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Having Baby Without Family/Friend Help During or After (Crossposted in I'm Pregnant) - Page 2

post #21 of 43

Just wanted to encourage you that it is do-able even if not ideal. With my 4th baby his father took off within hours of being home from the hospital and only came around like once a week  and my mother was already to sick to be much help. I had to go back to babysitting within a week for money (it was only one kid though) and had no real friends to help me out. I survived. I used the TV much more then I liked and the housecleaning and cooking standards were let go. It helped to be breastfeeding and cosleeping for sure. It was not easy by any means but it wasn't hell either. I do feel stronger and capable because of it. With the baby that is coming I won't have any help at all, my mom has passed, my sister moved 3 hours away and the babies father moved out of the country..and I babysit 3 kids now instead of 1. I am very nervous but I know that I can do it.

 

On another note you may want to tell your mother how you feel. Tell her I would rather not have any help from you if you can't keep your comments to yourself. I basically walked out on my mom at Easter after my first son had been born when she made her millionth "you should have thought about that before you had a baby" comment to me. That made her realize how much it upset me and she did alot of biting her tounge after that..I knew what she was thinking she didn't have to say it and we got along finewinky.gif

post #22 of 43


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hjdmom24 View Post

Just wanted to encourage you that it is do-able even if not ideal. With my 4th baby his father took off within hours of being home from the hospital and only came around like once a week  and my mother was already to sick to be much help. I had to go back to babysitting within a week for money (it was only one kid though) and had no real friends to help me out. I survived. I used the TV much more then I liked and the housecleaning and cooking standards were let go. It helped to be breastfeeding and cosleeping for sure. It was not easy by any means but it wasn't hell either. I do feel stronger and capable because of it. With the baby that is coming I won't have any help at all, my mom has passed, my sister moved 3 hours away and the babies father moved out of the country..and I babysit 3 kids now instead of 1. I am very nervous but I know that I can do it.

 

On another note you may want to tell your mother how you feel. Tell her I would rather not have any help from you if you can't keep your comments to yourself. I basically walked out on my mom at Easter after my first son had been born when she made her millionth "you should have thought about that before you had a baby" comment to me. That made her realize how much it upset me and she did alot of biting her tounge after that..I knew what she was thinking she didn't have to say it and we got along finewinky.gif


Good on you, mama! You can do it! 

 

I actually had to exclude my mom from the birth of baby #4 because of how much negativity she brought to my life. Since then she's at least been silent about our differences winky.gif

 

I was thinking about you this morning, OP. For me staying on top of being a mom to many - especially in high need times like my own illness or needing to recover PP - requires some forethought which you're obviously doing. I don't know you or your kids of course but when mine were the ages of your now youngest two they were able to self entertain for a bit, watch a TV show and certainly be more self sufficient than a newborn. It's sometimes a process to get little ones to be more independent especially when facing an impending birth. My toddler has had to do a lot of growing up over the course of my current pregnancy because I knew I couldn't cope with how things were going and a newborn. My #1 thing is getting kids interested and in a routine of picking up after themselves. I'd be a wreck otherwise. I still remind even my 12yo to pick up his things but it's something all my kids expect and don't give me grief about. 

 

These days I do have a present DP but due to his work five days a week he's around for only a couple of hours so that's going to leave me all summer long with a house full of restless kids, a newborn and doing it solo most of the time (for the record I KNOW KNOW KNOW it's not the same and it peeves me to no end when partnered mamas of any sort compare themselves to single mamas). I don't have any one else to help so during that first tender bit I plan to get through it by being as lazy as possible - sitting on the couch, putting a baby gate up in my girls doorway, laying in my 4yos bed and snoozing while they play, cooking easy meals, watching cartoons, giving myself permission to get in bed with baby early, putting him in a carrier when I need to get things done and go places, laying on a blanket while they play at the park. Like PP said, it's not easy but it's not hell. 

post #23 of 43

I'm not a single mama, but my last two were 15 months apart, I was homeschooling my oldest and my DH was working full time and taking evening classes.  The first week was brutal.  So here's my two cents:

 

1.  Freeze as many meals as you can.  (I spent two weeks cooking double batches of soups, chilis, sauces, etc. and then froze them in gallon zip lock bags.  I had almost 30 meals when I was done.)  It kept us from starving.

 

2.  Paper plates and plasticware.

 

3.  Loads of easy snack foods you and your LOs can grab in a pinch. (Power bars, granola, nuts, fruit leather, etc.)

 

4.  Way more TV for my LOs than I was comfortable with, but man it totally helped out.

 

5.  Disposable diapers.

 

6.  I super baby proofed our main living area since I knew the 15 mo would be into everything and I would't have the energy to run after him.

