How do I deal with a new baby and no doubt dss asking questions(44 Posts)
I'm 39 weeks pg with my first baby, and I'm getting a bit stressed and wound up with the following;
i'm hoping to bf and I've been advised that I need to do it for a few weeks in order to establish a good flow of milk supply for the baby. The way the timings all fall it looks like we will have to have dss over easter but baby will literally be no more than 2 weeks old. how the hell am I meant to bf a baby with dss about? I don't think I'll feel comfortable lobbing my boob out, with a swollen flabby belly and stretch marks galore with him about the house; I don't want all the questions being asked and him to see me in that state. aibu?
Could your partner try and arrange with his ex you not having him so much over Easter? Not excluding him but just giving you a bit more time to settle with the baby? x
I have thought that but dh hates letting him down. would it seem too much to suggest that?
How old is DSS? I think not having him when you're supposed to might make him feel a bit pushed out tbh.
That's what I asked my partner to do. I said I'm happy for them to visit soon after but he drops them off again rather then having them a full weekend with them. It would be too much at first.
If dh is off work then I think you would manage fine - he could entertain dss, in or out of the house.
If in your own, it is a little unfair imo of your dh to expect you to take on the responsibility, as there is no way of knowing how you will be after the birth.
I don't know how old dss is, but dsd, who was 5 when dd was born, stared curiously the first time she saw me feeding dd, then really couldn't have cared less. Obv if he is a teen, might be awkward on both parts...!
Yes but if you explain properly to the DSS? and it can be made up to him.
My stepson (10 at the time) came for the weekend when DD was 3-5 days old. I found it really really tough - my milk was just coming in, she was feeding round the clock, and I wanted DH to focus on my SS to ensure he didn't feel pushed out. I was knackered beyond all sense, hormonal, and felt i was really struggling.
I still don't regret the decision though. It was really really important to us that my SS didn't feel pushed out by the baby, and a part of that was not changing normal contact weekends (obviously would have had to if in labour, but not if it could possibly be avoided).
He's 7 and asks questions about EVERYTHING! I don't feel comfortable being in my underwear in front of him, and definitely would feel right bf in front of him.
dss doesn't live local, 4 hours away so it's never for a few hours visit it has to be to stay for a few days. The in laws are meant to be coming too, and tbh if it could be down to me, I would want a good 4-6 weeks to get the hang of things. I guess maybe I should see how I am after the labour to determine what I'll be up for.
We have our own business and I just have this feeling dh will be going to work he seems to think this will all be easy and I'll just get on with it.
I see. well good luck with what you decide. I hadn't even thought of the breastfeeding. Luckily we have 2 living rooms so I guess I'd just go into the privacy of the one the are not in. Not ideal though!
Then you need to tell dh what you expect of him. My dh just assumed i would be ok, as had been a step mum for 3 yrs so I was supposed to know what I was doing . He had been there, done that, so was an old hand at it
or so he thought and genuinely needed reminding that I was a right novice!
Are the ILs aware that they will be cooking your meals, helping with the laundry and feeding you lots of cake? If their expectations are in any way different then they too need a chat! Not once did my MIL offer to help, made me dead cross, and she only used to pay fleeting visits.
Again my in laws live 4 hours away and it's not just a flying visit, they are having to stay with us
ha no she will expect to be entertained i'm dreading it. She may surprise me.the more awkward thing is she's not my actual mil just FIL partner, and she has to have her own bloody cup & saucer. I'm tempted to break it
A tip I was given - "oh the baby needs feeding, I'm off upstairs to feed him/her, help yourself to tea, biscuits, --the washing up--"
ha i'm going to be spending most of my time keep going upstairs and feeding. hopefully they will get the message!
Lots of baby mooning upstairs just you and the baby. Dh will have to step up and look after dss and whatever other visitors you have.
Buy some stretchy vest tops. When you bf have a vest under your T-shirt. You can then pull the T-shirt up and the vest down slightly at one side. This is how I minimised how much of my flesh was showing!
You really need to make sure your dh is around as much as possible though. For gaps when dh has to go out do you have a games console he can become absorbed in?
If you have the in laws too it gives you a good excuse to disappear without dss feeling like it's him. He'll most likely be too embarrassed to look your way if he doesn't even usually see you in your underwear. Seven year old boys are quite a funny bunch about stuff like that.
Your husband has to step up here. I resent my ex being weak and passive in the early days of our dd's life even to this day, eight years on. I tried escaping to the bedroom but relatives would come and find me and moon at dd while she fed. It was that hot June 2006 and I was a fat, sweaty, emotional mess. Talk to your DH, tell him how worried you are. There are no prizes for being the most capable impressive new mum and that way PND lies. He needs to minimise your suffering and if that means taking ds out then he has to do that. If he's working in your business does that assume that you'll care for dss too??!
