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#1 of 23 Old 01-20-2009, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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...for thinking i'll be 100% ok to take care of these kids myself when they are newborns? my husband will be home for about 3wks after they're born, and i'm probably going to have to have a section. these will be my first and only kids, so no one else to take care of. i think we'll be fine. but everyone in my family thinks i'm completely insane for not having some sort of additional help during the first few weeks/month. like a postpartum doula during the day, or a baby nurse.

i do realize that i am very lucky to even have the option. for that i am completely grateful. but i just really want to deal with it myself, get in the groove, etc. the idea of someone else in the house during that first month squicks me out more than the prospect of recovering from surgery and dealing with two babies alone with my husband does. but, i've never had a baby. so i don't really know. i am so not afraid at all... but my family is constantly on me about it. ignoring it is really not a problem, but i'm wondering, do they know something i don't? should i be freaking out?

is it really so terribly difficult in the beginning?
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#2 of 23 Old 01-20-2009, 04:51 PM
 
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My husband was off for the first 3 weeks then it was all me. I was fine. I did have a post partum doula for lactation support only and she was only around when Bill was because it was only during the first 3 weeks that I needed help with getting the girls to nurse.

It was fine. Not much else got done. There were days when I realized it was 3 and I hadn't eaten yet, but I look back at those days fondly now.

SAHM to F & P, : fraternal twins born 3/05, : I, born 12/07 & at 5 weeks in July 2009
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#3 of 23 Old 01-20-2009, 04:57 PM
 
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Can't give you a full answer, since although my DH went back to work pretty much right away, I had my mom with me almost every minute.

What I can share is my experience with a night nurse. My mom was convinced I couldn't survive without one. I thought it was silly and a waste, since I was breastfeeding. I'd have to get up for the babes, night nurse or not. Besides, I couldn't afford it. So my aunt and mother got me one for 3 nights a week for weeks 2-6.

Our nurse was a sweetheart. She was good with my girls and very kind. But as I suspected, it was totally unnecessary and a little creepy. It meant during those nights I sat on my couch, making small talk with a stranger. Not even baby related small talk. We talked about her kids, her other work, school, etc. I like her and have recommended her to others, but for me it was almost entirely a waste of money.

What will make all the difference is how you and the babes are. If you're as lucky as I was, and birth isn't too hard on you, and your twins are healthy, those newborn days won't be so hard!

Don't blink, because I went straight from trying to figure out how it would all work out to having almost one year olds!

PS - What Jill said is just right. The hardest thing might be having food on hand. Stock up now! Think one handed meals, good snacks, etc. Talk friends and family into freezing casseroles! Those were my best gifts!

Mom to : Belle and Izzy
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#4 of 23 Old 01-20-2009, 05:31 PM
 
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i'd love a bit (LOT) more help. lol. but.....

so long as you think you can get some adult company from somewhere and you don't mind waiting until 3/4 pm to get some food then you'll be fine

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#5 of 23 Old 01-20-2009, 05:48 PM
 
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I had been around a lot of babies and children, as I started babysitting when I was 12. So I knew we were in for a lot of work, particularly if the babies were 'hard'!! These are my only children, and they were never sleepy babies. I'd say they bordered on colicky. In the end, I'm really happy that I had constant help for the first few months. We do not have any family in the area. Here's how we managed:

birth-3 weeks: DH home
Also during this time, the neighbors ran to the store and cooked for us often!
weeks 4 & 5: my mom came to stay with us, plus 2 in-law aunts were in town
weeks 5 & 6: DH home
weeks 7-10: In-laws came & stayed with us
week 11: BIL came and stayed with us
weeks 12-14: We all traveled from CA to PA to stay with my extended family

The girls were born in May, and I was only alone with them for a few days until the end of August, when it became a one mom show.

It was important to DH and I to have those first 3 weeks to ourselves to adjust and get used to the idea of our new family. We loved it, we all slept on the floor in the living room, we got little very little sleep, and it was a big blur.

DH and I were also keen to have help! We couldn't have made it through those first few weeks without our amazing neighbors and some of my colleagues who brought us prepared food (this is in addition to a well-stocked freezer) and ran errands for us.

We were a bit worried about all of the house guests staying with us in our tiny space (700 ft2) - my mom, DH's parents, DH's brother. However, we soon realized that having help around was key, and that having family at our beck and call was more of a help than an interference in our lives. It was nice for them to be around to do laundry, clean, cook, hold a baby, etc. Since the in-laws were here for a total of 4 weeks, we did find a house stay (free, b/c the owners were on vacation) only a few blocks away from us for 2 of the 4 weeks they were here.

