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To be upset that DP's mum will help look after DD?

(54 Posts)
OhThePlacesYoullGo Sun 12-May-13 22:40:30

I know I am not being rational and almost certainly pretty overemotional and hormonal. With my due date moving ever closer and having had a pretty rubbish time of things health wise (epilepsy) throughout my pregnancy, my DP's mother has offered to take two months leave off work to come stay with us and help once DD is born.

DP thinks it's a brilliant idea and doesn't really seem to get why I am in floods of tears over this. DP's mum is utterly lovely and his parents have been nothing but supportive and kind to us; they're not the problem. I guess I am just so sad that we will not be alone as a family with our first baby and that I will not get to do all the mummy things myself. Does that make sense?

I know realistically we need help, DP is studying and while he wants to do most of the nights, I will still need someone around during the day as it would not be safe for me to be alone with DD at the moment. It's just not how I thought things would be.

PicaK Tue 14-May-13 07:42:41

Can i just say that it's perfectly normal to grieve for the loss of your new family unit time that you won't be able to have. Regardless of pregnancy hormones - it's shit and I have huge sympathy. You are allowed to be upset and work through that. Be kind to yourself. Not being able to carry baby sounds horrendous.

And then it's time to dust yourself down and gird yourself with a war plan. Draw up a list of baby related tasks and plan how you will do them and what MIL's role will be. Then buy big bunch of flowers for mil to show your gratitude and ask her to go through the list for her 'input'. She may even have useful ideas! This will cover a lot of bases - such as you can do the bath but presumably she'll be sat in bathroom with you. Your midwife or HV can be got on side and explain to her how wonderful she is not muscling in and taking over etc.

That said it is knackering with a small baby and you may appreciate being able to slope off for a shower. And she will need her grandma time. Your DH needs to make serious promises to you that if she oversteps the mark repeatedly then he'll deal with it. She might be pleased to know she's not expected to skivvy for 2 months.

Can i just say though that feeding on the floor is all very well and safe but feeding on the bed sounds a downsight more confortable to me. With enough cushions should be safe, surely?

AngryGnome Tue 14-May-13 07:37:53

I can completely understand why you are upset about this, but I think too much importance is placed on this ideal of 'mummy daddy baby time'. Yes, of course you need space together as a new little family, but that doesn't need to be intensive 24/7 for weeks. Many women find their births don't go to plan, and even if they do few are fortunate enough for the first couple of weeks to be unadulterated joy sequestered away from the rest of the world.

I had to have my mum stay for 3/4 months after a difficult birth - I know that is different to a MIL, but it still made me feel sad in the way you do. She did all the bathing, nappy changing, walking around jogging him to sleep - it was not nice to go through that, but it has not affected my bond with DS one bit.

If I was you I would ask her to come after dp paternity leave, and come for weekdays only. Can you also make her aware that if you have friends over, it would be kind if she could make herself scarce? Do you think you will be able to get out and about a lot to baby classes? If so, could she just drop you off and pick you up, and not stay?

Good luck, and I hope all goes well with the birth, and that you will find out that in those magical early weeks no matter how much practical nappy changing/bathing etc you MIL does, your baby will ALWAYS look to you for love and comfort, because you are his/her mum smile

musu Tue 14-May-13 07:15:20

I think it is pretty rare for the reality of caring for a newborn to match up to how you think/hope it would be. In my case ds was 7 weeks early and when he was a week old he wasn't expected to survive. He spent nearly 4weeks in SCBU a fair bit of that time in intensive care. Not at all what is hoped for or planned. When he came home he was still poorly and I couldn't do many of the things I'd contemplated doing when I was pregnant.

I got through it and dealt with everything and the one thing I did struggle with was going to baby groups and seeing other mothers with their normal healthy babies.

Although it is hard to think like this whilst you are pregnant you are fortunate to have someone that can step in and help for the time you need. You just need to ensure you are in control and you make the decision when the time is right for your MIL to leave. My mum was a nightmare because whilst she wanted to help and insisted she was actually very scared of looking after ds but didn't want to tell me. I wish in hindsight we'd had an proper discussion about what we both wanted and expected from each other. Good luck.

tomatoplantproject Tue 14-May-13 07:00:33

The best thing you might do is talk to your mil and let all your fears out - if you are able to communicate how much you appreciate her help but how much you fear not bonding as a family unit it may well trigger her own maternal instincts and set the groundwork for her giving you enough space while being a good support. This will only work if you really trust her though.

