June 26, 2008,
K.J. asks from Brooklyn, NY on June 24, 2008
How Did You Cope the First Couple Months?
I'm not sure I'd call what I'm feeling postpartum depression ... I think baby blues is probably more accurate. In any case, I am finding the first couple weeks of my baby's life to be incredibly, mind-numblingly boring. Periodically I start feeling like I will be a milk machine for the rest of my life and maybe in three years time my child and I will have a moment to bathe. I've gone through so many magazines and newspapers in the past week, and yesterday I played my favorite video game for about five hours. Today I woke up and started crying at the prospect of not being able to do anything but read and watch crappy tv (I don't watch much tv generally, so I'm not a huge fan).
All this would be fine, but my boyfriend is working from home to help out in case I need him, and he is really stressing out about all my tears. Keeps insisting that I tell him what kind of help I need, but what can I say? No one else can feed the child until I start pumping.
What I really want is three or four hours a day without the child attached to me. Everything I've read basically says mommy should be encouraged to spend all that time with her child. Slings are suggested, as well as just giving up on doing anything else until the baby is old enough to self-soothe.
To complicate things a bit, I am also recovering from a c section, so wearing a sling isn't really a great option for me. I mean I can wear one for a while, but I can't really do anything because I'm already carrying the weight of the child, which is all I'm allowed to lift for the next few weeks. I'd still have to put the child down in order to do anything.
I know it will get better and that I will (hopefully!) be recovered from the surgery in a few weeks, but how do I maintain my sanity in the meantime? Boyfriend goes to work again in a couple days and I'm not sure if that will make things better or worse ... at least I can cry without worrying about upsetting him. On the other hand, I will have to put the child down to cry a lot more when there's no one here to pick things up for me or hold the baby for a sec.
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So What Happened?™
Hi everyone, and thanks so much for all your heartfelt responses! I must say I'm surprised how many think I am suffering from PPD - I can tell you I'm definitely not! I spend most of my time being pretty happy ... it's just when I get bored after several hours of reading my third New Yorker that I get frustrated. :)
I cry a lot anyway - meaning before I was pregnant - so I don't feel that's a good indicator that I'm depressed. I also refer to my dog as "the dog" (and I love her to pieces) so calling this kid "the child" isn't indicative of any lack of sentimentality - I assure you I drive my boyfriend crazy with all my "cute little baby boy bugaloo" comments! :)
We do appreciate all the tips. Ultimately, we ordered a breast bump (I was planning to anyway, but my boyfriend wanted to wait) which should arrive any day. This way, my boyfriend can feed the baby too. As it was, any time he held the baby, he was relegated to standing and dancing around even for a couple hours if I was taking a nap. He just doesn't have the motherly skill of gently putting the baby down, so the baby would wake up every time and start crying.
Also, my boyfriend setup baby's co-sleeper next to my computer chair so I can work which has been a god send. Pretty much as soon as that was done, I was off to the races. I guess since I'm a techie, being at my computer makes me feel like a normal human again, even if I do need a shower!
Thanks again - I really appreciate your support and it's great to know there is a place to turn when things get tough!
D.B. answers from New York on June 26, 2008
Hang in there it gets alot better. I felt the same way.I felt like a milk machine. Every hour to two hours and I would cry because my son pooped for the fifth time in ten minutes. I cried alot.He was very "boring" in the beginning. He is now almost 5 months old and has a wonderful disposition.
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M.L. answers from New York on June 24, 2008
WOW...I can totally sympathize with you....After I had my daughter I was a mess...I had my Mom stay with me for 2 weeks...and honestly nothing anyone did or said could make me feel any better...I tried to cry in private because I didnt want to scare anyone, even though I eventually would break down every once in a while...when people asked me what was wrong I really didnt know what to tell them...I just felt like I couldnt do it..couldnt care for my daughter and honestly didnt want to....I ended up having to see a lactation specialist because she wouldnt latch on and I broke down there...she said if I still felt like that after a couple of weeks I should talk to my OB...but I, like you, felt more like the baby blues than depression...I couldnt stand being home, staring at the same 4 walls day after day...TV stunk and I could only talk on the phone so much as all of my friends and hubby were at work...I think it was such an adjustment for me because I was used to working 40 hours a week and being totally independant...now all of a sudden we have this little life that depends solely on us....email was a huge life savor for me...I was constantly emailing all my coworkers and friends, who knew what I was going through and tried to send me words of encouragement....My suggestion to you would be to take advantage of this beautiful weather....go for a walk sit outside...what you are feeling is totally normal, believe it or not...LOL....and it will get better....after about 3 months, and when I went back to work, I started to feel much better....you will start to get your life back, a little bit at least....my daughter is now 2 and its still all about her....my "me" time is when I come to work...sad huh??? Ask your boyfriend if he can watch the little man while you go out...either with friends or to the mall or just for a drive...it will help believe me....Im here if you want to chat more...just try to keep your chin up and know that it will get better!! Oh and I had a c-section also and I found that the more I moved around the better I felt and the quicker I healed..
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R.R. answers from Rochester on June 24, 2008
This may be way too philosophical & way too long but I'll make it my creative outlet for the day to reply =)
I think our culture is such an active, "doing" culture that it is a shock when we slow down from the usual busy pace. We are also fiercely independent in this country. So becoming a mom can be like moving into a different country emotionally, and your feelings are shared among your sister new moms.
Here are thoughts from my journey- beginning with resentment and ending in happy anticipation of more babies.
Someone once told me that there is a huge difference between "loving your child" and "loving motherhood". I realized then that I disliked motherhood- it was too repetitive, too much responsibility, and "un-stimulating". But I knew that in order to be very good at something, you generally have to love doing it. I decided I would do whatever it took to LOVE motherhood, not just love my children. So I sought out every positive resource, attitude, point of view, and person I could to help me learn to love it. When you set your mind to something and fill your mind with it, eventually it becomes a part of you and influences you more than other ways of thinking that make the repetitive acts of motherhood seem like a chore.
Nursing- is DRAINING. Sometimes, you don't feel it so much physically as you do emotionally or mentally. It can seem like your baby is just draining your life away. So you need to conscioulsy FILL your emotional, mental, and physical "tanks"... it can be the smallest thing, like going for a walk and NOTICING the breeze, or using a facial mask next time your baby takes a nap, or putting on a cd you love.
I have learned to love repetitive routines or "rhythms" and allow the daily, weekly, monthly, & annual events of the seasons to be my anchors and roots- my framework for enjoying life and making sense of it. I moved to the country and have come to see that within each season all of life (plants, animals) ebbs and flows in cycles, providing a continuity and rhythm, almost calendar-like sign of the times, as things sprout, bud, blossom, bear fruit (or young)... Books like "Full Moon Feast", "The Quotidian Mysteries", and "Seven Times the Sun" have all enriched my life and help me extract so much meaning from the ordinary repetitive tasks involved in being a human, a woman, and a mother. Finding meaning and purpose in a seemingly chore-driven day transform your attitude. And, in your case, as you recover, you are struggling to find meaning as you are limited in your physical capabilities. But this won't last long.
When I was young and had only myself to worry about, I never focused on everything around me- just straight ahead to where I was going and what I was trying to accomplish in my life. I was completely disconnected from the true nature of life in my yuppie existence, and it was only when I slowed down to my second baby's pace of life that it was almost like a rebirth. I began to view the future not as my playground, but as a landscape I was shaping for my children and theirs. I immersed myself in their world, and realized that what some people pay hundreds of dollars for on "Meditation Retreats" I get for free every day- an opporunity to step outside of my own relentless thoughts and be "in" the present moment. To re-live a world of first-times with their wonder and appreciation.
I realized that by funneling all my power and energy into my home and family, I could create a dynamic force that would overflow and spill out on the world around us- by giving my all and nurturing my children and carefully, daily placing the imprint on them of all the beautiful, positive, and conscientious ways of living, they can have far more impact on the world than I could on my own with just my efforts. And places where true mothers reside- women who embrace lives and nurture people- have an incredible attracting force to them. People go there and are nourished, and leave with greater potential to impact the world by realizing their life's purpose. The trend today seems to be to funnel all of your energy outside of your home, but then your own family follows suit and everyone is seeking fulfillment outside of the home- and you are left with a vacuum for a home. Home becomes a place where everyone pursues individual leisure and then heads back out to do their own thing, because it's not "exciting". I want to create a home that draws people, builds people, nourishes people... that re-asserts that people, not things, are what really matters, and that helps build the missing community and CONNECTEDNESS that we are losing as a society. People are so fragmented... We need REAl mothers to connect us and provide FAMILY.
Practically speaking, you should get 3-4 hours a day to yourself with a new baby's sleeping time. It helps to follow a rhythm (like play, eat, sleep) for your baby, and as he or she gets older the "play" time will last longer. When you're physically recovered, pop your baby in the sling and stay on your feet doing whatever you need to do to make your home an inviting, peaceful place for you and your boyfriend, and spend plenty of time outside... Don't feel like you have to hold your baby while baby is sleeping. Better a non-resentful mother with a baby in a crib than a bitter attached one! I had less of a "tolerance" for being a baby holder with my first one, and with my second one I am much more at peace with providing more consistent touch. Do what you can do without becoming resentful. But on the other hand, don't let your baby make you "stuck".
I have found that with a sling, there is very little I can't accomplish. When I had my first baby I would sit around and mope because if I set him down to take out the garbage he would fuss, and if I held him it was to hard to lift it into the outside container. Things like that would build up and I would feel more and more frustrated. Now I look at these things to do as opportunities to reinvent the way I do my chores and think outside the box to how I can incorporate my baby in all I do. Can you believe my 1 yr old son can't walk yet, but he will completely empty our front loading washer and if he drops so much as a sock, he will pick it up and put it in the basket? You and your child are a team.
I always read things that TEACH me something while I'm nursing- whether it be teaching me a new attitude, teaching me to make my own yogurt, my own garden, etc.- becoming more self-sufficient and less reliant on commodities and establishments is another way to have some stimulation and give you purpose and fulfillment. It makes you feel alive, more intuitive and primal, and more connected to your child, and helps you think outside of the box when you are the kind of mother that doesn't need to rush to the dr. for every little problem because you have your own natural first aid kit (each of my children have been to a dr. for sickness only 1 time in their combined 4 years of life, and neither needed a prescription or over the counter medicines to recover), and it makes you feel like housework is artwork when you are cleaning your sink with your own homemade peppermint oil infused soft scrub. Talk to your baby along as you do everything, "narrating", and contemplate every first... the first time your baby feels a fly brush against his or her arm, the sound of the washer machine, the way a door squeaks on its hinges. Your baby is trying to establish a rhythm & understand life (We begin each morning in our house by lighting a candle and saying "For this new morning with its light, for rest and shelter of the night, for health and food, for love and friends, for everything God's goodness sends, we thank Thee"- and you'd be amazed how soon your baby will respond to sweet little routines with a smile and expectation).
Your old life is gone now that you're a mother- maybe you can mourn it a bit- but your new exciting life is ready to begin- I pray you will embrace it and find fulfillment you never dreamed existed!
Practical note- make sure you are getting plenty of Essential Fatty Acids to boost your hormonal health. Post-baby is a great time to take fish oil capsules.