In retrospect, the help was nice. Sometimes I wanted to be able to just get into my groove (particularly when my in-laws were visiting and then when we were staying in PA), but most of the time it was nice to be surrounded by people and not feel stuck and alone with the babies. Also, my babies were very much 'need to be in arms' little ones - no putting them down without screaming! Extra people meant extra open arms to hold babies. For our family, it was also good for them to be included in the newborn time.

It's also worth noting that my twins were born fully cooked & vaginally: that is, I did not have to recover from major surgery, nor did we have any nursing issues to worry about. If you think you'll have a C-section, you will have to take it extra easy after the twins' birth. As it was for me, I felt good but would begin bleeding again if I did too much (as in, a couple of loads of laundry or straightening the house or a walk around the block)... this was probably for the first 5 weeks. So, I would take your recovery needs into consideration when deciding what sort of help you might need.

If you have family nearby to come and help every day or nearly every day, you will probably be okay.

I just wouldn't plan on it being okay alone, b/c most twin moms think that having newborn twins is hard. Really. I think sometimes we moms have a tendency to try to be supermoms and do it all, but it's okay to ask for help when / if you need it!

Mama to twin girls Adele and Nadia, born 5/2008
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#6 of 23 Old 01-20-2009, 05:50 PM
 
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I would take any help that is offered! My twins were born preemies but when they came home, I had help the first 3 weeks and then after that, it was all me. It was extremely hard, both babies were colicky and I was wishing for anyone to come help me and no one ever did. I would gladly accept any help for at least the first month while trying to recover from the section and all.

single mommy to identical twin girls (3/06) Non-traditional mama just : through life.
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#7 of 23 Old 01-20-2009, 06:26 PM
 
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I had no option for help so I was on my own. Dh was a total turd back then and the first morning after both babies were home (spent 12 and 13 days in the nicu), dh says "Well, I have to go to work." And I didn't see him until he came home drunk 15 hours later. This went on for about the first 6 mos. So, yes, you can do it yourself. But it's not a picnic. I had a vaginal birth and nearly two weeks to recover by myself at home before they came home from the hospital. If you have the opportunity to accept help - do it! On the other hand, I find managing twin 2.5yos to be much more challenging and long for the newborn days!
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#8 of 23 Old 01-20-2009, 06:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by abomgardner417 View Post
On the other hand, I find managing twin 2.5yos to be much more challenging and long for the newborn days!



you know, just about every time i feel stressed with the crying/ perpetual other stuff that needs to be done, i just think how much harder it will be once they are mobile : and aaagh when they are another talking duo :

but i also can't wait

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#9 of 23 Old 01-20-2009, 07:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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so maybe the way to go is to get a cleaning person every other week or so?

i really appreciate all of the input
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#10 of 23 Old 01-20-2009, 07:32 PM
 
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It's really hard to imagine what life is going to look like with babies until it comes. I would get familiar with resources that you could call upon at a moment's notice, and then maybe just sit back and see what happens. It would be nice to find a postpartum doula who you felt comfortable with--I cracked up with Gina's post about chit-chatting with the night nurse.
If you are nursing, then basically you are constantly busy at first. And you will be hungry and making yourself food will be hard. And you will be tired.
All of this can be done on your own, and maybe doing it on your own for a while will make you feel like you got to bond and start parenting w/o having an audience. There is definitely a lot to be said for that.
Personally, I got a lot of help and my children and my family feel like we are being held in a big embrace by friends and family. We always say yes to help, and have really deepened relationships as a result of this. There has always been part of me that has wanted to be "supermom" or super-something, but my true essence is that of a community member. Always happy to help when I can, and equally happy to get help when I need it.
You will know what fits you best. May the birth go well for you. Bringing twins into the world is a really special thing.
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#11 of 23 Old 01-20-2009, 07:52 PM
 
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I think there is absolutely no way to know now whether you will need help or not. You don't know what your birth/recovery experience will be like, and you don't know what your babies will be like.

I thought I would be a 100% okay and made no plans for a postpartum doula. I figured I had my mom around and my husband would be home for two weeks.

As it turns out, because of the nature of my delivery and recover, and the temperments of my babies (high needs and colic, non-sleepers) I needed a night nurse for 11 weeks just to survive. (And though I was exclusively nursing, she was totally worth it b/c I didn't have to get up at night. She would bring the babies to me to nurse on demand, take care of diapering, then walk and/or hold them for the rest of the night. There's no way I could have done it without her.)

