What did you struggle with most when you had your first baby?(197 Posts)
My niece recently gave birth to her first baby and was complaining that no-one told her about the really difficult stuff of being a first-time mum. Such as colic, teething, reflux etc. I'm trying to get her to join Mumsnet as I think she'll benefit from the support so I want to link this thread to her (and it's also why I've changed my posting name so she will recognise it instantly).
So, be honest and tell me what you found most difficult with your first baby and what advice you would give to others.
For me, it was the colic and breastfeeding. I felt under quite a lot of pressure to keep going with the breastfeeding even though it bloody hurt and I got mastitis. I also remember the sleepless nights just walking up and down with her screaming over my shoulder and feeling so very shite, frustrated, angry and helpless. Then feeling guilty that I couldn't stop her from crying.
Sleep deprivation. That and the weight of responsibility. Suddenly having NO free time unless it had been scheduled in and arrangements made in advance.
Both hit me like a tonne of bricks to be honest. It was hard at the start!
Spot on GlitzPig I can relate to your post completely, right down to the 'dark time' at 12 weeks. I wish my mum had been around to say to me what your mum said to you - it's so very very true.
I think the part where my baby cries in the middle of the night to change diapers and feed.
Actually hating my husband, because he got to go out without our baby when I was stuck at home all day. I used to be an absolute bitch if his train was delayed by five minutes, or he forgot to text to say when he would be back. I love DS dearly, but was doing all the nights, and obviously looking after him all day while I was on maternity leave, so by six o'clock was climbing the
fucking walls and just wanted someone else to BE RESPONSIBLE for him, even just for a few minutes.
I thought when books say 'baby will find their own routine naturally!' that it would be obvious to me what that meant ie that he would go to sleep if he was tired, do feeding cues if he was hungry etc. It took a good read of Gina Ford to understand that if a baby is whiny and miserable at nine in the morning and they've been up since seven, they're probably ready for a nap, but you need to help them go to sleep (we never did cot naps, always in the buggy so I could get out of the house!) So when he got a bit cranky, I'd stick him in the buggy and he'd conk out before we got to the corner of the street. I felt like a MAGICIAN once I'd got the hang of that, and we were both much happier!
We had an awful couple of weeks-maybe three weeks?-when DS was about 3 months old (The Dark Time). He had a cold, and was sad and miserable and screamed all the time. I'd end up just weeping in Sainsburys because I didn't know what to do with him <am now dying of shame remembering this> and old ladies would bring their cups of tea over and be kind to me in the cafe. We visited my parents during The Dark Time, and my dad took him out for the longest walk ever, and my mum gave me a massive cuddle, and said 'Sometimes, babies just don't like being a particular age. They want to be able to do more things than they can, or they don't understand what's going on, and it upsets them. DS isn't possessed, he just doesn't like being 3 months old very much. He just needs to get through it, then he'll cheer up again'. It made such a difference-I think I felt like I was doing everything wrong, and DS hated me, and he had turned into a screamy baby and would always be like that-it hadn't occurred to me that he could stop as suddenly as he started. And he did! 4 months was an improvement, then he started crawling at 5 months, and was a different baby all over again
In the early months:
- worrying about what might be wrong with DD (she was premature and not breathing for a few mins at birth)
- trying to get her to sleep (total nightmare)
once she was a bit older and things had calmed down:
- the boredom and Groundhog Day nature of life
- never, ever, ever having a day off (still BFing at 8 months and counting...)
The constant never ending pit of worry in your stomach. Took me about 2 months for me to relax into it a bit and have confidence that I was doing it right. Felt really clueless in the beginning but getting out and about with different groups really helped. And mn.
Breast feeding was incredibly difficult for us. Thought we cracked it at 8 weeks, after a long struggle, only for ds to reject the breast at 12 weeks.
Sleep deprivation and the very dark thoughts that came with it.
Oh FFS this thread was bumped by a spammer! Still it's a good thread.
I found the baby part very easy and not difficult to adjust to at all, perhaps because I was in such a controlling relationship it was easy to have my attention fully focused on something. Plus babies are so portable and I wasn't interested in going out drinking etc anyway.
