bonding

Wendy - posted on 01/23/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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Hey all;

I am worried that I am not bonding with my son. I love him, but I by no means feel the way that I thought that I would about my child. I know that I have PPD---I see a Psychiatrist but I need to know that other PPD Moms experience/experienced this. I feel like a bad Mom, I feel like Liam deserves a better more loving Mommy. He's only 6 weeks old-when am I going to stop feeling this way? Please help-any reading suggestions?

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Karri - posted on 02/05/2009

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My son had reflux too, and it was a big problem. I think I would haave had PPD anyway, but it was definitely made worse by his screaming. a few hours of his shrieking and my mind, which was already frazzled by the depression to begin with, was simply overwhelmed. I just could not deal with it. It is, quite understandably, true that infant reflux and PPD often occur together.



About bonding, well, I am not going to lie... PPD does affect bonding. But not in any way that can't be overcome. I am at the tail-end of my PPD now, and am starting to get a better grasp on exactly what it is that I have come through (I had no professional therapy or medication, just a lot of help from my husband and my Mom, and I was able to go to a support group once), and the biggest thing I was worried abot when I started to get well enough to gain perspective was how to overcome the guilt of how I acted, and the grieving for the time I lost with my son. But you know what I have decided? Not to worry about it anymore, to just move on, and keep doing the best I can, rejoicing in the fact that I can do so much more now than I could when I was really sick.



And since I made that decision, my son and I have been bonding beautifully. We are making up for lost time and are now almost as close as my daughter and I were at the same age (6 1/2 months). We are growing closer every day, and though he might have more trouble with separation anxiety that DD did, I can see his trust and confidence in me growing too. Though some days are still hard for me, there is improvement every day. It is wonderful, and a huge relief!



So please, don't worry about the long-term repercussions of PPD (or reflux, for that matter) on bonding. Just focus on doing the best you can each day, and accept as much help as you can get. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and even though it sometimes feels like it, I promise it isn't a train, LOL! You will get through this, and so will your son, and you will be able to pick up the pieces and put them together. You will be able to bond with your baby. It is just going to take some time. Good luck!

Michelle - posted on 01/27/2009

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Wendy,

I had a very hard time bonding with my daughter. When she was first born, I didn't even look at her. I didn't really like her, definitely couldn't say I loved her, and I didn't think she was worth all the trouble (labor & delivery & such). Somewhere around the 2-3 month mark that got better. I dont know if it coincided w/ a form of PPD treatment or just started to get better on its own. But even after that, she still didn't feel like "mine". I have babysat a lot, and I loved those kids just as much as my daughter. Then felt guilty for that too, like something's wrong with me that I don't love my own more. But I justified that by thinking I'm just a loving person that likes kids, not that I don't love my own enough.

Since your son is only 6 weeks, I'm sure you'll start to feel some bonding soon. Don't worry that you haven't yet. It just takes some of us moms longer. And that's OK. I hope that helps. You're not alone in feeling how you do. Have you seen anyone yet for treatment of PPD?

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Cathleena - posted on 02/28/2009