And as for projects - get sewing!! I made some stuff for the baby while I was on mat leave (a blind, bedding for the cot) and have only been able to get my machine out once since (when dh and dsil had dd).

PenelopePipPop Mon 13-May-13 20:18:43

I have focal epilepsy, probably TLE, so had lots of clusters of SPs and CPs at least once a day. They rarely secondarily generalised. I'm totally controlled with meds right now (keppra and zonisamide) but can't really get pregnant on this lot so would need to come off the meds to get pregnant again which I'm not sure I could face...

I didn't develop it till DD was 1, sheer bad luck I got encephalitis and this was the leftover.

I didn't find anything magic in terms of coping when I was really ill but DH has always been great. Rest as much as possible. Keep telling yourself you are doing a great job when all of you get to the end of the day alive, not smelling too bad and not suffering from malnutrition. Pregnancy coming to an end will obviously make the crazy seizure shit calm down but do not underestimate how awful the sleep deprivation can be and if that is one of your triggers take it v v v seriously! I don't know if you plan to breastfeed, I breastfed DD and it was great but if I was to have another child I would definitely plan to get DH to give some bottles for nightfeeds from 3-4 weeks so that I could get a decent block of sleep then. And I wouldn't express either - I did not have time to sit around expressing milk during the day whilst looking after a newborn. But your experience may be different. Just don't feel like you've failed in anyway if formula turns out to be your sanity-saver.

Oh an if you have frequent TCs you cannot co-sleep so you must get other help at night if you have a baby that needs closeness and snuggles to settle.

DD is 3 now and utterly awesome (still exhausting). Your seizure control will return, your baby will be wonderful. This phenomenally stressful and demanding period of your life will be very brief, intense and emotional. Expect to cry a lot more over the next few weeks. Take lots of pictures and videos so you can look back and remind yourself of how awesome all of you were.

MrsOakenshield Mon 13-May-13 20:07:54

if your DP has 2 weeks paternity I would ask her to arrange to come once that is over, so you have those first weeks to yourself. But, once those 2 weeks are over, she will be a godsend. And if she's as lovely as you say, she will understand how you feel - it makes perfect sense to me!

OhThePlacesYoullGo Mon 13-May-13 20:01:32

(And when I say I had mostly CPs, I mean I had a couple or so a year. NOTHING like now).

OhThePlacesYoullGo Mon 13-May-13 19:59:50

PenelopePipPop, yes it is fucking shit! Maybe I should make my project stitching that on a pillow... What kind of seizures do you have? How have you coped with your DD, especially regarding safety? I used to have mostly CPs with some secondary generalised TCs, but now almost all of them end up as tonic clonics. I am so, so tired, feel like I can't remember anything and have bruises everyfreakinwhere.

PenelopePipPop Mon 13-May-13 19:49:07

YANBU to feel upset. People are right the first few weeks are unpredictable anyway but you have already been through a rough pregnancy. It would be lovely to anticipate a nice straightforward first few weeks with your newborn but experience has taught you that epilepsy isn't that convenient.

I have epilepsy. It is fucking shit isn't it? I'm not sure anyone who doesn't have it can really appreciate what it is like especially the rubbish post-ictal bit. And I already had DD when I developed e so I've never had to contend with late pregnancy and seizures so have no idea what that feels like - respect!

That being so tell your MIL how much you appreciate her help early and often. It probably is a good idea even if it gives you the dry heaves thinking about it now. Then when you feel less sad make a plan for exactly what you'll need her to do like help you get adequate rest so the sleep deprivation doesn't make things worse than necessary, do certain key jobs in the house (ideally ones you really hate). And lay some ground rules like not just taking the baby 'off your hands' without checking that is what you want. Also maybe you could find out about stuff she might enjoy in the evenings so you and your DH can have some time together as a family then.