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J.G. answers from New York on June 24, 2008
Hi. I just had a son 7 weeks ago today. I also have a 3 yr old daughter. I too was recovering from a c-section with him. And I have to say, I found that the hormone withdrawal was much worse with him. I was crying over every little thing for the 1st couple weeks. To complicate things, I came down with pneumonia like a day or 2 after surgery. Which was a source of crying in and of itself. It was very painful to have to cough right after major abdominal surgery, as you would know. There is no need to give up on everything because you have a new baby. You need a few hours to yourself to keep your sanity. If your not feeling up to going out, have a friend come over and your boyfriend can watch the baby. Everything your feeling is normal. I felt them all and I'm fine now. If you continue to feel it, let your doctor know. If you need someone to talk to you, you know where to find me!
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C.T. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
This is a HUGE adjustment and most of the mom's here have been right on target - this takes time. Be gentle with yourself.
The first night I was home from the hospital with my sweet daughter (now one year old), my husband awoke to find me on the floor of our bedroom huddle in a blanket that had fallen off our bed with her craddled in my arms. I was sobbing as loudly as she was crying and couldn't see her due to the strong flow of tears. I was trying to "protect" him since he needed to go to shift in the morning and needed his sleep and I had tried everything I could think of - diaper, nurse, cuddle - and nothing seemed to help soothe her. I felt like a huge failure and I was less then 24 hours into it! I was also getting WAY worked up over having to be completely alone with her for 12+ hours the following day.
Things did get better slowly though. Some of it is physical, some hormonal and some plain old emotional. Again, it was a time issue but also an acceptance issue.
I would suggest getting as much support around you as possible. For me it was the little things - having Mom fold laundry so I could nap while baby slept, having hubby bring home a Starbucks (since I couldn't drink that for 10 months!), having MIL cook dinner, a friend from church brought over spaghetti one night that fed us for a week, freezer meals from Omaha Steaks from my kid sis that were microwavable so I did not need to plan for meals and shop for food... All these things added up to snippits of "me time". I liked a warm shower or a good soak in our whirlpool tub. A walk around our property under the trees (we have 2.3 acres). A nap in the hammock under the cool shade. Take as much advantage of having your BF home as possible.
One more thing I was told as a new mom was to plan one activity a day and take pleasure in accomplishing it. I was told it could be something little - finishing the dishes, a quick trip to the dry cleaners, an outting for ice cream (for me of course!) - but that by placing one thing on my "To Do" list and accomplishing that, that I would gain strength and confidence.
CONGRATS on BFing. This is huge and I think all Mom's go through a "cow stage". I found the best way to eleviate this feeling was to push off other tasks on Daddy. If the baby needed a changing, I would ask him to do it. If the baby needed a bath, I would ask him to do it. It doesn't sound like much, but it does provide you with the opportunity to free yourself up and take 5 minutes. It gives Daddy some bonding time too. Also, feel free to place the baby down after nursing. It's okay for them to sleep by themselves. We actually had two bassinets - one in our living room and one in our bedroom. The bedroom had a monitor and the living room was in the middle of all the chaos. Now she pretty much sleeps through anything - doorbells, dog barking, thunderstorms, etc. I think it was a good move and I felt more comfortable watching her sleep while I putted in the kitchen area.
If you are looking for activities to do while not breastfeeding, anything from blogging here to scrapbooking to gardening can beat the boredom you are feeling. It keeps you close by, especially with a monitor and you can still be responsive to the baby's needs. God bless you though, because I wish I had had more energy after my little girl was born! Honestly, the primary thing I recall from the first month is sleeping when she slept! LOL!
Finally, I would follow through on the advise of speaking to a doctor and finding a support group(s). MOPS was suggested. You could also try La Leche League. They will help with the "Mommy" feelings as well as the BF-ing feelings.
Good Luck! Lots of HUGS! And, Congrats on a healthy baby boy!
A.J. answers from Albany on June 24, 2008
I can remember dreading waking up in the morning having to face another day as a mom. I didn't really know what to do with my new baby and life was not perfect. I hated the demands of breastfeeding and resented my husband as he snored away while I fed. I hated my husband just because he got to get out and go to work every day. But it did get better, much better. So much so we had another baby 14.5 months later . . .
After my 2nd was born things got bad, real bad. I wanted my son to go back where he came from. I cried a lot. Things got better. Not perfect. But better. But I still needed help. I talked to my dr. and he helped me. I was mad at myself for waiting 1 year before seeking help.
Hormones suck but they don't stay crazy forever. The baby will soon become less of a burden and more of a joy...really. I really mean it. Also, you are not alone. Most moms (at least those who care to admit it) have been in your exact shoes. Being a mom to a newborn is the single most difficult thing ever. But it is time of learning. You are learning about how to be selfless, and how to be a mother. It will all fall into place.
Another thing, it is ok to cry. Cry your heart out. It's good for you. Explain to your boyfriend not to worry when you cry.
And yes, talk to your dr. if you do not feel better in a few more weeks. Don't wait. There are so many things that can help if your dr. thinks it's necessary. At your 6 week check-up speak up and tell the dr. if you still feel lousy. It's ok.
The other advice you recieved is good too. Just know that you are not alone and you will be ok. If you need to talk just send me a message anytime. My best to you.
S.M. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
My daughter is 5 months old, and the most important thing to know is you are not alone with these feelings you have. I was very overwhelmed in the begining and I would cry over the silliest things, although at the time they didn't seem silly. You go from having your own life to yourself, and that's all you know, to giving everything up to a new little baby. It's hard in the begining. And not to say it gets easier but you learn to manage your life as well as your baby. I breast fed as well and it was a lot knowing only you could do the feeding. But look at the positive, your little boy looks to you for nourishment and comfort. Once you start pumping, you can at least maybe give 1 feeding to someone else, or take a break from breast feeding. Now is the time to adjust to your new schedule. Of course you will be around your baby most of the day, but I would look forward to the little things in the begining,like taking a shower, going for a walk, and catching up with family and friends cause I was home. The crying will subside and things will change. Just know you are not alone.
K.S. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
First (((HUGS))) hang in there it will get better (I know sounds like empty promises).
I had help the first two weeks (hubby and my parents, since I had a c-section I needed it. Then everyone was gone and it was just my daughter and I for 6 weeks before I went back to work. We breastfed so same thing we were attached at all times. I felt that I couldn't do anything without her stuck to me. I was crying almost constantly.
I ended up taking my daughter to Wal-Mart and the mall just to get out and walk around! Luckily our mall has a lactation room so I didn't have to worry about where to feed her but it was such a pick-me-up to see other adults.
Lastly ,if you feel like you just can't stand it (and that's ok) please talk to someone. A friend or a professional. Someone that's removed from the situation.
From a mom who's been there,
M.P. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
I am sure you are going to get a million responses but I just wanted you to know that what you are feeling does happen sometime and you should see your doctor and let them know so they can offer possible treatments so you don't have to suffer. For some it does naturally go away, for others medication is a life saver. I wish you all the best and congratulations. Your baby will also benefit when you feel better too. God Bless.
M.L. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
I understand what you're saying! Some days it seems like it will NEVER END. (It does...eventually.) What REALLY helped me was to find some like-minded mommies to hang out with. I was lucky in that, in my congregation, there were 11 babies born the same year as mine, all within 6 months, all to "first time mommies." We started a weekly playdate (for us!) that lasted for nearly two years (until I moved away - I hosted it. ;-)) We would get all the kids together and the mommies would just chat. It was such a relief to see another mommy and not worry about being judged - we were all in the same boat. I know it was a really ideal situation. If you don't attend church (the easiest place I've found to find friends) you could look on your hospital web page to see if they have birth clubs...
I hope that helps. It WILL get better. If you're able to start pumping, see if you can get your baby to take a bottle so you and your bf can go out on a date! That was one of my mom's rules - a date once a week. When my baby was old enough (she would never take a bottle until I weaned her at 12 months, so we had to wait longer) she would come, once a week, to watch the baby for a few hours.
J.N. answers from Buffalo on June 25, 2008
the fact that you keep referring to your precious baby as "the child" worries me. some of what you are saying is normal but i do strongly suggest that you talk to your doctor as soon as possible b/c it may get worse after your boyfriend goes back to work & you will have no one at home to help you and protect your baby should you not be able to control your emotions and behavior. please seek medical help - you are normal but may need medical support to help you through this period. good luck.
C.F. answers from Tuscaloosa on June 25, 2008
Hang in there K., it will get better. I am so sorry you are having a hard time. I went through the exact same thing when I had my daughter, she is 7 mo now and I LOVE her. I never thought I would. I didn't even like her at first. I had all of the awful thoughts and was so angry in the beginning.
You are feeling detached from your baby and overwhelmed and so sad, I did too. It is normal but you have to watch yourself. Your son is a helpless infant that depends on you for servival. It will get easier around month four.
Getting some postpartum counseling is not a bad idea. It will give you time away from the baby and give you someone to talk to about how you are feeling. It is so important that you don't ignore your feelings. Your baby needs you to be in the best shape possible so please, talk to someone.
Men do not understand. My husband kept asking "what is wrong with you" and made it so much worse. Check out http://postpartum.net/ and get some local resources. You are not sick or messed up, but you need to talk to someone.
Get a pump right now, either Medela or Ameda and start pumping. It will help your moods, your milk supply and it will allow your BF to take on some of the feedings.
The next few months are going to be the hardest of your life, but you can do it, you can get through it, and there are people to help you. Remember that all the moms are here for you!
You have a responsibility to take care of your baby. You can do it, it is just hard at first. Just remember that he will not remember any of this, which is so great. I think this is why babies have no memory until they are a little older. It helps moms get their act together! I wish that I could reach out and give you a hug, I have such empathy for how you are feeling. Go easy on yourself and remember that it will get better.
A.A. answers from Austin on June 25, 2008
It is REALLY hard the first 6 weeks or so. I had a very difficult time taking it and changing my pace to deal with
doing NOTHING but nursing all day long and watching the bamboo grow in my backyard.
The best advice I can give is to nap with the baby when you can and let all else go including any expectation of getting something done around the house etc. I read a lot while I was nursing and when I go tired of that I slept and time passed and it all got easier and less boring and even enjoyable.
A moms group would help too....it saved me.
you are doing everything right....it is just hard but gets easier.
K.M. answers from Syracuse on June 24, 2008
I remember feeling that way. I nursed my first 3 babies for about 5 weeks and then gave up because all I did was cry, and feel like I always had a baby sucking on my boob. My 4th baby I didn't even attempt to nurse. It isn't for everyone. I'm not saying give up, but step back and take a look at how you feel. Try to see why you feel the way you do. Sleep deprivation, which obviously happens with a new baby, can cause the blues. In fact losing enough sleep over a period of time can cause complete insanity, although I don't know of any pregnant women who have gone insane from shear lack of sleep. *smile* Just realize you don't have to hold the baby when he's sleeping, or even when he's awake all the time if he's not nursing.
Try this, lay in the middle of your bed with baby on your chest, and take a nap. Have boyfriend check in on your, but not wake you. You and your son will most likely get an awesome nap that way. My newborn babies and me had wonderful naps together like that. He'll hear your heartbeat and be very content to just lay there and sleep on you.
Of course if your blue-ness gets worse you should talk to your OB about it. Most likely though it's just the normal lack of sleep and your hormones trying to get back to the way they belong.
Congratulations, and Good luck!
T.P. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
Hi K., I think you have postpartum depression. You should speak to a professional and start taking a high quality fish oil. You might want to change your diet to eat organic foods and get rid of all of the presertatives and additives. The additives and preservatives and food coloring all effect your mood. I am a Holistic Health Counselor who specializes in women and children and I had postpartum depression with my first child. I commend you for reaching out and talking about your situation.
