Baby number 2 due in a month

Hi all - I'm more of a lurker than a poster (though when I do post thanks for all the awesome responses) but with baby number 2 coming so soon I'm starting to feel - nervous? Mostly I haven't been feeling anything. I'm not excited. This is more like a highly planned mission than an enjoyable life event.

I had PPP in Nov 2013 with first bub - impatient for 3 months, two rounds ECT, six months olanzapine and a year until my anxiety subsided enough that I felt 'me' and then oops... So number 2 due.

There's a detailed plan, I have an involved psych who specializes in perinatal psychiatry, an obstetrician who specializes in high risk pregnancy, a psychologist I know very well and trust, planned outreach from maternal nurses, huge family support.... it couldn't be better to reduce my risk.

BUT it's still there. This voice screaming inside my head, cursing and wailing and crying 'I CAN'T DO THIS AGAIN'. I'm not manic, I'm not depressed, I'm not psychotic, I'm not alone, I'm also just not - how I wanted to be at this point.

Anyone relate? Any be happy and connect with myself and my new baby tips?

I have spoken to the professionals above but I think in all honesty they just don't quite get it (probably since neither do I) so I was hoping those who have been here before could offer some wisdom?

Thanks in advance


21 Replies

  • Hello Flowerfern

    Thanks for your post. I'm glad you have found the forum helpful in the past.

    Congratulations on baby number 2. I can understand why you feel apprehensive but I'm sure you have noticed that some of the mums here have gone on to have further pregnancies without PP returning. So that's a positive for you to ponder ....

    I had PP twice many years ago now (six years apart) when I was 23 and 29 although I was asked not to speak about, or ask, what had happened to me at the time by my parents due to the stigma of mental illness. I too had ECT during both periods of my illnesses but with good medical and family support I regained my place.

    It seems that you have a good plan with all the professionals on hand. I think that voice in your head will fade when you hear your baby cry for the very first time. I am a long way down the road from many here but can assure you that even though I had PP twice and took a long time to recover, I have been blessed with so much joy sharing the lives of my two sons. There are so many memories to be made and to treasure.

    Wishing you all the very best.

    Take good care of yourself.

  • Hi Flowerfern.

    Congratulations on your pregnancy and thanks for posting so honestly about how you feel.

    I had an episode of pp in 2009 and had similar experiences to you with meds, ect, anxiety etc. I then had my 2nd baby in 2013 and remember all too well the feelings of nervousness, apprehension, worry (but trying not to worry!)... nothing how I wanted pregnancy to feel like but somehow inevitable after the experience of pp after our first child.

    It's great that you've got the family and professional support. That can be such a battle to find - I know I didn't have access to a perinatal service, the mbu I'd been in had closed, staff moved on and I didn't see a psychiatrist til 8 months pregnant, through a social worker I'd just been allocated who was very nice and supportive but pretty clueless!

    Have you got your care plan all written up and finalised? I found that helpful just to get it all down and out to people. I also chose to take a low dose of olanzapine again, I don't know if this is something you may have thought of too or be doing? I was desperate to do anything I could to minimize risk etc.

    I'm sure you've seen them already but the APP insider guides may also be helpful to you and those around you:

    And there is a lot of other info on the website including 1:1 emails if you feel this would help you too.

    It's good to know that you're not alone, I totally agree and understand, and I found the info from APP really helpful and reassuring. It's good to know you've found this forum too. But I know you will still feel apprehension and this is completely normal. It does feel like a mission but I am wishing you all the very best with it. I stayed well after my 2nd baby and it was such a relief. It wasn't always easy and I had some mild anxiety but my psychiatrist was great at letting me know that was actually really normal and in some ways to be expected after last time.

    You can get through it and out the other side, as Lilybeth says, the memories from your children give so much joy. All the very best and let us know how you're getting on if you'd like to. Take care, xx

  • Hi Jacqui - thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. It must be such a daunting time, and quite scary. I don't think the professionals quite understand how TERRIFYING psychosis is, unless they've been psychotic themselves. It sounds like this baby was slightly unplanned? But you definitely don't sound unprepared so that's good. I would make a list of important things that all your professionals should try and promote. Pin it to the front of your maternity notes, the door of your labour room, your baby's nursery... Everywhere!

