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Where did my life go?

(38 Posts)
Italianbride Thu 22-Nov-12 20:33:30

My DS is coming up to 4 weeks old, has been home just over a week after spending time in SCBU having been born prematurely and I feel completely overwhelmed.

I knew that having a newborn would be pretty life changing but I have changed overnight from an independent, active career woman to a milk machine making a permanent dent on the sofa. I am aware that this stage does not last forever but I can't seem to see the way forward.

I guess I'm just after a bit of hand holding and some feel good stories from those who have got through this stage.

CatchTheFox Thu 22-Nov-12 20:38:04

Oh, hang in there! It gets better I promise. Tiny newborn stage is sooooo hard but soon the dust will start settling and y

CatchTheFox Thu 22-Nov-12 20:41:04

sorry, got a bit posty there, the dust will settle and you'll be able to start finding a way back to yourself.

Take all the help you can get, be kind to yourself and know that it WILL get better. And congratulations of course smile

Bearandcub Thu 22-Nov-12 20:41:18

Oh I remember feeling like this. Yes it does get better, promise. Until then get out to groups so you know fellow survivors and even share coping strategies.

Congratulations and good luck

Mollydoggerson Thu 22-Nov-12 20:48:02

Totally normal.

It will pass, try and get out everyday for a walk and some daylight on your skin.

Try to make the most of all that tv viewing, buy some good boxsets and treat yourself, soon enough you will have looped peppa pig and Ben and Holly's little Kingdom on in the background. Enjoy owning the t.v.!

QTPie Thu 22-Nov-12 21:05:01

Someone posted something VERY similar a week or so ago and the overwhelming response was - "it is completely normal - just about everybody feels the same". So welcome to being completely normal smile

When DS was about 3 weeks old, I had a long moment of "OMG my life is over!". Then I pulled myself together and started rebuilding a new life... To be completely honest, no things will never be the same again, BUT you an get a lot of yourself back AND you can get a lot of new good things in your life too smile

You are still in VERY early days: in a few weeks this should settle down more: you can get more of a routine going (if you choose to encourage that) and should be getting more sleep (everyone feels better with more sleep).

Top things:
- if you are physically able, get out at least once a day (even if it is just for a walk, with the pram, to the local shop): fresh air does and exercise the world of good for both of you.
- do you have an NCT/antenatal group? If so, then start getting together: we did (and still do at almost 3 years!) tea and cakes around each other's houses every two weeks. Other new mums are your best support group. If you don't have an antenatal group, then go to some post-natal coffee mornings etc and meet some new mums.
- post-natal yoga/Pilates: you take your baby along, you meet th new mums, you work your body a little. Go for coffee afterwards.
- start looking for baby classes in your area: new activities to look forward to in the new year. Your LO is a bit young (especially being prem), but we started both Waterbabies and Baby Sensory at 14 weeks (still do Waterbabies now - expensive, but so good!). Activities help to give structure to your day, distract LO and help you to meet other new mums.
- what leisure activities did you like doing before LO was born? Gym? Yoga/Pilates? Swimming? Work out a time once or twice a week when you can get out for an hour or so. I had an ELCS and breastfed, but managed to get back to the gym/pool straight after my 6 week check (took it very easy!). I the evening I used to feed at 6.30 and then 8.30pm - so I had about 1.5 hours for a mad dash to the gym/pool and back one evening a week. At the weekend I could go in an afternoon (fed at 12.30 and 4.30pm) - so had a little more time. Husband also started going back to doing sports two evenings a week (did the nightly bath then went out) at the same time.

Also get some good books (What to Expect in the First Year) to help with the mammoth task of becoming a mum smile

Honestly, hang in there: you will feel better. At the beginning babies are just needy things, but it soon becomes more rewarding smile

Italianbride Thu 22-Nov-12 21:23:02

Thank you for your support. I guess it feels more challenging as I'm nervous about taking my LO out as he is prem. I'm also bf and he's going through a massive feeding frenzy so it takes me ages to get myself up and dressed. I am ready for a change in lifestyle and to get out and about and meeting other mums etc but I'm struggling to understand how I can do so with a baby constantly attached to my chest!

notwoo Thu 22-Nov-12 21:28:33

See if there's a breastfeeding cafe in your area then you can meet lots of other mums who also have a baby constantly attached to their chests!

They are a good half way house if you're nervous about feeding in public - no one will bat an eyelid.

