Coping with new baby... or not as the case may be!

On 6th february this year I gave birth to my beautiful little boy, 2 weeks before his older sister turned 2! The birth was very traumatic as I ended up having an emergency cesarean again and i felt extremely unwell during the operation. I was so upset to have a cesarean as i had wanted to be up on my feet straight away after giving birth in order to look after my 2 year old but having the operation meant I was out of action for a number of weeks which was very hard on her.

When my daughter was born we went through 3 months of hell until she was finally diagnosed as Cows milk protein intolerant and put on prescription formula so this time around we were looking out for it in our son. Sure enough, by 2 weeks of age we could see the all too familiar symptoms starting to appear so went to the GP, got tested and were straight onto the correct formula. Hooray! We thought we had beaten the difficulties but we were so wrong! My poor little boy has had the most dreadful reflux resulting in him not being able to sleep due to discomfort, not wanting to feed because of the pain and generally being very unhappy and unsettled. Had he been my only child i would have found it challenging but with a 2 year old to look after as well it has been horrendous. Thankfully he is now on strong medication and at 3 months old he is finally getting more settled and feeding is not so much an issue. He still doesn't sleep well at night and my husband and i are exhausted.

I thought i was coping reasonably well. I have recovered from the cesarean, the house is pretty clean and tidy, i'm putting meals on the table and taking the children out to toddler groups. What i didnt see until the other day though was just how irritable and angry i have become. It started with the cat - always under my feet and trying to sleep in the childrens rooms - she would get the brunt of my frustrations. Then i realised that my husband could do no right, in fact i could feel myself starting to despise him! It was breaking point when i started getting angry and irritable with the children. A boiling anger would well up in me if things didnt go right - the baby would't settle to sleep, the 2 year old would't eat her tea etc. I had no reserves left to stay calm and would feel so angry and frustrated that i would want to hurt myself to release it. I had images of plunging a knife into my leg repeatedly because i had no other way of letting out all my emotions (i have never done this of course).

It has been a stunning revelation to me that actually i am not coping like i thought i was. I have seen a GP and am considering whether to take anti depressants or not. One thing is for sure, i cant continue this way. I never thought having 2 children would be so hard but then i think most things are hard when you have been surviving on 4 hours sleep a night for the past 3 months. I have 2 beautiful children who i cherish and i know life will get easier soon. I just wanted to share my experience in case anyone else out there has had similar difficulties.

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  • Wow. Well done for lasting this long. I felt like i wasn't coping for the first 6 mnths of my daughters life and i only have the one. Good that you're getting help and have support around you. I think that's the only way of getting thru is with the understanding of your nearest and dearest. Take care. Not too long now and hopefully your little boy will start sleeping through. Is there a relative or friend that could maybe take the kids the play group one day so you can have some time to relax/ rest up? X x x

  • Hi, i have a 7 yr old girl, 31 month boy and nearly 5 week old baby plus a single mum has me and dad separated not long after i found out i was pregnant. He promised to help etc and also be their more for our 2 yr old but of course he hasn't been there much. I also had a section but planned due to it being my third section (first was emergency). I was actually up and about pretty fast but i think.that was.more determination and high pain barrier. My mum said she would stay for a week to help.me.out, that lasted one night (my mum was suppose to help.in.the mornings,one to school, the other to.nursery) but instead i had other friends who helped me out instead has my mum let me down. The dad hasn't helped once apart from taking us to babies tongue tie appointment. I know how you feel.with temper, i have a few times but when my older two are out. I did see the Dr due to crying a lot but i put that down to lack.of.sleep. she was considering post-natal depression but i think mine is.more to.anger at the people.who said they would be their and help me out( my mum and the dad). A very good friend actually had baby and my oldest on Friday night which was great to get extra sleep but i did feel bad letting my baby go.so.young but i trust my friend dearly and i knew i needed the nights rest. afterwards i felt great. a lot calmer. still hurt more than anything with he lack.of help.from the two.people. My main worry with the section this time was it opening up. my previous two opened at either side so i wanted to.be extra careful but i was hoovering after 2 weeks not through choice. luckily this time hey used staples very painful but worked so it hasn't opened. but i just look at.my children and know they are worth it and when they are older they will know who.was their for.them

  • oh! god ! I cant even imagine being in your position. You sure are a strong women !

    but probably its time that you ask for specific help from family and friends around you. You dont have to do this all alone honey, children are a dear thing to the whole family and friends of you and they would help if you ask them to.

