DH Vent, I had a SEVERE Panic Attack! (Long) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 10-03-2003, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
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I'll get right to the point. Just when I thought I could handle being a new mother and be able to care for my 11wk DS, last night was a major setback. I do know that I have a case of Post Partum Anxiety/Panic. How mild or severe, I do not know. I do Panic when DH leaves me alone with DS. DS can get fussy at any point of the day. When he gets like this and DH is home, if I feel a panic attack rise, I say "here, you take him" and DH will take him and calm him down. I recently found a way to calm DS down by using a hair dryer. This usually puts him to sleep. Knowing this gave me a little bit more courage in being able to care for DS.

I work maybe 50 hours a week Monday-Friday. DH is self employed so he is able to care for DS through the week. But when I get home, I go on *baby duty* and take over. Sometimes I dread going home because I feel EXHAUSTED, and in no way ready to take care of an infant. Sometimes, I just want to go home, eat a nice dinner and go to sleep. But instead, I go home, (DH sometimes don't even let me change out of clothes before handing DS over to me). Sometimes, DS is sound asleep and I take advantage of this by washing/cleaning his bottles, making formula and filling up his bottles for the next day. And then DS will wake up, fuss a little, I walk him to try and calm him down so that he can go back to sleep. Lately, DS has decided to choose 3am to start getting fussy. He and DH sleep out on the couch in the living room so that I can get a good night's sleep to be able to function at work. When I hear DS in the living room, screaming, my heart starts racing. I get up and DH says "go back to bed, I got him" It is hard for me to do that because the mother in me wants to make her baby feel better. I am severly sleep deprived from this nightly routine. DH says he can calm DS down without my help. I have panic attacks on Fridays because, I go on baby duty Friday and Saturday nights.

I have dealt with DS at night and could not calm him down. Sometimes he makes me so angry I want to throw him out the window. I hate this feeling. It is not his fault he can't stop crying. And he senses my mood which only makes his crying worst and at that point I pass him off to DH.

These are some of the things that I am dealing with. I have tried explaining to DH what is wrong with me, but he says all I do is complain about DS. That is not true and I love my DS more than anything. I was so happy when I found out I was pregnant. It's just that never in my wildest dreams did I expect to go through something like this. It actually came from nowhere. I struck with me such force that at first, I didn't know what it was.

Yesterday, when I got home from work, DS was sound asleep and I was looking forward to a nice quiet Thursday evening with the two of them. I actually looked forward to my *baby duty*. Then DH announced he had a meeting to go to and he had to leave at 7pm. My heart started beating like crazy and the room started spinning. He looked at me and said "don't worry, you will be fine, the meeting should only last about an hour, so I should be home by 10pm at the latest." Well, he left and I watched the clock every so hour waiting until 10pm. DS was still blissfully asleep and I was very grateful for that even though my heart was racing at the thought of him waking up. I started washing bottles and filling formula and kept looking anxiously at the clock. DS finally got up and was extremely hungry and fussy. I tried to calm myself down to feed him and looked with relief at the clock that read 9:45pm. At about 11pm and there was still no word from DH, I called his cell phone and got no answer. DS started getting fussy, I knew he was still hungry so I fed him again and that calmed him down. By 11:30, still no word from DH and no answer on Cell phone and of course DS is getting extremely fussy. My heart was racing and I felt the panick turn to desperation. I turned on the hair dryer to calm DS down and he kind of drifted off to sleep. I kept calling and calling and calling, no word. I was also extremely tired and sleepy and it was way after midnight. By 12:30 pm, I was on the verge of collapse and knew I could not handle DS alone, so I called my friend over. She knew what I had been going through and she rushed right over.