As an aside, I am no expert so I may be corrected here, by 2/4 weeks I imagine you will have either established breast feeding, or given up. All being well and "normal".
Just go upstairs. There's a new baby you can't really say DSS isn't welcome!
Your dss will feel really pushed out if you send him away.
DSS is part of the family and therefore will probably be offended at being told he has to swap dates. BUT I totally understand you want privacy; I was quite confident with breastfeeding, but I did hesitate when it came time to bf in front of my brother in law for the first time.
I had a strappy top on underneath and pulled that down and the top up and no one could see anything. However. You can always go into the bedroom to breastfeed if that makes it easier for you.
I'd direct any questions from your DSS to your DH and get DH to make sure that there is plenty to do. Make sure your inlaws know to make tea etc - she might expect to be entertained, but you don't have to. (and if MIL gets frustrating, baby wants feeding and it is time to wander into the bedroom!!)
I have a lot of sympathy for you K8eee as i went through a similar situation when i gave birth to DS 6 months ago. My DH is self employed so couldn't take any paternity leave (although did try to work fewer hours in the first week). DS was struggling to latch and i just needed to spend the first few days with my boobs out trying to establish bf. However, once the in-laws and DSS (13) descended this was virtually impossible. I couldn't just disappear upstairs as they all wanted to see the baby and in practical terms, post EMCS i could barely climb the stairs in the first few days. Once i had got myself downstairs and settled on the sofa with DS, that was basically it for the day.
With DS not latching (eventually discovered to be due to tongue tie), i was trying to express every couple of hours with an electric pump. Now it really was impossible to be plugged in with a pump attached to my boob with visitors and with DSS around. With DH not always around, i needed to be downstairs to have easy access to food and drinks. I resent people saying 'you could just take the baby upstairs'. I could barely walk, couldn't lie comfortably in bed, had no TV to watch upstairs (sounds trivial but try pumping for hours without it) and nothing to eat or drink up there. If DH took DSS out, it just meant that i had even less support as DH wasnt around that much anyway.
So i will go against the grain and say that this is the one time you should be able to delay DSS's visit, at least for the first 2 weeks. If this is not possible, them definitely talk to your DH about your concerns and see if in-laws could help look after DSS and take him out a bit. And even then leave things flexible, if you have a C-section or difficult birth the only visitors you will want in the first couple of weeks are those who are going to make themselves useful. Athough i think my DSS had to grow up a bit when he realised i couldn't get off the sofa to make him breakfast so with DH at work he was going to have to sort himself out or starve!
My attempts at bf or expressing did not last long and after a couple of weeks i was ff. Nothing wrong with that but i do feel that i could have given it more of a shot if i had just had some privacy. I know some people will argue that a step child should not be excluded from the new family but it is only very very short term and a DSS is very different to a DS when it comes to the step mother's privacy. I certainly did not want a 13 year old boy who was not related to me staring at my boobs and it's difficult to be discreet when your baby is struggling to latch and you're being visited by midwives or lactation consultants every day who are man handling your boobs! I dont think many DH really think about this in advance and they do need it raising as it should be their responsibility to handle the situation with in laws and stepchildren.
Red bird your comment is like a breath of fresh air!
I feel awful with the idea of delaying dss coming, but he's not exactly at an age where I can leave him to entertain himself. I know what he's like and very demanding. when we have him he speaks to his mum every day and the last thing I think dh would want is for him to say to her he's been bored and then for her to use that against us having him in the future. I totally agree that it's just a short term thing, and I really thought I was being unreasonable thinking that. even with the in laws wanting to visit, is it too harsh to put that off when I want to try and establish bf? dh and I were talking about it tonight and have mentioned about getting a breast pump if I get on with it ok, but still that means I've got to hide myself away while I strap myself up to it
If the in-laws are planning to stay, i would definitely put that off for the first 2 weeks. I think a short visit is fine but the only people you will want in your house are those who will help out and you dont mind seeing your boobs!!
My mum and sister came for the day when DS was 1 week old (DH was at work all day) and spent the day doing sorting out washing loads, changing beds, cleaning up and making food whilst i sat on the sofa trying to feed the baby. That is the kind of help you need. I know it is difficult when it feel like one side of the family are seeing more of the baby than the other but that's because when DH's relatives came round, they sat down and waited for me to make them a cup of tea!
