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Are the first few months really that bad?

(134 Posts)
LittleAmy Sat 08-May-10 14:07:07

I'm due to give birth to my first baby in July. I've heard that the first few months with a newborn are hell on earth. Is this true? Here are some of the snippets of 'advice' I've heard:

"Having a baby is like throwing a grenade into your marriage".

"You and your husband will fight all the time."

"Your relationship with your husband will completely change to one of point scoring and arguing over who does the most".

"He will look forward to his paternity leave ending".

"Your baby will demand feeding every few hours. Your boobs will be red raw."

"You might not be able to breast feed and thus feel like a failure of a woman".

"You will be knackered and hardly have the time/enegery to even wash".

"New born babies are boring. You don't get any feedback from them."

"Your house will be a tip. There will be no time or energy to tidy."

"A million people will want to visit - and remember your house is a tip".

"Also you look like a tip. No time to do hair and makeup."

"Sex drive takes a nose-dive. Almost becoming non-existent".

"You'll bleed for 6 weeks and it will hurt to pee."

"Postnatal depression - you become isolated and constantly weepy."

"Finish the nursery now because you will not have the time or eneregy to finish it once baby is here".

"You will lose any childless friends because you will not have time for them."

"No time to go out or even watch a movie on the sofa."

"3 hours sleep per night."

"Forget the things you love to do now - your love of books, video games, the gym, and the other things you do to unwind. There will be no time for leisure."

Sources for the above statements: books, forums, NCT classes, family and friends.

Strange how no one said these things to me when I was TTC. hmm

compo Sat 08-May-10 14:10:58

Well honestly most were true for me

except I had loads of time to watch DVDs cos I was stuck to the sofa breastfeeding

I didn't lose any childless friends

it will all be fine though, at least you're well prepared, and it's too late to worry about now! Just enjoy these next few weeks, go to the cinema, get loads of sleep in, catch up with friends etc

BelleDameSansMerci Sat 08-May-10 14:11:31

Hmmmm... The first three months can be very intense but, and this is important, you probably won't care. If you're lucky and bond quickly with your baby you will be so in love (and it's overwhelming) that none of that stuff will matter at all. A lot of it, also, isn't true. The marriage/relationship stuff completely depends on the relationship you already have; the sleep stuff depends on your baby/how you feed/etc (mine slept through from about 2 months and I bottle fed); etc. As for no feedback, again, you won't care but when you get the first smile you will probably feel that it's all worth it.

I believe lots of people think they are helping you by advising how difficult things can be. It is surprising how different your life will be but it is so completely worth it.

Oh, and congratulations! x

BelleDameSansMerci Sat 08-May-10 14:12:15

Sorry, I meant "isn't true for everyone".

BelleDameSansMerci Sat 08-May-10 14:14:03

Same for when they get to 2 years old too... You'll hear all sorts of horror stories about the "terrible twos" which may well turn out not to be true for you and your baby (as they weren't for me and my diva DD).

ThePinkOne Sat 08-May-10 14:15:03

No it's not all true for everyone. I was fine after my first dc. She slept really well, bf every 4 hours with only a little pain and some blisters over the first few days. I managed to keep on top of the housework mostly and DH helped. We got on fine (mostly except for a few hormonal outbursts) and watched movies together loads. Some people bleed for 6 weeks - I was only about 2.

Now the first few months with DC2 is a different matter entirely grin

I wouldn't worry about it. There is nothing you can do now but look forward to your new baby and when it arrives do your best.

Perhaps discuss some of the points about your marriage with DH before the baby arrives so you both know how difficult it can be and can be aware of any problems if they arise.

I think it's good to know that these can be some of the problems that people face so you can be prepared, but it's certainly not the only outcome of having a baby.

Good luck and enjoy smile

MillieMummy Sat 08-May-10 14:18:15

I wish that people had told me some of those things; DP and I really struggled for the first 12 weeks and it would have been useful to know that we were not alone in how we felt.

Having said that it is also a wonderful time, and getting to know your LO is a fantastic experience.

LittleAmy Sat 08-May-10 14:21:08

A lot of the advice came from here: 12?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1273324826&sr=1-2

Joolyjoolyjoo Sat 08-May-10 14:21:38

I'll be honest and say that, yes, it is like a bomb going off in the middle of your life! But you rebuild a different life, which turns out to be better smile so don't worry too much!