 

7.  The house went to pot, whatever.

 

8.  I had my groceries delivered.

 

9.  I had pizza delivered when I was too exhausted to even heat a meal I had already made.

 

I love the idea of a few new toys for your two boys.  And can you have the 20 year old do laundry and/or load the dishwasher?  Also, since the neighbor has a boy that is friends with yours can you see if she'll watch your two for a couple of hours the first few days after you give birth?  Good luck mama, you can totally do it.

post #24 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hjdmom24 View Post

On another note you may want to tell your mother how you feel. Tell her I would rather not have any help from you if you can't keep your comments to yourself. I basically walked out on my mom at Easter after my first son had been born when she made her millionth "you should have thought about that before you had a baby" comment to me. That made her realize how much it upset me and she did alot of biting her tounge after that..I knew what she was thinking she didn't have to say it and we got along finewinky.gif


Oh, believe me, I've done that many times over. I have kicked her out of my house before when she was visiting. I have not allowed her to see my kids. She behaves just long enough for me to think there might be a chance and as soon as I let her back in she goes back to her normal stuff. When we're not in contact for an extended period I tend to forget how bad she really is. That's why this current visit has got me feeling this way.
post #25 of 43

After my daughter was born, my mother-in-law came to "help".  Her help wasn't very helpful at all. She acted like it was awful that I'd had my baby in my bedroom with dirty dishes in the sink and that I had just left the iodine mess all over the bathroom- that she commented on that still hurts my feelings. Also she was rude/unfriendly to my midwife and my neighbors. And she made me so unhappy and uncomfortable that I thanked her for her "help" and sent her home 3 days early.

I would rather have lived with the dirty dishes and dirty bathroom than deal with her while my baby was newborn and I was still recovering.

 

If you don't have people in your life who will help you -lovingly- for free then you will have to pay someone. If you have a rough recovery- say, a 2nd degree tear, distended bladder, or hemorrhoids- you may not be able to do much at all. You can get by with paper plates, ignoring mess, letting laundry pile up, and microwave food to some extent.  A baby nurse or post-partum doula would be way outside my budget. But home health care workers only expect minimum wage. You could hire a housekeeper or "care giver" for $10 an hour, they could run errands as well as housework. 

 

My midwives had a policy, that you must have someone with you for the first 24 hours after the birth. If there was no-one who could stay with you, they would find some one.

 

I have to say, I do not understand what is going on with your 20 year old son. This is the adult in your life who is the only person you have that you can count on. Does he live with you? How is it that he does not know how to prepare meals? And why is there any doubt that he would support and help you, in whatever ways you need, just as you have nurtured and cared for him all his life? I think that a son, who is a man, is obligated to help his mother and should be expected to in your situation. I suggest you try talking to him and telling him that you are going to be depending on him.

post #26 of 43

I don't know your financial situation, but we paid for the plane ticket to have my best frined come here for the birth of dd2. I wasn't totally alone like you, my dh was here. But we had just moved to a new country, Î had no support outside of dh, who was working. We had no one we trusted with dd1 if for some reason I need to go to hospital. So that or a post partum doula is my suggestion if your budget allows. FWIW, having my friend here made the whole experience so wonderful for me and she really enjoyed getting to be present at a birth (she has no kids nor wants any). We have been friends for 10 years and have stayed that way even though we have spent several of thsoe years on different continents. Worth every penny and would do the same for future births (she was also visiting during the birth od my dd1 coincidentally, although not at the hospital when she was born).

post #27 of 43
Thread Starter 
Thanks, everyone. I haven't been able to find any PP doulas in my area yet. My next door neighbor/friend will be here (she usually goes to Spain for the summer but not this year) so I will have her for support or emergencies. She's the local person I will name on my in loco parentis to take my kids if something were to happen to me.
post #28 of 43
You've gotten lots of great advice. I would just add, ask for help. Ask the neighbor friend if she has a friend to introduce you to. See if there is a moms club in your area. Meet other moms, they could imagine how hard it will be and would probably love to help. With playdates, laundry service, dishes duty, whatever. As much as I think tv does too much babysitting, returning is fine in moderation, allow the kids to each pick 1 movie a day, stream Netflix or have the 20yr old take them to redbox.

Check to see if there are any student doulas, they might work for free or rested price because they need the experience.