One other thing, have you got a plan for DSS if you go into labour whilst he is with you? I nagged DH for ages to sort something out and he came up with a half hearted plan of his ex coming to fetch DSS again and meeting at the hospital (they live 2 hours away). In reality, this was not very practical when labour came on quickly and i needed to go to hospital at 3am. I made DH call the in laws and DSS just had to be left by himself in bed until they came round, it was ridiculous to think he was going to travel half an hour by car with a labouring woman and then sit in a hospital car park by himself in the middle of the night for another hour or 2!!
Unfortunately my labour slowed right down which meant we spent most of the next day in the delivery room before it was decided i needed an EMCS. In laws were going away for a few days the following day so DH had to collect DSS again soon after i had given birth. I was on a high dependency ward where only DH could visit but he couldnt spend much time with me as he was having to leave DSS outside in the car!
Anyway, if i did this again i would also think strongly about not having DSS to stay when i was a week overdue as the weekend for him consisted of a lot of hanging around and he would have been better just to have stayed at home. I know the other way round we would have been happy to have had DSS if his mother was giving birth, it's just men that seem to panic if they miss a contact weekend, regardless of the circumstances.
My family are totally different and are more than happy to help themselves and not go out, whereas I just won't feel comfortable with the in laws around when I know fil gf will be looking at what state the house is in and what I haven't done before they arrive.
you must've read my mind I totally had that thought running through my head. maybe the in laws might understand, but dh doesn't seem to get it either that my hormones will still be a bit all over the shop, and I won't want to be entertaining.
well I've already told dh that if I haven't had the baby by the time easter comes round or it is very early days that they will have to rearrange when dss comes to stay. I'm not putting my family out for looking after dss. as nasty as that sounds it's more to do with what his mother is like. she's totally unreasonable and one of those who will use every reason for dss never to stay with us again. she would claim that he has been left with strangers. A load of rubbish but she's done it before.
yep my dh feels like he is letting him down if he doesn't have him for his scheduled time. its difficult but he needs to get his priorities right. I probably sound like a selfish, bratish kid, but surely a bit of support and one on one time while I'm giving birth and adapting to a new way of life isn't too much to ask...?
His priority is looking after both his kids, he can support you and have his DS around.
For once my EX got that bit right.
It is not too much to ask, but your circumstances are not the normal for the whole of your family. Do not exclude your DS - mine have gone from hating the idea of a new sib to adoring him because they saw him when he was brand new - it mattered big time to them. As to boobs - they both said yuk never wanted to see them after one look! This was 2 weeks ago
It is a new way of life for everyone.
I'm afraid I agree with the previous poster - his priority should be his children. that's not to say that you aren't important too, but you're an adult. his son did not make the decision to have a sibling, and doesn't have grown up powers of reasoning for dealing with it. changing his visit dates may well make him feel pushed out and if that is his first impression of what happens when a new sibling comes along it could take a long while for his relationship with you all to recover
Just wanted to say I know exactly how you feel and I don't think it's unreasonable for you to ask for a little space. BF is a a new thing both you and baby will have to learn and being stressed out will not help at all and could interfere with that process. I think asking for a babymoon whilst you bond with your baby is not asking too much. All Kids are important but so are you as well, don't let yourself be put on the back burner or you could end up with resentment as well. Also you will be very hormonal and maybe prone to being upset, surely it's not worth risking a good relationship with SS by maybe getting stressed out and upset.
I think it's unreasonable for your DP to expect you to babysit SS whilst he goes off to work when you've just had a baby.
I agree with those that have said that DSS should be able to come still but on the condition that you are not left to baby sit.
You can take new baby to room then and BF in peace and have a rest when you can get it.
I would make it crystal clear that this is your expectation and that your DH will not be leaving you to cope with new baby and DSS or if he can not tkae the time off work then unfortunately he will have to find alternative childcare arrangements for DSS whilst he is at work.
I do feel that it is BU for you to expect him not to have his son but i feel even stronger that he would be an absolute dick to expect YOU to have him whilst you are adapting to the new baby!
K8eee, I know where you're coming from, and I don't think you're asking too much.
My DD is almost 4 weeks, and I have 3 DSC (9, 5, nearly 4) who spend every other week with us. This is most definitely their home as much as their mum's is...but I asked DH to arrange with their mum for them to stay with her for the first couple of days we were out of hospital, just to give me a chance to find my feet (in the end it wasn't necessary as it was a week they were at their mum's anyway). Most of the time DH & his ex stick rigidly to their custody arrangements, but changes of a couple of days here and there are sometimes made, and for much less reason than a new baby.
