Struggling even after 20 months on from my second PP

Hi there, I have a 4 year old and a 20 month old,two lovely wee boys who are a joy to be around but so draining at the same time.I still take medication and have regular doc appointments,psychiatrist,cpn but don't have family local and off sick from my work so I look after the boys full time.my hubby is doing teacher training so I am having to look after them a lot more at the weekends without him.I feel so drained and have started smaking my eldest when he plays up,I feel so guilty.I do have good friends and go to a local toddler group but I sometimes feel most folks dont understand what PP was like and the effect on your health.I just feel so isolated sometimes x

18 Replies

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  • Hi Kathryn. Looking after two children can be challenging and isolating at times for any mum, even without the added impacts of having PP, not having family on hand nearby to support and your husband being so busy at the min. So please don't be too hard on yourself. It's lovely that you say you have good friends, have you told them how you feel at all? Going to a toddler group sounds good for breaking some of that isolation you say you feel. I'm sure people on here will be able to provide more thoughts and suggestions. Thank you for sharing such an honest post with us. Best wishes xxx

  • Hello Kathryn

    Well done for reaching out and finding the forum where you will find lots of support and helpful advice. I'm not surprised you feel drained, coping with routine and two young children is enough at times without throwing PP into the mix.

    You have done really well to return to work in such a short space of time after PP but I'm sorry you are off sick at the moment. It's good that you have professional medical support to help you. Do you think your medication might need to be reviewed? I had two boys, many years ago and PP twice. I also struggled and became depressed which took me a while to fight.

    It is very hard for friends and family to understand PP and the effect it has on us. I know your husband is training in his job but have you sat down together and told him honestly how you feel? After PP we can't just pick up where we left off ...... it takes a while to recover from such a traumatic illness. Perhaps you returned to work too early ... although I know sometimes it's necessary for running the home.

    There are APP Insider Guides "Recovery after Postpartum Psychosis" which you might find helpful to read and there is also a Guide for partners. Have you mentioned how you are feeling to your CPN as she should be able to help with support? Is there a Homestart group in your area for support so that you don't feel so isolated? There are other mums here with ideas to help you.

    Be good to yourself and take care.

  • Thank you so much for your advice.I think it would be good to see if I can get an early appointment with my psychiatrist to review meds.I was rejected for a child minding place but I feel I am in need of some help so will contact my health visitor again .thank you

  • Tou had PPP twice, did you have similar simptoms in the both?? Has anyone in your family had PPP or a mental ilness?? sery for all the questions but i too had ppp with my baby and am scared to get pregnant again :/

  • Thank you,I'm amazed by how supportive everyone's replies have been x

  • Hi Kathryn,

    lovely to hear from you and the isolation you mentioned struck a chord with me to. Coping with very young children is totally draining for any Mum and coping with the aftermath of PP makes it more challenging. My husband had a really busy job, working long hours, with no family or network of friends and had not long moved to Scotland. I didn't return to work afterwards either, the Mother & Toddler group was the highlight of my week! My self esteem was at rock bottom and I remember thinking who was that friendly, independent, outgoing person who had an active busy life and a career, Where did she go? I felt a shell of my former self and felt so ashamed and guilty about my illness. I also felt I couldn't talk about it with anyone, and didn't for over 30 years until I discovered this forum by chance and it is like finding the last piece of a jigsaw in, so wonderful, and apologise to everyone if I prattle on. However, when I felt angry, isolated or whatever, I scribbled my thoughts down which I found empowering and helped give me an identity.

    All I can say is honestly it does get better, people describe recovering from PP as a journey which is so true, just take it day by day and don't feel guilty, you now have plenty of friends on this forum who can share the ups and downs of your journey to recovery. Take care. Vee x

  • Thank you so much Vee, will keep your encouragement close to heart ,appreciate your kindness and for replying

  • Hi Kathryn,

    I'm so pleased that you've found the forum and have reached out to us, we are all here for you and understand the difficulties faced when recovering from PP. I hope that in talking to us you feel less isolated.

