How are things going?
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#11 of 15 Old 11-25-2002, 05:23 AM
 
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I had a similar experience with dd2. It is awful to feel that way, I know. I really feel that the combo of sleep deprivation and having to deal with colic is a recipe for PPD. It was for me. DD1 was a "perfect" baby - ate, slept like a champ from day one - and I had no problems with PPD or bonding with her. DD2 had colic and would not sleep. That child cried all waking hours (and only slept 4 or 5 per 24 I swear!) and I am a SAHM. It was more than I could take. I was very depressed, wondered why in the world we had ruined our nice little family by having another child, felt guilt for such awful thoughts, felt guilt for not bonding/loving her the way I did dd1, it felt like it would never change. I stayed in, didn't talk to friends on the phone or go to activities I usually loved. What helped was a couple of things - dh getting up at night to let me sleep through. Pump breastmilk or just let them have a bottle - your sleep is paramount to feeling better! My poor (and wonderful) dh was working full time at a stressful job but was a real hero when I was going through PPD. Talk to people who understand - when you hear that people you know and respect as good mothers tell you they went through this and are now through it, well that helped me immensely. Take time for yourself - do stuff you used to enjoy and just fake it if you don't enjoy it at first now. You will again! Hire a sitter or have a trusted friend/relative over to watch baby and go out with dh on a dinner/movie date. Just eat well, sleep as much as possible, reach out to friends, pretend life is OK, and pretty soon you'll be back to normal. When colic is over and baby is sleeping through the night, the fog will lift and you will discover a love for this baby that is so much stronger than you can imagine - I almost love dd2 more for all that we struggled through together.
Oh, and talking to my midwife helped a lot too!
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#12 of 15 Old 11-25-2002, 11:42 AM
 
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i get "tired" of watching alexander all the time. about once per week i like to get out of the house and leave him with hi s father. i think it is good for them, and i know it is good for me.---for like 1 hour or so...NOT long.

i also get out a lot during the day with him...and i do take night classes a couple nights per week as well.

i think a little time away is good.

even if you do take him with you. it is nice to get outdoors or at least in the car.
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#13 of 15 Old 11-26-2002, 05:31 PM
 
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when you used the word "foggy" to describe your head, that is exactly how i have been feeling, and i think that fogginess is depresion, combined with sleep deprivation, which just turns into a vicious cycle cuz lack of sleep fuels the depression. i am not taking meds for mine but i am in counsiling and its helping tremenously. if having a break form your baby made you happy, you should schedule a break at least once a week, for as many hours as you need. i cant even rave enough about how helpful those breaks are. depression makes you neglect your own needs big time, and the more you neglect yourself the worse you are depressed....bonding issues are so rough, i have been there, i feel for you. let us know how you are doing!
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#14 of 15 Old 11-26-2002, 05:37 PM
 
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Hi Alohamama

You know, lack of sleep is a huge factor in depression I believe. I felt the same way that you do when my DS was a newborn, and I swear it is because I was just so EXHAUSTED! I think that is what led to my PPD, and I did end up on Paxil with it (which, as I said in another post, I would not recommend as it is hell to wean off- Zoloft is apparently much better).

You need to use people more to watch DS- and then sleep. Take a nap. Forget everything else. It is so important and I wish I ahd done that. I know anxiety makes it hard to sleep sometimes, but even if you are just lying down and relaxing that is better than nothing. Then maybe you will see it is just lack of sleep that is causing this issues between you and your DS. And don't be hard on yourself- as you can see, many of us have also felt this way. If it continues, see your doctor or a homeopath (which would be my recommendation) and keep us updated.
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#15 of 15 Old 11-26-2002, 06:09 PM
 
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I agree with SDmummy, - it might be worth a try to consult a skilled homeopath to treat you as well as your son. Homeopathy can shift things in amazing ways.
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