This is impossible! How does anyone make this work??

(188 Posts)
Haddock73 Mon 02-Sep-13 14:17:34

As soon as I get ds1 (2) down, ds2 (9days old) kicks off. I've been up since 2am and frazzled! Ds2 won't sleep, he's been up for hours now and I physically don't know how to do this without dh being here!

Ds1 feels neglected, haven't bonded with ds2 because I feel resentful of him crying and crying and CRYING all the time nd taking me away from ds1, then I hate myself for feeling this way.

Crying and crying and feel like I can't cope and made a huge mistake.

When will it get better??

blueberryupsidedown Mon 02-Sep-13 15:50:34

I'm not sure what to write but I don't want to leave your post unanswered.

Can you get help from a friend or family member for a couple of hours? Try to get out for a walk with children in pushchair to get some air and maybe they will both have a little rest/quiet time at the same time.

I have two boys and they are 18 months age difference, the first few weeks and months are very difficult. Does your DH have any paternity leave?

I learned to cut corners when DS2 was born. Many corners, and I am not sure if you really want my advice... I gave DS2 a dummy and that was a life saver, for one thing. I got a massive double buggy so that I could walk the two of them together around the block, they would both fall asleep, and I'd leave them in the buggy and crash on the sofa for half an hour sleep in the afternoon. I gave up cleaning. I stopped giving DS1 a bath every day and gave him one every other day instead (and occasionally every three days!). We watched Thomas the tank engine over and over again....

Do you have a sling to put your baby in during the day? It might allow you to sit down with your DS1 to read books and play.

bigkidsdidit Mon 02-Sep-13 15:53:29

Sympathies, I'm further on than you with a 2.7yo and 10wo. I have lots of telly and sweets blush and I have DS2 in the sling every 90 minutes with a dummy so he naps while I chat to DS1. It's bloody hard though isn't it. I cry on DH almost every night

bigkidsdidit Mon 02-Sep-13 15:59:04

The thing is, it does get better and you will cope. And the baby will sleep one day. DS2 did 7-1 last night and I could climb Everest today!

Can you nap when your DH gets home?

WetGrass Mon 02-Sep-13 16:01:37

OK - they've broken your spirit and conclusively won the war.

Now it's time to start negotiating the truce.

Accept your fixed points: DS2 won't be put down; DS1 needs attention. Forget all your previous assumptions and patterns, and start building from here.

Put DS2 in a sling - and view any time that he spends in eg a bouncy chair as an unexpected treat. Figure out fun for DS1 that doesn't clash with this (park! the wonderful park!). Get a treat for yourself (trashy mag and a coffee). Be pleased with your achievements. Attempt nothing further.

EasyMark Mon 02-Sep-13 16:03:26

1)invest in a sling for new baby
2)sleep when both kids sleep
3) give dh both kids for an hour and sleep when he gets home from work

4) find things ds1 can do on his own such as, soft play, chalks outside, bath crayons (not with water in bath), stickingmatch sticks, gliter and form shaps to paper, tv, dvds.

5) smack food is ur friend along with a waterbottle for 2yo to help themselves.

6)Try tp get out once per day to a park, fresh air will make them sleep as well as running around for 2yo

7) dishwasher, microwave meals, coffee machine, shower and a baby swing help. Get dh to predo as much as poss.

CharlotteBr0nteSaurus Mon 02-Sep-13 16:07:57

sounds really hard on you all. have you got a DP?

I am seconding getting a really good sling - i found stretchy wraps like the kari-me best. I would not consider myself an attachment type, and initially dismissed slings as wafty lentilly things, but was utterly converted.

dd2 was a grumpy, colicky baby, and the only way I could get anything done with dd1 was by strapping dd2 in the sling.

i also stopped cleaning haven't started again three years on, and we lived off junk food for a while. it's not forever, and it will get better.

EasyMark Mon 02-Sep-13 16:09:22

snack food! asda do apple bags/fruit bags, crackers, ricecakes, dried fruit, babybell anything you can open and give to dc1 when they are hungry blush

lovelychops Mon 02-Sep-13 16:14:13

Nothing much to add to what others have said, but you're doing a much better job than you think you are. Be kind to yourself.

Getting out and about with the pushchair saved my sanity in the early days. If one of them sleeps its a bonus. Fresh air will do you all good.

I found having a few massively early nights 8.30pm helped in the early weeks. Promise it does get better. Have you got support?

MortifiedAdams Mon 02-Sep-13 16:14:16

Ypur DH does.bedtimes and wakings for the elder child and you do bedtime and night wakings for the baby.

BrianTheMole Mon 02-Sep-13 16:17:20

I co slept with second dc.It was the only way I could get any sleep. Dc seemed to sleep better lying next to me. And not having to get out of the bed to feed him made such a difference.

WetGrass Mon 02-Sep-13 16:19:06

Microwave rice was my saviour. I didn't like handling boiling water with DS in the sling - but microwave rice is not hazardous - and actually not terribly junky. We ate it with tinned sweetcorn and tinned fish every bloody day for a while. Then I diversified into a slow cooker (load it up in the morning, run kids round the park all day, dinner on the table 5 minutes after stepping back through the door) - and life started improving.

Also - take care of yourself. Your sanity is a key family resource - nurture it. With this end in mind, make sure to take time out of the house every day - preferably with some adult interaction. Another turning point for me was finding a nice baby group. There were some lovely ladies there. They'd give DS1 a cuddle, and I could give DD some undivided attention. It was also nice to be in a 'third space' - where DD could play without me constantly directing her trying to avoid domestic mess . We all became more relaxed.

impatienttobemummy Mon 02-Sep-13 16:25:37

Nothing to add as ill be posting the same in dec! Reading with interest! Hang in there it's the sleep deprevation talking! I can't remember the first3 months of DS1 I think my subconscious has blocked it to protect me.... In a few months time when your're a pro... You won't remember this! Get a cleaner if you can, I plan to and we can't afford it but sanity comes at a price!

Haddock73 Mon 02-Sep-13 18:12:59

Dh goes back to work in a week and I feel helpless without him. I have an ergo but ds2 just screams in it. I'm finding it harder and harder to make eye contact with ds2 and have terrible feelings of guilt towards ds1. Have no family to help and friends all work and live too far away.

I hate myself for saying this but I regret having a second baby. I literally can't stop crying.

Ds2 is bf and thinking of ff, do you think this would help him sleep better? I feel like a terrible mum and massive fuckng failure.

HeyUGuys Mon 02-Sep-13 18:18:42

Im not sure if there is a special criteria, but i have heard you can get 15 hours free childcare, i know its usually from 3yo but it special circumstances you can get it from 2yo. Maybe ask your hv if its an option for you. At least you could catch up on some sleep

HeyUGuys Mon 02-Sep-13 18:22:09

In relation to ff, if it helps you cope then do it, i know bf is best but having a healthy happy sane mommy is also important. I had to, an i cried the first time i gave ds2 ff, he survived though!

impatienttobemummy Mon 02-Sep-13 18:22:53

Sshhhhh! No you are NOT!! Your Knackerd that's allowed! I got very low when I BF'd DS1 he would never settle and nothing I tried seemed to increase my supply, he never slept as I don't think he was satisfied but this is my opinion. I switched to FF and things got a lot better. If your sure your not going to go on a worse guilt trip for stopping maybe try it or at least let your DH/DP Bottle feed for one night?

I've promised myself if BF with DS2 isn't making progress by 4 weeks I'm switching to FF as I can't go through that again! I'm by no means a baby whisperer that's just my opinion.

Your not a bad mum your a tired one. Big difference

Haddock73 Mon 02-Sep-13 18:58:14

Thank you everyone...given myself a headache from crying so much. Think I will make an app to see the gp if things dont improve/i am still crying this much in a weeks time. I literally locked myself in the bathroom for 10 mins today sobbing while ds1 banged on the door sobbing for me and ds2 screamed in his moses.

where do you live?

I think you need to get out of the house. for a coffee or a baby group or anything. it isn't right to sit in all day feeling awful.

I've got a newborn and a 17mo and that is the bedrock of my coping plan once dh goes back deserts me

HeyUGuys Mon 02-Sep-13 19:10:56

Do you have a swinging chair? That saved me!! And youtube. There is a lullaby that repeats over again, with a screen thats just coloured bubbles. It lasts 2 hours, sends my 11wo off for a while.

kittencuddles Mon 02-Sep-13 19:11:11

Have you heard of the charity Home Start? They have local volunteers who can come in and give you support at home. Might be worth contacting them? X

Alanna1 Mon 02-Sep-13 19:38:26

Call your GP. Try and access whatever help you can. Do you have any - any - any spare money? See if you can get a mother's help (ie woman in the house WITH you, so doesnt need any qualifications- will help you cook / clean / entertain kids / hold baby / whatever) for whatever time you can. (Often at minimum wage). Join the NCT and find another mum like you in the neighbourhood. I found one mum and we would literally cry together as her toddler and my toddler caused havoc as we both tried to look after our babies. But often one of us had a spare hand just when the other needed it.

These were my lifelines in a very similar position to you.

Haddock73 Mon 02-Sep-13 21:27:19

Thank you for the advice, live in a major city so have lots to do on my doorstep, just the thought of wo screaming kids in a pram scares me. I'm a massive control freak and the constant screaming overwhelms me and makes me feel like an utter failure. Walking through the supermarket today I felt as if everyone was judging me for them both screaming.

I don't think I could afford a mothers help unfortunetly.

missmapp Mon 02-Sep-13 21:32:33

Agree with cutting corners. Ds1 will be fine- he knows you love him and isn't feeling neglected.

Ds2 will stop crying, but it is hard ( I remember the early days with ds2 very well) I know what you mean about hating the crying and not being able to control it. That is exactly how I felt. I used to put them in the buggy and walk and walk- then id find a park, ds1 would run, ds2 would either sleep or scream , but I was out, and somehow that made things better.

Speak to your gp and ask dh to help by taking one or both out so you get some rest.

it will get better and you are a great mum

Haddock73 Tue 03-Sep-13 07:41:11

Thank you miss don't feel like a good mum at all. Ds's had a good sleep last night which has helped massively but still struggling on getting to grips with doing everything on my own.

If I tak ds1 to the park he needs constant supervision as he's only 21 months so can't play on the sled/swings on his own yet, then I'm either left with a screaming ds2 in pram or screaming in the ergo.

He screams non stop and was awake from 11am-5.30pm yesterday screaming.

Poor ds1 said to me before bed "baby's crying....and mummy's crying...why mummy crying?"

I want to fast forward time to when ds2 is at least 1. I hate this stage and can't cope.

bigkidsdidit Tue 03-Sep-13 08:17:08

Oh you poor thing. Could you take DS2 to the gp?

I'm ff DS2 after bf DS1, after it didn't work out this time (tongue tie, mastitis etc). I was sad initially but it is easier now as DH does two nights a week and I go in the spare room. It's improved life hugely. Would your DH do that?

Haddock73 Tue 03-Sep-13 10:30:02

bigkidsdid ff help you?

bigkidsdidit Tue 03-Sep-13 10:36:43

Yes and no. I have a lot of guilt and sadness that Dzs2 is not bf like DS1 was and that he hasn't got the health benefits. And going out for more than a few hours is a pain. But it is quicker and DS is more satisfied and happier so I have more time with DS1. And DH doing the two nights means I have two nights of solid sleep and a glass of wine in the bath uninterrupted. Which I love.

Id talk to the GP first if I were you though, if your DS is screaming that much he might have reflux or something like that and I don't know if ff helps that or makes it worse?

Badvoc Tue 03-Sep-13 10:42:09

I think you need to go to the gp and ask about silent reflux - it could be why your ds is crying.
You also sound like you are at risk of pnd.
Can you phone the health visitor?

beginnings Tue 03-Sep-13 10:46:12

OP in a few weeks (please goodness) I will have a non walking 16 month old and a newborn. Your post is a good reality shot for me!

I remember the panic of the first few weeks though. All the advice I can offer, as I'm not there yet, is "this too will pass." It's such such early days.

Soditall Tue 03-Sep-13 10:54:56

Hugs to you.

