Trying to have hope

It's two months since my wife fell ill & know I need support so I'm new here. She has lived with bipolar disorder before we met & had things pretty under control & the birth of our first child had few problems, save post post birth to change meds. The pregnancy of our next daughter was challenging for the whole duration & she was induced 6 weeks early. Thankfully she's pretty much ok

My wife was sectioned shortly after & spent over a month in psychiatric intensive care unit where she didn't seem to make any progress. I was effectively mom&dad to a newborn & 3 year old girl which was a pretty busy time I must say!

As challenging as it was I got very close to the girls & when a mother & baby unit was offered I rejected the first due to it too far away and waited for a nearer one which was available two weeks later which was the right choice

Although my wife is making some progress, her father passed away recently & she went five steps backward. She's now on her third change of medication (ignoring the sedative)

I'm trying to be positive even though she doesn't have many consecutive days a stable mental state. I'm doing everything to keep things running smoothly so almost daily visits to hospital for me & our 3 year old after nursery which are draining on us but know it helps my daughter not miss her mommy so much & also see her little sister

A local carers network mentioned this site & they're going to facilitate counselling as I feel pretty much on my own. I just have to keep going but discharge date seems so far away, and even then recovery at home is going to take even longer

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  • Hi and welcome. So sorry to hear you are all having to go through this at the moment and with the added upset.

    My wife had pp a few years ago now and was in an MBU for about 3 months and I can understand how alone you can feel, even with family around.

    It's a terrible illness, with all the ups and downs that comes along with it but it does get better. There's no doubt you are very supportive and doing everything possible to support but equally it can be so draining on us the husbands/partners.

    Can i ask whether you have close family / friends near by that can/ could help support you?

    I found it an all consuming time and extremely frightening and we only had the one; the only way I could deal with it was to take it day by day and not look too far ahead.

    I ask about friends, family or someone you trust to look after your daughter for a little while; getting a little time to myself, gave me an opportunity to get out and do something for me, in my case that's mountain biking and I found it the only occasional hour that I could get away to myself, for a small amount of time and lessen the thinking about everything that was going on. I only managed it twice over the whole time but it really helped.

    I also did the daily visits to and from the MBU but did have a day where my brother in law said "I'll go in today and make sure she's ok, you have a rest" and although it was extremely difficult and I felt guilty,it was equally really needed.

    It sounds as if you're doing an amazing job at the moment

    I'm sure more people will reply here, there are plenty on this site who have had to go through this illness or been affected by it.

  • Hi Zapple

    Thanks for your reply and I share many of the same experiences as you. Sadly I don't have many friends & family to count upon (won't go into this for now) but the two people that have genuinely offered help and not under duress have been a huge support as my wife & daughter are a hour away so trying to fit in 'routine' things such as vaccinations is planning akin to a military operation.

    Sadly this situation has demonstrated who you can really count upon as people who I previously considered lifelong friends have simply vanished. Don't know why but perhaps the stigma around MH still prevails. I have so much on my plate I won't explore this for now but it still is not very nice. I hope soon to get some support & am making enquiries into getting a child minder to help

    My 3 year old is adjusting & nursery staff said they have not noted any change in her behaviour which at least shows I'm supporting her 100%

    You're right about taking things one step at a time. When I think about future matters I do get overwhelmed. We love travelling but the thought of transatlantic flights seems many years away judging how difficult to get travel insurance & the chance of a MH crisis whilst away. For now I have to push these thoughts away & deal with the priorities

  • Hello Oaktree

    Welcome to the forum ..... I'm really pleased you were directed here as you will find lots of support and helpful advice. I'm sure the post above has been very reassuring.

    I'm sorry I don't have any experience of bipolar but there are mums here who will be able to help. I did have PP twice many years ago which was a very traumatic time. Your wife will be well in time. If you have looked on the site you might have come across the APP Insider Guides? There is one entitled "Recovery after Postpartum Psychosis" and also a "Guide for Partners", app-network.org/what-is-pp/getting-help/ There is also a book here "Husband in a Storm" which it might be helpful to read, although I'm sure you don't have much time to yourself at the moment.

    Rest assured that with good medical care and support your wife will be well again and home for keeps ....

    Take good care of yourself too as this illness is such a strain for everyone.

  • Hello Lilybeth

    Thanks for your reply. I downloaded both the guides & found them very helpful. I find it difficult to do the whole reading up as reading my wife's symptoms are at times reminds how Ill she's been. I'm sorry to hear you had been afflicted twice by PP but hope you & your partner during and after the 'storm' had support both times.

    I appreciate you taking time out to reply

  • Hello Oaktree41

    You are very welcome. I'm sorry you have so much to cope with at the moment. I was sectioned for my own safety to general psychiatric care and can only imagine how difficult it was for my husband and family. It's early days yet in your wife's recovery and some days will be better than others for her. Right now she is also coping with the loss of her father which is a great sadness in itself to overcome even without bipolar and PP.

    A few months ago I did have copies of my medical notes containing details of my psychoses and treatment after my sons were born. I felt quite sad when I read about this young woman and how much she had endured; I hardly recognised myself! It is very hard for you to see your wife so unwell and for the family to be separated but there is always hope and we are all here to help you if we can.

  • Hi Oaktree41,

    I think some people honestly just don't know how to deal with the situation.

    At the time I was very open with my work colleagues / friends about what was going on but I remember sometimes thinking to myself, 'no one can understand what I'm going through and they'll have gone home and be getting on with their life as normal'!

    It was a long, up and down road but I got my wife back and it may take some time but you will all be able to continue the travelling as a family.

    Thinking of you all at this time.

  • Hi Oaktree41, and welcome to the forum. I'm sorry to hear that you are going through a difficult time as a family. Whilst for the Mum, having PP is an awful and terrifying experience, it also impacts on Dads and children. I was ill after the birth of our first child in 2009 and also spent time in an MBU (after a hellish 2 weeks separated from baby on a general ward).

    It's wonderful to hear you talk about the support you are giving your wife, and the daily visits. It was absolutely the best part of my days when my husband came to visit and we could spend time together as a family. Even when I was pretty off it, either too high or too low, I still found comfort in him being there, even if I couldn't show it. I hope this reassures you too. If others do need to go on the odd day, please don't feel bad about that either. As Zapple said, we only had the one child, so doing this all with your 3 year old too, I can only imagine. It's good that you have had feedback from nursery that there are no real changes noticed there, that's definitely credit to you.

    Have you seen the APP Partners Guide? Here is the link:

    app-network.org/what-is-pp/...

    And the Recovery Guide might also be useful to you as well. Having lived with bipolar before, I guess you might already be familiar with some of this, but I think they are good (and handy to show others), and have had the input of people who have "been there".

    I also wanted to say "hang in there", and I know that is really difficult in some ways, as looking to the future can be daunting. Perhaps that is one of the cruellest elements of PP, aside from it affecting you at a time which should be really happy, with the arrival of a new baby, it's also that it can take time to recover. I spent 3 months in all as an in-patient and took medication for 3 years in total (I don't have any other MH diagnosis). I think the adjustment to being a parent, then with the double-whammy of being ill, it did take time to get fully better. But I was certainly over the moon when I did come home, and know that I couldn't have done any of it without my husband's wonderful support.

    I hope you can also find others locally, or through the Carers Network you mention, who can also support you. My husband had good family support, and moved in with his parents, which was the right thing for him at the time, and I am grateful to them for that. He didn't really open up to others, but took up running, something which he still does now and I think allows him to escape from day to day stresses of work and other things. It is important to look out for yourself, and if you need to see your GP as well, as carers are so important.

    Hopefully there will be others who can share their stories and offer you hope, showing that you are not alone, and you can get through this terrible time. I do think that we as a family unit are probably stronger because of it, and you can be too. Take care, xx

  • Hello Spannerb

    It's tough visiting almost everyday but I know how important it is as the sacrifice now will help my 3 year old & wife reconnect when she comes home. I'm hanging in there but I've hit bottom for so long I need things to improve. Losing my father in law was a massive blow to her & she's trying to put on hold the grieving until she can handle it later.

