Baby girl is now 9 weeks old and I should be out of the baby blues phase and settling back down. I’m not! I’m still very much all over the place and instead of things getting easier they are getting harder. I’m scared that PND is starting to take hold. I was already scoring borderline before things got harder and as Ive had it before I’m at an increased risk of getting it again.
Instead of this post being all doom and gloom I’m going to make a list of some of the things I’m finding hard and what I can do to help. This is a coping strategy I have used before and found useful. I’m hoping that by putting some of these into place it may take the edge off the cloud.
1. In the mornings I’m finding getting dressed and putting on my make hard work. I hate sitting there thinking about how to dress my postnatal body and with breastfeeding friendly clothes each morning. I already (usually) get the boys clothes out the night before so I’m going to add in baby girls and mine. This means I have no excuse for sitting there in my pyjamas!
2. Remembering to do things. This can range from really simple things like remembering to get the washing out of the machine, to deadlines like bills and things at the boys school. I already use a family calendar for big things and I’m going to start putting reminders on my phone to remind me before the deadline.
For easier things I’m going to ask my oh to help remind me or put a post-it on the fridge door.
3. Organisation and cleaning. Mess in the house is really stressing me out. I just don’t feel like I can get on top of it.
I’m going to break down the cleaning/tidying into manageable pieces and timetable them. Clean bathrooms one day, change sheets and towels another. This helps it feel more manageable and also means I remember better as it’s more organised in my head.
4. Feeling like a crappy mum! This is a major one for me at the moment. I don’t feel like I’m doing enough with the boys or bonding with Baby girl very well. I’m going to try and spend some quality time each day with them, either when Baby girl is sleeping or something I can do whilst holding her. I’m also going to plan one nice thing for the weekends I have them, could be as simple as a trip to the park or swimming.
5. As I said above, I’m worrying about bonding with baby girl. To help with this I have booked onto a baby massage course and baby swimming. I’ve done both of these before and really enjoyed them. This leads me on to my next point.
6. Getting out of the house. I find getting out of the house really stressful. Especially driving anywhere. Baby girl has reflux and I’m very anxious about her choking in the car when I’m driving. I also put off getting out which means I am then in a rush. Having things planned that are manageable at times that mean I won’t be in a rush to get back for the pre school pick up will help. I also need to have days where I don’t plan anything so that I have a day where I can just be at home.
7. This is a hard one. I need to put out an SOS to my friends. I’m not good at admitting when I need help. Even if they just encourage me to come out for a coffee it will help me to feel more normal.
8. I need to ask for help. I hate asking for help. I like to think I can do it all on my own, but the reality is that at the moment I can’t.
9. Talk! Another hard one. I need to be telling, especially my oh how I am feeling so that it doesn’t build up. I also need to be getting in touch with my hv regularly and possibly the doctor. I’m desperate to not go back on medication so I know that talk is vital.
10. Things that are worrying me. This is a real sign to me that things aren’t good. I can’t get to sleep at night for worrying/ going over things in my head. I’m so sleep deprived I should be asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. Doing the points above will mean that things get more organised/manageable in my head which will help. I’m also going to start keeping a notebook by the bed and writing things down. Then the next day looking at them and seeing if there is anything I can do to help.
11. Germs. This is a weird one and stems from last time I had PND. I knew things weren’t good when my hands started feeling dirty a few weeks ago. I know this is to do with anxiety so to help this I’m going to make sure I have antibacterial gel easily accessible in places where the feeling happens. So in my changing bag, in the lounge and my bedroom. I HATE changing rooms and putting the mat down on the tables. So I’m going to buy some disposable ones to put under the soft mat for baby girl.
12. Be kinder to myself. I’m really hard on myself and I’m really annoyed with how in feeling. I’m not sure how to help with this one at the moment, but I will try and remember to be a bit kinder on myself.
13. Make time to spend with my oh. Things started to go wrong after the birth of my second child with my ex husband. It was around this time that he started cheating on me and putting me down. This plays at the back of my mind now so knowing that this relationship is secure will help. I’m going to plan a date night out of the house once a month and plan one night a week where I make an effort to not be on my phone/laptop and talk!
14. Remember to do the above! I know I need to help myself to feel better.
Have you got any tips for coping/managing PND?