You could interview some doula's or mother's helpers, just as back-ups if you need them?
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#12 of 23 Old 01-21-2009, 12:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by shukr View Post


you know, just about every time i feel stressed with the crying/ perpetual other stuff that needs to be done, i just think how much harder it will be once they are mobile : and aaagh when they are another talking duo :

but i also can't wait

Don't be too worried. I'm just the type of person that enjoys infants way more than toddlers! Looking back, two infants seemed so much easier and I don't remember having that many problems being by myself, but I'm sure I had plenty of "bad" days!
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#13 of 23 Old 01-21-2009, 12:18 PM
 
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With your husband there you should be able to recover somewhat in those first 3 weeks. Having a c-section with newborn twins is really hard. At least it was for me. Taking care of my first set was 100 times easier than my second set simply because of the birth recovery. I would highly suggest you take any help that's offered. But if you are going to be doing it alone, know that you can. I have never had any help and I've survived (with my sanity more or less intact.) Just take it one day at a time! But seriously, get lots of rest during the 3 weeks your DH is home. That will really help!

Heather, Army wife & Mama to M (10), J (9), L & S (my HBAC babies are 7!), N & R (5), and A (born 11/30/12 UBA2C)
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#14 of 23 Old 01-21-2009, 04:49 PM
 
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I would absolutely take the help. My dh was home the first 6 weeks I think it was and that was great but more help would have been better b/c we had 2 older dc. However, even w/o those extra 2 kids I wouldn't have wanted to be w/o help after 3 weeks! Once he did go back to work it was very hard to be home alone with them - just from the standpoint of not having enough adult hands to hold and soothe both babies at a time, particularly if I was trying to nurse/rock one to sleep - the other had to sit in the swing and cry until it was his turn which I'm sure was very distressing to him but also very stressful and upsetting to me! I had been told by friends and family that they'd be there to help but they never were. Would have been nice. Anyway, let them hire you help and give them a break if you need/want time alone with the babies. To me, that seems like the worst thing that can come of it! Oh, and I didn't have to heal from a c-section either. I can only imagine how much that could complicate matters, particularly if there are post-op complications. Any chance of avoiding that? That would be an ideal start.

Mama to four remarkable kiddos, all born at home.
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#15 of 23 Old 01-21-2009, 08:05 PM
 
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Get what ever help you can. I had my mom over a lot and so between her and my DH I didn't have too much time alone. Could I have done it alone - probably but both the babies and I did better because of the help.
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#16 of 23 Old 01-21-2009, 09:44 PM
 
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I was alone with my twins from 5 weeks on and it was fine (though I should mention that dw got home from work by 2:45 everyday . . . and I was WAITING at the door for her arrival).

It wouldn't have been much of a help to have anyone actually helping me with the babies (who mostly just wanted to nurse all day, and I felt very strongly about being the one to take care of them anyway . . . I wanted to prove that I could, I think). But it would have been wonderful to have someone cleaning, doing dishes, preparing food, washing diapers, etc. Even just 1-2 hours a day would have meant everything was flowing more smoothly. And if you have the kind of babies that don't need to nurse all day long (though I should warn you that I think most twins do nurse quite a bit in the first few months, more than singletons) then it would be helpful to have someone come and watch the babies so that you could nap for a couple of hours everyday. No single other person could take care of my babies alone since they were so boob-dependent, but I'd often have dw take the "happier" baby on a walk and let me nap with the other one for an hour or so in the afternoon. And sometimes dw would bring a friend home from work who could wear the second baby on the walk, and then I'd get to nap all by myself.

HTH!

Lex

Mindfully mothering SIX kids (ages 4, 5, 7, 8, 11 & 11) in a small house with a lot of love.
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#17 of 23 Old 01-21-2009, 09:51 PM
 
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I had a c-section, and recovered very easily from it. I came home after 2 days in the hospital, with one baby in tow. The other baby was in the hospital for observation (she has a congenital heart defect) for a couple of weeks. By the time they were 2 1/2 weeks old, I was home alone with twins and a 3 1/2 year old a couple of days a week. I am fortunate enough to have a nanny Monday-Friday, so it was just on the weekends when dh was working that I was alone with all 3. REcovery from my c-sec was pretty easy, almost as easily as my vaginal delivery with my older son. But, I still loved the help any chance I got. My 3yo was surprisingly easy to care for those first few weeks home, he is so in love with the babies and didn't get jealous until they were about 2 months old. My babies are not on any sort of schedule, and there was ALWAYS at least one awake at any given time, so no "down" time to rest and recoup.