    Every reply is helping me feel I'm not alone as I don't have family to lean on at this time. My girls will always have me to support them & that's what I draw strength from

  • Hey Oaktree. Welcome to the forum and thanks for posting. My husband found incredible support (from all those replying above, and many others!) here when I was ill and in MBU over three years ago. It was incredible what people would share, no other group would have a hope of understanding what it's like to go through this, so keep on asking questions and lean on us if you need to!

    I echo all the above - it's fantastic you're visiting so frequently (especially with 3yo, and a long journey!) but do take steps to protect your own mental health too. we were lucky - my mother in law and wider family were incredible supports to my husband when he was making the arduous daily round trip (and holding down a stressful job as well). The family really came together for him. Friends and such - well nobody really knew what to say or how to approach him about what was going on, so they fell by the wayside (apart from one very persistent couple who pushed through and I am forever grateful to!).

    This may be a bad idea, depends on your circumstances, but have you considered speaking to friends more about what you and your wife are going through? A kind neighbour perhaps who could mind your 3yo some evenings so you have a break of sorts? My (limited!) experience is that once people actually KNEW the situation (albeit long after I'd recovered) they were desperately sorry and wanting to help. My family hadn't communicated my illness earlier (I made it "public" some six months later, on facebook of all places!) because they assumed I wouldn't want anyone to know, and that I would be embarrassed. It's a safe assumption to make, when someone is not in a position to make rational choices I guess. But now having spent three years trying to raise awareness and reduce stigma of mental illness, I wish sometimes my husband had said out loud "my wife's in psychiatric hospital actually, it's a very hard time."

    But this is of course a very individual decision to make! I hope you don't mind me sharing my experience there.

    Just a note about future life adventures. If you had said to me three and a bit years ago that not only would my husband, baby son and I travel together, but be enjoying it so much we packed our bags and moved to the Caribbean for a year - I would NOT have believed you. But we did, and we have! I write this from our island adventure. Recovering from psychosis was the hardest thing I've ever done. But it has given me strength I never knew I had, and pretty much nothing (or nowhere!) in the world fazes me now. :). So do hang in there, and keep those dreams alive for you and your wife. You will get there!

    Take care

    Kx

  • Hi KatG

    I have kept some of the neighbours updated - as they saw my wife have a breakdown! They are very understanding & hope my wife isn't too embarrassed when she does come home.

    The more people share their experiences the better!

    Taking a year out...I'm lost for words

    That does give me hope

  • Hello Oaktree41,

    You are amongst friends here and well done for reaching out for support - its good that you are linked in with local carers and I think counselling will be a great help for you. Your own self care is really important in order for you to support yourself, your wife and family. Often when we are in the middle of a storm it is difficult to see the rainbow - but there is hope - trust that out of this difficult situation only good will follow.

    You, your wife and family are in my thoughts.

  • Firstly big hug to you....lovely to hear there are supportive caring husbands/dads out there. I have Bipolar and have suffered Puerpual Psychosis twice. She will get better but she needs to pick herself up. One of the best things my close friend did was tough love- when I was very poorly all I seem to talk about was myself and she said "Ask me how my day has been..." Your wife has alot to get well for and sometimes you need to remind her that you and your children need her well....hope it all works out for you x

  • Hi Oaktree41

    I'm so pleased you're using the forum and finding it helpful - welcome! I'm sorry you have so much on your plate and hope that your wife's recovery goes well. Is she out of intensive care now? I wish you all the best with getting the practical (childminder) and emotional (friends/family) support that you need.

    A huge 'well done' to you for holding the family together even in this time of separation, and for coping with the emotional toll, visits to hospital, childcare, work, routine visits etc etc. I have seen my own husband have to go through this and I know it's hard going.

    Take care and very best wishes

    Spaghetti

  • Hi Spaghetti

    thanks for your kind thoughts. I know in time my family will emerge stronger. Yours will also. My wife is now in a Mother and Baby Unit which is helping my wife. The death of her father is a huge setback so her long term recovery is uncertain but she will get there.

    I normally avoid social media but the situation has made me realise I need to reach out and hear from others going through the same.

  • Hello Oaktree41

    I'm glad your wife is in a Mother and Baby Unit where she will be receiving specialist care. It's quite a lot for you to get through each day without much support. Some mums here have recovered quicker than others. You are doing so much to be there for your wife and children. I agree that some people react differently in times of crisis, some are very supportive and some don't know what to say and keep their distance.

    I hope the carer's network will be able to find a counsellor to listen and help you through this difficult time. Also, a childminder to look after your three year old would be good so that you can have time to yourself during the day.

    It might seem a long way off but your wife will fully recover in her own time. You are being such a great support to your family but do take care of yourself too.

  • Dear Oaktree41,

    Life will get easier and your wife will get better. You are doing an absolutely brilliant job for your children and your poorly wife.

    I have been reading about your experience and the great response you have received. This is a good place to talk about your worries, but also gain reassurance and encouragement.

    My partner was pretty shell shocked, because nobody wanted to listen that I got so poorly and that it is not only the baby blues or depression. He knew it was something worse then that. It all happened in 2010 & I am so grateful that my partner has shown this immense strengths. I was admitted to a psychiatric unit and this went badly wrong.

    However, once at home and with my partners love and cheer determination I was recovering. He was caring for me full time. He is a great communicator and made sure a support network was put into place to look after mum and baby. He went back to work part time after 6 months in order to give me some independence and learning to become more confident again looking after my baby.

    I am a very happy mum and both my men are great. Little Josh is nearly 6 now.

    Wishing you the strengths of an Oaktree and much more; health and happiness for your unique family, but particularly your wife and soul mate ...

    Sabine ;-)

  • Hi Sabine

    There's so much I could put in this response but your partner has been a real rock. I'm sure your son has been a real pillar of strength too as my girls help me in the toughest of days.

    People keep asking how my wife's getting on and are dissapointed to hear she's not better yet. I'm certain anything less than 18 months will be a bonus as on reflection her mental health wasn't in a good state for the entire pregnancy. Let's hope it's less

    The travelling isn't getting any easier & am considering options of getting a place to stay nearer but don't want the upheaval of nursery & our home but even weekends may give us some respite and chance for some adventures. Will keep you posted

  • Hello Oaktree41

    I hope your wife is making progress in the MBU although it does take time. I know you commented that you usually avoid social media but I was just wondering how you are coping.

    Take care.

  • Hi Lilybeth

    Thanks for getting in touch. My wives had a setback this weekend but hope it's a brief one. It's been tough as well for me the last few days especially as I had to move my first counselling session as couldn't arrange decent childcare over the half term. .there was also two carers network meetings that I couldn't also attend so that was tough for me as I still don't have support but I will pull through.

    Regards

  • Hello Oaktree41

    I'm sorry to hear your wife's not been well over the weekend. It's quite usual to have ups and downs ..... I think once the balance of medication and treatment is found, your wife will slowly improve.

    It's a shame you missed your counselling session and network meetings but it shows what a brilliant dad you are to put your children's welfare before yourself. Perhaps someone in the family will be able to help if you can book another counselling session or network meeting? You are juggling a lot of things at the moment and it is so important to look after yourself, so please try and let others help if they offer.

    Take very good care of yourself ...... your wife is in very good hands and you need a lot of support with all the daily challenges you are facing.

    We are here if you need to talk anytime.

  • Hi Lilybeth

    Thanks for replying I did reply to Spaghetti below as I have seen support for me fade away which I am having all sorts of feelings. My only reliable support is the nursery care that my daughter gets & am very grateful for the staff. I booked my counselling forgetting it was half term but have rebooked. Shame I have to wait 2 weeks but that's the way it is

  • Hello Oaktree41

    I also read your reply to Spaghetti (which I hope you don't mind) and it is annoying that people who have no knowledge of your wife's condition say she should be better by now There is no line in the sand with PP recovery and you are so understanding to know that everyone's recovery time is different. I wonder if APP's Second Opinion Service, app-network.org/what-is-pp/... would be helpful? You can be referred via your wife's G.P or Psychiatrist if you live in the UK. Prof Jones in Cardiff will be so reassuring and helpful regarding your wife's illness and advice for her care team.

    I'm sorry you're not having much support for yourself and travelling to and fro to visit can be very draining, although it will be lovely for your wife. It's not easy waiting for counselling and I hope you will feel the benefit. I had CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) some years ago and found it very helpful just to vocalise all the worries in my head!

