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<p>I am 39 weeks with EDD of Nov. 30th. This will be our first baby. I am slated to host Christmas Eve at our house on Dec. 24th. Assuming baby comes around the EDD, will I be able to handle it? DH can do the house cleaning, but I would have to do the cooking. Everyone will bring a dish, so I might have to do a ham or some sort of entree. I am scheduled to return to work 8 weeks post-partum, so I want to be sure I am recovered by then and don't want to do anything to prolong recovery.</p>
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<p>Also, MIL has scheduled a family celebration on Dec. 18th. It is out of town (only by 45 minutes). It won't be too much to do that will it? Part of me just wants to hole up at home as long as possible.</p>
 

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<p>Congratulations on welcoming your first little one!</p>
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<p>Recovery times vary a lot from woman to woman, and can be very different depending on how the birth goes.</p>
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<p>My advice would be to treat your 8 weeks of maternity leave as sacred time and commit to as little as possible aside from caring for yourself and your babe. Leave all cooking, cleaning, and hosting to others, and agree only tentatively to travel, with a firm "out" clause.</p>
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<p>While you may feel great & energetic & technically you "could handle it", you'll probably want to just focus on the amazing transformation that happens when you become a mom! And if you're having a challenging recovery, or a touch of PPD or sleep deprivation, you won't have committed to something that turns out to be too much.</p>
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<p>I also returned to work after 8 weeks, and I needed every second of that time to feel ready to leave my DD and get back to the office. Granted, I had a very rough delivery and sleep deprivation was somewhat extreme. But I think that even if everything had been "perfect" I would have needed all the time & energy I could have to enjoy my baby.</p>
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<p>Just my 2 cents! Good luck!</p>
 

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<p>I agree with CI Mama. Some women are up & running very quickly & others are not. By 4 weeks pp I was able to go for a VERY slow walk around the block & that left me drained & sore. I was in good shape physically before I gave birth.</p>
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<p>Try not to commit to anything now & then if you can attend things it's a bonus.</p>
 

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<p>I know these things vary a lot, but I know that I would have been happy to do all those things.  I had a pretty easy recovery, and was snowshoeing by 3 weeks after birth.  I also had a reasonably happy baby.  I actually found being "holed up" to be kind of lonely and a little boring, and was very happy to return to hosting and attending social gatherings.</p>
 

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<p>My advice is to show your DH how to cook a ham now. :)</p>
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<p>I would leave things as flexible as possible because you really don't know how you'll feel. So as long as people would be coming potluck and your DH can jump in, sure. If not, plan something for another holiday later on.</p>
 

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<p>It really does vary tremendously, but going by my own postpartum experience, there's no WAY I could have handled it. I was still at the gracefully-languishing-on-the-couch stage... well, minus the "graceful", what with the lochia and leaking milk and lack of attention to hair care and so on. :p I tried to bake DH a birthday cake a week or two after I gave birth and nearly fainted in the process. It was pathetic! But it did teach me to prepare for utter helplessness for a good six weeks or so after the birth. That way if you <em>do</em> spring back miraculously, you're still ahead in terms of meal prep and delegation and things, so you can spend more time with the baby or doing hobbies or whatever!</p>
 

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<p>I could have physically handled it, but 4 weeks was probably one of my absolute lowest points with my high-needs infant--my mom was gone, DH had returned to work, and my sweet little baby hard turned into a little hellmonster who never slept and screamed all day (I say in all lovingness. <span><img alt="redface.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/redface.gif">)</span> due to reflux. I could NOT have handled hosting anything at my house at that particular moment, even if hubby had done the prep. What if you go past your EDD, as would be normal for a first baby and you are only 2 weeks or so PP Christmas eve? I definitely vote for letting others be responsible, for the hosting and the dish. You are having a baby--a huge job!</p>
 