A.U. answers from Binghamton on June 25, 2008
My little boys is now 2 months old. I had an emergency c - section and my blood level was extremely low. It took everything I had to take care of myself and try to take care of my baby. I wasn't sure if I had the baby blues but I can relate to the frustration and the feeling that you'll never be back to normal. Being stuck in a chair or a bed and doing nothing but change diapers and breast feed is hard. I honestly thought I would never be myself again. Everyone said I would but the way I felt, I didn't see how it would be possible in the near future. My husband had a week off but that was when I was in the hospital. Things were not good. So once we got home he had to work ( A lot). I felt like I got a baby and lost my husband.
It does get better. I didn't notice the day by day progress but one day I just felt like myself again. I think it took about a month. I then just got more used to taking care of my baby and was able to put him down so I could do things I like to do. Walking really does make you feel better when your up for it. Bouncy seats and baby swings are life savers if you can get them. Play mats work well also.
My son is now 2 months and last night he slept 8hrs through the night. The baby always needs the same amount of care but I think we just get more experienced with practice so it gets easier. Praying for strength and patients also helps. It is just true they grow so fast so try to find enjoyment in what you can. It also makes the difficult times better. Hang in There!
J.O. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
I'm no expert. I have my first she's 5 mos old now. The first month was extremely hard on me. You are getting used to nursing, you are still recovering physically- in your case from a c-section.
I had help for the first 4 weeks. I really needed it. (I had a leg injury which gave me drop foot). Have you had any friends come over? My girlfriends helped me a lot when they visited. (They reminded me that I had a life before I got pregnant). Try to find a project that interests you. Whether its for the baby (scrapbook) or something for you.
Treat yourself once a day to an hour away from the baby. NO matter what. Even if you just go outside and look at the trees. That time away from the baby helps to keep you sane.
I didn't do it every day as it was suggested to me, but I wish I had. The times that I did - saved me.
Just know that it gets better. You learn your baby and your baby learns you, and you get down a routine. Within this time you find ways to nurture yourself. And don't be afraid to ask for things from your boyfriend. He can't feed your baby but he can change diapers, feed you, rub your back. Play with the baby, swing the baby, go for a walk with the baby while you take a bath. There are loads of ways for him to support you- speak up!
J.M. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
The first couple months are tough especially with your first born. It can be a difficult transition to go from being independent to now having your entire day revolve around your newborn. I felt the same way you did when I had my third child. Didn't really have the feelings with the first two but then came the third one only 16 months later than my second. i think the stress got to me. I was crying a lot and didn't know what to do. My husband suggested I talk to my doctor. I did and we decided I had a mild case of postpartum. I had assumed postpartum was when you didn't want to be with your baby or had thoughts of hurting them but I was wrong. To make a long story short I was given a very small dose of an antidepressant and things improved dramatically. In your case I would give yourself another two weeks of adjustment and then if things haven't changed you may want to speak to your doctor. Good luck and enjoy your new little boy.
E.Q. answers from Rochester on June 26, 2008
As a health care provider and mother to two children (ages 9 and 4), I strongly urge you to contact your OB/GYN immediately and explain to him/her exactly how you are feeling. I would suggest bringing a copy of the note that you posted, because it contains much important information. I am concerned that you could be suffering from post partum depression, and it is imperative that you receive timely treatment-- both for your well being and that of your new baby. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. E.
R.D. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
I swear it gets better. I had a c section and then other issues and couldn't get around for 3 1/2 weeks and boy did I cry a lot for the first 4 months. Your hormones are raging and the exhaustion adds to it. And a c-section is MAJOR surgery. There are few surgeries more major than this.
Breast feeding by the third month gets so much easier. It is very demanding on the body and adds to the sleep deprivation. I hated it at first. Have you tried a bottle yet? My son went back and forth between bottle and breast because I couldn't keep up with his needs and it ended up giving me a break. Try it. Maybe consider alternating bottle/breast to give yourself a break.
Crying won't affect your baby, so go ahead and cry holding your baby. Can you afford some help? I hired a post-partum doula who took care of me so I could take care of my baby. She came for a few hours during the day the first 4 weeks and did laundry, cooked, taught me a few things about babies, watched my son while I showered, was very nice to have the help.
Be gentle with yourself and know that every day is one step closer to 3 months when it gets easier.
S.D. answers from Syracuse on June 25, 2008
I am a mother of a 10 year old daughter and a newly turned 3 year old son. When I first had my daughter I went through the same thing. My husband could not figure out why I was crying about the little things. What he did not understand was I was crying about MY STUFF. When could I get in the shower, when will this little one stop eating, the house is a mess, my body looks awful, will I ever lose the baby weight, and of course the infamous, "who will take as good care of my baby as myself" when I go back to work. To him it just seemed like it was something minute. It wasn't until I shared these feelings with him that he started to help me out with these feelings.
When I asked for an hour or two, he took the baby. We just made sure it was between feedings because I too was breastfeeding. On a first time mom, that is extremely overwhelming. Noone else can do the feeding unless you pump. Take that time to go be with your friends and catch a movie, go out for lunch, or even shopping. I'm sure at this time it seems like a little much, but, if you don't try being the old you before the baby...Well, you will never be the old you. But the best parent is the parent that does take a little "me" time. Stress is a nasty thing that can come between you and the baby as well as you and your boyfriend. Have a nice sit down conversation after the baby has gone off to sleep. You need to remember to that these few weeks after the baby is born, your hormones are all "out of whack" and be sure to ask for exactly what you need from him. Boys are not mind readers, nor do they know how to read between the lines. THE only way moms get what they need is if they express it in a detailed and concise manner. LOL!!!!!!
Remember, keep your head up. These first few weeks on new moms are the hardest and you need time to adjust. If you start to realize that these emotions are not going away when things have been resolved, you might want to speak with someone. Good luck and godspeed.
M.L. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
While a lot of what you're feeling IS normal, it does sound like you have PPD, not baby blues. I had PPD with my first baby, but not my other two. I know exactly how you feel. I don't want to write a book--you have plenty to read here and some of it is conflicting, so in the end I would suggest you call your OB no matter what.
Your hormone shift was dramatic and your brain and body are having a hard time adjusting. You probably DON'T need to start on anti-depressants, but do need to regulate those hormones. My OB put me on an estrogen patch for 4 weeks (until my postpartum appt), and my mom said she could see a difference in me in two hours. Ask your OB what s/he suggests, but PLEASE call him/her.
As a side note, if the nursing is going well for you (despite feeling like a cow) please don't just give up on that. The round the clock business will ease up sooner than you think, and the convenience to you later will outweigh what you are going through now. You will have the option to do breast and/or bottle, and you could do one or two feedings of formula, the rest breastmilk, or whatever--no one should insist that you exclusively breastfeed when you can do both! You just need to ease into it for the sake of your baby and your boobs!!
Take care of yourself and your sweet baby. Even though this seems like forever you will look back soon enough and wonder why your little one is getting on the school bus. ;)
A.T. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
First of all, I would speak to your doctor, if you haven't already done so. I to was depressed after the birth of my second son and was able to get through it without medication luckily but some people can't.
Do you have family that is willing to help you out a bit during the day? It would help a great deal for you to be able to just get a way alone, do errands or whatever.
A.G. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
HI! Please contact your OB today and get some help. It sounds like Post Partem to me. Also find a mom group. I was offered one at the hospital I delivered at to get out and spend time with others that are going through what you are. Also when the baby sleeps or just after a feeding hand him to his dad and go shower, read, eat, or whatever YOU WANT TO DO. You should easily get a half to 1 hour break. God Bless!! A.
N.F. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
please do not make your self crazy, for not being the mother who giggles with glee at the sight of your baby every minute. It took me a year to get over the fact that i was not the "earth-mama" i thought I'd be. It's OK to feel whatever your feeling, seriously. If your thoughts grow dark and morbid, well, that's another thing that you should get help with. I suggest getting a pump, and enlist your partner to take care baby for a few hours. It feels great to get out of the house, and in no time at all, you may surprise yourself when you miss your little one.
Two weeks after a C-section is still a healing time, so do take it easy-from experience. If you are able to, nurse him, get everything ready before hand, and go for a short walk. If you need help with the stroller, enlist the help from strangers passing by. Guarantee someone will help you, and they will feel like a good person for the day. Win-Win situation.
T.N. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
I don't agree with the advice that you've been given about carrying your son 24/7. There are many wonderful and newborn-safe baby swings or vibrating seats that he may enjoy, which will free you up to shower, cook, check e-mails, whatever. Just keeping the seat nearby so you are in view is fine. The bonding time while you are holding him is important, but it doesn't have to be constant and at the expense of your sanity. Trust me, if you're not loving the newborn stage, it gets so much more interesting very soon! Best of luck and hang in there!
A.S. answers from Rochester on June 25, 2008
Oh dear - hang in there!
Do what makes YOU feel good. If you need a 3 hour break to go for a walk - can you take the baby in a stroller?
Yeah, as a nursing mom - I can relate. Maybe in the beginning - take a hour long break by yourself and have someone else hold the baby until you get back if he starts to get hungry - he'll survive...Dad can wear the sling too...
If you know your baby sleeps for a longer stretch at a certain time, take a longer break then.
Everyone can help you out by doing other things like dishes, laundry, dinner and you need to sleep when the baby sleeps and tend to his needs...ONLY!
I personally believe that when you tend to the baby's needs, the baby develops confidence and grows attached to you. If ignoring the baby - baby will cry more and wonders why he's not feeling close, as its all he knows being inside you for 9 months.
It WILL get better when baby is able to respond by coos and giggles and smiles...
DO focus on yourself and do things you want to do - you're the boss/mommy! :) Try going to a La Leche League Meeting to meet other moms like yourself to vent and share and cry - it's great to meet other moms in the same boat...
Let me know if you have more questions.
T.W. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
Congratulations on the birth of your son. Having a c-section is tough enough, I had 3 of them, but added to having a beautiful baby who needs his mom is much harder. What I found that worked was I would go for a walk with the baby, even if it was only down the street and back, it worked for me. I would have the stroller, blanket, cloths, etc. all set out and then nurse. Once he was done I would change his diaper and dress him, then out we would go. Also I would sit on the front steps and let the sun beat on us, of course you want to shield the direct sun from him, but something about fresh air and sun makes things so much better. I wish you lived closer so that I could help you more, I know how hard this is on you. Keep in mind it has only been 2 weeks and you had major surgery, you are recovering inside and out, plus have a new bundle of joy to take care of. Let me know if I can help in any other way.
O.S. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
I went exactly through the same thing you are going through, c-section and all. What I can tell you is that you feel like you life has been taken away and that b/c you have someone that is totally dependent on you, you become dependent as well. You can't no longer make your own decisions b/c this little person has now all the control over everything you do, what you eat, where you go and how far, how long are you going to be. You loose yourself. It is not easy specially now b/c the baby is just there and not giving you much in return for everything you are sacrificing. But this will soon change, you will get used to the baby and if you are not totally in love with him yet, you will start to notice how slowly but surely you will start to fall for him. It took me about 1 month and half to fall totally in love with my daughter. Read all you want but don't feel you have to do what every book tells you, do what feels right for you. Yes it is good to bond with the baby and you should but that doesn't mean that you have to wear the sling, you are nursing which is a great decision so you can bond as you feed the baby. What helped me was to go out, go to the mall even if it is just to walk around specially if you are not uncomfortable feeding the baby in public. I would put on a poncho and feed my baby while walking through the mall. You will get the exercise and the fresh air. If playing your fave video game makes you happy do so. Also don't feel that you are the only one that can feed the baby, nipple confusion is not really a problem at least it was not for me. I introduced breastmilk in the bottle at about 2 weeks and would alternate back and forth b/c my hubby wnated to feed and it didn't cause any problems for me she would go back and forth with no issues as long as the milk was being provided. Don't believe everything you read or hear just try it out and if it works great if not try something else. Also go for a pedicure or massage anything that is for you and only you. If your boyfriend is asking how to help that is how, have him watch the baby for a couple of hours while you go out on your own for some me time. Take care of yourself and DON'T feel guilty. You can't be the best mother to your child if you are not happy. It also helps to talk it out which you are doing so reach out to your girlfriends I'll be more than happy to talk to you as well if you need to. Also make sure you talk to your dr about what you are feeling as well to make sure that is just the baby blues. Again congrats on your new baby, you will see as soon as he starts to smile to you and respond to your stimuly you won't be able to help it your heart will just melt. Hope this helps.
