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Feeling down prior to birth - is this normal?

(9 Posts)
Newmummytobe79 Tue 19-Jul-11 09:28:12

I’m nearly 34 weeks and I’ve started to feel a bit down … and I’m worried it may prompt low feelings after the birth. I think it’s just because I want to finish work and get on with cleaning the house/washing baby things etc but it’s just getting to me.

I’m feeling overwhelmed by my in-laws need to take baby out on their own and planning days without me, scared about visitors turning up unannounced, scared about breast feeding in front of family and friends, worried that I don’t care about work anymore but still have lots to do before I finish etc. My mum knows how I feel and is trying to make me rest/think calmly/not worry about in-laws etc – but I just can’t help it.

My DH is also being very supportive but I’m in pain every night as baby is really pushing against my ribs and back and I just feel like crying.

Is this a sign baby is nearly on it’s way and mother natures way of me wanting to get baby out? Or should I be worried?

m1nn1em0u5e Tue 19-Jul-11 09:45:08

I think everything you are feeling is completely normal, I felt especially like this with my first. I think the not knowing about the whole labour experience plays a huge part too.

I didnt finish work until quite late with my 1st baby & all those feelings re cleaning/washing/preparing for baby used to really stress me out, especially as I didnt realise how huge/tired/uncomfortable those last few weeks really are.

As soon as I finished work & got my to do list under completion I felt so much better.

I didnt breast feed in front of visitors, I simply took baby upstairs, people understand....they really do.

How long until you finish work? I finished at 34 weeks with my 2nd baby & I didnt get all those feelings I did first time, partly because I knew I had up to 6 weeks to get myself organised. Im pregnant with no. 3 now & suffering with hyperemesis & getting really fed up as the house is upside down, piles of ironing, lots that needs doing, but I have been so poorly, im just trying to get through each day.

Please dont worry, it will all be fine smile

Newmummytobe79 Tue 19-Jul-11 09:54:21

Thanks m1nn1emOu5w - it's nice to know I'm not alone! smile

I'm supposed to be working up to 37 weeks but I have a 2.5 hour daily commute which is getting to me so I might ask if I can finish at 36 weeks. I had a day off a while back and just having that day to myself made me feel a lot better so I'm hoping ticking off my to do list will help.

Everyone keeps telling me how great I've done up to now but I just feel so tired I just want to cry and lie down!

Hopefully I'm just having a bad day and I'll feel much better tomorrow - but thanks for reading my moan! smile

ennistonemother Tue 19-Jul-11 09:58:10

I don't think you should be worried - think it all sounds perfectly normal.

Fwiw, I felt soooo much better after DD was born than I did before. (And she's a terrible sleeper, so I'd have expected to feel worse iyswim.)

I was massively worried about everything - in-laws visiting, breast-feeding, being a mother/the responsibility/whether we had made a terrible mistake that was going to ruin our lives, argh, not to mention that actual birth of course - but it's all gone massively better than I thought.

Something that helped me was that I was very harsh (or, perhaps "strong") with my in-laws, and instituted a system of visiting hours, which worked very well. I said (truthfully!) that the midwife had advised this - she advised lots of alone time for me and DD to bond to help bfing (with DH on hand to provide food and drink at my command) - I had no problems breastfeeding at all, no pain or anything, but, heck, it was an excuse to keep the in-laws away. I think that helped enormously.

Your in-laws do not need to spend time alone with the baby, and indeed especially if you are breast-feeding, than your baby will need to be with you - pretty much 24/7 in the early weeks. Babies don't appreciate days out - can you get your DH to talk to his family, and say that when your DC is, say, 2 or 3 and can appreciate zoos or whatever then it would be lovely for them to treat him or her to a day out, but that it just doesn't make sense for a new baby to be able from its mother? Great if they're happy to babysit after a few weeks or months, but it must be on your terms, not theirs.

