To put my foot down and tell DH he's being a nob?(43 Posts)
Baby 2 is due end of year and I'm not going to breast feed so will be using bottles and formula.
I will be going back to work after a month and my husband will be staying home with baby and toddler.
We've had a row about the night feeds. He wants to do half as he wants the time bonding with the baby. Only problem is he has epilepsy and a disturbed nights sleep really increases his chances of having a seizure through the day. I know this as when he went through a stressful patch and wasn't sleeping properly he was having a seizure or more every day.
I understand he wants to help but he will have plenty of time to bond with the baby in the day and is rather him he be fit and well when looking after the kids. He thinks I'm being over protective and unfair.
Please tell me I am being reasonable and he is being a penis.
YANBU at all, if lack of sleep affects him so badly that it causes him to fit then it's just common bloody sense that he doesn't do night feeds. What if he had a seizure whilst holding baby? He's an eejit.
Ooh. So you'll be doing all the night feeds, then going to work all day? You'll be shattered. I'm not sure how long that'd be manageable for, let alone for a one month old, the baby is still very young.
Could you manage sleep with him so he can help, and it reduces pressure on you, but it isn't disturbed? Like, you going to bed earlier, and him staying up until midnight/2am/whatever and doing all the feeds until that point, and then you take over and he can sleep through?
I can see why he'd want to be involved, and support you, and it's always tough if the thing that stops you doing that is your disability. It's frustrating. I'm awful for thinking that I will do it anyway, this won't stop me. I don't have young children to care for, though!
I'd look for a compromise, or he'll be unhappy and you'll be broken with tiredness after a while.
How severe are the seizures? Are they the little petit mal ones where you lose yourself for a few minutes, stand still & look vague but then come back & are OK to carry on?
Or are they grand mal ones like my mum's including fitting on the floor & frothing blood at the mouth (she bites tongue) the having to sleep for hours?
If he loses consciousness then what happens if he is carrying or bathing the baby?
I'd ask him what he'd do if it was reversed.
Sometimes we need to recognise our own limitations and he must too. This is a frail baby and I suspect he'll agree with you when the time comes.
He sounds sweet, if somewhat reckless, but sometimes people are so intent in showing that they are just like everyone else that they forget the safety aspects. Be patient with the guy, but stand your ground on this one.
I don't think you are being unreasonable but I can understand your DHs side too. If he has seizures caused by lack of sleep then he needs to accept he will miss out on the night feeds but it's for the safety of the children and he has the entire day to bond.
I really wouldnt be leaving your baby and toddler at home with your epileptic partner as the sole caree!!
Waffles- what do you think mums with epilepsy do?
It is often controllable with medication.
I'd suggest he gets used to less sleep now, so it's not such a shock.
Will he be sleeping elsewhere then so not disturbed by baby?
What if toddler disturbs him or he needs to get up early with toddler & is still tired?
It is safe to leave him with the kids?
I assume that you have no other option than to go back to work ?
Sorry if this sounds really harsh but I would never hand my kids over to a childminder who had epilepsy how ever under control it was, and his does not sound under control to me. Even if he doesn't do night feeds ( bless him for wanting to though) he still will have disturbed nights.....I'm not an epilepsy specialist so I assume you know what you are doing
This sounds like a very difficult situation all round. I understand where you are coming from, I had a partner who's epilepsy reacted in the same way and all the medication in the world couldn't prevent a fit induced through tiredness.
I do agree with PP's though, it sounds unsustainable really. Baby will will wake every couple of hours at 4 weeks old, will you be able to go to work? Could you afford a night nanny of some sort? Even just for the short term, while baby settles into a routine.
could he do Friday, Saturday night feeds and you do the rest? And split them so you go to bed early during wk, dh does last late night feed 10/11 then you do the middle of the night feed
If there were any chance of him having a seizure whilst in sole charge of the baby, I would not be letting him do the childcare, sorry but I don't think its safe. My DH has the potential to have seizures (not had one for ages but the possibility is there), my boys are older now and they know if Dad ever has a seizure whilst on his own with them they must call 999, I am fine with this as they are older and sensible and it is a very very slight possibility. No way would I take that chance with a baby, I just wouldn't.
The first six weeks are gruelling, I couldn't imagine returning to work after 4 weeks.
