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Thread: Let the "mommy punishment" begin (x-posted)

  1. #1
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    Default Let the "mommy punishment" begin (x-posted)

    (I have this in venting too but this room gets more traffic and I could use the support.)

    A little background: When Abby was born she had fluid in her lungs and wasn't breathing well--they took her at 12 hours old to NICU and stayed there for 5 days. I had severe anxiety because of this (who wouldn't?) and my MW put me on zoloft to help me out and preempt PPD. I have taken zoloft before for clinical depression so I know how it affects me--I'm flat, I can get emotional but mostly I'm just super "calm" and unemotional.

    Fast forward to this week. My husband keeps asking me if I'm ok and I'm acting "weird." I say I'm fine because that's how I feel--and I say that it's probably just the zoloft.

    Then this morning he asks me how long until we start giving her real food because he can't handle how weird I've been acting since we got home from the hospital and obviously breastfeeding (I actually EP but whatever) is the problem. His one example is that I stopped drinking coffee. And that he knew that having a baby changes people, but I'm a totally different person and that's not ok to him. He says that he feels like I can't stand to be around him because whatever room he's in, I leave and go somewhere else. When I ask for examples--he can't give me any.

    All of this is happening while he's in a hurry to leave for work so we really can't talk about it. And I'm feeling attacked and when that happens I usually shut down because I just don't know what to say.

    I'm so hurt and angry. As if I don't have enough to worry about, I have to start acting like "myself" again to make him happy...
    Natalie [31] DH [40] 9/01, 1/06 NaturallyNatalie's Hair Accessories!

  2. #2
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    *big hugs* I'm sorry you are going through all this.
    Honestly, the newborn stage can be SO hard, on everyone. And you guys had to go through extra stress with your baby's health, plus dealing with anxiety and medication and everything. There really isn't any way to prepare for the kind of upheaval that happens with a new baby. When we had our third, we finally felt like we were experienced enough to say "Ok, we know this is going to get crazy. So lets remember its a phase and just hang on for the ride." It didn't make the transition easier, but we were just knew in advance that it would be hard and that it would get better. It helped us remember to give each other a little more grace. The first time was REALLY hard on us as a couple.

    Even without the medication, having a newborn changes you. Your whole world suddenly revolves around meeting the baby's every need (and you know that takes up almost all your time!) Its exhausting, and thrilling, and draining and heartwarming, etc. You are dealing with hormones, and sleep deprivation and pumping and figuring out cries and all the things that go with being a new mom. So of course you are not the same person any more. You are now a mother. And right now is survival mode.

    This can really throw men off. I'm not sure exactly what they expect having a newborn to be like, but at least for my husband, it wasn't what reality was. We both had shorter tempers and snapped at each other more easily, which made everything feel even more stressful. There really is this weird transition phase that happens any time you bring a new baby into the mix, and it takes a while to get back into a groove.

    So I guess what I am saying is... what you guys are going through is normal. It sucks, but its normal. Remember that this is new to him, too, and he is going through a transition as well. Try to give him some grace. Give yourself grace, too. Don't worry about trying to go back to what used to be, because the future is better than that. You have a gorgeous new baby girl now, and she is going to turn your world absolutely upside down... and it will be so much better than life ever was without her! Just hang on. I'm not going to say it gets "easier", but this newborn phase is especially rough. You guys will get into a groove soon. *hugs*

  3. #3
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    Natalie, first off, I just want you to hear from someone.... YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB. You really are. If baby is clean and fed, if you are fed, then you are going to make it and everything is going to be ok. Those first few weeks its all about survival.

    It is not fair for your husband to say that you aren't acting like your usual self, because odds are, you DON'T feel like your old self. And it will be awhile until you start to feel human again. If you, personally, don't like the way that the Zoloft makes you emotionless, then you can make the decision wether to stay on it or not. But only you can make that decision. Coming from a person that never battled depression pre-pregnancy, I had a much harder time than I thought with PDD. And let me tell you, being emotionless and calm sounds much better than being suicidal at 3am with a screaming baby and no one around to tell you that everything will be ok.

    I think deep down your DH knows that is not about the lack of coffee, it is not about breastfeeding, it is that your entire life now revolves around your baby's schedule and it takes every ounce of energy to get through it. I'm sure you guys will talk it all out when he gets home from work, and after thinking about it all day he might even realize that he spoke too quickly. And hopefully he tells you what a great job you are doing.

