can we talk about postpartum expectations? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 07-09-2010, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What do your routines look like postpartum?

The past two days I've been running here and there - to Target, to the doctor's office, to meet friends for dinner - and doing file review work while Baby sleeps, and today I feel run down and sad. Last night we met friends for Chinese and I think the lo mein was a HUGE mistake because she was gassy and upset all night. She maybe slept two hours, and I found myself feeling impatient with her (internally, not doing anything to her) and thinking "please just go to sleep!" - and today I feel like I could just sob because .. I mean.. she's just barely two weeks old.. she needs her mommy to be patient and to feel loving feelings toward her, not to feel upset and tired and .. ugh.. I'm crying..

Anyway, I don't think I have ppd or even the "baby blues." I think I'm just feeling confused because I don't know what to expect from myself. I feel like I "should" be able to meet friends, and I "should" be able to work from home, and I "should" blah, blah, blah...

I don't even really know what I'm asking for. Maybe just a hug. I think I just did too much and now I feel tired and raw. She also outgrew a few outfits and already I'm thinking how sad I am that she's getting bigger so quickly.

Mommy to a gorgeous little miracle
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#2 of 15 Old 07-09-2010, 11:04 AM
 
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You sound like me after my first baby. I was not used to sitting still and doing nothing but holding a baby, so I was eager to go, go, go and get back to my normal life, and it was tiring. I was also working from home soon after she was born, and it was hard to concentrate. I'm working from home again after about a month, but the work should not be so mentally taxing this time.

And this time I want nothing more in the first few weeks than to cocoon in bed with the baby, but I know that won't be completely possible with a toddler running around.

Anyway, I just wanted to say I feel for you, and I think I understand a bit. It was really, really hard for me to slow down postpartum. Every day felt like an eternity that I had to fill with something besides just taking care of a baby, but it does go fast, in the end. Just keep trying to remind yourself that this phase won't last forever, and it's okay to just be in it, with no expectations.

Amy (34): mommy to DD1 (11/07) and DD2 (7/10), wife, wohm, and wannabe suburban homesteader.
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#3 of 15 Old 07-09-2010, 11:15 AM
 
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I think working from home after only 2 weeks is expecting a great deal from yourself. I know we live in a workaholic country that barely gives any maternity leave, but it's important to take what we can get and not feel guilty for not returning sooner. I'm a SAHM for now, but Dh is even planning to take 6 to 8 weeks of paternity leave after this baby is born so we can all get adjusted. So don't feel bad if you need a few more weeks of not working. The demands of a new baby and the life adjustments are huge things to deal with and you really don't need to be trying to do extra at this time. When I look back to postpartum with Ds I couldn't even concentrate on watching a TV show at only 2 weeks out. I never ran any errands by myself at that point, or met up with anyone. People were still coming to our home to visit us, not expecting us to meet them anywhere. Take it easier is my advice! Get back into your pajamas and just focus on taking care of baby right now.
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#4 of 15 Old 07-09-2010, 11:26 AM
 
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Just be kind to yourself, you don't have to "do it all" mere weeks after you have a baby. I spent the last month recording movies on my dvr, have my rocking chair set up in front of it with a side table for water to keep the milk flowing and I am literally going to sit there for at least the first 10 days and just relax (as much as one can with the third kid). Don't go to Target, don't go to dinner with friends, its exhausting, just enjoy the baby. Oh and I do think its a bit of baby blues, our personal expectations coupled with the exhaustion of having a baby always make us a bit overwhelmed and weepy. YOu are doing great!
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#5 of 15 Old 07-09-2010, 11:51 AM
 
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Be gentle with yourself.

No, you're NOT supposed to be able to carry on and live life as if you don't have a baby. You DO have a baby, babies require a lot of care and your body is going through huge hormonal shifts. You need sleep, she needs sleep. It can be hard to adjust to the sacrifices and changes.

Life is supposed to change, we are supposed to change. It's part of our development as a mother and a person.

Have to run, wish I could write more. Maybe later?