Ditto paper plates, also stock up on some foil pans (freeze casseroles in them)

Wash all the clothes together in cold (jut don't give kids access to fancy clothes. Buy a few new packages of socks and underwear so at Lear they'll be clean. don't bother folding clothes, just toss tshirts in the tshirt drawer and underwear in the underwear drawer. Kids don't need bathes every day, or even every other day.

If there is a local college with an early childhood education program, ask instructors if they can recommend a student to hire part time. In the summer she can take your boys to the park or do projects with them. You can ask that she help them learn to clean up.

Hiring a "doula" is more expensive than hiring a "babysitter" for the pp time.

Good luck setting up a support system. And dot be afraid to ask. People know it means you want to be the best mom you can be. Not lazy.
post #29 of 43

My youngest was born when my dh was deployed. My ILs came for several days after the birth, which was really nice, but it was also pretty stressful, I love them and they did a lot but I do not want anyone in my space immediately postpartum other than my dh and kids. I considered asking them not to come but eventually decided not to because I knew the kids would love it, and they did, even if it made the next little bit harder. My FIL brought me a pumpkin spice latte every day, too, so I can't complain. Anyway, there's my disclaimer.

 

My neighbor came over to hang out with my kids while I gave birth. I had originally hired a doula but she ended up being kind of weird and we had some issues so I asked my neighbor who was home birth supportive and a pretty good friend to come. Many doulas in military communities offer discounted services for military wives, and in my experience a lot of doulas are excited to attend a home birth in many different roles, including sibling care.

 

Does your 20yo live with you? I would think he should be a lot of help, he should be able to run errands, grocery shop, help out with the kids when he's not working, etc. Your kids seem like they're old enough to get along pretty well even if you're stuck in bed without help for a few days. My 7yo can make sandwiches, instant oat meal, things like that without trouble. It's not ideal (ketchup and pickle sandwiches are his favorite) but he does alright and he really likes doing things on his own.

 

I think rest immediately after the birth is very important, especially since you will be doing it alone for a good while afterwards. I did NOTHING the first couple of days but lay in bed with the baby, I only got up to use the bathroom. I bought a bunch of non perishable snacks and bottled water and put it in a basket to put beside the bed after the birth. I was lucky enough to have my MIL bring me three meals a day, but I wanted way more than that. I put pretty much everything I would need in that basket on my bed, nursing pads, diapers and wipes, clothes for baby, my netbook and phone (with chargers). My dh is a submariner and they just happened to be in port when I gave birth so I really wanted to keep those close so I wouldn't chance missing a phone call or skype. I have felt SO MUCH better after my last two births compared to my first three. I was up and around the day of or next morning the first three times, and after my home births I felt good but I didn't really feel 100% for months. I felt 100% before the end of the week with my last two births. and I stopped bleeding well before the 2 week point.

 

I stocked my freezer with about a weeks worth of meals in disposable pans, should have done more! Two weeks would have been better. I bought paper plates and cups. I didn't use them exclusively, but I used them enough that I only had to wash dishes every 3-4 days. I used disposable diapers. I wish I had thought to buy paper towels and napkins. You don't usually find disposable anything in my house so this was a big deal, I didn't think it would really help much (what's an extra load of laundry and running the dishwasher once a day?) but it was very helpful. I bought lots of non perishable snacks (in bulk from amazon) and hid them in the guest room until I went into labor. Anyway. I found it to be a lot easier than I had prepared for. The hardest part was (obviously) not having my dh for emotional support. Oh, and my ILs wore their shoes in my house, the horror. lol.gif

post #30 of 43
Thread Starter 
I'm very much the type of person who doesn't like others in my space much. I recently went on a trip with my dad, whom I have a very good relationship. After several days with him I couldn't wait to be back home by myself (just me and the kids) again. I think he must be the same way because we haven't spoken in the 2 weeks we've been back. lol.gif

The thing my mom would be good for is doing everything so that I can stay in bed for however many days that I need to. I just heard from my dh that he most likely will not be able to come home. He has asked and been told the powers that be will do what they can but not to count on it.
post #31 of 43

I wouldn't have your mother around if she makes you feel miserable.. especially during the birth. Here is what i would do:

 

Hire a doula for the birth and post partum

Stock up on easy to eat meals and make freezer meals

Look in my local "Finding your tribe" area and try to make some friends

Go to local LLL meetings and try to make some friends

A PP mentioned finding a religious community.. I don't have a religion but I would consider the UU church.

