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Having Baby Without Family/Friend Help During or After (Crossposted in I'm Pregnant)

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
A little background. I'm 22w pg, due at the end of July. I have 3 boys (well, 2 boys and 1 man), a 20yo, a 7yo and a 3yo (who will be 4 when this baby comes). My dh is deployed and most likely will not be able to come home for the birth or any time soon after. I am planning a home birth like I had with ds3. Also as with my birth with ds3, I have asked my mother to be here to help with my younger kids and PP stuff. The problem is that we don't get along very well. She is not what I would considered a support for me. It's usually the opposite. She's very unsupportive and constantly does and says things that make me feel bad. She's not unsupportive of me having a home birth. I'd say she's more neutral. She doesn't seem to care one way or the othere where I have my baby, although with ds3 she was initially opposed to the idea of a home birth.

She's visiting right now so I'm being smacked in the face with how bad she makes me feel. It's got me thinking that I really don't want that kind of energy around me right before, during and after having this baby. I don't have anyone else to come and stay with me, though, or anyone else that I can rely on to help with daily living stuff after having a baby. I'm wondering if I could just do this on my own.

Anyone else have any experience with a similar situation? Anyone decide it's better to be on your own and do all the PP stuff on your own with other kids? Is this a bad idea? Should I just suck it up and deal with my mother's nastiness and negativity so that I can get help with cooking and cleaning and child care while PP recovery? She's not nasty or negative to my kids, just me.
post #2 of 43


Hi, im a single mother and without my own mother's support, i dont know what i would have done. In general, i am very independent and dont rely on much help with the kids (2 of them) but would definitely want some help in a newly post partum phase.
Is there any chance you could hire a baby nurse?  I know, expensive, but perhaps for just a couple of weeks. I personally could not put up with what you are describing. That is the absolute last thing you need at a moment of vulnerability. You need support in  your last days of pregnancy birth and post partum, not someone to put you down.
Get her out!
post #3 of 43
Could you afford to hire a post-partum doula?
post #4 of 43

I had no-zero zip-help from my family after all five of the births of my children. It was heartbreaking because I lived not two minutes from her and my father when four of them were born. It was painful, hard, and took me years to get over the fact that she wouldn't help at all. Not even run down the road to pick me up tylenol for a migraine. :(

I look back now and I wouldn't have wanted her help, anyway.

I am so sorry. Really what helped me was to relax and not stress about housework, or stuff I 'had to do'. Prepare some easy heat up meals in advance to make mealtimes easier if you are alone. Consider a postpartum doula, as was mentioned. Many hugs. 

post #5 of 43

I say this because I cannot imagine having to do all of that on my own and with that many young children.  So, this would be my suggestion:


Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

Could you afford to hire a post-partum doula?



Or, a baby nurse to help you out for a little while?

post #6 of 43
Thread Starter 
I just thought of a PP doula, too. I looked into that when I was pg with ds3 and couldn't afford it. Plus, I've heard the one and only PP doula around (4 years ago, anyway) is not supportive of home birth at all. I'm going to look again and ask around some more.

I do have a next door neighbor that I'm sure I can rely on for little things, like picking up some Tylenol or milk at the store while she's out. She has her own family, though, so can't take care of me and mine all day for weeks. KWIM?

I also just remembered that my dh's friend's girlfriend had offered to cook dinner for us every night while my dh is deployed because we were talking about how I hate to cook. I guess she likes to cook but doesn't like doing it just for herself. (Her BF is deployed, too.) I don't know her well and so didn't really take her up on her offer because I felt weird about it. However, I might just do that now. She offered this without knowing I was pg and going to have a baby while my dh is deployed, too. I don't know what she thinks of home birth, though. Anyway, that's another option for me, I guess.

It is sad because my mother is more than willing to help. It's just that the helps she gives isn't nice. KWIM? It's like everything I do is wrong. I wish I could have my dad. He's much more an emotional support. I don't think he's physically up to taking care of my kids on his own, though. But...if I can get a PP doula and/or some friends to help with some things, maybe I could have him here instead.
post #7 of 43

Can your 20 year old help out? Also, how about a younger teenager who could play with your other kids while you and baby nap and maybe load the dish washer, that kind of thing. You've got time to build up a bit of a support network before you're due. Do you know any other young families? I found it so helpful when people took my older child off for a few hours while I was housebound. I would just be very vocal to everyone about your DH being away for the birth and see what offers come your way. good luck

post #8 of 43
Thread Starter 
My 20yo is not much help, even if he tries. I have learned not to rely on him.

My 7yo's best friend lives right next door so he, and his little bro sometimes, will be able to play over there some. I haven't had much luck finding teens to babysit, watch kids. I've been trying to find a reliable mother's helper for years and it just never panned out. Everyone that I know knows my dh is deployed. Lots of people offer help but don't come through when the time comes. Or, the help they offer isn't the kind that I need.
post #9 of 43



But, my mom is great.  I'm sorry you don't have that kind of support.