F.C. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
have people come to visit you as much as possible so you can shower, brush hair, maybe nap?
after first few months, you'll be more cmfortable taking baby outside in stroller while you meet a freind somewhere and baby will sleep and you can chat, eat, read a book, get nails done or ehatever makes you feel alive....etc
what helped me the most was finding a mom's group so all moms could chat or nurse babies, change diapers and ask each other questions while babies lay on blankets on floor. that was thru the Y in my city, maybe the hospital where u delivered has a support group they recommend for new moms....its a great way to meet people and have your baby make lifelong friends her/his age.
the crying could be hormones too so dont assume ppd yet! see how you feel when you have close friends nearby.
you know what else...i think you shoudl definitely call a post-partum doula!!! they coem to your house and chill with you, showing you different ways to do things (instead of doing ti for you) and basically build your confidence. and if you need to sleep, they can take over. i ahd one who i loves in nyc...but you may find one eitehr thru your hospital or thru a website!
good luck finding the silver linings!
S.T. answers from Albany on June 25, 2008
K., I know what you're going through and many of us do, if not all of us do. It's tough, but just realize, you don't need to pick up anything in the house. I know from experience. It's hard not to pick up things, but your time without the baby...when the baby sleeps, it's your time to rest and sleep if you need to and recover. You have an addition that requires you, but think about it. That baby trusts you and feels secure once you hold him. If you can, pump, but don't let it be the only way to relieve milk, because your milk supply will diminish, go away over time. Your husband is like all men, they want to fix the problem, when really, we want ears to listen. Men and women are so different and it's hard, but it's good that it's hard then you haveto work at it and work it out with your husband and vice-versa. See if you can get the right pump and(I heard it's best after feeding because then you can increase the flow, but everyone's different)pump the milk out and once you get the milk going and in the bottle, then your husband can help out. Like now he'll be going back to work, when he comes home, just tell him when the baby may be hungry and you nap or walk outside or whatever it is you need to do for yourself. Be careful warming bottles up in warm water. It was on the news lately about that. The plastic baby bottles (why not go back to the glass ones), the plastic breaks down and the stuff in the plastic are getting into the liquids and the baby are getting that. Find another safer way to warm it up if frozen or stored the refrigerator and you should have the information from the hospital how to carefully store you milk and where and how long and etc. I threw away the bottles and got a new one and my milk dimished recently and now, I just let the warm water sit in the bottle at room temperature and then use that water. No need to heat it up, it's room temperature is what the baby needs. I put the water in the bottle and formula, shake it up real good and give to the baby. With my last child, I didn't pump, long story about that so I end up nursing frequently and a long time. Eventually things will change and then feeding cereal will be a help and don't be surprised if your milk isn't enough to help the baby sleep through by three months of age or so. All three of my boys needed cereal by three months and it helped them (most of the time) sleep through the night. When teething came along, the earliest was 3 months and got tooth by 4 months, then be another reason for not sleeping through the night and I used teething tablets which is better and healthier and safer. Email me if you have any more questions and I'll reply asa I possibly can. I'll pray for you and your family. Jesus bless you all.
J.S. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
Oh, K., my heart so goes out to you, as I went through the same exact thing with my daughter. As wonderful and reward as motherhood is, those first couple of months were absolute hell for me as well. I cried, cried, cried, and then cried some more. My biggest source of strenth came from others. It sounds like your husband is TRYING to be a help to you, so that's good. Just be patient with him - it's very hard for the guys to understand what our bodies are going through with all the crazy hormone changes, combined with sleep deprivation as well as recovery from major surgery as is in your case (was in mine too), and how this drains us and makes us crazy in every possible way. Just be patient with him, and try to remember that he is trying his best with you as well - he's just scared and confused. Do you have anyone else (family members, friends) that can pitch in here and there as well so you can nap, even shower? It is extremely important for you to have alone time! OUt of the house, too! Get a pedicure! Go shopping! You can start pumping immediately, so that others can pitch in on the feeding, and then go!
Also, yes, it is good for the baby to be close to mommy, but seriously, give yourself a break here. YOUR LITTLE ONE WILL BE FINE LEFT ALONE NOW AND THEN FOR AWHILE. That is why swings and bouncy eats were invented. They learn to self-soothe as soon as they are given the opportunity to try. Once I realized this I began to feel much better. My daughter spent her fair share of time on her own when I needed to things that were impossible to do while wearing her, or when I just needed to feel human again, and trust me, she is a very happy, well-adjusted three year old (no scars, I swear)!
Also, you are so blessed to have delivered your son in nice, warm weather. Take advantage of that! Take him out for walks, the fresh air will be wonderful for both of you! In another week, you will pretty much be able to take him anywhere, so don't be afraid to get out there and go wherever you feel like!
And once you're pumping, try to find a trusting individual to watch him for an evening so you and your boyfriend can go out on a date. It's amazing how wonderful that can be, an opportunity for the two of you be able to just be with each other for awhile! Because don't forget, as amazing as your son is, and as precious as time with him is, it is crucial for you and your man to just be a couple sometimes.
Finally, just keep telling yourself, it WILL get better. What you're going through now is the hardest, most slow-moving time, but as time crawls by, eventually your little boy will start doing some amazing things, and before you know it, he'll be walking talking, and having playdates with other kids while you and their moms are hanging out watching them over a glass of wine and great conversation, hoping the time would please start slowing down because the kids are getting too darn big too fast!
G.T. answers from Rochester on June 25, 2008
K., you need to get out of the house! Yes, out of the house! And now! Since you had a c-section I know you probably can't drive yet, but while your boyfriend is home he can do the driving. Have him take you to a park (or the beach, if there's one near you). Any place you can get a change of scenery! Take a chair and just sit in the shade and just hold your new baby. Even take a nap if you want. Dad can keep watch. The change of scenery will do all of you some good.
And maybe you should re-think if you really want to breast feed. I know. I know. It's better for the baby. Blaa, blaa, blaa! It's not always better for the mom! You have to decide if it's really what you want or have you been talked into it and made to feel guilty about not doing it. It doesn't sound like you like it much. I went through the same thing with my first baby. I felt like a "cow that was being milked" every time I fed her. I hated it! After 2 weeks I brought out the bottles and formula that someone had given me at my baby shower and quit breast feeding. The baby didn't mind. She just wanted to be fed. I always held her while feeding her and was able to bond no differently then I did when I was breast feeding. And it gave Daddy a chance to also feed and bond with her. When each of my other 4 babies were born I didn't even try breast feeding. All my babies were healthy and grew just fine on the bottle. And I was happier! And I think that made the babies happier! All my kids are grown and have kids of their own. All are perfectly well adjusted adults even though they were not breastfed! And you won't find a closer more "bonded" family than we are!
Give it a thought!
N.L. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
The first 2-3 weeks are always the hardest so it really will get better.
Cure?? Go SHOPPING!!! Sorry to sound like such a girl, but seriosuly. It helps. Yard sales, thrift stores & so forth. WITHOUT baby. Definitely let him watch babe for a couple hours. It's GREAT that you are pumping b/c then you really can take a break. You may have to bring the pump with you, but that's okay. Believe me, you'll survive if you have to pull aside and jump into your car for a pumping session. Also, as far as flow- your supply is bound to be weaker after dinner time (until midnight really- not that you need to stay out that late). But go out- buy yourself a really cute shirt to enjoy your newfound cleavage. Go sit down for a free makeover at a counter and buy some eyeshadow or something.
I'm a new mom- but do have a few months on you now. But I absolutely remember the feeling- almost like estrangement from your self. You've belonged to YOU for over 30 years now- it definitely takes adjustment to all of a sudden not have your body belong to you.
Tell him you need some back to your self time & define that as I suggested above. It's great that he's asking, give him answers. i.e. ask him to deal with the next crying or needs fit while you pump & pop in a movie you like or music etc And Chocolate- lots of really great dark chocolate.
Cheer up- it'll get better. Promise. -N.
A.S. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
Your references to your son as "the child" concern me greatly. Call your OB NOW and get a referral to see a professional. The detachment from your son and desire to be away from him are hallmark signs of Post Partum Depression which can be treated, but only if you seek help.
E.M. answers from Albany on June 25, 2008
I also had some of those feelings. Mine lasted for about the first 2 months (she had BAD colic). I just kept telling my self that this is just a temporary situation and it will get better and it really does. I loved my daughter but I felt like my life was over and I sometimes thought "what did I get myself into?". I know that sounds horrible. But now that she is older (9 months) I just cant get enough of her. Seven months ago was one of the lowest points in my life and now this is the happiest and complete I have ever felt in my life. I would have never thought it to be true.
So hang in there!! this is a very hard time for all moms. Thank God you have a healthy baby, thats is what i tried to focus on when I was sad. And it will all get easier.
A.H. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
each day... just try to smile. Take the baby out .. walk him in the carraige.. you need to take a walk.. don't stay inside. You'll heal quicker too. Look at the baby and see an amazing someone.. someone that you made.. Try bottle feeding a little too. A little formula and some breast feeding.. is good ... Leave the baby with his father.. and go out for an hour. You deserve it but when you come home.. fall in love with this beautiful baby. Good luck
M.K. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
I suggest you pump atleast once per day and let your BF bottle feed him.
during that time you could either nap, shower, go to the salon and get your nails done, Ect.
around 2 months old you start to feel your freedom return, but for me personally I felt weepy until I stopped nursing and feed the mbaby around 6 months
remember Nursing means your hormones are not decreasing.
thats why they say you can't get pregnant
( NOT TRUE you can get pregnant while nursing )
the first few weeks are cloudy for most of us.
exhausting and stressful.
talk to your doctor or the pediatrician they can give you a test, or exam to help determine what , IF anything you actually have,
better to know for sure, JUST IN CASE
D.N. answers from Albany on June 25, 2008
Sounds like you really need to reach out for the help of others. For your son's sake, you really need to have someone there helping you out during this time. This time with your son will go by so fast. Try to enjoy it. It will be gone before you know it. Sleep when he sleeps, leave the chores for your boyfriend and others to tend to. Your main concern right now is feeding your son and taking care of him and yourself. Get those wonderful Baby Einstein DVD's to put on as background for the baby while you take a shower. Enjoy a good cry in the shower. It will be good for both you and your son. Talk to your son because it will help with the bonding between you and him and he will love to hear his Momma's voice chatting with him. Read to him. Read anything out loud to him. He loves your voice and thrives on it. Good luck and God bless you and your son.