Is there anyway to extend your time off? If you have a mortgage could you apply for a payment holiday? Or use all your annual leave? Or save up and ask for unpaid leave?
Can I just point out that the vast majority of epileptics get "auras" before a fit, so they know when one is coming and can take measures to protect themselves and their children as needed.
I have a friend who's a single SAHM to a 6 month old baby who gets a 10 min warning before a seizure. If she feels a fit coming, baby is secured in cot, she phones her Mum (retired) who drops everything and gets there as quick as she can and my friend takes the last bit of time to get herself safe and secure, usually on the floor of her bedroom where there's a mattress for this reason.
No reason why an epileptic can't be a SAHD
I agree that you should take a longer maternity leave as much as possible and also see how it goes then.
Btw, even with his best intentions, after experiencing a few sleepless nights he will probably thank you for doing them.
Give him a chance. Ask him what makes him think that losing sleep won't lead to seizures, and perhaps what safeguards he is considering should he have one when alone with the two children.
He is an adult, and may actually have thought about all of this. If he hasn't, well, maybe a few pointed questions will bring the reality home to him.
Can you not call people "an epileptic" please? It's really not ok. We don't use "fit" much anymore either.
If OPs partner is having seizures from lack of sleep then he doesn't have control of his epilepsy. I wouldn't be leaving him every day with a newborn and a toddler, not until he has proper control of his condition. And especially when he purposefully wants to do something that he knows will increase his chances of a seizure.
He needs to see his dr.
I have epilepsy and was so nervous about how I would be after having a baby in terms of lack of sleep. My epilepsy nurse said it was advisable I didn't breast feed because of the risk of sleep deprivation causing seizures. My epilepsy was well controlled (tonic clonic) but I was still so nervous.
I wasn't allowed to be home alone with the baby until 6 weeks after birth as apparently those first 6 weeks are the high risk ones for seizures due to sleep deprivation and hormones etc.
I did breast feed and was getting hardly any sleep but thankfully I was fine. Once the 6 weeks were up though I was very nervous about being home alone with the baby in case I had a seizure.
My epilepsy nurse gave me lots of tips about how to reduce the risk of anything happening to the baby should I have a seizure whilst looking after him. I was told that unless feeding him I shouldn't hold him, that I should carry him up and down the stairs in a car seat as he'd be more protected in that should I have a seizure on the stairs than if i were holding him. I had family members ringing me 3 times a day with the agreement that if I didn't answer somebody would come and check on me. I obviously was not allowed to bath the baby. I gave family members keys to the house and I informed my neighbours about my epilepsy so if I felt a seizure coming in I would put the baby somewhere safe and then go and knock on one of their doors for help. Just lots of little things like that.
However, as has been said, it sounds as though your husband still has frequent seizures so you need to ask yourself how safe it is to leave your children, especially a newborn baby, with him.
Sorry I am reading! I'm just at work but will reply on my lunch break.
Yes please don't use the term 'epileptic', it is 'someone with epilepsy'.
The advice given to writer by the epilepsy nurse is excellent. There are plenty of mums with epilepsy so no reason why OP's DH can't be SAHD. My dad gets a decent warning, definitely long enough to put baby safely in a cot etc.
We're going to see how we go for the first month while I'm home and if I need to stay home longer than I will. I'll call him often through the day to check in and he doesn't answer then my brother will be over. My brother will be there most days anyway as our kids are the same age so will spend most days playing together. I don't really want to take much more than 6 weeks off from work if I can help it. I'm happy to do the night feeds, I did them on my own when I was a single mum so it's not a huge deal.
I'm finding all these posts saying they would never leave a child alone with a someone that has epilepsy really offensive. Do you really believe they shouldn't have their own children? What if you applied that to any other disability.
I hope my children don't ever feel I wasn't a good enough parent just because I have epilepsy.
HeddaLettuce can you explain to me the problem with "epileptic"? I'm not being arsey by the way I'm genuinely trying to learn I have a sister and a good friend both with epilepsy who both use this term freely (as do I) so I'm wondering why it is considered offensive? They also use the term fit :S
It sounds like you should both discuss this with your DH's GP and take it from there.
I'm sure there are lots of stay at home parents who experience seizures, who don't actually have a choice where to leave their baby, so it's ridiculous to say that 'you'd never leave your baby' with them.
I'm sure the GP or specialist will direct you accordingly.
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