Potteresque97 Mon 13-May-13 19:41:54

Yanbu I completely understand but remember motherhood is a long game, it's not an ideal start but once your condition is stabilised, mil will be able to back off being there and then you will have so much time together. Tbh as people have said, the start can be rough and a shock and will go by so fast, you might not even have time to think about this again. Good luck op, I hope your epilepsy gets sorted out v fast post delivery.

OhThePlacesYoullGo Mon 13-May-13 19:33:46

frazmum: 5th of June, so almost there. :D Have been trying to read as many papers as I can get my hands on as I figured I could get a bit of a headstart on my doctorate thesis, but nothing is 'going in' at the moment. I like the idea of knitting a baby hat. Can't knit, but will give it a go. I made a quilt, so am clearly craftier than people give me credit for...

JamieandtheMagicTorch Mon 13-May-13 15:56:14

I sympathise, a lot

But I think this is do-able if you sit down and have a good think about how you would like this to go, for you, and are able to agree this with her.

If she is as nice as she sounds, then she will want to support you in the way you want to be supported

frazmum Mon 13-May-13 15:50:58

Everyone else has given great advice. I've had 4 DC's and would have loved some family help (anything !!!).

The advice I wanted to add was about your comment that you have too much time on your hands. I'm not sure how far you are in your pregnancy, but even if almost due find a project to do. It could be related to your uni, knit a baby hat, plan your garden (I've just done that while laid up with sciatica). Anything that you can just do as and when you feel like. And plan a chat with MIL sooner rather than later as she's probably wondering too how it is all going to practically work.

OhThePlacesYoullGo Mon 13-May-13 15:23:00

Annie that sounds encouraging. I know it's different for everyone, but I'm kind of clinging to the thought that everything will settle down again quickly.

Thanks for all the advice. I will have a chat with his mum (and try and not start blubbing) and apart from telling her how grateful I am, will try and explain how I feel. I am not usually someone who is quite so dramatic and prone to displays of emotion, but the past months have really been a bit of a roller coaster ride. I've had to leave work/uni earlier than planned because of seizures and DP has been doing nothing but revise, so I think I just have a bit too much time to think on my hands.

annielosthergun Mon 13-May-13 10:44:47

I have a friend with epilepsy and a 3 month old - hers escalated as soon as she started TTC (to do with coming off the pill she says) - but it was under control again soon after the birth (under 6 weeks - again only what she's told me!). So you may not need your MIL quite as long as you fear. My friend lives away from family so has had full time help whilst things settled too - so you're not the only one (if that helps at all?!). Granted it's easier to be upfront about roles etc with someone you pay. I hope you reconcile yourself with it and it doesn't take too much of the shine off it for you - can you have a chat with your MIL now about how you're feeling so she is more aware from the get-go? She might try harder to rein-in any enthusiastic granny-ing if she knows in advance

rollmeover Mon 13-May-13 10:27:40

Aw, poor you. It sounds like you are upset at the loss of what you hoped your first few months would be, not your MILs actual presence. I think what was suggested up thread about what she should do is a great idea - speak to her before she comes in terms of "i am so glad to have an extra pair of hands to help with the housework, cooking etc" so time with your baby isnt taken away from you but you are being well looked after.

My mum came for a couple of weeks after my DH went back to work and it was a bloody godsend.

Good luck!

Bunnygotwhacked Mon 13-May-13 10:16:10

lots of people in fact would say most people have someone to help out for the first couple of weeks at least because having a newborn while your body is recovering is hard so you are no different than other mums in that respect. These people who come to help aren't there to take over the baby they are there generally to help out with the cooking and cleaning your mil comes with the added bonus of being to help you if a seizure happens try not to worry i would accept the help and just look forward to how much snuggling/playing with baby you can have without having to worry about anything else. Two months isnt very long and it will pass so quickly once baby is here time flys. Try not to worry about it and just think you will have two months of being able to go to the loo and have a shower without worrying about baby crying just as you have put shampoo on your hair grin.

DeWe Mon 13-May-13 10:13:39

I agree with you.