C.H. answers from New York on June 24, 2008
Nursing helps bonding and releases endorphins .. Having a baby has a way of making time stand still like never before... you will come to appreciate each little step .. it will take time.. when your boyfriend goes back to work .. then maybe you will have more time with just you and the baby and that could help... just rest ... slow down .. read some baby books ... and they will help also.
C.P. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
A new baby changes everything and it is normal. If you need to change up the routine to be unattached either start pumping and freezing milk or use formula. It doesn't mean that is a failure on your part and you have a right to feel like yourself again. If you remain depressed, please seek help. I was depressed after my daughter was born (even though you love them so much) and I didn't get the help I needed until she was 10 months old. I have been taking medication which makes a world of difference and helps me to not be on edge all the time. It may not cure yur sadness but helps you deal with things better. Hope this helps.
S.S. answers from Albany on June 25, 2008
K.--I, too, remember those feelings and even a little of "what did I get myself into!" I was thrilled but life felt on hold a bit at this early stage. And while your baby needs you, it's ok to want a break or think some of these early months are not so much fun. My husband called that the "blob" stage because you don't yet have a lot of reciprocal interaction with the baby. Soon he'll smile, though! You may have the blues, too--and it sounds like you need to get out even while you're recovering from the c-section. Go for a walk with the baby; have lunch with a friend; OR switch to pumping and maybe partial bottle feeding if it's going to give you a bit more freedom...don't feel guilty! Go to the movies--great age to do that; go to lunch--they eat and sleep at this age. The isolation is hard! But talk to someone and don't worry about upsetting your boyfriend. Good luck with everything. Motherhood is wonderful but it's also hard.
T.F. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
I'm really glad that you have this forum and that you thought to ask for advice.
I cried my mother-lovin' EYES out for what felt like forever after my baby was born (now 3 1/2). Much of it is an actual hormonal "thing"; your body is going to take a while to get back to prepregnancy hormone levels, and in the meantime you may indeed find yourself in a constant state of PMS. For me, a lot of the crying was, "Oh my god...I can't believe this little wriggling person grew INSIDE of me. Look at him." And, "Oh my god...what if something happens to him? To his daddy? To ME?!".
I nicknamed myself Momma Cow because I too seemed to have a suckling child at my breast all day and all night. Good for you and your baby for doing such an awesome job of breastfeeding! One of the best things I discovered (although not until J. was several months old) was nursing while laying down. Baby would eventually fall quite asleep, and if I was lying comfortably, so would I. And there is nothing as sweet and refreshing as waking up with your child's tiny, warm fingers reaching for you. (Just be sure there's no danger of falling or suffocation under blankets, of course!)
Caring for a newborn is boring. Tedious. Repetitive beyond belief. No matter how deeply you love that little slobbery bundle, your brain does need some other stimulation. Have you considered joining Netflix and watching movies while Baby nurses or naps on you? You can rent documentaries and lots of off-the-beaten-track stuff there.
Whatever you do, try not to worry. This stage DOES pass. Crying a lot can be totally normal. It's OK to be bored.
All of that said, if you or your boyfriend see signs of something more and are concerned about depression...seek professional help immediately. It's treatable, and all three of you will benefit.
Please feel free to write to me if you'd like. Hang in there; I do remember oh so clearly how hard the first four weeks were. It gets easier. And more fun. I promise.
H.O. answers from Rochester on June 25, 2008
Thanks for sharing about what is going on. Please be patient with yourself, the situation and your baby boy. He depends on you as his nurturer and source. It is such an important time, and although it seems forever right now, the time will go by fast. He needs your love and care so he can grow up healthy and caring for others.
Perhaps there is a counselor you could speak with. Perhaps too, you could consider going to formula/bottle feeding. That way your boyfriend could do some of the feedings. your baby feels everything from you, please connect to the love that is in your heart to get you through this. Sorry if I sound preachy or something, I am only sharing from my heart.
best wishes to you...
J.O. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
If your c-section can take it, go outside for a short walk with baby in a stroller, well protected from the sun (today is PERFECT weather for it). Whether you can walk or not, go out without sunscreen for just a little while - the vitamin D that your body will make is a tremendous help to depression!
M.L. answers from New York on June 26, 2008
First off congratulations to you on your new addition. I can completely relate to your feelings. I felt the same way when my son was born almost 3 years ago (and believe it or not I just had a daughter, via c-section too, who turned 2 weeks old yesterday). Although I can't offer you anymore advice then already posted, please speak with your doctor, know that you are not alone and that alot of new mom's feel this way, but many are to afraid to admit it. Also know that this craziness is very short term in the scope of your son's life. Once your little guy reaches 6 months (which I recognize sounds like an eternity to you right now), things will turn around. Sleep deprivation, hormonal imbalances and adjusting to this completely needy being are difficult adjustments, especially if you lead a very independent life before children. Just keep talking to friends and family, don't isolate yourself. And if you have to put the baby down to take care of yourself it is ok, if you don't take care of yourself first you won't be able to take care of your baby. Try to remember to eat balanced meals (when you can), drink plenty of water and don't forget to take your vitamins they will help to supplement for anything you are missing. Please feel free to contact me. Again I can empathize and do remember how hard it was, but can promise you that as they get older it does get better.
F.A. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
The feelings you are describing sound so much like those I felt when I had my first child. It took nearly 6 months before I was diagnosed with postpartum depression, but after I was diagnosed and had suitable medication and counselling I started to feel so much better. However, it is early days for you - you might be depressed or it might be a blip in the road.
I found, like you, that I just felt like a milk machine, and having had a challenging job prior to having my baby my mind felt numb. I have to say (this runs contrary to what some people would like to admit) that breastfeeding was part of the problem. I had imagined it to be a wonderful bonding experience, and I believed so strongly in all the health benefits etc, but I really hated it. I carried on for 5 months because I believed it was best for my baby, but I was so much happier when I stopped, though I struggled with that as it seemed so tied in to my ideas of being a good mother. Now that she is 8 years old I can see that infant feeding is such a tiny part of the overall parenting package, but at the time it seems like it is all there is!
Try to find ways to put the baby down and get out for some fresh air. Will he settle in a stroller and go for a walk? Try handing him over to someone else as soon as the feed is finished, and then take some time for yourself, so that even if he is still fussy you don't have to deal with it for a while. If you know he has fed properly it is OK for someone else to deal with him for a while.
My daughter had colic and cried for hours every day even when she was not hungry - when I was not feeding her my mom and my husband would carry her around etc to give me a break. But it all stopped at 3 months and she was a very happy baby after that. But it made me feel terrible while it was going on.
Also, know that how you are feeling does not make you a bad mother. It may be that you are feeling low - that is not your fault. Try to get some help if you feel you need it. Also, I think that some people enjoy the new baby and nursing stage more than others. I felt much much better when I had my second baby as I was not depressed, but I still found the whole tiny baby thing rather exhausting and stressful, and I genuinely enjoy parenting older children more.
Feel free to e mail me if I you feel like it.
R.C. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
Cheer up sweetie pie as your baby isn't going to benifit from you feeling like this and if you allow it, what you are feeling can get worse. Yes it takes time to heal and adjust..... Maybe getting out of the house will chair you up. Can a friend, family member or your boyfriend take you and the little one for a long drive.....or how about putting the little one into a stroller and go for a slow walk around the block or to the corner and back...or spend sometime sitting in a park in between feedings...or maybe invite a friend over to have lunch with you while the little one is sleeping.
Please call your doctor to let him know how you are feeling....maybe he can direct you to a local support group to help you get thru this.
I do hope things get better for you soon....
C.M. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
What your feeling is normal. Becoming a mother is definitely a wonderful but stressful experience. My son is 18 months now but I felt the same exact way. I was fine at the hospital - a little in shock but happy - however I was a mess once I got home. I burst into tears the first night thinking "oh my god, what have I got myself into - how am I going to do this"...then I cryed because I felt guilty about having those thoughts. You will go through those baby blues the first couple of months...as you recover you will definitely start to feel better about it all. Also, once you get used to your routine you will be fine. Its great that dad is there to help you. Maybe he can hold the baby while you go take a nice bath or take a nice nap. Maybe you can pump extra milk and store in the fridge then your boyrriend can also feed the baby. I breast fed and bottle fed (my son was pretty greedy) haha. Hope this helps..Just remember, you are not alone and things will definitely get better you will see. Before you know it, your baby will be 6 months and will be so entertaining that you won't need to watch tv or read a magazine.
lots of luck!
K.E. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
I never bothered with a sling and my daughter was fine with it; if i were you, I'd chuck it. Set up a wheeled bassinette in the most convenient room for you and put your son in it. Wheel him from room to room with you so you can get things done. Better yet, let boyfriend watch him while you take a nap or shower or walk, etc. And pump away so other people can feed your son and give you a break. Good luck and hang in there!
A.F. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
the beginning is very tough! i went through the same crying etc. it is really hard to stop doing things-especially when thing need to be done. i have 3 under 3 and if i brush my teeth ONCE a day, i feel it was a great day. hang on, it will get better. why don't you try netflix, you can get movies delivered right to your mailbox, or how about the library. i can reserve books online and then just run-in and pick them up. there are also some netflix style book swaps out there. just going out for a walk helps too, i usually took my babies for multiple walks every day. don't over due it with the c-section though. take it easy. good luck.
C.O. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
This is not normal. You should be happy. Please get help.
O.S. answers from Buffalo on June 25, 2008
Forgive me if these things have been said already, I am late for work and did not have time to review the other responses. I wanted to make sure that you and the others didn't think I was being rude.
With that said, please know that all of this will pass. Remind yourself that your baby has one way to communicate. Crying/fussing. When he is older, he will be able to communicate like everyone else.. there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Keep in mind that your state is temporary. You will not always feel this way about being a Mother. You have shifted into the world of "us" from the world of "me".
Your baby blues feelings are not you, they are your hormones working on you. If you keep that in perspective, it will feel easier. You may be focusing on the guilt you're feeling for being in this "funk"... which only makes matters worse for you. You're beating yourself up over something that is normal. Yes, some women do not have to battle "baby blues".. those are the Mothers that they show on TV (blasted TV, I hate watching it too!) all happy and nurturing.. of course they're happy and nurturing! They're being paid to be on TV to sell you diapers, baby formula and other baby need products!
I'd bet a paycheck that the women on TV aren't even Mothers! I would also bet that corporate America would make MORE money selling products if they showed a real Mom with her new baby... the baby crying, the Mom being all out of sorts with her hair messy and a pair of sweats on.... looking like she was going to have a nervous breakdown.... THOSE are the products I would buy! Things for baby with a REAL Mother selling them to me! Not some model thin woman with perfect makeup on and clothes with not a wrinkle on them!
Please please please keep telling yourself that this is temporary. I sympathize with your c-section situation as well. I had 2 c-sections and believe it or not, I am really happy that I had them.... in hindsight anyway! At the time, I wanted to die over it. Remember, if you have to cough or sneeze... brace yourself by bringing your knees up to your chest. It's a little trick they showed me at the hospital before I went home with my first baby.
K., you are normal.. you will feel more of a bond with baby when you get through this.. one good thing I do see with you is that you're recognizing that this IS a situation and that you are asking for advice. You are worried. It's the Moms who DON'T worry about this who might be headed for bigger problems later. Your concern is showing your Motherly Love. Remember that and please keep us posted!