Could your baby have colic?I've had the adult version and I don't know how babies cope with it it's agony!

I would get in touch with your midwife/healthvisitor they can be a great help and they can come to you which saves you having to go out to the Dr when your not feeling great.

Could you have pnd? I had it with my first and second and it felt horrendous my only regret was I didn't get help as soon as I knew I wasn't feeling like myself.

With my 3 other DC I was really lucky and I didn't get pnd and I felt so different.The medication and counselling with my first made all the difference to how I felt it put me on a much more even keel.I only had to have medication with my second as I asked for help a lot sooner and I ended up only needing to be on some tablets for a few months.

When I was breastfeeding my second DS I'd sit on the sofa and cuddle my 1st DS on the other side and we'd watch something he liked on the television(there was only 26 months between my first two)that way he didn't feel jealous when I was breastfeeding the baby and it helped alot with them bonding.

Try to make sure your getting plenty of sleep at night and rest dure in the day(easier said than done I know)could your DH help out in the night?My DH would wind and change the baby after I'd breastfed in the middle of the night just so I wasn't doing it all on my own and as soon as my head hit the pillow I'd fall back to sleep so I managed to gain between 20 and 40 extra minutes(depending on if the baby settled straight back to sleep or not)sleep after every feed compared to if I was doing it myself.

Bare minimum on the housework front whilst the baby is so young or better still if family/friends could sort that out or if you could afford a cleaner for a few weeks.

Leave the cooking to someone else and if both LO's manage to sleep dure in the day at the same time make sure you try to grab a nap or at least sit down and relax.

Haddock73 Tue 03-Sep-13 12:39:58

Thank you all. Ds2 had a better night last night and I'm determined to be happier today for the babies' sakes. I feel really low and worried about pnd but not sure if its normal to feel like this 10 days pp.

I will make a gp app for ds2 about the continuous bouts of screaming. Have also bought some infacol.

Thank you all for your support and advice, I hate feeling like this.

mummyxtwo Tue 03-Sep-13 19:52:33

Which city do you live in, OP? Firstly, this is the hard, seemingly-impossible bit! All you have to do right now is get through the day - it doesn't matter if you achieve nothing apart from feed the 3 of you, you can still be in your PJs at 3pm if it makes like easier - nothing matters! Sod the housework, laundry etc. Your dh can sort out his own pants / wear creased shirts. This is only temporary and it WILL get easier! My advice is to get out and about lots. Yes it's hard getting you all together to go out with all the paraphernalia you need for both kids, and you feel like you may have just aged 5 years before actually managing to leave the blasted house and usually someone poops on your way out the door and you all have to troop back in again, BUT it is far easier to sit in a quiet soft play centre cafe (not one of those hellish enormous ones where you lose a child 2 minutes after arriving and that sound like 100 people screaming in chorus) while baby sleeps on you or feeds, and your older dc is happily entertained chasing other children about and whizzing down the slide. I took them everywhere I think of to get out and about - the library was good too, as ours has toys and a small area to play, so ds1 was happy and didn't require me to entertain him. When at home, shamelessly overuse Cbeebies and Disney dvds - I successfully weaned ds1 off all the extra screen time when dd2 got a little older, so a few weeks of lots of tv isn't going to damage him. Drink coffee, try to get to bed in good time, and tell yourself that it will get better soon and all be worth it - and it is! It was bloody hard work initially, but I adore having the two of them - one dc was brilliant, two feels like a family. Sending you thanks and a brew

Haddock73 Wed 04-Sep-13 07:48:01

Thank you mummy live in london so there's plenty to do....thank you for the advice. I guess I'm scared about ds1 having a full n meltdown tantrum while ds2 screams and feeling massively overwhelmed. Do you think I just need to bite the bullet and take them out alone? Have only even with dh so far.

Everyone else seems to make it look so easy, whereas I seem to be the one with a toddler screaming into the floor and a newborn screaming to be picked up. I feel as if everyone's looking at me.

Had an easier day yesterday and cried alot less, but again it as because dh helped a lot.

Ds1 goes to nursery three mornings a week so what could I do for those afternoons after his nap? Is just a walk okay? I feel likei need to constantly entertain him. The other two days I could take them playgroup amd soft play but it feels so scary on my own.

Hats off to single parents have no idea how they do this everyday.

blueberryupsidedown Wed 04-Sep-13 08:27:05

If you are in East London, I am an Ofsted registered childminder and would happily have your DS1 for a few hours / half a day if it all gets too much.

Yes just go for a walk, have a picnic, play football, and if your DS2 cries then he just cries. My DS2's first sentence was 'hold-on-a-minute'.

MsGazelle Wed 04-Sep-13 09:08:12

Playgroup is a really good place to go as they tend to be contained. And, having taken a tiny baby to playgroup, you instantly become surrounded by other mums and dads who want to coo at the tiny baby. So if you are having problems at any point you will definitely be able to find a willing baby holder. The staff at my playgroup are lovely too, they always make a point of coming to chat with me to see how I am doing with two.

It is hard, but it will get better. You are in such early days, even in a week it will look different again. I invited lots of friends with kids round in the early weeks as well to entertain my oldest. And to start with we definitely just did small things like a walk to the park. A walk keeps my 2.5 year old entertained for ages as she stops to ask about every dropped crisp packet, neighbourhood cat, flower, stick, etc.

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Wed 04-Sep-13 09:15:40

Hi haddock. You're right it is hard, but you're wrong that you're the only one. I PROMISE you we've all had the 2 kids screaming moment. Mine was in a soft play where DS 3.2 had a mega meltdown over time to go despite warnings and "one last go" accompanied by dd 4m going from minor over tiredness whinge to full on scream. Had dd in sling, rucksack on back and screaming toddler carried under my arm. Most humiliating parenting experience to date!!

But I still take them out and 9.9/10 times its fine and often wonderful. Easiest excursions are walks with an activity, so a walk to feed the ducks, or walk to a play area, esp with a picnic. Buggy board or better still a double buggy incase ds1 gets tired. Soft play hard on your own as DS bound to get stuck/hurt just when ds2 has poonami and needs a change. Wherever you go take bribery - the emergency raisins for any good boys who get back to the car quickly...

Oh and stop entertaining all the time, really. I was guilty of this too but it's impossible and DSs imaginative play has come on leaps and bounds because sometimes I just show him his toys and leave him to it. Don't be ashamed of using beebies either!

Lastly, please don't wait to see your GP. Make a double appt so plenty of chat time (they'll appreciate it) and go and see a nice sympathetic gp. Now. Crying every day not normal at this stage. PND is much better managed if picked up early.

Good luck to you and your boys.

MsGazelle Wed 04-Sep-13 09:17:51

And on the sling, there are lots of sling libraries in London so if you wanted to try something else you could go to one and borrow something. Do speak to your GP if you are at all concerned about PND. Better to catch it early.

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Wed 04-Sep-13 09:28:05

Meant to also say that there is no evidence that ff babies sleep any better than bf, but if it helps you then try it.

And about the bonding. There are loads of threads on here on the lack of immediate bonding. It's ok to not immediately fall in love, or even for quite a while. With DS I had the flash of love moment as soon as he was put in my arms. With dd, well she could have been anyone's baby tbh, it took 6-8 weeks for me to feel anything for her and 3-4 months before I could honestly say she has equal place in my heart to DS.

The love will come, feeling ashamed of the lack of bond will make it worse. Just study his face (when not screaming!) try eye contact, lots of skin to skin. We used to sit in bed in the mornings, DS watching beebies and dd snuggled inside my nightie having a feed. Really helped.

If you have any family or friends that don't work, ask them to come and stay and help for a week. Tell them you're struggling. Or ask the HV if someone could come from the sure start scheme. There's plenty of help out there if you reach out for it.

MadeOfStarDust Wed 04-Sep-13 09:36:06

I had 2 18 months apart and remember those early days of DD2 - it gets better quickly.... it is all just tooo new to start off with and totally and utterly overwhelming....

First I would go see the doc... not just because you may be depressed, but because they know of all the places you can go to get help... we had a meet-a-mum network -

don't know if they are still going, but it put a group of mildly-depressed, mildly-neurotic, heavily-sleep-deprived women in touch with each other - and it made me feel sooooooooo much better to meet folks with EXACTLY the same stuff going on as I had.... we could laugh, pass round whichever baby was screaming at the time - entertain the siblings with play dough and lego - and actually have a cup of coffee .... with ADULTS!

I did a lot of walking - first with a double buggy, then with a buggy board - there was one particular paving slabbed pavement that made the baby sleep - so we always came back from feeding the ducks down that road.... those ducks were soooooo fat by the time the littlest was 6 months old, they waddled with a groan each step!

Our meltdown moment was in Harveys furniture store - full on screaming tantrum - one person ran up concerned I was trying to abduct my own daughter since she screamed SOOO loud when I swung her under my arm to take her out of the shop..

We laugh about it all now - but from 6 weeks on it got easier for us. (started to mix feed - one bottle at bedtime, BF the rest of the time)

FrogGreen Wed 04-Sep-13 10:08:41

It really is tough, the transition. It does get better quite quickly. One idea is to ask dh to take a day off, say on a Friday, each week for a month or so after he goes back. It burns up a few holiday days, but not that many, and it really helps to make your week a bit shorter. Helped me at that stage.

WetGrass Wed 04-Sep-13 10:47:24

Ha ha - yes - the crazy moments!

(does sanity ever return? Just yesterday on the bus:

Ds: my wobbly tooth is really annoying
DD: here- I can help punch
DS: waaaahhhhhh
DD: whoops - that was a bit harder than I meant to
me: get off the bus kids... Off ... Now now now .... Oh, bugger it - how far is this bus going to take us until DS is calm enough to co-operate & get off??

All played out loudly in front of (obviously) the rest of the bus. [shame]. )

Liveinthepresent Wed 04-Sep-13 11:06:49

OP your post made me well up in recognition.

Just another message of support - I am 10 weeks in and DC1 is a bit older than yours - it does get easier quite quickly ! I am already looking back at weeks 3-6 thinking how much easier things are now. dC2 is more settled / occasionally naps not on me / can be put down in bouncy chair for a bit.

One of the things that struck a chord in your post is the guilt towards DC1 - just yesterday I realised that we are starting now to properly function in our new format - DC2 can't remember life without the baby - and has started to interact with him / sit quietly with me while I bF rather than clamouring for attention - and yesterday morning when he was crying she asked if she could cuddle him - my heart almost burst.

I hope I am nit glossing over how tough it is for you right now - it's such a roller coaster - and I have had tons of support- but it will be ok .

Haddock73 Wed 04-Sep-13 11:29:54

blueberry that is extremly kind of you, unfortunetly I'm not near east london and don't have a car but thank you so much for the offer.really appreciate it.

The HV is coming tomorrow to do the newborn checks, should I mention to her how I'm feeling? I don't want them to think I'm not fit to look after my children but at the same time I'm worried at how much I'm crying.

Haddock73 Wed 04-Sep-13 11:33:22

hp really appreciate our soft ply sorry, makes me feel less alone! I will make a doubl GP appointment, I'm worried at how my crying is affecting ds1 when he wakes in the morning he says "mummy crying?" Which is heartbreaking.

Haddock73 Wed 04-Sep-13 11:36:51

Also thank you for the bonding tip...I feel so ashamed that I don't feel th same amoun o love for ds2 as I do ds1 and hate myself for it. Dh seems to have bonded so easily and although I love him, I feel so much more for ds1. Dh says its normal as we've known ds1 for 2 years and ds2 for 11 days but I feel as his mother it should be instant, then I worry he's picking up on this and that's why he's crying so much.

Haddock73 Wed 04-Sep-13 11:39:09

Thank you so much everyone for your support and advice.

Guitargirl Wed 04-Sep-13 11:56:20

I have been there, I know how overwhelming it can be. I remember taking DD and DS out to the park for the first time on my own when DS was about 10 days old and DD had just turned 2. DD ran off with another child's ball - so then the child with the missing ball was crying, DD cried when I took it off her. DS crying in the sling. It was awful. I learnt to breastfeed standing up, holding DS with one arm and pushing DD up by the bum on to various slides around north London...

