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Am I being pigeon-holed?

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#1 Koobie83

Posted 12 February 2013 - 11:12 AM

Hi everyone,
As some of you are aware I've had my fair share of anxiety in this pregnancy. Movements were making me more anxious and I've come to realise that my anxiety about the pregnancy is actually really anxiety about my situation with work, and my DH (I'm just referring the stress I'm repressing from these things by 'overthinking' about the baby).

Anyway, my midwives have been really good about it. They have been really lovely and helpful and the two times I went up to the assessment unit at the Mothers hospital they told me that I am welcome to come up 'anytime' if I'm feeling stressed.

So at my clinic I was asked by my midwife what's really up. I had just watched a video with the group about breastfeeding and right now anytime I see a tiny newborn I get really emotional... I don't know why. So because I was already feeling a bit emotional from watching the little babies I told her about my DH giving me a hard time about the pregnancy and how it's stuffed up his plans... He's totally fine with the baby and being a Dad it's just he's sh*tty with his work and was planning on studying this year (we saved for him to study, but he feels like he can't because his prac is when the baby is due and he's uncomfortable with us both not working). Saying things like why I couldn't wait 3 more months... Yada yada. She asks me whether he's abusing me. Absolutely not! She then tells me verbal and emotional abuse is still abuse. She wrote some contacts down for some counselling which I think would be great anyway and would contact them when I get a referral from my GP.

I've been feeling really good lately. I've not been so worried about her movements and am relaxing more. I know she's ok and I can't compare her movements to other people. She's her own little baby and will do things her way.

So I get a call from my own midwife twice (first call was missed) asking whether everything is fine. I tell her it is. She then starts saying the midwife group are for women with 'normal pregnancies' and she may be able to get me into the hospital for another programme where I can have more appointments (?) or attention or something... I wasn't really listening. She then asked whether I'd be interested in getting some further help through the hospital once she's completed her home visits to help me adjust to having the baby at home because things are much harder once the baby is home... etc. I said yes of course - any help I can get the better. But then I started thinking.

Are they flagging me for PND already? I feel pretty let down because we were told that if we're ever concerned about anything we should contact them. Then I'm told that anytime I'm worried about her movements to call and come up to the hospital so they can check her for me. Now because I've been up twice they are assuming I'm going to have PND?!

PND is awful and any Mums out there who have had it I would love to hear from. Do I sound like a candidate for developing PND? I thought PND can strike anyone not only those who have had a few stresses during their pregnancy. I mean first of all I had a bleed which scared me half to death thanks to my previous losses, then my cousin died just before Christmas, a senior work colleague can't get a grip on the fact that my priorities aren't here with work at the moment and is punishing me for it or ignoring the fact that I'm leaving soon, my husband is having his own crisis (who really should be receiving the counselling) and referring that stress onto me and I am living in a house where I haven't wanted to live for 2 years now and we have no room for the baby yet because DH can't figure out what he wants to do we're stuck there for the time being... again.

I suppose this is more of a vent than anything else, but I just feel a bit let down. I feel like I've been stuck into the 'mad pregnant woman' category without really being told why or being able to really tell them properly what's going on...

Edited by Koobie83, 14 February 2013 - 12:03 PM.

#2 frizzle

Posted 12 February 2013 - 11:24 AM

I think anyone who is stressed more than normal is probably at a higher risk of PND. I actually think it's a good thing they are helping you now rather than letting things spiral and you ending up sick with a newborn.

Your DH sounds like mine. Mine has been projected a bit of sh*t of me lately too and is getting worse the closer the birth gets. His latest bug bear is me spending any money, despite the fact that I work and just got a mat leave payout... but I digress.

I wouldn't worry about being flagged at all. I have been put as high risk this pregnancy as I had severe PND with DS. I am all for prevention. They won't think you are mad or anything like that, but will help you with support. It's a big transition and if your DH isn't coping now then it's not going to get easier once the baby arrives.

#3 Taystee

Posted 12 February 2013 - 11:38 AM

I would have loved someone to flag me as being higher risk for PND- I may have felt like you did, like I was being pigeon holed but it took months for someone to listen to me and understand that I was struggling. I don't wish that upon anyone else.

Don't knock any extra support you might get- you can always say no later!

Try to reframe it as being lucky that you are being supported rather than "mad pregnant woman" wink.gif original.gif

Good luck OP, it sounds like you have a very caring team around you. Maybe counselling with your husband present might be good too?

#4 lozoodle

Posted 12 February 2013 - 11:44 AM

Whether or not you are being flagged I think it is a positive thing. I would much prefer a care provider who was being proactive and offering me these things than one who didn't notice any red flags in me.

#5 againagain

Posted 12 February 2013 - 11:49 AM

I think that sounds great and if I were you I would go with it.

It sounds really good to have that extra support. It doesn't mean you have or will get PND, it just means they have recognised you may benefit from some extra visits before and after the birth.

Sounds like you are being looked after really well. Don't label yourself or feel let down at all. Go with the flow, talk when you need to and except the outstretched hand.

