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How do you get going again after pregnancy?

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30/10/2007 at 16:47

MM - I know what you mean about black moments.  We do all get them - I do, even with my wonder drugs!  But I think there is a difference between black moments and the despair and desparation I felt when I was at my lowest.  I don't really want to go into how I felt, and anyway, I don't think I could explain it to anyone.  But all I wanted to say to MR was that, if those black moments don't lift properly, go get some help.  Baby blues shouldn't last for weeks and weeks...

ARGH re: puncture on buggy.  Soon you will be able to walk them to and fro

30/10/2007 at 16:52
Thanks Caramel - am conscious that Megan probably picks up on how I feel so need to ensure that I feel positive about her when around her, and also that I don't want to shoulder DH with everything either so think I would be doubly quick about seeing a GP if I get to the point where i just am not coping and the black moments increase. I am a bit of a control freak and I wonder if its the fact that I can't control Megan that gets to me - my patience does wear a bit thin when she just won't go off to sleep between 8pm and midnight, which is about the only time DH and I have to spend together.

Will try the skin to skin - although Megan is a prim little madam and has a bit of a hang up about being without clothes so not quite sure how we will get on, might take a bit of perseverance! Will have to pick a time when the heating is on - can't believe its gotten so chilly but suppose it is almost November (8 weeks today we'll all be scoffing turkey and mince pies!!).

Our dream feed is currently anytime between midnight and 1am- and so far its DH's feed as I go to bed around 10pm. Last night was the only night she didn't settle straight after it but that was only because she was very busy multi-tasking (being sick, hiccuping and pooing all at once apparently!). However, it took 1.5 hours to settle her after her 4.30am feed... and eventually we had to waken her at 9.30am for a feed. On todays timings our dream feed should be 10pm tonight which is more what we'd like - so we'll see how we get on!! Wil report back in due course.

MM and Caramel - yes to reins! I have very fond memories of wearing reins myself when younger (I'm 34 now!) And can also recall having luggage tags put on me when we went to big/organised events that said what my name was, what my car registration was and where we were parked - so if I got lost somebody would return me!!

30/10/2007 at 17:02

MR - the control thing.  I think you have hit the nail on the head, there.  I too have 'control' issues.  And the fact I couldn't predict when Jacob would wake / feed etc really got to me.  He was 'supposed' to do all these things, according to the book, and wouldn't do any of them! And I thought it was something I was doing or not doing that was causing it.  The evening time is nearly always hard with new babies.  The only reason Jacob learned to go to sleep at all was because I put him on his front in his cot at 6 weeks and that did the trick.  If we didn't do that, he was awake screaming all evening and most of the night, until I brought him into bed with me and put him to sleep on my chest...  In the end, I thought him sleeping on his front in his cot was safer than him sleeping on me in my bed, where I could roll over and squash him.

if Megan doesn't like having her clothes off, just put her on you with her clothes on to start off with.  you can strip off still - and she will smell you (weird, i know, but apparently it helps) and she will still feel your heart beat and hear you breathing.  apparently, when they get to about 6 weeks, they get less worried about not having clothes on so you could try every now and then until she gets a bit bigger.  not going to help you much if she just screams and yells when she's on you because she has no clothes on, is it!

30/10/2007 at 22:13
JT - I think you are right about the bonding thing at birth. Having a c-section made me feel quite disengaged with the whole birth process as you don't actually see your child being born and they are whisked off whilst you are stitched back together and you don't get skin to skin or a hold for at least 20 mins. Sometimes it feels like having a baby didn't really happen...

Caramel - the control thing is very hard and I'm with you, I get frustrated when Megan doesn't do what the books say she should! I'm not sure I will ever be sanguine about not being able to control everything, but I'm hoping I can get to be somewhat less anally retentive about it than I am now - for Megan's sake!

Thanks for all the advice on here today - being able to get it off my chest and getting feedback from you guys has definitely lifted me today - so thank you.

