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DH back at work, I'm not coping(45 Posts)
Hi, my baby is 3 weeks old and my DH has been back at work a week. I cried practically every day, and doing all the calming throughout the night for my LOis exhausting. I love her my LO to bits but she has silent reflux so the last couple of weeks haven't been very easy and I didn't really get a chance to recover from labour. I know my DH going back to work is reality and I need to get on with it, but I feel like I can't cope. I regularly feel overwhelmed and wish someone else could take my baby after each feed to calm her down. I don't even seem to be able to wind her properly. I guess I just wanted to know if others found all this hard and struggled when DH went back to work. I'm dreading another week xx
Don't put pressure on yourself to be perfect as mother/wife/housekeeper.
Can you carry her in a sling when you cannot put her down? Is there anyone who could be there with you for a while and give you even a few minutes break while you have a shower, walk round the garden, drink some tea?
Put on music that you like, watch
rubbish TV, a film etc. I watched an 8 hour Bertolucci in one day when DS would not settle. It may not be yet but it will get better and you will feel more confident.
Yes I did find it difficult. Is there anyone you could ask for help? Someone to pop round and give you a few minutes break? I found it easier to plan something small each day- I had a section so for me it was going on short walks, longer each day.
I became a regular at all the local shops just to walk somewhere.
I had post-natal depression- be kind to yourself and tell someone if you think you might be heading there.
DS was a nightmare newborn but now is a lovely toddler, whereas the people I know who had easier babies are getting it tough now.
I massively felt that I wasn't doing things 'right' but I must have been as we are all here now! Some babies just scream contstsntly and can't be soothed- you aren't doing anything wrong. Take care xx
Are you getting any sleep? Lack of sleep an do bad things to how you feel. Think that sleep is what you need to prioritise at this stage and work out a strategy with your DH so that you both get a good amount of sleep.
I feel the same too. so you're not on your own. I found it easier to not try and do everything just the essentials for my lo so if I did managed to sort something else it felt like an achievement. do try and get out especially now while the weather is still relatively nice because when winter comes it will be trickier and once the clocks go back I know I'm always less inclined to go out. it is hard but its not for long before you know it they'll be toddling about!
It's hard, so you're not alone in feeling like this. Your baby is still tiny and I promise you that in a few weeks time things will start to get easier.
Do you get out much? I found getting out of the house made a huge difference to how I felt. I used to split the shopping into several bits and make a couple of trips a day - bakers, butchers, supermarket all as separate trips.
Also I found groups my saving grace. Do you have any mums you know locally, any NCT friends? Just having something planned each day made me feel better. If you're not sure where to go, you could make a new post asking for advice about things to do in your town. (Or, I'll whisper it, try NM as they have a good meet a mum section).
And as others have said, forget the house. Get your DH to help you get food ready the night before so you can just warm something up and make sure you are getting enough food during the day. Even put a sandwich in the fridge.
Yes these feelings are totally normal. Can you afford for someone to come and help you out? Or a friend, neighbour or relative? You can get post natal doulas too, though I made do with a local student who did babysitting. She came a few times to look after baby (holding her, rocking her) while I did things like have a shower, expressing, phone call... essential stuff. She never had DD2 on her own.
I don't think it's fair that you are the only one doing all the nights - you both have to get enough sleep to function not just him
Could he do the night until 1am for example then you take over ?
I found swaddling helped with settling at night ....
It really does get better ! X
A 3wo baby is very hard work - it does get easier, and quickly, just hang on in there and keep reminding yourself of that. It's normal to feel more emotional after delivery and the lack of sleep exacerbates that, but if you're crying a lot then consider talking to your HV as you may have some PND. Health visitors can be very helpful if you call on them and let them know you need them. I really had little input from them with ds1, despite his having silent reflux also and I really struggled, but when I told the HV after I'd had dd2 that my dh was doing major career exams and couldn't really help me with baby at all (he's a surgeon and was sitting his final consultant exams) she was so supportive, and offered to come round for a chat anytime if I was feeling overwhelmed. Do give them a ring if you're struggling, and / or see your GP.