I co-slept with DS right from the start, it meant that I wasn't like a total zombie dealing with DD in the morning. I settled DD into a 3-mornings a week playgroup just before DS was born so we had 3 mornings a week where we could just be the 2 of us and if he slept that's when I ran round like a lunatic tidying up. As soon as DS would reliably go for at least 2 hours between feeds, I would leave him for that time with DP and take DD to a cafe for a babycino and some cake so she also got some 1-1 time with me. At home when DS napped I would do stickers or something with DD that she wanted to do.

Sometimes I would take DS with me to parent and baby screenings at the local cinema when DD was at playgroup so at least I could feel as though I was doing something of interest for myself.

Our local leisure centre does a very low-key younger child focused type of soft play. We spent many an hour there when it rained so DD could get some running around and I would just collapse on to the nearest soft thing and feed DS then as soon as he could sit up he would be playing too and I could roll him balls or whatever.

It's a very stressful time at the mo (obviously) but you are in the eye of the storm now. For my own mental health I always found it best to leave the house as early as possible in the mornings. Sometimes we would be in the playground by 8 am the first people there! But it meant that I wouldn't lose DD in the crowd of other kids and if DS was crying then it didn't matter so much!

bigkidsdidit Wed 04-Sep-13 12:13:07

Yes, mention it to your HV.

For what to do in the afternoon, don't go too far. I can't drive and I'm still scared to rake them both out on the bus, so we go for a walk to look at flowers, splash in puddles etc ending at the post box where I let DS1 post a letter. Usually a 'return to sender' for the previous tenant! Then every afternoon we have a Disney film. Often a picky tea plate on the sitting room rug.

Take things gently. You don't have to be supermum smile

bigkidsdidit Wed 04-Sep-13 12:15:38

Ps I didn't have the rush of love for Ds1 till he was nearly 6 months! I loved him and cared for him but didn't have the mother love everyone else talked about. When. It came I was like ' oh! I see!' It is different for all mothers and all babies - it will come with time, don't stress out snout that.

crazypaving Wed 04-Sep-13 12:58:55

oh Haddock, big hug. You poor thing, the early days and weeks are so hard.

Mine are now 11m and 2.10, and the early days are now (thankfully) a blur. It is so much easier now, and the beginnings of a relationship are so wonderful to see with my two.

The anticipation of your first trip out is always worse than the actual event. Yes, there will be times when it all goes completely, disastrously wrong, but you know, I'm a tougher person now than I was then as a result of it! You learn to brazen it out. I remember carrying a kicking, screaming DS1 across a carpark with a kicking, screaming DS2 in the Moby. Christ it was awful, but I didn't look at anyone and walked with a slightly manic smile on my face to the car and manhandled them both in.

There are days when everything is awful - you're tired, they're badly behaved and you just shout a lot. And then there are the days when everything goes smoothly and you feel brilliant and love them both madly - hang on to those days, and forgive yourself for the others!

In terms of bonding with #2, to my mind it's normal to feel like you'll never love number 2 like number 1. You know number one, you've been buddies for a while and he can chat to you and you have a laugh together. New babies are just bundles of need. You will get there and you will love this new baby madly too. It may take some time.

In the meantime, planning is your friend. Aim to get out in the morning and the afternoon as I find both DCs behave better when out. And are more tired as a result of it. Find baby groups, go to your local children's centre, go to the library, go to the park. Or just go to the shop to buy a pack of wipes. Whatever. But try to get something into each slot so the week doesn't feel insurmountable. Any interaction with adults is good.

Things will get easier with your oldest. I remember just feeling so unbelievably guilty that I'd wrecked his life. My babies have both been screamers (little darlings). He won't remember this time and before long DC2 will be his number 1 fan.

Speak to your HV about how you're feeling. They will have heard it before and they will not think you're an unfit mother. They will want to support you.

you are doing brilliantly. It is so hard. Another big hug.

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Wed 04-Sep-13 13:47:54

Yes, definitely tell the HV. They can tend to ignore 2nd time mums a bit, as they think we've been there and done it. Tell her what you've told us about how you feel, esp needing to lock yourself in the bathroom. You need some help OP, they won't guess unless you tell them.

They do go through questions looking for PND. Be honest. Help is there to direct at people who need it. They'll keep a much closer eye on things for you but they won't think you're an unfit mother. How could you be when you care so much.

Keep posting if it helps. So many mums have been where you are now, you'll always find virtual support here, you just need some in RL too.

Haddock73 Wed 04-Sep-13 14:29:34

Hearing all your stories of the early days and how things have I improved makes me feel aload better.

How's this for a realistic routine?:

Mon am - ds1 nursery
Mon pm - supermarket to buy dinner, ds1 to help

Tues am - ds1 nursery
Tues pm - library

Wed am - ds1 nursery
Wed pm - get ds2 weighed at HV every other week,

Thurs am - playgroup (play and stay session)
Thurs pm - supermarket to buy dinner

Fri am - soft play
Fri pm - park (too ambitious??)

DS1 in his room with a stairgate on. It matters not if he sleeps. He can play until he does.

As soon as he is in his room, feed ds2, in your bed. Have a rest. When he is done, DP to take him away for some DS-DF bonding, bringing him back the next time he needs a feed. Every time he cries, you feed, but inbetween, you rest.

btw, DP has baby until midnight every night whilst you sleep, being brought only for feeds (and do feed every time you hear a cry or a wind up to a cry) and then from midnight you take over.

I think you might need some breastfeeding help too as crying like that all night isn't usual unless the baby is hungry. Do you give the baby two or three sides each time?

I had 21 months between mine btw. I KNOW it is hard. And you are not a failure for finding it so because it IS.

But it is doable. Your parenting is judged much much later than now, and if ds1 stays up until midnight and has rice-pudding for his dinner you won't even remember then, and nor will it be the make or break of him.

crazypaving Wed 04-Sep-13 14:45:39

Looks like a good plan! But if you don't stick to it, don't feel like you've failed. Sounds daft but try to relax and go with the flow. And cbeebies as much as you need. Every day is an accomplishment!

dizzy77 Wed 04-Sep-13 14:57:31

Haddock sounds like you are doing really well. Ds1 is 2.3 and ds2 3mo and things are already much, much better. I also second getting out - park and a sling works well, even though ds1 climbs up things/runs further than i can chase especially when I'm feeding ds2. Even toddler groups and soft play (to a point) is possible with baby in sling. Ds1 is still at nursery 1 day a week and I find that a massive help for my sanity as it breaks up the week and gives him different company. I remember with ds1 trying to find a "shape" to my week took time - with the activities you've outlined above sounds like you are getting there really fast. Each time you repeat a new thing it gets easier and you learn how to make it work better (getting them both in the car! Tip: strap toddler in first then come back for tiny in car seat as the tiny cant move! tiny will be screaming no doubt so commiserate with toddler when you put them in ).

Already those first few hellish weeks seem a long way off. I would definitely mention to the HV how you're feeling - they may even invite you to groups especially designed to help.

Haddock73 Sat 07-Sep-13 14:03:08

Things aren't getting any better. Cried uncontrollably all morning amd shouted at ds1. Dh thinks I have pnd. Feel very low.

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Sat 07-Sep-13 14:13:19

I think your dh is right. Please speak help, there will be a weekend contact for hv or there is the crysis line. Did you talk to your hv? Did they offer help?

Get to the doctor on Monday, preferably with dh aol he can tell them what's really happening. Or if that's not possible, write it all down with examples like you have on here so you can't accidentally down play how you're feeling.

You need help and professional input op. And is your mum around and able to help? Even if it means a trip of hundreds of miles. Look for help from every avenue. Do it today. Don't let this get worse.

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Sat 07-Sep-13 14:24:10

Also, have a look at the Edinburgh postnatal depressionn scale. Sorry can't link. I think it'll prove to you how much you need to get help.

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Sat 07-Sep-13 14:37:38

crysis website and their helplines are open now if there is no way to get local help.

shamble Sat 07-Sep-13 18:12:14

sorry you're still struggling. here's a shortened version of the Edinburgh PND test - it's obviously not a particularly detailed one but might be good to have a look at. Another hug for you.

Haddock73 Sat 07-Sep-13 18:29:49

I did the Edinburgh postnatal scale online and scored a assuming that means I'm pretty likely to be at risk of getting pnd. I have a midwife appointment on Monday and a HV appointment on tues so I will tell them how I'm feeling then. I'm petrified they will think I'm an unfit mother though. I love my children I just feel so low at the moment.

NeopreneMermaid Sat 07-Sep-13 18:54:04

Haddock, I really feel for you and totally empathise. My two have the same age difference and I could not do that first year again if you paid me (they're now 3.6 and 1.6). We had weeks on end of hourly wakings EVERY night

Best advice I got was from my best friend who had her two just before me: All you have to do is halve your standards on what is acceptable parenting. grin

You sound like me with the constant entertaining and I admit I'm only starting to accept this advice seriously now.

Other things that really helped me:
1. Sling
2. Childminder for dc1 9-3pm 3 days a week
3. SureStart Centre - gave me advice on sleep, referred me to a counsellor, got me on a parenting programme (Incredible Years) and to a Stay & Play group (and made me see walk the music classes, etc I was doing were just exhausting me and weren't actually enjoyable for me or the DCs)
4. Moving DC2 into his own room at 10 weeks stopped the hourly wakings from the first night
5. Doctor: upped my usual dose of antidepressants and added beta-blockers for the anxiety I developed after DC2. Now had pnd confirmed.

You will find what works for you. The fact you're even concerned you're a bad mum suggests you're not! smile

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Sat 07-Sep-13 19:08:12

Of course you're not an unfit mother!

You're an amazing mother because despite feeling so very dreadful you are still feeding, clothing, caring for and even playing with your dc!

Tell your mw tomorrow, write it down first or just print your posts from this thread. You'll feel so much better just offloading a bit and she will help you. Try to leave dc1 with someone if you can.

Good luck haddock, let us know how you get on when you're feeling up to it.

BeachComeRainOrShine Sat 07-Sep-13 19:12:31

I haven't read to the end of the thread but Haddock I am in tears reading it just at the memory of life when my ds was born. There are 21 months between my dd and ds, all my ds did when he was a baby was cry, my dd pretty much got ignored.

I struggled for a very long time and although I knew I had to look after my ds and did so, I didn't love him. Life was so bloody hard & exhausting dh & I were in marriage counselling by the time ds was one.

I can honestly say by the time ds was 2 life had improved massively, I loved my ds with all my heart same as my dd and dh & I were back on track. Ds is now 8 and dd almost 10 and life is good, but just the memory of those days has reduced me to tears.

It is bloody hard haddock I know the only advice I can give you is that there is light at the end of tunnel but no one can tell you when you will see it. So in the mean time do whatever you need to to get through every day, ask for help from anyone & everyone, and definitely don't worry about other people's opinions.

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Sat 07-Sep-13 19:14:09

And yes a score of 20 suggests depressive illness is likely but you need to discuss it with a doctor of course. Over 10 is a red flag and maximum possible is 30.

bigkidsdidit Sat 07-Sep-13 19:14:54

Haddock, bear in mind PND is INCREDIBLY common. You will probably be the third mother that day they see with it. They might have had it themselves, or their sisters, or friends. It is very normal. They will not bat an eyelid, just talk to you and sort you out and get you he help you need. They most certainly will not think you are unfit, I promise.

Best of luck x

nextphase Sat 07-Sep-13 19:41:43

Sorry to hear your struggling.
Yes, please speak to your HV. They may not do anything more than keep an eye on you for a few weeks, with a couple of extra visits. They will NOT see you as a bad mother - the fact that you are even contemplating a schedule as you typed above is a sign of how much you feel your letting your kids down, and want to change that.

We had the most success with stay and play - confined space, so DS1 couldn't go too far, and enough eyes to keep an eye on whichever child needed it, without there being so many everyone assumes someone else is doing it.

Park was hard work, as DS1 was determined to start climbing (2 year gap, practically to the day here), and it was impossible to keep up with him.

Our stretchy wrap was my saviour (I never got on with the ergo and new baby). Have a look when your local sling group meets up - that can be an afternoon's activity.

I felt better getting out once a day. Twice was sometimes too much, but see how it goes.

