I was ecstatic about getting pregnant first time, I felt so so ready. But I was hit with gender disappointment even tho only a first child (my Nan had very recently died and I hadn't grieved, instead held onto hope I'd have a girl so I could name her after her), I then got hit with a 47 hour labour which was 4 days with not even 5 minutes sleep - don't ask how I got through it cos I don't know. Then a fairly bad birth and 4 days in hospital recovery. I suffered probably the worst end of the spectrum PND.
As a result I didn't bond with my son at all for a very very long time and even now at nearly 3 years old I see some of the effects of such a late bond. I am absolutely petrified this is going to happen again but I have been mentally talking myself round and saying with the right support in place this time I will be fine. This is second not first so not a new experience etc etc, but then I get people like my mum saying "I'm worried you won't cope cos of how bad you were with Jacob". And that REALLY hurts cos no one carries the grief as strongly as I do that my relationship with Jacob was so bad. Despite the severe PND he was ALWAYS clean, well fed and looked after. Can't say happy as he was one of these babies that never ever settled. Cry all day long types.
I'm not sure what I'm after here by posting, maybe other people's experiences with a second baby after severe PND? I just feel so upset by the fact everyone's already judging me on how my second will be by how my first was. Instead of feeling reassured and positive, I feel like a failure.
I want to add I've recently been diagnosed with emotional dysregulation, basically I don't handle emotion like a normal person, everything a normal person feels, I feel 10x stronger. This results in angry outbursts, inability to relax etc etc, this too explains a lot of my struggles with my first baby as at the time I didn't understand what I was feeling.
I am so sorry you went through PND and now you are feeling riddled with nerves . I am also sorry you are surrounded by doubts- although I am sure your mum doesn't mean it in a bad way but just loves you!
All I can say is every pregnancy is different and some people who have suffered from PND in one pregnancy wont in another... Also it is great you are aware of it this time and also your emotional dysregulation.
Grief also acts in mysterious ways and it probably isn't surprising that if you lost someone and got pregnant you delayed your grief and this was compounded with the gender disappointment.
So just think now you are in a much better space: hopefully through your grieving (as much as one can be), aware of the challenges that might hit you and hopefully not running the risk of gender disappointment this time! So hopefully it will be a completely different experience this time round.
Oh you poor thing, I've no experience with a 2nd baby but I had a similar experience with my son and part of me is terrified to have another, it was so awful for such a long time. Your feelings are totally valid and it must be awful to hear your mum say that, tbh I'm scared if the same thing.
Not everyone who experiences PND gets it the 2nd time around, have you spoke to your midwife about how you are feeling, maybe she can refer you to a councillor?
If you ever need to talk you can always PM me xx
I'm so sorry that you've had to go through all of that. Like others have said, no two pregnancies are the same and just because you got PND with your first, doesn't mean you'll get it with your second.
I had really bad PND after having my second. It affected bonding and everything and it was a terrible experience. I also had a mild case of PND after having my third. I lost my third to SIDS, so I got PTSD as well. So by the time I got pregnant with my youngest, I was absolutely terrified that I was going to have horrible PND and possibly other issues after he was born. I also have generalized anxiety disorder and depression that I've been dealing with since my early teens, so that increased my chances of suffering again and made me more nervous.
However, my youngest is almost 6 months old now and I think this is honestly the best I've felt after having a baby. Sure, there's some days where I feel overwhelmed and defeated but overall, I am not depressed and I have a really strong bond with DS. I have a really strong support system now and I've worked towards overcoming my issues a lot which has gone a long way towards keeping my healthy.
One thing I did really have to focus on was that the fear of getting PND was actually making things worse and I had to be really vigilant about reminding myself that just because one day is bad, it doesn't mean that I'm on a downward spiral towards getting PND and there's no stopping it. I tend to think in very absolute terms, so I always jumped right away to thinking that I was going to get severe PND again. Hopefully that made sense; I have a hard time explaining it well. So as long as I reminded myself to take one day at a time, it helped.
And if it's any comfort at all, if you do start getting symptoms of PND with your next baby, you should be able to recognize it earlier and get help earlier so you can avoid it getting as bad. If you're already aware of it and know how to help yourself, it makes it much easier to recognize and treat, which means it will probably be more mild and won't have such a huge impact.
I hope this has helped some and if you need to, feel free to PM me.
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