    I hope you find a minute to yourself this weekend and your wife is slowly improving.

    Thinking of you .......

  • Hello Oaktree41,

    thank you for your response and keeping in touch. It takes a lot of strengths and energy to keep the ball rolling when a loved one is so poorly and prioritising is such a juggle. I believe you are just doing fine. Even trying to do your research shows a huge commitment and communicating with professionals or people, who have been in similar situations with the experience of PPP.

    I recently discovered the carer file. My partner was allocated somebody to give him some support. I believe he met him only once. At the time my partner was extremely thin with all the stress and smoked heavily at the time.

    My partner's parents helped out as he was trying to look after the baby and visiting me regularly in hospital for many weeks. My family could not cope with the situation at all, but you know, I am in acceptance with that.

    I believe what I want to say, listen to your male instinct-the protector, provider and carer-it is such an exhausting time, but you will explore your own organisational skills, outweigh situations, which are best for your unique little family and individual needs. The male cave/your home is going to be the sanctuary for your wife, once she is coming back home. She will gain her confidence and independence and gradually will be able to take on tasks again. Even though I have been through the mill (like many other ladies on this forum including their partners and other loved ones) I have a huge bond with my partner and son. Love and kindness was and has been my remedy.

    You take good care of yourself & I hope you find a bit of time out, in order to have a rest bite.

    (when I was poorly, my man took me out for little walks and little camping/holidays...we are still loving it - the outdoors is great for meditation-we love)

    Sabine :-)

  • Hi Oaktree I hope she's doing better now? Sorry to hear about the turn for the worse.

    Please stay strong and keep working on getting the support you need, especially with childcare.

    Take good care

    Spaghetti

  • Hello Spaghetti

    It's been a bit up and down this week. I feel irritated when people who don't have knowledge of her condition ( they look it up on Internet) and say she should be better now. I'm looking for a good childminder as the only reliable support is the 15 hours of nursery I get so have to fit time for me when my daughters in nursery on top of all the things that need doing. Don't currently have family or friends for support

  • Hello Oaktree41

    In an earlier reply I mentioned the book here, "Husband in a Storm" and the author did mention that he received support from Sure-Start for his family. Just wondering if that might be helpful?

    I hope you are coping and that your wife has a better week.

  • Hi Lilybeth

    Thanks for the pointer. I've already accessed sure start as my daughters nursery has a children's centre. They are doing their best & given me some advice in my aim for a childminder to give me support so I can attend counselling/ support workshops. It's been a tough fortnight with ups & downs as my wife still isn't stable but her irritability has greatly reduced so that's a great sign. Worried about my 3 year old daughter when my gut tells me (and nursery staff say) that she's doing great. The isolation doesn't help but I will go & speak with someone who's willing to listen in the next few days. Always appreciate your & everyone else's support

  • Hello Oaktree41,

    I am back home again and was wondering how you were getting on. How is your wife at the moment?

    I only can reflect on my own experiences and the memories I have and/or my partner trying to fill in the gaps, & medical file...

    Once I got sectioned in a psychiatric mixed gender unit, doctors took a long time to establish effective medication carrying out a lot of trial and error; in my case starting of with a high amount of Haliperidol.

    After being discharged (39 days) it was a gradual process in trying to adjust to routines. At home my partner made sure I took my medicine regularly and on time, which then was Lorazepam & Risperidone. In the first few months the Crisis team was working closely together with my partner, my care co-coordinator and my newly appointed Psychiatrist. There also has been an assessment of social services when PPP finally was diagnosed. Evenyually the crisis team was replaced by the mental community health team and my partner took me regularly for visits to my GP and Psychiatrist. I can not remember much, but extract the information from one of many recovery care plans. And then obviously the involvement and support with my partner's family. I believe my partner often felt like drowning, but somehow managed to keep it all together. It was very difficult to manage and organize everybody involved and sometimes the interference just felt too much, as my partner explained. He always made sure that I was safe and protected. It was difficult having to communicate with friends and family, especially the ones abroad. Nevertheless, the professional support network was of vital importance to help us as a family, to look after our baby and to make sure I was recovering gradually.

    I weened off my medication and improved in stepping stones & yes, I remember sure start. It was a life line for mum and baby. I started visiting a massaging group and a play group in February 2011. I felt less isolated and gained some of my confidence back. By early Summer 2011 I stopped taking medication, which was like having crossed a mile stone, a very important one.

    I hope my open and honest account will help you a bit and life will improve pretty soon for you and your family.

    Good luck,

    Sabine

  • Hello Oaktree

    Thanks for taking the time to update as you must be so tired. I hope Sure-Start will be able to help in finding a registered childminder for your daughter so that you can have counselling. I think you will be relieved to have this opportunity to talk to someone about anything and everything (much like the forum here) though we are anonymous!

    I'm sorry you've had a rough few weeks. There will be ups and downs but it sounds as though the medication has kicked in if your wife is less irritable. I can remember being irritable as I was hearing voices and had delusions which I couldn't explain ...

    Did you consider the Second Opinion Service, mentioned earlier? Prof Jones is very reassuring which I think will give you hope. It's not easy coping and not being able to share your thoughts one to one. Is there a friend at work you can confide in and ask round for a tea and chat, or someone at your daughter's nursery who might understand?

    It's not easy all being separated but your wife is in the best place for now and she will slowly recover. She is fighting her own battle .... sometimes things she might say are borne out of frustration and not meant to be hurtful.

    Try and rest yourself and don't worry about replying as you are doing a great job for your family. We are all here anytime you would like to talk ........

  • Hi Lilybeth

    Thank you for your support.

    I know I'm not in a good place. I had a message from one of my wife's friends a few days back asking how things are. I simply said my support network has vanished & that I'm on my own especially as my wife is still very ill. She was shocked to say the least. We met up later for a brew where I said I couldn't do the counselling / carers support network as couldn't secure a decent childminder in time (will come back to that matter later) a couple of friends have texted asking how things are a month after they said they would meet. I have now deleted one of their numbers & seriously considering the same with the other....I considered them lifelong friends & I would do anything for them. Family are not providing any help just rowing for shore saying they're busy with their work & hobbies & that other family should be helping

    My wife's friend was apologetic & said would she would help

    A few childminders I've discussed helping with childcare so I could get support & enable me to return to work part time have displayed I'll best describe as Victorian attitudes to mental health. One said she didn't mean to interfere but should I really be taking my daughter to see my wife & newborn daughter in hospital!!

    The other asked 'what services are my family recieving support from'

    I used to work in a safeguarding role so i know fully what that meant. (Police, social services etc) but I politely replied that we are just seeing the health visitor. She did not reply.

    It's no surprise I'm not in the best frame of mind. I have to fight back the tears constantly & am sceptical of most people I encounter. Sorry if this message sounds negative but I feel I've got a few more kilos in my rucksack than usual this week & realised I rarely hold my head up or look people in the eye. I find it very hard to hear of acquitances who say how much help they had from their family/friends when they were in a difficult patch, and that 'they would love to see me & the girls but' I'll leave it there as I'm seriously considering changing my phone number- im going to think through this carefully if only my wife was available to advise me but she is aware of the lack of support & is upset

    My wife is still struggling but seems a little able to manage some of her impulsive thoughts. Although my 3 year old has returned to nursery, my mornings this week have largely been spent dealing with matters relating to my wife's condition so my mornings seem stressful.

    I will bounce back. My wife is wonderful & girls always make me feel proud. I know my wife will one day realise how much I've done the last few months behind the scenes to keep everything going smoothly. My search for a childminder will uncover someone with similar values to me & my wife to give my daughter continuity.

    I'm going to my rescheduled counselling next week. Have to be strong as I will get support to help me cope.

  • Hello Oaktree

    Thank you for replying. I'm sorry you are so weighed down and things are stressful at the moment, not least by the attitudes of some people towards mental illness. It must be so hard to see friends and family keeping their distance.

    It's a shame you missed counselling again as you really need support for yourself. Mental health is coming out of the shadows but there are still people yet to be convinced that we are not crazy! I had a good friend whom I met once a month for a brew and on the last occasion we were talking about mental health. I 'came out' about my illness and being sectioned years ago, feeling more confident supported by APP. Unfortunately her mood towards me completely changed. At the end of our meeting she said she would call me to catch up ..... needless to say I haven't heard from her since! It took the wind out of my sails for a while but I just had to move on and leave my so called 'friend' behind.

