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Stressed - please help!!

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by Piccola, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. Dear All
    I'm hoping someone can reassure me as I feel awful. My baby was born 6 days ago, she is gorgeous but I feel totally overwhelmed and can't stop crying. Everytime I try to look for information online I read something else that terrifiesme. I shouds apologise now as this is a rambling post, but I don't know how to structure it logically!
    It was a difficult forcepts delivery, the baby was jaundiced and had to have phototherpy, we both had to have antibiotics by drip as I hadn't given birth within 24 hours of my waters broken. I had to have episiotomy but also had a tear. I'm still quite sore.
    Breastfeeding didn't work out, she wasn't attaching properly and was de-hydrated. I've moved to formula feeding but am still trying to offer her the breast as well - I don't know if this id the best option.
    I feel anxious all the time and guilty about not being overjoyed with my new arrival. My husband is very supportive and keeps reassuring me that we're doing fine. He has one week of paternity leave left and every time I think about him going back to work I feel physically sick. I wanted to make the most of his paternity leave but going out for walks with the pram, family things etc - but It takes me all me time and effort not to spend the whole day crying. I feel like I've wasted this time.
    I'm worried about feeding routines, should I be aiming for one already or is it too soon? I've read that some mums are already doing this. I just want to make it through the day, I feel I can't think about this already. This is terrible I know, but I haven't bathed my baby yet - I've topped and tailed her but the thought of bathing her fills me with dread. My husband and I have decided to tackle it tonight though.
    My mother and I have a good relationship, but not the close kind where she would come and stay to help. My MIL has offered, though she lives abroad, I'm scared to accept her offer as I'm worried I'll become too dependent on her and obviously she will have to go home after a few weeks.
    I'm sorry this is so self pitying - I guess I just want to know that I'm not alone thikning/feeling like this. I'm normally a really balanced and organised person, maybe its the fact of not being in control that I'm fining hard.
    Please post back.

  2. (((Piccola)))
    Sorry this is random, am playing with LO as I type!
    This may not help in anyway but your post just made me want to tell you that what you are feeling is completely normal. It takes me back to when I was at your stage. Please remember you have only JUST given birth, you are still adjusting to everything and you are doing BRILLIANTLY.
    My advice would be to take MIL offer and let her come and stay for a couple of weeks, it will be a massive help and by the time she has to leave you will be in the swing of things. And you will have time to be a perfect family when you're used to everything. I totally know what you mean when you say you don't feel it's going well...I was really shocked when I didn't feel that this was the best thing that happened to me straight away...I felt like a terrible mother but it is NORMAL.
    You are at the worst time for your hormones, feeling sore etc. At the moment I would say do whatever makes the three of you happy, don't worry about routines. Hold your baby, sleep when she sleeps, take help wherever it is offered and slowly it gets better I promise. I also had to switch to formula and felt terrible at the time but my LO is now five months old, thriving and has never had a cold or anything.
    Please let us know how you're doing xxx
  3. Piccola,
    You are not alone. Take any help you can get. Speak to your midwife, partner, friends about how you are feeling. It is perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed; you have been through a lot. Your midwife or doctor can help if it is more than just being overwhelmed.
    Don't worry about routines etc, just get yourself sorted first. Don't compare yourself with others or think of what you 'should' be doing. You are already doing a great job in loving and caring for your baby.
    See whether your husband can take some more time off; you need support at the moment. Hopefully his employers will be understanding.
    Baby will be fine with formula - mine only ever had formula and she is bright, funny and very feisty! Don't beat yourself up - but, if you want to try combining then do. If it doesn't work, then hey ho.
    You are not self pitiying - you are normal!!
    You are not alone in feeling this way. Things will get better.
    The NCT has a helpline Mon-Fri that may be of help;
    Huge love, support and empathy
  4. Every single one of us know exactly what you are going through. Pure and simple, it's hormones and baby blues. It will pass, but you need rest, sleep and time with your baby- and stop googling! It doesn't feel like it, but YOU are the expert on YOUR baby and no other expert will help at this stage!
    You can't feel overjoyed until you have physically recovered and your hormones have calmed down. I truly didn't 'love' my baby for several weeks and to be completely honest, I felt very resentful of her to start with- I felt like she had turned my life upside down and not in a good way. I was terrified of my OH going back to work but actually in a way it was good for me because I had to bond with my baby.
    I didn't take my baby out of the house until she was 6 days old. I didn't bath her until she was 2 weeks old. She didn't have a feeding routine until she was at least 10 weeks and to be honest not a proper one until 16 weeks. None of these things matter. You just need to get into bed, with your baby, and look at her and cuddle her. That's all.There's time for everything else later.
    Can't comment on tears but I know you need to rest to get better. I formula fed from birth so no idea about breast feeding either, hopefully someone else will come along to help with those things!
    Please don't be hard on yourself. It is like this for everyone xxx
  5. You are doing everything right, forget what anyone else is doing or not doing. You are dealing with your set of circumstances and your individual baby in the best way possible because you are her mum!
    I had exactly the same reaction to the birth and exactly the same worries and fears as you. Just let yourself feel the way you feel, and cry if you need to cry. Do try to get out because you will feel better, but if you can't face it then stay in! What I'm trying to say is that just do what feels right for you.
    The other most important thing that I wish someone had told me is that it will pass. you will feel better and the whole looking after a baby thing will get easier.
    Also, 6 days is early for routines but some babies naturally fall into routines, others don't. If your baby doesn't and you are able to, just go with the flow.
    Do talk to people about how you are feeling though, there is so much support out there, but I've learnt that you do have to ask for it!
    take care of yourself
  6. undiwear

