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Baby Blues

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by nick909, May 17, 2011.

  1. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Mrs909 is suffering quite a bit and I'd appreciate some shared experiences to help her understand that this is quite normal. She's mainly feeling that she's a bad mother as she doesn't just know instinctively what to do. And, typically I suspect, she swings from elated highs to very deep, teary lows. The feeling has been exacerbated by the fact that she's still quite frail following a traumatic birth, meaning I've stepped in to do all of the ordinary household things (I'm more than happy to do all of these, but she feels that it makes her feel even more "unmumlike").
    She's also worrying that it's not normal to feel like this, which makes her even more upset - a vicious cyle then starts.
    I don't want to trivialise it and tell her not to feel upset, more to try to help her to understand that it is normal to feel like this, and not to worry too much about having the blues.
    So, any shared experience of the blues would be a great help!
  2. The first week is hormone HELL - I sobbed more in that week (and the second) than I have in years. So first of all it's ENTIRELY normal! If it becomes a prolonged feeling of sadness, there are plenty of things the medical profession can do to help. At her 6 week check she'll complete a Post-Natal Depression questionnaire which will assess her emotional state and if things haven't improved by then her HV can advise on what to do next. But if she is still feeling very down before then I'd recommend just popping into HV/GP to talk things over.
    With regards to the traumatic birth, if she feels up to it she could contact the delivery suite and ask for someone to come round and go through her birth notes with her. This can help to understand why things happened the way they did and why certain courses of action had to be taken. I know some people have found this helpful in coming to terms with a birth that didn't go to 'plan'.
    The media has a lot to answer for where new mums are concerned - celeb mums are praised for being back at work days after giving birth. In reality what we should all be experiencing is a 'babymoon' - chilling with your newborn, getting to them and them getting to know you, leaving the household chores to someone else (or just leaving them altogether!) , feeding and sleeping and cuddling! We don't have that connection to other mums anymore so it's not surprising that in some cases we have lost our 'instinct' - it will come though, as you get to know your baby and what their rhythms are. I found a couple of pages from the Baby Whisperer book useful for recognising different cues in the early days. Having said that, with the benefit of hindsight I'd say be less concerned with what the books say (they often make you question yourself more when your babe won't follow what the book says they 'should' be doing) and go with what feels right - it usually is!
    And keep her well stocked with chocolate ;)
  3. Oh my god, totally normal! How old is your baby? Mine is 10 months and it is only in the last four months really that I have felt back to my old self. i look back on the first six weeks particularly, as a time of hormonal mentalness - I cried so much and felt so rubbish but it all gets much better. Will post more later!
  4. Oh Nick, sorry it's hard at the moment. As you know I'm a few weeks behind you and your wife so just wanted to send my good wishes and ask your lovely wife not to beat herself up. It is like a new job but with no -or very little- training or sleep. be sure not to turn down anyone's offer of nipping to the supermarket/ butcher etc for you as i'm sure you are feeling low and overwhelmed too- baby blues is not just for mums. Is the midwife or HV visiting you at home so you can talk things through? I think everyone struggles through this first bit. All the best to the three of you.
  5. kittenmittens

    kittenmittens New commenter

    You sound like a lovely caring husband! Is your wife breastfeeding? I only managed to BF for a few days but found it incredibly physically draining- my hubby didn't understand it's not just sitting in a chair and resting. If not, has she come to terms with not breastfeeding? It can be an emotive issue for women who can't and wish they could. Also when your milk comes in the hormones are rampant and it can be quite painful. Combine this with sleep deprivation, feeling v strange not being pregnant any more, recovering from brutal childbirth and having a tiny newborn to look after- not easy. So it's normal for her to feel overwhelmed and shattered- agree that early motherhood is a lot harder than the glossy magazines make out.
    Practical support will really help her so I'd carry on doing some housework if she asks, but let her do some jobs too if she feels up to it. I was happy to let things go at first following the birth of my daughter but then felt a huge sense of achievement if I managed to do one thing a day myself even if it was just doing some laundry. Emotional support- all you can do is listen, encourage her, tell her she's doing really well.
    It might be best to keep visitors to a minimum at the moment unless they come to help, eg running the hoover around or giving the bathroom a once-over- difficult with painful stitches or a c-section wound. Noone's expecting a gleaming spotless house but it sometimes helps to make you feel a bit better when things are tidied up etc. Or if they offer to bring food, jump at this! My friend only let people see her newborn if they brought a meal or cake etc- don't be afraid of being a bit bolshy at this time.
    Things will get easier over time but you can always phone the HV on her behalf if you're concerned about PND. Best of luck!
  6. Sounds very normal, I remember bursting into tears in Mothercare because they didn't have a particular nursing top in my size, I felt I had done well to get out of the house and couldn't handle any more problems!
    I had a difficult birth and found it very hard to literally put my feet up as I was told, but try and thing of it like any other major operation, remind her that she'd look after you if the roles were reversed and you'd had a big injury/surgery.
    Equally plenty of people find professional support helpful, so don't leave it a long time to talk to health professions if that would help. Either way not getting too isolated and chatting about things little but often with supportive people can help. And just keep telling her how proud of her you are...