    I hope your wife's friend is genuine in her offer of help, even if only for a few hours. Is it possible that your daughter's nursery has a list of registered childminders (hopefully without negative attitudes towards mental health)? Even some mums in the playground are childminders aren't they?

    It's good that your wife is managing her impulsive thoughts a little. When she is fully recovered she will be very proud that you were so strong, never showing your stress to her, coping with daily routine and her illness so well. The love of your wife and children is keeping you strong throughout all these difficulties. I'm sure the activities with your daughter around the Queen's birthday were a good distraction. I found colouring with my sons years ago very calming.

    I hope you have a better week and can manage to go to counselling, although you always put your daughter first. It's very important for you to have such support as you are holding everything together, which is very stressful. Your wife is slowly recovering and you will all be home together eventually. In the meantime take good care of yourself and please come back to talk if it helps.

  • Hello Oaktree, I hope this week has gone OK for you and your family. It can be annoying when people don't understand PP, I hope that finding others on this forum has been a comfort to you. Your wife will get better with time and you sound to be doing an amazing job holding things for your children. Good nurseries are a great support to. I hope you have managed to make some of the carers meetings and the counselling for you is progressing too. Take care, post here as and when you can and need to, we're all here to listen and lean on. All the best, xx

  • Hi Spannerb

    Its been a tough week as my above reply to Lilybeth

    I will look forward to a better one next week. Let's hope it's like the Friday & Saturday as & had some nice Queens birthday related activities. Can't beat a bit of cutting out & sticking newspaper pictures onto card!

  • Hello Oaktree

    Did you manage to reschedule counselling for yourself? I hope your wife is improving and you're not feeling so weighed down. Did your wife's friend help as she had offered?

    Thinking of you. We are all here to lean on ...... take care.

  • Hi Lilybeth. Counselling I'm afraid was cancelled (staff shortage) so trying the NHS route in the next few days & if the initial consultation doesn't go to plan, arrange another private counselling session. I have arranged for one of my wife's friend to help collect my daughter so I can attend a carers network meeting. I had a difficult week as my wife is still very ill & I struggled to cope so I ended up feeling run down. I have compiled a list of what I normally do on a daily basis which helps me put in perspective how well I'm doing & that I need to look after myself. Thoughts of girls and wife are keeping me going

  • Hi Lilybeth. Counselling I'm afraid was cancelled (staff shortage) so trying the NHS route in the next few days & if the initial consultation doesn't go to plan, arrange another private counselling session. I have arranged for one of my wife's friend to help collect my daughter so I can attend a carers network meeting. I had a difficult week as my wife is still very ill & I struggled to cope so I ended up feeling run down. I have compiled a list of what I normally do on a daily basis which helps me put in perspective how well I'm doing & that I need to look after myself. Thoughts of my wonderful girls and wife are keeping me going

  • Hello Oaktree41,

    Sorry to hear that the counselling was cancelled, I hope you get further on with the NHS one. Always good to have a back-up and look at the private sessions too to complement it and get as much support for yourself as possible. You are doing such a great job and it's lovely to hear that thoughts of your girls and wife are keeping you going. And it's good that a friend can help with collecting your daughter so you can get to the carers network meeting. Have someone to talk to, and listen, is so valuable isn't it?

    I really like the idea of writing down the things you are doing, not only will it help you see what you have achieved and how you've managed, it may also be something to share with your wife when she is feeling better. I know that in time, I was eager to know the things I had not been there for. It made me all the more proud of my husband for being such a great Dad too.

    Take care, and I hope the rest of the week is a little easier for you and you get chance to rest up.

  • Hello Oaktree41

    I'm sorry to hear your wife is so unwell and this led to you feeling run down. It's very important to remember to take care of yourself as it must seem as though everyone is depending on you, which in itself is a lot of pressure. I hope the NHS counsellor will be available and supportive. Some GPs have in-house counselling services but it's good to have a private counsellor in the wings if needed.

    Your wife will eventually recover and the MBU is the best place for her. It's a good plan to chart your routine and progress as it should be helpful to see where you need to take more time out for yourself. When your wife is home she will be able to read the journal and see how much you did for your family in these early days.

    I hope counselling will make you feel more positive. Your wife will be so proud of you for coping with so much.

    Take good care .... we are all here to lean on.

  • Hello Oaktree

    Did you manage to arrange NHS counselling for yourself? I hope this week has been a little easier for you although I'm sure it's a worry if your wife is still very ill. Were you able to go to the network carers' meeting?

    You are doing so well and I hope your wife will slowly improve. In the meantime take good care. I'm sure the list you are keeping will be a good indication of your health so that you are not run down again .......

  • Hi Lilybeth

    This week has been easier as I prioritised my activities so to let me recover. I'm awaiting a date for my first session of NHS counselling so hope I get an idea this week or I will start plan c which is booking another fee paying session. My carers network is next week - it can't come a minute sooner as need to meet people who are carers in a similar place to me.

    Getting run down is a warning sign that I need to take care of myself. I'm going to have a few days of relative downtime later this week as the visits aren't at times easy in every sense. I feel deeply for my wife & her struggle. Her ups and downs. Her fatigue & concern over her recent weight gain (due to the meds) so pulling out the stops to support her every way I can. I'm attending a care plan meeting this week & will take my baby daughter for treatment at another hospital, so yes will have good cause for a few days away from the unit...just need to think of things to do that will help me recharge the batteries

  • Hello Oaktree41

    I'm sorry to hear your wife is still struggling with the ups and downs of this illness. Did you consider a referral by your G.P to the Second Opinion Service, mentioned here with a link earlier? Prof Jones is a specialist in his field and has helped many women here with advice and support for professionals. Perhaps you could mention this at the care plan meeting?

    I'm glad this week has been easier for you as you have taken a little more care of yourself. I hope you will be able to find out how far along the waiting list you are for NHS counselling. You're very wise to have a second plan in hand.

    That's a shame you have to take your baby daughter for treatment to another hospital. You are coping with so much so you really do need to monitor your stress levels. I think walking in the fresh air is a good stress release, when you can make time for yourself, or even just time spent relaxing for a change. I'm sure you will receive a lot of support and empathy at the carers' network meeting this week.

    Time to yourself, away from the unit, will also be a good time for you to think about how your wife will cope with the sadness of losing her father. Perhaps you could talk to the two people who offered their help so readily?

    Take good care ....

  • Dear Oaktree 41,

    I have been reading the dialogue between you and Lilybeth. I am sorry that things are still so difficult. I am always questioning the support for carers in our health system, not enough is being done! It is a bit like the role positioning of a housewife...not recognized and not being paid for, but so vital for the once who need to receive the care.

    I have been thinking about childcare...I wondered whether Sure Start could be a contact point? They were a life safer for me and some of the employers have been wonderful listeners and also helped with personal issues. They usually have good contacts and knowledge with regards to child development, support and care & financial support for families. In addition I can think of community centers, who might have specific organizations, who could help with child care (lots of broshues and leaflets on premises, but also contact points). How about the health visitor? Any chance of advise from them? And then, there are children centers, nurseries and schools, educationalists and teachers, who may know of child minders/child care.

    Developing a support network by contacting organizations i.e. charities/NHS and appropriate professionals, especially the crisis team, care co-coordinator, possible support worker...They need to be able to give you more support in all sorts of aspects. You may already have tried all these avenues...

    I am so sorry about the let down of friends. I believe that since my illness I certainly have lost people, who just could not handle what has happened and they wanted me back like the way I used to be before. Impossible! You certainly get to know who ayour friends are and quickly establish the most supportive family members, when one is in crisis.

    Keep fighting...you will not regret it...my partner never did.

    Take care, Sabine

  • Hello Sabine

    This situation has affected my own mental health & I'm looking after myself as best I can.