#6 againagain

Posted 12 February 2013 - 11:53 AM

I also just wanted to comment on this
She then tells me verbal and emotional abuse is still abuse.

I read one of your other posts about your DH liking to make you cry, and that he gets satisfaction from you being upset, because he is annoyed. Well that is not right either and I wouldn't be surprised if they were far more concerned about possible emotional abuse from your DH than anything being "wrong" with you.

The counselling sounds very helpful, I think your DH possibly needs to go too.

#7 Katie_bella

Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:05 PM

I think you are being flagged as a woman who may require more support anti and post natally and by placing you in a different program will allow them to get the extra funding to pay for extra visits and support. I don't think you should look at this as a negative thing. Your midwives sound like they are attentive and caring and want you and your child to have the best outcome.

As PP has said, i would see the councillor recommended. Even if you are not comfortable thinking about your husbands behaviour as abuse, it is still not supportive. It sounds like you both need to sit down and talk about your expectations of this time and that may be better facilitated with a qualified third party.

Best of luck, pregnancy and the early days of having a newborn can be an incredibly stressful time and i'm glad you seem to be getting more support to help you through this.

#8 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:06 PM

I get what you are saying - it's like they are dooming you to have a problem.  

But I think that MW knows the system and how to get you extra support, which any mum could well use.  

I had an anxious pregnancy (IVF cycle 8, a fluid loss at 18 weeks and a fairly messed up delivery due to shingles/chicken pox) and then had a very non-sleepy boob obsessed baby who wouldn't settle.  Everything was so much better when a MCHN "flagged me" and got me into the Tresillian system.  I was able to have home visits, settling advice and very cheap and safe occasional care.   It was lovely to know somebody had my back and was keeping an eye on me.  

Don't worry that anyone is judging you or that (I hope you aren't worried about this) anyone is going to interfere with your parenting in any way.

Edited by meggs1, 12 February 2013 - 12:06 PM.

#9 kate_123

Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:06 PM

hi OP, sorry your having such a tough time with your DH and work at the moment. I completely understand how u feel tho with being flagged. I have a history of mental health issues a few years back following a life incident. Anyways I became very ill in the first trimester with hyperemesis and had a melt down over it cause i was so sick and didn't feel supported by my Ob. He solution was to 'flag' me and give me a referral to a psychiatrist just because i have a mental health history which I was offended by cause all i actually wanted was for his support and care and I felt my anxieties were valid given i was so sick. Of course him flagging me just made me feel so angry and anxious and make the whole thing a million times worse. I also have a lot of anxieties about labor and when the baby is born because of some other physical health issues i have that will impact on my ability to manage. I feel these are very valid concerns but i can see that they will also be 'flagged' as PND which they're not. While its great you have been offered the extra support (btw, the extra support and visits you have been offered sounds awesome), I would also feel upset by them because whilst they will be useful, there misintentioned and theyre not really listening to what the issue is. Anyways, just thought i would add my story to say i understand!

#10 RealityBites

Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:13 PM

Birth can make emotions so much worse. So if you are already exhibiting anxiety etc, then there is a possibility that the hormonal overload of birth can cause postnatal anxiety/depression. There is also the possibility that your domestic situation has flagged you as someone who may develop postnatal issues later on as a result of a lack of support.

#11 RealityBites

Posted 12 February 2013 - 12:20 PM

Yep, much worse to actually get PND (or in my case, postnatal anxiety three days after birth) and find it impossible to get any support. This time, although I am already medicated, I have lined up appointments with psychs etc. You never want to be down that hole alone.

#12 Koobie83

Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:01 PM

Thank you everyone. I guess yes, you are all right. It is good that they are there for me and  organising the support I need now. All the support I can get the better. I know. It's just a bit scary thinking they think I might end up with PND.

I will take any counselling offered, definitely. But I think it's pointless unless DH comes with me. It just seems a bit frustrating that I've been put into this category before I can really explain why I have been feeling the way I have been and that DH probably needs the counselling more than I do.

#13 Natttmumm

Posted 12 February 2013 - 01:10 PM

I think they would flag anyone who is needing a bit of help. That's their job and sounds like they are doing it well.
You have a lot to contend with at the moment and its understandable that you are stressed out. Everyone's life situations are different and these people are their to help those who need it.
I don't think it's a bad reflection on you asking for help. If you feel they are over doing it or becoming annoying you can always say thanks for the help but you would rather contact them if you need to.
I think the comment about it being harder once baby comes is probably true. I had a lot of anxiety with number 1. We had reason to worry during the pregnancy and the worry actually increased once she was born which i did not expect.
I didn't get pnd but I'm sure I was flagged and checked rightfully so. Just because you are having a rough time now doesn't mean you will get pnd

#14 Lishyfips

Posted 12 February 2013 - 03:11 PM

I think it's great you're being offered help and would urge you to take it, just in case. I wouldn't say you're being pigeon-holed, more that this caring midwife wants to give you every bit of support she can to prevent you becoming depressed and/or anxious after the birth. Please don't feel others are judging you - I had post natal anxiety and I swear I was harder on myself than anyone else was.