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#6 of 15 Old 07-09-2010, 12:21 PM
 
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Give yourself and your baby some time to transition into the world again. Imagine what life was like for your baby inside the womb: Nowhere to go; nothing to do. The next 3 months are like the 4th trimester for your baby. Don't throw yourself right back into an active routine now that the baby is born. Give yourself and your baby the space to do nothing; it's a tough transition coming into this world. Keep telling yourself, "There is nowhere to go; nothing to do." Get back into your body and slow down; allow yourself to feel sad, angry, confused, frustrated, anxious -- and let it pass through your body. You're a mother -- the next few months are for you to take care of that baby as if she were still in your womb. Protect her (and you) from that part of you that wants to rush off and get right back to work already.
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#7 of 15 Old 07-09-2010, 05:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christine316 View Post
Give yourself and your baby some time to transition into the world again. Imagine what life was like for your baby inside the womb: Nowhere to go; nothing to do. The next 3 months are like the 4th trimester for your baby. Don't throw yourself right back into an active routine now that the baby is born. Give yourself and your baby the space to do nothing; it's a tough transition coming into this world. Keep telling yourself, "There is nowhere to go; nothing to do." Get back into your body and slow down; allow yourself to feel sad, angry, confused, frustrated, anxious -- and let it pass through your body. You're a mother -- the next few months are for you to take care of that baby as if she were still in your womb. Protect her (and you) from that part of you that wants to rush off and get right back to work already.

Exactly.
And having a good cry is helpful too! Release some of those stresses, and lie with your baby, nursing and napping together. Enjoy this lazy time together, it will never happen again!

Mom to Lizzy born May 2007 & expecting Baby#2 June/July 2010
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#8 of 15 Old 07-09-2010, 09:15 PM
 
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I'll be WAHMing 3wks pp, too. I'm a little scared and nervous about it. I can't imagine even knowing where my pants are that soon pp, kwim?



For now just try to shift into a mindset where your JOB is to nurse nurse nurse your baby and meet your own basic needs so that you can be healthy and happy and take good care of her. Your official job title is "BREASTFEEDER" so if people ask you out, say NO coz you're busy. You ARE!

Don't do anything for a couple more weeks. If you want restaurant food, send someone for takeout; if friends want to visit, tell them they're welcome to come by (but set time limits as in I will be laying down with babe a 3:00 but you're welcome to come over at 2:30). If you can put off work for a couple more weeks, then please do because you will be so much better for it when you're REALLY ready.

Happy and in love with my family!
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#9 of 15 Old 07-09-2010, 09:57 PM
 
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My routine until 4-6 weeks pp looks like this:

Eat
Change diaper
Nurse
Coo at baby
Talk to friend on the phone
Eat
Change diaper
Nurse
Nap or read while baby naps
(Repeat throughout day)

Even with older kids, my dh is home for a bit, then I just have them play on my floor with their toys, bring books for me to read them into the bed, or have them nap with us. Older kids help with making food, and entertain themselves.

Gosh, Nelle, I see people in Target and such with tiny newborns and I think "What are they doing here?? What's so important to buy that your dh can't pick it up later or the next day? Do you want to be exposing the baby to everyone's germs and making yourself vulnerable to exhaustion??" If you are feeling bad obviously it's too much.

Remember, your uterus is working to return to its pre-pregnant size until 6 weeks postpartum. There is a reason that 40 days is the most common pp rest time around the world, and until then in many cultures the woman is only expected to rest in her own home.

JENNY, 38~ preschool teacher, birth activist, sun worshiper, singer, married for 17 years and mom to

Karan 15, Fiona 12, Bodhi 10, Bjorn 6, Devon 3, and Robin Taylor born January 16th!

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#10 of 15 Old 07-09-2010, 10:26 PM
 
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Wow Nelle, what you describe makes me dizzy! I think if it feels like too much...then it is too much. And what you describe is most absolutely too much for me.

Our routine here goes like this: we operate on baby time. So there is no routine to rely on!! But here is a decent representation of what our semblance of a routine is.

Wake up sometime in the am (6-9 am)
Feed the baby. Change a diaper. Go pee, drink water, snack.
Nap with baby while dp takes care of dd1.
Have breakfast, in bed. Nurse baby.
Have shower. Nurse baby, change diaper.
Read books with dd1 and have snuggle time.
Have lunch(12 ish). Nurse baby.
Have either a visitor, phone call, or time outside. Nurse baby.
Have supper (5-6ish). Nurse baby.
Pay attention to dd1 from couch.
8pm bedtime routine for dd1.
Use computer until dp wakes up from getting dd1 to sleep.
Discuss baby names....still!
Major cluster feeding in late evening...
Go to sleep around 1am
Wake up every couple hours through the night to feed/change baby

Most likely have a nap or two sometime through the day.


