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Help - 8 day old baby and not sure i can cope...

(47 Posts)
oysterpots Thu 02-Aug-07 20:34:01

My baby is 8 days old and we've been back from the hospital for 2 days now (he had pneumonia so we were in for longer than had hoped).

I hated being in the hospital but now that we're home I'm finding things really hard. I've got these terrible feelings of anxiety which are making me sick and have totally lost my appetite. I know that the tiredness and sleep deprivation have probably got a lot to do with this, but I can't help pining for my old life and feeling like we've made a terrible mistake.

Please tell me everyone goes through this and that it gets better! I just feel so alone

GibbonInARibbon Thu 02-Aug-07 20:38:22

It is so normal it's one tells you how hard the first few weeks are. I was a wreck and felt so emotional.

I think there is a grieving process when you have a baby. For your old's natural and will pass I promise.

Going out for a walk each day really helped me. Even when I couldn't face it I did it.

You're never alone on MN

morningpaper Thu 02-Aug-07 20:39:33


Yes these feelings are quite normal, the first few weeks are GRIM


Hmm I've got a list of advice I sent a friend once ... I'll root it out for you

oooggs Thu 02-Aug-07 20:40:24

it does get easier and the more you learn the more you cope - I would say it gets better but with baby twins it hasn't yet

Eowyn Thu 02-Aug-07 20:41:27

I felt like you & didn't know anyone else did, no one admitted it.
People kept saying it gets better & at the time I wanted to kill them, but, it is true...
it's just such a shock at first.

AlistairSim Thu 02-Aug-07 20:41:28

Oh yeah, perfectly normal!

I remember feeling so bad I was considering leaving dd with her dad and running off to Bangkok.

Bewilderbeast Thu 02-Aug-07 20:41:35

oh god I remember this well, it does get better I promise

rosmerta Thu 02-Aug-07 20:42:05

Agree with everything Gibbon said!

I would hear ds crying and wouldn't want to go see him (he was with dh, not on his own I hasten to add!).

It is hard and v emotional but it does eventually pass. Is your dh/dp at home atm or is there anyone else who can help? I found it useful for dh to look after ds for an hour so I could go lie down. Ask for help if you need or want it, people will be willing to give you a hand.

And if you need to chat about anything, then that's why MN is here!


mckenzie Thu 02-Aug-07 20:42:26

congratulations on you new bundle of joy oysterpots because althoguh at the moment 'joy' is perhaps the furthest thing from your mind you will get through this phase - honestly. It's part hormones, part shock and part sheer exhaustion but it really will pass. Talk about it, dont bottle it up, ask and accept help at every opportunity and get lots of fresh air.

And if it gets really bad then scream on here for help and one of us will come running, I promise you.

divastrop Thu 02-Aug-07 20:43:45


good to hear your baby is home now.bringing a new baby home for the first time always feels strange and very scary,and when the baby has been poorly its even worse(my dd2 was in ICU for 5 days when she was 2 weeks old).you are bound to feel anxious and as you said,sleep deprivation makes everything worse.then theres the fact that your hormones are all over the place.

i would advise you to talk to your MW about how you are feeling,just for reassurance more than anything,and try and rest when you can(easier said than done i know).if you find your anxiety gets worse then maybe go and see your gp,you have been through alot.

the first 6 weeks with a new baby are so difficult,even when youve done it before.its early days,and im sure you will be fine and in a couple of months wont remember what life was like without your lo.

mummynumnum Thu 02-Aug-07 20:43:48

I agree, these feelings are normal. The going outside every day is a really good idea. I still have to do it, one year on. Have you got a first time mums club youc an go to. I loved mine and went religiously every Friday. Can you talk to dp and HV?

I did and still do on occasions miss the old times, but really found as dd got older and did more and more things the joy she gave was much greater than any longing for the old times. I found the little baby stage difficult but have loved it more and more as dd gets older.

I hope you feel better and dont worry.

Roskva Thu 02-Aug-07 20:44:45

Congratulations! I'm glad your little is doing well now.

Things do get better, honestly. You're body has gone through a huge upheaval, your hormones are all over the place, you've had the stress of your little one being ill, sleep has gone out of the window... it's no wonder you've lost your appetite.

