Had my wonderful first DS 10 weeks ago. We dealt with birth trauma, low supply, hospitalization for his dehydration, and I obsess over every .5 oz weight gain. The result is we nurse all the time. I am not exaggerating when I say that all I do is sit on the couch and nurse, occasionally getting up to change a diaper, go to the bathroom and grab whatever I can to feed myself along the way.
And still, he is so slow to gain, I worry about it all the time. A mountain of paperwork DH cannot help me with is accumulating in front of me daily, there is no more room on the counter full of dirty dishes, every horizontal surface is covered with an item in transition from where I left it to where it belongs.
I am pretty sure I have gained weight since birth, nevermind get anywhere close to pre-pregnancy weight.I used to be so organized, athletic, professional, prompt, prepared and now I am a huge milking machine who still can't get the job done with a dirty house. Hair brush - what's that?
And our house is tiny! We live in about 600 sq ft of space so there is no getting away from the fuss, even when dh holds him. And DS wont sit in a sling or a Moby or any kind of carrier, hates them.
I am happy for everyone's healthy weight gaining baby, but I can't help myself when I think about how far behind we are in weight, how everything is my fault and how I don't want to see pictures of and hear about the progress of my nephew born 2 weeks before DS.
How do other mamas do it? How do you cook dinner? How do you clean, shop, run errands, take showers, care for other children?
BEEN THERE, BEEN THERE, BEEN THERE!!
You are not alone on this one girl! When I had DD 2 years ago she was small-ish (6 lbs. 10 oz.)....I struggled and obsessed over bf'ing, number of wet diapers every day, her weight gain, blah blah blah... it was exhausting. I too felt like literally all I did was sit on the couch and bf. And then I would worry because she would spit up frequently or just not nurse... I took it all very personally and felt like everything was my fault. Our house is also very small, and there was (and still is!) crap ALL OVER the house! I totally know where you are coming from!!
Here's what I learned in those first few months: 1) SUPPLEMENT WITH FORMULA! I was dead-set against this at first.. but you know what? who really cares! I would pump what I could, mix up some formula, put it all in a bottle (usually about 75% breast milk, 25% formula) and feed it to baby! She was happier, she gained weight, she spit-up less, and I felt better and was actually able to get things done around the house (like take a shower, do some dishes, and attempt to make dinner!). Oh, but speaking of showers... I learned to take my long, hot shower at night.. and then just do the quick freshen-up thing in the morning...
2) YOU'RE GONNA HAVE TO LEARN TO DO EVERYTHING WITH ONE HAND! My DD wanted NOTHING to do with Mobi-wraps, slings, carriers, swings, bouncy seat, etc etc etc... all she wanted was my left arm and left hip. And, like you, my kitchen and house were a disaster! So I just HAD to do things with one hand. Yes, it will take forever to empty and re-load the dishwasher, do laundry, and make dinner with one hand.. but it can be done!! Trust me on that one, ... some days I still have to do the one-hand chores!
3) GOTTA LET SOME OF MESS GO! I finally realized "ok, we have a kid now... the house is not going to be spotless anymore.. oh well". It's the truth. It's just the way it is. Just wait until you have a toddler in the house!! You should see all the stuff in our house! DD has taken over!
4) I'M NOT GOING TO LIE, SHOPPING/ERRANDS ARE A TOTAL PAIN! My DD NEVER EVER liked her carseat... so I learned that I could only do one errand per day.. that's all she could tolerate, unless I wanted to listen to her cry, fuss, scream in the car and store. No thanks!
5) To be honest with you, I have NO CLUE how women do it with more than one child! My DD just started sleeping through the night.. so I'm just now catching up on 2 years of sleep deprivation. I can't imagine starting from scratch again!! My SIL has 6 kids!! I'm baffled by it! All I can say is "cross that bridge when you get to it". For now just focus on your DS and making it through each day.
You can do it!!