    The Childcare is being addressed with weighing up pros and cons of keeping my 3 year old in nursery ( she's there in the mornings) it's helped her a lot but doesn't do full days but could get a childminder to pickup & look after her. Or take her out & put into a private nursery that has flexibility to provide extra hours (at cost of course!) I don't want to change but realising that the move may be best option especially as I need to plan a return to work

    I'm establishing a network of professionals & friends to see what support they provide to me & my family now & when my wife & daughter come home. Some have helped. Some have rowed for shore. Like my friends & family who for whatever reason they cannot help I will note who has done what & in time my wife will hear my side & perhaps she will want to hear their side. I find their inaction very hard to stomach but I will not burn bridges at this point.

    This battle is one that will affect my family for years to come & I will need as few enemies as possible. Those who have let my family down for now will be allies, others have demonstrated that they can be relied upon in this struggle. I don't want my wife to relapse when she comes home & we need to ensure that our girls in time know the importance of maintaining good mental health

    Your partner sounds like the person I try to be every day. Hope you both stay strong and look after one another

  • Thank you for replying. I will have to get my son ready-school run. You are immensely strong and I believe will-powered. I admire that in my partner. Do not worry about the long term implication...try to live with the here and now.

    You will get your wife back and you will be able to work as a team again. We've grown even stronger in our relationship and enjoy our time of togetherness as a family with our nearly 6 year old son very much. Lots of laughter and happiness.

    The future will be fine.

    Wishing you a good day :-)

    Sabine

  • Hello Oaktree

    I hope your wife has had a better week and the care plan meeting went well. Did you manage to go to the carers' network meeting? Perhaps you will hear shortly when your NHS counselling will be or have to plan privately for yourself. All the meetings and decisions can be very tiring so I hope you found the few days away from the unit helpful.

    You are coping really well with so much. Take good care.

  • Hi Lilybeth

    My wife's state has worsened significantly the last few days. I'm praying it's a blip as she doesn't feel in a good place & doesn't want to see us which she thinks is the right course of action but I do reassure her as she's overwhelmed. I miss my wife & daughter terribly. On a positive note I have carers network meeting this week & NHS counselling the week after but trying not to expect too much from the first sessions as it might not be easy. Lots to consider with regards the future but best not to rush decisions.

  • Hello Oaktree41

    I'm so sorry your wife has not been too well for the last few days. There are a few ups and downs to recovery but once the right balance of medication and treatment is found, you will see an improvement.

    It's very hard for you to watch your wife in such distress. Perhaps she recognises this and is trying to give you time away from seeing her? It took me a long time to be 'back in the room' and different medications were tried. Eventually, a treatment was found that worked for me and I went on to fully recover.

    It's good that the carers' meeting is this week. I think it will be helpful to meet other people taking on such a vital role. The counselling will be a good time to unburden yourself as you must have so much stress at the moment. Perhaps you just need to have a good cry (which I know men are not good at doing) to release all the tension you are holding back so as not to upset your wife.

    As you say, there is a lot to consider but for now I think it best to take a day at a time. It's not easy for you right now but your wife will eventually fully recover and be so proud of how you have coped with everything thrown at you.

    Take good care ..... not easy but try not to worry. Please keep writing here if it helps you.

  • Hi Oaktree

    I know I haven't written on here much, but I have been following your thread. I just wanted to write too. I'm so sorry you are having such a difficult time, and that your wife continues to be poorly and you are looking after your other children, it's hugely traumatic and difficult.

    I had PP in 2011, and was in a mother and baby unit for 4 months, but I have to say it took over a year to fully recover, and each person is different. I'm sorry your wife is having a 'blip'. I just wanted to say that my experience of PP was that it was an up and down road - I recovered well initially but then had a big blip and went into depression. I remember not wanting to talk to or see my partner at times. It's so hard, but she will get better and be herself again, maybe even stronger, with a new outlook on life.

    I do hope that you can get the support you need around you and your family, from the friends and family who are there for you as well as childcare etc, and also that the counselling and carer meetings are helpful for you. It sounds like you are being one amazing husband and dad, you are inspirational.

    Thinking of you a lot X

  • Hi Ellie

    Thank you for taking time to reply to me and also sharing your struggles with PP. It's certainly an up and down road and it seems the best way at the moment for me to cope is accepting its a long process to recover and her health could worsen in future.

    Its challenging trying to plan for the future and also a return to work. When she has insight we have spoken about her bad times and I will support her in the event of her having more. Wish me luck for the counselling.

  • Hi oaktree

    It's lovely to hear from you. It really sounds like you're giving your wife amazing support.

    I know it doesn't seem possible at the moment but from my experience, your wife will get better, she will be fully herself again... there were times I never thought I would but here i am recovered. It did completely change my perspective on life, but I would say even for the better. I feel so thankful for everything in my life, something I didn't feel so strongly or aware if before.

    I really hope you get your counselling soon and that it's helpful.

    Thinking of you and your family x

  • Hello Oaktree41

    I hope your wife has improved slightly and agreed that you can visit again. Were there any changes made to her care plan at the meeting recently? I think I've mentioned before that a number of mums here have benefited from the APP Second Opinion Service where Prof Ian Jones can advise professionals and family regarding PP and Bipolar, app-network.org/what-is-pp/...

    It's not easy for you both but you are being very supportive. Were you able to attend the carers' network meeting and find support for yourself? I hope the company of your three year old daughter is keeping you positive and strong.

    Take care.

  • Hi Lilybeth

    Hope you're keeping well

    My wife's still having ups & downs which I'm trying my best to not to be too demanding on myself. There are a few subtle changes to her care plan. I'm still trying to understand PP & all the science. It's a huge help that you and everyone else provide in your support.

    I will hold off the second opinion service for now as I still feel the death of my father in law is a big factor that is retarding a linear recovery (my term). I could never replace him but my unwavering love & support I pray will help her mind accept what's happened.

    I keep trying my best to raise our 3 year old as best I can & keep on thinking of how her mind is coping so working on a list of great things to do over the summer come rain or shine.

    I attended both the carers meeting & counselling. Both were very difficult to do but I will follow through as I know I need help. I will say on a positive note I've started to do random acts of kindness, such as paying for a child at a soft play as the parents didnt have cash and the centre couldn't take a card). It's a small thing but that's what counts in our lives that we all need a little bit of help...

  • Hello Oaktree

    Thank you for taking the time to reply. I'm sorry your wife is still having ups and downs in her recovery. I imagine it is very difficult for her to grieve for her father and fight PP at the same time. PP is very difficult to understand, such a cruel illness that takes away the joy of a new baby in those first few days. On a positive note, the specialist care in the MBU will be very helpful and supportive to your wife and baby.

    I was very ill during my two episodes of PP and the medication had little or no effect. Unlike your wife who is communicating, I was mute for a while. It was decided that ECT treatment should be given which made such a difference and I was back in the room eventually. With my second PP I had what seemed like an enduring depression which lasted for almost a year but I did make a full recovery. So, we have all had the same illness but each recovery journey is different. When I think back to how ill I was, it's hard to imagine I would have recovered from such a traumatic time in my life. So there is lots of hope for your wife although perhaps she might also need bereavement counselling at some stage?

    You are such a great dad to your three year old daughter, keeping things on an even keel while juggling all that's happening day to day. Well done for going to the carers' network and counselling meetings although they were tough. I think as you settle in, the sessions will be easier, as I found when I had counselling unrelated to PP. It's very hard to talk about your feelings when you have tried to compose yourself for so long but you will feel the benefit .... so please don't give up.

    I hope you find a minute or two to relax this weekend in between entertaining your daughter and visiting your wife and baby. I think being in the world of little people can be a lot of fun and their hugs are priceless.

    It's not easy for you but try to stay positive ....... we are all here for you.

  • Hi Oaktree,

    I just read your latest reply. I can imagine counselling / carers group can be hard, I imagine it is hard to look at things that really painful and difficult? Well done though for committing to persevere with it, I guess it takes time to build trust etc in a group or with a person, and it may take a bit to feel the benefits?

    Your wife will improve, I promise, and you can be reassured that she is in the best place in the MBU, where they are specialised in supporting her and getting her better.

    I hope too you have a good weekend as much is possible with your 3 year old. It sounds like you're doing an absolutely amazing job of supporting your family.

    As I'm sure you know we are here whenever you want to chat. I am thinking of you

    Ellie X

  • Hello Oaktree

    I hope you found your counselling session a little easier this week. How has your wife been coping? I'm sure you have found lots to do in the sunny weather with your daughter.

    We are all here for you ........