If you can, get someone else to make you things to eat or get your dp (I'm assuming you have one?) to go and shop for a stock of ready meals for the freezer, and keep the fridge stocked with tempting but preferably healthy nibbly bits. Also, ask him to make your favourite milky drink when you feed your baby - that way your putting some nutrients back into your body. Forget your previous concept of 'normal': it really doesn't matter if you're still in your pjs in the afternoon. Accept any offers of help that are given - if a friend or neighbour offers to do some washing or something for you, that's great. And don't be shy to ask for help - it might not usually be something you would do, but this is exceptional circumstances. If you can, lie down and try to sleep whenever your baby sleeps - every little bit of sleep helps.

The first few weeks is a period of major readjustment. With time, you will be able to get your life back to how you like it, and remember, you are not alone

GodzillasBumcheek Thu 02-Aug-07 20:44:49

You are absolutely not the only one. Went through this pretty recently. You will be so glad you had lo in just a few weeks time. For now, grit teeth and bear it, but it really does get easier, and you'll even start to enjoy it!

UCM Thu 02-Aug-07 20:45:22

Yes, it does get better. You need a while to settle into your own routine as everything goes out of the window when you have a baby IMO. After a while you will wonder why you thought this. I used to have visions of accidentally dropping the baby down the stairs whilst walking down them and all of that sort of thing. I have asked other mums and they confirm that some of your darkest thoughts come about after you have a baby.

I really really promise you, it does become fun, honest.

morningpaper Thu 02-Aug-07 20:46:03

I sent this to a friend so I've adjusted it slightly for you. I'm sure the advise will apply.


1. EAT PROPERLY and A LOT - and drink a lot of water. Make sure you eat one or two GOOD meals a day. Go out for lunch if you can - esp. at weekends, even if you have to take turns eating and walking outside with screamy baby. Or go for lunch with parents and make them cook you a proper roast. Eat a decent breakfast. Eat lots of snacks. Keep a lot of fresh and dried fruit around. Keep your iron levels UP because low iron makes you feel shit - eat a handful of apricots and dates with orange juice once or twice a day.

2. GO TO BED EARLY. Don't try and get stuff done in the evenings because you are only robbing time from your own sleep.

3. GET OUT EVERY DAY FOR A WALK with the pram. Car doesn't count. You need a walk in the fresh air. Walk to the park. (Watch the smiling laughing mummies pushing their children on the swings and believe me that every one of them is wanting to scream I USED TO BE A PLAYER, YOU FUCKERS, AND NOW LOOK AT ME, A FUCKING SWING FUCKING PUSHER!) This knowledge will cheer you up. Alternatively, put Baby in a sling (do you have a sling? I had to carry both of mine in a sling for pretty much ALL of the first few months - actually I STILL have to carry Josie for most of the late-afternoon) or backpack and go for a walk in the woods. At the weekends, do this with Hubby and make him carry Baby. Do you have a local beauty spot etc.?

4. ACCEPT ALL OFFERS OF HELP. From Hubby / parents / relatives. This is not the time to be proud. Become a YES person. Whether it's making a cup of tea, or taking Baby for a walk. Just say YES. If you can get a cleaner for a couple of hours a week, DO IT.

5. FIND SOME MUMMY FRIENDS: Pick a group and keep going to it every week. Whether it's a breastfeeding group or a mother-and-baby group or whatever. You aren't going for baby, or for advice, you are just going for YOU and to be sociable. Over time you will make some friends/people you can mix with or chat to, and that will really help.

6. TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF. When Baby falls asleep, don't rush around with the hoover. Sit down with a cup of tea and a biscuit. Give yourself ten minutes peace before you start running around tackling chores.

7. BUY YOURSELF TREATS once a week - or once a day! - something indulgent. Buy a magazine, a bar of chocolate, a proper cup of coffee, a lipstick... Something just for you, because you deserve it.

8. REST. Your body needs to recover from birth / feeding / all the changes it has had. Take a nap once a day with Baby. Put your feet up and have a cup of tea.

9. DON'T GATE-KEEP BABY-RELATED JOBS: Don't take over from Hubby with certain tasks just because you do them better. He'll learn to do them just as well. Make him solely responsible for certain tasks - e.g. bathtime is probably easiest. Let him do all of that while you rest or do something else.