    It will get easier, one day it will be more smiles than tears, and you will be so much stronger for getting through it all. So cheer up mama, you are doing an amazing job.

  4. #4

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    I would suggest that you see a doctor who specializes in ppd. Sounds like your mw is a CNM and not a lay one which is great, but perhaps you could use a complete eval by a ppd psychiatrist - if you haven't done that yet. You might find that through a few sessions, you are in fact doing things differently, not taking interest in things that used to interest you etc. Or perhaps the Meds needs change or adjustment. Or maybe you get a thumbs-up which would cross that off of the list and give you a different place to start with discussions with your husband. Jmo, but I wouldn't write it off as just a husband who doesn't understand and isn't supportive. Could be but he probably knows you best and this may be a sign that you need to make some adjustments. (I saw that I had ppd early on bc of the insane things that I was doing and thinking but it manifests differently for many people. As do the drugs. Could be that Zoloft is the wrong drug, suppressing some symptoms but not the ppd itself.)

    However it goes, be well. You deserve that.

  5. #5
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    The newborn stage is SO hard. So so so so hard. On you and on your DH. Men like to be fixers, and when there is a baby involved and breast feeding is involved they really can't fix it and it's hard on them. I actually had a burning anger and almost hatred toward my DH after my son was born. It was a difficult time. We're good now (DS is 1 years old) but I had never felt that way about my husband in the 11 years we were together before DS.
    And I will say having my son did change me. I don't think you can expect to go back to the way you were before. I am a very anxious person now and I never was before. My "new self" is rather annoying. And I feel badly that my DH has to learn to love this new person. But as you go throughout life you change, and a marriage has to withstand those changes. It's hard. Just try to keep in mind that this is such a small window of time. When my son was born and no one was sleeping and DH and I were always fighting and everyone had everything was just miserable, I thought it would be that way forever. But now I have a happy 1 year old and things are better, truly.

  6. #6
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    Whether he is right on this or not - and parenthood does change a person, and with this being the early days of having a baby, your hormones are likely out of whack, and then there is the Zoloft on top of that - how he brought it up is unfair to you. When you do have time to discuss, sit down, and ask him for the ways you have changed, that he doesn't like. If he cannot come up with anything right away, tell him to either let you know as it happens, or to compile a list over the next few days, so you can discuss it at length. It might be that he is feeling left out, or like the third wheel because so much of your time is spent with taking care of your LO, and he just needs some assurance that he is still important to you.

  7. #7

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    You are getting great advice here. I don't have much to add except another voice saying the newborn stage is really intense and it will change once everyone eases into their new roles in the universe. You are doing a great job, no doubt about that.
    Hugs.

  8. #8

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    My personal experiences were that I was a complete zombie for the first 6 months of both my children's lives. My first weeks of my younger son's life started off very much like what you are going thru. My son was tachypnic when he was born and spent 9 days in the NICU on antibiotics and oxygen getting his saturation back to normal. It was miserable, sad and overwhelming. We lived 30 miles from the hospital, so I was staying with relatives close to the hospital after I was discharged and DH had to stay with DS1 because he wasn't aloud in the NICU at that time. It was breaking my heart! I know how hard it is to sit in the NICU and pump around the clock because he would get too stressed when we put him on the breast. It was all very hard and when you are already crazy emotional, it really wears on you!!

    I can understand your hubby being concerned if you are acting unusually calm or really different, but maybe just make it perfectly clear that you will be honest about your feelings and make sure you can admit when it's just too much. I had a complete sobbing breakdown when my first was about 4 days old and I could not figure out what he needed. I just held him and sobbed and we both eventually fell asleep. I will tell you that for me, sleep ruled my life during the early baby days. If I didn't get at least enough sleep to function, I was a wreck. If pumping/bf-ing do end up causing you so much stress that it makes you miserable, don't feel guilty about making a change in order to keep everybody happy and healthy. I was able to pump for each of them 2.5-3 months, but after I got back to work full time... it was just too much for me. I switched to formula and sleep was better for everyone and I started to feel much better. Do what you feel is the best for your whole family. It takes everyone being on the same page in order to have a peaceful home!!

    Hang in there momma... it WILL get easier for all three of you. Sending hugs and positive vibes your way!
    Last edited by sunkiss; 07-31-2014 at 09:30 AM.
    ~Andrea~


  9. #9
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    The first month with a new bay is awful and by three months things tend to settle down. It is hard for both you and your DH. It was unfair of him to mention this all when he had no time to talk, though.

