Experience of dads with second babies - Exchange?

Dear all,

I have not been an active user of this forum, but have followed many of your stories over the past two years. It has given me an incredible amount of support and hope during difficult days. I live in Germany and we do not have anything comparable here (in fact even the information available on PP is quite terrible).

I had PP within days of the birth of my daughter in Summer 2015 completely out of the blue. I spent three weeks in hospital in a fairly manic, agitated state (a terrible experience in a general ward together with my baby where my family needed to care for the baby day and night - it put a terrible strain on everyone) and needed to go back to hospital within a month due to severe depression (this time without the baby) for another few weeks. After that it was a long, but generally uphill struggle, 6 months after the birth I felt quite normal again and was off meds , and after 10 months I returned to work. The past year has been very good for me, the only difference to before PP is that I pay much more attention to my wellbeing (eg enough sleep/rest).

Now, my partner and I are thinking about a second baby. We have found a psychiatrist/psychotherapist with experience in the area and I am already a patient of hers. My partner and I meet up with her next month for a general couple advisory meeting discussing a potential pregnancy/risks and care plan options and she would lead/coordinate my care with all other doctors/hospitals in case we proceed with our plan.

I am quite decided I would like another baby and that the illness won't return as bad as the first time if at all (since we'll have a plan and proper care from the beginning). And of course I have followed all discussions regarding second pregnancies in this forum and feel quite well informed.

However, for my partner I think it would be extremely helpful to talk to another dad with PP experience who went through a second pregnancy/birth. I think in some ways the whole experience was more traumatising for him than for me. I don't know if one of your husbands would be up for a private email exchange or if that could be done via a peer support program? Anyway I thought I'd check, since he also mentioned to me a few weeks ago that he would be very interested to talk to any dad who was in a similar situation.

Best Katha

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4 Replies

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  • Hi Katha, welcome to the forum. It's so good to hear that you have found the forum helpful over the past two years by just reading the posts.

    It's great that you have been able to get some professional support and advice about planning a second pregnancy. I just wanted to make sure you knew about the APP guide for planning a pregnancy if you are at risk of PP? It is free to download from our website.

    You mention about your husband. My partner suffered so much when I was ill too, it took it's toll, and I think came out most after I was fully recovered and he didn't need to hold it together anymore. We also have a guide for partners, in case you haven't seen it too, which you could maybe pass on to your husband?

    Both guides are here: app-network.org/what-is-pp/...

    I also wanted to say that I hope you are able to find another dad who can connect with your husband in some way. We do have dad's who access this forum, and perhaps one will write to you, or reply on this post. Unfortunately, due to our limited resources, we are only able to offer one to one peer support for people living in the UK, otherwise this is something we could have possibly offered your husband.

    Take care, and I wish you luck in the future as you plan the pregnancy, and hope that you're able to get all the support you need

    Ellie

  • Hi Ellie,

    Thanks a lot for your reply. Good that you mention the APP guides, I had a look quite a while ago, but will go back to them now and also share them with my partner.

    I understand that you have to focus your work on the UK, it is really great that you can offer the service there! I hope we will have a similar network here some time as well.

    Katha

  • Hi Kathy,

    My wife had pp a number of years ago now and there was little about it at the time on the web; come to think about it, our initial contact with the crisis team proved that that they didn't have a lot of experience with it either! fortunately we managed to get into an MBU, where the learning curve was huge.

    It was definitely the most terrifying thing I've had to face and deal with, but it all came good in the end.

    We considered having more children but decided not to in the end, as we had just found it too traumatic the first time round.

    It's fair to say, this is something that we both regret and as there is now much more info and understanding regarding pp, we would have definitely made a different decision.

    We look at it now, that with a proper plan in place and the fact that we both know pp and the signs to look for, even if pp came on again, it would be caught and treated much quicker and wouldn't be able to get to the levels it did the first time; plus there's a chance it wouldn't even happen...

  • HI Zapple,

    Thanks for sharing your story. It is good to know that you would have made a different decision now, even though the experience was very traumatic. It is a really hard decision to take, but I share your point of view from your last paragraph.

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