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new mum - struggling to adapt

(27 Posts)
milli2512 Sat 03-Nov-12 16:43:58

DS1 was born by emcs 11 days ago and whilst I love him with all my heart I can't help feeling like I'm mourning the loss of the old me. I just feel so tied to this little person, am struggling to get to grips with BF and also not being able to drive or really get out properly on my own due to c-section. DH has been great, dreading his return to work on Monday. I miss the me who could just get up and go - I guess that's normal?? Not really after advice just need to get out how I feel and hear I'm not a cow for feeling like this. Just have these melancholy moments of feeling sorry for myself, but I should be on cloud nine shouldn't I?

Cosmo89 Sat 03-Nov-12 16:58:12

Normal, normal, normal.
But this period is abnormal- it won't continue for the rest of your life
Old me isn't dead! You'll be able to integrate your new role with yourself much easier as he gets older.
Make sure you have plenty people to visit if u can!i felt exactly like u and still do at 4 mo a loy

HumphreyCobbler Sat 03-Nov-12 17:00:48

I felt like this. It takes time to adjust. I couldn't BELIEVE how much my entire body hurt (emcs here too) and I found the whole thing rather nightmarish tbh.

It really did get better. I would have loads of children if I could now. I wouldn't have believed that 10 days in with my first though!

QTPie Sat 03-Nov-12 17:06:24

Oh, goodness, perfectly normal!!!

Firstly congratulations smile

Secondly, not everyone falls head-over-heels for their child and motherhood. Certainly when I gave birth just before my 36th birthday, I had little/no experience of babies - it was a massive learning and confidence curve!

From personal experience, 2/3 weeks post section, I had a "oh my God, my life is over!" wobble. It didn't last long at all: I got on with it, built confidence, got some of my old activities back and started building new activities.

I had an ELCS too. Check with your insurers: they vary in how long before you can drive again. Mine said "when your doctor clears you". I felt ready at 3 weeks post-op, got a GP appointment for 4 weeks, got cleared to drive, got it recorded in my notes, then started driving straight away.

ELCS recovery may seem like an age, but it really isn't - take one day at a time.

Now, what activities make you feel like "you". I was back in the gym/pool 8 weeks post-op and that started to make me feel like me again (yes, I exclusively breastfed, but we still got it to work - feed and run ;) ). It takes a while, but you can get some "old you" back smile

Now, your new life. Do you have a NCT/antenatal group? Start arranging tea and cakes with them (we still do it - 2 years 9 months on!). Post-natal mum and baby yoga/Pilates after your 6 week check? Waterbabies? Baby Sensory? Other mother and baby groups? Do your research now, but once you start driving etc you can start networking and build new friends and activities.

It isn't the end, just the start of something new. However it is what you make it.

CatchTheFox Sat 03-Nov-12 19:47:49

i hear you, and i have felt the same. it's kind of like being happy and sad at the same time. motherhood is a hard, hard job and at no time is it more difficult than the point you are at now, recovering physically and adjusting mentally.

nothing is lost, it will get easier. hang in there, it's OK to feel however you are feeling. And congratulations smile

ItsMeYourCathy Sat 03-Nov-12 19:54:20

I could've written that post when my son was born
You WILL feel better
You WILL come to terms with this 'new' life
You may even discover that you're not 'old me' anymore IYSWIM - I completely mourned my loss of self, went through about five different hairstyles trying to find who I was and I think I was on the verge of total meltdown BUT I have realised that Mum Me is a person I'm happy with being and I wouldn't go back to old me at all.
It's all early days for you- good luck and best wishes xx

Ilovecrossfit Sat 03-Nov-12 19:56:27

Normal normal normal.....don't worry, it will get better...I used to think after my ds was born after 36hrs of labour my life is sooo over...it took a while to get used to it but now he's 6 and together with my dd best things ever happened to me.

Just a word of advice, get out...don't seat home on your own...go meet new mummies, or even go to a coffee that would be my saviour at the time...you will feel soooo much better going out.

Enjoy your baby, they grow so fast...and congratulations xxx

crazypaving Sat 03-Nov-12 20:07:42

congratulations!!

But just to echo what everyone else has said. The shock to your system is huge - I really didn't cope well at all when I had DS1. Desperately missed my old life, to the point of regretting having him. The early weeks are insane and do not reflect what the rest of your life will be like!