  7. So so normal! I remember posting desperate messages on here asking when the newborn hell ends and when things get easier - I have a photo of mr sitting in the lounge with our baby at a few weeks old and I'm smiling in the photo but I know what I was thinking at the time it was taking - that I'm just 'acting' mummy and I don't really have a clue or feel bonded to this baby... I can't actually look at that photo now. I uses to feel these awful waves of sadness every evening, and beat myself up about the fact I still loved my husband more than the baby when it wasn't supposed to be like that. Six months on and I am a different woman - back to my old self by 3 months really. I would literally die for my baby I love her soooo much, and love love love our time together. Things that helped - getting out every day (but for the first couple of weeks don't worry about this), my lovely oh cooking every night, nct friends, co sleeping for the first 6 weeks (totally helped sleeping to just lay on my side, latch her on and doze), and this forum! Good luck, you sound like a really nice supportive hubby and that's so important! X
  8. Wow! Can you be my partner too??? You are an amazing partner / husband who seems to be doing all he can to help your OH. I can only echo what others have said here - how normal it is, how scary it is, how exhausting it is, how overwhelming it is.
    I think one thing i have found (and I'm not sure this will actually make you feel any better) is how things change so much - and that can be for the better or worse. But if you can be aware of this, then you can be there to support your wife when she's there going - "But we had it sorted!!! Things were meant to be easier....." The reason I say this is that this is what I'm having at the moment.
    After bf for 8 weeks and having the exhaustion of 2-hr feeds at night, we switched to combination feeding (this isn;t for everyone so don't feel this is what you should do). However, it changed for the better and within a couple of weeks, we had got things down to a T - feeding, napping, sleep at night with only 1 wake-up. And things changed again. And if you have read other threads, i'm having a rubbish time - even though nothing we have done has changed. LO no longer feeds well, up 2-3 times a night etc. But, what I wish someone had said to me was - you expect the exhaustion in the early weeks but it's the things you don't expect, that is worrisome and stressful.
    I know this sounds completely useless advice and perhaps rather inappropriate, but in a nutshell, just be on hand to say to your OH that changes are normal - even when they totally throw you!
    I'm sorry if this is rather random and doesn't actually fill with you with relief but I guess it's my honest experience.
    Your wife / partner (and LO) is incredibly lucky to have you. You also need to give yourself a pat on the back.
  9. kittenmittens

    kittenmittens New commenter

    Yup! I was really happy with LO sleeping 7pm-6am from 10 weeks or so (can't remember exactly when it was now), she started to sleep for longer stretches eg 5 hours at 6 weeks and it pregressed from there, we moved her 'bedtime' forward from 9pm (when I'd go to bed next to her in her nursery, I was ready for bed then too!) and we had our evenings back, I was back in our bedroom, it was great. Then she started waking at 2am gurgling for an hour, 4am gurgling, 6am for milk, then wanting to start her day. Now we've started solids it's better eg one gurgle wake-up and then a 6am start. She also had a phase that might have been teething, lots of dribble etc, but came to nothing eg no teeth!
    Other people have it much worse than us re: get-ups during the night, and she does self-settle without crying unless it's morning which is brilliant, but the point is, it's important not to get complacent when things start to improve- babies change so quickly that their routine changes too and you have to be flexible about this. It's such a learning curve but lots of fun too [​IMG]
    How are things now? Is your wife coping ok?

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