E.S. answers from Albany on June 25, 2008
Why do you think you have to stay home? Get out and bring him with you. My youngest went to her first Halloween party when she was a week old. My twins were 3. Get out get involved maybe find a La Leche league near you. Go to the library. Connect up with other new mothers. Keep away from the TV and video games. Go to a church or community organization where you can meet up with other mothers. Start your own meet up group. Meetup.com
Best wishes, enjoy your baby and life
E.E. answers from New York on June 24, 2008
I remember those days. I would cry in the shower and my husband would ask me what was wrong and I honestly didn't know. Things are tough for the first month and then your hormones start to regulate themselves. Things will get easier and you will start to feel like yourself again. Try to get out of the house every day, even if it's only a walk around the block. I know this is tough in the beginning with the pain from the c-section. It is ok to put the baby down for a little while as long as he is content. Just don't overdo it. Taking showers every day and maybe putting on a little make-up can do wonders. Also take all the help you are offered. At night, have your boyfriend get the baby when he wakes up so you don't have to move around so much. Eventually you will be able to do it easily but it's better to not do it yourself at this point. Eventually you will get used and even grow to like the time you spend breastfeeding. Yes, at first it feels unnatural and confining, but you will be bonding with your baby and you will realize how amazing it is that you are nourishing your child and helping him to grow. Just hang in there. It gets better, I promise!! Another thing is when you are feeling up to it, try to join a mothers group near you so you can get together with other moms. Go to www.meetup.com and search for a group in your area.
A.P. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
Oh, you are so normal. I remember feeling this way. Trust me, that it does get better. Everyone told me that, but I still somehow imagined that I might have the one child in the world who never DIDN'T need to nurse all the time, who would never be able to sleep through the night, or give me a moment's peace. It does get so much easier. The first three weeks are torture, the first six weeks are really hard. But it gets so much easier in steps over time.
Part of why I felt overwhelmed was when I was trying to do too much (housework, etc.), or because I didn't have anyone to talk to, and just needed to get outside the four walls of my house. Can you talk on the phone while you nurse? (I know I found it hard to do both at first). Can you go for a walk? You just need some support, and time. Best of luck--you'll get through this and, when you look back, it will seem like a distant memory.
M.W. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
You heard from a lot of moms who felt the same way as you do. I on the other hand - did not. I loved being a mom from the get go. Loved being with my daughter, holding her while she slept, fed, anything! BUT - I was STILL overwhelmed!!!! The first two months are the hardest - really! I couldn't breast feed, so I pumped and used formula. SO - she ate the bottle for 20 mins or so, she burped, we walked (if she slept, she slept in my arms b/c she would not nap laying down!). I pumped for 20-30 mins, I cleaned the pump. Within 15 mins of sitting down - we started the whole process again. I stopped pumping at 4 weeks....
It gets better - the house will be a mess - the bills may not go out till the last min at 3 am. Your hair (if it even gets washed that week) may be in a ponytail, and in all likelihood, you haven't realized that you didn't even pee until 3 in the afternoon some days!!!! From a mom who didn't have the baby blues, postpartum depression or any and all of the above, NO ONE CAN PREPARE YOU FOR THE FIRST MONTH OR TWO!!!
Do what you need to do. Don't worry about your boyfriend's worries (but don't shut him out either - when you ARE NOT upset - tell him what you need when you are - even if that means - just stay away from me please and go take the baby and let me cry it out.) If you aren't crying it out - and you are really feeling down all the time - really be observant so you don't fall into a deep depression. Talk to other moms you know - talk to your OB. Don't keep it inside - take some time for yourself, for you and the baby and accept ALL the help that is offered!!!! (For no other reason than it stops at some point and you have to cook again!!! LOL)
M.B. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
Sorry that you are having a tough time...it is hard to adjust and the breastfeeding is a mixed blessing in that way. I started pumping after two weeks so not sure if you are ready or able to start, but might give you a little more freedom.
Wouldn't hurt to touch base with your doctor and just make sure that there isn't something that will make you feel better. I don't know much about post-pardum depression except that my friends who have had it have felt worlds better after getting some medication.
If possible (not sure how C-section feels), maybe go out for a slow walk with the baby while it is sleeping. I used to go out on nice long walks and just take the time to take in the surroundings. Or if you can walk to a park and just sit in the park, sometimes it is nice to just go and be around other people and see what they are doing. After six weeks, I started taking my daughter to the local movie theater which had mommie movies one day a week where everyone was there with their babies. Only other idea is to find a good project.
The first six months are hard because they don't do much, but it just keeps getting better! Congratulations and good luck
Y.K. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
i see that you already have tons of advices, i couldn't read them all anyway. just want to say, that generally its few first weeks that you feel that way. your baby still has very basic needs- eat, poop, sleep... but with each month you will see changes and smiles, and love in his eyes, and you will start falling in love with hm. meanwhile, try to go places with him , in the stroller - park, stores, malls, streets , friends -- dont sit home, the weather is beautiful, you can breastfed him in the park, anywhere- dont feel uncomfortable about that. i also had C-section with my first , it was a very uncomfortable, painful etc... but you'll be fine in a week or two. your baby is so light that i dont see a problem lifting him up, but you can also put him on bouncy chair, baby swing... most women feel that way - the shock of having your life turn upside down!!! but your child will not be attached to your boob forever,also when you start pumping ,let someone else feed him -- you'll be fine!!!!! good luck, stop crying and go out with your baby and have fun- this time will pass so quickly, he'll grow up sooooo fast and you will wish he was a baby again!
C.R. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
I also felt so tied up and a prisoner of my own family. I was also upset because I thought I was supposed to feel perfectly happy with my baby and there were times I wanted to send him back. I didn't do this with my first because of all the literature I had read: "Staying home, resting and having 24 hr body contact with your baby will help both of you, phisically and emotionally" Well, I'm not sure about the physical part, but being unable to be out without him made mm more emotional unstable. Please, go out without the baby as much as his feeding schedule allows you. That alone will make you feel better. Also, do me a favor: Read as much as you want about caring for your baby, but don't take everything at face value. Trust your own instincts. Good luck
J.F. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
I did okay with my first (when I was 34!!) but with my second - BANG, I got slammed with PostPartum depression!! I also had a c-section (with both) which didn't help. I realized that I had PPD when I found that after about 7 weeks, I really just did NOT feel like I had bonded with the baby and I really didn't like having to take care of him... I was SOOOO surprised that I had PPD because I just did NOT expect it but I went the DAY I figured it out to the doctor and got prozac and felt IMMEDIATELY BETTER!!! Anyway, I really just wanted to say this - it gets better! It gets better and better and SO MUCH better! The first weeks are SO HARD and SO NOT FUN, but just wait til you get that smile and interaction, that makes it worth everything! And, if you can, find someone to babysit so you can get out of the house, even if just for a little while, to feel like a human being again!!
W.M. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
K., I also went through the same thing - I worked in the city 10 years when I had my son. I remember him napping & me out on the deck sobbing that my "life was over" I had a touch of post pardum depression but didn't realize it. I remember my "moment of truth" for me was friday night (midnight feeding) I was feeding him thinking "thank god tomorrow is Saturday" that's when I realized there IS no Saturday's anymore for me! That was really hard to accept. Eventually I started feeling better & by the time I got my cycle back I was mostly back to normal. I suggest you speak to your doctor about this as you may have a mild case of depression. Things DO get better - your baby will sleep through the night - start smiling & laughing & before you know it you will love him so much it hurts. It's perfectly normal to feel owerwhelmed - especially being a first time mom in your 30's like me. It's a drastic change. Feel free to email me. I also (I don't know where you live) went to my library - they had wonderful groups to join - in my library (Sachem) they had a "new mom's support group" That helped me immensly. It was a great place to meet moms with babies my son's age & talk through our fears & issues PLUS it got me out of the house. I ended up going to the mall & parks with these moms. Email me if you need more information.
Hang in there!!!
E.S. answers from Buffalo on June 25, 2008
Just know that some of your feelings are so normal. However, I would suggest you talk to your OB/Doctor! Just So they know.
Also, I have a book I want you to read...yes, I know another thing to read. But this one comes from a friend who shared with me some of your same feelings. I read it and it was very good. Is is called Misconceptions of Motherhood, by...oh the last name of the author is Wolfe. It is an eye opening book. Like every child is different so is EVERY mothers experience. This book will deal with some of that.
Do see your doctor and if they blow you off get a second opinion. Use your boyfriend while he is home too.
If you pump, let him give your little guy a bottle and you a break. Get out and spend an hour by yourself, (Starbucks with cooshie chairs, a cup of tea...ooh aah) You are in both a physical and mental transition. I wish you the best. Hang in there and seriously go to the Library and get that book. It was an easy and enlightening read. Oh, another thing...if you are and even if you are not staying home find yourself a moms group. In my opinion, other mothers(the non-judging, non cliquey kind..haha) can be the most supportive and encouraging for you. Try MOPS our do a google seach in your area. Hang in.
J.P. answers from Buffalo on June 26, 2008
I can't stress enough how much a swing saved my sanity in the first year with each of my girls! I would highly suggest one. That way you can put the baby down for a while and do something for yourself, even shower! I had c-sec. too, so I understand about the sling thing. After the first few weeks I was able to use a pack that went on the front of me.(Just make sure to get one with good back support) we went for walks all the time. It seemed easier to me like that than with the stroller at first, but I did use the stroller too. I think if you can get out of the house you will start to feel better. Even if it is just for a walk. Also, try to start pumping as soon as you can. I did as soon as my milk "came in." That way others can begin to help you with feeding. Then you can go out alone! Yeaah! Don't worry to much about spending every min. with the baby, as long as you spend time with him, it will be okay. Also, we found it easier if my husband helped feed because that way the baby didn't fuss about mom being the only one who could feed the baby.
Hopefully you will get over the hormones soon. If not by your 6 week check up, mention it to your doctor. He/she will know if its PPD or just hormones.
Good luck, get out a bit, try to stay connected with friends, and enjoy your time with your son because it goes by really fast!
Oh yeah, one other thing that really helped me...I joined a mothers group.I met my three best friends there. There is so much support available there.Everyone gets it,because they all have been there. MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) is the group I joined, you can search it on line or search mothers groups. Depending on where you live there should be a few.
M.F. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
I had the baby blues, but it was nothing as seveer as your describing. I suggest you talk to your OB, they might need to give you some medication. Can you put the baby in the stroller and take some short walks? Try to avoid TV and video games, they will make you feel worse. Try to get some sunlight, and very light excercise. Make sure you are eating healthy food and regular intervals. Have your boyfriend cut up veggies and leave them in the fridge for you to get an easy one-hand snack. Nuts and sunflower seeds and cheese are also good. Drink lots of water and get as much rest as you can.
I breast feed and don't generally recomend formula, but in your case, if you really need a break, maybe you could supliment so your boyfried could give you some time to your self.
Just try to enjoy your little guy as much as possible, they are small for such a short time!
Wishing you the best.
B.R. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
I swear to God it gets better. My daughter is about to turn one next week, and I felt pretty similarly the first few weeks home. She was cluster feeding for the first few days after we got home from the hospital and I felt like I was never going to sleep again. The less sleep I got, the more anxious I felt, the more I cried. My mom came down and stayed with us for a week after my husband went back to work, and she came down pretty regularly after that too. I always felt a little better when I went for walks, although with your c-section I'm not sure if that's an option. After 3 weeks you should be able to start pumping and then your boyfriend can feed the baby. I think I'm probably giving more empathy than advice, but I know how you feel. The first two months were really hard for me, and I never wanted to admit it to anyone. I think what helped most was taking at least one nap when the baby was sleeping, going for one short outing a day - even to the coffee shop 2 minutes away. Have visitors over as often as possible - try to make sure at least one person comes to visit for an hour or so a day. Even if you can't leave the house, at least they're bringing some outside life to you. The nice part about having a summer baby is being able to at least sit outside. Put the baby in the shade in a swing or car seat and get some sun yourself. I'm not sure this all helps, but it's good that you're reaching out. I promise promise promise that it will get better.