Things get better gradually and you adapt, life gets easier with the baby and at some point you'll realise you feel like yourself again and you're enjoying your life. It may happen very soon indeed, or it may take a little while. DS1 is 2 now and is completely the centre of my world, I couldn't go back now.

Just had DS2 though - that's another story wink

Fairylea Sat 03-Nov-12 20:15:12

Normal.

I still feel like that now sometimes and ds is 4 months old and my second child !!

However I can assure you it gets better. Honestly it does.

The best advice I can give you is don't forget to be yourself. If you want to go for a coffee or to the shops do it even if you have to tackle a screaming baby half way round and arm yourself with a dummy. It's best to crack on with life and don't put it on hold looking wistfully back.

Life is different but can be the same too. Just with an added extra !!

QTPie Sat 03-Nov-12 20:49:43

Also agree with "getting out". You had an EMCS (whereas I had an ELCS) - so you recovery is very likely to be slower - but get out and walking/park/coffee/visiting people when you can. Take it easy to begin with, but you can soon build up (if your scar hurts/aches/swells then start taking it easier again). I had a good recovery and started getting out for a daily walk from 3 weeks (not far to begin with!). Apart from helping to clear my head, it grew my confidence handling DS and actually helped DS into a bit if a routine (we went the same time every day). Fresh air did him good and he couldn't feed whilst he was in the ram ;) )

SecrectFarleysNibbler Sat 03-Nov-12 21:41:33

It's only a few days in and you are bound to feel disorientated - you are still in the early days of recovering from a MASSIVE physical and emotional event in your life. Don't put pressure on yourself to have 'adapted' already. It takes time to adjust and find your feet. These first weeks are a whirlwind of discovery learning for all involved but as the weeks pass you begin to find a rhythm and slowly but surely you will feel like your feet are back on solid ground again. It's all in the mind set. It's an adventure that will have tough days and joyful days. I would agree that getting out and about will do you the world of good and build your confidence in embracing your new life. My Dd is one and I have had such an amazing year and have met so many new people and found a whole new side of life in my village that I never knew was there. Just try to take one day at a time and keep reminding yourself that each 'stage' is only for a short time. They change so quickly - what might be hard work this week may well be over with by next week. No - you can't have the freedom you once had but you can still get up and go - just at a different rhythm and pace.

MoreBoober Sat 03-Nov-12 21:50:13

Snap, having wanted a baby for years when he finally came along after 27 hours and an emergency section it was a real shock. The 1st 2 weeks were hellish as I tried to recover from the birth and get to grips with breast feeding. He was tongue tied which made it all so much harder. I promise it gets easier and your not far away from that time. You will get time to be yourself again smile Hang in there!

Normal. It gets easier surprisingly quickly though smile

Wolfiefan Sat 03-Nov-12 21:54:35

Sooooo normal. Hormones are nuts. It's such hard work. Taking a shower is a luxury! It gets easier and so much more rewarding.
Are there any local new parent or mum and baby groups you could get out to? I find coffee and cake with like minded people a lifesaver!

dysfunctionalme Sat 03-Nov-12 21:56:37

Life with a new baby is often wonderful and terrible all at once. Lots of strong emotions and discomforts (pain, exhaustion).

Cloud 9 on day one, yes. Day 11 is more likely to be a fog of tiredness with moments of loveliness.

It is very early days and really you need to tackle it hour by hour or half day by half day. Get any rest you can, try not to saddle yourself with expectations such as getting out and about "as usual".

Your dh will return to work and you will surprise yourself by how well you cope, your feelings of competence will increase as you realise you can actually manage.

Salhal Sat 03-Nov-12 22:08:24

You will be fine. Don't put pressure on yourself. Having a baby is such a massive change, I am not the same person I was before and I really mourned the loss of my pre baby freedom after my first baby but you will adapt and evolve. Enjoy getting to know your baby, they will love you no matter what. I've just had baby no. 2 and I would not have believed that would ever happen in the dark early days after no. 1.