I know it all seems very daunting with a first baby but with the benefit of hindsight and having had 2, first-time mums all fall into the trap of thinking they have to get everything 'right' and that something terrible will happen if you don't rush to baby as soon as they cry, or play with them loads, or take 5 minutes to have a shower themselves while baby is somewhere safe like in a baby chair or cot. Dd2 had a lot more necessary neglect than ds1 as I had school runs to do, ds1's needs to take care of also, and even more vast amounts of laundry. She was a much more content baby. Don't feel guilty if you take a moment before going to crying baby, or if you have winded, cuddled, tried putting down for a nap and she is still crying. Babies do that - it isn't the end of the world! It can be helpful to just get out of the house. However daunting that may feel at first, you get a sense of achievement for having got out, and things seem brighter when you're not sitting at home thinking of baby as some sort of ticking time bomb, wondering when they are about to explode and start crying for some inexplicable reason. Mums and babies groups are great for providing support and a cuppa, and Starbucks the country over is full of mums and babies mid-morning. You're not alone, your lo will be just fine even if you can't settle her, the sleep will improve, and in the meantime there is coffee and chocolate. And a gorgeous little baby to cuddle! All the best x
Thank you so much for your messages and advice. I've been going out quite a bit, to the point where I'm almost scared to spend time alone with the LO. I'm ashamed to say that. I'm going to join more groups as you suggest, and will look for someone locally to help. I've started asking for help more, as was getting concerned that I was moving toward PND (I've suffered from anxiety and mild depression before, and felt low during 3rd trimester).
I'd like to get DH to do an evening feed but I'm so slow at expressing milk that it would be an added thing to fit in the day. A compromise I think I need to just take now! DH gets up at 6:15am for work and is in quite a new job, so just don't think 1am feed would be fair on him, tho I take your point. I think we need to find a different way of doing it all tho.
It's comforting to hear others have been there and got through it. Each day just feels so long right now. Thanks so much again - I appreciate it hugely.
I would second that getting out of the house for even just a walk will make you feel loads better. Enjoy going to groups, just be aware that some people will only tell you what amazing things their baby can do, and will not mention that they have been up all night!! Just take everything with a pinch of salt. If you are taking a while to express, could you feed your baby, and then let your DH settle her on an evening sometimes? That will give you time for a bath at least. It all gets more normal quicker than I bet you are imagining now.
Hey OP, felt exactly like you - terrified to be in the house too long with LO, exhausted, unable to put DD down as she had reflux. It's hard... Really hard. Don't beat yourself up, it does get better, but in the meantime just try to find something that helps you get through it. Mine was a short outing a day and rubbish crime drama on TV and stopping worrying about housework to be honest.
Good luck, really feel for you...
I think that's exactly what I need to do - DH has been winding/comforting the LO, but I haven't been using the time well enough i.e. bath, sleep, and have spent the time obsessing about reflux, breastfeeding problems etc !
Honestly, prioritise sleep... When DS was really small, I would've in bed 10 minutes after he was asleep - just maximising the opportunities to sleep.
Shower instead of bath - keep things quick - to maximise sleep.
Get DH to watch/walk LO at the weekend for a couple of hours so that you can catch-up then.
If DH is awake and you are asleep when LO wakes for a feed (assuming he is really hungry and not just grizzly/whinging back to sleep), then get DH to pass you DS, feed him,then go back to sleep whilst DH winds and resettles.
You do need to work around DH's work commitments etc, but you also need to both try to maximise sleep in he early days. It will only last a few weeks/months and then things should get better
It's so easy to obsess about thing like reflux and spend time when you could be napping searching the internet for help! I have been exactly where you are and it is so, so hard.
If your little one has reflux, rather than wind, then winding can make it worse, it makes the stomach acid jump up into the throat more so the best thing is to keep them still and upright. Could you get a stretchy wrap and wear her? It keeps her upright after feeds and also gives you back the use of your hands, so you can at least get a drink or go to the toilet.