  • Hello Lilybeth

    I have managed to attend the latest counselling session but it was in the backdrop of another setback. Our biggest one by far. I'm sorry if the rest of this reply gets you upset

    My wife had a serious reaction to the meds she was on & is now in critical care unit. I was told initially she was admitted to A&E for a fever & it may be measles but I broke down at my daughters nursery as my gut told me it was something more serious. It took me two hours & a call to Samaritans to prepare myself to visit my wife. I'm glad I prepared myself as she looked dreadful & I shared my concerns to A&E staff that I felt it was an reaction to the medication. I'm so glad I did.

    She was admitted to Critical Care later & her condition worsened & the consultant warned me that she might not make it. She is currently stable but I'm finding it so difficult to keep it together but I visit her everyday and am understanding all the risk factors in her condition by researching & speaking to the disciplines who are involved in her care (critical care, dermatology, burns unit) so I can help her recovery.

    Our our month daughter is out of the MBU and home with me which is great but under such desperate circumstances. Childcare is a challenge as the girls clearly can't attend the critical care unit but I have managed to get help from my wife's friends

    I'm just taking things one day at a time & praying she gets through this. Our 3 year old knows mommy is very poorly & wants to see her but I'm doing my best to help her understand she can't right now

  • hello oaktree41

    I am so sorry to read your update. I can't imagine how awful this must be for you and am keeping you in my thoughts. I hope that your children are providing you with some comfort and that you get some support too. Will the counselling continue for you or is there any support available for relatives at the critical care unit? Thinking of you, take care and we are all here for you. Xx

  • Hi oaktree I was so so sorry and shocked to read this latest post. There are no words for what to say to you... I am sending lots of love and light your way, that your wife will come through this and you and your children will be given strength to cope somehow. She is in the right place by the sound of it, with the right professionals supporting her.

    We are here for you oaktree whenever you want to write. I hope that you are getting the support you need. I will be thinking of you a lot xx

  • Hello Oaktree41

    What an awful time for you ...... it must have been very upsetting to see your wife. Thankfully though in the midst of all your distress you had the presence of mind to alert A & E staff to what might be a reaction to medication.

    I'm so glad your wife is now stable. In some way it must be a comfort to have your girls at home and although a challenge, I'm sure you will cope as you have with all the ups and downs you have had. It's good to hear that your wife's friends have rallied round to help you.

    As you say, this is your biggest setback ...... perhaps you might feel counselling should be postponed? On the other hand I think it would do you good to talk face to face with someone as you are dealing with so much stress. It was a good idea you had to contact the Samaritans before confronting what must have been such distressing circumstances.

    I honestly hope you wife remains stable and continues to improve a little each day. In an earlier post you did say the situation has affected your own mental health so please take care under this added pressure.

    We are all thinking of you and your family .... here to support you at any time.

    Take very good care of yourself.

  • Hello Oaktree

    We have all been thinking of you and your family this week, especially your wife. I hope you are ok.

    Take care .......

  • Thank you all for your support & concern. I have had to step away from this group briefly so I can try to process some very difficult thoughts which I'm sure you can imagine what I've had to consider. Setting the mobile on loud & fully charged, expecting a call at any time from the critical care unit to urgently return was so draining. I couldn't sleep nor eat much. When I learned she was out of danger the adrenalin eased off & I was just exhausted from the ordeal but so relieved.

    My wife's recovery from the reaction to the meds continues slowly but surely. She is now back on the mother & baby unit as her injuries have improved enough so she can be treated there by the nurses. It was tough handing our youngest daughter back as she's so wonderful but know it's for the best with regards my wife's recovery.

    I will continue counselling as I owe it to my family as I do worry what my children see when they look at me & how I'm coping. I know I've done so well to come this far & deal with so much, for so long but it takes its toll...

    I'm hoping when we next get a warm spell of weather & she's well enough that we share a nice meal together.. There's going to be many such meals in the future...can't wait

  • Hello Oaktree

    Thank you so much for taking the time to let us know how you have been coping with your wife being so ill. I'm really pleased to hear she has improved so much to be back in the MBU with your baby daughter. I can imagine how much of a wrench it must have been for you to part with her but as always you made the right decision for your family to whom you are dedicated.

    I'm glad you will be continuing with counselling. I think it will be a good release for you. I don't think you need worry what your children think about how you are coping ..... from this thread I can see what a great dad you have been to shield them from the daily stresses you have faced. They know you love them and your care has been amazing in spite of how, at times, you have been weighed down by witnessing your wife's struggles.

    I hope the weather gets warmer so that you can share a meal together .... one in celebration of what you have both overcome and many more, to look forward to all the happier times to come.

    Take very good care of yourself ..... you have shown great strength in support of your wife and family. Please keep in touch if it helps you to talk here.

  • hello Oaktree41 and thankyou for your update. I am so pleased to hear that your wife is getting better and is back on the MBU, although I realise you must miss your youngest, it will be an important part of the recovery process for you all.

    All the best with your continued counselling too and I am sure there will be lots of wonderful meals together, it os such a great way to look forward and make memories together.

    Take care, we are all continuing to keep you in our thoughts. Xx

  • Hi Oaktree

    I was so happy to read your latest message and to hear that your wife is out of danger and back on the MBU. I can't believe what you have been through. You are really amazing to be coping with it all. It is strange isn't it that even out of the most awful darkest situation something good can come of it, like in this situation that you were able to spend more time with your baby daughter. Yes, you must be worrying about your other children, but I really do think children are very resilient.

    I don't know if this feels helpful / relevant at all (and please ignore if not) but my mum was actually mentally unwell in my childhood and had periods in hospital, but though of course I have some painful memories etc, what I actually really admire and appreciate is that my mum and dad came through it together, and I am particularly inspired, as I got older and reflected, by my dad's strength to stick with it. You are showing your children something very special in how you are managing as best you can, they are seeing how strong your love is for them and your wife, and that's such a beautiful and important thing to pass onto them.

    I hope your wife continues to get better and better and that she will be home with you soon. I know it is hard to believe it but she will be better, and fully herself again.

    Take care X

  • Hi Ellie

    Hope you're keeping well

    I'm trying to be in many ways like your father as I'm aware my girls are absorbing many experiences & I want to lessen the pain that they may feel about my wife's illness. They maybe young but I want to show them the unwavering love I have to help our family keep in check this illness & in turn instill the right values to help them in later life

    The world can be a tough place to be in with this condition as its life changing for their carers & families also. The more support we get from different places will make the challenge easier.

    My wife is extremely tired back in the MBU & is still recovering from her ordeal with the reaction she had to the meds. I've supported my wife in requesting more time before she goes onto a new course of meds. She's been through so much & is struggling so don't see the benefit to move her onto new meds this week.

  • Hi Oaktree

    Sorry it's taken me a couple of days for your reply. It does sound like you're being an amazing father and showing them, as you say, your unwavering love.

    Yes, the world can be tough being with this condition. It is life changing, but you will get back to normal life again. It isn't always going to be like this. I know that is hard to believe now. But your wife will be back home, and you will have a normal family life again, she will be herself again, and the longer time goes on the more it will feel in the past.

    I still can't believe the reaction your wife had to the meds. I do hope that she will recover fully from that, as much as she can, and that when she does try the new meds they will have a good affect.

    I'm thinking of you and your family a lot

    Ellie

  • HelloOaktree

    Good to hear from you. I'm glad your wife is back in the MBU and hope she will soon be fully recovered from the reaction to meds which was a very worrying time for you both. Did you continue with your counselling sessions?

    I'm sure you can see from this thread what a great husband and dad you have been throughout your wife's illness. I hope you have support in place for yourself too as you have been through so much.

    Take good care of yourself. We are all here to lean on.

  • Hi Lilybeth

    Yes I'm still persevering with counselling sessions which at the moment seem to be going in all directions as I have so many challenges to address and I'm doing it alone without support.

    Of course I don't want my girls to endure what my wife is going through should they ever have health problems, but I will ensure that they and their partners will get the help that I am sorely lacking.

    My wife, I understand will take 2/3 months to physically recover from the injuries & will have lasting scars but I'm doing all I can to help her get closure on this terrible phase so we can work on the PPP

  • Hello Oaktree41

    It must be very difficult for you to cope with everything without support. There are such a lot of challenges right now so you are doing really well to keep focused.

