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I think I've lost the plot with what I've just agreed to - but I don't know what else to do...(25 Posts)
I apologise, this is long, but I would be grateful for any advice or opinions if you can get to the end...
I'm pg with id. twins. They will be a CS, at 36 weeks, which happens to be the week before Christmas. I'm having a very difficult and hard pregnancy (currently in wheelchair/crutches). However we look at it, I will likely be in hospital over Christmas. Even if the babies arrive earlier than that - they would then be significantly prem, so likely to still be in at Christmas...
I have a 3 year old DS. No local family. We spoke to my parents about whether they could come down over the time I am in hospital to look after DS. All agreed as Yes, they would. Then today I find out that they decided (because of Christmas tradition) that my dad would stay at their house and 'do' xmas for everyone and my mum would come down to look after DS... no problem except I wouldn't leave my mother unattended with my DS ever... but if I say that I run a huge risk of upsetting a lot of people, and ending up with no one to help. So in a fit of panic I said - why don't they all come and do Christmas down here, and clear off when I am discharged? Thinking it would provide a Christmas for DS etc... It would mean my parents, my sister, BIL, twin neice and nephew (3) and my dad's cousin. All staying where we will be living (rented accom. that also has some B&B rooms). I am now panicking that I have done something REALLY stupid - and they will not stick to the anticipated 4-5 days I am in hospital making things easier for DH and I... but instead I'll come home to a rented place (which isn't our normal home), with 3 crazy 3 year olds who no doubt will be sugared up and hyper, and have no privacy from the 5 extra adults in the house to get myself adapted to being a new family of 5. What was I thinking???? But then, how else do I arrange help at that time of year for someone to look after DS? Without it being just my mum and DS for 4/5 (mostly solitary without DH) days over Christmas?
Just make it clear that you're not going to lift a finger, and ensure you've got somewhere private to escape to. Presumably you'll be in your bedroom most of the time anyway if you've just had a cs? I'd also try and set dates for arrival and departure. Just be honest with them.
Good advice from Ladymetroland.
Alternatively if all of the kids are 3yo would they really notice if christmas was moved to the next week and took place at your parents' place (leaving them both free to come and help out in the first week after the birth)? I know it's a lot to ask people to postpone christmas, but it is just a date and having twins is pretty special! And in fact you might only be in hospital for a few days - I know you may need to be there for the twins, but you might be deemed well enough to leave pretty quickly.
thanks both - Iwas in for 4 days post CS with DS so I'm guessing at least the same?
Unfortunately no one seems to think the arrival of the twins is a priority over Christmas (weird family) so having issues convincing anyone to remotely budge on their traditions... but I spoke to my sister earlier who said they certainly weren't banking on going to my parents, so that can't be used as an excuse which it currently is!
it looks like that Xmas more important to your family than you. sad.
Does your husband not get any days off over Christmas apart from the 25th? Is it impossible for him to take the two weeks paternity leave starting on the day of the scheduled c-section? Because I'm not sure whether you need someone to look after your son because your DH is working or because he wants to be at the hospital with you and the new babies. If the latter, it's a very reasonable desire, but if I were you I'd just write off the first few days in the hospital (was in 3 days after section with my own twins, not a barrel of laughs but a very short time in hindsight), accept that your husband will only be able to make brief visits accompanied by your young son, and thus be able to look forward to going home to a peaceful house, with just the five of you, once the hospital stay is over.
If there's no way for your husband to take any time off and you can't trust your mother alone with your son, you've got a problem. What is she liable to do?
To put it mildly she's not very patient - and seeing how snappy she gets with him (and my neice and nephew) in just half an hour or so when we are there, combined with knowing what she was like when I was a child, I would feel awful if she snapped and hit him or something, and that's not to mention she's not particularly pleasant in the first place . If my dad is there she'll 'act' the doting grandmother - that's the difference.