Good luck, and keep talking here if it helps.

nextphase Sat 07-Sep-13 19:43:05

Oh, sorry, and if you don't think you'll be able to get your feeling across without masses of tears to the HV or GP, write things down in advance, or print off your first message from here.


Mumzy Sat 07-Sep-13 19:56:11

When ds2 was a new born was ds1 at nursery/ play group from 9.30-12.30pm ( lunch at nursery) then I'd pick him up and take both to the local 1 o'clock club until 3.30pm. Ds2 would nap in the pram for most of this and ds1 was entertained for that time while I could sit, have a cup of tea , play with ds1 for a bit and chat to other mums. Ds1 was knackered by the time we got home at 4.00pm and would watch tv while I cooked tea, fed ds2. Then tea, bath and bed by 6.30pm for ds1. I think getting out for at least part of the day is crucial. Entertaining a toddler is so much easier outside as there is always something to see: people, animals, traffic, cranes. Also babies tend to drop off quicker when rumbling in a pram and being outside in the fresh air just lifts the mood. I made some great mum friends at 1 o'clock club and various toddler groups which kept me sane during the early years

Mumzy Sat 07-Sep-13 19:57:33

'My routine was ds1 at nursery'

Haddock73 Sun 08-Sep-13 03:38:58

Thank you everyone. Dh and I had a huge sleep deprived row last night and worried he's getting fed up of my tears and feeling low.

I'm going to speak to HV on monday I can't continue feeling like this.nits horrible and lonely.

Thank you for giving me somewhere to talk when I've been feeling horrendous.

boysrock Sun 08-Sep-13 03:58:16

You poor love. 18 mo age gap is horrific when they are that age. Mine are 8 & 9 now and it is a lovely gap when they are older. You have the good bits to come!

Fwiw I think you are completely sleep deprived. It sounds as though the only support you have is your dh and hes knackered too. Although not as tired as you. You are trying to recover from giving birth too. Try and be kind to yourselves. Give yourselves a treat tomorrow and adopt a bunker mentality grin

Only advice I can give is to get dh to give ds a bottle of bm or ff (whatever suits) for a night at the weekends so you can sleep that night at least. Also get him to take two of them out so you can have a complete rest. At some point you may have to return the favour!! We still do that mow and it gives the othet one chance to recharge and do something in other. Or sleep

Wouldnt worry about routine at this stage either
It's survival.

Finally have you considered silent reflux? If he takes ages to feed and back arches whilst feeding its a possibilty.

turnipsoup Sun 08-Sep-13 04:02:53

Sleep deprivation is awful - it drags you down so that the whole world looks really awful and you can't even think that it will possibly get any better. Neither of my two are were good sleepers and now I work nights!

You are doing an amazing job Haddock, and you need to go easy on yourself and just get through the next few days - my mantra was "whatever it takes to get trhough the day"

Hopefully you are getting some sleep at the moment.

I do remember feeling like a complete failure as a mother after both of my children were born, the thing that helped the most was going out.

Hope you're ok

pongping Sun 08-Sep-13 04:54:59

I'm sorry to that you are still finding things so difficult. Please talk to your MW/HV as soon as possible. They absolutely will not worry about your parenting - they will just want to help you.

Sleep - have you tried co-sleeping? I've been doing it with DS2 since birth. DH does all night wakings and early mornings (and at the point you're at all bedtimes) for DS1.

Slings - for me the Ergo was more use for a slightly older baby. Definitely worth trying a few more to find the right type. DS1 liked the Wilkinet and DS2 a stretchy wrap.

Bonding - having had PND with my first and bonding didn't happen immediately. For me it was part of my illness, and when that was treated our bond began to develop to the point where I quickly loved him dearly.

Big hugs

BusyCee Sun 08-Sep-13 05:44:13

Poor Haddock. You sound so sad and anxious. You definitely need to speak to your HV and take any and all help you can get. Pregnancy is hard work. Childbirth is hard work and takes time to recover from. Having a toddler and a newborn is extraordinarily hard work. Please accept this and give yourself a break, be kind to yourself, know it takes time to settle down and that this is just a phase and WILL pass.

If it helps I have 3yo DS1 and 8wk DS2. Felt physically much worse after birth this time and for about 3wks didn't feel any attachment to DS2 - just didn't feel like he was mine. Masses of guilt about DS1 too (see my other post about inappropriate giggling...). And of course add an extra layer guilt on top of all the above because that's often what we mothers do when we fail to meet our own high standards

What helped me through? Just take them out. Strangers are very kind. They talk to you. And to the DCs. Old ladies love to reminisce and will commiserate with you about how hard it is. Women at supermarkets will stop your oldest DC when they make a bid for freedom and you can't catch them. Other mothers will help you with eldest when you're in the park. People are mainly very kind and supportive.

Let eldest DC help. Fetch nappies. Sing to newborn. Cuddle on the sofa etc. gives you something to so together and helps bonding for all of you

When the screaming gets to total fever pitch, bath them both together. Can alleviate the noise, fill an otherwise empty hour and give you more bonding time.

Accept your standards will drop through the floor. You can write your name in the dust at our house. DS1 has had more treats as well as tellings off than usual. DS2 isn't getting the gold standard newborn care that DS1 got. But, we're all surviving and now smiling at each does get easier

...and know that too. Your new DC is tiny, and changing all the time. In a short time (although I know it's seems forever away now) sleep will be more regular. You'll find some sort of routine that works for you. DC2 will be reacting more and so you'll get a bit more back.

Please be kind to yourself. Accept any and all help. Trust in yourself. And keep posting. Good luck x

FixItUpChappie Sun 08-Sep-13 06:50:55

sorry your having a hard time OP....I have a 6 month old and DS1 was 2.4yrs when baby arrived. it took time to find my footing but now I feel really able to manage both children relatively well (most of the time).

remember when you had your first? you stretched as a human being - doing more than you ever thought possible, on less sleep with newfound patience etc? It turns out that when you have another you stretch even more!! who knew we were so pliable?! we are though - just be kind to yourself. it will come. you are all just getting readjusted, getting to know each other still.

Early days my DS1 was treated to a lot of buckets on our kitchen floor...whenever I needed to entertain him and have a cuppa I'd throw down a special bin on a shower curtain on the floor - filled with all sorts:
Bucket of dinosaurs, bucket of water, bucket of sand, bucket of shaving foam, bucket of dry pasta, bucket of cooked pasta, bucket of corn starch and water, bucket of rice, bucket of plastic bugs hidden in sand and a pair of tweezers, bucket of art supplies, bucket of cars, bucket of get the idea.

2 year olds love to help....get yours to help with everything remotely possible. my 2 year old is especially good at scrubbing the bottom kitchen cabinets when handed a little bucket, scrub brush and sponge. he is an expert at chucking then laundry in the washer and helping me push all manner of buttons. he loves to help me sweep, vacuum etc...just take the pressure off getting things done and focus more on keeping it light and fun.

put the TV on as needed. try to save it when possible for when baby is napping/going down for a nap.

DS2 slept in a Moses basket at night but in his crib during the day. I simply could not devote hours to rocking him to sleep like I did DS1....I got him a Cloud B Aqua turtle which is miraculous.....and a white noise machine which is equally so. getting him used to his crib early was very useful as about a month in noise from DS1 playing would disturb him when I'd just let him drop off in his bouncy chair in the living room. ow ever having more noise around has I believe resulted in DS2 being an all around much better sleeper.

get outside at least once a day...a walk, the park, a class, a field - wherever. do so with the kids....but your DH needs to step up too and help you get out on your own if even for short periods frequently.

hoping things turn around for you soon OP x

FixItUpChappie Sun 08-Sep-13 06:58:54

I just wanted to echo the sentiment that you shouldn't be afraid to speak to your HV....PND is very common. it is an illness not a moral judgement on your capacities.

CitizenOscar Sun 08-Sep-13 07:05:13

What strikes me is that you're doing it all by yourself. It's hard and you need help.

I'm doing the same as you although a few weeks on, but I have help and that makes it possible.

What's important for me is getting help with DS1 so I feel he's getting the attention he needs (as well as getting fed, clothed etc) and I can focus on feeding DS2 without resenting him for being demanding.

Is there more your DP can do? Mine gets DS up & dressed before he goes to work (DS1 is an early riser). He also does all night wakings with DS1. He also does bath & bed most nights but I know that's not practical for everyone. My mum also helped with bath & bed when DP not available in very early days.

What about family & friends? My MIL comes over once a week & takes DS1 out for the afternoon to park/library. Is there anyone who could do that? Perhaps after DS has been to nursery so you get a full day to yourself & the baby.

Also, company from people who understand. Do you have any friends with children? Either one or two (or more)? Can you arrange to meet up either at each others home or at the park? The toddlers could play together & maybe even have tea together (especially if your friend only has the toddler or perhaps an older baby so has more hands free at mealtimes).

Small soft play places where DS can play mostly on his own while you supervise & encourage but can sit nearby with baby. There are a couple in SW London where I live. Also playgroups (NCT & children's centre).

Finally - it will get better. DS2 is 9 weeks now and although it's still hard work it's so much better than the first few weeks.

CountryMama Sun 08-Sep-13 07:21:27

You have been given good advice so I won't chip in with m

Haddock73 Sun 08-Sep-13 07:22:05

Thank you all...I've beenup since 3am as ds2 woke then amd by th timei settled him ds2 woke at 5am. My throat is killing me as I'm unwell and poor ds1 has been watching cartoons since 5am.

I can't see a light at the end of the tunnel. Is my bleakness. I feel resentful amd guilty at the same time.

I will do my best to get out as much as possible.

I have no rl support as except dh. I have friends but none have children and all work in the week and and rarely visit on weekends (every 6 months or so). My family have been very vocal about ds2 being a mistake as they felt I wouldn't cope.

I'm married, in my 30s, homeowner and have a career - I thought I could handle two children. Looks like they were right. Mother and sister go months without speaking to me, they have no intention of helping in anyway.

I do have lots of playgroups and activities in the area, and there is group for pnd onmondays I could attend, although dont know if I technically have it. The first step is talkin to someone besides dh.

CountryMama Sun 08-Sep-13 07:27:28

.....more. (Sorry bad mobile skills!)
But I've just gotten through this difficult stage and I wanted to say that it gets better but you must relax and ask for help. I have found that having 2 so close together is making me slow down and not worry so much about being the perfect mother. Cbeebies was a life saver in the early days. Slings worked wonders. But you've got to find your own way of doing things. Have low expectations of your days. Even getting dressed isn't essential!!! Use your friends/family and health professionals... That's the most important thing!

CountryMama Sun 08-Sep-13 07:30:41

I'm cross with your family saying you won't cope. You will and you'll be fabulous. Take each day as it comes.

pongping Sun 08-Sep-13 07:33:16

Can you go back to bed now?

Where in London are you? Bet there's an MNer nearby who could help you out.

Dressingdown1 Sun 08-Sep-13 07:34:35

OP please try to find out from GP or HV about Home Start. I used to be a volunteer and they can help you a lot . A CRB checked volunteer will come to your home once or twice a week and help with DCs, playing with DC1, nursing DC2, helping you take them out to the park, etc, whatever you want really.

I did it because I had had PND myself and found the early months tough with just one DC and wanted to help other Mums in that situation. Like you I was scared to tell my HV how I felt in case they took DS away (they didn't!)

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Sun 08-Sep-13 08:39:17

Definitely go to the pnd group on the Monday or phone and ask if worried. They'll be other mum's there suffering too who can point you in the direction of help and just reassure you that you're not alone and it will get better.

Sorry your family are so rubbish. Definitely better without them. How horrible. Your dc2 is not a mistake. It just takes some adjusting to. You will look back and be a much stronger mummy after this short but v shitty time.

Hang on in there.

dimsum123 Sun 08-Sep-13 08:49:22

Whereabouts are you OP? I can help out if you would like? x

CitizenOscar Sun 08-Sep-13 10:25:08

Sorry your family is so rubbish. What a horrible thing to say. They are NOT right. This is a difficult stage: you're recovering from birth, adjusting to life with 2 kids, you're tired & run down, and small babies are naturally demanding. But you WILL get through it.