    I'm of the same mind, in that I would never want my grandaughters to endure what I went through. Hopefully, a world away into the future, there will be more awareness of PP but I do worry for them. Thankfully my daughter-in-laws were fine following their pregnancies and births.

    I'm so sorry that it will take some time for your wife to physically recover from her injuries. I can understand how you must feel wary of new medications in light of what has happened. It must be so hard for her to move on and concentrate on recovering from PP but with your support she will get there. I hope you are managing to have a break yourself ..... I'm sure your daughter is a delight and enjoying special times with you.

    I think the counselling sessions will be a good place for you to unburden yourself and hope you are given time to do that.

    Thinking of you and your family ...... we are all here to lean on.

  • Hello Lilybeth & Ellie ( and everyone else who is on this journey)

    I made some arrangements for some much needed respite in the way of 10 days childcare for our 3 year old which started today. As you know my wife had a very rare but serious reaction to the meds & was back on the MBU but she went to A&e yesterday as having other health serious issues (unsure if it's related to the meds reaction) so after dropping my daughter off & then attending counselling I then spent the rest of the on a ward with my wife & bringing our baby home... My best laid plans had been changed.

    Hoping my wife's health will improve so she can return to MBU. We're having such bad luck

    On a good note my daughter had a great first day & her baby sister was there to greet her afterwards- such a lovely moment

  • Hello Oaktree

    Sorry to hear that you had to change your plans due to your wife having other serious health issues ...... she is really going through the mill at the moment. I hope the doctors can find a solution to these issues before too long. It's a case of a day at a time for now and I'm sure your wife was comforted by knowing you were there for her today.

    I hope you found the counselling session helpful, although I'm sure with everything going on it has been hard for you to focus on yourself. I'm glad your daughter had a great first day and I think moments such as today with her baby sister will give you hope.

    Your wife is having to fight so hard but with your great support she will be content that your children are with you and enjoying special times. Hopefully with good medical care she will be well enough to return to the MBU and continue her PP recovery.

    Please take care of yourself too ...... we are all here to lean on.

  • Hi oaktree

    I'm really sorry to hear your wife is in hospital again, I do hope they find out what is wrong and are able to make her better. I can't believe everything you're having to go through. ..

    I'm glad to hear your daughters child care went well

    Take care oaktree I'm thinking of you a lot xx

  • Hello Oaktree

    Just wondering how you are coping with all your stress at the moment? I hope your wife is making progress although she is fighting so much at the moment. I hope your daughter's childcare is a brief respite for you. I imagine it will be difficult for you to attend counselling as you are also looking after your baby?

    Take good care of yourself ..... we are all here for you.

  • Hi Lilybeth & Ellie

    I'm trying to be strong & patient as my wife remains in hospital awaiting tests. I didn't share the MBU views that she'd be out in a day or so. I was right it takes as long as it takes as a week has passed.

    Although our 3 year old daughter is in childcare, I don't have any rest as I take our 5 month daughter to hospital each day as know how important it is as well as feed my wife as she's still very weak. The childcare is going we'll but it's such a wrench dropping her off each day. I'm still struggling & even with the childcare I can honestly say I can't remember when I was last able to drink a coffee in peace.

    Next session of counselling beckons which I admit isn't addressing the big issues, but it's dealing with the crisis situations that have presented themselves but I will persevere

  • Hello Oaktree

    Good to hear from you. I'm sorry your wife isn't well enough to return to the MBU and that you are under a lot of stress.

    I'm sure you miss the company of your 3 year old daughter and I can recall how hard it was to leave my children at nursery. I expect the only free time for you at the moment is late at night when you treasured girls are in bed?

    It must be very tiring for you at the moment without much support. It's good that you are persevering with counselling .... at least you might be able to offload some of your worries. You have been very strong and I hope your wife will slowly improve day by day.

    Take good care of yourself ..... thinking of you.

  • Hi Oaktree

    I'm so sorry that things continue to be tough and that your wife isn't back at the MBU yet. I do hope the tests help, and that they find out what is wrong, and most importantly help your wife.

    I'm thinking of you all so much, I can't believe everything you have been through. We are here for you whenever you need to write. It is amazing how you are managing...as Lilybeth says you are being so strong and I do hope too that your wife will slowly get better.

    Take care, XXX

  • Glad to report my wife is returning to mother & baby unit after the latest setback. We had some amazing support from the nurses when she was being treated on the ward. That said I had to get my way with asking for additional tests which will take a while to come back.

    The only free time I have is when the girls in bed but even though I'm exhausted I still have things to do to keep things going. I do try to look after myself but I have lost a lot of weight & people say I look tired but they add I'm doing an amazing job caring for the girls. I just need to work on my mood

  • Hi Oaktree, sorry I didn't reply earlier - I'm sure I had but maybe it somehow didn't work.

    It's great to hear that your wife is returning to the MBU. And well done you for insisting on the tests, amazing.

    You are doing amazing.... do look after yourself, you are in an unbelieveably stressful situation. Can you prioritise things that help you switch off and relax for example? I know for my partner he loved playing playstation and did have one close friend he would prioritise in going to see or even talking to on the phone. I'm not surprised you're exhausted, it would be strange if you weren't

    Thinking of you alot, really hoping your wife keeps improving from now on... keep writing whenever you need to, take care X

  • The first week back on mother & baby unit hasn't been smooth & on my visits I haven't been able to ask my wife questions as her mind really seems to struggle which isn't easy but ensuring our visits aren't too stressful.

    I've got some health problems of my own & have had to put everyone else's needs first so rescheduled on three occasions scans that I need but got them done today.

  • Hello Oaktree

    Sorry to hear you are coping with so much and that it has taken its toll on your own health. I expect your wife is struggling to make sense of all that has happened. You are very thoughtful making sure that she isn't too stressed by questions when you visit.

    I really hope your own scans will put your mind at rest and you will have the all clear. You are amazing to carry on as best you can in supporting your wife and children. I hope you have been able to confide in a friend about your own health worries, as you really need support.

    We are always here to listen ..... please make sure to take care of yourself. It's very important to go to any appointments so that you can be assessed and treated. I'm really hoping you have good news about the results of your scans ... you so deserve a break.

    Take very good care of yourself and I hope step by step your wife is very slowly recovering in the MBU.

  • Hello Oaktree41

    Good to hear from you, I was wondering how you and your family have been this week. That's great news that your wife must have improved to be returning to the MBU. I hope the results of tests will be positive for you as a family.

    I suppose you will miss having your baby daughter around but she will be such a comfort to your wife. I'm sure her 'big' sister will miss her too. Hopefully by just having one daughter at home you will be able to rest more, although trips back and forth to the hospital can be taxing. Please try and make sure you eat, although in this hot weather it is difficult. I echo what people have said, i.e. that you are doing an amazing job caring for your girls. Just be careful ...... you need to unwind and take time out for yourself and your own wellbeing. I hope the counselling is continuing to help a little ...... at the moment your mood might be flat as you are coping with so much stress? Make sure you monitor how you are and visit your GP if need be.

    Take good care ...... we are all thinking of you. Please give our best wishes to your wife.

  • Hello Oaktree41, I'm sorry to hear that things are hard for you. I hope that your wife is getting a little better and you are also able to get some support. Thinking of you, xx

  • Hello Oaktree

    I hope your wife is more settled in the MBU than she was the first week and that the results of your own scans were all clear but of course, private. You have had to cope with more than most with your wife being so unwell.

    Take care ..... thinking of you and your family.

  • Hi all...things have been if I could call it stable this week-although I still feel unable to talk to my wife as need her to not be weighed down with my concerns. She does ask me certain things such as my health & I just brush it away which I don't like to do as shes my soulmate. In time when she's better i hope to open up more. Have been chasing my HV for last two weeks & she finally got back to me. I've asked again for some respite as didn't get any downtime over the school break and my to do list as well as my stress levels have been too much. Hope I get some support soon & my counselling can restart this week after a two week pause

  • Hello Oaktree

    You are doing so well to cope when your energy levels must be running on empty. I hope your wife continues to improve day by day and perhaps as she becomes stronger you will be able to talk about your own concerns. I'm glad the HV finally responded and hope much needed support can be offered to you.

