PPD worse for moms with baby in nicu

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PPD worse for moms with baby in nicu

Postby PrestonsMomma » Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:55 pm

My dr mentioned this to me a few times & so have the nurses in the Special Care Nursery. They told me that mommy's with a baby in the nicu or scn with most likely experience ppd worse than a mom that doesn't have a bbby in the nicu or scn.
& I'm starting feel depressed. With all these set backs my little baby has been having it makes me feel like a horrible mother because there is nothing I can do to help him get better :( I cry a lot now.
How did you other nicu mommys deal with ppd?
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@30.6 weeks gestation in the car

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Postby nauticaboo » Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:13 pm

Unless you have a history of PPD, I would hesitate to even call it that. I say that because I think ALL NICU Moms go through a period of "depression" that isn't necessarily PPD. I remember when I had Desi, I was a ball of emotions, I just couldn't stop crying. I felt guilty, sad, mad - you name it. It's all normal, COMPLETELY normal - so don't feel like there is something wrong with you.

Things will slowly start to get better. Once he starts making steady progress, you'll be able to relax some. I don't know if they have it at your NICU, but mine had a Parent's Group, and twice a month or so, they would have a meeting or a pizza "party" for other parents to meet and talk to each other. Or you could just introduce yourself to some of the parents that you se all of the time - that's what I did, and we still keep in touch, almost 2 years later.

As soon as you're allowed (if you aren't already), try doing Kangaroo care - both me and Desi loved it, and it helped us bond. Do as much as you can as soon as it's allowed: I started off with just swabbing Desi's mouth when she was in the incubator, and it slowly progressed to the point that I was doing almost everything (clothing and diaper changes, baths, feedings, taking her in and out of the incubator/crib, etc.) while I was there, and they'd just check on me every hour or so. Routine was also key for us - I would go at the same time(s) every day, and I think Desi came to expect it.

If none of those things work, and you find that you can't "snap out of it", don't be afraid to ask for help. This is a very difficult time, because not only do you have to deal with PP hormones, you also don't have your baby home with you, and you have another young LO at home also.
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Postby Cindy » Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:58 pm

I had it WAY worse with my nicu baby. I don`t know any nicu mommas who hadn`t been really depressed
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Postby Jamm » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:44 pm

I had the baby blues amplified. Its so difficult with the nicu because you are almost walking on egg shells. You get excited for a step forward then its two steps back the next day. Its emotionally taxing! Not to mention when you are pregnant all you think about is taking your baby home. With a prem it can be delayed weeks or even months.
I know its easier said then done but take everything one day at a time. I agree with everything nauticaboo said. Kangaroo is fantastic for bonding!.
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Postby lousli » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:52 pm

I had it and didn't realize I did. I wish I had figured it out sooner, as the first year of my dd's life was a really rough time for me. It is hard during the NICU period to know if your depression is because of the circumstances and if it will go away when things get better. My advice would be to keep a careful eye on yourself (and ask your dh or someone else to keep an eye on you too) and decide at what point you think it has gone one long enough. Everyone is different, but if it is keeping you from taking care of yourself or your baby properly, it might be time to talk to a doctor.
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Postby PrestonsMomma » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:02 pm

I used to kangaroo him for 2 hours everyday. Now I don't even have an hour (the minimum amount of time allowed) to kangaroo him, because we bring DS1 with us because no one can watch him for us. & he gets really fussy when we stay too long.
I think I know what is making me so depressed :(
I think its all the set backs my LO has been having. & DF is no help. He doesn't get why I'm depressed
me-21
DF-23
DS1-Preston Ayden
Born April 6th, 2010
6lbs & 19 1/4inches
@38.1 weeks geststation
2 failed UNWANTED epis, so all natural
DS2-Mason Minh
Born on January 20th, 2011
3lbs 8oz & 16 1/2 inches
@30.6 weeks gestation in the car

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Postby shrimpsey » Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:11 pm

:hugs: Momma, I know its hard. Could you go up to the hospital by yourself in the evenings after you get your DS settled? I know with me, my favorite time to go was late at night when my other kids were asleep in bed because then I didn't feel torn. It is so hard when you have other kids. Could your DF take your son for a walk while you are with your other LO? My husband and I would trade times, I would watch our kids while he spent time with the babies, and then he would watch teh kids while I was there. Then I would go up at night.

Feeling upset about your baby being in the NICU is normal, and doesn't neccesarily mean its PPD. Both my girls were in for 47 days, and maybe I am the minority here, but I wasn't depressed. Was it hard, yes, were there times I cried, and felt like it wasn't fair, and times I just wanted to grab my babies and take them home, yes, but depression, no.

I am sorry your little guy has had a few set backs, but try and focus on the steps forward! He is gaining weight really well, that is awesome. I know you want him to just get better so you can take him home, and the set backs make you feel bad, but try and look at it anouther way, and understand that even though he is back on IV, it is the best thing for him right now to help him to get better. The most important thing is your babies health, and so if he has some set backs, he is in the right place, and getting the best care. It may seem like forever right now, but soon he will be home, and getting that baby chunk on, and you will be the one taking care of him. You can help him now, just by being there when you can, and talking to him, kangarooing him when you can, try and just enjoy the time you have there with him, even if its only a short time.

As for your DF, try not to let it get to you. I don't think men understand what its like as a mother with a baby in the NICU. My husband I don't think understood my feelings, and so he just didn't say too much about things. It is a weird place to be, and its hard to know what to say, or how to deal. Your emotions are all over, your hormones are all over. Just be gentle with yourself, know that this time is only a small blip in the grand scheme of life, and soon you will be home with your baby moving forward. (((HUGS))) You can get through this, and it is ok to cry. Sending you prayers of strength and huge hugs!!
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