 

Good Luck.. my DH is a marine. He's not deployed but is leaving for a month for annual training in one week :(

post #32 of 43

could you send your older kiddos to your mothers? I would definitely look into having *someone* around. I've had two very different births-- one when I walked off the deliver table, and was capable of doing everything within days, and another that took me 4 months to go through a day without pain; you just don't know what you are going to get.

post #33 of 43


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by averlee View Post

After my daughter was born, my mother-in-law came to "help".  Her help wasn't very helpful at all. She acted like it was awful that I'd had my baby in my bedroom with dirty dishes in the sink and that I had just left the iodine mess all over the bathroom- that she commented on that still hurts my feelings. Also she was rude/unfriendly to my midwife and my neighbors. And she made me so unhappy and uncomfortable that I thanked her for her "help" and sent her home 3 days early.

I would rather have lived with the dirty dishes and dirty bathroom than deal with her while my baby was newborn and I was still recovering.

 

If you don't have people in your life who will help you -lovingly- for free then you will have to pay someone. If you have a rough recovery- say, a 2nd degree tear, distended bladder, or hemorrhoids- you may not be able to do much at all. You can get by with paper plates, ignoring mess, letting laundry pile up, and microwave food to some extent.  A baby nurse or post-partum doula would be way outside my budget. But home health care workers only expect minimum wage. You could hire a housekeeper or "care giver" for $10 an hour, they could run errands as well as housework. 

 

My midwives had a policy, that you must have someone with you for the first 24 hours after the birth. If there was no-one who could stay with you, they would find some one.

 

I have to say, I do not understand what is going on with your 20 year old son. This is the adult in your life who is the only person you have that you can count on. Does he live with you? How is it that he does not know how to prepare meals? And why is there any doubt that he would support and help you, in whatever ways you need, just as you have nurtured and cared for him all his life? I think that a son, who is a man, is obligated to help his mother and should be expected to in your situation. I suggest you try talking to him and telling him that you are going to be depending on him.

 

I agree with this.  Your son is old enough to be a huge help.  You've got some time to "train" him.  He's going to have to learn to care for himself/a family at some point so why not now?

 

I didn't see anyone mention Operation Special Delivery.  They provide Doula services for women who's husbands will be deployed at the time of birth.  Definitely worth checking into.

post #34 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbleMa View Post


 

 

I agree with this.  Your son is old enough to be a huge help.  You've got some time to "train" him.  He's going to have to learn to care for himself/a family at some point so why not now?

 

I didn't see anyone mention Operation Special Delivery.  They provide Doula services for women who's husbands will be deployed at the time of birth.  Definitely worth checking into.


I really don't want to get into a big discussion about my oldest ds. He is the way he is right now. I did not have him so he could take care of me. I don't expect him to do that. If he helps, that's great but I'm not going to try to force that responsibility on him. And, I don't know why it's assumed that he will have to ever have a family to take care of. He may and, if he does, I'm sure he'll figure things out. That will be his choice. However, I don't believe there is any law that says he has to and, again, that does not mean that he is required to take care of me or his younger siblings. That's just not how I view my relationship with children.

I think I addressed the doula thing but maybe that wasn't in this thread. I don't need labor/birth support for me. What I would need is someone to care for my younger children while I'm in labor if they need it and to help care for them and my home afterward. Birth doulas don't do that. PP doulas do light housework and help with the new baby but there aren't any around here that I can afford and none that I know of through OSD.
post #35 of 43

Honestly, it's absolutely your right to not give more info on what's up with your oldest ds, but I'm at a loss of what else to suggest to you since I agree with many of the PPs about what your limited options seem to be, and you don't seem interested/able/willing to check them out. 

 

You've already said that your son "is the way he is right now" so I assume that means he's just not in a position to help you at all, and obviously you're the only one here who knows his abilities, so that's that.  But I didn't hear anyone suggesting that your son's job is to take care of you forever or to permanently be a support in your family - the suggestions/questions about him were around why he's not able to help you through this specific, time-limited transition where you are at a loss for other help.  Again, I take your word for it that he's just not able to, end of story.  But your response makes it sound like people were suggesting a much bigger, indefinite role for him than I think they were suggesting.

 

And the last advice about Operation Special Delivery - seems like you dismissed them without even considering that given that they specialize in women who's partners will be deployed during the birth, maybe they also have post-partum doulas and not just birth doulas?  Or did you already check them out and they definitely don't do pp doulas and aren't willing to work with you on something to meet your needs?

 

I hope you find some support, somewhere, and you may have to soften/open your ideas about what's possible a little in order to see the support that may be around you.  Sometimes in times of stress, we're so wound up we miss some supports that are right there but not obvious at first. 