    How lovely to have two boys, gorgeous. That's brilliant that you have good friends and that you enjoy going to groups with them. I have just one boy, Archie who is 2.5 and I know how much of a handful he can be, so it is completely understandable that you would find keeping them entertained draining. Taking medication can also have this side effect. Perhaps you could ask your psychiatrist to look into this to see if there are any alternatives?

    Do you have access to any additional support for either of your boys to give you a break? Free childcare or such? My family are also far away too, but I no longer feel guilty about asking for help as I know I need it to stay well. I also sometimes go to visit them for a 'holiday' and my mum kindly gets up with Archie as I still find getting up in the mornings a struggle sometimes. Is this something you would be able to ask your family for whilst your partner is so busy at the moment? Or would you perhaps even consider childcare swaps with friends?

    For me it was the practical stuff that I found particularly hard to cope with as I was so tired and my partner was working a lot, and so we decided to get some support with it and I had someone in to clean the house when it got too much. My partner and I agreed that we'd deal with the expense of this to help support me when I needed it to keep me well, and for me it really helped to feel more on top of things. I've now got particularly stingy about washing clothes only when I really need to, to save myself on chores!! Is there anything you find particularly difficult that you could get some additional support with, emotionally or practically?

    Do keep in touch xxxx

  • Thank you for your reply. I will contact my health visitor again I think about child care.we still pay for boys to be in nursery for two afternoons,1-6 so that's been amazing since being off work. Just feel so tired sometimes and get annoyed with house getting a mess,I might look into cost of a cleaner!x

  • Thank you,I have chatted to friends and we are gonna make some play dates soon as its the weekend that is the most challenging! X

  • Hello Kathryn

    I'm really pleased we have all been able to help and given you ideas. I hope you will be able to have an early appointment with your psychiatrist to review your medication and ongoing care. If your health visitor knows how much child minding would help, I'm sure a place can be found. It's hard to be assertive after PP but you need to draw on your inner strength and make yourself heard ...... it will make such a difference for you to take time out for yourself, even if it's just for an hour or so.

    Well done for weighing things up and reaching out to your friends ...... weekend play dates sounds like fun!!

    Take good care of yourself. We are all here if you need us.

  • I can't believe the support on here,I have met a friend who had PP a long time ago which is great but she has 4 kids so very busy so its so good to listen to everyone's thoughts and advice on here.there seems to be face to face support groups here in Glasgow for post natal depression but not PP.

    I am so hard on myself about the way I can snap at the kids but I know I'm suffering from anxiety and think I need my meds increased maybe .thanks again

  • Hello Kathryn

    There's a Home-Start team in Glasgow which may be able to help too. (Home-Start Glasgow South) Tel : 01415708735; email : theteam@homestartglasgowsouth.org.uk.

    It might be worth adding this to your options.

    Best wishes.

  • So sorry ,I live in kirkintilloch,which is east Dunbartonshire so they won't help me I don't think as I'm not in the catchment area x

  • Hello Kathryn

    I've looked again on this site and there is a Home-Start in Kirkintilloch; Tel: 0141 948 0441. Perhaps they might be able to help ....... but you seem to have everything organised now.

    Take good care of yourself and I hope you have a good time with your friends .....

  • Thank you so much for your help

  • Hiya Kathryn

    You are doing so well to find the energy to look after two young boys 6 days a week!! Something that came to my mind was that it seems harsh that there is no sick leave for mummies. You're not well enough to be at work yet you end up looking after the two little ones 12 hours a day...

    Do you manage to fit in a little R&R time for yourself ? Not cleaning the house :-) but something restorative that you enjoy like a long bath when they are in bed, or whatever it may be.

    How amazing to have met a friend who also had PP! Wow! That must be quite a rare thing.

    I agree with you, I think it's very hard for people to understand PP who haven't lived through it. The first (only) time i met other sufferers I just cried and cried with relief......

    Hope you find a way to get a little more 'me time'. I wondered if your oldest might be eligible for some free nursery hours because he's that bit older....

    Spaghetti x

  • Hello Kathryn

    I wondered how you are and whether you were able to get an early appointment with your psychiatrist to review your medications? I hope you have been able to have more support and that you are finding things less stressful.

    Take very good care of yourself.

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