The getting ready thing gets better - try to get a bag and clothes organised when you get a spare (ha ha) 5 minutes then you're ready to go when there's a slight break in the feeding.

Babies often don't mind a break in the feeding frenzy if you can get them moving either in the car, pram or sling so just pick a moment and make a break for it!

ILoveSparklers Thu 22-Nov-12 21:35:03

It can be a shock to the system. Hang in there, gets easier and of you need any help, speak to HV or gp.

QTPie Thu 22-Nov-12 21:41:56

Can you grab a shower etc before your DH does to work? That is what I used to do from day 1: basically be "ready for the day" yet still in comfortable clothes (could always throw on a pair of jeans and a coat on and run out the door). Preparation is key to getting out of the door.

Agree with previous poster that getting out can force a break in feeding: we used to go out he same time of day every day and it helped us form a routine.

Things feel impossible now, but they get better - both naturally and by "encouraging" them. As you force yourself to do more, your confidence will grow and you will feel like doing more. It just takes a bit of time.

Do you have other new mummy friends? Invite them round. They don't care about mess, babies attached to your chest etc. just have tea and a packet of biscuits smile

lolalotta Thu 22-Nov-12 21:51:12

If you are nervous about BF in public, get to M&S if you can and buy some stretchy vests! Then you lift you top up and the vest goes down and voila you can feed baby without exposing acres of tummy and too much boob!!! You probably have already worked this out but I hadn't blush when I started BF my dd but thanks to Mumsnet I soon got it sorted! I felt much more confident after that! Good luck! xxx

Lucylucy57 Thu 22-Nov-12 22:15:26

I felt exactly as you are now. I spent the first five weeks in a mixture of tears or feeling very shut off from all emotion. The contrast to my previous life, in a busy job I worked hard at similar to yourself, seemed so extreme. I found the constant breastfeeding so difficult and felt so sweaty, smelly and rank all the time. I felt out of control of my life then felt guilty for being so selfish. At times I wondered if I'd made a terrible mistake which is an awful thing to admit I know. I thought things would come to me naturally, naive I know and when they didn't I worried I was a bad mam.
Please believe me when I say that what you are feeling will pass very soon. Your anxiety will ease and you will start to enjoy things so much more. It seems never ending at the time but before you know it, things become easier, you develop a routine, you learn to listen to helpful advice and ignore the crap and begin to enjoy your life as a mother.

Poosnu Thu 22-Nov-12 22:22:12

I felt exactly the same! I thought my life was always going to be like that and I couldn't see the end of it. The tiredness from the night feeds makes everything seem worse.

It does pass and get better very soon. By 4 months it was significantly easier and since then it has got easier and easier. Or maybe it's me just coming to terms with what my life is like now!

Starrsmummy Thu 22-Nov-12 22:57:01

I felt the same, dd is 10 weeks now but I didn't start feeling 'happy' for want of a better word until around 6 weeks. I couldnt stop crying,was putting off seeing anyone, thought my life was over. I even got so bad that me and boyf moved in with my parents for a few weeks (embarrassing that at 24 I still need them so much!!) . it's so reassuring to read all of the above posts and know that it is normal. Xx

snoozed Thu 22-Nov-12 22:59:28

Agree with what the other posters have said but also, do try and rest as much as you can in these early days... You need to Recover from childbirth whether you had a caesarean or not.. I regretted not doing this and got very run down a few months in.

Have you got family or friends locally who can pop round in the daytime and give you a break

Find some nearby groups - I went to a lovely postnatal group run by HVs at a local sure start centre - have a look- everyone is equally shell shocked and its reassuring to see that others are in the same boat. Ignore the woman with newborn in immaculate make up and pristine outfit (always one of those I found)

And yes it does get much much better and easier! Suddenly you'll emerge from the fog. But it does take a while and be kind to yourself in the meantime.

Fairylea Thu 22-Nov-12 23:04:29

I still feel like this now and ds is 5 months!

To be honest I found things improved for me around the toddler stage with dd now aged 9 as it all becomes so much more interesting!