I always thought that my DH was like the building next door- he suffered some collateral damage, but was able to patch it up, whereas I had to have a whole new blueprint! You won't regret it though

notcitrus Sat 08-May-10 14:22:25

I gave birth when we didn't have a roof on our house as the builders had buggered off. So MrNC spent every waking minute trying to sort that out, along with supporting me as I learnt to walk and bend again after SPD.

Our relationship managed fine. I spent the first 6 weeks in a bit of a blur on the sofa and that was fine too. Yes, the house was in a state but I didn't care. When I suddenly got more sleep and was in a state to notice, childless friends particularly unemployed ones were wonderful, coming round and helping rock the baby when I was too physically tired to do it.

By 3 months we'd resolved bf issues, had a non-leaking house, and I'd mastered going out and doing what I wanted and carting a totally-non-routine-having baby with me and it was all pretty good. And a friend babysat for a couple hours and MrNC and I went to the local restaurant and had a date, giggling hysterically. grin

To adapt the cliche, no-one ever has on their gravestone, "I wish I'd spent more time on housework"! Get all the help you can and tell anyone who criticises to get stuffed!

compo Sat 08-May-10 14:22:52

Re. Your comment about no one telling you all that when you were ttc would you have listened?
A dear friend is coming up to 40 and panicking about not having kids , I have said all the things in your op but of course that's no consolation for her

MarthaFarquhar Sat 08-May-10 14:24:11

my DD was a rather banshee like challenging newborn, and I will admit that as much as I love her, my memories of those first 6 months are not the fondest ones I have.

BUT - I know loads of people whose babies were much more placid, and for whom the early days were a breeze.

and even if your baby is not one of those placid, settled ones, it does get better - whether that takes 3 months, or 6, or 12.

DD has for the most part been a fairly delightful toddler smile.

SilveryMoon Sat 08-May-10 14:27:20

LittleAmy All the points you made in your OP were true for me.
But, let me add, all in a kind of good way. Apart from the arguing with partner, we still point score and our eldest is 2.9yrs.

I know it sounds awful, but if it was really that bad, no one would ever have a second child, never mind a 3rd, 4th, 5th.

What I will say, is be prepared for it.
When you first get home with your baby, concentrate on introducing one habit every few days.
So days 1-3 just wash and dress baby. Days 4-6 wash and dress baby and get in the shower/bath yourself. Days 6-9 get yourself dressed after your shower. Days 9-12 all the above plus fit in a 10 minute walk with baby. Days 12-15 all the above plus put a load of washing on. Days 15-18 all the above plus hoover 1 room and so on.
You will soon find that you have a good strong routine and have some control over what is happening.
Goodluck and try not to worry too much, it will all be fine and it will all be WORTH IT.

PollyTicks Sat 08-May-10 14:27:34

First baby was hellish for me. Nothing could really have prepared me for how bad, to be honest.It took me 2 years to recover!

Second baby - some of the most blissful months of my life.

Sleep was a MAJOR factor in my differing experiences (ie. DC 1 was a crap sleeper for first two years, DC 2 slept through at 6 weeks old).

I know plenty of people who have had it fairly easy/pleasurable after their first baby, though, so it isn't an absolute rule of thumb that you'll be miserable and exhausted grin.

tethersend Sat 08-May-10 14:28:51

All true, but there is no way you can anticipate the scale of the horror, so no point worrying about them now smile

There's also no way you can anticipate the amazing feeling of love that makes the horror worth it.

LittleAmy Sat 08-May-10 14:34:21

Thanks for sharing girls.

I'm nervous and don't know what to expect and 'advice' such as that above can play on my fears.

I'm worried that hubby and I will fall out (he's more house proud than I am) and more seriously - that I will turn into a hormonal bitch. You hear about women screaming at their newborns to shut up because they haven't had any sleep. I'm scared of turning into a psycho bitch. I'm scared that hubby may regret having a baby with me sad

Trafficcone Sat 08-May-10 14:39:27

I found the babies incredibly easy and I didn't get what people were on about. I still think the newborn stage is by far the easiest.
But the sleep deprivation did make dh and I who never argue get very tetchy and it was the closest we've ever come to full on rowing/ him storming off etc. We solved that by my breastfeeding the next baby and then dh got a full nights sleep and was more able to go to work and help me out in the mornings and eves.