31/10/2007 at 08:14

JT - yes, in need of the caffeine these days

MR - you sound like you have you are very aware of how you feel, and that's an extremely positive thing.  Make sure you keep talking to someone - us if it helps - about how you feel.  I didn't go to the GP until Jacob was 12 weeks old.  By that stage I was pretty much suicidal.  If you get to the stage where the black moods don't lift for a couple of days, I'd go talk to someone.  Better to be safe than sorry.

But hopefully it won't come to that.  You are doing all the right things and Megan is thriving.  I know it's hard to see that when you want to get her into a routine and get some semblence of yourself back.  But in time you will both adapt to each other.  And although life will never be like it was before, it will be so much better.  Once Megan starts to smile at you and to respond to things you do together, you will be amazed at how much stronger the bond gets.  Coincidentally, that's around 6 weeks, so I think JT is right about that. 

You will get less anxious about it as time goes on.  I used to get really stressed every time Jacob woke up at 6.40am instead of sleeping to 7am because it would put the morning routine out and I would have to put him back down for his morning nap earlier than it said in the book etc etc.  Last night, he woke at 2am and it took me 2 hours to get him to go back to sleep again!  And the only thing that was annoying me was the fact that, when I picked him up and cuddled him he was grinning at me, blowing raspberries on me and pulling my hair.  So clearly nothing very much wrong with him.  But I'm not getting myself worked up about it because I know (fingers crossed!) it was just a one off.  Even though in many respects he is a 'Gina' baby, he still throws the odd spanner in the works now and then that you just can't explain!

Keep plugging away.  It WILL get better and Megan will become a cheeky little madam before you know it!

31/10/2007 at 09:20

How busy?  This thread is mad.  I have been at work at they have now filtered out the forums (obviously lots of dodgy content) which is irritating.  Do they really want me to work when I am at work?

As for routines, James had to fit around me, if I wanted to go out, see someone, pop to the shops etc... he did.  Later on he got into the habit of morning milk then sleep again then up until lunch milk and sleep again.  This routine worked (ish).  However, when on solids it was much easier to implement.  But they are foreverchanging and you have to adapt.  James never sleeps much at the childminders, he used to sleep 4 hours in the day (im two sittings) for me.  Now he goes down just before 9 and then again after lunch.  Total of less than 2 hours often.  Today he went down early and is in the blissful land of nod.

Thank you for the advise about expressing milk.  I know the pump is going to die very shortly, but I feel daft to admit that the power had been turned down to minimum instead of maximum!  Little fingers had got to it!

Ultimate crime committed over the last couple of days.  James woke at 5.30am (he has been waking early for about 4 days being settled and put back down).  I have to get him up after 6am to get out to work so there was no point in settling him and putting him back down.  I brought him into bed with us.  First time ever, something I was NEVER going to do.  Even as a newborn I took him into his room to feed him, he was NEVER in our bed.  Anyway, he had a quick look around and went to sleep.  I had to wake him both days.  Today he slept through until 6.20am.  I guess his bodyclock has finally got round to changing!  No harm done I think and I LOVED him falling asleep on me.  Most amazing!

James has been cruising fr a couple of months now... he'll walk in his own time 

31/10/2007 at 09:22
CM - never as funny at 2am as it is for other people to hear about it the following day!  Sometimes they just like spending time with Mummy - regardless of when it is!
31/10/2007 at 09:57
Thanks again Caramel and JT - we've got another 2 weeks till we hit the magic 6 week marker. Our day routines seem get thrown out by the fact she does seem to sleep longer at night (which we are, and will continue to be thankful for). The last couple of days she has kind of giving up on napping after her morning feed (anytime between 8am and 10am at moment) and has moreorless stayed awake until the lunchtime feed. Not quite sure how to entertain her though - got a bouncy chair arriving today and someone is buying us a baby gym, but at the moment I'm reduced to singing songs and jiving about in front of her whilst she sits in her car seat! Sometimes this works and sometimes I see total boredom in her face - this is a look and a mood she definitely gets from her father!!

