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Mom Considers Abandoning Her Baby On Vacation Due To Postpartum Depression

PA Real Life

A former busy career person—who felt her newborn looked like “an alien"—suffered from crippling postpartum depression.

She “felt no love" for her baby, deleted every photo taken with him in the maternity ward and considered abandoning him on a beach.


Feeling her bump was more of an “inconvenience" than a joy during her pregnancy, Emma Martin of Woking, Surrey, England, recalled how Matteo felt “like a stranger" when he was born.

Bravely speaking out about her two-year battle with mental health, Emma said:

“I didn't love Matteo and couldn't see any light at the end of the tunnel."
"People don't talk about mental health. Birth and motherhood are supposed to be this perfect time, but for a lot of mums it isn't."


Emma and husband Simon (Collect/PA Real Life)

She continued:

“I want anyone suffering to know there is light at the end of the tunnel, you can fall in love with being a mum, and when you do, it's truly amazing."

When Emma and husband Simon met their 8lb 2oz son for the first time on June 22, 2016, in Surrey's Frimley Park Hospital, it should have been a magical moment.

For Emma, instead of the fairy tale she had hoped for, seeing her newborn son was more like a horror story.


Baby Matteo aged 10 weeks whilst Emma was juggling working and being a mum (Collect/PA Real Life)

Emma admitted:

“The midwife put him on my chest, and the first thing I thought was, 'Eww, he looks like an alien.'"
“Really, I felt nothing but overwhelming sadness and fear.
“As my husband cooed over our newborn, I racked my brain, trying to find my mother's instinct that must have been hiding somewhere."
"I asked the midwife, 'What do I do?' She replied, 'Love him, feed him and keep him warm,' and I just cried and cried. I didn't know how to do any of those things."

With her husband tending to all their baby's needs, except for breast feeding, Emma realized she felt no love for her boy.

She confessed:

"He felt like a stranger. I felt traumatized by labor, but ashamed by my lack of love and how unnatural it felt to have a baby sucking on my chest."
“I wouldn't let anyone come and visit us in the hospital, not even our parents. I felt empty and sad."


Doting mum Emma with Matteo, now (Collect/PA Real Life)

She was so distressed that, when her husband took photos of his wife and baby son together at the hospital, she deleted them immediately.

Emma said:

“I deleted every single photo of myself with my son in the labor ward, only keeping photos of Simon and Matteo."
“I hated how I looked and did not want to remember that time."


Simon and Matteo, one of the only photos taken on the labor ward (Collect/PA Real Life)

Then working in a high-powered job as an area manager for a cosmetics company, when Emma had fallen pregnant nine months earlier in 2015—just a month after they had started trying—she had no plans to slow down.

Emma was delighted at first, but just weeks into her pregnancy she experienced heavy cramping. Doctors feared Emma had suffered an ectopic pregnancy meaning the baby would not survive.

Emma recalled:

“The baby was actually fine, it wasn't ectopic, but it put a fear into me that I could lose my baby any day."


Emma loved being a mum, pictured now with Matteo (Collect/PA Real Life)

Emma added:

“At every scan I psyched myself up for something being wrong with our unborn child, so didn't allow myself to bond with it."

At her 12 and 20 week scans, while the midwife was cooing over her bump, Emma felt like it was not even a part of her.

She said:

“I remember looking at the midwife in amusement as she told me to start talking to my growing bump, in order to help me bond with my baby."

Emma continued:

“I just wanted to carry on with life as normal, working hard, managing a team of 40 people, hitting the gym and planning my three months of maternity leave with meticulous detail, and assuming that labor would be a breeze."
“But my pregnancy felt more of an inconvenience to me than a joy."
“I hated my bump, felt so unattached to it and would cover it up with long floating scarves as much as I could, so people couldn't see it."


Emma and Simon with son Matteo, now (Collect/PA Real Life)

And when she and Simon found out the baby's sex at 20 weeks, Emma was so convinced she was having a baby girl that when she discovered it was a boy, she sobbed in the car park.

Then, after a three day labor and an epidural, Matteo—named as an homage to Emma's Italian ancestry—arrived.

Sent home after two days in the hospital, Emma's mood plummeted further, with her crying non-stop and barely getting off the sofa.

After speaking to Simon, they both thought she was suffering with “baby blues."

But, returning to her job after just three months, working weekends and putting Matteo in a nursery did nothing to improve Emma's state of mind.

Then, when her son was eight months old, Emma was diagnosed with postpartum depression—which affects more than 1 in 10 women within a year of giving birth—after filling out an online questionnaire with an online therapist.

Emma, who did not seek help at the time, said:

“I was sleeping for two hours a night and getting up for work the next day. I was sleep-deprived and felt like I was being followed around by a big black cloud. I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel."

And when, at 10 months, Emma and Simon took baby Matteo on a family holiday to Greece, things worsened rapidly.