    My list would read something like:

    - Calm

    - Sleep

    - Quiet

    - Just ourselves (no visitors)

    - Trust my own instincts

    - Sleep

    - Sleep

    Etc :)

    (I've been trying to get pregnant again for almost two years, really hoping I get to put my advice into practice one day!)


    Kathryn xx

  • I am in similar situation. Had severe Ppp after last child. Now about to give birth. Off meds luckily no relapse but have to restart after baby. It is hard with all app's but reducing the risk of a relapse is v imp. U will be fine and busy when baby arrives. What meds will u take. I will prob have lithium and quetiapine which is new 4 me. Any thoughts on this any1. Avoiding relapse is the main thing.

  • Good luck. Just a quick note to say that I found Quetiapine very sedating but was what I took for both of my episodes. If you're not already going to be on it there is a slow release version which is supposed to be less sedating.

  • I think part of it is guilt - I feel responsible for missing my baby's first year (essentially) no matter how ill placed I just can't bear the thought of putting my family through that again. I'm trying to sleep well, relax, stay calm etc. I'm going to take lithium straight after delivery (which I'm not really happy about since it means I can't breast feed, but apparently the massively disrupted sleep required for breast feeding wouldn't be advisable for me either). I got sick within just a few days last time - both physically and mentally, so it took them ages to work out what was going on. I've been assured that even if it does happen again it would be picked up quickly etc etc. so apparently I just need to focus on being relaxed and not depressed!! (Hence the mood stabilizer rather than antidepressant - I think there was a post about that - they don't want to send me manic).

    Kathryn I feel for you - wanting to be pregnant and not being so is heartbreaking. I wish you all the best. I had been advised to wait another year to start trying (due to high risk of relapse) just the month before I fell pregnant this time so I can't say my situation is the same, but I value your clear planning and thoughtfulness and I'm sure your planning will pay off in the future!

  • A little bit about medication incase it's helpful.

    I gave birth 3 months ago and experienced PP for the second time after a 2 year gap. The most recent advice from my perinatal team (London) was to take Olanzapine 2 weeks before due date to help minimize the risks of an PP episode. This was based on evidence from a recent study conducted in Germany. (You can also breast feed on Olanzapine if you are able to take this instead). I chose not to take the meds two weeks before and started them when I got into full labour. (I didn't think there was a huge amount of evidence to suggest that the 2 weeks would make a difference and worried that it could have sedative effects on me and the baby). I did however have another episode so perhaps if you were feeling very anxious about a relapse it would be worth discussing with your drs about taking meds a few weeks before due date for it to build up in the system. Having now experienced PP for the second time, I think if I was to have another child, I would take meds a few weeks before to try to minimize the risk of another episode. (Not sure how Lithium compares but worth asking for some case studies on it's use with high risk pregnancies and when to start it etc.)

    In terms of staying positive I practised a lot of yoga which I found very helpful to relax. I always enjoyed rubbing my belly too to connect with the baby so I guess tuning in as much as possible to it's movement, noises, hiccups etc.

    Good luck x

  • Hi flowerfern,

    I hope you're feeling ok this week.

    I'm pregnant too (17 weeks so a way to go yet) and can completely understand the anxiety you must be feeling in these last few weeks.

    It sounds like you've got great support in place. Hopefully all the planning won't be needed but reassures you that everyone is prepared. If PP does strike again, I'm sure it will be different this time, everyone's looking out for you.

    It's so hard, but things will be ok. I'm sure once the baby arrives all those feelings will be there.

    Wishing you all the very best.

    Take care x

  • I really feel for you. It took me three years to consider having number two. If it had happened, unplanned, at the wrong time it would've knocked me for six. It sounds like you've been through the wringer too. I was sectioned for a month with my first and it left its scars. You sound like you've been through more.

    Please do not beat yourself up about the breast feeding thing. Your family having a healthy Mum is far more important. Both of my children are healthy, happy, intelligent and bottle fed.

    I desperately want to say that it'll all be okay. You've got a fantastic care plan in place -it doesn't sound like more can be done.

    I didn't suffer PP the second time and my little baby (2yrs now) gave me back a huge amount of my confidence. Having two is lovely -watching them play and loving them both. You will get there, maybe immediately, maybe in time. Don't feel guilty.

  • Its so lovely to hear your positive stories. It sounds like even with relapse life just - keeps going- and I'm looking forward to seeing my children grow up together, which is a process far longer than the just the baby bit!