    Well done for persevering with the counselling, which is a good place for you to unburden yourself, as is this forum if needed.

    Take very good care ...... I'm sure the love of your wife and children is your strength.

  • Hello Oaktree

    I hope your wife is continuing to slowly recover. Did you manage to go to counselling this week and was respite arranged for you?

    Stay strong and take care.

  • Hi Lilybeth

    Although I have yet to get any respite (wife's friends who helped look after the girls while I visited my wife in hospital now have family health challenges of their own) I did get to counselling & glad to report my wife's condition appears more stable. I still don't feel ready to talk with her properly but hope this is the sign of good things to come - early days

  • Hi Oaktree, I'm glad to hear your wife is more stable, that's good to hear. It is early days, such a trauma you have been through, slowly slowly I'm sure you'll connect again, and be able to talk, and will come through this. I hope the last couple of days have been OK, and that your children are alright. You are in my thoughts a lot. Take care

  • Hello Oaktree

    Thanks for taking the time to reply when you have so much going on. I'm so glad that your wife's health is more stable. It's good that you managed to go to counselling as I think talking things over is helpful. You are very caring not to worry your wife about your own ups and downs and you will know when the time is right to calmly share your thoughts.

    These are early days but there are so many good times ahead for your family and when your wife eventually knows how much you have coped with, she will be so proud.

    Take good care and try to find space in your day to have a break.

  • Hi Oaktree no pressure to reply at all, just wanted to say I'm thinking of you and your family. I'm hoping your wife is continue to stabilise and that you are able to find the support that you really need. You really are doing an amazing job of supporting your wife and children...

    Ellie

  • Hi Ellie

    Thanks for your thoughts, things seem a bit calmer with my wifes treatment which after seven months seems so long in coming. Our family has been put under great strain and she is starting to see the effects it had on me trying to keep things together. The girls are doing well and we both take comfort from that. I know she wont be home for a while yet but I'm grateful for her progress

  • Hello Oaktree

    Good to hear from you. I'm glad things are a bit calmer with your wife's recovery. It is a very stressful time and I expect that as your wife is gradually improving, she can see how much you have had to cope with on your own.

    I hope your counselling sessions continue to be helpful. I think the love of your wife and children has been your strength to stay positive.

    Take good care ....... we are all thinking of you and your family.

  • Hello Oaktree

    I hope your wife is continuing to improve and things are a little easier for you.

    Take care.

  • Hi Lilybeth

    My wife's condition is improving from a MH point of view and she has some recollection of her manic phase. She still at times feels frustrated & low over the length of time it's taken but there is now discussion over being well enough for discharge. It's still a while off but that's progress

  • Hello Oaktree

    Good to hear your wife is improving slowly but surely. I'm sure your reassurance is a great comfort to her. She has done really well to battle this illness as well as overcoming the other health issues with you by her side. I'm so pleased you can see her progress and this might help to relieve any stress you might have.

    I hope you can find some space in your day for yourself. Take good care :)

  • Dear Oaktree,

    I have not forgotten about you and my thoughts are with you. I have been reading what happened so far and pleased that your wife is improving gradually.

    Your wife will feel safe and reassured by your love. My partner also was on tip toes with regards to answering my questions once I surpassed the stage of PPP. He protected me from reality for quite some time...time will heal and if your love and souls are intertwined, you will be able to open up again to each other about what has happened. All in time though!

    Now, only the momentum counts and you need to look after yourself, too. Stepping stones...

    Sabine x

  • Hi & thanks for keeping my family in your thoughts. My wife seems stable so far but physically she's still as weak as she was in July so while I'm encouraged by her progress, she would struggle to care for herself & the girls. I am drip feeding her with what I've gone through all these months but she's starting to realise what's been happening. As you say we have time to heal and rebuild our lives

  • Hi oaktree I'm sorry I just realised you had replied to me and I never replied not sure how I didn't spot that. It's really good to hear your wife is beginning to stabilise, phew you have been through so much... it's good to hear your children are well ...

    Thinking of you and your family and hope things continue to improve and you're also able to find support for yourself xx

  • Hello Oaktree

    Good to hear that your wife seems stable so far although physically weak. She has been through so much, not only recovering from PP but also her other serious health issue and you have been so patient and understanding. During my first PP I was in various mental health units for six months so that must have been very tiring for my husband and family at the time.

    You have shown such strength and caring during your wife's illness. I hope she continues to improve so that she might have an overnight home visit when she is stronger.

    Take good care of yourself.

  • Hi Lilybeth

    Thank you for your warm comments. I've become very patient with my wife's stabilisation and recovery. It's taken a toll on my health so have started a mood diary & although my first phase of counselling ended I'm going to arrange some more as although my family gives me strength I can't be superman like I've been for so long without support

    I'm glad to report my wife has been well enough for some home leave which has been long overdue. Lots to reflect on and prepare for the next visit

  • Hello Oaktree

    Thanks for your update. I'm not surprised after giving so much of yourself to caring for your wife and children that you are wobbling a little yourself. I'm glad to hear you are going to arrange more counselling ..... it's very important to keep yourself on track. Although with your screen name I visualise a strong oak tree, it's very true that sometimes even superman needs to stop for support. :)

    What a relief that your wife is well enough to be considered for home leave. How emotional that visit will be when you can reflect and close the door on one chapter and relax in the comfort of home with your wife and children. An exciting time ahead ....... In the meantime take good care of yourself.

  • Hello Oaktree

    I hope you have had a good week. Did your wife have a home visit? I hope everything is going well for you and that you can find more counselling for yourself to talk about issues that might be worrying you.

    Take good care of yourself. We are all thinking of you.

  • Hi Lilybeth

    Sorry for not replying to your first email. There has been so much going on regarding my wife's home visits. It's great times in the brief visits but it's a lot to juggle especially as we're being a family together which has been long overdue.

    I've got some more counselling which I hope will run for the next few months as I know my mood struggles so doing all I can to put it right. The girls are doing so well & always keep us smiling. My wife's recovery is still slow but in the right direction. No news yet on discharge but it's hopefully soon

  • Hi Oaktree

    It was really nice to hear that your wife has been having home visits, and they've been going OK, and that your girls are really well, that's so fantastic and huge huge credit to you, and everything you've managed and coped with these last months.

    It's really good to hear that you've found some counselling for a few months, much needed. I hope that you can slowly begin to heal too, and get the support you need to cope with everything you've been through, and you're still holding.

    Thinking of you XX

  • Hello Oaktree

    Good to hear from you although it's only ever if and when you feel like it or have time. I'm really pleased your wife has been having brief home visits. That must be such a joy to be all together, even for a short time.

    I'm glad you still have a few more counselling sessions to help with your mood. You have coped with so much on your own. It must be a great comfort to see your girls doing so well and your wife's health slowly going in the right direction.

    Make sure to take care of yourself. So glad your wife is on the mend ......

  • Hello Oaktree

    I hope your wife continues to improve and you have been able to enjoy time at home together as a family.

    Take good care.

  • Hi Lilybeth

    Things are going well. My wife's recovery continues albeit slowly. I heard that the 100 Year War was actually 116 years , I wonder if it just felt that it was longer than it was. Hope that makes sense but I'm trying to not have a date for her discharge. For now I'm glad for the home visits even though I don't sleep or rest much. The next few weeks will be demanding as she's got all manner of out patient appointments but they're absolutely necessary.

    For home visits I know I take the lead but have forced myself on a few occasions to go out for a coffee to allow her to be with our youngest. It is going well but she struggles in the early evening. It is still progress

  • Hello Oaktree

    Good to hear things are going well. With my first PP I was in and out of various hospitals for six months which must have seemed endless to my husband. I'm sure your wife is very comforted by all you do to make the home visits special. Even out patient appointments are a turning point in a way as your wife is not confined as she once was.

    I'm sure home visits are an anxious time as you are probably only half asleep .... listening for your wife or children who might call or cry out during the night. Try and rest when you can. Although you have a busy time ahead it's important you look after yourself and manage your stress levels. Going out for a coffee will probably give you a few minutes to yourself as well as being good for your wife to have time to herself with your newest treasure.

    Take care and try to go to your last few counselling sessions as it's good to talk about your worries.

    We are all here for you.

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