I guess I would say that if you're really not comfortable with someone in your house, definitely think about getting help in the form of a cleaning person or have people bring you meals/food. It is totally doable, not an impossible feat by any means to take care of 2 by yourself. You might be pretty tired, but the newborn stage doesn't last forever.

Denise, mama to ds1 (03/26/05) and boy/girl twins born 08/12/08
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#18 of 23 Old 01-22-2009, 11:10 PM
 
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My DH went back to work the day after we got home from the hospital. I would have an hour or two of help in the mornings from his mom for the first couple of months so I could get some sleep which was amazing but if I 100% needed to I could have lived without it. You CAN do it, but it will be easier with more support.
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#19 of 23 Old 01-23-2009, 04:02 PM
 
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I don't recover well from C-sections (I'm a big baby) and with the twins I also had an excruciating bladder infection causing me constant pain on top of the incision pain. The first three weeks, the twins were pretty sleepy and fairly "easy", and didn't get "hard" until about 6 weeks in. But because I was the one that really needed help (I was in so much pain, I couldn't walk without assistance), my poor DH would have been going crazy if he had to care for me and two newborns (and our 2 yo) by himself. We realized after my VERY colicky DD1 was born that we should have arranged more help, so luckily, we had planned ahead this time and always had a family member there with us for the first three months.

You won't know what you need until you're there, so I think it would be a good idea to arrange for extra help now. If you end up not needing it, then just let them know they were appreciated but you don't feel the help necessary anymore.

Kim, mom to : Katie (2/06), : Tommy & Amelia (10/08)
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#20 of 23 Old 01-24-2009, 12:26 PM
 
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I think you'll be great.Sleep when they sleep,you have time to prepare lots of meals and freeze them.No other children in the home.If it gets too much you have an option for help,interview some people now to get a feel for them in case you do need the help,or just get somebody to help with the house work.All you need to do is eat,drink,nurse and sleep in the begining,you'll love it.Good luck!!
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#21 of 23 Old 01-24-2009, 01:32 PM
 
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My husband was home for 3 weeks, I think... then I was on my own, except for a week when MIL came to visit a couple months later... It was just me and my 4yo.

The 4yo was way more trouble than the babies...

It's hard but doable.

Of course I wasn't cooking and cleaning and being housewife of the year... but I managed to keep everyone fed and clean while the house fell to pieces... but truthfully it's still kinda that way, LOL. I'll get it clean when they're older...

DS T 11/16/03 DDs K & E 3/28/08
nak DS S 4/1/11
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#22 of 23 Old 01-25-2009, 01:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by dividedsky View Post
so maybe the way to go is to get a cleaning person every other week or so?
That's exactly what we did! Our housekeeper started coming when I was about 30 weeks along and we kept her on until the babies were 4 months old. Both grandmothers were pretty much begging to be of help, but like you these are our only children, my one time to have newborns, and I wanted to experience it fully. That said, DS & DD were really easy babies, they napped well and usually at the same time, and neither was very fussy. I'm not sure what I would have done if one or both ended up being more needy.

Like PP have mentioned, it all goes so fast you'll soon find yourself marveling over the fact that you have toddlers and wonder where the time has gone. I often look at their infant photos and try to remember what our days were like back then. I do remember reading a lot (I read the Harry Potter series over their first summer), but that's all over now that they're 19 months!

Nikki, mama to DD and DS1 twins.gif (6/07) and DS2 babyboy.gif (10/10) 
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#23 of 23 Old 01-25-2009, 04:51 AM
 
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I think I might prearrange a postpartum doula for after hubby goes back to work, but I would hold off on the night nurse to see if you need one or not.

So long as you find a doula that you can make a good connection with, I don't think you can go wrong there. Since her primary goal is focusing on you and the family as a whole (rather than just on the babies), it might be good to have her support for a week or two as you transition to sole caretaker, even if it's just to help get you replenished and a little bit of extra rest during the day, and if necessary to provide extra bfing encouragement and support when you hit the 3 or 4 week 'growth spurt/nursing marathon'.

But if you could only choose one outside helper that family could assist in paying for...yeah, i'd hire a housekeeper/cleaning service to come in once a week for a month, and then every other week after that, particularly if you find someone who will do baby (or everyone's!) laundry.

If your family is just blabbing at you without offering to help pitch in for the cost, then I'd probably just shrug and write it off as yet another aspect of the zOMG You're Doing Everything Wrong or Back In My Day unsolicited and often inane advice that people simply can't help themselves from dispensing.
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