She said:

“He was hardly sleeping. One day, when I took him out in his pram for a walk on the beach, I considered just leaving him there, hoping a nice waitress would take him in. Strangely, at the same time, I was ashamed to tell anyone what I was thinking, scared they might think I was a bad mum and take my boy away."


Matteo a few days old (Collect/PA Real Life)


Finally, at Matteo's 12-month check-up, Emma “cracked" when the health visitor asked how she was.

Emma recalled:

“I burst into tears, said I felt like a rubbish mum, and needed some support. She got me an emergency appointment with my GP that day and I was totally honest with him."

Prescribed anti-depressants and given counseling, Emma found sharing her thoughts made her feel far brighter.


Emma on her due date (Collect/PA Real Life)

But for Emma, her true turning point came in June this year when she decided to give-up her high-powered job to be with her family.

Now working part-time in a local department store, Emma has never felt better.

She shared:

“I feel so much happier and love my boy so much. He is my best friend and so relaxed, just like his mummy now."
“I've set up a course for other mums to help them if they are in the same situation as me too."

A version of this article originally appeared on Press Association.

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When you know your kids backwards and forwards, this is the best tool in your arsenal.

Getting our kids to listen to us is not always the easiest of tasks. They're willful and stubborn, but we've got a mighty weapon they are rarely prepared for: reverse psychology. Getting them to convince themselves to want to do something against their own initial intentions takes some work and a whole lot of creativity, but a little sneaky manipulation goes a long way. Here are some clever parents' tricks that are definitely worth taking notes on.

Redditor u/LeanderD Asks:

Parents of reddit, what's your best example of reversed psychology on your kids that actually worked?

He Floated His Idea Through A Back Channel

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Wanted to name my boat. Anything I would think of was dismissed as stupid by my 13 year old son. After deciding on a name, I confided to a male friend my son liked. Made my friend suggest the name as though it was his idea. My son thought the name was perfect. Done.

calypsodweller

We Always Want What We Can't Have

One of my best friends through childhood used to be punished with no salad if she misbehaved. She cherishes salad now and would always try to eat as much as possible during school lunch. Coincidentally, her now husband used to be punished with no books, it had the same effect. I think it's hilarious that they'd be hitting the salad bar and library like some black market their narc parents couldn't reach hahaha.

cookiearthquake

A Deceit That's A Cut Above The Rest

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Don't know if this counts, but, at my high school (private, boys only) in the 1960's, they made a big deal about how long your hair was, and would occasionally order a boy to go home and "get a haircut".

I thought it was stupid, until years later, a master confided to me at a reunion that the policy was deliberate. The school figured we'd spend so much energy rebelling about hair length, that we would ignore other aspects of teenage rebellion. (Not?) Surprisingly, they were mostly right.

FrankDrakman

Damn! That's smart. Wow.

fangxx456

Oh they don't like long hair?

I'll show them. I'll grow my hair out as lon- what?! No I don't want to go "party"? I gotta try out this horse shampoo.

DankeyKang11

The Forbidden Book

Hi I was a victim,

There was a forbidden book that I was not allow to read on the shelf. My parents said I could only read it if I behave myself.

It was summer holidays and I was playing games all day (after 6 hrs of summer homework). One day I was home alone and had the opportunity to grabbed it. I read like half of it in one go. It was 5000 years of Chinese history.

Safe to say I was bamboozled.

oddstodd

Flowers Of The Queen

My parents always told me my broccoli were the flowers of the queen and that I really shouldn't eat them, or else the queen would get very upset! I, of course, ate the whole broccoli in a few seconds.

Subwoofy

I'm telling the queen and she's gonna be pissed

draculacletus

Sleeping Beauty

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I taught my kids when they were toddlers that no amount of yelling, shaking or hitting can wake a sleeping adult. The only thing that works is a gentle hug and/or a nice kiss on the cheek.

Edit: Probably needed some more details for the reverse psychology aspect to be clear. It went something like this - Step one, tell the kids I'm going to sleep and nothing they do will wake me (head buried face down is the safest position). Step two, after the initial onslaught dies down pretend to awaken on your own. Tell them you got a bit of nap left in you and nothing can wake you, especially not hugs and kisses.

DrMethusael

Holy sh*t...if my daughter woke me up like this I would buy her a pony.

All-Seeing_Elon

I am saving this comment because this will save lives if I ever have kids, stg.

smerter

A Walk In Someone Else's Shoes.

Split custody with my ex. When my son was around 10, he visited two weekends a month. I was waiting tables and didn't have a huge amount to spend, but he was so needy from divorce (and I'm not blaming him, it was ugly), he begged constantly for MORE when he was with me. Whatever more was, it didn't matter... he'd be eating ice cream cone and begging for teriyaki.

I finally realized that he just felt empty, and getting MORE whatever from me wasn't filling him up. His next visit I handed him $100 in cash and told him it was our food/fun budget for 3 days and two nights, and he was in charge of it. I bought him his own wallet to carry. We figured out how many times we were going to eat and what we were going to do, and he paid. He got to keep whatever money he had left...thought he was rich...then realized just how much everything cost. Well. Shoe on other foot then. If we had no money for food, we ate leftovers - and I didn't contribute more to pot. After a few weekends of running short or not getting something he actually wanted because he was foolish with funds, he started to really think about how to spend that money. He budgeted and kept to his budget. And a few times he actually went home with a little cash for his private stash.