Yes I lost alot of childless friends but it was no real loss and made me realise we weren't as close as I'd thought we were.

I guess alot of it is down to how much you care

no sex- big deal who cares
no make up - big deal who cares
can't do decorating chores - big deal who cares
hurts to pee and youre bleeding- pour warm water down there as you pee. Bleeding - big deal who cares

having a baby is way better and way more exciting than any previous social life and the newborn stage is so precious it just doesn't last long enough.

SilveryMoon Sat 08-May-10 14:39:40

LittleAmy They are all normal fears that most of us have had. Please don't worry.

Ds1 had colic and reflux and was crying most of the timer as a baby. there were a few times where i had to put him in his cot, shut the door and go and stand in the garden for a few minutes.
But he is now the most wonderful, joy bringing 2 year old who me and dp wouldn't be without.
Ds2 (15 months) can be a whinge bag but it's all ok.

I'm not going to say you won't argue with your dh about the housework because you will.
My dp still comes home and asks me if it would have been hard to put that empty crisp packet in the bin. I have now learnt just to ignore him and if he wants to stress out about the housework, then I will let him.
On the bad days I will yell a few swear words at him, and he has learnt when to argue back and when to just leave it.
Having a baby is difficult, but will be ok. I promise

Missus84 Sat 08-May-10 14:40:16

If it makes you feel any better, a friend of mine found the first couple of months really dull. She had a pretty easy baby who slept all the time and all she did was hang around watching TV and waiting for him to get a bit more interesting. Apparently her house has never been tidier grin

ticktockclock Sat 08-May-10 14:41:37

Very little of this was true for me. I found that keeping the house clean, getting ready in the mornings was all easier when the LO was first born. I was able to get myself ready and out the door much earlier than I can now with a 2.5yr old.

I did not fight with my DH at all. My DH was working fulltime and did not have paternity leave so only saw him evenings and weekends. The time we spent together was great. Although the sex-drive plummeted to less than zero and that did not change for at least a year!

I did not feel like a 'failure' not being able to continue breastfeeding. My baby slept really well (we were lucky I guess) and was only ever up once in the night from birth.

I did lose all of my childless friends, they were there at the begining but then they all faded away no due to any effort on my part, they just wanted to stick to their 'childless world'.

LittleAmy Sat 08-May-10 14:42:54

SilveryMoon thanks for the advice. Like me, are you messier than your hubby?

SherbetDibDab Sat 08-May-10 14:46:44

I've got 3 and I've always found the first 6 months really hard.

You just need to keep reminding yourself that it is only 6 months - then your life starts to return and your baby starts to become a little person.

It is hard but don't panic, it passes so quickly. The reward is a lovely dc.

trixymalixy Sat 08-May-10 15:00:03

Your first baby will be a massive shock to your life. People said all the same things to me before i had DS and i knew it would be hard, but I had NO idea just quite how hard.

I think a huge factor in it all is how well the baby sleeps as everything seems a lot easier when you have had a good night's sleep.

It does get a lot easier though honestly.

SilveryMoon Sat 08-May-10 15:03:59

LittleAmy Yes, I'm messier than my dp. I have set routines and times for doing things and I like to priortise my tasks.
My dp thinks that because when he gets in from work I'm sitting watching the telly, that that's all I've done all day. he seems to think the washing and ironing does itself, the cooking does itself, the shopping does itself, the children look after themselves and that my life is easy because i don't go to work. Where in actual fact, my life and my job (being a SAHM) is harder than anything I have ever done before. But much more rewarding than anything I have ever done before.

The normal conversation when dp first gets in from work, goes like this...
him "look at the state of this place"
(there are toys, juice cups, the odd raisin, snot rag, shoes on the living room floor)
me "you should have seen it 15 minutes ago, I've just tidied"
He rarely says anything after that!

Like someone else said, you just have to work out what's important to all of you. Be ready to sit down with your dh and talk about what is important and come to comprimises.

I've given up asking my dp for help, so he goes to work and I look after the children and the home.
He3 doesn't have a clue how much I do and how hard it can be.
But we have a mostly happy (un) balance of things.

petisa Sat 08-May-10 15:09:58

Oh god, erm... all of those things were true for me... But it was also the best thing that has EVER happened in my previously meaningless and frivolous life... does that help? grin

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