After dd1 was born I was very sore, and found getting around quite difficult for a few days. I still wanted to have time to be a family on our own. My dm was staying, and although I felt a little scared initially to be on our own, I also felt a little relief that we could be just a little family together. My dm only stayed 2 weeks.

But one thing dm did, was she stayed with a local friend over the weekend, because she said it was important for us to have time together. Could your mil just come for the weekdays?

tomatoplantproject Mon 13-May-13 10:00:57

You are not being unreasonable to be pissed off with your health situation, however it is what it is and you're much better off with someone around who has your best interests at heart - she sounds really kind.

Having just the 3 of you is a lovely fantasy, but those first weeks are so hard - dd was permanently attached to me, you may be recovering from birth so pretty immobile and will be grateful for someone to look after you (so you can look after your baby). For the first 8 weeks we had the support from family and it was amazing, especially when dd became colicky.

You might do well to have a big chat now with her to work out some ground rules. And its perfectly normal to have lots of fears before their first baby - I had all sorts of meltdowns, and am supporting a good friend through hers in the run up to her baby arriving.

And finally, being a mum is such a wonderful thing, and for the whole of your child's life - you are not any less of a mum because you need a helping hand for a few weeks.

Good luck!

AnAirOfHope Mon 13-May-13 09:59:47

If ok if you have clear boundries.

Can she do the housework when you bond with baby and establish bf? Can she go home at night to leave you and dp to be a family?

In some cultures this is the norm, where the mother stays 6 weeks to do the 'wife' work when the new mum bonds and establishes milk supply and recovers from the birth and stops bleeding.

If you do have her to stay can she give both of you space to bond as a family?

RabbitsarenotHares Mon 13-May-13 09:53:01

Would it help to think of her being there not to supervise you, but your health? So she's not going to be judging your parenting, and interfering with that, but she will be there to jump in should your health dictate that she needs to. Plus she can do the running around making you food, drinks and keeping the house clean so you don't have to stress about that, and instead spend time lying on the floor with your new baby, getting to know each other and bonding.

I know it's tough, but it's for the best. And tbh she'll probably feel awkward being there anyway, knowing how new parents want time with their babies alone, and will probably try and keep in the background as much as possible.

StanleyLambchop Mon 13-May-13 09:36:02

I can understand how you feel, but this is being advised for the safety of your child and you, and you don't really have any choice. Even if you feed on the floor surrounded by cushions, there is a chance you could fall or roll onto your baby during a seizure, you could drop the car seat whilst carrying the baby in it, basically if you are at risk of having a seizure you should not be alone with a new born- it is a sad fact but presumably you were aware of that before you got pregnant. If your seizures do not get back under control after two months, what happens then?

shewhowines Mon 13-May-13 08:55:52

I would feel exactly like you, but as someone else said, you would feel worse if there was nobody available to help you.

Accept that you feel like that and just communicate your feelings; hopefully it won't be as bad as you imagine, especially if you and DH manage alone for the first two weeks. Is this possible?

Hope it goes ok and they stabilise you really quickly, so you won't need her for long.

CoteDAzur Mon 13-May-13 08:50:44

Your ideas of being alone as a family, being a mummy to your baby by yourself etc are a fantasy. Even without the epilepsy, you will need all the help you can get after the birth. In all likelihood, your body will take time to put itself back together and you will be bedridden for at least a few days. Even if you are one of the lucky few to have an easy birth with your body intact, you will be grateful for another pair of hands to cook or clean while you take easy on the bed, snuggled up with your baby.

YABU in other words.

wigglesrock Mon 13-May-13 08:43:01

I understand its really disappointing because it's not how you imagined it was going to be, but like other posters have said you don't have that many alternatives. If I'm really honest the first 8 weeks with each of my kids was such a blur of feeding, sleeping or not smile , getting used to having a baby that I probably didn't really feel that it was teal until about 8 or 10 weeks and your mother in law will be heading back by then. For the first flurry of weeks your baby just needs to be loved and love is what you have in spades. Your mil can help with everything else, if it's needed. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy. If you haven't already join an MN antenatal thread it'll be a great support aftet the baby is born. My baby is 2 and we still have a laugh and a bit of a cry sometimes.

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