I wasn't sure where I should post this, because it could go in Breastfeeding, LWAB, Postpartum Depression, and probably a few more....
I saw my cousin for the first time since September at our family's Christmas party this past weekend. She has a little boy who will be 3 in January, and a 5-month-old girl who was born in July.
My cousin is struggling with this new baby. I couldn't get the whole story, but it seems like the biggest crisis is that baby will not take a bottle... at all... and is going through some kind of sleep regression. Therefore, my cousin hadn't left the house in, literally, weeks. She had to quit her WAH job and she is literally stick thin. I've never seen her so thin.
It was the way that she was talking that had me most concerned. She said she was literally going crazy, she was saying things like, "What would happen if I were to end up in an insane asylum? How would the baby eat?" She said that she has no marriage left, that she is at the end of her rope. I know she has struggled with depression in the past, too.
I've never seen a new mom like this.
As for the baby, she was downstairs at the party for about 10 minutes when she first arrived, then she was upstairs for the rest of the time. Periodically her mom and dad would disappear to be with her, I guess. I'm not sure- it was busy. I never saw mom with the baby, or speak fondly of the baby.
My cousin is pretty mainstream, but at the same time she did BF her son for a solid year. I know a lot of MDC moms are probably fine with the 24/7 childcare of an infant, but my cousin is not. She has always needed and wanted the weekly date night with her husband, etc etc etc.
I don't know how to help her. I am off work until January 3, so I have some time. But if I offer, they will turn me down. I know they're feeling like there's nothing anyone can do, because no one else can nurse this babe.
They are considering weaning her cold turkey over the New Years weekend because my cousin is so frazzled. I am surprised to say this, but I kind of think that might not be a bad idea for mom's sake.
How can I help?!?!? Should I just show up? Entertain the toddler and let mom focus exclusively on the baby? I don't think that will help. Show up and literally kick her out of the house??
I have never been so worried. Thank you.