Is DH's family any help? I always feel awkward asking them as not MY family (and we don't get on that well) but if they can take DS out for an afternoon or even come & play with him at home while you go upstairs for a lie down with baby, then could be worth it.

Try going to a couple of groups on a regular basis. The pnd one would be a great start. If you go back to the same groups you'll see the same people each week & familiar faces really help. You might make friends that you can meet up with but even if you don't, a friendly smile & someone who recognises your children and can interact with them will really help. And they'll all sympathise with what you're going through, if you talk to them.

Are you managing to eat & drink? If not, can DH make you a sandwich before he goes to work & leave it in the fridge for you to eat during the day? And bring you some toast & juice (for example) before he leaves? You need lots of energy to help you through, especially if you're sleep deprived, so eating is really important. Cereal bars and bananas! Breastfeeding is dehydrating too so try to have a bottle of water with you.

In terms of keeping older child occupied at home: sticker books, imaginative games (toy food, kitchen, tea set, dolls, etc) that you can join in with while sitting & feeding, DVDs, cbeebies, iPhone/iPad, musical instruments & songs.

It is hard. It will get better. You need some help to get through this bit. It will get better.

Agree with pp that older child can adjust to playing independently - I'm very guilty of intervening too much and he is getting better at playing alone.

CitizenOscar Sun 08-Sep-13 10:31:49

Also, even though your friends work, do you have a good friend who you could tell you're struggling and see if they have time to pop round after work for a hug and just be an extra pair of hands for an hour? People do sometimes have days off or half days TOIL or something and nothing much to do with them. If they know how much you'd appreciate a visit, they might come.

Hugs to you.

clabsyqueen Sun 08-Sep-13 11:33:13

Haddock - if you want company to walk the streets then I'm very central London. I have a 4 week old and a 2 year old I asked my DP if we could put our DD2 up for adoption last week. I felt so utterly unable to cope. Guilt overwhelms me about DD1 and I miss her so much. I have handed over all bedtime routines to friends/DP/ grandparents as I CANNOT do it with a screaming child in a sling. DD2 Screams from 6-10pm without fail. Colic given as an explanation but colic usually just means 'newborn' and treatment usually involves waiting til they get older. Crying peaks at 6-8 weeks apparently. Sounds like a lifetime but in the grand scheme its not long. My friend recommended a book called Buddhism for mothers and I have snatched some minutes to skim read it. I sobbed on the first chapter - its so wonderful. Very very relevant for mothers like us. Please PM if you want to take a chance on a blind-date!

tunnocksteacake Sun 08-Sep-13 11:41:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pongping Sun 08-Sep-13 19:13:09

If you are in SW London, I can easily get to Wimbledon, Clapham, Waterloo, Victoria - could use my 6mo DS2 to demonstrate that it does get better smile

Clabsy - offer stands for you too smile

dimsum123 Sun 08-Sep-13 20:33:10

OP it may be difficult, I know I found it impossible, but you need to ask for help from any likely source, even a next door neighbour. I find it easier to ask for help now but years ago found it impossible as I felt it made me a failure as a parent.

Haddock73 Mon 09-Sep-13 02:09:07

Thank you everyone, your offers of help are beyond generous and very very kind.

Dh returns to work today and it'll be my first full day alone...plusi have a thumping headache, sore throat, and virtually lost voice. Ds2 is up so I am hoping I'm not up at 2am for the day.

I will update tonight and let you know how it went today. Feeling very scared.

ciabsy and ping pong thank you so much for your kind offers. I'm going to see how I ge on alone for a few days and then if I'm brave enough perhaps try and ventre out to meet other mums. Everything seems so overwhelming atm.

Again, can't thank you all enough for your support and advice. I'm going to seek help today about the potential pnd.

DropYourSword Mon 09-Sep-13 02:20:15

I absolutely promise you that the midwives and health visitors will not think you are an unfit mother. They will see that you are finding things tough right now and will help you to make things better.

Notafoodbabyanymore Mon 09-Sep-13 02:31:20

Haddock I only remember the first couple of months with DD1 as a kind of a blur. And that was with just one! This second time has been easier, actually, because I didnt have PND. My point is, PND is an illness, not a reflection on your parenting skills or coping skills. Just an unfortunate consequence of some births/circumstances.

You are stronger than you suspect and you will get through this. And you will love both of your precious kids with all of your heart.

madmomma Mon 09-Sep-13 08:29:05

Mine were 14m apart and those first weeks were like a nightmare - just unbelievably stressful. I was convinced I'd made a terrible mistake. It's natural to feel like this and it will get much much easier. You just become a machine grin

You are not doing anything wrong.

nextphase Mon 09-Sep-13 15:06:11

How are things today? And what did the HV say?

Thinking of you

FixItUpChappie Mon 09-Sep-13 16:20:09

Hey Haddock - I've been thinking about you and hoping things are turning around.

May I suggest keeping your pace slow - I think its important to learn to dawdle. When you go for a walk don't hustle like a lawyer on lunch-break.....dilly-daddle - this is a helpful strategy I find that can be applied all day. In the morning - read a story, do a little of this, a little of that - no've got a whole day to fill grin

Sometimes on really bad days in the beginning I'd take the kids to the grocery store then for a "drive" because everyone would fall asleep after-which I would just drive around listening to the radio.

Whatever works!!!!

Hope its going well

turningitaround Mon 09-Sep-13 18:13:11

Hi Haddock - I hope today went OK. Just wanted to say that DD2 and DS1 are two years apart and I struggled a lot at the beginning as well. Now, DS1 is nine months old, not so fragile and so, so fascinated by DD2. They sit in the bath together and splash and laugh, he wants to crawl to her even more than he wants to climb up/out of/into things (which he wants to do very much), and if he hears her voice, he calls out. Always.

In other words, please don't worry about having less time for your DC1. My DD1 was an only child for the first 7 years, we had loads of time for her. Life was peaceful, calm and structured, but she longed for a sibling. If you asked her now, she'd surely say that she would have traded all that individual attention for a brother/sister nearer her own age.

So, remember It gets better quicker than you think. Also, go to GP, just in case its PND, and hand your crying baby to DH in the night sometimes. You need sleep too.

GetYourSocksOff Mon 09-Sep-13 21:23:10

Hi Haddock, I've not read the whole thread but I relate to so much of what you've written, this was me a year ago. The exhaustion, the guilt, the tears (and the fucking awful supermarket trip).

I just wanted to say that it honestly does get better. I've struggled with having a second, not least because of the pain I associate with becoming an older sister when my brother came along. And I've found it more difficult than I ever imagined. DS has struggled and that's made it very painful, too.

BUT. 15 months on and the good outweighs the bad. I would definitely have scored MUCH higher in a parent observation when it was just me and DS, but our lives are even richer now. DD is brilliant and such a character, she doesn't take any shit from DS and although it was easier before (on many levels), I wouldn't send her back for the world.. For the first time, I now know that if I could go back, knowing what I know now, I'd do it again.

I can also relate to having nobody around who can help out, family no good and friends all in more or less the same position as me. I didn't find a magic answer, but you're not alone and it will get easier, I promise.

FixItUpChappie Mon 09-Sep-13 22:53:01

At the risk of rambling (even further) I just wanted to add OP that my 2.9 year old and my 7 month old were cuddling in bed today when DS1 cuddled into his brother to say "littlefixit you are my best friend" and then proceeded to give him a big kiss and hug.

You have nothing to feel guilty about for giving your children siblings - what a wonderful gift! I know, I know they will be arguing in no time grin

Haddock73 Tue 10-Sep-13 02:34:30

Thank you everyone, I didn't see the HV today as they cancelled my appointment and moved it to Wednesday.

Today was the first day dh was back at work and it actually went a lot better than I expected. Ds2 napped very well in the morning which helped a lot, and they even both napped at lunchtime at the same time! In the afternoon I ventured to the shops wit them both and this is where it went to pot a bit - ds1 was good as gold bar one tantrum, but ds2 screamed out of exhaustion from 3.30pm - 9pm.

He was fed constantly and kept dropping off but then waking again. I even had people come up to me and as if ds2 was hungry and me having to pretend like I wasn't stressed, even though I felt like crying he was screaming so loudly and so angrily.

It was raining heavily so I couldn't pick him up in the street as well. Dh came home at 7pm when ds1 was in bed and then made dinner but at that point I couldn't really eat and just fell asleep as soon as ds2 settled at 9pm for 3 hours. It's now 2.32am and have been up since midnight - have a horrible sore throat and chesty coug, thumping headache and sore eyes, so am sure being ill doesn't help the situation.

I cried a lot less today but mainly because I knew dh wasn't there today and I had to be strong for the children. I still felt crap but was better at hiding it.

Ds1 broke my heart because he basically had to listen to ds2 scream all afternoon. At bedtime he cried and said "baby keeps crying". Feel so sorry for him.

Antidote Tue 10-Sep-13 03:02:49

You poor, poor thing. Well done on getting through the day.

Will DH get up with ds1 in a few hours to let you sleep?

Don't worry about the crazy people in the shops, if they don't offer to help they aren't nice people. You did great getting out at all.

Your ds1 sounds like a lovely boy, and he won't remember any of this. Neither will ds2.

Antidote Tue 10-Sep-13 03:35:04

PS I'm in not quite the same boat with DS (nearly 3) and DD (1 week).

Luckily so far DD hasn't been much of a screamer but DS has been difficult. I've had a c section so am pretty much house bound until I can either drive or be confident DS isn't going ri try to kill himself on his scooter!

kimmills222 Tue 10-Sep-13 06:10:22

I feel for you, really. DS1 is also small and most kids go through this with the arrival of a sibling. The attention that he was getting, all for himself earlier, is now divided and it's normal the way he's feeling. There's also no doubt that DS2 needs most of your time. It is not easy to find that balance. But we have to. Try doing some little things for a start. When ds2 nees you and that has to take you away from ds1, take him along to the baby and make him feel important. Let him help you in whatever small ways he can. When he feels he's in it with you, this will change. He shouldn't feel neglected which is what's making him resentful. This can be so exhausting for you, so like someone else said get a friend or a family member's help if you can, once in a while. It helps. Kids grow up real fast, before we know it, so in answer to your last question, this will change soon. It has to.

valiumredhead Tue 10-Sep-13 06:58:09

I recognize all these feelings and I had the one child only!

I think you should make an emergency gp appt and get seen asap not hang around for your hv who will just tell you to make an appt anyway.

Sympathetic hugs x

Grumpla Tue 10-Sep-13 07:28:38

Sweetheart, you are not alone. You are not an unfit mother.

Nobody is "good" at the newborn-and-toddler stage. We all struggle. Because it is fucking horrendous.

Your DH needs to ensure that you get a couple of hours unbroken sleep every night. Work out the most likely few hours that they will be asleep and plan to kip on sofa / spare room with earplugs. Unless he is a heart surgeon or a lorry driver, him going to work a bit tired is not the end of the world.

I know it can seem so impossible to ask for help - but it's not weak to need support! We are simply not meant to raise small children alone like this. Be honest with your MW, HV, GP. They are not going to judge you, it is their JOB to make sure you get some support.

The screaming and crying can be relentless. Have you got a double buggy? You need one, cheapie second hand eBay or whatever. Strap both children in, put on comfy shoes, then EARPHONES. Loud music. Radio. Anything. They are safe even if they are crying and you get fresh air and headspace. The SECOND they fall asleep sit down, have a coffee, enjoy the quiet.

Otherwise a safe space for each child at home. Stairgated child-proof bedroom / cot for DC1 and Moses for DC2. When you are overwhelmed it is better to make sure everybody is safe and take a break for ten minutes.

Are you eating and drinking enough? It's so easy to forget. Glass of water and small snack every couple of hours. When you're so tired you need to keep your blood sugar up.

If DC1 spends seven hours a day watching CBeebies for the next three months, then don't worry, that's what it takes sometimes.

Try and be brave enough to ask for help. A baby group or neighbours. I think most people who have been through this stage would lend you a hand for a few hours!