J.D. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
My son is 15 months now - my first child - I am your age. I had a c-section too (after a long labor) and I remember really having a hard time when my son was born. I did speak to my doctor and was put on zoloft around day 5 - is that the answer for you - I am not to say, but i would suggest you speak with your doctor and let them know how you feel to determine the extent of whats normal or not.
Beyond that - now that I feel a little experienced heres what I suggest looking back. Do you have one of those stroller systems where the car seat fits into the stroller? Put the baby in and take a little walk. Even if its just down the street b/c you are still recovering - but it gets you out of the house and moving and into some fresh air. Its good for your body and mind. Being inside all day with the tv and magazines is depressing under normal circumstances. When can you pump? Do it as soon as you can so you can get a break from feeding - I remember breast feeding was an issue and everytime I questioned whether or not I wanted to do it - its ok to stop or to supplement with bottles if that makes you feel better but thats your decision alone. Have friends and family come over or at least try to talk to them on the phone. I secluded myself bc I was just miserable and tired but really it probably would have helped if I let more people in...we had help but by the 2nd - 3rd week I was on my own. Husband back to work - round the clock help gone. Keep as involved with your normal life as you can be...Can you start driving soon? Another week maybe? Then go out as much as possible - even if its just for drives or to get a cup of coffee at the drive through - hang in there - each week gets better! This is the hardest thing you will ever do! I always felt like all my new mom friends around me were perfect and never had a negative feeling - well thats not true. Just keep reaching out and addressing ALL of your feelings and do the best you can do!
S.R. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
It is hard, especially in the beginning because your life is completely changed and there isn't much you can do without the baby if you are breastfeeding. My suggestion is to try to get out of the house more, take walks (with a stroller, no sling), go to the mall, and when they are so little you can even go see a matinee movie! It is normal to be emotional after the delivery of a child, I was with both of mine and I definitely had the "baby blues" with my first. If the crying continues beyond these first few weeks though I would suggest talking to a professional and seeing what they suggest. Meanwhile, see if your hospital offers a new mom's group with other moms going through similar experiences. It helps to know that you are not alone. Things will get better, so hang in there! If your baby is healthy, you are truly blessed!
S.H. answers from Rochester on June 25, 2008
I can definitely empathize with what you are going through- that was me last year. My saving grace was that I had to take a summer class, which was supposed to start when he was about three weeks old, according to my due date. Since he was two weeks late, he was only ten days old when I had to leave him twice a week for four hours at a stretch. Since he couldn't go that long without eating, I was forced to pump and my mom, who watched him, gave him a bottle while I was away. I think that since he was so young, he took to the bottle fine. I used a Medela pump and Avent bottles. So, if you want, start pumping now and see if he will take a bottle from your boyfriend. Babies that young are pretty flexible. That way you can at least take a shower, go to the store, get your hair done, whatever, with out worrying about the baby being able to eat. I think you will find you enjoy your baby so much more. Also, if you have a swing that reclines enough to put him in at this young age, try it out to see if he likes it. My son slept in his for naps and most nights until he was about two and a half months old. Some people will say don't do it, I say whatever works, as long as someone is providing some supervision. I am sure everyone had told you by now to try to enjoy this time with your son- it goes by so fast you won't believe it and you may find yourself missing the days when he was a newborn, I know I do with my 13 month old. Try to relax and just enjoy having a newborn. It only happens once in their lives.
N.C. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
i too had a very difficult time the first couple of months. it is a HUGE LIFE CHANGE AND A HUGE ADJUSTMENT, one no one can possibly prepare you for...but you do adjust. yes your life will always be different, but you will grow to love your child more and more and it won't matter that so much of you goes to him. the love makes it all feel right.
right now, your little boy is just 'taking' from you...he will soon give back, with a smile, a hug, more interaction...and somehow that does make it a lot easier.
the sleep deprivation and hormone fluctuations coupled with the major life change, was the hardest for me. i breastfed and bottle fed and i know that if you are exclusively breastfeeding, babies do tend to eat much more and are more likely to want to just suck all the time. not sure how you feel about it-but maybe consider supplementing w/ a bottle/formula?
also, i'd put your baby down! it's OKAY to put baby in a swing, in a playpen, playmat, etc. while in your vision to do things! i absolutely held my son a lot in the beginning, but not constantly...and in retrospect, i wish i'd done it less. he NEVER took to a playpen and even now, at one and a half, needs to have Mommy interacting if she's around while he's far more independent when he's with other people! you set a precedent early on....
best of luck, and just take it one day at a time. i'd also look in to new mother's groups in your area. you get great ideas, advice, information and support from them....
C.F. answers from Rochester on June 26, 2008
I am the mother of three, 4 (boy), almost 3 (girl), and almost 1 (boy). I also had c-sections with all 3 and the first baby was the hardest to cope with, probably because of all the changes in your life! I just wanted to write a note to you to let you know all your feelings are normal. I too cried about every day but that should get better soon. Mine went away at about 6 weeks for the first baby, 4 weeks for the second, and 3 weeks for the third. I also breastfed and it seems like the baby is constantly feeding but that too will get better. The sling does help if you're willing to give it a try. I used mine all the time in the first few weeks and it helped me to be able to get some things done because the baby sleeps or is just content to be with you. I hope this helps. Hang in there!
B.D. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
Apparently you don't need any more advice, but I'll throw in my two cents anyway. I always found that a hot shower worked for me. It's ok if the baby cries for a little while...it won't hurt him, and with the water running, you can't hear it. This is also a good place for you to have a good cry when you need it... and your boyfriend won't hear you either!
S.B. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
Well, you won't have to worry about not having something to read!!! LOL I'm your 80th response! :-)
I'll be quick. As soon as you are able to drive, you need to go to a new Mom's group. Check with your hospital to see if they have one. If they don't then check on line. After my son was born, I felt exactly like you are describing. Being with other Mom's and seeing how they handled their kids really, really, really helped. We would talk about how to breast feed, deal with husbands/boyfriends, night and day sleeping habits, etc. At first, you'll just listen to the other Mom's. Then, as other newer Mom's join the group a few weeks later, you'll find that you are able to share advice with them. Find a group. Make youself smile, too. Find some jokes on line, or e-mail everyone you know and tell them to forward things to you. Laughter is the best medicine for the baby blues, and the happy feeling will help you make milk for baby. :-)
D.D. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
honey i would seriously talk to your OB/GYN and see if there is someone you can talk to so you can work through these feelings. the first few months with your baby are very special, sounds like you have the new mamma blues...I had a c-section as well and my hubby stayed home for 5 days and then i was on my own...one thing you shouldnt be doing is putting your baby down to cry...just look at that little angel face and love your baby with all your heart. the first few months go by sooo quickly...but i would talk to someone if you can..good luck and congrats! check out www.cafemom.com its a great site where you can connect with other mommies! my name on there is Delshoney
L.T. answers from New York on June 26, 2008
K., as you can see from the amount of responses, you are not alone. Every time I left the apartment in the first few weeks, my husband asked if I was coming back. I found solace in a postpartum depression support group at Real Birth in Manhattan.
If you are not near Manhattan, look up a La Leche League in your neighborhood and go to a meeting as soon as you feel up to it.
You will meet plenty of breast feeding Mom's that are in the same boat and try not to be ashamed if you don't feel like "every day is a new discovery of love and amazement". I have found that once I opened up that I was having a hard time (instead of agreeing when other mothers relayed how great it was to be a new Mom), they started to share more about their down times too. The boredom and monotony was mind numbing to me and it made me feel terrible. It does get better but you have to take care of yourself and work at it. Personally, I think playing video games to stimulate yourself is a great idea! You are a person and just because you are now a Mother doesn't mean staring at your child for hours on end is enough. Hope this helps.
L.M. answers from New York on June 24, 2008
All the feelings you're having are normal. There are several things you can do.
You said you wanted a few hours to yourself. So take them. After the baby is fed, leave the baby with his father, and take sometime for you, preferably out of the house. Meet a friend for lunch or a cup of coffee.
Tell your boyfriend what you need. Maybe he can't feed the baby, but he can bring you a glass of water or a pillow and sit and talk to you while your feed the baby. He can also help with baby care, diaper changing, bathing, rocking to sleep.
Reach out to family and friends. Invite them over for a visit, or give them a call.
As soon as your healed from the c-section, put the baby in the stroller and go for a short walk. Get out of the house, even if you just sit in the back yard, the change of scenery will help.
As time goes on the hormones will get back to normal. However, if you frequently cry over tiny things or constantly feel "trapped", it's probably more than just a case of the blues. Talk to your doctor.
I.M. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
Hi K.!--It gets better, and easier. It sounds like the nursing is going fairly well for you--and that is a blessing, as some have a lot of difficulty at the beginning. A lot of what you are feeling is hormonal, and you are going through a major adjustment period. This is a big change. The C section recovery gets better each day. With the lack of sleep you are getting, everything is exaggerated and it makes everything more difficult. When you are able to rest, rest, when the baby is sleeping. Eat well and healthy. Don't worry about the house. It sounds like you have a very supportive boyfriend, but maybe you will get on your own routine when he gets back to work. Check with the pediatrician when you can take the baby out, and then go for walks, have a change of atmosphere. Try to find mothers groups in your area, and get involved with other mothers. When you are able to pump,do you have other support that can help out? Even now, for a few hours, so you could get out, is there anyone near that could help watch the baby?? This will pass. If you start feeling worse though, let your ob-gyn know. If you begin having the signs of post partum depression, and he can evaluate you. In a few weeks things will be better, you have a darling baby, and you will enjoy him. You might not beleive me now, but it does happen!!!!!!!!!
R.L. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
K., I totally understand what you're going through. I had a c-section too, and I had full on PPD. I packed my bags twice and tried to leave my family. First, take your husband's help as much as you can. I know what you'd really like him to do is lactate so he can do some of the feedings, but that's not going to happen. So, have him make dinner. Have him spend 1-2 hours with the baby while you go for a walk, or go to the coffee shop and read a book, whatever it is you want to do to refresh yourself. Consider joining a new mommy group. It may not sound like your kind of thing, but being around other moms going through the same thing can often really ease your anxiety. Nursing with other moms, and talking can really take the edge off the boredom too. Next, consider seeing a PPD counselor. I did this and she really helped put things in perspective. I'm not sure where you live, there is a great resource in Nyack called Mothercare. You can also call your doc for resources. Lastly, it WILL get better. At first you feel like an exhausted cow on command. But, the nursing spread out, and the baby cries less, and starts to interact,and things just get easier and easier. I promise! My counselor told me the first 8 weeks are toughest and it gets easier from there. I had no perspective that everything was SO temporary. No one said, just get through the first 8 weeks. I had no idea when it would all get better. Knowing I could count down the time really helped me a lot. It was also true. By 12 weeks, she was sleeping longer, and smiling and laughing. It was a whole different experience. I had a hotsling and loved it. I'm not sure why that is bothering your c-section. But, consider just putting him in a stroller then and going for a walk around the block. A big thing for me was my shower and walk every day. My routine was nurse, shower (while she snoozed), nurse and walk (while she snoozed). The fresh air and getting outside will do you both a lot of good!! Hang in there, and get help when you need it!!!