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<p>It varies so much that its hard to say what you will feel, both physically and emotionally, up to doing.  I hit my nesting phase after DD was born and cleaned my house from top to bottom the week after her birth with no problems.  I was not necessarily in great physical shape when I gave birth as i had gained 85 pounds with my pregnancy, but I did walk a lot at the end.  So, I would've predicted that I'd be on the couch resting, but that just wasn't how I felt.  other women need that time to rest up.  Emotionally you can't be sure how you will feel either.  After the house was cleaned, I wanted to do nothing but hold my baby, snuggle her, and admire her.  Breastfeeding also makes it harder to get things done and if you are breastfeeding those first few weeks are important to establishing that relationship.  On the other hand, you may feel so full of joy that you need to express it through contributing to the meal.  I would suggest choosing a dish that is great if you make it, but not crucial to the meal.  That way if you feel up to it, you can do it, but if you don't feel physically that you can or are so in tune with and focused on your DD that you don't want any distractions from that you don't have to.</p>
 

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<p>I totally would NOT do it.  Even if you don't have to cook anything and people help clean up, you will still have added stress and work around the event.  I might be a little biased toward extra rest because I had two premature babies with colic, and I was totally overwhelmed and exhausted.  Congrats on your coming babe, and happy holidays!</p>
 

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<p>One thing to keep in mind when recovering from ANYTHING is "Just Because You Feel Better, That Doesn't Mean You Are!"</p>
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<p>You may feel totally up to cooking.  And then the next day, you may TOTALLY regret it.  Or not.  Or, you might feel fine, encouraging you to do more, but then after a week it might totally catch up with you and you end up feeling like total crap!</p>
 

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<p>IMO i wouldn't commit to doing anything until my lochia has ended or at least gone pale (mine was bright red for 2 days, dark red for 3-4 weeks then pink/yellowish for 2 weeks), as anytime i did i began bleeding in earnest again - a sure sign that my body needed more rest.</p>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">
<div>One thing to keep in mind when recovering from ANYTHING is "Just Because You Feel Better, That Doesn't Mean You Are!"</div>
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<p>True dat!  DD2 was born at 7.56am on a Friday.  My labour and birth were so easy, i felt great.  The next morning i woke up feeling fantastic, and went downstairs and made toast and coffee for me, DP and DD1.  It was the first and last thing i managed to eat that morning and by 2pm that day i wasn't able to sit up any more as i felt so ill and my MW came and said in dismay that she expected me to know better and ordered me to stay down in bed for 3 days.  The combination of getting up too soon, not eating enough, and cascading hormonal changes really knocked me for six. </p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>GoBecGo</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281320/how-long-to-take-it-easy-after-birth#post_16080534"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>IMO i wouldn't commit to doing anything until my lochia has ended or at least gone pale (mine was bright red for 2 days, dark red for 3-4 weeks then pink/yellowish for 2 weeks), as anytime i did i began bleeding in earnest again - a sure sign that my body needed more rest.</p>
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<p><br>
ITA with this. I just look at it as an excuse to loaf around!<br>
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<p>I am 4 weeks PP and let me tell you about Thanksgiving. I was fine. Only a little off colored lochia so I assumed I was fine. It took me 3 days to cook 2 things for our meal. DH was doing the turkey and I was doing the dressing and sweet potatoes. I tried to do the pie, but didn't get to it. I was too busy nursing my baby that happened to have started his growth spurt which required me sitting down to nurse and to nurse a crying baby in the evenings trying to build supply. I couldn't lay him down, he would wake and want to be nursing again or just snuggled against the boob. (Which by the way is the most CUTEST sight of a baby's face EVER!)</p>
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<p>But after all that I started back to bright red bleeding and clots again. Took about 2-3 days and now I'm back to almost nothing including no streaks.</p>
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<p>So I would definitely suggest not taking claim to anything. Buy something if you feel you MUST contribute.</p>
 