Very cute Caramel that Jacob wanted mummy time at 2am - I think the clocks going back do knock them off a bit, certainly knocked me off a bit! Hopefully a one off though and Jacob is back on track... and I guess its hard to be too mad when they are being so adorable with you at 2am huh?

Righto, am off to wax under my arms whilst Megan lies in her moses basket gurgling away!! Realised its been 6 weeks since I tended to my beauty needs - won't even debate the state of my hair and how badly it needs cut!! But not even going to chance waxing my legs for now because the minute I start so will Megan and what a polavver that will be. Might treat myself to a salon leg wax (its coming to something when you consider a salon leg wax a treat eh...??!!)
31/10/2007 at 10:17

MR - you go wax girl!  keeping on top of these things can help you feel a bit better as well.

have you got a sling that you can carry Megan around in.  i used to put jacob in the sling and get on with things in the house.  we even used to cook like that - although obviously not wise if handling hot things with baby hanging over stove, but a girl's gotta eat and he just used to holler if i put him down.

getting out and about keeps them amused as well - even if it's just a quick stroll.  i used to stick jacob in the sling and walk down the lane and back again.  it passes time, gets them some air and generally makes both you and babe feel better.

fundamentally though, i think babies of that age are ... erm ... quite boring.  sorry gals - i am sure many of you will disagree.  but they are such hard work and the rewards don't come until much later.  but boy, when they come, they come thick and fast!

i'm not sure i found it cute that jacob wanted mummy time at 2am.  but it was hard to be too cross with him when there was obviously something wrong because he doesn't make a fuss normally. he was so not chuffed about being got up this morning, though!  he was trying desperately to go back to sleep while i was changing him!

ploddingalong - i have also resorted to having jacob in bed a few times in the early mornings just to get another hour's kip or so.  i tried last night when he was screaming and screaming in his cot.  but in my bed he was just clambering all over me and giving me big snotty kisses and laughing, so he went back in his cot.  and then back in bed.  and then back in his cot.  and then back in bed.  etc etc.  i know i should be consistent with what i do if he wakes up - ie keep him in his cot, but it is so wearing when they are screaming for so long, and instinctively it feels wrong to shut the door on him when he is so upset.  he doesn't stop screaming either - it goes on and on and on and i always worry he is going to make himself sick.

anyway, he will be exhausted today and we are supposed to be going to a halloween party tonight at the village hall.  i'm not sure he's going to make it!

31/10/2007 at 11:50

Phew - hard work catching up with all these posts!  MR and CM, I think you're both to be admired for being so frank and candid about your feelings.  I had a C-section and also felt somewhat disengaged from the birth process, although I was able to have a quick cuddle a few seconds after Kit was born.  Then he was whisked off to recovery with hubby, leaving me to the mercy of the surgeon/anaesthetist who helped me make the final decision about his name!

Even though I adored him straight away, I'm not sure I bonded with him immediately.  Bonding is not the same as loving in my view.  The first three weeks after he was born were fine, as hubby was at home for the first two and kept on top of the washing, housework etc, and then my mum was with me for the third week.  I remember feeling very alone the first week I had to 'fly solo' when Kit was just entering his 4th week.  I had a few black moments then - I remember saying to hubby that I found it boring being at home with him, and there were times when I privately wondered whether we'd done the right thing in having a baby, and I did yearn for my old life.  I never felt that I didn't want him though.  I'm a bit of a control freak too, and found it difficult having less structure to my day and life than I was used to.  It was also hard adjusting to the fact that I couldn't 'control' Kit.  It still is sometimes - yesterday I found myself getting quite frustrated because he would only take about 3oz of his afternoon bottle, then I realised he'd had a bigger-than-usual portion of lunch and half a pot of yoghurt, so it was my fault he wasn't hungry and I then felt guilty for trying to make him have more milk.

