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How do I deal with a new baby and no doubt dss asking questions

(44 Posts)
K8eee Sun 16-Mar-14 19:46:11

I'm 39 weeks pg with my first baby, and I'm getting a bit stressed and wound up with the following;

i'm hoping to bf and I've been advised that I need to do it for a few weeks in order to establish a good flow of milk supply for the baby. The way the timings all fall it looks like we will have to have dss over easter but baby will literally be no more than 2 weeks old. how the hell am I meant to bf a baby with dss about? I don't think I'll feel comfortable lobbing my boob out, with a swollen flabby belly and stretch marks galore with him about the house; I don't want all the questions being asked and him to see me in that state. aibu?

moggycat Sun 16-Mar-14 19:52:37

Could your partner try and arrange with his ex you not having him so much over Easter? Not excluding him but just giving you a bit more time to settle with the baby? x

K8eee Sun 16-Mar-14 19:54:42

I have thought that but dh hates letting him down. would it seem too much to suggest that?

Clearlymisunderstood Sun 16-Mar-14 20:05:33

How old is DSS? I think not having him when you're supposed to might make him feel a bit pushed out tbh.

moggycat Sun 16-Mar-14 20:05:40

That's what I asked my partner to do. I said I'm happy for them to visit soon after but he drops them off again rather then having them a full weekend with them. It would be too much at first.

BigPigLittlePig Sun 16-Mar-14 20:07:21

If dh is off work then I think you would manage fine - he could entertain dss, in or out of the house.

If in your own, it is a little unfair imo of your dh to expect you to take on the responsibility, as there is no way of knowing how you will be after the birth.

I don't know how old dss is, but dsd, who was 5 when dd was born, stared curiously the first time she saw me feeding dd, then really couldn't have cared less. Obv if he is a teen, might be awkward on both parts...!

moggycat Sun 16-Mar-14 20:08:08

Yes but if you explain properly to the DSS? and it can be made up to him.

pootlebug Sun 16-Mar-14 20:10:11

My stepson (10 at the time) came for the weekend when DD was 3-5 days old. I found it really really tough - my milk was just coming in, she was feeding round the clock, and I wanted DH to focus on my SS to ensure he didn't feel pushed out. I was knackered beyond all sense, hormonal, and felt i was really struggling.

I still don't regret the decision though. It was really really important to us that my SS didn't feel pushed out by the baby, and a part of that was not changing normal contact weekends (obviously would have had to if in labour, but not if it could possibly be avoided).

K8eee Sun 16-Mar-14 20:13:47

He's 7 and asks questions about EVERYTHING! I don't feel comfortable being in my underwear in front of him, and definitely would feel right bf in front of him.

dss doesn't live local, 4 hours away so it's never for a few hours visit it has to be to stay for a few days. The in laws are meant to be coming too, and tbh if it could be down to me, I would want a good 4-6 weeks to get the hang of things. I guess maybe I should see how I am after the labour to determine what I'll be up for.

We have our own business and I just have this feeling dh will be going to work sad he seems to think this will all be easy and I'll just get on with it.

moggycat Sun 16-Mar-14 20:17:43

I see. well good luck with what you decide. I hadn't even thought of the breastfeeding. Luckily we have 2 living rooms so I guess I'd just go into the privacy of the one the are not in. Not ideal though!

BigPigLittlePig Sun 16-Mar-14 20:19:39

Then you need to tell dh what you expect of him. My dh just assumed i would be ok, as had been a step mum for 3 yrs so I was supposed to know what I was doing hmm. He had been there, done that, so was an old hand at it or so he thought and genuinely needed reminding that I was a right novice!

Are the ILs aware that they will be cooking your meals, helping with the laundry and feeding you lots of cake? If their expectations are in any way different then they too need a chat! Not once did my MIL offer to help, made me dead cross, and she only used to pay fleeting visits.

K8eee Sun 16-Mar-14 20:24:35

Again my in laws live 4 hours away and it's not just a flying visit, they are having to stay with us sad

ha no she will expect to be entertained hmm i'm dreading it. She may surprise me.the more awkward thing is she's not my actual mil just FIL partner, and she has to have her own bloody cup & saucer. I'm tempted to break it

BigPigLittlePig Sun 16-Mar-14 20:30:48

A tip I was given - "oh the baby needs feeding, I'm off upstairs to feed him/her, help yourself to tea, biscuits, --the washing up--"

Good luck confused

BigPigLittlePig Sun 16-Mar-14 20:31:04

Strikeout fail!

