Struggling with my 1 week old(50 Posts)
I had my first baby a week ago after a straightforward pregnancy and birth. He was a much wanted baby and I never thought I would feel like this once he arrived.
I expected that once I got my baby, it would be difficult - but that the overwhelming love I had for him would carry me through. But that never happened. I feel awful admitting it, but I don't love him - and I'm terrified that I never will. I feel like I made a massive mistake having him and that I was never meant to be a mother.
I'm hugely sleep-deprived, which doesn't help - he wakes every 1.5 hrs in the night and then won't settle for an hour or so, and in the day will rarely sleep anywhere apart from with me. But instead of feeling like it's ok because he's my son, I feel like I resent him for it and I regret having him.
These feelings then make me feel even more low because I feel guilty - I know I shouldn't feel this way and I desperately want that mythical bond with him, but I just can't find it. I cry every day, and I've lost interest in doing the activities I used to enjoy. My life feels like a cycle of feed-cry-feed-cuddle with no positives (apart from my wonderful husband who is being incredibly supportive, and cuddling me every time I cry and sitting up with me at night).
I feel awful just putting this stuff out there as I know it makes me sound like the world's worst mother, but I'm getting desperate to hear that this is normal and it will just go away and I will love my child.
You have just described how 99.9% of us felt at first.
The first few weeks are an endless cycle and it is utterly bone drenchingly exhausting.
So, what help do you have? Any family or friends nearby that could take baby off your hands for a couple of hours? What is your husband doing to help with practical stuff?
You really need to speak to your health visitor or GP. It's really normal to feel like that but it's very upsetting for you.
Even if you don't feel that rush of love that some other women talk about, be reassured your son has! That's why he wants to be with you all the time.
You're lucky to have a lovely supportive husband. Could you ask him to call the HV or GP for you? They are really helpful.
and congratulations on having a little boy.
This happened to me 4 months ago, I thought I had made the biggest mistake of my life! It lasted from day 5 to day 10. It's totally normal to feel like this for a little while
Yep exactly how we all feel after our first baby. It's completely exhausting but it does get better. My son used to wake up every two hours or so and then stay awake for about an hour and half. My husband and I took turns holding him throughout the night. When your life changes so drastically it's hard to know how you feel towards the person who caused it.
It does get better and they feed less often too. I used to read books on my kindle when cuddling or feeding my babies so at least I felt I had something that was mine, keeping up one of my hobbies.
It's so normal. The early days and weeks can feel like a daze. You've had a major physical, emotional and practical change and it takes time to recover and find your feet.
Don't put pressure on yourself to do too much. Try and eat well(ish) and concentrate on your ds. If you're being swamped by visitors or under pressure to keep the place tidy then ignore everyone for a few days while you hunker down. It does get easier.
First of all sending a big hug your way.
It's difficult in the first few weeks as nothing can really prepare you for the mental/emotional/physical changes having a newborn brings.
It does all merge into one long cycle of feeding and changing but it does get better.
Assuming you are still under the midwife, they are there for you as well as the baby so share your thoughts/worries with her and make sure you are getting that extra support.
You husband sounds wonderful and is doing a great job being there for you.
You are only a week in so take things easy make sure you eat little and often, drink plenty of water and take any help offered so you can nap during the day.
Oh goodness you poor thing. I felt like this for the first couple of weeks. It's so difficult and all consuming. But it will get better I promise. Do speak to your midwife/health visitor about how you're feeling as they can visit more for support.
Yes to the kindle thing.
You can get a Kindle app on your smartphone as well to make it really easy to have a quick read while feeding. I also discovered a handy "invert colours" setting on my phone to read Mumsnet, news websites etc with a black background which doesn't light up the room as much if you want to keep it dark while feeding at night.
18 months down the line I never have to use that setting anymore. It's little things like that which keep us going though!
Once fed hand DS over to DH while you sleep. Take turns sleeping, you don't both need to be up with baby at the same time.
Everything you feel is normal. You have had a massive life change. It takes time, but you are caring for him and doing a good job.
Sleep, sleep, sleep whenever you can. It makes all the difference.
just after I gave birth to my first a friend admitted that she didn't bond right away. It was such a relief to hear that this was perfectly normal.
You are at a tough stage as suddenly the enormity of being a parent hits, your tired and still recovering from the birth. But, it will get easier and remember, your baby is also new to this being born malarkey!
Thank you all for your kind (and non-judgemental) comments, it has really helped to hear that others felt the same way - I have no one near with babies so feel I have no one here I can ask. My husband is calling the HV right now to ask for an earlier appointment as they don't come out for another week or so, to get a bit more support. He goes back to work next week which I think isn't helping, as he does so much to help that I don't know how I'll manage when he isn't here. Thank you all for not making me feel awful
Try to get online shopping sorted for next week if your husband's going back to work. Also it's worth getting up a little bit earlier and jumping into the shower, getting your teeth and face sorted and getting dressed, so that if the baby wakes up he'll be able to deal with him. There's nothing worse than getting to 5pm and realising you haven't had a moment to even wash yourself all day. If you're up and dressed and clean, you'll feel ready to cope with the day ahead.