But gradually I adjusted to the new way of life and started to enjoy it - it definitely gets better as they become more alert and start to respond to you.  I've done a complete turnaround really: at the start I could never have imagined not wanting to go back to work, but when the time came I found I really wanted to be a stay-at-home mum (although sadly it's not an option financially).  I think it's helped that he's been such a 'good' baby - we have hardly had any sleep issues and he seemed to get into the routine quite easily, so we've been very lucky.  He is also SO cute it's hard not to adore him!  I am completely besotted with him and although sometimes there are days when he frustrates me, when I'm not with him I wish desperately that I was.

I think motherhood is so hard because you always feel guilty about something!

31/10/2007 at 12:06
Caramel - agree with you that babies definitely get more interesting as time goes by. My best friend has a daughter who is now 3.5 years and I remember her saying that when she had to go back to work when Anna was 8 months old she was gutted as she felt Anna was much more interesting/interactive/rewarding from 6 months on and she'd have preferred to work whilst Anna was a baby and then taken her maternity leave once Anna was 6 months old.

Minks - I think a lot of people must feel like Caramel and I, but its considered slightly taboo to say such things isn't it? Its such a relief to find understanding and like-minded people on this forum because none of the people I've met through ante-natal or baby groups seem to feel like this (or if they do they are hiding it well). I'm totally with you on wondering whether having a baby has been the right thing to do... its such a big life adjustment that I think its only natural to yearn for your old life back (particularly if its been good). But its heartening to hear that this feeling changes over time.

Righto, under arm waxing done - off to dig out some fun size for trick or treaters tonight. Apparently this year's popular song in Edinburgh is "Trick or Treat, smell my feet, now whers my sweet?". Am sure this can only be the case for those not accompanied by an adult, surely no adult would condone such shameless asking for sweeties!!

31/10/2007 at 12:44

Can I ask you guys for some help?

Until now Kit has been brilliant with his solids, happily taking anything offered.  On Monday he got very fussy with his lunch.  He ate about half of his fish with cheese sauce (which he normally can't get enough of) and started screaming each time I put a spoonful of it into his mouth.  He then stuck out his tongue with the food on it and used his hands to smear the food all over his face, in his eyes and hair.  I had a friend over (unfortunately!) so I made the mistake of giving him a spoonful of yoghurt (which he loves) then a spoonful of fish etc. to get him to eat his savoury food.

Yesterday I had to use the same tactic again as he went ballistic when I tried to give him his chicken casserole.  He ended up having far more yoghurt than we'd normally let him have just so he'd eat the savoury food.  Hubby has just rung me to say that he's playing up again and he'd had to do the same - Kit now obviously knows that he can get his yoghurt by playing up with his savouries.  What do we do?  Do we offer him the savoury food only, give him a certain amount of time to eat (like half an hour) then take it away if he won't eat and make him wait until his 2:30pm bottle?  I don't want to get into the position of him having yoghurt for his lunch and no 'proper' food because he refuses everything except yoghurt.  But I don't want to turn mealtimes into a battle or give him 'issues' with food either.  Both hubby and I are finding this very stressful although we are trying not to show our frustration.  Also hubby blames me for the situation which is not helping.

Kit seems to eat his breakfast (either bana porridge or Oatibix, with fruit) OK and his baby rice plus vegetables for tea - it's lunch that's now becoming a major problem.  Has anyone else been through this or similar who can help?  Feeling quite anxious ...