K8eee Sun 16-Mar-14 20:32:56

ha i'm going to be spending most of my time keep going upstairs and feeding. hopefully they will get the message!

RandomMess Sun 16-Mar-14 20:32:56

Lots of baby mooning upstairs just you and the baby. Dh will have to step up and look after dss and whatever other visitors you have.

lunar1 Sun 16-Mar-14 21:11:18

Buy some stretchy vest tops. When you bf have a vest under your T-shirt. You can then pull the T-shirt up and the vest down slightly at one side. This is how I minimised how much of my flesh was showing!

You really need to make sure your dh is around as much as possible though. For gaps when dh has to go out do you have a games console he can become absorbed in?

Russianfudge Mon 17-Mar-14 08:00:55

If you have the in laws too it gives you a good excuse to disappear without dss feeling like it's him. He'll most likely be too embarrassed to look your way if he doesn't even usually see you in your underwear. Seven year old boys are quite a funny bunch about stuff like that.

Your husband has to step up here. I resent my ex being weak and passive in the early days of our dd's life even to this day, eight years on. I tried escaping to the bedroom but relatives would come and find me and moon at dd while she fed. It was that hot June 2006 and I was a fat, sweaty, emotional mess. Talk to your DH, tell him how worried you are. There are no prizes for being the most capable impressive new mum and that way PND lies. He needs to minimise your suffering and if that means taking ds out then he has to do that. If he's working in your business does that assume that you'll care for dss too??!

As an aside, I am no expert so I may be corrected here, by 2/4 weeks I imagine you will have either established breast feeding, or given up. All being well and "normal".

TheNightIsDark Mon 17-Mar-14 08:08:54

Just go upstairs. There's a new baby you can't really say DSS isn't welcome!

theowlwhowasafraidofthedark Mon 17-Mar-14 09:25:07

Your dss will feel really pushed out if you send him away. sad

SigningGirl Mon 17-Mar-14 09:46:02

DSS is part of the family and therefore will probably be offended at being told he has to swap dates. BUT I totally understand you want privacy; I was quite confident with breastfeeding, but I did hesitate when it came time to bf in front of my brother in law for the first time.

I had a strappy top on underneath and pulled that down and the top up and no one could see anything. However. You can always go into the bedroom to breastfeed if that makes it easier for you.

I'd direct any questions from your DSS to your DH and get DH to make sure that there is plenty to do. Make sure your inlaws know to make tea etc - she might expect to be entertained, but you don't have to. (and if MIL gets frustrating, baby wants feeding and it is time to wander into the bedroom!!)

Good luck!

Redbird12 Mon 17-Mar-14 21:47:25

I have a lot of sympathy for you K8eee as i went through a similar situation when i gave birth to DS 6 months ago. My DH is self employed so couldn't take any paternity leave (although did try to work fewer hours in the first week). DS was struggling to latch and i just needed to spend the first few days with my boobs out trying to establish bf. However, once the in-laws and DSS (13) descended this was virtually impossible. I couldn't just disappear upstairs as they all wanted to see the baby and in practical terms, post EMCS i could barely climb the stairs in the first few days. Once i had got myself downstairs and settled on the sofa with DS, that was basically it for the day.

With DS not latching (eventually discovered to be due to tongue tie), i was trying to express every couple of hours with an electric pump. Now it really was impossible to be plugged in with a pump attached to my boob with visitors and with DSS around. With DH not always around, i needed to be downstairs to have easy access to food and drinks. I resent people saying 'you could just take the baby upstairs'. I could barely walk, couldn't lie comfortably in bed, had no TV to watch upstairs (sounds trivial but try pumping for hours without it) and nothing to eat or drink up there. If DH took DSS out, it just meant that i had even less support as DH wasnt around that much anyway.

So i will go against the grain and say that this is the one time you should be able to delay DSS's visit, at least for the first 2 weeks. If this is not possible, them definitely talk to your DH about your concerns and see if in-laws could help look after DSS and take him out a bit. And even then leave things flexible, if you have a C-section or difficult birth the only visitors you will want in the first couple of weeks are those who are going to make themselves useful. Athough i think my DSS had to grow up a bit when he realised i couldn't get off the sofa to make him breakfast so with DH at work he was going to have to sort himself out or starve!