And oh yeah,... I had the same huge pile of paperwork that my DH expected me to take care of... I gradually got to it while DD was napping ..which she started doing once I added formula to her diet! :)
Hang in there.. it can be done, trust me on that one! You're not alone, and you're doing great!!
"mother of more than one child" here, lol.
if you do want to get some stuff done - i know it drives me crazy when there's a mess or things are not working, etc. Perfect the 10 minutes bursts of clean- you'd be surprised how much you can get done in 10 minutes! So if ds is napping or just quiet, put him somewhere safe (10 minutes here and there won't kill him and if you need, take it!)
In 10 minutes, you can ;
take a quick shower
make a nice sandwich or salad
make the beds
clear off clutter in the living room
put the laundry in the washing machine and set it
wash the dishes (or part of, save the next part for your next 10 min. burst)
boil some pasta, defrost a pre-frozen dish, etc
so..if you take 10 minutes out of every hour, at the end of the day, the house has some semblance of order, you are fed and dressed and it does wonders for your self esteem. There you have it, my "secret", lol
Dont worry, it gets easier!
SAHM to one moody son J (06-27-03), one super-girly daughter M (02-23-06) and welcome Sophie! (05-23-10) expecting fourth in July
Well, I am not the world's most fatastic housekeeper, as my DP will tell you, lol, so take my advice for what it's worth:
Have a routine. Not a schedule, which will inevitably get ruined by some unplanned baby crisis, but a routine. i.e. wake up, shower, do one chore. Work the baby into it. Take a shower with the baby. I know it's not as relaxing, (although a warm bath with your newborn baby is one of the sweetest, most precious thigs EVER....) Get a big dry erase board and write things down as you think of them. Write down must-do items (wash cloth diapers, bathe, laundry), need to do items (vacuum, wash dishes, empty the diaper bag), and want to do eventually items (clear off the kitchen counter, go to a LLL meeting or whatever social outing makes you feel human), and then whenever you are feeling unproductive and/or overwhelmed, pick something and do it, then cross it off.
I find that the more I accomplish, the better I feel and am therefore more motivated. If all else fails, do what flylady says and shine your sink! Another tip from my days of marathon nursing: Collect everything out of place from the whole house and dump it on the couch. Whenever you are nursing, you can sort the items by room. Then have dh relocate each pile to its proper location. Ditto for paperwork that needs filing/sorting. Pay your bills online or by phone. You ca nurse and do work online or do "errands" by phone. Let your fingers do the walking, as my mother used to say.
I know how hard it is. Don't worry about gaining weight, but do exercise. Put the baby in a stroller if he hates being carried (sidenote here: he won't care about the carrier if you attach him to your boob while he's in there....a ring sling is great for this) and go for a walk. Five minutes of crying WILL NOT damage him, so even if he cries, do it for yourself. Go outside, walk to the corner, stretch, take some deep breaths, and walk back. The fresh air will be good for you both.
Good luck! I have been battling very bad PPD for almost a year and these are things that have helped me. I truly do understand the frustration of marathon nursing and feelig stuck. My butt used to go numb when I nursed ds, if I didn't sit on a particular couch, that's how long he kept me sitting there!!!!!
Hope it gets better for you!
Very blessed mama to one bouncin' boy (12/07) one who didn't get to stay (6/09), one potty learning, mess making diva(4/10), and one cheerful milk monster. (12/11) Happy partner to the love of my life.
I have been there too. My 1st was high need. I now have 3! He nursed, spat up all day long. I didn't move from the couch. He needed to be attached to the nipple always! If I was brave enough to go to the mall(2 min drive) I would end up nursing him there too but at least I was out!!
It would be helpful if someone could clean your house one time so that you could get on top of things. To sit on the couch all day in a messy house is so hard for me. With a baby and no older kids the house will stay clean for a while. I have a 2 yr old and am in a constant mess! I found with just one baby if I could just get on top of it then it would stay like that for a while. Then the days following just a quick blitz of the toilets/sink/vacuum would keep me happy for a while.