Many years later, he thanked me for this. It really changed the way he thought about money and love.

Augumenti

This Is Worth Giving A Shot

Took my 3 year old son to one of those doctor's visits where he was going to get a shot. He was worried about the shot on the whole drive over, almost to the point of tears. We get to the doctor's office and a nurse subtly lets me know that my son is not just scheduled for 1 shot, but 5 of them in the same visit.

I turn to my son with an exaggerated smile and tell him, "Good news! They figured out how to take that one big shot you were going to get and instead break it up into these 5 little tiny shots so it won't hurt nearly as much!"

You could see the relief wash over his face. He stopped squirming and relaxed completely. He took the first shot and even smiled and said "It's true! The small ones don't hurt!"

We actually made it through the third shot before the effect wore off and reality kicked in. Still... I counted it as a victory.

blackbird77

Put This To The Taste

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My mom would tell me she only lets me eat soup after candy and she'd only buy me candy that i didn't like. After a few times, i stopped trying and begged her to let me eat soup first. She gave me a smirk and told me go ahead. This doesn't sound as evil as it was. But trust me i suffered.

turkeypr0

So what was the candy?

Poster_Main

Mint chocolate, raisins, stuff like that. I still hate them to this day. Who the f--- thought while eating chocolate "hmm id like some tooth paste with this."

turkeypr0

This is Truckin' Awesome

Mum had sworn a bit around the house.

When 4, while out at the supermarket, I said F word really loudly.

Very quickly and intently, she asked if I had just said "Truck" and said that was a bad word and not to ever say Truck like that again.

I thought that was the bad word so used that when being naughty.

GodOfTheThunder

The "Silly Mom" Routine

The "Silly Mom" routine.

My kid, and a few other kids I've known, would balk at getting ready to go. I'd grab their clothes and say, "Well, if you won't put on your clothes, I guess I'll put on your clothes. Cute shirt, by the way! Does it go on my foot?"

NO!

"Does it go on my head?"

NO! IT GOES ON ME!

"Oh, that's right, thanks! So, it must go on your legs, right?"

NO!

"I just can't figure this out! Where does this adorable shirt go?"

[kid grabs shirt and puts it on] ON MY TUMMY! SILLY MOM!

"Oh, thank you so much! Now what about these pants? Shirts go on tummies, so...the pants go on the tummy, too, right?"

NO!

[continue until kids have dressed themselves]

I would also do things like hand the kid my keys and say, "Alright, you're driving, I'll sit in the booster seat in back," attempt to feed the kid by putting a spoon up to his ear or his belly button, and attempt to put away his toys in the refrigerator.

insertcaffeine

Some Foot For Thought.

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My mum would always yell at us "if you don't do X, you have to go to bed without socks!"

I never wore socks anyway, and I'm ashamed to admit that this worked.

Splittsky

That would work really well on my son, or make him cry for a really long time... He's 3 and over the last few weeks has decided that he is fully unable to sleep without socks on.

PJQueen

Toddlers man. Completely unpredictable.

SheaRVA

I'm Greens With Envy

My mum had a friend that would put vegetables on her own plate and not the kids.

When the kids asked she would be reluctant to share, "that's grown up food. But I suppose I can let you have a little."

Her kids grew up loving vegetables.

I sat at the dinner table for 3 hours staring at the yucky cauliflower I refused to eat.

laik72

This reminds me of an instance when my child convinced my wife and myself to change our plans for dinner. We were in a grocery store to pick up something quick and easy to eat that we wouldn't have to prepare. Our daughter, wanted none of that, she demanded that she wanted a salad from the salad bar. We started to argue back, but then realized: "Our child demands that we feed her vegetables for dinner instead of a microwaved meal, why are we saying 'No?'"

We had salad for dinner that night.

Galaxy_Ranger_Bob

The Power Of Choice

I don't so much know if you would call it reverse psychology, but I didn't realize it until my dad told me this.

When there were chores that needed doing, he noticed if he asked me to mow the lawn, I would complain and procrastinate. But if he asked would I rather mow the lawn or wash the windows, I'd pick one and just get it done.

Shattered my brain when he told me when I was in my twenties. I use it when I'm coaching or baby sitting all the time and it almost never fails.

AppealToReason16

The Boy Who Cried 'Ouch'

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I've done this one with tens of kids. Any time a kid gets "hurt" (falls down on grass, gets gently hit in the face with a ball, etc.) instead of stopping the activity to pick the kid up and see if they're ok you just scoot them off to the side and resume. Within 10 seconds of not getting all the attention and seeing the fun is resuming they pop right back up and are magically healed.

This of course is only for the "injuries" that aren't actually injuries.

pedanticProgramer

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