Nothing glamorous. And notice that I do no chores. That I only have 1 activity per day, if that. My entire purpose right now is to be babymooning and bonding with baby while I recover from childbirth. My perineum needs me to lay low and lay in bed to heal. My baby needs the same thing so that I can notice when she gets hungry before it's all out war. My emotions need it so that they are not overwhelmed by the 'outside' world. My new mama self needs the nesting time to process the intensity of what it is to give birth, psychologically, spiritually, emotionally....all of these parts of my self are so full and raw that 'normal' life seems menial and makes no real sense to me right now. Babymooning is really important to me and I am really grateful that dp can be around to help maintain the peace and quiet and bonding time.

SAHM to DD 03/08 & DD 06/10 made with love with my DP
 
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#11 of 15 Old 07-10-2010, 12:26 AM
 
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I'm a home school mom and have found it best for us to start our school year in early August. I don't plan on changing, and have our 2010-2011 school year all maped out with lesson plans for the first semester all written up.
I run a 9-noon schedule for the academic stuff and pepper in the art, science and history throughout the day. To accomplish that, I'll be going easy on housekeeping and meals for the first 4-6 weeks, and we'll be saying "no" to outside comitments and extras till 6 or 8 weeks pp.

DH&Me  Christ follower, homeschooler, gardener, (insert lots of additional crunchiness here) chicken mama, & occasionally blogger. intactlact.gifMama of  boys 9,7,3.5,&11months....& SURPRISE jaw2.gif  expecting a BOY in November!  7 sweet-babes gone too soon.

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#12 of 15 Old 07-10-2010, 01:54 AM
 
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I think you've gotten some awesome advice from these ladies! Take the time to heal and enjoy your new baby. Do only what you feel comfortable doing and try to let the other stuff slide. I also overdid it when DD was born and I'm not making that mistake again this time. I'm so lucky that DH will be off with us for the first month so I plan on using that time to cuddle and feed my babe and snuggle with DD. I know that time goes by so quickly and I want to soak in every minute of it. I also want to give myself a chance to heal and recover.

Lana: Mama to Mya Oct/2007 and Ainsley July/2010
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#13 of 15 Old 07-10-2010, 02:47 AM
 
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dd2 is one week old today. Honestly I cannot imagine running to Target and going to dinner and this and that just yet. I think I was able to sooner with dd1, but so far that is NOT where we're headed right now. I can't really even manage to feed myself or dd1, don't know what we're going to do when dp goes back to work next week. I pretty much nurse all day, and on and off through the night. Today I hardly had any time in between, but the two days prior I had a little bit of time to get up and get a few things done around the house between nursing sessions while she was asleep.

Really, once I expect much more from myself, then I start getting upset. Even though there's nothing I can do about it. So might as well enjoy sitting with baby the best I can, cuz that's all I'm doing right now. I feel like everyone really glorifies this "babymooning" period and maybe I'm somehow not doing it "right", cuz for me it's really a huuuuuuge adjustment.

Weirdo Mama to amazing Aurelia, age 9 & Ember Roslyn, age 3!
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#14 of 15 Old 07-10-2010, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks

Lowering the bar...

Mommy to a gorgeous little miracle
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#15 of 15 Old 07-10-2010, 01:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nervousnelle View Post
Thanks

Lowering the bar...
Good to hear! I think the most important thing to take away is to do what you feel comfortable doing, what you want to do. Sometimes it is important to get out of the house. I am someone who leaves home everyday to do something and I enjoy that. The idea of 40 days inside without going anywhere or doing anything make me batty, which also isn't good. I do not feel like I am endangering my baby to take him out in a sling in public. I haven't felt like doing it but probably will within the next week or so. We all recover differently and we all need different things while we recover. But none of it should be an obligation it should be driven by our needs and desires to keep us sane and happy.

Whenever I feel overwhelmed it helps to remind myself that in no way do i expect my body to be back to it's postpartum self by two weeks and therefore it is unrealistic to think that any other part of me is back to normal either. The whole thing takes time and there are days where you will feel great and competent and other days will be a mess. It's all ok.

Tracy, Wifey to Jeff . Mama to Maya-Papaya 7/04 and Carolina Bean-a 5/07 and Jack 7/4/10!!
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