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Is this normal or should I speak to the HV?

(30 Posts)
Yoghurtget Tue 17-Jun-14 07:55:11

I am not sure if this is just the normal challenges of parenthood or I should speak to the HV as it's not normal. I have a beautiful 10 week old DD but I just don't seem to feel the joy other parents feel. Friends who have had children the same time say they are so happy, it's the best thing that's ever happened to them etc but I don't feel like that. There have been a few difficulties but nothing major- we have had a month of colic, I have had mastitis and thrush, she won't sleep in her cot in the day it in the pram so I have to hold her to get her to sleep. I wake in the morning and dread the day, when she cries I feel so stressed, my default is to feed her but I think that's developing bad habits. Her dad is much calmer but she is also quite clingy to me and people say "oh she wants her mummy" which makes me want to cry as I have to deal with her just when I thought I could have a break.

I feel terrible just writing this as she's beautiful and is lovely when she smiles. I am not sure if parenthood just is tough, I need to change my style to resolve some of the little problems or if this is not normal and I should discuss with the HV?

susannahmoodie Tue 17-Jun-14 08:01:41

Sorry you are feeling like this, but it is very normal to find it hard in the first few weeks. 10 weeks is teeny still and I think you need to go easy on yourself and take everyone else's positivity with a pinch of salt. It's tiring, overwhelming and hard work and there is no shame in admitting this.

Also, feeding your baby to sleep is not, IMO, creating bad habits. It's the path of least resistance which is what you need at the minute- take advantage of it. The fact that your baby falls asleep at the breast is a sigh that that is where she feels most secure, cosy, warm, comfy and loved. Embrace it, don't fight it.
Embrace cuddling/holding/rocking her to sleep too. It's not forever. Don't worry about what you "should" be doing, do what works.

It sounds like you are doing great, especially overcoming thrush and mastitis which are significant hurdles- you should be proud.

SecretSpy Tue 17-Jun-14 08:02:57

baby's cry is designed to make you feel stressed, it's a mechanism to make us respond to them and entirely normalsmile
picking them up and feeding them is the perfect response so don't let that worry you.

but do speak to the hv if you are concerned about how you are feeling.

FurryGiraffe Tue 17-Jun-14 08:08:40

Firstly, congratulations on your beautiful DD. You sound entirely normal to me. I didn't find it a joyous experience by any means and I didn't have the difficulties you've had. It's hard being on call for a tiny person all the time, especially when you need to cuddle for daytime sleep so you have no time for yourself. Don't be afraid to hand her over when poss if you need a break. There's nothing wrong with that: you have needs to and other key people (dad and GPs need to bond and learn to comfort her also). Equally, absolutely nothing wrong with feeding when she squawks. BF is comfort and nurture as well as nutrition. Not a bad habit at all- you're comforting her and that's absolutely fine. I did it with my DS and he's a very secure, attached, confident 1 yr old who grins at his key worker in the morning at nursery.

So please don't worry that there's something wrong with you as a parent- there isn't. But do speak to the HV if you're concerned and need some support- that's what they're there for.

givemecaffeine21 Tue 17-Jun-14 09:16:30

Funnily enough my cousin and I were discussing this last week and saying the 'joy' element wasn't there at first, really because your mind and body are in shock. I found becoming a mum a huge shock to the system, and my sister has recently had her first and was equally surprised not to be enjoying it at first because she was sleep deprived, always feeding, and her baby is not a good sleeper. In her words, babies are 'takers'. Nothing can prepare you for how it feels and the fluffy fantasies you had of nursing baby in a rocking chair, flushed and happy, are quickly replaced with walking around like a zombie and not knowing which end of the day you're at.

It is normal, but I would mention it to your HV anyway and say it out loud. That's a great thing to do as she can keep any eye and check in on you, just in case it takes longer to pass than you're hoping.

Haribolover Tue 17-Jun-14 09:25:19

I could have written your post. 10 weeks is young and I think a of of people feel the same as you but won't admit it and in public play the perfect mother image. Babies are hard work. It does get better. DD is now 6 months and I still don't have that overriding joy people describe but it does get easier. They can amuse themselves for a little bit and the feeds do space out.