Also I never missed a shower and to get dressed...ok in a sloppy shirt but still all clean! I would hear him wailing from his bouncer right next to the shower.
These days will pass and so will the marathon nursing. I would try to get help to get on top of things and then just relax and enjoy these weeks. You are doing the absolute best thing for your baby and should feel proud. I was friends with a mom with a formula fed baby who really would drink every 3 hours and then just zonk out. She was living a full life with this baby in tow and I remember thinking that I could have it all wrong being strapped to the couch all day! She had it all together and felt sorry for me! Nursing is certainly not always the easy road in some ways....or rather wasn't for me! Your baby is lucky to be getting the best start in life and it will all be worth it. My kids never had any ear infections or really too many sicknesses and I owe it to the breast milk. They all went on to nurse past 2 yrs and I miss those precious days. If they had nursed for 2 years as they did in those early weeks I wouldn't have lasted that long. All the best :)
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Hi Momma. Been there. I know it can be hell. My advice, stay away from scales. Get some donated breastmilk or formula to supplement if supply is not increasing, and take a break from the stress. There are some magic moms out there who don't need a second to themselves and have the ability to nurse all day and night. I was not one of those. Honestly, no one told me this until I was in the trenches of postpartum depression. Please take care of yourself as this is a very sensitive time. DON'T FEEL GUILTY for whatever choices you make as mother to keep the both of you healthy.
Best wishes. Good luck. Reach out for help, go to LLL meetings, etc.
Do you have nearby family or friends who can help out? I sure wish we had help, but everyone is out of town! The only way anything gets done is #1..slowly. #2. Not at all. #3.. with my husbands help. He might entertain the boy while I make dinner, or he will do laundry while I entertain the boy. One person is the baby keeper and the other person is "support": doing everything else. Additionally, work is often done while the boy is sleeping, or not done at all! NOT DONE AT ALL. We are still having problems with this concept, but we are coming to the realization that the house will be messier and the dishes might be done the next day. As far as errands when he was a newborn we wore a Baby Bjorn and wore him around in public so we could get out of the house. Don't forget YOU. If you can leave your baby with someone trustworthy for awhile, do it now and them. Time to be you can do wonders for the soul.
I scanned PP's comments, but wanted to mainly emphasize this: things do get better. I have heard of the first three months referred to as "the fourth trimester" because (especially for SAHMs) you can literally go 24/7 with them physically on you all the time. I had days during the first couple months where I even peed and pooped while holding him (he was not one who liked slings at an early age...or bouncy seats...or any horizontal surface other than my chest). As far as dishes, I'd say buy paper plates for awhile. Congratulations on hanging in there despite low supply...remember, you are, in a way, saving (and certainly sustaining) his life every day by feeding him the way you are (constantly, I get it--and I hope you are not too sore!!! It took me a good few months for nursing to be comfortable). Take it one day (or hour or minute) at a time. I did have a whopping case of PPD and the only thing that helped was making myself get out of the house most days...LLL, a mom's group, going to a buddy's house, library, Target, etc...all hard because it stressed me out like mad to be in public with him, but at least it was a different kind of stress and you don't have to look at the mess around the house. I remember when poop diapers were kinda exciting because it was an event other than nursing. There is a whole lot of monotony in the beginning and it can be maddening, especially when you are used to being so on top of everything and organized. If anyone offers to help out, I would say take them up on it with a suggestion for exactly what they could do that would be helpful (not more stressful) for you. Some kinds of "help" drove me bananas in the beginning (say, my MIL insisting on folding my laundry and then commenting on my underwear--that was the last time we had her do that, but happily accepted her food). Any worrying about weight? Uh, screw it, would be my advice. It took you nine months to get there...give yourself at least that long to let it cross your mind. Hang in there, mama! You are loving and sustaining your child. Nothing's more important.
I got tired of my signature, but I still love my children and husband and miss my little brother.