Post # 16
I feel for both of you. This is a hard time and it’s difficult to see past.
It sounds like your husband is struggling too. All the behaviors of his being described are pretty maladjusted means of coping. Pulling away and trying to accomplish something that is in his control (vs. the scary situation with his baby and wife that he likely doesn’t know how to “fix”) and then disappearing in work are all pretty classic ways of displaying stress and mental difficulties. Fathers can absolutely struggle mentally just like mothers can. There’s no guidebook and he’s likely feeling like he’s just in over his head and tasked with the responsibility of keeping his family running. If all this behavior is out of character for him, I would give him the benefit of the doubt and see if you can get him an appointment with a therapist.
As for you, none of this is your fault. My son started out in the care of hospital workers too needing to have his food strictly monitored. He was bottle/formula fed and I just thought he looked like a funny little alien for the first 8ish months. I didn’t bond with him until he started to talk. He is fluorishing and is a great little dude who is about to turn 2 in a few months. You’re doing great and there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. In the meantime, you might do well with some one on one therapy as well. PPD is hard, momming is hard, little babies are hard, struggles with your relationship and missing your best friend are hard!
I really believe you’ll find each other again, you both just need some help right now. You’re not the first and you won’t be the last couple to face a challenging time and fall off the rails a bit. It’s the effort to get back to each other that counts.
Post # 17
Post # 18
First- new babies (and first babies are new until you have a second in my eyes) are HARD. I had terrible PPD with my first and he was born entirely without complication. It took me months to bond with him (he was close to a year) and my relationship with my husband suffered right along. It was awful and husband is a physician who works with parents ALL the time- and we struggled. And I mean STRUGGLED. So- a couple of things. Yes. Get help. Get help for yourself, and if you think he’d be open to it, get help as a couple. As I said, new babies are hard, traumatic births are harder, and PPD and dealing with someone who has PPD is really, really hard- even for the “professionals”. Second, cut yourself and your husband some slack. You’re still figuring things out and at 4 mos, your babe still isn’t sleeping, you’re not sleeping, life is still chaotic even if you feel like you’ve got a system. I agree with some of the others on the bird situation. Maybe he needs a new home for a while (or forever). Babies change the dynamic of things and you certainly don’t need to add complication.
Lastly, and it’s hard when you’re in the thick of it, this too shall pass. I promise- children go through hard phases, and so do marriages. But if you’re committed, in the grand scheme, things will change, and children grow. Also, you will sleep again. And that will change the whole dynamic. Hang in there!
Post # 19
Thank you all for taking the time to respond. It was really helpful to see things in a different way.
I will say that I had not thought of him using the car as a coping method. Ultimatley I ended up having to buy a car because the old just had too many issues. Honestly I still would have much more appreciated he help me with the baby vs spending all day trying to fix the car.
I do give my husband the benefit of the doubt, but the fact that he has pulled away and left the household and most of the childcare to me does make me a little sad. I sometimes feel I’m being taken advantage of. I understand he works and I’m home. But I’m exhausted too. I just wish he would take over one night feed so I could sleep longer than an hour and a half for once. I guess I just feel like I’m trying to go out of my way to make sure he’s taken care of. I make his favorite meals and give him time to play his hobbies.
I just want some of that extended to me and not be told that he’s to tired to watch our baby for that long.
I did tell him I would like to go to counseling and he again said nothing. In the meantime I will seek counseling for myself. Thanks again to everyone who responded.
Post # 20
anotheranonbee29 : I think your feelings are totally normal here and you have no reason to feel guilty. I will second the suggestion for counseling – one youve had a big trauma, and two it doesnt seem like your husband is understanfing you need him to step up more.
I’ll also add – having a baby is a BIG adjustment and while it is life altering and changes everything… that chaos doesnt last forever. The baby grows up and its possible to get that connection back again… but the first year when baby is hardly sleeping and everyone is adjusting, it normal to feel out of sync and a little disconnected.
Its important that you recognize this and keep it as a priority (maintaining your marital connection) but also dont catastrophize to think that it will always be this way. As long as you put the effort in and you can help your Darling Husband to do the same, its very possible to go through a rough patch and move past it. This is a stressful time, if you’ve had a healthy marriage otherwise then I would think you guys can work through this.
Post # 21
anotheranonbee29 : .” It’s very hard to try and forgive myself. It’s awful now looking back and knowing that your baby was basically a miracle and then when you got him home you felt nothing”
At the time you felt ‘nothing’ because you were suffering from post partum depression, it made you feel empty and numb and just barely functioning. This doesn’t mean you were a bad mom or didn’t love your baby, it meant that post partum depression locked you off from your feelings. Please don’t beat yourself up for this. Even if you’re past some of this now and you’ve bonded with your baby, it seems there is some lingering sadness and guilt and possibly lingering/ ongoing PPD even if it’s better than it was, please talk to your doctor about this.
In addition to seeking medical help, I would also recommend Brooke Shields insightful and honest book “Down Came the Rain” about her own struggles with PPD.
You tried to be open and honest about your PPD with your husband and he did you two very grave disservices, first of all he trivialized your concerns (which may have been a factor in you not going to your doctor) and then to add insult to injury he later judged you for what you shared with him. I feel so badly for you reading this, I feel like he let you down big time when you most needed his support.
I think your husband just doesn’t get how truly exhausting having a newborn can be- even without the fear and worry of having a baby in NICU and PPD on top. I remember when I had my first baby, even my much younger fitter self was freaking EXHAUSTED those first months- more so than my recent much older self was working 2 jobs/ 60-70 hour weeks during tax season. So him figuring your C section has healed enough that you should be fine managing the baby and household singlehandedly- wtf? you’re not a single parent and his job isn’t 24/7 like yours is now.
Parental leave for dads is an awesome thing- IF used the way it’s intended. He basically used it as a vacation for himself.
I really hope this situation improves for you Bee. Please see a doctor about any PPD and make sure you’re well and healthy and I’m glad you’re bonding with your baby- it will gradually get easier as your baby grows and your exhaustion fades. Your situation with your husband….sigh. He has to want to change. I’d suggest a Come To Jesus talk with him simultaneously with getting medical treatment for yourself. You’re worried he’s getting enough time for his hobbies and he thinks he’s husband of the year because he switched out a few loads of laundry for you when your C section was healing and only watches your son long enough for you to shower. This imbalance isn’t fair to you and it’s not a healthy for your marriage either.
Post # 22
anotheranonbee29 : DeniseSecunda : I think I need to clarify something here which is entirely my own fault. Before OP explained the relationship with this pet, this was a bird which her husband owned, which was compeltely abandoned and left to her to take care of, adding huge amounts of stress to an already stressful situation due to it interrupting the baby’s sleep. A baby that won’t sleep will make an already difficult house absolutely unbearable to live in
I would never toss a pet like garbage, having owned parrots in the past and a puppy at home now. My suggestion was to have someone care for him until things settle down.
Bad choice of words, chosen to reflect the frustration I thought I read in the first post, which OP then clarified.
Now we can resume our regular programming 🙂 Peace and love man.