 

Whatever happens, I really hope for you a good rest of your pregnancy, safe and healthy delivery, and the help you need to support your family while you're adjusting to your new baby.

post #36 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post

I really don't want to get into a big discussion about my oldest ds. He is the way he is right now. I did not have him so he could take care of me. I don't expect him to do that. If he helps, that's great but I'm not going to try to force that responsibility on him. And, I don't know why it's assumed that he will have to ever have a family to take care of. He may and, if he does, I'm sure he'll figure things out. That will be his choice. However, I don't believe there is any law that says he has to and, again, that does not mean that he is required to take care of me or his younger siblings. That's just not how I view my relationship with children.


There's a big difference, though, between expecting a child to take care of you and asking an adult family member to temporarily help out during difficult time. That's what families do! When I'm sick, I might ask my 6-year-old DS to get me a glass of water or something -- that doesn't mean that I had him so he could take care of me, it just means that we're a family and part of what we do is pitch in when someone else is unable to. You're clearly not going to ask your son for help, so I'm not trying to change your mind, I just thought it was odd to think of pitching in for a short period as having him "so he could take care of" you. 

post #37 of 43
Thread Starter 
Someone had previously suggested that I enlist my adult ds' help and I addressed that. Lecturing me about how his behavior is unacceptable and how he should be and that I should do something to make him do what I need after that isn't really helpful. I ignored the first post about that, which was quite judgmental and insulting, imo. I tried to ignore the 2nd post that quoted the first and used it to further lecture me about how things should be, but I just couldn't. I understand that you are trying to help but it's not helpful to rehash something that's already been addressed. If I could rely on my ds to help me, none of this would be an issue and I never would have felt the need to post my question. As the situation is right now, I can't rely on him for the type of help that I need. Regardless of what anyone else thinks things should be, they are the way they are. I cannot force him (or anyone else for that matter) to do something that he isn't capable of or willing to do.

Yes, there is a big difference between expecting someone to take care of you and asking for help. But asking for help is just that, a request. It does not require the other person to help, whether they are family or not. It's not the suggestion of asking my ds that bothers me. It's the lectures about how he should help me. Since no one knows his or my circumstances or situation or why he may or may not be able to provide the kind of help that I need, I don't see how anyone can think they have the right to pass judgment on either of us. There is also a difference between an adult family member and an adult child. I don't want to be condescending but if you don't have an adult child or at least an older teenager, you can't really know what that relationship is like from the parent perspective in the same way that someone without children cannot know what it's like to have children. It's kind of like my childless stepsister telling me how I should give birth and raise or discipline my children. She has no clue.

My question was, is it possible to do all of this on your own, without any help? It was not, where else can I find help? I do appreciate the suggestions of a PP doula and babysitter and such. I have been looking into that but haven't found anyone yet. At this point I feel like I don't have any other option other than having my mother here. I'll just have to suck it up and try to keep myself from being bothered by her.
post #38 of 43

Would it be possible to have your mother there but put her up in a hotel?  That way she would be there during the day but you would have your own space at night.  Someone else suggested having your youngest two stay with her for a couple of days.  I'm assuming you wouldn't be comfortable with that but if she were at a nearby hotel she might be able to take them to the hotel to swim or watch a movie for a couple of hours.

 

In regard to the PP doula, since you can't seem to find one, could you temporarily hire someone to take some of the burden off?  I'm thinking a weekly housekeeper for the first month or so.  Grocery delivery, if it's available in your area.  A teenager who could watch the boys for a couple of hours.  In my area there are a couple of drop off daycares that charge by the hour.  They're great for SAHMs who have a Dr. appt or need to run a few errands without kids in tow.

 

And in regards to your oldest DS, whether he helps or not is between the two of you, not posters on a website.  Negative posts like that are in no way helpful in a situation like this.  *hugs*

post #39 of 43
Thread Starter 
Actually, I don't mind my younger boys staying with my mom but I really want them here. My 7yo is very into this pregnancy and baby and really wants to be here. I don't think it's financially feasible for her to stay in a hotel for 2 weeks. No grocery delivery available here, unfortunately. I've got hiring a cleaning service in the back of my mind. I'm definitely going to hire someone to do a really thorough spring cleaning before this baby comes. Then I'll look into having a service on a regular basis, although it won't be weekly because I know I can't afford that.

I have had the hardest time finding a reliable teenager to provide babysitting. I think part of the problem is being in a military town. First, families come and go a lot, so if I do find someone, they usually aren't here very long. Second, most military families are young and have young children. There aren't very many with older teens who can babysit. The last babysitter I thought I'd found ended up pregnant and just had her own baby a little over a month ago. Oh well. I'm always keeping my eyes and ears open, though.
post #40 of 43

Have you tried www.doulamatch.net ?

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