10. USE A SLING as much as possible. Most babies are quite happy in a sling and it will stop them crying for a bit. Try not catch him on fire if you are cooking though.

11. GET A PAPER DELIVERED: Personally, I think I survived a lot of the early days by just having the Guardian every morning. DP would put it on the bed so it was there for me when I woke up for the morning feed. I still get it - although every other day now because it takes me two days to read it! - keeping abreast with current affairs makes me feel less like a drudge/housewife and more like a normal person. And it takes me out of my daily grind.

12. KNOW YOUR MENTAL HEALTH LIMITS: Be aware of your mental health. But try not to focus on it too much. Remember that MOST new mums at this stage are feeling massively shocked, emotionally and physically. Don't panic that it is past mental health problems creeping back. Feeling terrible is NORMAL.

13. THIS TOO SHALL PASS. Repeat this as much as possible. Nothing will be the same NEXT WEEK, never mind in a few months/years. It's easy to think that things are going to be like this FOREVER - it certainly feels like it at the time. But it isn't. Just survive these crap early months and things will gradually start to improve.

14. LOOK AT YOUR SON EVERY DAY and tell yourself how fabulous and amazing you are for growing this wonderful person.

morningpaper Thu 02-Aug-07 20:46:53

cor that was long and bossy

GibbonInARibbon Thu 02-Aug-07 20:48:27



oooggs Thu 02-Aug-07 20:49:18

wish I had that 18 weeks ago morningpaper and you could have adjusted it for the dt's

morningpaper Thu 02-Aug-07 20:50:05

I think that contains Everything I Have Learnt About Early Motherhood

gingerninja Thu 02-Aug-07 20:52:05

Poor you Oyster, yes it is really bloody hard and yes it does get easier. Don't pressure yourself to do anything for at least a couple of weeks. Just lol around, make phone calls, watch telly, nap, short walks, eat lots of lovely stuff and cuddle your new little baby. Just watching my DD sleep peacefully on my lap helped me relax. Most of all don't worry about worrying. It's an unavoidable part of motherhood and everyone does it.

aloha Thu 02-Aug-07 20:52:37

Ha Morningpaper, I forgot I started getting a paper delivered every day when ds was born! Fab advice. And I got a cleaner. Totally agree about daily walk and joining a baby group (NCT tea group in my case). My key bit of advice was if the baby is crying and has been recently fed, it is TIRED and you need to put the screaming tomato in the pram, bundle it up and walk towards a cafe until the tomato has gone to sleep, then quickly sit down and have a cafe and read the paper/eat cake, whatever.

AuntJetPetunia Thu 02-Aug-07 20:53:01

I felt exactly like you describe in those first few weeks. That feeling of "oh god we've made a terrible mistake.." really is SO common when you start talking to other (honest) parents. Hang on in there. I promise it gets better. Especially when the baby starts to respond to you, and acknowledge you. That first smile just sends you to pieces! Honestly, you WON'T regret having this baby. It is just a very, very hard adjustment. Get out and about ASAP. Go to baby clubs and talk to other mums. Get in touch with your antenatal group. Just don't isolate yourself. oh, and keep posting on MN. It's a lifeline. x

Tamdin Thu 02-Aug-07 20:56:23

well said MP
I think that should be handed out in hospital with the Bounty packs!

for oysterpots i felt exactly the same way for at least the first month and it is because you're tired and no-one can prepare you for the total sense of loss you feel for your old life.

IT DOES GET BETTER. MY ds is 18m old now and I love him so much it hurts and our life together as a family is wonderful.

Wilkie Thu 02-Aug-07 20:56:37

Oh god Oyster I could have written that post 6 months ago (in fact I think I did).

It does get easier, it took me about 8 weeks to bond properly with my DS and I felt hugely guilty for feeling that way.

He is now the most amazing little man in my life, I utterly uttlery adore him and wouldn't change any of it for the world.

Morningpapers advice is excellent. Please follow it - wish I'd had that 6 months ago.

Wilkie Thu 02-Aug-07 20:57:50

BTW - I think my BFs exact words to me about a week after the birth of her DD was 'Wilkie, honestly, I think I could chuck her out of the window in the middle of the night when she is crying and just won't stop'.

You are not alone.

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