How much help did you need after first baby? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 42 Old 04-10-2011, 04:54 PM
 
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I had my husband!  He is the sole reason that I am still breastfeeding my daughter at 11 months.  Those first few weeks were rough.  He snuggled with her in the evenings and let me sleep and heal.  He'd bring the baby to me for feedings but other than that, I got 6 whole hours of sleep every night for the first 6 weeks.  Bliss!  I can attest to the fact that lack of milk production and stress/sleeplessness are very much related.  When I started truly resting, my milk was abundant.  Makes me hearken back to older times when the mom got to hang out in bed for a month after birth, just feeding her baby and recovering from the 'marathon' of labor.

 

If I didn't have the luxury of a hubby taking 6 weeks off from work, I am positive that the pain of a wonky latching ferocious nursling would have ended in failed breastfeeding.  He never wavered in gentle support.  He encouraged us to visit lactation consultants, and he braved the supermarket at night to get me various womanly supplies and ointments.  He got some really special bonding time with his baby too, which is so wonderful to see today.  He doesn't hesitate in any aspect of baby care; he changed a lot more diapers than I did during his paternity leave!  

 

I had family members willing to come and help, but honestly they don't tend to actually HELP.  They expected to hold the baby and eat my food.  Not so helpful when I need laundry to be washed, kitchen cleaning, grocery shopping, etc.  I don't enjoy playing hostess even on my very best days, so the idea of an 'invader' in my home after pushing out a 9 pound 8 oz baby was absolutely awful.  We had a bunch of dear friends from church bring us meals and visit for 15 minutes...perfect help!!  

 

If you're considering having a lot of family in your house after giving birth, I'd advise you to rethink your plan.  Perhaps you get energized by groups of people - I'm not like that.  My husband is, and he was disappointed at first that I wanted a lot of alone time with just our little family.  I had him read the Lemon Clot Essay (google it) and he changed his tune.

 

Best of luck!  Congrats on your baby!


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#32 of 42 Old 04-10-2011, 05:34 PM
 
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I also wanted to share this link:  http://avital.blogspot.com/2011/03/how-to-be-best-post-partum-visitor-in.html#axzz1JAGqwFOb

 

It's intended for people who are visiting you after baby is born. Sending this along with the other list would probably help a lot of our family and/or friends. I posted this one and the one a PP put on on my FB. Hopefully people will get the hint. :)


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#33 of 42 Old 04-10-2011, 06:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jshannyn519 View Post

I also wanted to share this link:  http://avital.blogspot.com/2011/03/how-to-be-best-post-partum-visitor-in.html#axzz1JAGqwFOb


What a great instruction! I love it. Although I have to admit that I really was feeling lonely in the beginning days and weeks and I would have been glad to have company AND help :-)


Mom since Oct'09. Wife to a loving husband. Expecting a little bean in May'12

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#34 of 42 Old 04-11-2011, 11:55 AM
 
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When your hubby is gone, THAT is when you should set up some regular helpers/visitors. Because some babies can be really needy/colicy at that age, and if you hadn't crashed emotionally yet before that, you may when you are alone :) My hubby worked nights, so he wasn't totally gone, but some colicy evenings alone were REALLY hard. (Crying baby can really grate on sleep deprived nerves) And anyway, you may want some help here and there so you can get in a good shower or bath, or maybe go grocery shopping alone, or even help to go to the dr appt.

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#35 of 42 Old 04-11-2011, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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AWESOME!!! I cannot thank everyone enough for your amazing advice, stories and links!


 


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#36 of 42 Old 04-11-2011, 03:14 PM
 
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Our first was an emergency c-section and I just wanted to recover and be left alone with our daughter in bed. My husband was unemployed so he did the cooking and cleaning. Unfortunately his mother came to "help" but as nice as she was and as much as I liked her her efforts failed to exceed the stress of having a guest and the need to include her in my daughters care on a daily basis. I was deeply depressed and it was made worse by my need to appear normal. I could not confide in her and my husband was too distracted by her and our baby to tune into my delicate frequency and what I needed, emotionally.

 

Please consider surrounding yourself with those that you can truly confide in and feel comfortable sharing and communicating with. It isn't just a matter of how well they do dishes.


