Coping with a pre-schooler following c-section - how did you do it?(7 Posts)
I'm due with my second child in August, and for various reasons I am seriously contemplating an elective c-section (i had an emergency with my first). The one thing I'd be concerned about though is not being able to pick up my three and a half year old or give her proper cuddles for possibly weeks. I did find recovery quite tough the first time around, but I think I tried to do too much too soon, plus I was rather in a state of shock for some time following the birth. I can't remember though how long it really took for me to be able to lift things or move around without pain.
My husband would be around full-time for 2 weeks, plus he works from home so that helps. My parents and in-laws would also be up for staying and helping out so on a practical note, I think I would be ok but I am worried about the emotional side effects on me and possibly my daughter. I know we're all different, but I'd love to hear from other mums who have had to manage recovering from a c-section with caring for their first child as well as their new baby. How did you do it? What was really hard or not as hard as you thought it would be? Any tips gratefully received!
Da was just 3 when dd was born. I was trying for a vbac, for quicker recovery, but ended up with a crash cs. I spent 5 days is hospital, which got me over the initial physical and mental shock. Once home, like you, I had dh for a fortnight, then DM and PILs. I staggered around, I had the baby in a sling a lot. DS and I would cuddle sitting on the sofa. He still went to nursery in the mornings which helped me a bit. It was ok. Stiff and sore, but ok.
CBeebies is your friend!
Take any and all offers of help from friends and family. Lower your standards as regards housework etc.
Accept any offers of cooking/ ironing/ tidying/ childcare of DC1
An elective section is a different beast to an emergency one, and hopefully your revovery will be smooth. I was out shopping (albeit gingerly) a week after mine.
Your DC1 is a nice age, can be reasoned with or bribed, and can be made to feel important by helping you. Start getting them more independent now, so that they don't associate the arrival of the baby with all the changes. Presents from the baby when it arrives also help!
Any questions please ask. 3 sections here. It's honestly nowhere near as bad as you think it will be.
Ooh yes, like Bike says, if DC1 is at nursery or preschool, definitely keep that going.
Also if you are planning on changing rooms/ cots etc, do it well before the baby arrives to minimise impact on DC1.
Mine honestly never had any resentment when the others came along. And emotionally, you have enough love in you for all of them! (Will try and remember that in the morning when they're all fighting bitterly over who goes downstairs first)
Why can't you cuddle?
I am 4 months now and struggling to lift my 3 year old, (SPd) but cuddling is good. I had c section after her and it was fine, we just used to snug up together on the sofa.
I had an Elective C section in March and have three other children. It was amazing . Knowing when you are going in means you can organise everything well in advance for the other children. I was out of hospital in 24 hours and walking, hugging and caring for my other children. It's not like an emergency c section as you know what's happening and it's very relaxed.
Thanks so much for all your messages, they are very encouraging!
I think it will be different this time around because I know what to expect, and I know not to refuse help this time around, unlike last time when I thought I should be doing it all. My daughter will be at pre-school again in Sept but the first three weeks or so will be the summer holidays so she will be around full-time. CBeebies is already our friend, so we will be relying on it a lot I imagine!
As for cuddles, it's not that we won't be able to do it, but she is rather physical and impulsive and likes to be cuddled as we walk around, plus she will take running jumps at me while I'm on the sofa or climb onto me. I also have PSD so have already begun 'training' her to be more careful with me, and I can't carry her as much as I used to but I guess I don't want her to feel rejected if I have to keep blocking her spontaneous cuddles/climbing. I just remember a time when I could barely get myself off the sofa, or twist my torso, so I'm thinking about the immediate aftermath when she is going to need me most.
Perhaps I am worrying about it too much, i'm generally feeling anxious about how she will manage with the new arrival, not to mention how on earth I am going to cope! She is very much a mummy's girl. We're talking about her being a big sister lots, how she can help, what she and I can do while i'm feeding, etc, but it is still hard to tell how much she has really grasped.
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