DH does get time off but is adamant he wants to spend most of it with me - I've tried saying to him to accept he'll have to spend more time with DS but he thinks I'll really struggle on my own with the twins, post CS and bearing in mind I'm already on crutches/wheelchair, and we don't know how long that will continue for post-birth - he wants us to get off to the best start possible (fair enough). Not made easy by the fact we live 45 min from the hospital. He says he point blank refuses to leave me there on my own on Christmas Day knowing everyone else will have family in etc - but I said I'm sure things will be more relaxed on Christmas Day and DS can be in with us all day? It's really frustrating us because if it wasn't Christmas week we would organise a rota of friends to care for DS but it's just far too much to ask of friends at that time of year, many of whom are going away themselves anyway.
Your DH sounds really sweet but I think that he is going to have to do more of the childcare with your DS and (sorry) leave you to the mercy of the hospital.
During the time that you are in hospital you will have help. It would of course be better if you had your DH there, but I imagine that you will feel much happier knowing that your DS is well cared for.
The second birth is always different. When DD was born, DH spent loads of time at the hospital with me. When DS was born he just could not be there so much as he had DD to look after.
He could bring DS into the hospital to have Xmas day with you and the babies.
I understand that your DH wants to be with you and your twins, if course he does, but he can't! You have another child and he needs looking after.
It's not the same second time around, that's just the way that it is.
Yes you're both right - I need to try saying that to him. I think he's worried that I will be stuck with two babies and treated like a 'normal' (if there is such a thing) twin mum - but I have a disability and can't walk properly... but you're right I need to fight my corner on that in hospital and DH needs to focus more on DS. It's just shocking timing!
Has your DH thought that you will probably get more help in hospital the less time he's there? He sounds lovely and caring and supportive and I can imagine the hospital staff thinking they don't need to help you as much, because of him being there looking after you.
no - he definitely hasn't thought of it that way! But I will use that argument when I talk to him. I think he's so worried because of how bad I am and despite being in a similar condition at the end of my pregnancy with DS I was left with him in my arms, unable to reach the buzzer, and in a lot of pain, desperate for the loo... so he's worried it'll happen again. What he also doesn't realise, but I'm trying to make clear to him, is that I will be a lot more bloody assertive this time! I will shout to get someone's attention, even if just another mother's, if I can't reach the buzzer - last time I didn't want to disturb anyone!
Good for you Weegle - you shout up for what you need. Just to go back a bit, if my friend was in your predicament, I would want to try to help you even if it is Christmas. Perhaps you can get more help than you think? Sympathies about your mum, my MiL is much the same (and chain smokes to boot).
Weegie - When my Second child was born (a June baby)I had the same problem as you with regard to "what to do with ds whilst dh was with me in hospital"
Ooh the drama - I fussed about it for weeks
In the end I found a friend with grown up children who was more than happy to stay over at ours and look after ds - 5 years later he can still remember what he had for breakfast that morning
I can honestly say that if you lived near me I would be more than happy for your ds to come and stay with my family for a few days over christmas - twould be no trouble
Absolutely, and I would spoil him rotten. If ever there was a time to call on your friends, this is it .
weegle I am not sure whether I can give advice on the whole situation, but I hope I can help out on one aspect of it, i.e. the hospital stay. When DD was born I was also in a wheelchair/crutches, and had a planned CS because of the complications. I was terrified of what would happen in hospital as I needed a lot of help, e.g. I could not sit myself up and could not lift DD out of the cot myself. DH couldn't be there the whole time to help.
The best, best thing we did was to arrange for a meeting several weeks before the birth with the head of midwifery. I took a stack of prepared notes explaining my condition, what things I would need help with, etc, and made it very clear that I was not going to settle for being one of the 'let her get on with it by herself' patients.
As a result they were brilliant. They aranged a private room with ensuite disabled facilities, moved the bed to make space for my wheelchair, arranged for an overhead bed handle so I could pull myself up to sitting position, made sure all my meals were brought to me, etc. It was still difficult, but so much easier than it could have been.
It's a tricky and potentially stressful situation, but you are doing the right thing by planning ahead to make it go as smoothly as possible. Good luck!