It seems like this will never get better but it will, I promise. In a few weeks dc2 will start to be more entertained by DC1 than by anything you can do! Then DC2 will start sitting in a bouncy chair - then on the floor - suddenly you have two children playing together and all of this seems like a terrible nightmare.

Haddock73 Tue 10-Sep-13 07:49:58

Thank you all...I feel o pathetic not being able to handle two small children. Other mums I see in the street make it look so easy and when I speak to them and ask how things are going either they're lying or it's really not that hard for them. To me this is a nightmare.

I don't think t helps that I'm unwell and lost my voice as well. I could really use a day recovering and drinking lemsip. It actually makes me miss work - at least. Could recover in a comfy big office chair there(!)

I'm going to try all your suggestions and am determined to have a better day today. A, seeing the HV tomorrow and will flag up how I'm feeling and the bouts of uncontrollable crying and see what she says.

I really appreciate the time you have all taken to help and support me on here. Makes me feel less alone.

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Tue 10-Sep-13 08:17:32

Sometimes they're lying, sometimes they're lucky! It's nothing you've done or not done. My screamer was my first, dd however is relatively easy so I've not found it too bad most days. If they had been the other way round I would be in the depths of despair by now, truly. You are not pathetic, not even close. EVERYONE has at least some horrific days with a baby + toddler. If they say its all roses, you know here lying.

Take some regular paracetamol, get out for a walk, then stick a picnic rug on the floor in the house for dc1 and cuddle up on the sofa with dc2. Movie day. Have popcorn, cake, hot chocolate, anything that makes you feel remotely better. I find the twinings lemon and ginger tea bags are great with a spoonful of honey when I have a cold.

Every time dd cries I explain to DS that she's just trying to talk and tell me what she needs, it's not naughty and it's not anything he's done, babies just cry and soon we'll be able to teach her to talk too and you can hep with that. Then I remind him of all the things he can teach her, how to smile, laugh, splash in the bath, walk, talk, play... I tell him how it's not much fun being a baby and its much better to be a big boy who already get to do so many fun things and eat yummy food. Now dd is 4m he is convinced he taught her to smile and laugh and he's so proud of that. And tbh he does make her laugh more than we do!

Give yourself major brownie points for just getting through each day haddock. You will get through this.

Grumpla Tue 10-Sep-13 08:52:01

Oh god yes, it is awful the way that children don't accept sick notes!

Be kind to yourself Haddock. These dark days are not forever. They will be far outweighed by the moments yet to come, when your children hug each other, make each other laugh, become each others best friends. Those are the times they will remember, not these awful few months.

Paracetamol and lots of water for you and try to keep eating even if it's just icecream and soup!

<gruff punch on upper arm>

queenofdrama Tue 10-Sep-13 09:13:34

Babies cry. Some more than others. Ds1 bf A LOT & never really cried until 3-4 months when he had a bout of colic. Ds2 was a crier & had untreated (mild) tongue tie & I'm still bfing him at 16 months. I just plodded on through the exhaustion & feelings of guilt. It does get easier as time goes on & you fall into a sense of routine. Sod the housework (do bare minimum), cook basic meals only, batch cook & freeze, go for a walk everyday, visit baby&toddler groups as much as possible, have cuddle time with ds1&2 while bfing- bf baby til booby drunk while cuddling ds2 on your otherwise, in bed. They might nod off together. Encourage them to hold hands while bfing/cuddling. That will strengthen the bond between brothers. I have two boys & this has all worked for me. It's very hard to begin with. The first six months of baby (&bfing) are lovely but monotonous&tiring. The next six are much more fun! Thinking of you op. Best of luck X
P.S. I'd second giving ds1 snacks & a 'special'cup of juice or milk.

queenofdrama Tue 10-Sep-13 09:15:38

P.s. ds1 is fine despite me feeling he was 'sidelined' in the early days. Remember lots of cuddles. Make sure you're resting enough & drinking & eat well. X

LittleBearPad Tue 10-Sep-13 09:35:13

Oh sweetie. It's shit isn't it. I hope that your appointment today is helpful. Be completely honest with your HV/GP. It's really not uncommon to get PND and it can be treated.

I'm in North London and more than happy to meet up if you want a chat, coffee or a hug; seriously. PM me if I can help. I've been there.

DropYourSword Tue 10-Sep-13 10:44:36

This thread restores my faith in humanity a little.

Haddock73 Tue 10-Sep-13 11:48:12

drop same here. The support op here has been amazing and has made me feel so much better and not so alone.

Very touched by the amount of support and advice.

DropYourSword Tue 10-Sep-13 12:06:38

Glad to hear it haddock . I hope things improve for you. FWIW I think you sound like an excellent mum.

smirnoff861 Tue 10-Sep-13 15:27:05

Im sorry, I have no advice im a first time mum to only one baby but I just wanted to say I've been thinking of you and I really hope everything is ok for you. You sound like such a caring mummy and your babies are lucky to have you xx

valiumredhead Tue 10-Sep-13 15:42:25

I remember howling to my friend and asking her why she hadn't told me it was going to be this hard having kids. I remember her saying something about it not being something you realise until you actually go through it. So it ends up being a shock when you do find out.

If it makes you feel better OP, I was a nanny for years and a bloody good one too but found having ds SO hard xxx

Noideaatall Tue 10-Sep-13 16:39:38

I was sobbing to my DP about not coping, exactly like you. He said - 'why do you think everyone else is finding it easy? Maybe they're not.' I honestly had assumed everyone else could do it & I was the only one. You aren't alone! It IS hard/impossible. You can't do everything. I found sleeping was the key. Sleep, sleep at weekends, express maybe & let DP do some of the night feeds. and (whisper) don't think yourself a failure if you decide to ff...

nextphase Tue 10-Sep-13 20:31:56

Those ones you see out and about? They are the ones with the freak babies who have read Gina, or similar, and can be counted on to behave.
The rest of us are at home main lining caffeine or sugar.
Stay strong - you've done day 1.

Antidote Tue 10-Sep-13 20:58:49

Hey haddock hope you are getting some sleep. See you at midnight?

In case I forget, make sure you tell your hearing visitor exactly how hard you are feeling, don't pretend like everything's fine. I did with ds and it did us no favours in the long term. I kept putting on such a brave face for the GP etc that it took me a long time to really acknowledge just how much I wasn't coping.

Haddock73 Wed 11-Sep-13 04:30:56

Yesterday was a nightmare day, ds2 napped for a total for 3 hours broken sleep from 7am-9pm. By 9pm he was hysterical beyond belief, tears, red nothing could calm him down. Eventually went out for a walk with him in the ergo and lots of rocking and got him to sleep for a couple hours.

Ds1 is either unwell or teething as he has not been himself, and cried for about an hour and a half solid, and screamed so much we had to leave the library. I ended u crying in the street....then it rained and I got soaked!

I really hope this was one of the worse days and today is a better day in comparison.

When dh came home I cried and to,d him I regretted having ds2 and feel awful now.HV today, will tell her everything how I'm feeling and not coping.

CinnamonAddict Wed 11-Sep-13 05:22:04

Haddock, please do speak about it to the HV, and also have your cough/sore throat, etc looked at, maybe you need ABs.

Having 2 children under 2 feels like a car crash every day. I remember being shell shocked for the first few weeks, and my firstborn was 2.3 at the time.

She also talked a lot about the baby screaming. I bf both, and felt more able to bond that way. I think bf is a great way of being close to them, and the skin-to-skin contact helps calm them down. But I don't think bf to the point of exhaustion will help you.

Try to figure out what will help you. Little things, big things. Even silly things, everything.
Your mother&sister are out of order telling you ds2 was a mistake and not helping you at all. Unfortunately I also had no help with my 3, my mother just wasn't interested, my sister lives 300 miles away.

You may feel ds2 was a mistake, but then you're not yourself at the moment. Don't start to feel guilty for thinking and saying it, I'm sure many many mums have thought the same. Because you're feeling almost pushed over the edge. Sleep deprivation is torture. Your only aim should be to get as much sleep as possible.
Double buggy and let them both sleep in there together while you crash on the sofa sounds a very good idea, as was mentioned upthread.
While ds1 is at nursery, put ds2 in the buggy, and as soon as he drops off to sleep, you sleep.

I have seen your list for the week, looks like a plan. Meeting other mums is important, imo. You don't have to find a lifelong friend (although I did find them one on a playground and one in an nct newborn group) but just meeting other mums with the same stuff going on is vital, so you don't feel a failure! It's normal!

Hope you have your appointment today.
Btw I'm up because my 4yo about-to-start-school-tomorrow dd2 woke up, I'll go back to sleep soon. My first 2 are 12 and 14, you see, I needed an 8 year gap but then had another one.

I had pnd with my 3rd (due to health complications and scares just after she was born) and probably didn't bond with her until she was a toddler. I look back at that time now and have stopped feeling guilty.

Please look after yourself, your health is most important right now. Get as much help as you can. If you cannot afford a cleaner, try to get a babysitter for ds2 on the days he's not at nursery, maybe in the afternoon, so you have a chance to sleep.

Have a brew and try to get some more sleep.

FixItUpChappie Wed 11-Sep-13 05:49:13

sad Sorry Haddock you had another tough day.

What is your DH offering up? I did all the night feeds for DS1 but told DH straight away that would not happen this time as with two there is no opportunity to sleep during the day and every human needs some sleep not just those being paid. Can you split the night up so you each get a chunk of time... He takes 9pm-2:00, you take 2:00-7:00am or some such? Is there no way he can spread out some vacation days so he's taking one day off a week for a time? this at least makes your weeks a bit shorter to start.

you don't have to go to a library or social situation to start....what about a morning and afternoon walk instead...that's less pressure. all DS1 really needs is excessive and fresh air - sit in the middle of a field with baby and let him run about, kick a ball etc. Do you have a backyard? there is lots you can do with a back garden...sandbox, Mud kitchen, give DS1 a spray bottle with water and let him go to town.

is DS1 tantruming specifically or did he seen off all day? one thing that works well with our DS1 is little hand-checks with a marker when you notice good behaviour. also I am not ashamed to say that I have a little container of chocolate buttons in my purse that I use sometimes to head off tantrums when leaving a place etc.

does Ds2 respond to white-noise? sometimes the only way I could get mine to drop off in early days was to run the shower for a few minutes while baby sat in his bouncer on bathroom floor..the steam plus the white-noise always worked a charm.

hang in there Haddock!! there are always people around to talk

FixItUpChappie Wed 11-Sep-13 06:24:25

That should say excessive not excessive hmm

FixItUpChappie Wed 11-Sep-13 06:25:28

okay IPAD stop autocorrecting exercise to excessive!!!

valiumredhead Wed 11-Sep-13 06:52:24

I had chocolate buttons too in my bag,'mummy's secret chocolate'wink

I don't know what your HV is like but I had some shockingly bad ones so be very clear when you say you aren't coping. Don't fudge sound the issue, tell her straight. One midwife told me I wouldn't have time for pnd as I'd be too busy with the babyhmm

Wrt library, personally I'd just do walks and the park every single day. Fresh air is what you all need and it doesn't matter of anyone cries then as it never sounds as loud out sidewink

Hope it goes well with the hv and that today is betterbrew thanks

PS see the doctor about your throat! X

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Wed 11-Sep-13 09:55:09

Hi haddock, just wanted to say I hope the HV is useful to you today and really listens. Yesterday sounds awful, but you survived. That's another one down on the way back to normality. You're a great mum because you care.

bigkidsdidit Wed 11-Sep-13 10:00:16

Agree fresh air. We go to a big park where I can walk down with baby in sling so he falls asleep, then DS1 runs himself half daft. I take the pram and put DS1 in it to come home and I'm only very slightly ashamed to say I bribe him with digestives to get in it and sit quietly!

When we get home it's out in the garden till a late lunch. After all that exercise I then out on a Disney DVD and DS1 is usually out like a light on the sofa for a few hours while I play with baby and MN on the iPad.

GetYourSocksOff Wed 11-Sep-13 10:08:46

I agree that fresh air is the answer. The biggest, safest place you can find. Even if you're knackered.