You need a back up plan.  Don't go it alone.  Every time I've tried something like that, I get really sick, or something horrid happens and it just wasn't a good idea for me to be on my own totally.


Call the FRO, or the Family Team Building Office.  There are home visit nurses available, and other programs they can link you with.  I often felt this wasn't a good option for me because I home-birth, and the climate is not real great for that there.  But, you might get farther than you think.


Also, do you have a midwife?  They might know of some good options for you.

post #10 of 43
Thread Starter 
Yes, I have a midwife. I plan to talk to her about all of this at my next appointment.

I don't know about contacting the FRO. Since this deployment is an IA, we're not really attached to a unit. I don't know anyone involved since they all come from different places. So far, they've only had one meet and greet type of thing and I couldn't make it. I guess I could just get some general info about nurse home visits. I had one when I had ds2 in Hawaii but that was coordinated through the army hospital in lieu of having to take him in for a pediatric visit. She didn't offer any help with cooking and cleaning and such. Just weighed and measured baby and sort of checked to make sure my home was safe. I only saw her once and was not offered another visit.

As far as I know, all the parenting stuff is baby boot camp and free respite child care, neither of which I'm interested in.
post #11 of 43

Are you at all interested in joining a religious community?  If I were going to be having another baby while DH was away for some reason and no family around I would be walking right into my church's office and yelling "HELP!"  And help would come!


Without a doubt I am sure I would have a small army of women cooking us meals, people volunteering to take my older child for play dates, and ladies willing to come over and baby snuggle so I could take a shower or a nap (and probably do some laundry while they are there). 


So if you are at all open, I would look into a local religious community for help.

post #12 of 43
Thread Starter 
Thanks but a religious group is not something I'm interested in since I'm atheist. Not my thing, ya know? I appreciate the suggestion, though.
post #13 of 43

I did it alone with baby #4. My DP was gone less than 2w after baby #5 and I spent most of her infancy caring for the kids solo. It's totally doable, IMO. 

post #14 of 43
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by kawa kamuri View Post

I did it alone with baby #4. My DP was gone less than 2w after baby #5 and I spent most of her infancy caring for the kids solo. It's totally doable, IMO. 

How did you do it?
post #15 of 43
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
How did you do it?

I rested as much as I could. I took naps, if possible. When the older kids went to bed the baby and I got in bed also. I wore the baby a lot. I didn't stress overmuch about house cleaning. I allowed myself to be lazy when it came to cooking. I took it step by step and day by day. 


With my last baby I didn't have a car, had to take pub trans every where at 2w pp until she was 10mo. All sorts of weather. I had to carry two huge bags of heavy groceries, the babe in the Beco, keeping an eye on the other kids so that they didn't walk into traffic or somesuch many days a week. It was hard! I didn't have anyone who could or was willing to help me. I found out I was much more resilient, head strong and resourceful than I ever knew.     

post #16 of 43

Yes, could you afford to hire someone? Or do you have a friend that you could trade help with? Like, she could help you post partum and you could help her out with her kids when you are all adjusted? Do you have a church family? Would you consider going to church to have a support system? I know at least at my church, people love to help other people :)

post #17 of 43

sorry, I didn't read all the posts and see that you are not religious. :)

post #18 of 43
Thread Starter 
kawa kamuri ~ That sounds hard. Honestly, I have a hard enough time doing things with just the 2 LOs. There is a lot that I just skip because I don't want to hassle with it. I do have my own car, though. There'd be no way to get around in this town without one.

I'm not much of a house cleaner as it is so that's not an issue for me. I'm also not much of a cooker. My dh does the cooking. My 2 LOs are so demanding, though. It seems one of them is constantly asking me to get or do something. I'm working on getting my older one to do more for himself and his little bro. He's even been practicing changing diapers so he can change the baby. love.gif We all sleep whenever we can. We don't have any schedules we need to keep.

I think I'm most concerned about those first couple of days when I may not want to get up and do much of anything. I was up on my feet a lot sooner after my home birth than my 2 hospital births so maybe that wouldn't be much of an issue. I need to get an in loco parentis anyway since my dh is gone and anything could happen to me. For that, I would name my next door neighbor and then my mom when she could get here.
post #19 of 43

I think if you are not stressed by cleaning/cooking will be fine...stock up the freezer/fridge..let the younger boys know there will be a few weeks after the baby is born that you will need to be taking it easy...get some new toys that they can play with without your help and put them away until you need a break..dont know if you do tv.. but tv and dvds will entertain the younger ones while you nap on the sofa.The 20 year old should be able to watch his brothers for you..but even if he cant he cant at least to the shopping and fix a meal...

post #20 of 43
Thread Starter 
Yeah, my 20yo does do the grocery shopping when I ask him. I don't know about fixing a meal. He usually makes such a mess that it's ridiculous. How he manages to splatter stuff on the ceiling I will never understand. eyesroll.gif

I've been thinking about making casserole type meals ahead of time for the freezer and stocking up on paper plates and plastic eating utensils. I can deal with that for a couple of weeks.
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