My attempts at bf or expressing did not last long and after a couple of weeks i was ff. Nothing wrong with that but i do feel that i could have given it more of a shot if i had just had some privacy. I know some people will argue that a step child should not be excluded from the new family but it is only very very short term and a DSS is very different to a DS when it comes to the step mother's privacy. I certainly did not want a 13 year old boy who was not related to me staring at my boobs and it's difficult to be discreet when your baby is struggling to latch and you're being visited by midwives or lactation consultants every day who are man handling your boobs! I dont think many DH really think about this in advance and they do need it raising as it should be their responsibility to handle the situation with in laws and stepchildren.

K8eee Mon 17-Mar-14 22:27:07

Red bird your comment is like a breath of fresh air!

I feel awful with the idea of delaying dss coming, but he's not exactly at an age where I can leave him to entertain himself. I know what he's like and very demanding. when we have him he speaks to his mum every day and the last thing I think dh would want is for him to say to her he's been bored and then for her to use that against us having him in the future. I totally agree that it's just a short term thing, and I really thought I was being unreasonable thinking that. even with the in laws wanting to visit, is it too harsh to put that off when I want to try and establish bf? dh and I were talking about it tonight and have mentioned about getting a breast pump if I get on with it ok, but still that means I've got to hide myself away while I strap myself up to it confused hmm

Redbird12 Tue 18-Mar-14 07:28:28

If the in-laws are planning to stay, i would definitely put that off for the first 2 weeks. I think a short visit is fine but the only people you will want in your house are those who will help out and you dont mind seeing your boobs!!

My mum and sister came for the day when DS was 1 week old (DH was at work all day) and spent the day doing sorting out washing loads, changing beds, cleaning up and making food whilst i sat on the sofa trying to feed the baby. That is the kind of help you need. I know it is difficult when it feel like one side of the family are seeing more of the baby than the other but that's because when DH's relatives came round, they sat down and waited for me to make them a cup of tea!

One other thing, have you got a plan for DSS if you go into labour whilst he is with you? I nagged DH for ages to sort something out and he came up with a half hearted plan of his ex coming to fetch DSS again and meeting at the hospital (they live 2 hours away). In reality, this was not very practical when labour came on quickly and i needed to go to hospital at 3am. I made DH call the in laws and DSS just had to be left by himself in bed until they came round, it was ridiculous to think he was going to travel half an hour by car with a labouring woman and then sit in a hospital car park by himself in the middle of the night for another hour or 2!!

Unfortunately my labour slowed right down which meant we spent most of the next day in the delivery room before it was decided i needed an EMCS. In laws were going away for a few days the following day so DH had to collect DSS again soon after i had given birth. I was on a high dependency ward where only DH could visit but he couldnt spend much time with me as he was having to leave DSS outside in the car!

Anyway, if i did this again i would also think strongly about not having DSS to stay when i was a week overdue as the weekend for him consisted of a lot of hanging around and he would have been better just to have stayed at home. I know the other way round we would have been happy to have had DSS if his mother was giving birth, it's just men that seem to panic if they miss a contact weekend, regardless of the circumstances.

K8eee Tue 18-Mar-14 08:29:27

My family are totally different and are more than happy to help themselves and not go out, whereas I just won't feel comfortable with the in laws around when I know fil gf will be looking at what state the house is in and what I haven't done before they arrive.

you must've read my mind I totally had that thought running through my head. maybe the in laws might understand, but dh doesn't seem to get it either that my hormones will still be a bit all over the shop, and I won't want to be entertaining.

well I've already told dh that if I haven't had the baby by the time easter comes round or it is very early days that they will have to rearrange when dss comes to stay. I'm not putting my family out for looking after dss. as nasty as that sounds it's more to do with what his mother is like. she's totally unreasonable and one of those who will use every reason for dss never to stay with us again. she would claim that he has been left with strangers. A load of rubbish but she's done it before.

yep my dh feels like he is letting him down if he doesn't have him for his scheduled time. its difficult but he needs to get his priorities right. I probably sound like a selfish, bratish kid, but surely a bit of support and one on one time while I'm giving birth and adapting to a new way of life isn't too much to ask...?

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