I cried so hard because it was 1am and still no word from DH. Thankfully DS was still asleep. She rubbed and calmed me down but it was hard because all I could think about was that something bad had happened to DH. She said, "maybe he needed to release some pressure and had to get away for a bit, some men can't take new parenthood like the mother can." I thought maybe she was right but that still did not ease the pain and dread and panic I was feeling. He finally called about 1:30am and said his meeting ran over and his cell phone was out of range, that's why he couldn't call me. Of course, my friend doesn't believe him but I was too tired to question the validity of his excuse. So as soon as he got home, we talked a little and I went to bed.

I am really trying to deal with this without taking prescription. For me the problem is dealing with my DS at the infancy stage. I really believe that I will be able to enjoy him more when he is older. At this stage, he can't tell me what is wrong. I am looking for the stage where he can talk and tell me what is wrong. I need a more independant stage. I do believe with time, it will get better for me.

How did you get through this? Thank you for listening.
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#2 of 4 Old 10-03-2003, 10:45 AM
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Oh sweetie! That is so difficult! I am so glad you have a friend you can turn to in such a situation. I have been reading your posts and kind of, not exactly worrying about you, but just feeling concerned. It's really good that there is someone who can really support you besides your family.

A fifty-hour work week with a new baby, I can't even fathom how tough that is, and I went back to work part time when my guy was 8 weeks. Now I'm back full time (40 hours is quite enough!), and believe me, sleep is my best friend!

It's not a sign of weakness to go to your doctor and seek help. If you have a post-partum mood disorder, it's not a light thing and you really need attention. If you have a doctor you trust and she or he puts you on medications, take them! It's clear your dh doesn't understand what PPD is, that's why he's calling it "complaining." You are going to be a great mom to this baby, you can do it, I know you can!

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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#3 of 4 Old 10-03-2003, 12:03 PM
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A few things struck me at readign your post, which I wanted to throw out for you to think about.

First, working 50 hrs a week with a new baby is crazy. Even with the most even-tempered hormones and mellow baby, you'd be askign the almost-impossible of yourself. Can you change your work arrangements? Can your dh take on more work outside the home, to give you time with the baby? (This is probably the last thing you want right now, but honestly, if you had non-stress time with the baby just bonding and getting into a routine, it would get so much easier)

You say your dh sleeps on the couch with the baby. First, this worries me as the couch is not a safe place for a baby. Second, if you can hear the baby wake, you might as well be in the same bed, where the baby may well sleep better. You would also have some downtime in bed where yuo could snuggle with the baby and unstress. I'm sure yuo'd be more relaxed.

You talk about bottles and formula. Do you b/f at all? If it is impossible for medical reasons, fine. But if not, you would find that b/f more and relaxing, on the bed, with the baby nursing, would help de-stress you and induce sleep for you both. Ignore this if b/f is no option, but if it is, I think you should seriously try to re-lactate and get that baby nursing.

Perhaps a different mental approach to your baby time would help. Eg: Saturday morning I have ds. I'm going ot put him in the sling and walk to the park. We're going to sit on a bench, have a snack, read a book, look at the trees, sing some songs, and just -----be. Together.

Finally, wanting to throw the baby out of the window is quite normal! It's scarey, I know, but I felt exactly the same with both my two, and when I got the courage to talk to a friend, she said she'd felt exactly the same. Maybe you have something more going on, and a visit to the doctor would be good, but to feel this overwhelming emotion is very normal, and it passes. (Now, I think that could sometimes cheerfully throw my 3 and 1 year olds out the window, good job I've got a one-storey house But thinking it and doing it, are far from the same thing. : )

Good luck, don't get too down on yourself, and look at yuor situation creatively and with determination - any work situation can be altered if you really want to.
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#4 of 4 Old 10-07-2003, 01:31 AM
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Hi-I replied on your other post. But, just wanted to pop in w/a word of caution about your dh sleeping w/ds on the couch. Sometimes, men aren't as attuned to newborns as mothers. (Not always, but often.) And, couches are reallllly dangerous sleeping arrangements for newborns. I am so sorry to throw in one more stress, but I didn't know this either for a long time.

How are you doing?
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