It does get easier.... I keep telling myself that too !!

mustbewinetime Fri 23-Nov-12 07:50:33

Go easy on yourself! It's such a big transition to go from being a couple to having this little person who needs you 24/7. I struggled for the first 6 months if i'm honest, especially after DP returned to work. I would be jealous of friends who still had a carefree life but this comes to the majority of us eventually so one day, they too will go through the same as us! 12 weeks was a big turning point for me, started figuring out our own little routines and getting out and about a lot more. I agree about going for walks, i would wrap DD up nice and snug and just pound the pavements every day for a good hour or so, went to as many groups as possible and just took DD out on little shopping trips and cafes etc for a bit of normality for me! Everything got significantly better at 6 months and now 2 years down the line life is brilliant. I love being a mummy and watching her grow, she is such a little character smile.

So my advice after that essay, is to just take each day one at a time, get out for fresh air, don't try to be perfect, you will adapt to your new life, it just takes time! Big hugs!

Orenishii Fri 23-Nov-12 17:28:44

This thread is a life saver - it's so reassuring. My baby will be 4 weeks old tomorrow and I love him to death...but these last 4 weeks have been the most challenging of my life. A hard labour, problems with breastfeeding, still recovering physically from the birth, and feeding on demand every two hours has seen me in tears more times than I care to admit smile

But every time I read a thread like this, every time I read someone talking about how it took them four hours to get out the house, every time someone mentions being in a constant state of rushing to do something in the rare five minutes the baby doesn't need you...every time I recognise that feeling of being a machine serving our babies' every all goes into the bank of making me feel better, of being reassured this is what it is really like smile

I don't want to wish these early weeks away...he's such a precious little thing and I know that in time to come I'll be wishing for these first weeks back but like you OP, I am also looking to the 3 month/6 month/9 month period with anticipation that at least, this new reality will be reassuringly normal!

milli2512 Sat 24-Nov-12 10:18:07

I posted a very similar thread a couple of weeks ago. I felt as if I was in mourning for the old me that could be spontaneous and do what I wanted when I wanted. DS is just over 4 weeks now and things are getting better, still bad days but more good days. I'm now driving again after c-section and being mobile has made a big difference. I try to get out every day for a walk or even to go and sit on someone else's sofa rather than feel permanently attached to mine. I keep telling myself things will get easier and just take it a day at a time. I agree that threads like this really help. Good to know other mums are going through and feeling the same things.

I really stressed about DS screaming when he went in pram/carseat but decided I couldn't let it hold me back and all babies cry and actually once we get gon

milli2512 Sat 24-Nov-12 10:20:41

Argh damn phone - once we get going he will settle eventually and so what if people look at me.

Friends with older babies assure me it gets easier.

amirah85 Sat 24-Nov-12 10:24:43

I agree make the most of ur time at home,eat,watch tv etc.but honestly,not meaning this in a bad way,but what people expect is going to happen when baby comes?u hardly going to be a career woman in the first few weeks/months at least?

Starrsmummy Sat 24-Nov-12 11:31:42

Amirah85 I have to say I think that's a little harsh. I think you've missed the point in the original post, I don't think she was saying she wanted her career back now, she was just using that to describe the kind of woman she once was. It's about losing control of your life and coming to terms with the fact that this new baby now rules u, what u can do and when u can do it. For independent women with careers, that can be really hard to handle at first.

GingerPCatt Sat 24-Nov-12 11:40:39

What helped me in the first couple months was setting my self a goal each day. Sometimes it was going to the shop or for a walk and some days it was just having a shower. It made me feel like I had accomplished something.
For going out, pack a diaper bag with everything you need and stock it up every time you get home. That way when you need to go some where you can just grab the bag and not have to search for wipes or what ever. Makes getting out of the house easier.

amirah85 Sat 24-Nov-12 14:25:19

Starrs it wasn't meant to sound harsh, just that it surprises me how much people are shocked that life changes when u have a small baby,what did they think was going to happen?I second that its better to go out every day for a walk even just half an hour.

lola88 Sat 24-Nov-12 15:10:18

God i didn't leave the house for about 4 weeks except to get in the car and go make a dent in my mums sofa for a change. I started going to a mother and toddler group when DS was 7 weeks lots of people didn't see the point as he was so young but it got me out the house once a week and i ened up making a few good friends.

Best advice you will get is go out, pack your nappy bag at night pick out clothes even just mentally and forget what you look like as long as you wash your face and brush teeth/hair your good to go i didn't start wearing make up again until about 6mo (i was the girl who wore make up to the shop) DS is almost 10mo now and i've got a whole new life and set of 'mummy' friends to keep me company during the day. I have sort of let go of my 'old' life and embraced the new one with some of the old elements it's easier if you don't fight it just go with it smile

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