    Also with your husband, maybe make a task list to him and delegate some of your own responsibilities to him, if not tasks involving kids (as most women feel Dad's dont know anything) probably with the Kitchen and the laundry and the cleaning and stuffs like that. He can take care, you may have to explain him few things for a 15 minutes or half and hour tutorial but than that would save you a lot of time for your own self everyday.

    And you really really need a day at the Spa to relax you. maybe leave kids with a day care or a friend or your husband and just try relaxing ! Your anger as you recognized it quite well is not doing you anyone around you any good. And there can be times that your husband may completely be clueless about why you are angry, he is a man after-all and dont feel anxiety the same way as you do.

    Ask people around you for specific help - maybe send over the kids to your own parents if not in-law or anyone you trust and just sleep for the whole day !

    I am by the way really proud of you for being such a SUPERMOM on the other hand I am already fretting on my 29th week with my first and begging and pleading my mom and mom-in-law both to come as early as they can. So I can truly say you are VERY VERY STRONG you did this all by yourself - half of us are not even close to you. But now its time for your ownself as well !!

  • What you are going through is not uncommen for new mums, lack of sleep, terrible 2s, annoying husband and animals under your feet.

    At first with a new born you think you are never gonna get out the house to a toddler group before 11am all looking well groomed.

    I thought sod it. I want to cry for you, I totally feel your pain.

    I remember one night swinging the moses basket by the handles trying to get my little one to sleep at about 2am after the 3rd feed and was just thinking I wonder if I can swing it out the window (which I never did). Your mind runs wild when you are tired.

    Did the docs think it is postnatel depression that you have got is that why they offered you the tablets? You have just got to cling onto the fact that it does get better and it can only get better once they are in a routine.

    Is he still in your room? Ship him into his own room now and you will get a better sleep instead of constantly listening out. We put my youngest in his own room at 6 weeks as I was just lying there listening to his heavy breathing, I couldn't cope with it.

  • You need a medal coping with all that. I'm currently 35 weeks pregnancy with a 2 year old. By the end if the day in shattered and can have a short temper. Luke you say you cope and cope then the people you can let your guard down get it in the neck. Anti depressants will lift your mood but it is important to get some sleep. Do you have a relative or get your hubby to take some annual leave and swap alternative nights. It's hard accepting help but if people are offering let them help. I feel for you but you've made the right start by talking about it. Things will improve in the future but see what you can do now. Keep coming in here and getting support. Hope things improve for you soon xx

  • Oh bless you don't put too much pressure on urself. .. Have u got anyone that can mind ur kits for a couple of hours a week just so u can sleep??? Sleep deprevation hormones all over the place..a baby that is unsettled no wonder u feel like u do, and thank god u have gone to ur dr..I suffer from severe pmt and I'm still feeling like it every month even though I'm pregnant. ..I stopped taking my anti depressants because of side effects for the baby but for a week every month I find it really hard. ..I know I will go back on them asap but it took me a long time to figure out what the real problem was and I wish I'd taken the tablets alot sooner than I did, they just level me so I don't feel that anger... It's a horrible feeling and I feel the same about my partner! Don't feel like ur failing if u do decide to take meds... They are just helping you thru a tough time. .I don't have much support but I'm very protective over my baby and wouldn't let anyone have them anyway. ... probably make things harder for myself but u can'thelp the way u are, if u can get any naps during the day then sod the house work and sleep, my youngest was intolerant to formulamilk was horrible him screaming in his sleep in pain. .even had him up a and e cos it was so strange how he would be Ok one minute them screaming the next. . Also I found going to bed after I put my youngest to bed helped me get as much sleep as possible. .I feel for u very much and so know what ur going thru. . Hope little one is better soon and u too xx

  • Ps.. You are coping your doing a great job you just need sleep and plenty of it and a more settled baby once he is better things will become alot easier for u.. It's bloody hard having a toddler and a new born x

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