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My daughter stopped kicking so I had to have an emergency c-section 6 weeks early.  I couldn't see her for a day and a half after the delivery.  When I could finally bring her home from NICU after over 3 weeks, I fell deep into my depression.  I didn't feel like she was mine. Feeling any connection with her was my biggest obstacle too. And theguilt and shame associated with that was the worst feeling I've ever had to deal with. But looking back (my daughter is now 5 mo and we have bonded wonderfully) and after learning from my therapy and support groups, I understand some of the reasons that bonding is commonly difficult or non-exsistent in the begining stages of PPD.  First off, PPD is hormonal.  It is not your fault you are feeling this way.  The right medication (they each effect us all differently) will make a big difference. Second, you are a good mom.  You are taking care of his basic needs and that is all he needs right now. And you are seeking help. Taking care of youself so that you can take care of him is a very hard thing to do. I know it was for me.  But it is very important. Thrid, a suggestion that worked for me to help bond with your child is talking to him. I just talked about whatever I was doing to him. "let's change your diaper. what pj's should you where tonight. Oh what a wet diaper, etc."  I was just talking to myself at first and at first it felt stupid.  But one day she reacted and smiled at me. It was around 2.5 months. And it will probably be sooner with Liam because my daughter was a preemie and is a little behind developmentally. But early on, babies have very little if no personality. Once that surfaces, and you begin to know his cries and he begins to be comforted by you when no one else can comfort him, the bond will grow strong.  Then there will be other issues of PPD to deal with.  But you will know you can get through it because you will have overcome this one very tough obstacle.  Hang in there and I hope you can find a support group in your area.  That is one thing that really really helped me. Knowing other moms and meeting them, spending time with them and seeing other moms that are further along gave me hope that I can become functional and a good mom eventhough I am battling PPD.  And that I will survive PPD. I hope this helps in any way. And I am glad you found this group. Please keep writing with ANY other questions.  We are all here for each other.

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I think I've had the opposite bonding experience. I had horrible thoughts about the baby while pregnant, but once he came, I absolutely adored him. That was until he stopped sleeping so well and would scream. He's now 7 months and dealing with some pretty bad separation anxiety, which drives me crazy. I feel like I never get a break from him because he screeches until he gets his mommy back. Hopefully your PPD will get better instead of worse, like mine has.

Wendy - posted on 02/04/2009

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Thanks all;

Still struggling but your posts give me lots of hope and reassurance! Things are about the same, but getting a little better. I am seeing someone (help wise) and she said this is normal, particularly with a colic/reflux baby. It's hard to get close to someone that cries all the time is basically what she told me. That made me feel a heck of a lot better!

Heather - posted on 01/28/2009

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The best advice I got was a happy Mommy means a happy baby.  There were days I felt my kids would be better with out me.  I would cry when my oldest was at school.  Thank goodness my husband noticed the symptoms.  I am on meds now and they are helping greatly.  Just keep telling yourself that you will get better.  One of the other posts on this site had suggestions for reading materials.  Hang in there.  You are not alone!

Naomi - posted on 01/27/2009

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I had PPD with my first son. He is now 6. (wow that still blows me away) Its hard, i still find it hard. Loving my other 2 boys is a lot easier. But when Sebastian sits on my knee and gives me a cuddle and tells me he loves me it means a whole lot more. I know it shouldn't i i'm not saying i love one more than the others but it means more when Sebastian says it because i remember what we went though, and still go though. 



Linda is right you are a good Mum. We were living with my parents at the time which was a god send. It meant i didn't have to feel guilty if i didn't want to hold him because someone else always did. It does get better, but i find its more of a sweeter reward because it is joy that was born out of a tuff struggle. 



Oh also Happy pills are the best thing ever. 4 years now and still loving them. They make a world of deffrence



 

Linda - posted on 01/23/2009

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Hello again,

To make it easier here's the books:

BOOKS
Postpartum Depression for Dummies by Dr. Shoshana Bennett
Healthy Mothers, Health Kids by Dr. Shoshana Bennett, Tom McNeilis, and Andrea Frank Henkart.
Beyond the Blues: A Guide to Understanding and Treating Prenatal and Postpartum Depression by Dr. Shoshana Bennett and Pec Indman.
And just recently released and available - Pregnant on Prozac by Dr. Shoshana Bennett

Linda - posted on 01/23/2009

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Wendy,

I totally understand and please welcome you to read my story that I posted as it has suggested readings. You share a feeling that is so common with Moms that experience PPD. I know that I did. You are not a bad Mom, in fact you're a great Mom to be in touch with yourself and your feelings and reaching out to get help! That's a HUGE step right there and something you should be very proud of yourself for. Liam is in great hands and things WILL GET BETTER! Hang in there and I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

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