The reason I was able to be so strict with my in-laws is that I had so many people telling me that their only regret about the early days/weeks/months with their new baby was that they were not more strict with theirs.

I got DH to do all the talking about this... I was "resting" a lot when they phoned/were around! My SIL did it completely differently, and looks back on the first month with her new baby as a dreadful, stressful time, while for me, it as one of the happiest months of my life - sleep deprivation, tears and all. DH was able to have 2 weeks paternity leave, during which I didn't lift a finger around the house - just focused on resting and looking after DD, which was idyllic (well, sleep deprivation aside!)

And if visitors turn up unannounced then your DH is perfectly within his right to tell them that you are sleeping, and that visiting hours are 12-2 or whatever.

I found the last few weeks of work tough too - I just didn't care, it wasn't where my head was at all, which I felt guilty about, but I got through it, and then there was maternity leave, and then there was DD, and then it was all so much better.

I found the threads on here about getting through the first week with a new baby really really helpful - again they helped me to be determined about visitors/in-laws etc. It may be helpful to recognize that maximizing the time that you and your DH have alone, relaxing with your DC and not doing anything but keeping you and him or her warm, clean and fed will be good for your DC as well as for you - it's not as selfish as it may seem, as it will help you all to feel bonded as a new family, and also help maximize the chances of breastfeeding going well.

Sorry, essay. Complete stream of consciousness and no time to go back and edit, as DD will wake from her nap soon - but I hope me wittering about my experience was in some way helpful... I know it's different from everyone, but most people I know seem to have been happier once the baby was actually here!

Newmummytobe79 Tue 19-Jul-11 10:05:22

wow - ennistonemother smile I do hope I can be as strong as you and thanks for making me feel better about the first few weeks!

Can I ask if you were a strong person already or did you find it after you'd given birth?

ennistonemother Tue 19-Jul-11 10:26:39

Hmm, think it was mostly hearing about my sil's experience that made me think, right, not going to do it like that - and the midwife, and all the advice on here.

But having DD here definitely helped - made me think "my responsibility is to her, and NOT my in-laws", and that meant, to me, and for the first few weeks at least, keeping in-laws at arm's length - helped that I could think of it as for her, not for me (made me feel less of a cow!!) Now she's 5 mo, happy for her to spend lots of time with ils - only constraint really is bf, as she won't take a bally bottle, the little minx!

wigglesrock Tue 19-Jul-11 10:34:51

I remember the last 6 weeks or so being the most difficult. You are so tired, heavy, baby is lying uncomfortably and you can't sleep. I have 3 children and my last pregnancy (baby is 5 months old) felt the hardest. I definitely think being at work adds to the whole pressure cooker of it all, I ended up finishing work 1 week before I was supposed to, due to the snow and seriously I cried tears of joy when I was told. If its any help, the last few weeks of pregnancy are much harder than the first few months of a newborn.

slowshow Tue 19-Jul-11 11:33:32

Maybe you'd feel better if you laid down some ground rules now? If it bothers you that your in laws want to swan off out with your baby without you, jokingly say to them "Well, who knows if I'll be able to trust ANYONE to take the baby out without me, haha, PFB, etc".

Likewise, make sure people know that unannounced visitors aren't welcome (and make your DH turn them away at the door if they turn up anyway).

As for bf, take the baby upstairs to bed!

kettleboiler Tue 19-Jul-11 12:01:16

I am currently 32 weeks and because of accrued holidays I'm starting my mat leave at the end of next week - it can't come too soon. My head has not been in work for the past few weeks and now I am totally panicking about what I need to do before I finish. I'm currently working from home as well which isn't helping my motivation. To add to that, I'm getting "down days" that I never got before. So I know how you are feeling.

My parents suggested coming to stay for two weeks after the wee one is born but I suggested that this was a crazy idea. I love them to pieces but can barely manage a weekend in the same house! I saw my sister struggle with setting ground rules AFTER her first baby was born and so I think it is important to try to get some sorted before it all kicks off.

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