Yes totally normal!
I remember feeling exhausted in the hospital, no sleep, sore and DD needed her nappy changed. I just thought "but I don't want to, I'm tired and I want to go to bed!" and I felt like I'd made a massive mistake.
It gets better. That rush of love is mostly just a myth, don't feel bad you didn't feel it. I didn't with 2 of my kids. I love them to bits now!
You are going to be OK. It's completely normal to feel like this. The "overwhelming love" doesn't click in at first sight for everyone - (both mums and dads) - and the exhaustion of the early days can mess with your emotions. You will get through this.
Be kind to yourself - you don't have to do any cleaning, keep food simple and easy. If you can manage to get dressed and out of the house each day that's good, but if you manage to get to that point before 2pm that's amazing (and it's OK if some of the days you don't manage it at all). Don't schedule yourself too much or commit to anything - do what you can and don't worry.
I spent the first three days of DD's life crying. BFing wasn't working and the two of us spent the entire time in tears. We FF and everything improved (for us). Then she had cow's milk allergy and that was awful until it was sorted out. Our first three or four months were spent sobbing and covered in vomit.
Now she's 21mo and a proper little person. Some days I'm worried that I don't love her, but I know I do. She can be a pain in the bum and sometimes I wish I could have a few days off, but she's the best. Growing, learning, being funny. I wouldn't change a thing.
At the start, however, I really didn't like being a Mum. It's okay, OP. Just keep going and take any help you can get!
You have described the first week of my eldest's life. I now adore her, but it took a while. I even went on to have a second. It gets easier. I promise. If you find you still feel like this after a week or so speak to a GP.
Oh and you will manage on your own but if your husband can in any way get some time off on top of paternity leave he should do that. My husband took 4 weeks off with my second and life was so much better.
Its a right shocker isn't it?!
Loads of good advice here and well-done for calling in the HV.
My advice is to get dh to make a packed lunch for you the evening before and stockpile easy to eat fruit and lots of
No rush of love here for any of my four dc, they grow on you. When I get that first smile that's when I knew how much I loved them. It's very difficult to love something if you're not enjoying it, my toddler is hard work
a little shit at the moment, give it a couple of months and he won't be, I love him dearly but I'm not liking and enjoying him at the moment, but this will pass as it's just another phase!
Why should you love him straight away? So far all he's done is cause you a lot of physical pain, kept you awake at night, stopped you from doing what you want when you want and probably made your nipples bleed. I wouldn't feel the desire to love someone if they did that to me either. But it does happen. It took around 3 weeks for me. My advice is to just take each day as it comes, dont put too much pressure on yourself. Before you know it you wont be able to take your eyes off of him and will cherish when he falls asleep on you etc. You're doing a great job.
I remember standing in my kitchen crying my eyes out to my husband. Saying things like why did we do this? This is not supposed to be like this? And I hate this. All the time meaning my new baby. Now I look back and think wow it's so different. I love every minute.
Please believe me it gets better not easier but better. You seem to handle things differently. At the moment your baby sees you as a 24 hour buffet and it feels like it, but it will change.
Are there baby weighing classes near you. Or church groups (you don't have to be religious or a member) it's just where they seem to hold mummy and baby classes and it's usually £1. Tea coffee and a natter.
Stay with it. It will all change. I swore blind and so did hubby that we would never do it again! Now planning second one. We love it.
I really feel for you. PLEASE don't worry! Just try to keep existing, for now... If you want to stay in your dressing gown all day, do that. If being clean puts you in a better frame of mind, grab the quickest of quick showers before DH leaves in the morning. I love the advice about getting him to make you a packed lunch - yes! You need accessible food. Also, please don't get dehydrated. I kept a jug by the kettle for one-handed brews. My LO fed constantly for weeks. It was insane. Sometimes I would hide in the bathroom pretending I was on the loo because I needed to gather my wits before going back into the fray (not when he was on his own ! When DH was on pat leave!). The love between the two of you will grow little by little, day by day.
One thing I picked up from my Mum was this 'this is so much FUN!' voice - I found if I talked to him constantly, describing what we were doing with massive enthusiasm, that it caught his attention, kept him calm, and made the time seem to go quicker. Also, even if it makes you feel a bit crazy, can you sing to him? I sang/sing constantly. I think I did it to calm myself down in the beginning, more than him... Now he loves a bit of Teddy Bears' Picnic.
I bet you are doing great.
Bless you, all very normal, when you are sleep deprived. Please don't let it worry you, it gets better, quickly.
Have you got anyone? Your mum or anyone else coming to lend a hand?
i remember one of my first thoughts when my lovely dd1 was dumped on my chest was 'yuck', she was covered in all sorts of yuck and crying. Having a baby is relentless and terrifying at first and it's nothing like the adverts or the rose-tinted nostalgia of those of us that aren't having any more - it'll get better. Meanwhile, you need some rest - who can you get round to floor walk with the baby to help you out?
Join the discussion
Please login first.