I have found it very difficult since being alone and seeing the freedom I could have had - the lack of spontenaiety, having to be aware every single minute of where your child is and that they are accounted for. I sometimes see people making casual arrangements and I feel consumed in a fit of jealousy because I just can't make open ended arrangements like that any more unless I can take DS with me.
Feeling tired, and grouchy all of the time at the start. Just the enormity of it all suddenly hitting me when home with just my husband and this tiny baby who was ours.
The lack of sleep was hard hitting for me though. I just can't nap during the day so it seemed to hit me like a ton of bricks by about 8pm. I agree with the impact on your body. Had a relatively ok birth but the feeling of being bruised down below, and the cramp afterwards.
I also remember feeling really angry at the fact that I sometimes could not stop her crying no matter what we did.
*be not bf although she was BF!
I found it really hard to be apart from my baby. I appreciated the offers from MIL to take DD out in the pram so I could rest, but I just didn't want to bf apart from DD - for months!
I'm less like thus second time round and take up offers of help more readily!
Dd1: boredom. And getting baby to sleep. I got a maternity nurse in at 6m to help and to this day wish I'd done it sooner.
Dd2: balancing work with maternity leave to stop me going mad with boredom...and having too much work and not enough time with my baby.
There is an alternative for the people who want the best for their kids. Yes the solution is Mothers Third Arm. The Mothers third arm is a baby bottle holder or a sippy cup holder which feeds your baby while you are busy doing something else.
Having a bottle refuser, which has meant that I haven't ever left DS for more than three hours, and have had to delay my return to work.
Feeling guilty for wanting to go back to work. Actually, feeling guilty about everything!
The overwhelming anxiety, particularly around feeding/weight and routine. I feel like my world has collapsed in on itself and naps/solids have become the most important thing in the world. I get really panicked if something threatens to derail the routine I've worked hard to establish, which means I miss out on a lot. I thought I'd be a relaxed mum who would just let my LO nap on the go, but I'm just not. I wish I was.
I also fear that I must be incredibly boring, especially to childless friends. I dread someone asking me about politics because I only seem to have a point of view on nappies and daytime TV.
Losing me. No regular time off. No weekends. Isolation. Boredom.
Huge pain and damage from high forceps emergency with DC1. 10 months of physio and consultant appointments with small baby in tow. Trying to sleep while in tremendous pain and with catheter at times. Post natal ward staff acting shocked by my damage but not actually reassuring, helping or guiding me. Supporting Tena for life.
(DC2 was elcs 19 months later and a lovely birth btw)
Breastfeeding. The rest of it was a breeze. The hard work for me started at around 9/10 months.
I was shocked by how I physically felt on day 2, when I woke up after the first night back at home. I didn't know I would feel pain everywhere, it was like a herd of buffalos had stamped all over me.
Second, the relentless crying and refusal to sleep. Horrible times, lasted 6 months. I had a fantasy about leaving DS with anyone and go check into a hotel, and sleep for a whole night. I knew some babies were little horrors, because we had some in my family, but to actually experience it was something else completely.
As for advice, a few things worked for me: get out of the house everyday, because I think fresh air does make a difference to my mood. Do something small everyday to make you feel good, like wearing a nice necklace. Forget non essential housework. Accept offers of help.
Being tired and not being able to sleep when baby is asleep.
When he cries after we have covered the 3 B's (Breast/bottle,Burp, and Bum) and given cuddles, as he becomes almost hysterical.
Missing DP after having a lovely couple of weeks together.
The am I doing this right feeling. xx
Sleep deprivation without a doubt. I was a zombie.
Actually DH functions better than I do on broken sleep: he suffers, but he doesn't get into the suicidal pit of despair that I did. After I stopped breastfeeding we agreed that he'd do the nights and I'd do all the early mornings.
I guess it's the mental burden though as well BellaCB. I went out for 2 hours the other evening after DD had gone to bed. Had a nice evening but thought about her constantly; the worry was there. I think DP while being a lovely father is able to just do his work thing during the day without that undercurrent of...is dread the right word? cycling through his mind because he is away from baby.
And YY to the others who have been surprised at their OH's inability to function on little sleep.
missed adults contact
lack of sleep
constant grind of tasks
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