I think you shoudl tell him that you will sort out yourself, and you need to know for your own wellbeing that DS is being well looked after. As long as you feel strong enough to fight your corner in hospital and get what you need, then tell your DH to look after DS. And of course some to visit you lots!
ponymum - that's a brilliant idea, why didn't I think of that?! I am being seen for fortnightly Obstetrician and scan appointments so maybe nearer the time I should do the same. I seem to be such a unique case with the disability plus identical twins no one's entirely sure what they should be doing... so maybe I need to take more of a lead on what I feel I will need and explain this to them.
And you're all right - if I know DS is well cared for I'll be a lot happier. I know my friends would help but they're all helping so much already with the pregnancy I really don't feel like I could call in any more favours
don't feel that you cannot call on your friends at Xmas. If I had a friend in your situation, I would be quite upset to think that she were worrying herself about leaving her DS with her mum. I am assuming that your friends are aware of the difficulties with your mum and would be quite happy to help you avoid that situation. Especially at Christmas.
By Weegle Fri 02-Oct-09 07:41:05
^To put it mildly she's not very patient - and seeing how snappy she gets with him (and my neice and nephew) in just half an hour or so when we are there, combined with knowing what she was like when I was a child, I would feel awful if she snapped and hit him or something, and that's not to mention she's not particularly pleasant in the first place sad. If my dad is there she'll 'act' the doting grandmother - that's the difference.^
Oh this is something that I am worrying about too Weegle, how I am going to deal when my LO is born.
Mum has already 'offered' to look after LO and I really don't want to leave LO with her for precisely what you have said above. Plus my parents are seperated so no monitoring of behaviour! I've been struggling to know how I'm going to keep making excuses tbh!
Sorry - not much help! Hope you manage to sort something out.
Lots of great advice already. When I was in hospital with my twins dh brought ds1 (2 at the time) in all the time. Ds played with my electric bed and the toys the twins got him whilst dh helped me dress/get washed/breastfeed/eat! They ran up and down corridors/ went to the caff a lot too.
I was absolutely stuck on ds1 being dh's priority at that point and 5 yrs on that bond has never broken.
Having them all there when you get back will be pretty shit imvho- cut that out and start being a family of 5 as soon as poss.
A|ll my friends would have had (and did at points) ds1 -it's an honour to be asked at times of emergency-really.
Its your family - I bet they'll enjoy their Christmas AND enjoy getting things ready for you. They really will be in a position to help out! enjoy...
Neon - if it's any consolation it generally isn't a problem - it's only because my hand is being forced in to needing help. In reality she doesn't want to spend time alone with DS - despite her protestations when he was in utero. So I wouldn't worry just yet! Also there is a huge difference IMHO between taking a baby for a walk in the stroller who she can 'control' and 'look the part' and a toddler/young child who has their own mind and you worry more for emotionally (rather than just their physical needs being met). So try not to worry.
To update the rest - my DSis and family are definitely planning on spending xmas on their own so they can't be used as an excuse - awaiting an update on whether this does now mean both my parents coming (would be daft otherwise as dad would be on his own). Have also spoken to DH who has accepted DS being more his responsibility and any time he can come to the hospital is a bonus. I feel better with a combination of the two. I'm also really grateful to ponymum for your suggestion - I have written a list of everything I'm worried might be a problem in hospital because of my mobility and at 28 weeks (when my CS date is booked and therefore more 'certain'), I'm going to ask for a meeting to discuss how those needs can be met. It's actually been really useful for me thinking about it practically - like how on earth do I go to the toilet?! With DS I pushed the little cot trolley in with me but I won't be able to do that for example. So thanks everyone for your help and advice, I feel a bit better about it all.
Could you afford a doula to stay with you in the hospital, while your DH looks after your son? I don't know much about them, but it seems to me you need an extra person, and that's what they do...
I'm really glad I could help, even if just with one aspect of it. When I had the meeting I went with one list of definite information / requirements, and another list of questions to discuss with the staff, in order to decide together how we were going to deal with each potential hurdle. It was a good approach, I think.
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