Feel like a massive failure :((68 Posts)
I have a 7 wk old DS and have been trying to bf him. Its really hard as recently all he does is feed from me. I have had 5 hours sleep in the last 4 days. He won't settle down for longer than 40 mins and its wearing me out.
My DH tries to help but he works ft (8am-9pm) and so needs his sleep too. My MiL suggested giving him a bottle of formula in the evening to try and get him to sleep longer and took him for 3 hours on sunday so I could rest.
Feel like a failure. I can't feed my child properly. I couldn't give birth to him properly (had to have a EMCS). I can't manage the house or shopping or cooking at all. My DH thinks I am overwhelmed and does help out but I just feel bad that he is doing so much and I can't manage the simplest task.
To make everything worse my mum and dad are flying over to see me next week for a few days and my flat is a state. I feel like a bad wife and mum
My DH says I am tired and being unreasonable. I feel like a failure. Having a baby and feeding him is something I am supposed to be able to do naturally but its sooo hard I feel like a massive burden on my DH and I am letting DS down.
Just need to vent.
Eh if a friend had had five hours' sleep in the last four days would you think they were a failure for not doing the shopping?
Why isn't your husband cleaning up?
You need to get advice on feeding and ease up on yourself.
Och, don't be daft (meant kindly and not critically.)
Motherhood isn't about success or failure because let me tell you, many excellent mothers produce children who 'fail', and vice versa.
All you can do is your best.
Please please please know that almost everyone feels like this and you are doing a great job. Re bf there is so much guilt but looking back now with a 4 year old I say do whatever works, there is nothing wrong with combination feeding - a bottle at bedtime really helped me. Be easy on yourself and remember it does pass!
Please please do not do this to yourself. Breast feeding is a very time consuming process and I certainly believe you have gone over and above in terms of effort. Unfortunately when the same thing happened to me I had to cave in and give my baby formula - and you know what? He was so much happier and so was I.
Please do not underestimate a lack of sleep and hormones on your state of mind. Your dh doesn't seem to understand.
Do you have bottles? Can someone bring you some cartons of ready made formula from the supermarket?
If you still want to BF consider only giving formula at night so that you both get some well needed rest.
Formula feeding does not equal failure.
op your flat is supposed to be in a state, and your parents are supposed to come to help you and keep on top of things while you keep with baby .
Your not supposed to give birth then be running round after guests.
All the other ladies on here, who have had emc would you call them failures too?
When your sick or get constipation....do you call yourself a failure? or when your body catches a cold?
having a baby is a bodily function like having a shit....no more and no less, except a tinsy bit more special .
saying your a failure because he came out by medical intervention is not really fair on your body for actualy making and carrying this baby for long 9 months ,
Milk and feeding is always a shock to first timers, it is a shock, if you want to carry on do ge advise, it does settle down and BF is easier later on...however you have done well to get this far and he will have had tons of anti bodies and immunity from you already.
your not a failure you just sound like the average mum who has had a difficult delivery and is finding BF is getting her down, welcome to the club!
But the club changes when you get the hang of everything! hang in there .
You did give birth to him "properly". You allowed a big operation on your body so that he could be kept as safe as possible, and you did what you needed to to have him brought safely into the world.
You are also clearly massively sleep-deprived. so I'm not really surprised you are so down on yourself.
You are managing way, way more than "the simplest task". You have made a whole new human, and you have made him out of your own body. He's alive, he's eating, some of that out of your own body, and at some point you will be able to get some sleep (although sadly I can't promise when).
Your mum and dad are reasonable people, right? Would they really look down on someone who has just had an operation and went straight into looking after a newborn with no time to recover just because her (your) place is a bit lived-in? I hope not.
Good luck, OP, and I hope you get the opportunity to realise that you honestly are looking nothing at all like a failure from where I am sitting.
Oh bless you OP, we've all been there.
You are not a failure at all, having a new baby is all consuming and totally exhausting. At the moment you can't see the wood for the trees, which is perfectly normal.
How you give birth or feed your child does not dictate your success as a mother.
My PFB was a forceps delivery, I struggled with breastfeeding for a couple of weeks until she was hospitalised for 'failure to thrive' at 7 weeks when I switched her to full time formula. I felt like the most shit mum on the planet. She turned 10 a few weeks ago and is the most amazing girl, I couldn't be more proud of her. There is no way that you could look at her, or indeed any child and know how they were born or fed.
Be kind to yourself, it's a hell of a hard time
And yes giving that bottle of formula will fill you with sadness but only because you are sleep deprived and hormonal. Trust me once you are rested you will start to see the light.
And also lots of folk have a c section. Believe me it's better than getting your foof torn apart!
Giving birth and breast feeding are so hard, often the pitfalls of both are not explained to is and it is then down to us to figure out with a screaming baby on our arm!
You've BF him for 7 weeks, that's fantastic, I only managed 7 days.
in the nicest possible way, your DH is totally right and you're being totally unreasonable, however given that you've only had 5 hours sleep this week it's perfectly understandable.
Take all the help you can get and if that includes a formula feed at bedtime then do it.
Your DH needs to help more!
He has the choice about working 8am till 9pm...you currently don't have the choice about apparently working 1am till midnight! 23 hour days will really destroy you!
Can your DH take some leave?
This time is really important to you all as a family. More important than work!
It doesn't matter how he can into the world or how he's fed.
It doesn't define you as a parent. grab those bottles if that's what you want it's not failing. failing would be not feeding your child anything at all.
He's warm.and loved and wanted. Where's the failing. either your family can help out or they can piss off. either way I'd not even give them.a second thought. no reason on this earth why they can't go out and get a take away or something i doubt they are expecting a new mum who just had major surgery to wait on them So, don't worry about it they just want to see their grandson. let them help you.