That said, we made sure that my DSC were the first visitors to the hospital, the only people we allowed to come on the day DD was born (DH went to get them from their mum's). Is there something like this you could do to show your DSS he is special? (Easier for us as we don't have the distances you do).
The first week my DSC were here after DD's birth it was half-term, and there again, they only slept here, spending the days at their mum's - we'd never usually do that, but DH runs his own business & couldn't promise to be around all week, and I felt I was well within my rights to refuse to look after a newborn plus 3 under-10s.
In all cases, though, I really had to explain, explain and explain again to DH; he just seemed to think that we'd sail through the whole thing, and he was also afraid I was turning against his DCs now that I was about to have my own.
I should point out that for me none of this would be necessary if we had any help with my DSC, but despite my ILs and all DH's close friends (inc DSC's godparents, etc) living locally, we don't. If we could have counted on people to take a child or two for a Saturday afternoon, feed them, take them to tennis lessons, etc etc, the plan would have been for them to stay with us.
All is now back to normal, and although I'm not looking forward to the Easter hols, there's no way I'd ask for the DSC not to come, as circumstances don't justify it any more.
OP, I don't think it would do any harm to postpone DSS's visit, on this one occasion. DSS has got years ahead of him to bond with the baby, does it really matter if you have the first week without him?
I have a 7yr old DS, an 8yr old DSS and a 6month old DD. SS also lives a 4hr drive away, and I told DH that we'd have SS over at the start of the hols and then again once DD came along. Reason being SS won't stay with anyone else (despite him having GPs and an aunty near us) and DH's ex could get funny about that. NB I had suggested that if he does come over during due date time, he goes with my DS to my parents, but that didn't go down well!
So, SS came over at the start of the summer hols, and then after DD was born.
For anyone who came to visit (adults obv), I told them they were welcome to, as long as they didn't expect me to run around after them. Most people were fine with that. I reckon let your DH know that he'll be needed to help out with your SS, and tell any visitors that they can help out too. (otherwise they can always stay at a hotel and then come see you for a bit during the day!) xx
It's really difficult as both dh and I work seasonally and are self employed. He went to work for the first day today, but we have a couple.of staff if we need them. This probably sounds a bit odd, but if it were a case of dh having to go back to work after baby has been born and I had to get on with it on my own I know I would, but the thought of visitors is stressing me out already.
With regards to the in laws i'm definitely going to make sure dh tells them they will need to fend for themselves and not to expect me to be entertaining them. The other thing that's bothering me a bit is that FIL partner is one of those who not so subtly would check to see what I have and haven't cleand/done and judge me on it. I know by that point once baby is here I won't give a toss but they're not the sort to offer to put the hoover around or do the washing up. my parents are the opposite and I know they'd stay as long as they could to help out. I don't think I could get two different ends of the spectrum!
regarding dss, dh knows I'm. concerned but as a pp has mentioned, their partner also thought they would be able to manage. I would feel bad for him and dh to put their visit off, and can see dss may be put out that because a ba y has come a long he has to change his plans, but I think some of you are right saying dh needs to be around.
tbh this is going to sound awful, but I sort of hope this baby is late so as I have an excuse to have a bit of alone time before the next kids holiday
It's not awful at all! I'm assuming this is your first baby? I bet you're already on a roller coaster of emotions with that. It's completely new territory and there's no Lonely Planet guide for it!! Of course you want to have the time to find your feet without having to worry about ILs.
When my DS was born, I was kind of shell shocked (I think most new parents are) and in a bit of a daze, before then finding my feet and getting to grips with things. I was lucky enough to have lovely rels/family/friends who were very kind and helpful (ex had walked when I was pregnant, so I was on my own). When I had DD, I was juggling a hubby who was injured due to a big RTA the month before the birth (I drove us to hospital!), looking after my DS and worrying about how DSS was going to feel. Despite being an "old hand" at the parenting lark, I defo needed some alone time!
RE: feeding in front of people (inc DSS)...I used a shawl/muslin initially but was very open with DS and DSS about what I was doing and why. They were really good about it, although DSS was a bit freaked. I just told him that BFing was one way to feed a baby. He thought that babies were only fed by bottles!
RE: DSS...I just involve him as much as possible. The boys (my DS and DSS) are very good though. I've had to tell them that it's NOT that I don't want to hang out with them, it's simply that I can't so much as there's a tiny baby who is incapable of doing much and needs a lot of my time....and they were babies too once! Dunno if I'm making sense there. The boys have little things they do to help: pass a nappy/nappy bucket (I use cloth nappies), fetch/carry stuff, guard the baby (while I go to the toilet), try and make her laugh etc...and it's great. I did make a big fuss about how important they are, as they're now big brothers etc etc, and they're cool with that.