31/10/2007 at 13:21

((minks)) - feel for you.  it's very stressful, i know.  i can only tell you what i know from what jacob did and he was HORRENDOUS to wean.  sometimes they go through 'phases' like this.  it seems impossible when they are so little that they can have these phases, but they do.  what i would do is offer him his lunch and if he won't eat it, offer him some fruit but not yoghurt.  this is still what i do now with jacob if he won't eat his savoury course.  if he eats his fruit, i then try him with his savoury again (not a spoonful of fruit, then a spoonful of savoury, just feed him his fruit all in one go and then try the savoury).  if he doesn't eat the savoury, i will just leave it. if he doesn't eat the fruit, he's obviously not hungry so i just abandon the whole attempt.  at the weekend, jacob ate 4 grapes at lunchtime on saturday and sunday. that was it.  not a mouthful of anything else!

kit will probably be gagging for his 2.30pm bottle if he doesn't eat much lunch.  jacob doesn't have milk in the afternoon now so if he hasn't eaten his lunch, i will offer him a breadstick or something to nibble on.  he then wolfs his tea down.

it's not helpful that your hubby is blaming you either, although i know that when the stress is on in the kitchen it's easy to do that.

don't worry about creating food hang-ups.  as long as you are positive about feeding him, keep calm, smile and talk to him, he will eat if he wants to and if he doesn't want to eat, don't force him!

and if the boy is hungry, he WILL eat.  so don't worry about inadvertantly starving him!

31/10/2007 at 13:35

MR - just typed a long post and lost it! ARGH!

basically what i was trying to say was that it's a long road ahead of you, but it IS worth it.  however dreadful you feel now, it WILL get better.  and megan is so worth these horrible first few weeks. 

it's hard to get any perspective on it right now.  you feel sh1te; you don't know where you are or what you are doing; and everything is confusing and stressful.

if you can, sit down next to her basket when she is sleeping and look at her. she's gorgeous, i'm sure.  and she's yours.  your little miracle.  you made her and you will have SO much fun with her when she starts exploring her surroundings.  she will make you howl with laughter and cry with joy and emotion when she discovers the world around her.  it's a few months off yet, and in the meantime you will have lots of tears of frustration and anxiety of your own to shed.  but keep plugging away.  it IS worth it.

don't worry if you don't think you love her.  i'm sure i didn't really feel like i loved jacob until i went back to work.  i did everything in my power to make sure he thrived and was stimulated and cared for.  i hugged him and kissed him and had skin to skin with him.  but i didn't think i loved him.  i probably did - i don't really know.  but it hasn't done him any harm.  i love him to bits now, and he comes running across the room with his mouth open, snot all over his face to give me a great big toothy kiss, so i'm sure he isn't bothered that his mum doesn't now if she loved him when he was a baby.

i'll activate my email so you can email me off line if you want to.  we've both been quite open on here but if there's more you want to share 'off-line', i'm happy for you to mail me.  i am embarrassed about some of the things i said / did to my husband when i was at my worst...

31/10/2007 at 13:38

Afternoon! Not managing to keep up with all the posts and I keep losing posts I've written out so rather than the long post I originally wrote about adjusting to life after a baby I'll just say hope things are going OK MR and I'm sure it will start to feel better soon - I think all your feelings are perfectly normal and you're being really sensible keeping track of your feelings.

Eddie's getting a bit grumbly about his daytime sleeps at the moment- JT do I remember you saying that Ted went through a phase of this? What did you do? We've just moved Eddie into a cot as he's outgrown his moses basket and he'll happily sleep in it at night but not during the day - I'm going to keep persisting with it, but wondered if anyone else had experienced this.

Trick or treating here tonight - my older 2 are very excited about dressing up (even the 11 yr old). Carved the pumpkin last night which they really enjoyed - and I really love doing things like that too! One of the upsides of being a mum for me is getting to do that sort of thing again.

31/10/2007 at 13:55

Minks, I wouldn't worry about the food.  Whenever I heat food too much I tend to give James his dessert before his main course (and being a bit a dim, I still have not learnt to get it right!)  Teething can make them go off their food.  Also yoghurt is really easy to eat, no chewing, biting etc.... it could be a sore throat, tummy, laziness (!!)  Who knows?  James had a tummy bug (I know because I think I passed it on to him - oops) and would only eat yoghurt.  Hw would not touch any of the snacks he loved.  I kept trying and put him off eating even rice cakes and cheerios.  It has taken a time to get him back to them.