Let them sleep on you, sit infront of the TV and iPad and enjoy it as it won't last. Feeding to sleep- did that and still do. It's starting to break at night and she is self settling a lot of the time. Did nothing just came with time, hoping to roll out for naps at some point. We'll see if it works or not otherwise TV, iPad and chocolates for me.

I was never confident talking to people but have done a couple of baby groups and met some nice people. Getting out the house really helps me get through the days. Try breastfeeding support groups, library rhyme time, etc.

Yoghurtget Tue 17-Jun-14 09:38:45

Thank you all for your responses, it's good to know it's not out of the ordinary to feel like this and I imagine from your posts that the joy comes eventually. I will mention it to the HV though, my husband is great but other women I have tried to discuss it with have tried to brush my feelings under the carpet, " oh but you are doing fine aren't you" which is partly why I felt my feelings were unusual.

Misty9 Tue 17-Jun-14 09:41:40

I feel quite similarly to you with 8wk old dd. I don't know if it's 'normal' or not, but I've come to the conclusion that regardless of what I label it it's how I feel that is important. I also have ds, 2.9, and don't feel a particularly good mother to either at the moment.

Def try to get out the house; my worst days are when ds is at childcare and I'm stuck in with the baby. and chat to your health visitor if you feel able. I'm going to, because whether or not it's pnd, I need some support and that's nothing to be ashamed of smile

Longtalljosie Tue 17-Jun-14 09:45:18

Oh my goodness you're being hard on yourself! You say you haven't had any issues, but you've had mastitis and thrush and a month of colic! Of course you're knackered. Of course you want to scream. Of course you want to sleep for a week. It's normal. And do, do feed the baby when she cries. It's not called "nursing" for nothing. Boobs are the ultimate multi-purpose parenting tool. Don't make a hard time even harder. You won't "form bad habits" - babies naturally go longer between feeds as they get older.

Do you have a baby gym? She may be distracted by that? And you need time to yourself. Don't let your DP fob you off by saying the baby prefers you. All that shows is he's got some catching up to do...

slightlyconfused85 Tue 17-Jun-14 09:56:45

I most definitely didn't enjoy my DD until she was 3-4 months old! I found the nappies/feeding/crying endless, boring and miserable and I did not have colic or mastitis to deal with - you're doing brilliantly.

Everyone says that, but a lot of people find the beginning of a new baby's life extremely hard and it gets easier as every month passes - they get a bit better at sleeping, they feed less and they smile and play. I love being a mum now my daughter is a little toddler (although tantrums are my new hate...!) but they baby stage was just not fun! Make sure your DP helps you and get out for a hair cut or whatever you like to do. Be kind to yourself.

smokeandfluff Tue 17-Jun-14 10:21:49

I'm not sure how much joy new parents feel in general. People tend to forget how hard it is and look back with rose tinted glasses. They want to believe mothers are happy and content. It just puts so much pressure on, especially when you're constantly doubting yourself and would do anything for 6 hours sleep.

Ds is 7 months and I can't say I feel 'joy'. I love him to bits, am mostly content, but still have a lot of ups and downs. If you have a connection with your hv, do talk to her as she may be able to reassure you.

Yoghurtget Tue 17-Jun-14 13:12:00

Thank you. I think there is certainly rose tinted glasses when people look back. The people who seem surprised when I mention anything negative all had their children a while ago and perhaps are remembering as being easier than it was.

Cuddlydragon Tue 17-Jun-14 15:44:35

Oh my goodness, I could have written your post 18 months ago. No sleep, worried, doubting myself. I don't think it helps that people don't feel like they can be honest in case they're judged or something. I remember feeling more and more inadequate as my only friends with babies were from Nct class and they all seemed fine. Til one memorable coffee morning when one of them just blurted out that she was knackered and frankly feeling it was all a bit shit. It felt like it gave us all "permission" to drop our "game face" and that actually we all felt knackered/useless/regretful at times but it does get a lot easier!

Misty9 Tue 17-Jun-14 15:56:27

Oh yes to the rose tinted glasses - I rarely tell my dad how I'm feeling as when I say anything less than positive he'll respond: oh but it's such a lovely time isn't it? hmm helpful.