    Hopefully after you both have a chance to sit down and talk about this you'll have a better idea of what he means. I do think that discussing a different medication with your doctor might be a good idea. Your body is different right now and Zoloft might no longer be a good fit...and you really might not need it now that you don't have the added anxiety of a baby in the NICU. I'd be leery to treat PPD before it occurs especially since it is something you have not experienced before.
    Jessica (33) and Ryan (33). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
    My blog about MCAD

  10. #10

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    I agree with others that your husband should not have sprung this discussion on you as he was walking out the door. On the other hand, in his shoes, it sounds like this is a concern that has been building up for some time. He may have simply blurted it out in a moment of stress and will come back to it, fairly and more calmly, later in the day. You should try to start that conversation with him regardless.

    And +1 to jjorn's comment that treating ppd before it actually happens, esp with something like zoloft, sounds a bit odd. Agreed, too, that it might not be the appropriate choice for ppd anyway - at least not for whatever your symptoms might be (assuming that you have any). Which goes back to my suggestion above - see a ppd doctor to get an evaluation. You may be dragging under the weight of an anti-depressant (or this particular drug) unnecessarily.

    In the end, you'll be fine. Your marriage will be fine. Your baby will be absolutely positively fine. But it doesn't hurt to see your husband's statement as encouragement to get yourself checked out.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for all the encouragement. It's probably the only thing that will keep me from lashing out at him later...which I know isn't a good way to respond.

    The zoloft was really for the anxiety. I can probably stop it now, though I'm a little wary of how I'm going to deal with all the feelings that come back lol. Hopefully I won't be too much of a basketcase.
    Natalie [31] DH [40] 9/01, 1/06 NaturallyNatalie's Hair Accessories!

  12. #12

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    i agree with the pps who have said that you should be evaluated. you may not even need the drugs. your dh could just be feeling left out and need some time with you. take some time and sit down with him, talk to him find out what prompted him to say that your acting weird.

    you are not weird, your ajusting to having a new little person in your house that needs you to do everything for them things will get better. and if its coffee you need then have a 1/4 of a cup... see how baby reacts to it, i drank a can of coke at least once a day while bfing... baby didn't seem affected by it.

    and yes having a baby changes you. talk about how you feel, and work it out, it will all be ok.



  13. #13

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    I do want to say I've been down the road of PPD and I am not implying you have it I just want to suggest to talk to your MW before stopping Zoloft she might have other ideas in mind to wean off or maybe switch if you aren't feeling yourself. Abby is only 3 weeks right? It takes a long time to get "back to normal" and I don't find the not drinking coffee such a weird or bad thing. I hope he'll express a bit more feedback when he is home with you later because that's a very small example and doesn't help you much. You also had some PP issues with swelling and several other things. Its an adjustment for everyone I haven't had a baby be in NICU that will probably take some time to feel relief from that experience it sounds nerve wracking. Focus on what you can do for now and hopefully he'll become more understanding.
    *** Lindsay ***



  14. #14
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    Big hugs Natalie. I don't have advice but I want to let you know that I felt like a completely different person when we came home with our newborn. I can't tell you how many times I told my husband that I felt "weird". I feel more normal if I get a decent block of sleep, but becoming a mom has changed me, although now I like the change and absolutely love being a mom! Your doing great and know that you have tons of support whenever you need it

  15. #15
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    Thinking of you lots, momma !!!!
    Dh (39) Me (37) 8bio 1adopted, 14 angels






  16. #16

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    Hugs. I do not have much advice really - you have gotten a lot of good comments/advice. I had a very mild PPD for a over year after DS2 was born and I know it is not fun. I also know that I was a complete zombie after both kids for a while.
    KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)

  17. #17
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    Huge hugs. I can sort of understand how your dh perceives the whole thing but in my opinion men should really learn to tip toe around women the first 3 months ppt! Your body is still pretty much pregnant whether the baby is out of not from week 41 to week 54. And while physically is a HUGE shock for the body already to adjust to life without the baby inside, emotionally most of the women are also a wreck due to hormones and sleepless nights plus another being to care for. Perhaps the visit to ppd specialist should be done with your dh. Men don't admit that but they have the worst ppd ever! They have absolutely no idea what they signed up for no matter what they say and no matter whether it is the 1st or the 5th. So some undergo harsh emotional adjustment as well.
    Huge hugs and hope you and dh can sort it out soon.

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