    undiwear New commenter

    Congratulations Piccola,
    I had a similarly truamatised start as you and your baby have had. Many women and babies do. You will come out the other side, promise.

    I have messaged you with some information so check your inbox.

  7. I could have written that exact post nearly when my baby was born almost 8
    months ago. I had similar difficulties in labour and TBH it really threw me - I found it brutal and wasn't prepared for how weak I was afterwards. For the first 6 weeks I lived in a blur and I panicked at OH going back to work. I didn'tbtoher getting dressed or showered most days, the house was a tip and I didn't cook dinner at all. In these early days your feeding baby isn't necessarily on a schedule - feed your baby when she wants it. I worried about him sleeping too long, not enough sleep, how much milk he was taking, how often...after a while things started to click into place. By 10 weeks I felt like a different person, was out and about at baby groups, meeting friends, even, shock horror, getting a bit of tidying up done. Get help where you can, your mum could maybe come for a day, do a whizz round with the hoover get some washing done. Get OH down to Tesco for soem quick dinners - fresh pasta, pizzas and those packets of microwave steam potatoes and veg were part of our staple diet the first few weeks.
    Took me a while to twig on that while breastfeeding is very natural., that doesn't equate with easy. I stuck it out for three weeks and stopped when I was so worried about his weight loss it was sending me mad (i thought!).
    Do sleep when she sleeps. I sort of forgot about that with visitors and stuff. Best thing about bottle feeding is LO won't be entirely dependent on you - OH can feed her so you can go get a lie down or a shower.
    I had an episiotomy too - HV recommended tea tree and salt in warm water to rinse the wound with. Don't know if it helped but I healed up quite quickly.

    Good luck, as some other poster said, we've all been there. It gets better, believe me. I was saying to my OH tonight I felt so guilty becasue I didn;t feel the love I feel now when my boy was born. But hey, I was shellshocked and I adore my son now.
  8. Oh! That could have been me writing that especially about the bath! My LO didn't have a bath for what felt like ages! In the end he had a bath with me with my OH at the side to pass him to me/take him out! I had a lavender oil in the bath which healed my stitches nicely.
    It sounds like you are doing a great job - the first couple of weeks are so overwhelming - after all you've got a little stranger in your house and you've all got to get to know each other.
    Take care of yourself - I found that when OH went back to work we managed to get into a rudimentry routine and it was no where near as horrible as I'd thought it would be x x x
  9. Many thanks for your replies, they made me feel better! We've now tackled the bath, sayin that she wasn't in it very long.
    I'll speak to the midwife when she is out tomorrow and see if she can offer any advice.
  10. A few tips/comments (my daughter is now 2 btw):
    - Stop googling and avoid mumsnet at all costs. If you need to know anything ask the sensible people on here. There are too many 'perfect mummies' who seemingly spend all of their lives online preaching that their way is best. If they were so perfect then they wouldn't be online preaching, they would be stimulating their children.
    - All anyone achieves while their husband is on paternity leave is surviving in the house. You need to heal down below before you can enjoy going for walks - in about a weeks time it will start to be better.
    - It won't be that bad when your husband goes back to work. In fact you might quite like the space. Once you've had a couple of days on your own you'll feel more confident.
    - In terms of routine different things work for different babies. My daughter didn't get into a feeding routine until she was weaned. She never liked milk so I had to wait until she was starving before she'd feed. Other babies you can poke a bottle or breast at and they'll just take it. If they won't feed at a particular time there's little you can do about it. Therefore there really are no hard and fast rules, but it will be easier for you if you can get her into a routine.
    - Breastfeeding/ Bottle feeding is up to you. It really doesn't make that much difference, which is why the fanatics (there aren't any on TES as far as I am aware) get so wound up about it. What kids eat later is more important. I have two friends who exclusively breast fed and one child will now only eat biscuits and the other one will only eat bread - therefore evening it out.
    Finally, take care of yourself your body has been through a major trauma and produced an amazing little baby. Congratulations!
  11. kittenmittens