Last night after work, I picked DS up from school (he's just started, he's only just 4) and he had the biggest tantrum I'd ever seen because he wanted a poo but would only go at home. He screamed all the way back in the car and there was nothing he'd let me do. We had to pick DD up on the way by which time he was getting hysterical. It was a complete nightmare until we got into the house and he could go. At which point DD took over, wouldn't be put down, screamed because I tried to put her in high chair to make their dinner, screamed when I gave her dinner (still not sure why), stopped when I put her on my knee but started again because I wouldn't let her spoon her own yoghurt unless she sat in high chair (carnage). By which point I had a bit of a tantrum myself and then hated myself for being so crap.

And it all started again this morning because I had to get the three of us out by 7 bloody 15.

I thought I was pretty good at this when I just had one. And I teach - a class of 30 grumpy teenagers does not cause me a problem. But there are days when I find this really, really hard. Honestly, it's not just you. But we do have lots of lovely times too. It's an emotional roller coaster.

bouncysmiley Wed 11-Sep-13 10:15:31

Can you involve ds1 in looking after ds2 and male it a game - we need to change the baby can you hold the wipes, we need to feed the baby can you sing him a song/ read a story with mummy? May not work but might buy you half an hour of sanity. You sound like you are doing a great job btw.

Apileofballyhoo Wed 11-Sep-13 10:31:31

I think your baby may have reflux and he is possibly in pain and exhausted. You are doing fine, you need sleep and kindness. Did DS1 cry/scream so much? All very well for people to cope when their babies are not screamers and sleep in between feeds. flowers for you.

Haddock73 Wed 11-Sep-13 19:06:08

The HV was awful. She said she was running late so couldn't talk to me about my pnd concerns, and told me to speak to the GP instead. She ushered me out with tears in my eyes.

Shall I make a GP appointment or ask to see a different HV?

Haddock73 Wed 11-Sep-13 19:11:28

Today ds2 napped for a total of 3 hrs...that's far to little sleep. He cried so much he is never without tears in hs eyes. It makes me so sad.

I try everything we went out today for 4 hrs, 4 hrs I was trying to get him to sleep while entertaining ds1, I tried the ergo also. He just won't sleep in the day! He's always exhausted and I don't have the time to get him to nap, I used to rock or feed ds1 to sleep and hold him in m arms to sleep but I don't have that luxury th time.

I worry all this angry, tired, chaud ted crying to the point he's hoarse will cause him long them damage. It's basically like CIO but not on purpose!

Haddock73 Wed 11-Sep-13 19:12:38

Should read "exhausted" not chaud ted

Mumzy Wed 11-Sep-13 19:44:25

Haddock just to say we've all been there and know how hard the early days are. Mine are now 12, 10 and 8 but reading your posts brings it all back. I found the majority of mums I met through various groups were in a similar situation and just talking to others going through the same thing incredibly helpful. Also people were very kind and offered to hold the baby so i could take ds1 to loo or got me a drink and cake just little things which made a real difference to the day.

Mumzy Wed 11-Sep-13 19:45:47

Haddock just to say we've all been there and know how hard the early days are. Mine are now 12, 10 and 8 but reading your posts brings it all back. I found the majority of mums I met through various groups were in a similar situation and just talking to others going through the same thing incredibly helpful. Also people were very kind and offered to hold the baby so i could take ds1 to loo or got me a drink and cake just little things which made a real difference to the day.

Antidote Wed 11-Sep-13 19:48:46

Both. Make appointments for both, and make a video of your little one crying. I agree with the poster who suggested reflux. Can your DH take a half day of leave to come with you?

I am fuming at your hv. What an unprofessional thing to do.

Mumzy Wed 11-Sep-13 19:49:20

I think you should see a GP if you don't have a regular GP ask a friend or the receptionist for the most sympathetic one they've got and tell them it's an emergency so you will be fast tracked.

valiumredhead Wed 11-Sep-13 19:53:36

Ime hv's are a waste of time, seriously shit, I'm sure some are good, if fact I know some are but honesty some are useless and clueless about pnd.

Ring up first thing tomorrow and ask for an emergency appt, they release appts about 8 am on the day, it IS an emergency now as the hv has failed you.

Tell your gp everything you have said on this thread, do NOT gloss over things and say things are ok. Also tell your gp you tried to talk to the hv . She should've done an Edinburgh scale for depression at the very least.

Good luck x

LittleBearPad Wed 11-Sep-13 19:56:18

Phone the GP and ask for an emergency appointment for you. Explain to the receptionist as much as you can.

Also make an appointment with a GP re reflux.

It will get better, I promise. If you want a (hopefully) friendly face to talk to do let me know.

autumnqueen Wed 11-Sep-13 19:58:18


Having suffered pnd for the last 2 years, now recovering (off meds and feeling much better) I can totally relate to your experience of these early days.

My advice would be
- rule out reflux with GP re the crying
- please please don't feel like a failure, or feel any stigma from the possibility of having pnd. I'm also in my 30s, homeowner, career etc etc and through counselling and treatment I have learned it is not about your ability to cope. It is about an illness caused by levels of chemicals in your brain. It can and does literally happen to anyone.
- it IS impossible with 2 under 2 if your children are especially lively / do not sleep / do not settle / have reflux etc, and mums who seem to cope may well have kids with an easier temperament (or may be pretending to cope)

Posters have excellent advice on this thread, advice which I wish I had had (and taken) when my children were the age of yours.

No matter how tough it gets, look after yourself in whatever way helps you to stay calm and relaxed.
Wishing you all the best.

plantsitter Wed 11-Sep-13 20:10:22

Late to this thread just to lend support and sympathy. It is SO HARD and everyone with a similar age gap has agreed with me - so whatever you think you are doing brilliantly if you're all OK at the end of the day.

I'm in SE London and have some kid free mornings. If you are nearby i would be happy to help out by letting you get some kip or meeting you at a playgroup to hold the baby while you play with ds1.

Can only repeat: it gets better.

kohl Wed 11-Sep-13 20:43:13

Have been following your thread-your HV is a mammoth twat. Get an emergency GP appointment tomorrow. Definitely get them to rule out reflux.
I'm in central/West London, have some childfree mornings and can come over/meet you/whatever might help.
It is a shitty shitty time, there is loads of great advice on here. You're not alone. Will keep my fingers crossed for a good outcome at the GP tomorrow.

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Wed 11-Sep-13 20:49:05

YY I agree. Make an emergency appt tomorrow, don't let them fob you off with one in 2 weeks time. You waited for the HV and she failed you spectacularly. Maybe one day when you're stronger you can report her and save someone else. In the meantime never see her again, insist on someone else and tell them why.

Make an appt for dc2 and a double apt for you, back to back. That'll give you 3 appts worth of time and you're going to need it. Make sure it's with a sympathetic GP, worth waiting a few days for that, you really don't need another knock back. FWIW DC2 does seems to be crying a lot and where this may be normal it is worth getting him checked over and maybe trying reflux meds. Or if you got on well with your midwife, give them a ring and tell them the HV was hopeless and can they help you get an emergency apt or give you advice.

Also maybe contact the surestart centre near you. They'll know the places to access help too.

Have you used a dummy by the way? Or a white noise cd played really loud? Sorry, I'm sure you'll have tried that by now.

Don't worry about the crying causing long term harm. The evidence is fairly sketchy even for CIO (which I'm not a fan of) but you're not leaving him, he's just crying and you're doing your best, that's very different.

Don't worry about doing things right or wrong, just keep getting through the days. Deep breathe and focus on surviving the night, you're doing brilliantly.

nextphase Wed 11-Sep-13 20:52:22

For me, it was the HV who mentioned PND, and sent me to the GP.

So, I'd ring the GP, but see if you can get a sympathetic one 'cause otherwise they are as bad as your HV who needs shooting

Keep posting.

dimsum123 Wed 11-Sep-13 22:01:30

Haddock my offer to come and help out still stands. PM me if you would prefer. x

Haddock - reading your posts has brought back so many memories of my early days with dc2. He cried constantly. He never slept enough. He was a hideous, over tired mess and I was so resentful and guilty about my dd not getting any attention. It was horrendous hmm

A few things:-

You are not alone. A lot of people struggle. Some babies are more difficult than others. It's not your fault. You're not doing anything wrong!

Make an appointment with the GP ASAP. My HV was hopeless. She kept just telling me some babies cry more than others and implied I was making a mountain out of a molehill. My GP sorted me out (I had pnd). She properly looked for reasons why ds was crying all the time (he had treatment for silent reflux. He has treatment for oral thrush which the HV missed. He had a double war infection which HV also missed). Things improved gradually. I started to mix feed from 8 weeks (partly because I wanted/needed dh to
Do some of the night feeds and I was too exhausted to express. Partly because I thought he was hungry. He was a huge baby and I could only feed one sided) and things continued to improve. I bought one of those fisher price swing things, gave him a dummy and a comforter and he started sleeping more.

I don't which of those things helped - he's 3 and half now and he's still... Errrmmmm.... Strong willed confused so I suspect some of it is just his personality.

Try and get some friends to help. I know it's overwhelming now - but make it a medium term plan. Does you ds have friends at nursery? Can you make friends with any of the mums there? Even if they can just come round for a coffee - it will give your ds someone to play with and you someone to chat to without even leaving the house.

Good luck. It does get better. I promise smile Seeing my 2 together now is so lovely and I know I didn't make a mistake having a second. Took me a while and a lot of tears though x

dimsum123 Wed 11-Sep-13 22:06:20

I agree you need to go and see GP. Make 2 appts so you have enough time. 1 for you re PND. 2nd for the baby re colic/reflux.

I had severe PND with both my DC's. Eventually I was diagnosed and given anti d's. I wish I had sought help much mych much sooner. Please don't make my mistake. Go to your GP tomorrow.

FixItUpChappie Thu 12-Sep-13 02:29:16

I'm ticked on yiur behalf at that lousy HV angry

Agree about Getting to GP....for you and for baby - that is a lot of crying and any physical/health concerns should be ruled out as soon as possible

Can DS1 watch TV while you rock and feed baby to sleep?

do you own a swing?

good for you for getting both kids dressed and out the door - that is a huge accomplishment! You don't need to go out for hours on end either though...can just nip out for short walk here and there to break up the day, just saying...

quickchat Thu 12-Sep-13 22:15:40

haddock I have 3 close in age and they all had reflux disease.
A more serious form of reflux where they need Omeprazole in the first year of life to stop the stomach acid constantly coming up.
They screamed and screamed and screamed and fecking screamed.
I thought id go mad. It was one thing having it with a first baby but when I found out 2nd DC had it I just about died. She was the worst too. Never stopped feeding and screaming.
I had desperately wanted a girl after my boy but then I wanted to send her back. I kept saying things like "has she been sent to me in a joke" blush.
I thought I would NEVER get through it but I did. You Will, I promise.

I then found out I was PG with #3 shock. Im sure I had depression for the whole PG and I was sure Id never cope.
Sure enough he had bloody reflux too. I was numb. I managed him too. Im still sane. He is 1 now and I actually enjoy them and all the guilt has all but vanished!!

When you see your two boys playing and interacting next year your heart will melt and you will have actually forgotten just how god damn awful it was. Reading your post brought it back to me.

I have some tips for screaming babies though as im an expert!!

Lie him on his stomach (sod the rules he won't die) in the moses basket with the head end propped up a bit with books. It is more soothing on their tummy and they don't get startle reflex. Make sure he can lift and turn his head - he will.

If he sleeps with you let him lie on your tummy on his tummy but make sure you have no covers or pillows near him and lie in the middle of the bed. I used to wear my fleece zipped open! (just in the early weeks though, they get too big too quick.

95% of cot deaths are in houses with smokers so if you smoke don't do the above.

White noise will end crying instantly. We used the hairdryer smile! This is an obvious fire hazard so don't fall asleep. We eventually got it downloaded. INSTANT!!

Don't overfeed him. They need 2 hours at least from the start of one feed to the start of the next. It is the only way his immature digestion system can cope. I've had enough chats with consultants about reflux disease to know this is the case and have experienced this with 3 babies so bugger off any lurking breast feeding natzi's grin. Joking of course.

Im not saying he has reflux, he probably doesn't but crying babies, ill or not, don't go on crying. It calms down and you will calm down and so will your 19 month old and he won't remember a thing about it.