At the end of each day when your OH gets home, all that you need to have managed since he left is to feed your baby, feed and water yourself and deal with nappies and the toilet for you. Nothing else actually matters for now!
My baby is now 8 weeks old, and I can really identify with how you're feeling. I had an EMCS, so couldn't drive for the first six weeks. When DH went back to work, I felt a bit like a prisoner in my own home. I tried to go out at least once a day with the pram, but when the weather was bad and I couldn't get out I got severe cabin fever. I would be in tears fairly often, as DD only seems to be settled when she is being held. She also didn't sleep much during the night at first.
Now we're a few weeks on from there, and it is getting easier. I try to plan an activity a day, even if it's just walking to the corner shop, and am aiming to go to baby groups a couple of times a week.
DH helps during the night by changing her nappy before I feed her, and also settling her if I can't get her to settle in the crib afterwards. He also takes her for an hour when he gets in from work and sends me to bed for a sleep.
Don't think you have to do it all because your DH had to get up for work - you need to make sure you are getting enough rest too as you have to deals with the baby all day, which is really hard when you're exhausted.
When she is a week or two older, get a playmat / baby gym if you haven't already got one. You can always pop her head on a little pillow if she doesn't like lying flat with the reflux. I found that a nice way to spend a little quality time with dd2. She loved the dangly little animals and particularly the mirror, and I chatted to her and stroked her, and it would remind me that she was my precious little baby, not just 'the baby' that needed to be carted about to and from the school run and playdates and wherever else we needed to go.
My lo is 9 weeks. I'm really struggling my oh works long hrs 8-8 sometimes. I feel like a single parent( for those of you who are doing it all alone you deserve medals). I do everything tidying up bottles feeding bathing cooking & all night feeds I'm totally exhausted. So I know how your feeling. Help isn't always available. Going for a pee is a break for me xx
OP I feel for you, I was exactly the same... Saving grace for me was getting out in the car. I literally drove round in circles locally near us when DH first went back to work (nearly always in my pyjamas). Meant I could get home in a jiffy if the screaming escalated to breaking point but also wasn't at home looking at what hadn't been done around the house.
If I felt adventurous I went to the local drive through for a coffee and home again.
Meant to add that DD nearly always slept in the car, with her being in the back asleep and me in the front with the radio on I felt nearly human and normal again.... If only for 10minutes a day!
It's hard and your feelings are totally normal. I think at 3 weeks the sleep deprivation and reality of it all really starts to hit and it's all you can see ahead of you.
The days seem REALLY long. I found those early days with DS2 much easier than DS1 partly because of course he was my second, but also because I had a routine going and had plans every day, even just the school run. I knew I'd see another adult at some point.
Do you have people near you who can pop around for a cuppa? I felt really isolated with DS1 because I didn't really know many other Mums in the village (I was working full time). It's a shock to go from no major responsibilities to the full on job of caring for a newborn and when you're knackered and emotional the days can seem really long.
Keep talking to your DH and do try and get some extra sleep at the w/e if you can.
Also, try not to look too far ahead, just take each day at a time, then look back each week and I'm pretty certain you'll see that each week gets a bit easier.
I felt a bit sad and a rubbish Mum that I was wishing DS1's babyhood away, but honestly, that's how I felt. It took having DS2 to enable me to see that the newborn days really are a unique time that is gone in a flash.
As others have said- do try to get out. Start with something simple like a walk in the park .
Do you have anyone you could meet up with?
Check out local toddler groups- they can be a bit daunting if you don't know anyone, but mostly people will be keen welcome a new mum and baby.
Rigglin I remember the days of getting home with a sleeping baby in the back, and reclining the drivers seat to have a sleep in the car for fear of disturbing DS1 !
Give baby reflux wedges a Google if you don't have one already. This was brilliant with DS because he couldn't lie down flat without being in pain and he was able to settle better propped up.
Having a baby with reflux is tough, DS was my third so I was well used to having a new born but it's so hard when they're in pain and you can't take it away.
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