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#37 of 42 Old 04-11-2011, 04:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovepickles View Post

Our first was an emergency c-section and I just wanted to recover and be left alone with our daughter in bed. My husband was unemployed so he did the cooking and cleaning. Unfortunately his mother came to "help" but as nice as she was and as much as I liked her her efforts failed to exceed the stress of having a guest and the need to include her in my daughters care on a daily basis. I was deeply depressed and it was made worse by my need to appear normal. I could not confide in her and my husband was too distracted by her and our baby to tune into my delicate frequency and what I needed, emotionally.

 

Please consider surrounding yourself with those that you can truly confide in and feel comfortable sharing and communicating with. It isn't just a matter of how well they do dishes.

This so very much sums up my first experience w/ MIL and my mom coming after the c/s birth of my first born twins.
 

 


Annabelle Catholic wife to Jeff '92 and mom to Makaley 19 Arden 19 Anniston 17 Taegan 14 Balen 12 Kellen 10 Ellery 8 Innish 6 Eiley 4 Finnian 3 Esca 2 our 8th uc.jpghomeschool.gifwaterbirth.jpgIHhbac.gifbftoddler.gifvbac.gifand expecting sweet pea January 2014.

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#38 of 42 Old 04-12-2011, 02:47 PM
 
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Ugh. This is totally how I feel about "help". I honestly just want to be left alone with my husband and the baby after I have the baby. My husband is taking a week off after I give birth. The only family we have around are his parents and while they're very generous and good to have around when you need them, I am really uncomfortable with having them in my space. I have a lot of anxiety at the best of times and my home is nearly always a me-and-husband only zone. I can have things the way I want them and not be judged for it - I don't feel like I have that freedom with the in-laws (especially my mother in law). 

 

This is my first baby, and I'm concerned that my fears and wishes are going to be minimized because I have no experience. I'm very concerned given my antenatal depression I'm going to have trouble bonding with my baby, and having people around making me feel uneasy, when I'm not myself is not going to make it easier. 

 

I just don't know how to go about expressing my desire for short visits and space.


I'm a twenty-something Canadian girl married to my sweetheart and due in June with Baby #1
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#39 of 42 Old 04-12-2011, 05:08 PM
 
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Spinerette, being straightforward and honest is a good way to explain to people what you want. Just say, that the first week is reserved for family only, for bonding and recovery and you don't want to have to worry about being caught half naked around the house, so you'd prefer if visitors call ahead and wait until the babe is at least a week old. You are happy to share some photos. But this time is special.

 

It is ok and accepted to appear a bit strange for a pregnant woman/first time mom. Utitilize this.


Mom since Oct'09. Wife to a loving husband. Expecting a little bean in May'12

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#40 of 42 Old 04-13-2011, 07:27 PM
 
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I completely agree. My midwife actually gave us a note to put on our door that said as much in case we had any unanticipated visitors that decided to drop by unannounced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by belltree View Post

Spinerette, being straightforward and honest is a good way to explain to people what you want. Just say, that the first week is reserved for family only, for bonding and recovery and you don't want to have to worry about being caught half naked around the house, so you'd prefer if visitors call ahead and wait until the babe is at least a week old. You are happy to share some photos. But this time is special.

 

It is ok and accepted to appear a bit strange for a pregnant woman/first time mom. Utitilize this.



 

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#41 of 42 Old 04-18-2011, 04:21 PM
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With our first, I was convinced I wanted the very private mommy/daddy/baby experience. My husband took two weeks off and we insisted that nobody come help. I really regret it. I had a three-day labor, and DH and I were both exhausted. I couldn't really stand for several days afterward. At least I had the rush of hormones, but DH was really a wreck (and needs more sleep than I do anyway--so starting out fatherhood after two nights of no sleep was really tough for him). If only we'd let one of our eager, willing relatives come and cook for us and we could sleep--it would have been much better.

 

With baby 2, we took all the help we could get. Now that we're expecting #3, I'm just shamelessly sending out calendars to relatives and scheduling them all in for multiple visits this summer! But then, I'm also much better now at articulating what I need and setting boundaries. We have good relationships with our parents and will have enough space in our new house to have some privacy when we need it, which will help--the last two births were in small apartments.


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#42 of 42 Old 04-18-2011, 10:41 PM
 
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With our DC #1 my mother came and helped for almost 2 weeks.  Most of the time she was truly helpful, the first few days she was extra attentive to "do you need some water/snack" especially when I'd sit to nurse.  But 2 weeks was about 4 days too looooong!  This time both DH's mother and mine are coming and for 5 or 6 days.  Our mothers get along well, have known each other for 10+ years, and I think it will be good for DD to have that extra attention so she doesn't feel quite so left out when we bring her brother home.  

 


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