He's 7 weeks old for heavens sake I'd be more worried if your flat wasn't a state. because you should be resting and recovering not cleaning.
sod the shopping go online and order a few bits to last you.
You are doing no more or no less than most mums of 7 week old babies. stop putting so much pressure on yourself
Thanks for replies.
My DH is doing his best. He wants to go to mix feeding so he can take over for a few feeds and I can get sleep. He does help with the shopping etc... but like I said he is working ft and I don't think its very fair for him to pick up all the slack (not that he would mind. Its me who won't let him)
I would love to say my parents will help but they won't. My mum has made it clear she is coming to see DS and not me. We have a very.... interesting relationship. It will be the first time I have seen and spoken to them properly for 3 years.
DH is not to pleased about it tbh and tells me not to fuss, that they will have to get over it. I just don't want people judging me for having a dirty flat.
Its hell as ppl want to visit and I just can't manage. My DH wants to ask his mum for help but I can't let her. I would feel terrible and I already feel like I have burdened her by asking her to look after DS on Sunday.
I don't want to inconvience or burden anyone.
I feel like I am letting DS down as he was 5 wks prem already (I got sick at the end of preg hence the EMCS) and I know he needs my milk to get better. I am struggling though. I am letting him down so much
I ff my CS baby and I'm a very good successful mummy. DS is fabulous.
How they get out and what milk they have aren't what make you a good parent.
OP you need to let other people help you. I know it is hard to do that, but it will be a lot harder if you continue the way you are going.
I would also tell you parents not to come. IT doesn't sound like you want/need that pressure. They can wait. Your needs as a family come first.
Your parents can like it or lump it. Seriously sod them. Not worth the head space. They can sort themselves out.
Let your MIL help you. Once it's done it will be easier to keep on top of. take the help.
You need to ease up on giving yourself such a hard time. It's bloody hard work-let your MIL help.
Look startrek, I mean this in the best possible way, but this is nonsense. Where did you get the idea that you are letting your ds down by medics deciding you needed a Caesarian, you mixing bottle with breast and the housework having slipped?
Caesarian/prematurity could not be avoided. A huge proportion of people don't breastfeed at all with no guilt or ill-effects, and the house being a mess is actually a sign you're concentrating on your baby rather than polishing the bathroom taps. That's a good thing!!!
For goodness sake, stop trying to be superwoman and LET PEOPLE HELP YOU. That's the only "natural" thing you're missing - family and friends rallying around to support. Worrying like this will only adversely affect your baby - he needs you to be stress-free and rested, so let your dh do his bit.
The way you feel is totally normal for a first time Mum. Bfing my first was The Hardest Thing Ever. Full stop. Nothing I have ever done before or since was as hard as that. I felt exactly as you describe. My family are also not the "muck in and help" type, my MIL fab but lives 3hr drive away and works full time. As another poster says you have to start letting DH do more housework etc and focus completely on feeding or try combination feeding. It's not the end of the world (although it might feel like it!) Be kind to yourself!
OP I also want to add that there is nothing fair about having a 7 week old...or having had a premmie....or an EMCS....or problems BFing. It doesn't matter what you thought it would be like or what you thought you could cope with. Take a really stern look at reality and realise that the best thing you can do for your family is stay sane and healthy.
Then take any help that is offered and put off any visitors that won't help more than hinder.
I am saying this as someone who fell into deep depression and is only now surfacing 3 and half years later.
You are tired and everything looks worse then. I had a baby born at 35 weeks. I mixed fed him from the start ( well he was tube fed for 2 weeks) and FF from about 8 weeks. I did feel guilty but now he's a very tall healthy gorgeous perfect 2 year old.
I would feel terrible and I already feel like I have burdened her by asking her to look after DS on Sunday. now I know your not thinking straight, most new grandmothers would like to take their new grandchildren away and start a fresh life with them somewhere.
I dont think there is a grandma alive who would view a few hours with a new born as a burdern
I think your DH needs to put your parents off until you can get into your stride.
its too soon for visitors you dont feel comfortable with.
take the pressure off yourself they dont have to come right now.
get your MIL round - if she is nice MIL she won't be judging she will just be happy to help her family who she loves. Most people in life are very happy to help out and are delighted to be asked.
having a baby in the most wonderful labour, tons of family support and help is still a shock its a huge shock.
you need to be kind to yourself for all your sakes.
its a tough time bringing a new person into world, a new life into your home....its tough!
tough tough tough, be kind to yourself....give yourself a break, for your sons sake.
They do this-it's not unusual! Chances are most of the time he is just comfort sucking-he is becoming aware of his surroundings and the best place to be is snuggled in with mum who smells right and sounds right and feeds him when he's hungry. So howling gets him where he wants to be. For some reason it is becoming less and less acceptable to be a nurturer in these early weeks and people seems to expect that new mums should be up and about and doing stuff. Suckling animals literally do nothing in the early days but nurse the babies, eat and clear the poo! The lack of sleep is debilitating-don't forget sleep deprivation is a form of torture! So forget about doing anything else and grab naps when you can. If he really isn't settling get someone (HV) to advise re colicking or trapped wind in case it is that which is keeping him from resting. And get help from friends, DH and family-just tell them the baby isn't settling and you are exhausted and need some help with the mundane stuff or getting him well fed and let them take him off for a couple/few hours to leave you to have a warm bath and a nap. Everyone has different experiences but I have been where you are with all 3 of mine and just accepted that I was going to be spending most of the day in PJs. You have fed for 7 weeks-it only gets easier from now on in. You are doing great!
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