    I relapsed on olanzapine last time, and lithium is apparently a huge no in pregnancy. It's funny how hung up you can get re. breastfeeding. I think in part because literally it was the only thing I was able to do for my baby. I was incoherent in a locked ward and the nurses kept helping me pump, and my baby was brought to me everyday ready for a feed. So I knew she was mine. People have pointed out there are lots of other bits to mothering a new baby that I might like to try out... :)

    Currently getting into decorating the nursery (which I've been putting off) and enjoying what feels like an apple juice fueled roller derby in my tummy!

    Thanks again all!

  • Hi Flowerfern

    It's good to be able to share our experiences and yes, life just keeps on going no matter what it throws at us! Enjoy the nursery decorating and other pregnancy things, it can be hard to enjoy what should be this happy time of looking forward when you are feeling apprehension too. I'd definitely agree around the "other things to a new baby" - I discovered them 2nd time round and they were somehow completely amazing! You sound like you are in the best possible frame of mind about it and I think that can only help if that makes sense.

    Take care, feel free to update us if you get chance or want to share experiences. Xx

  • I think I started my posts around the same time as you, a few weeks before my second was due. There was something comforting about being able to be completely honest with others that would understand.

    I don't have much to add, there's been lots of great advice and support. Except that it was really helpful for me to keep sharing my state of mind on here. I was then able to have a greater insight into my second episode. (I chose not to take meds initially but started on day 7 after symptoms were obvious.)

    Good luck with everything.

  • Hello Flowerfern

    Just wondering if you have finished decorating the nursery? I hope you are keeping well ........ not long to wait now so try to take it easy when you can. You have a good plan in place so that must be reassuring.........

    Take good care of yourself.

  • Just an update incase anyone is interested - baby due in 2 days now (but who knows right?). The nursery is mostly done, I've actually taken some pregnancy photos (not professional, just for me) and on the advice of my psychologist I've formulated a 'birth and baby plan' not just a mental health plan - which was actually a really nice reframe and refocus which helped me a lot.

    Thanks for all the kind words and I'll be sure to check in on a few weeks/months depending how things go.

    Fingers crossed.

  • Hi Flowerfern,

    Thank you for the update, that all sounds very positive. The 'birth and baby plan' sounds like a very good idea.

    Wishing you all the very best for the days and weeks to come!

    Take care xx

  • Hello Flowerfern. Just a quick message to say hello and that we're all thinking of you and wishing you well for the new arrival. Take care, xx

  • Hello all.

    Just wanted to let you know that My beautiful red haired baby Harriet was born on the 10th September.

    I started lithium about an hour after she was born, and both the hospital staff and my family have been amazing at allowing me to rest and sleep as much as I need in the first two weeks.

    I'm now three weeks post partum and have remained well (though not a little anxious at times - my anxiety is nothing compared with my husbands!). Naturally there are some ups and downs, and I'm not out of the woods yet but last pregnancy I was in hospital by day 6 so fingers crossed. For now I'm just enjoying the newborn and toddler cuddles :)

    Thanks for all the support. It really helps.

    Further updates pending as time goes on (if desired!)

  • Hi flowerfern,

    Congratulations on the birth of your daughter! Lovely news, thank you for letting us know.

    I'm glad all is well so far, hopefully to continue :)

    It must be a very anxious time for you all but keep enjoying those cuddles, precious times.

    Take care xx

  • Hello flowerfern

    Thank you so much for taking the time to let us know how you are ...... great to know baby Harriet arrived safely and you are keeping well. I think it's only natural to be anxious and your husband and family are doing a great job making sure you have plenty of rest.

    It would be lovely if you have time to keep us updated. In the meantime take good care of yourself and wrap yourself in the comfort of home.

  • Hello flowerfern and big congratulations to you all! It's great news to hear that you are doing well. I also had a bit of anxiety after my 2nd child (and didn't get PP) - I think it was tied up in the worrying I might get ill (as I did after my 1st), however much I tried to contain it and not get too stressed. But also some anxiety with a newborn is pretty natural, or so my psychiatrist told me when I mentioned it. Perhaps mention to your care team if you need to and get their advice.

    We'd love to hear more updates, thanks for taking time to let us know how you're getting on. Take care, xx

  • Hi Flowerfern

    Just wondering how you are, and hope things are going well with your little one. X

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