    kittenmittens New commenter

    You're doing fine, don't be hard on yourself! Giving birth is brutal at best, sometimes traumatic and rarely the experience we are hoping for.Afterwards I felt like I'd been run over- huge deflated belly, catheter after epidural, bleeding loads, episiotomy stitches that ruptured... and breastfeeding was a disaster for us so we were readmitted on day 3. Gave up and now bottle feed, she is very happy and healthy at 15 weeks. It's almost an out-of body experience- you feel completely shattered physically and emotionally and looking after a strange little newborn creature is terrifying. My hubby didn't even come into hospital the next day til 12pm as he was having a long sleep- I thought he was never coming back!
    Things that might help:
    • Get yourself some ultra-string painkillers for stitches- mine were horriffic. Voltarol is good and your midwife can prescribe on a home visit. Taking these is a priority, write down when you took them as ypou won't remember!
    • If you decide to have visitors, limit to one couple/ group per day and ask them to do something for you eg take bins out, bring food, hoover etc.
    • Only do essentials in the house when you can, it doesn't matter if it isn't done but things like washing baby's clothes, making up bottles, food shopping are essential. If hubby or a friend can do a quick wipe round that'll make you feel better but if not it can wait!
    • We managed a short walk with the pram - 5 mins literally on day 7 ish which made me feel better, but do this at your own pace. It takes time to learn how to fold the pram, use car seat etc so maybe a good idea to have a go before hubby goes back to work?
    • Only go to baby groups etc when you feel ready, there is no set time scale. I found my local childrens centre brilliant from about 5 weeks and now go to lots of groups, meet friends for coffee, do a singing class etc but you can do as much or as little as you like. It helps to talk to others in a similar position and the staff are so friendly.
    • Use your health visitor and midwife (until baby is 28 days old)- ask questions no matter how silly, ask about postnatal groups as a way of meeting people if you want.
    Being a new mum is hard but you will get through it and feel back to normal in yourself soon, best of luck xx
  12. Once again ladies, many thanks for your replies. The midwife didn't come today it was a maternity care assistant, she wasn't very helpful when I asked about support groups and said that was something I would need to ask the health visitor when she visited at the end of the week. My friends came to visit today and I felt okay when they where here, it seems to be when I've got time to myself that the anxiety starts. It feels like waiting to take your driving test - but the feeling doesn't go away. I've tried to fight it today and managed to keep the crying at bay for the time being. A friend that lives quite far away has offered to call me tonight as she went through a similar situation about a year ago. Hopefully this will help me out a bit.
  13. Picolla it sounds like you're doing all the right things - well done! And feeling ok for part of a day is a good thing and a massive start... I was a wreck for a good proportion of the time until she was 6 weeks (and a fairly good proportion of the first 10 weeks!) but the good bits started to out weight the constant tears bit by bit until one day I realised I felt pretty great a lot of the time.
    That's not to be depressing about how much longer it could be before you feel good - more to show that feeling this bad now is not necessarily any indicator of severe or long lasting PND. For me once the really really exhausting part (I also had traumatic birth and some complications with post natal recovery) was past things looked up very fast - but in those first couple of weeks I felt that nothing would ever be ok ever again.
    There is another thread like this on baby and toddler and there is some good advice from people there, too ... including someone who says something like 'in kenya mothers have 40 days with nothing to do at all but feed the baby and other people do everything else... because it's HARD WORK looking after a small baby'.
  14. stop reading information!!
    do what is right for you and your baby. i didn't bath my baby for ages as i couldn't bring myself to. i prefer to shower him now - i have my own shower then OH passes my naked bubba in to me so i can hold him under the running water. bathing him hurt my back too much!
    i didn't get any milk in for 6 days after giving birth and my LO was dehydrated too, and he was also taken off me and put into neo natal special care for several reasons. you can indeed combination feed and any breast milk you can get into your LO is a bonus but don't beat yourself up if it doesn't work.
    the paternity leave i believe is so that you have someone there for the first two weeks while you recover from the worst. my OH and i didn't get out together for ages after the birth as i didn't feel up to it.
    my LO is 17 weeks on monday and we still don't have a routine. if he wants feeding we feed him, if he's tired we put him to bed, if he's grizzly we give him teething gel. last night he was wide awake between 1-2am....
    as far as i'm concerned, the first few months are about surviving - not routines or being glowing and having a perfect baby. so long as we make it to bed each night with a happy, healthy baby i don't care if i haven't done my hair, left the house, visited family or done the shopping. it's so tough being a mum and i am struggling with it.
    take it easy, be kind to yourself and take everything a day at a time. so long as your LO is fed, changed and loved there is no right or wrong. the baby blues are natural and a hormonal change following birth. if they continue, do speak to your HV or GP.
    take care of yourself x

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