PND is so common that doctors, midwives, maternal and child health nurses monitor all women to check for signs. Please don't feel singled out when you start getting questions after the birth - they ask everyone. You'll feel so much better if you do need help and get it, rather than pretending things are fine if they're not.

#15 SuboptimallyPooks

Posted 12 February 2013 - 03:21 PM

OP, it does sounds like you have anxiety issues. It sounds like you are feeling anxious about this service being offered? Do you think I could be right there? And that is okay. Perhaps give them a call and talk to them about it, they may be able to answer some questions to make you feel more comfortable about it. There is nothing wrong with getting whatever help you need. Trust me, with a baby you have to learn to take all the help you can get original.gif

If you ever want to PM me and chat, I'm here a lot laughing2.gif and an open ear.

#16 Futureself

Posted 12 February 2013 - 03:42 PM

QUOTE (Madame Protart @ 12/02/2013, 12:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think it's a bit sad PND is seen as something 'bad' and people are worried they will be 'flagged' as a possible candidate.  So many woman suffer in silence, I think it's wonderful HPs are looking out for us.

Absolutely.OP, it's not a bad thing so please don't feel defensive. I flagged myself to my midwives at my booking in appointment simply because I have a history of anxiety that although is controlled now, was completely debilitating 10 years ago and I knew that was a risk factor for PND.  I seem to be travelling ok thus far but I also had no qualms talking to my GP and flagging myself there too once DS was here.
All help, any information and whatever support is being offered - take it all.

QUOTE (Koobie83 @ 12/02/2013, 01:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It just seems a bit frustrating that I've been put into this category before I can really explain why I have been feeling the way I have been and that DH probably needs the counselling more than I do.

You're two separate people with different issues though and it's not an either/or scenario. You, and the baby, are the MW's primary priority and they can ensure that they help YOU - get you counselling, get you extra attention, get you lots of support to ease your fears and anxiety. There's not anything they can directly do for your DH. The fact he needs counselling is something that he really needs to do himself. In the meantime you can be well looked after physically and emotionally from your caregivers now and in the future when baby's here as well if you need it. It's a GOOD thing. original.gif

#17 kate_123

Posted 12 February 2013 - 03:45 PM

QUOTE (Madame Protart @ 12/02/2013, 01:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The fact is women who have had past mental health issues are more vulnerable to PND.  It doesn't mean you will get it, but you are more at risk, which is why they ask.  They even ask about a family history as that may also put you at risk.   You said you're suffering from anxieties about labour and when the baby is born, why would you be reluctant to talk to someone about it?  It can't hurt.

I think it's a bit sad PND is seen as something 'bad' and people are worried they will be 'flagged' as a possible candidate.  So many woman suffer in silence, I think it's wonderful HPs are looking out for us.

I guess what I meant was that I was frustrated that he just went past mental history - tick, current anxiety - tick = here is the number of a psych - tick. End of story, not my job to do any more. When really my actual concerns were medically related - ie incredibly sick requiring hospitalisation for hyperemesis and felt he lacked follow up on this and secondly his lack of understanding of my chronic physical health issues and how that will impact on delivery and post birth. Neither of those things in my eyes are PND and in my view he was the appropriate person to address those concerns with me and shoving a number in my face and thats it wasnt helpful or appropriate in my opinion. If I felt I needed psych input I would have no issues with accepting this help and I in no way see PND as something shameful to hide from.

#18 redmum77

Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:08 AM

OP, yep it's hard when you are worried justifiably, and when your DH is the one with more issues than you. Been there original.gif I think as a pp said they can't access your DH, and also a lot of the time the reality is that the blokes get let off sorting anything out and we just have to cope. So that's the bit they want to help with, you coping, or even helping you figure out how to tell him to get help.

I failed the mental health test, right after nearly losing this bub at 14 weeks. I said that I have my own psych (which is true) and that I'll deal with it with him. They were fine with that. I think they tried to help last time when I was married to my ex, and I wasn't completely honest and didn't take the help, and got PND. So yeah, lesson learned... Even if it's someone else's problem, it can become yours very quickly.

#19 Koobie83

Posted 14 February 2013 - 12:10 PM

Hi everyone,
So I've got a call from the Occupational Therapist and have been booked in for an appointment after my next antenatal clinic. I have a rough idea about what they do, but does anyone know what we're likely to discuss? What will she be able to help me with? Coping with stress at work?

I'm this close in telling DH to pack his bags if he can't leave me alone. He had a few digs this morning about his '3 months' things (i.e. why I couldn't wait 3 months?)... yet will say that he thinks it wasn't meant to be (his study) and tell me all these reasons why he 'knew' and then backflip and blame me again. Then just then I sent him a link about stress in pregnancy and said this is why he shouldn't be mean... and he calls me at work to have a go about 'how many times he's told me not to send these emails to his work' (He's convinced his emails are monitored and people read them). Seriously, he's nuts.

Now I'm on the verge of crying here at my desk.  

So over it...

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