I know you are thinking you won't make it to Monday like this but you just will. Then the following week will come and go and so on then you will suddenly look at your 12 week old lying in his bouncy chair smiling at his big brother and you will be having a coffee (a whole one) and it will suddenly dawn on you "oh, he has been a lot better actually).

Sending you big hugs. You will lift your head and breathe again soon enough. x

valiumredhead Thu 12-Sep-13 23:10:26

Hi OP, hope you managed to see the gp today x

valiumredhead Fri 13-Sep-13 21:21:36

Hi OP, been thinking about you thanks

Haddock73 Sat 14-Sep-13 06:56:24

Thank you quick and valium. The last coupe days have been more managable... I've managed my expectations that I won't sleep more than an hour and anything more is a bonus, same with the crying. I'm expecting both dc to cry, ESP dc2 all the time, so when he's not again bonus.

Evenings are the worst, hecan cry from 4pm to midnight at times, despite everything - rocking, feeding, leaving in his moses.

I'm still crying but forcing myself to go to playgroups which give me less opportunity to cry as I'm outside.

I'm feeling less lousy and depressed but still finding myself wishing time away.

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Sat 14-Sep-13 07:20:17

Hi haddock, glad you're still keeping your head above water! Have you managed to see the GP? That level of crying really should be checked out, just to make sure there's nothing underlying.

This will pass. You will survive. You will live your baby. It's just going to take time. Keep plodding on, but get some help, even if you've had a marginally better day.

Puffykins Sat 14-Sep-13 07:32:12

I've been through this. I considered any moment when all three of us weren't crying a success.... It gets better. There's a book called Stupid Baby which helped turn things around for us, as DS decided the baby was his and he wanted to help look after it as much as he could (only hitch was that he then became very possessive and wouldn't let anyone else hold the baby.) Good luck. It will improve.

bigkidsdidit Sat 14-Sep-13 08:15:21

Wishing time away is quite usual ime and you know - your DC won't know you were thinking that, no harm to them. I do think you should take dc2 to the gp if you can about his crying x

pongping Sat 14-Sep-13 09:42:49

Did you manage to speak to your GP or HV at all? It really sounds like you could do with a bit of help. Not sure if you're still bf'ing or not, but there are anti-d's you can take while feeding (I had Sertraline) if you need them.

I was also given a B Vitamin complex and advised to take a fish oil supplement - you could start those now if you like (I found they really helped).

Big hugs xxx

valiumredhead Sun 15-Sep-13 09:36:40

I really would see the gp as a matter of urgency both for you and baby. Wishing time away it's normal but it can be a sign of depression so worth getting checked out.

I really do think reflux needs to be ruled out.

brew thanks

davidtennantsmistress Sun 15-Sep-13 09:56:54

Oh my lord, get yourself both to the dr, ds2 was a nightmare buit not to that extent, are you trying Colief any thing like that, short term give it a try, will ds settle if he's kept upright? How about a swing rocking thingy to keep him up? Sorry if this has already been suggested.

Your hv sounds a twunt tbh, but certainly all power to you, is your dh/p able to take the baby once he comes in so you can have an hour with ds1?

magicturnip Sun 15-Sep-13 10:06:18

So sorry you feel like this. Haven't time to read all of the thread but if ds1 doesn't like ergo then take him out. Not all babies like all slings. Maybe try a kari me or a connecta instead?

78bunion Sun 15-Sep-13 10:13:17

I remember it being exactly like that (now they sleep in so late I am having lunch when they rise sometimes). It does get better.....

Our first did loads of crying. The answer seemed to be almost continuous breastfeeding (easier said than done); a white noise tape; a regular routine every night, no lights on in the dark at night, not much attention; sometimes co-sleeping; working full time from when they were a few weeks old so at least there was a break from them; at weekends trying to sleep from 2 - 4pm each afternon whilst the other half has the babies or a babysitter does.

Spiritedwolf Sun 15-Sep-13 10:17:52

Thinking of you

Just going to repeat the pieces of advice I think are really important.

GP for you (not saying you do have PND because anyone getting that little sleep and hearing their baby cry all the time would be upset, but you are at risk)

and GP for your baby. I know some babies cry more than others, but it could be a sign of something wrong, like reflux. Is your baby feeding well? If there is no physical cause then you might find some information on babies who seem to have 'high needs' helpful

Do get in touch with Home Start they offer support to parents of young children for all kinds of reasons, including exhaustion and being overwhelmed. Seriously, they could really help you.

It's not giving in to get help, really no one is going to judge you for needing a hand with this difficult situation.

Choos123 Sun 15-Sep-13 18:38:14

Haddock, I agree to seeing the dr but just wanted to say I can't imagine coping any better, dd cried 4pm to midnight til about 6/7 weeks, just getting through is just fine, don't beat yourself up. I bet most of those people you think are judging you in the street either feel sorry for you or are not nice people.

GetYourSocksOff Sun 15-Sep-13 20:48:04

Hi, just checking in again to see how you're getting on.

I really, really feel for you with the crying. I feel judged a lot too since having my second. And feel a lot of guilt about my first. Hang on in there, it just gets gradually easier and easier as milestones are reached and yes, even though it's such a precious time in some ways, tbh it basically just feels like survival sometimes in those early days. That's not just you, either. Take care xx

78bunion Mon 16-Sep-13 09:41:53

Agree with Choos - our no,. 1 cried every night. We had a pattern I would breastfeed after work just about all evening or so it felt. I would go to bed at 10pm and sleep. Her father would hold her often over his shoulder patting her back until mid night. Then he would hand her to me if she were still awake and I would also feed her at 2 and 6. At 8 we both left for work with huge relief. She is now in her 20s and still sleeps very badly very often which is terribly helpful for her City job where fairly often she has to work all night after a full day....

whyno Mon 16-Sep-13 10:47:58

Sensing you a huge hug. Please know you're not alone. Have a 2 y o and a 3 wk old and all that kept me sane last night was reading this thread. Really identify with loads you said. Hope you have a good day today. It will get better!

ZingWantsCake Mon 16-Sep-13 10:59:36


Check out Priscilla Dunstan Baby Language on The Oprah Show on YouTube!

I have 6 kids and only found out abput her with my last - I would go through all 6 labours (even the traumatic one and the C-section) happily if only I could start over armed with that knowledge! I am jot kidding!


I can't link,but google it

ZingWantsCake Mon 16-Sep-13 12:27:23

I am *not kidding

ZingWantsCake Mon 16-Sep-13 12:27:24

I am *not kidding

ZingWantsCake Mon 16-Sep-13 12:27:24

I am *not kidding

ZingWantsCake Mon 16-Sep-13 12:27:24

I am *not kidding

ZingWantsCake Mon 16-Sep-13 12:28:27

see my phone sent it 4 times for emphasis.

(sorry about that! )

Haddock73 Mon 16-Sep-13 14:43:07

Thank you for the support everyone, really appreciate it. I saw the dr this morning, she was really kind and understanding and said it seems unlikely I have pnd which is good, it was more of a case of being exhausted and still in the postnatal stage so hormonal. She was sympathies and said if I ever felt things were too much to see her again or the HV, but to make sure I looked after myself, ate, slept when I could etc

She also said ds2 was gaining weight well and as he slept for 3 hour stretches at night it was unlikely he has silent reflux etc. I mentioned the constant screaming and she suggested I speak to the HV about that.

Dh and I had a horrendous row yesterday, we both screamed at each other for hours and in front of the boys which frightened ds1 and made him cry and he clung onto me the which was upsetting. After we calmed down we apologised to ds1 and gave him lots of hus, but I feel terribly guilty. We're rowing a lot more recently.

Am finding it easier to look at ds2 recently but still feel guilty that I don't feel that massiveoverwhemling love I did/do for ds1.

zing thank you I will check out the clip.

valiumredhead Mon 16-Sep-13 14:52:39

I didn't feel that over whelming love until ds was 3 months old and he smiled at me in the bath. You have YEARS of over whelming love for him yet.

Sounds like things are improving and your gp sounds good smile x

PS the row thing is normal, you're both stressed and exhausted. Ds won't even remember it. You did the right thing apologising, just move on from it.

sittinginthesun Mon 16-Sep-13 15:05:29

Hi Op. Hugs from me too.

In my case is was my eldest who was the screamer - he screamed from at least 4pm to 10pm every evening, and nothing I did made the slightest bit of difference.

My DH and I either rowed or sobbed, night after night. I was beyond exhaustion.

All I can say is that it gradually got easier, and eventually stopped. Don't know why.

I always thought that getting out helped, but was also very stressful, as I couldn't stop in a cafe or library with him. I just walked and walked.

I think you have to hold onto the thoughts:

1. It will pass and you will be telling the story on Mumsnet to another knackered mum in a few months time;

2. It will NOT hurt your eldest child;

3. Don't look at other babies and mums and try and compare.

Haddock73 Mon 16-Sep-13 19:53:35

Thank you valium and sitting it helps knowing that the overwhelming love will hopefully come soon, and that I'm not alone with the arguments with dh.

There are points I the day that I honesty feel like walking out and not coming back...I even called the Samaritans because I felt so low yesterday, but then there are times like today where I feel a lot more positive.

I wish I could stop trying to be perfect all the time, I feel like a failure unless the housework is done and both dc are happy and content.

GetYourSocksOff Mon 16-Sep-13 21:11:12

Haddock I wish I could hug you, I feel like I'm reading about myself a year ago.

DH and I have struggled after both babies, the year mark has been a turning point for us both times. I know that will still seem like a million years away.

Are you taking a multivitamin? It sounds a bit lame but a good one can turn me into a different person when I'm run down. Kick starts the immune system and improves my mood within a couple of days.

I know what you mean about the house too. Have you tried home start yet? They sent a cleaner round to my best friend for a couple of hours each week for a while, it really helped her.

LittleBearPad Mon 16-Sep-13 23:23:20

Haddock big hug. I'm sorry you aren't happy but it will get better. Well don for going to the GP.

Don't worry about the row. It really isn't surprising when you (both) are exhausted. Things will get better and if they don't go back to the GP. Ask for another HV if you need to as well. You need good support from a HV.

Fingers crossed that DS2 settles better very very soon. Please shout if we can help.

VioletStar Tue 17-Sep-13 04:07:15

Haddock, I've lurked for a while, because I wanted to see you were ok, and because I have no real advice to give but want to say as other posters have said - you are doing great.
I really empathise with what you are going through: you bring back where I was 9 years ago when my darling dd was born. See? Darling dd. I didn't fall in love with her instantly like my first (ds), but there it was one day, a smile, and I was hooked. You will get there, don't fret.
As for the rows, as awful as they are, yep we did that too. You are both tired and anxious no doubt. DH and I kept talking and spelling it out for each other how we felt, so that we didn't assume the other knew automatically how hard our day had been iyswim. Too tired to work it out!
You are doing fab. Don't worry about counting hours and minutes - whatever works. And do try and get outside as often as you can. I used to go for a walk, ds in buggy, dd in sling just to while away time until breakfast etc. Keep posting and big hugs to you

Haddock73 Tue 17-Sep-13 12:34:49

Hi everyone, I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone that has supported me and given me the encouragement to carry on in these really tough first few weeks. This will probably be my last post on this thread as I feel I have already Aiken up a lot of everyone's time and space on this forum, but I wanted to let you all know how kind, generous and supportive you've all been, and I know we're all strangers but you're kind words and offers of help have really helped me through some very bleak tough times.

Thank you all again and I really ope one day I can offer another mum the same words of support and comfort you've all give me.


ZingWantsCake Tue 17-Sep-13 13:36:52

good luck Haddock, I hope things will improve soon!

this is the link to the Dunstan baby language, please watch it!

sittinginthesun Tue 17-Sep-13 13:41:57

Yes, good luck. And don't worry about coming back on this thread if you need a bit of a scream. We all need a hug from time to time.

valiumredhead Tue 17-Sep-13 14:04:30

Oh please post on here as long as you need to OP, you haven't taken up any one's time out we wouldn't be reading! thanks

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Tue 17-Sep-13 14:14:43

All the best haddock. Come back whenever you think we can help.

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