RE: entertaining people/visitors. Sod that!! I'd be absolutely clear with them beforehand, that whilst you'd love to see them, you're not some Butlins Red Coat, nor are you about to cook a 5 course meal or slave over getting the home into a candidate for designer house magazine. They're welcome to come and see you/DH/DSS/baby...and...
-bring a dish/takeout (so you don't have to cook!)
-run a hoover around.
-pick up some bits from the shop
-do a load of washing up.
-watch/hold/soothe the baby while YOU (yes you!) get your head down and nap for a couple of hours, or have a shower...or both.
-do something cool with DSS.
If they're not cool with that, then they can stay at a hotel. And yeah, defo make sure DH is going to be home with you, if DSS and ILs are going to be over xxx
If your DSS is anything like my DSS (who was 10) he'll run out of the room the moment you unclip your nursing bra. I don't know who was more embarrassed me or him. After having my nether regions poked around by several medical types, stitches, catheter and once home extreme sleep deprivation I suddenly didn't care if DSS saw my boobs.
Fast forward to my dc2 both of us are comfortable with me bf and expressing. The way dh and I see it is that at least he got to see what boobs are meant for before puberty kicks in.
Seriously though its very hard to establish bf, I wish you luck with it all.
Could you invite your own parents to stay so that there no room for the in-laws to come too?
purple roses that is actually a really good idea, the only thing is that the in laws are meant to be bringing dss with them at easter hence why another reason I am hoping baby is late. its a little up in the air as to when who is coming, but I could do without the in laws. what's hacked me off even more is FIL partner has said to dh 'you get her to work tomorrow! Then that baby will be out sunday' I swear she thinks all I do is sit on my arse!!!!!
Fingers crossed for a late baby then. First babies are most often late so you might be in luck.
I think it is just really difficult making plans around a baby being born unless your family are all super flexible with no other commitments in their lives - and local. Because there's actually a window of about 5 weeks when the baby is quite likely to arrive. That's hard to make plans around. My ex's DW went overdue by 2 weeks so I had the full 5 weeks or so knowing my ex might or might not have the DCs are planned. I understood that they needed that at least for when she was in hospital but it is difficult not being able to plan anything, and all for a baby that to be fair I was less than excited about.
Hope you manage to get the in-laws to be some use in looking after DSS rather than feeling they're coming for a holiday.
I totally get where you're coming from but you might be worrying about nothing. I never expected to feel the way I did about bf and to be honest in the end I didn't care who was in the room, even did it with fil in the room (think he was more embarrassed!)
If you're still worried then take yourself and baby off to bed for as long as you want. You getting your feeding established is more important than anything else in my opinion.
Re dss questions, get some leaflets from your midwife or local bf support organisation. Or just answer the questions. There's not much he could really ask is there?
Oh, and get yourself a tube of lansinoh nipple cream. It will be your best friend after a few days of constant feeding!
Take care! I'm guessing your due date is around about now?
due date was yesterday 23rd. any minute now basically!
dh has spoken to his dad and mentioned I want a bit of time to get the hang of things, not sure if he fully understands. I'm hoping we'll have a bit of quiet time before everyone descends on us but I feel a lot better about being able to tell people how I feel about them visiting.
K8eee, Good Luck! I am just a mum, not a step mum.
I just wanted to echo kinkytoes in that actually, once your beautiful baby is here you may find you don't give a flying fig about your boobs/who sees, as you become really focussed on the baby and meeting their needs. I was cringing at the thought of BF, until I met my DD.
Lots of time in bed with baby skin to skin (well, I suggest a nappy for the baby!) to help get BF established (and an excuse to hide). Stock your bedside drawer with trail bars/flapjacks now, and a multipack of evian under the bed - Oats are good for milk production and if you have supplies set up ready then worst case scenario, you don't have to brave going downstairs ;)
Then when you have to be sociable strappy top pulled down and other top pulled up to limit the exposure. Bravado Bodysilk or equiv comfy nursing bra; and vast selection of baby blankets and muslins to hand to hide behind if you want to.
adagio thank you so much, that means a lot and a really nice response. I'm still waiting for lo to arrive, and dh still has it set in his head I'll be ok for dss to visit. I should be as long as he is about to look after him. its difficult as I am stressing about it but he is aware that I am worried. men just don't get it
Just wondering how you're getting on OP, has baby arrived yet?
did you say you had 2 living rooms? make one a you only room for when you're breastfeeding during the time. get dh to explain to dss that you're breastfeeding (I'm sure he knows what that is) and that you want some privacy but that gradually baby will feed less often and you will spend more time with him then.
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