C.F. answers from New York on June 26, 2008
I think you are experiencing post partum depression. I am a nurse on the maternity floor and we tell new moms that baby blues only last a couple of weeks. beyond that yu should call your doctor for some help. do you have any help arond the house with house work? Do you have family around to help with the baby? You should call your doctor and tell him what's going on and perhaps he will prescribe some medication to get you feeling bettr. good luck
J.C. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
Take it one day at a time -- it WILL get better. Does your hospital have a new moms group? That helped me SO much when my son was first born. Just talking to other moms in the same situation was a God-send. Our group met once/week. But I made close friends and we would meet at the park, for coffee, etc. (We're still friends and my son is 4!)
My daughter is now almost 8 months. What a HUGE difference between now and when she was first born. The first couple of months is very difficult, but you WILL see the light and you will smile again. Trust me! :)))))
S.C. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
I remeber feeling so many of the same things and in retrospect probably would call what i felt post-partum depression. I really hated feeling like i was the only one in the world that could care for my little one. and, my little guy was a reflux baby so he could be very fussy! The things that saved me were... daily walks (I too had a c-section, so it was slow going at first) with the stroller; going to a new mom's group at the local hospital one time per week; going to a new mom's group at my pediatrician's office one time per week; phone calls to great friends, etc; trying to arrange visits with friends, family and eventually new moms. When my little guy was about 4 months old we started taking a couple of "classes" together, infant massage and a music class. These also just helped get me out of the house. Oh yes, I also went to movies for moms... i loved this! Bow Tie Cinemas in Trumbull does this... and, I think there are other locations... but it was so great to get out of the house, nurse my little guy to sleep in a dark theater and just escape into a movie.
It is such a tough time... such a huge life change... reach out to others and know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I was feeling much better by 4-5 months and by 6 months, once he started solids, I felt like a new world was opening to me.
Feel free to contact me if I can help. Best of luck to you!
J.H. answers from Syracuse on June 25, 2008
You have so many responses, I'll keep mine short. I am not an expert, and didn't suffer through this myself...but the fact you keep referring to your sweet, precious baby as "the child" is alarming to me. I would definitley call your OB and tell him truthfully how you are feeling. There is no shame in any of this - I think it's great you posted - it shows your mom instincts are within you.
I had 3 babies in 4 years...I love every single minute of it, but that's not to say I don't miss the old me...it's hard, but extremely rewarding. Hang in there!
A.B. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
I felt just like you when my baby boy (now 13 months) was home for the first 2 months. I hated my couch, my living room and the television. All I was during that time was a sleep deprived milk factory. And all everyone kept telling me is that it gets better. And I am here to tell you it gets better!
I swear. You will leave the house. You will shower again. And yes you will even read a book! I hated hearing "Oh it will get better" I just wanted to know when. And yes I cried a lot because I couldn't leave the house without having a panic attack.
Now my son is 13 months old. And oh do I crave for the days when he would just be still in my arms! They need you right now.....they need your undying love an attention and your milk! It will get better, I promise. And yes the crying stops too!
M.K. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
It is concerning that you referred to your baby as 'the child'or 'the baby' many times. What is his name? (Maybe you dont want to say for privacy reasons) You are much more than a 'milk machine'. Try to connect more with him as the new little person in the world who came from you. Good that you are reaching out to other mothers from mammasource. As these summer days are longer and the weather is good, try to get out a little bit each day and try to meet other mothers in your neighborhood. Also tell your doctor how you are feeling. Reach out to other people you know..maybe some of them can come by to help you out a bit, and give you some company. You can offer to return the favor in some way when you are feeling better and have a more manageable routine.
M. Kassover MKPTPCS
Board Certified Pediatric Specialist
C.Z. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
Having a baby is a major adjustment! To top it off, your hormones are still out of whack and it all seems overwhelming. It may seem like it will never get better but it really does!! Hang in there and know that it gets to be great!
D.S. answers from New York on June 26, 2008
First off, congratulations on your new baby boy.
I'm sorry to hear that you are under such stress
and depression. I know when my first baby was born it was if someone put me on a pedistal and kept spinning it. I did have the baby blues for a few days but it was very overwhelming to me all the care and time a baby takes. I was 24 when my first baby was born. I think being an older Mom with a first baby is very different. You are used to taking care of you and your life is very different. A baby keeps you so busy 24/7. Even when they are sleeping you are busy. What if you didn't breast feed? Your baby would be fine if you gave him formula. Generations have done perfectly well on formula. You will still have that wonderful bond with him. I also
think that you definitely need to let your Dr know that you are feeling depressed. Your horomnes are changing back to normal and that can cause your depression too. What about taking the baby out for a walk, going shopping (even if you don't buy) call a friend and visit or have a friend come and see you. Do you have other family members that can help? This time is so precious and it's sad that you are feeling the way you do but don't blame yourself. Please let your Dr know. I hope you will be feeling better soon. Good luck, D.
T.A. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
My heart goes out to you. This is a very difficult time. You're recovering from major abdominal surgery and caring for a newborn at the same time; not an easy task. It's very common to feel sad after a C-section, after all, the joy and bonding were to a great extent, displaced by undergoing major abdominal surgery! And the sad fact is that many of these surgeries are unnecessary.
ICAN, International Cesarian Awareness Network, is a good resource for advice, counseling, groups etc. Express your feelings, including those of anger, sadness and disappointment as well as joy that your little miracle is here.
Mother Theresa proclaimed every obstacle as an opportunity!
That may not be so clear now but keep open.
Try chamomile and lemon balm to ease nerves. Get enough rest. Prayer and/or meditation, long walks in nature when you're feeling up to it all may help. Blessings to you, you're in my prayers.
C.D. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
The first few weeks with a newborn can be really difficult, especially when its your first and you don't know what to expect and even more so when you're recovering from a c-section. So first of all, know that you're not alone in feeling this way. The responsibility can be overwhelming and feeling physically not well just adds to it. I had an emergency c-section and can remember feeling like I had been hit by a truck for quite a long time. Physically, you need to take care of yourself and get as much rest as possible. Sleep when the baby sleeps and take help wherever you can get it. You will feel like your old self again, but it takes time. Take your baby for walks when you feel up to it to get yourself out into the world again. The fresh air is good for the baby and you, and perhaps some adult interaction will help you to feel better. The tears are normal, too, but please talk to your doctor about it. He or she will be able to give you the best advice on that end. Parenthood is an amazing experience, you just wish you could ease into the transition instead of being thrown right into the trenches! :-) I adore my two children but I've always felt the newborn stage, adorable though it may be, is the hardest. One day soon you and your baby will have a routine and you're going to feel like your old self again. Good luck!
A.P. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
I think its just the baby blues. Clinically PPD doesnt start until after 6 weeks, I believe. Although if you are feeling like hurting yourself or the baby get help immediately. Your OB will be of help if all these posts lead you for more information. With that being said:
The first 100 days can be hell. They were for me. The hormones are so out of control and the HUGE change in your life and responsibilities are overwhelming. I said to my husband that I hate the newborn phase. All you do is give and give and give. Right at the breaking point the little one will give you this incredible smile that will melt your heart.
I too read every book and magazine "learning" how to be the perfect mom and raise the perfect child only to realize (after the birth of #2, 3.5 years later!) that you have to do what you feel is right and what will make you a better person and in turn a better mom. Happy Mom=Happy Baby!
Breastfeeding is a major commitment that does get much much easier with time. Stick with it, if that was your plan. No one every regrets sticking with it, only quiting. Find a Le Leche League group in your area if you need help with it. Does your pediatrician have a 2 week visit? Ours does and if the baby has regained its birthweight you can stop waking the baby during the night and be sure to feed every 3 hours during the day. After a few more weeks it will be like second nature. When you feel comfortable go out with the babe. Nothing is more satisfying than toting your newbie around for the world to admire. There is no reason to think that a "stay at home mom" has to stay at home.
The hardest thing that I learned from my 4 years of mothering is that everything is just a phase. The newborn phase is just a couple of weeks and then it will be on to the next thing. With my first every day felt like a month, my husband would come home and ask how my day was and my reply was, "we are both alive, I think." Know with the second the weeks are flying by and I am missing those first few days. Everyone with multiple kids told me to enjoy my baby. I just smiled and thought to myself how can I enjoy these needy, life sucking "thing". Again it wasnt until the second child that I understood what they meant.
Exercise, fresh air, vitamins, a good cry, help and time will heal. I wish you well.
K.I. answers from New York on June 25, 2008
Hi, I just want to tell you I know how you feel, what
you are going through is SUPER difficult....I was there too. I felt exactly as you feel...it's OK and normal.
try and get out of the house as much as possible ~ with or
without the baby, get a good stroller if you don't have one
and get outside...you will feel better.
You also need time to yourself!!! Ask for help!
I felt like I was drowning at first too....
IF you can work Part-time, I would suggest it, to feel a little like your old self. But it may not be possible with
the round the clock child care.
My son just turned 3 and it is without a doubt the greatest
thing I have ever done in my life BUT IT'S NOT EASY AT ALL
IT'S NOT LIKE IN THE MOVIES OR ON TV FOR ALL WOMEN,
I'ts a huge adjustment.
Hang in there...ask for help!!
B.F. answers from Rochester on June 25, 2008
What you are feeling is TOTALLY NORMAL. This is new to you, you still have hormones running around, a new little person to care for, and very little "me" time. Listen some new moms are happy to sit and stare into their little babies face all day long. If that's what works for them have at it. I, like you, do not prefer to watch TV. You can only read so many magazines. I understand you hardly feel up to an outing, but that doesn't mean you don't want some pre-baby normalcy!!! So no one else can feed the baby until you start pumping - START pumping. I found my milk let down easier when the baby was nursing. Pump on one side - nurse on the other. Once you have some milk stored up. Take an afternoon - to shower, nap - sit outside. Maybe invite a friend over to sit outside w/you. Or talk to a friend on the phone while your outside. Something to give you a break. You are human and even under the best circumstances - you need a break. I'm still preg, but Sunday is my break. I do all that needs to be done around the house and for the kids, animals, spouse, etc. the other 6 days a week. But my husband and kids do the house work on Sunday, my husband throws in a load of laundry and I sleep an extra 2 hrs! When I do roll out of bed I have a slow start to my day - just because I can!!! You are not alone!!! Enjoy your new bundle of joy, but enjoy time for yourself also!!!
L.D. answers from Albany on June 25, 2008
Don't take anything for granted. Talk to your doctor. He may suggest taking Lexapro to get you through the first couple of months.
I've had three c-sections and I can tell you from experience, you will be surprised how much better you will feel in just a few more weeks. Yes the main thing right now is to sleep when the baby is sleeping and they do eat often, about every 2 or 3 hours in the beginning but the time will begin to lengthen in between.
Do you have any hobbies you could work on? A scrapbook for the baby? How about visiting Yahoogroups and joining some mommy groups? Are there any friends or family who might visit to help break the monotony? While your boyfriend can't feed the baby right now, he can hold him. My husband's favorite thing was to lay the baby on his chest while he slept.
Again, I understand. In addition to the sections I also breastfed/feed all three. The baby is still nursing at 10 months old but we have a schedule now and here I am taking care of three children, the house, myself, and two businesses. Everything will fall into place but in the meantime, definitely talk to your doctor to help you through. There's nothing wrong with getting a little help right now. :)
If you ever want to vent, feel free to message me and congratulations on your little guy. Being a mother is such a wonderful gift in my opinion. :)