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<p>Quote:</p>
<div class="quote-container">
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>southernmommie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281320/how-long-to-take-it-easy-after-birth#post_16083880"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br>
 Buy something if you feel you MUST contribute.</div>
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<p><br>
This is good advice!  I did too much during my 1st month post-partum, and while my body handled it fine "in the moment," I definitely paid for it afterwards.  I ended up driving 200 miles at 2 weeks old, and flying cross country at 4 weeks due to deaths in the family.  I was grateful that my body was able to handle those events at those times because I really felt like I HAD to be there.  And it did...during those trips my bleeding was manageable and I was able to do the walking/standing I needed to do.  But after the 2nd trip, DD and I both crashed hard- I was so physically fatigued and emotionally spent, and didn't really feel "recovered" for probably another month at least.  </p>
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<p>Only you can weigh how important hosting this event is for you and for your family, but if its not too hard to have another relative host, it might be a good year for that.  And if you do host, I'd recommend asking everyone else to bring ALL the food this year, or get an already prepared entree.</p>
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<p>Good luck and congratulations on your baby!</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>CI Mama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281320/how-long-to-take-it-easy-after-birth#post_16071300"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Congratulations on welcoming your first little one!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Recovery times vary a lot from woman to woman, and can be very different depending on how the birth goes.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>My advice would be to treat your 8 weeks of maternity leave as sacred time and commit to as little as possible aside from caring for yourself and your babe. Leave all cooking, cleaning, and hosting to others, and agree only tentatively to travel, with a firm "out" clause.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>While you may feel great & energetic & technically you "could handle it", you'll probably want to just focus on the amazing transformation that happens when you become a mom! And if you're having a challenging recovery, or a touch of PPD or sleep deprivation, you won't have committed to something that turns out to be too much.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I also returned to work after 8 weeks, and I needed every second of that time to feel ready to leave my DD and get back to the office. Granted, I had a very rough delivery and sleep deprivation was somewhat extreme. But I think that even if everything had been "perfect" I would have needed all the time & energy I could have to enjoy my baby.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Just my 2 cents! Good luck!</p>
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<p><br>
I agree with CI Mama. Thanks for sharing. I also want to know about it for my wife.</p>
 

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<p>I've had a fairly easy recovery with all my kids. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I started having them young, the first was born when I had just turned 21 and the youngest of the four less than six years later. I can't remember the detail with the first three so I'll just give it for the fourth. </p>
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<p>My water broke one morning and I went into easy labor 24 hours later. It was a homebirth. The labor was easy for about five hours, barely uncomfortable, then two hours of increasingly uncomfortable followed by less than an hour of painful. Two pushes and the baby was out so all in all it was an easy labor. I did, however, loose more than the average amount of blood. I was happy after and couldn't fall asleep until the middle of the night. The next day I was up and moving about the house but I spent most of the day in bed with the baby. The following day we took the baby to the doctor but I spent most of the day on the couch or in bed. I spent about a week spending most of my time sitting or laying down. After that first week I was able to run quick errands, cook, clean, and go for walks outside. The only thing I didn't do was lots of stairs (my pelvis was still sore and loose) or heavy lifting. By three weeks my lochia had completely stopped and I resumed walking a couple miles a day and taking over my regular responsibilities around the house and with the kids. Doing things did make me more tired than normal for the first month or so, cooking with a cast iron skillet to replenish the iron I lost is one reason I think I recovered so quickly. </p>
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<p>With my second I know I did too much too soon. I ran a triathlon three months after he was born which I really shouldn't have trained for and ran. </p>
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<p>I've seen women who spend the better part of a month in bed and women who are back to their regular routine within a few days. Everyone if different. </p>
 

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Discussion Starter #17
<p>Thanks so much for all the replies. I am now 1 week PAST my due date, so I have officially declined to host Christmas Eve. I am also considering opting out of attending my DH's family celebration on 12/19 if baby doesn't arrive soon. At a minimum, I'll ask my sister to make our dish to pass for us. I am getting frustrated because I have been off work a week already and hate using my time off without baby here. Trying to be patient...</p>
 
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