Perhaps try getting the good old blender out and pureeing his savoury (I think you have started pureeing less, might be wrong).  I think it is one of those things that babies just have an amazing ability to make us worry....

31/10/2007 at 14:09

CM and Ploddingalong, thanks for the advice/reassurance.  I am determined not to offer him something he likes if he won't eat his savoury food - that way he'll know that if he refuses for long enough, he'll get what he wants.  CM, will try the fruit suggestion but won't give him yoghurt until he finishes his main course.  He's had a cold, which I think may have started the sudden dislike of his savoury food (which I have tended to make a bit lumpier recently) as he is very full of catarrh.  Yoghurt, baby rice etc. are easy to eat so it may be the texture that put him off to start with.  It's just horrible to see him get so distressed when he has a mouthful of food - usually he makes appreciative "Mmmm" noises when he eats.  Will persevere though - I won't force him to eat, but I won't persist too long if he refuses either.  But he won't get any yoghurt if he won't eat his savoury food - hopefully if he's hungry he'll have his milk at 2:30pm as CM says.  There's always the possibility though that he'll hold off on his solids because he knows he'll get his milk later if he does so ...

Babies!  They are designed to make us worry and cause us stress!

31/10/2007 at 14:17

Minks - sorry I've no advice to offer re: food as I can't remember what I did when weaning my other 2 - although I think I did sometimes do pudding first if it was easier, like PA, and DD and DS1 now happily eat both savoury and sweet food (and in fact have pretty broad tastes - DS1's favourite meal is moules mariniere) - I would try not to get too worried about it. It's really helpful for me to hear about the different stages again - I've forgotten what they're supposed to eat when, so I'll need to do some research when I start weaning Eddie.

31/10/2007 at 14:40

minks - it's easy to get very stressed about it, but he's unlikely to be deliberately and consistently manipulative at his age - although i suppose it *is* possible.  it's more likely to be something like teething or a cold as PA said.  or just being lazy.  he's still only little so it doesn't really matter if he has a bigger milk feed if he hasn't eaten much lunch.  at his age, milk can still provide the majority of the nutrients he needs.  it's more about introducing flavours and textures, which is what you are doing.

jacob used to scream and scream at mealtimes, and i know how stressful it can be.  i would do anything to get him to eat because i was worried that, if he didn't eat, he'd be hungry and then wake up in the night.  in the end, they do figure it out for themselves, and try as you might, if they ain't gonna eat something, they won't.  jacob has suddenly completely gone off risotto.  from the age of about 7 months until quite recently, it was the one thing i could guarantee he would always eat.  now, he won't even try it.  bizarre!

31/10/2007 at 15:05

Thanks CM - I think it started as a result of his cold (fair enough, poorlittle soul is choked with catarrh), then stupidly I gave him yoghurt when he wouldn't eat his savoury stuff.  Now he knows that if he refuses the savouries he gets yoghurt - either that, or he just isn't liking the texture of the savoury stuff because he's a bit bunged up, but likes the yoghurt because it's easy to eat.  I suppose because he's been so good with everything we've given him so far I've been a bit thrown by this as I didn't expect it.

As long as he has enough milk (which I guess he will again if he cuts back on his solids) then I'll try to keep calm and not worry about it.  I guess he'll start eating again when he's ready.  I'll just keep sitting him in his high chair and offering him his lunch as usual, and will try not to get stressed if he refuses.  A colleague just said that babies won't let themselves starve - and also they can apparently go 10 days or so without eating a thing with no detrimental effect as long as they are getting enough fluids.  Like you, I worry about him waking up in the night again if he doesn't eat much - hopefully that won't happen though.  It's so odd that they suddenly refuse point-blank to eat something that just the other day they couldn't get enough of!

Thanks again - not sure what I'd do without this thread!

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