Zoonose Sat 03-Nov-12 22:10:30

It is such a big change in life. And, as far as I know, there are huge hormonal changes going on. And also, labour and birth are a really big deal to process (both my DCs were EMCS so I know where you are coming from - but I think any labour and birth, especially the first time round, is a big deal). My moods swung massively in the first six weeks or so after DC1 was born. I remember my neighbour coming round with a gift when he was a couple of weeks old and I hid by the back door as I was crying but I couldn't explain to my DH why I was crying. I think it is almost too big a change in your life to be able to comprehend. But you just slowly adjust to the change and eventually it becomes very normal - tiring, but normal! But at the point where you have flipped from life pre-children to the first few weeks post-birth (and performed that flip via the process of labour and birth) - well, it's a hard time emotionally, I think. Take your time: it will all even out and it you will realise you haven't lost you at all, you have just changed what you are doing right now. And you will be fine.

milli2512 Sat 03-Nov-12 22:36:22

Thank you so much for all of your replies. It really helps to know that others have felt the same. I realise It's early days and hoping I'll feel happier and more confident with motherhood soon. Going to have a go at taking him out for a walk in pram tomorrow, being cooped up def not helping.

Thanks again everyone!

QTPie Sat 03-Nov-12 22:53:53

Take it really easy with the walk - if DP with you, get him to do most of the pushing. Keep to pushing on flat areas and work out up and down curbs etc.

Honestly, I didn't have a clue with babies (read lots of books, but theory and practice is hugely different!). It is amazing what you can do when you have to and over the weeks your confidence increases smile. I was TERRIFIED when DH went back to work! But we survived and prospered smile

The important thing after a CS is "a good set-up": good height changing table, everything handy, avoiding lifting, I didn't do baths (too much strain on my back), lots of food/ drink at hand, comfortable feeding chair and tables for drinks/ snacks/books/phone/remote etc. Have everything organised so that - when your OH is at work - all you have to do us look after yourself and your baby.

As sleep patterns settle, too, you will honestly feel better.

Fairylea Sat 03-Nov-12 23:02:08

I think a short walk if you feel up to it is a good idea. I had an elective section (which had complications unexpectedly) and I remember asking the midwife on day 5 when I could go for a walk as I was literally climbing the walls! She told me whenever I was ready but just to take it easy. I did the school run with dh the next day and it felt like a marathon so don't over do it but it was so nice to be out !

balkanscot Sun 04-Nov-12 08:42:59

That's exactly how I felt, especially the "mourning of the loss of old me" part. I would longingly stare out of the window, looking at all these people, carefree (or so I thought anyway), can go anywhere they want, anytime, they just get up and go (as I used to do), while I was stuck with a tiny baby, struggling massively with BF, doped up on painkillers (forceps delivery) and taking about 45 minutes to set foot out of the door.

I'll be honest, it took me several months to even begin to feel like I am actually enjoying being a mum and that I knew what I was doing, even with regular walks, seeing other mums, going on baby massage course, etc. I needed to let the good feelings return to me on their own, gradually. Now 6 1/2 months on I feel much more confident than before, I am enjoying DS and seeing how he develops every day. I still have the odd wobble day here and there but overall it is beginning to feel rather lovely.

You'll get there and it will be fab! smile

dysfunctionalme Sun 04-Nov-12 09:24:38

It's a huge shock to the body and mind, and frankly I don't believe people who claim they breezed through. Or at least I'd rather not hear from them. I think OP your summary is exactly how it is and with each day you will feel a bit more confident and your before self and after self will begin to blend together.

LittleBearPad Sun 04-Nov-12 09:33:15

I felt completely the same and felt like I would never be the same person again. To be honest I'm not but I like the one I am now too (possibly more). You're only two weeks in and the end of paternity leave can feel a bit scary but you'll be fine. I'd echo getting out and about. Even if you don't meet up with anyone having a coffee in a cafe of walking around makes you feel back in the world. Meeting up with NCT groups or friends with babies is good if you can do it because then you see everyone else looks completely shell-shocked too.

LittleBearPad Mon 05-Nov-12 20:50:59

Hi milli hope today went ok

FantasticMax Tue 06-Nov-12 21:12:40

So normal! I thought I was prepared for having a baby but the reality of living it is so different! (Plus my DD had reflux and screamed for the best part of the day, every day - stupid dr's didn't diagnose it till she was 3 months)

I think I started to feel like myself again when DD was 6 months and my DH started to give her a bottle at bedtime which freed me (and my boobs!) up enormously. As DD sleeps 7pm-7am every night it has given me the confidence to go out some evenings and know that I won't be needed - whether dinner with friends, exercise classes, a walk, even popping to Tesco on my own feels like bliss!

You will feel like yourself again, it gets easier the older your baby gets. Congratulations on your baby!

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