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Tue 17-Jun-14 16:05:25

It is flipping tough. Anyone who says otherwise had a very easy baby, lots of help or has forgotten!

My DD wouldn't sleep in the pram or cot either, a good sling and co sleeping really helped us in the end but everyone is different. Try not to expect too much of yourself and really don't worry about bad habits! You can't spoil a baby (Toddlers on the other hand...)

Promise it gets better, but do speak to HV if you can't imagine being happy again. smile flowers

CantBeatTheJohnBarnesRap Tue 17-Jun-14 21:58:14

It was soooooooo hard in those days and still is really but it changes. I been told it's like that all the way along from here on......
I couldn't beeline when I saw women out and looking normal with young babies when I felt like death and cried a lot worrying I was getting depressed. Turns out I wasn't depressed and hormone weirdness and super tiredness was the issues and as it eases as time goes by you can begin to enjoy your babies ( IMO)

violator Wed 18-Jun-14 10:05:44

It's normal, to a point.

I'm not ashamed to say I didn't like the infant stage. I was constantly exhausted, frustrated and bored!
Give me a toddler any day over a tiny baby.

If you feel this could me more than normal new baby shock, do have a chat with the HV.

Longtalljosie Thu 19-Jun-14 06:26:37

I remember my MIL when DD1 was born, saying "this is the best time". DD1 had reflux and screamed constantly. I remember thinking, nearly hysterical from lack of sleep and the incessant noise "if this is the best it gets, we have made a terrible mistake"


I think this might one day benefit from a MN campaign...

Gurraun Thu 19-Jun-14 06:56:21

My friend refers to the early weeks/months as 'the horror'! I've got two dc and with ds1 it was a really awful time - I loved him but it was such a shock, no sleep, change in my life, dynamics of my marriage etc and all the time trying to instil 'good habits' because people told me that if you feed them to sleep, co sleep etc you make a rod for your own back.

I then did all those things with ds2 and it was a much more relaxing time and as he got older I had no issue putting him down awake, in his bed etc. What I'm trying to say is do what you need to do survive I don't expect it to be sunbeams and puppies. That said if you feel the same in a few weeks worth seeing your GP just in case. Good luck

smokeandfluff Thu 19-Jun-14 10:05:18

Misty-my dad is like that as well. Keeps telling me to treasure every moment and they grow up so quick....I know they do grow up but the first two months of ds' s life were a sleep deprived eternity.

Someone on here said they would go through the labour twice if they could skip the first six weeks. ...would definitely agree with this!

Yoghurtget Thu 19-Jun-14 10:45:05

I do remember reading you'd be tired, you may not get out if your pjs, forget the housework etc but I guess I thought you'd enjoy it more. None of the books I read, no one I spoke to said it wouldn't be fun and you may have moments of regretting it all. It would be helpful if there was more about this so people don't think that they're not cut out for parenthood and actually it's just a phase and it gets a lot better.

TortoiseUpATreeAgain Thu 19-Jun-14 10:57:30

I was very grateful to a friend who told me that with her first DC she'd spent the first three months thinking that they had made a horrible mistake and would cheerfully have given him back, if that had been an option. It's not something most people who felt that way talk about.

CantBeatTheJohnBarnesRap Thu 19-Jun-14 14:40:25

I think your right yoghurt I wish I knew at the beginning that I would feel that way too, it's scary to think oh no I don't think I can do this! But 7 months down the line we still have tough times but I know her now and she fills my heart with pride to see her laugh or just becoming the little person she is. Your doing fab so just do one day at a time as that's what helped me. X

squishinglittlefatcheeks Thu 19-Jun-14 20:14:59

Hi, I think it is normal to find it exhausting and challenging, but worth keeping your hv updated. I've been there and remember that awful feeling of waking up dreading the day, and in fact being terrified of the night. It does get better but the important thing is how YOU are feeling. If you are feeling low a lot of the time, finding it difficult to feel happy and are generally stressed then please speak to the hv, it's best to get support early. Good luck

minipie Thu 19-Jun-14 20:38:32

You sound exactly like me at that stage - in fact I'd go further than you and say I was having a really shit time.

The other parents who are saying what a joy it is either (A) have very easy babies or (B) are lying.

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