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Old 11-15-2012, 09:52 PM   #1
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Unsupported post-partum?

Without getting into it, I can't really get along with 3 out of 4 parents. I don't have any sisters. All of my cousins are still children. I moved a year ago and haven't made new friends. I'm feeling very, very alone and judged by the families. Even if they were willing to help or I could trust them, they live in a different city and don't drive (so any help means they come and live with me and drive me insane). Plus, our parents are still young enough to be working, and don't have the flexibility to simply take a few days off without notice.

Anyone else facing a newborn period without help? I know that many of you already have >1 other child to care for in addition to the new baby. How will you or did you handle it? Last time we had each of our mothers come and live in for 2 days apiece, and it was a bloody disaster. I felt there was no consideration of what we needed and were going through following a preventable traumatic birth experience.

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Old 11-16-2012, 01:53 AM   #2
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Re: Unsupported post-partum?

I never had help after I had DS or DD. I did it all myself. With DS it was easier as he was the only one but I still lost even more weight and then had surgery when he was 4 weeks old. With DD, I only had DH home for a week then I had to get straight back into my routine. I expect things to be the same with this one except I am supposed to have surgery when Squishy is 7-8 weeks old on my kidney. While I would love to have help, I guess I don't really expect it because my family sucks and I am not real close to anyone, well ever. I am also extremely independent and do everything myself anyways.
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:44 AM   #3
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I was lucky enough to have a few days of help, but I have things that I did once my help left that might make it easier!

Make sure you have easy meals in your freezer and food stockpiled so you don't have to worry about where your next meal is coming from. Try to keep fresh fruits/veggies on hand if you like them. Worst come to worst, get takeout (and don't feel bad about it!)!

It looks like you might already have 1 LO? I made a box of activities for DD before DS was born and we're still cycling through it. New play dough, coloring books, stickers, foam letters, pipe cleaners, envelopes, colored paper, training scissors, new books, etc. I also stuck a few new toys in the box to pull out for those especially trying times when DD needed something to occupy her time (for us trains do the trick).

I also kept a rotation of DVD's from the library in the house. I could renew them online for 3 weeks, so a few of them came in handy. We actually watched a lot less TV than I thought we would, but it was nice to have that as a backup.

Keep yourself hydrated and nap when both LO's nap. I know, easier said than done. You just need to make it through the first week or two and it'll get easier. We started back in DD's classes (music, storytime) about 2 weeks PP b/c she was ready and DS was easy to take along. By then I felt like an old pro again. The baby skills came back quickly, thank goodness!

Good luck, mama! Enjoy that baby!

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Old 11-16-2012, 01:34 PM   #4
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Re: Unsupported post-partum?

Maybe a post-partum doula for a few days....or can DH stay home from work for a week. Often DH took a weeks vacation for when I had the baby. Only once have I had a "mom" come in. it was my MIL and simply did not work out for us.
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:48 AM   #5
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Re: Unsupported post-partum?

DD2 was in the NICU so I needed a lot of help initially just b/c I couldn't physically be in 2 places at once. DH went back to work by the end of the week when we knew she was stable and she was in the NICU for a total of 18 days. I had to rely on a lot of help that I might typically have preferred not to accept, but I had no choice. When she came home, I had relatively little help from family. MIL/FIL left for a 3 week vacation while DD2 was still in the hospital,and my mom watches my sister's kids. My sister works evenings and had a 2.5 yo and a 1 yo at the time so obviously there was only so much she could do. I was a little upset though when her first day off after DD2 was discharged she went on a bar crawl, and my mom watched her kids...but we won't go there. I'm fortunate to have a great extended family that did make us some meals and a couple of really amazing friends who didn't necessarily help me per se, but would do stuff with us and that kept DD1 occupied which was a HUGE help.
This time around I'm having a c/s so DH will be home for 2 weeks, and then I'll probably be on my own. I'll probably get a few meals again, and hope to able to hang out with my previously mentioned friends and their kiddos at their house or ours until i'm able to be out and about more. I'm a little concerned about how that will work especially in February, but we'll figure it out .
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:23 AM   #6
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Re: Unsupported post-partum?

DDC March...

We only have one grandparent willing to help us after a birth and sometimes she is more WORK then help! She also has a job so usually she will help for a half day or only one full day at a time. Here is how I survived after the birth of my twins with very little help.

- freezer meals stocked up that could be thrown into a crock pot or oven (I didn't do enough of this with the twins so this time I am going to do a month's worth)

- I had a nanny come and give me rest time. She would take the babies for me and let me sleep or shower then bring them when they needed to nurse. I did that about twice a week for a couple hours at a time.

- House cleaner. This time I am putting a house cleaner on our registry for the shower. I will have them come before the birth and after the birth.

I hope this helps! Best wishes mama
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:58 AM   #7
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Re: Unsupported post-partum?

DDC-
Postpartum can be a difficult time of transition, I would definitely look into a postpartum doula if you don't have close friends or family you get along with nearby.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:10 AM   #8
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DDC!

I am super independent, and never wanted help even though it was offered. My kids' grandparents are all great, but I much prefer to handle everything on my own. DH does take time off from work to help for those first days, and by then we're in the swing of things. I do need help for when I'm in labor, as I need DH with me, so the kids go with grandparents. Do you get along well enough that the kids can at least stay WITH them for a day or two while you labor and immediately PP? That's the hardest stage, I think. After that, a positive outlook and a good DH will get you through the first week, and then its much easier. Freezer meals are an awesome idea, and hiring a PP doula/housekeeper might be helpful if you have the funds.

I understand how family issues can be horrible. My grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. have, for the most part, been absolutely terrible to my parents. I grew up with it, and it sucks. But, you will get through it. Concentrate on the joys of your little family, and everyone will be happier. My parents kept life wonderful for us, despite all the challenges with the extended family. As a result, I am still very close with my folks and love them like parents AND best friends now.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:58 AM   #9
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Re: Unsupported post-partum?

With my other 2, my DH took a week off to stay home and help. This time? Well, I'm due right in the middle of tax season, and DH is a CPA, so he probably won't be able to take much if any time off. My immediate family is all in the area, but they all work and couldn't help for various reasons. I'm a little worried about the whole situation.

I'm planning on making a bunch of freezer meals and extra loaves of bread (we're gluten intolerant, so I make all my own), and doing any other prepping I can. My oldest is 4, and doesn't transition well, but I'm hoping that she'll be a big helper this time around.
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:41 PM   #10
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Re: Unsupported post-partum?

I am an only child and never wanted help other than DH, but now that this is my 4th and I home school the older 2 and the other is a toddler, I am sort of panicking. DH will only have 9-10 days off (he had an unexpected surgery this year that cut into his PTO) and my in-laws live out-of-state. The arrangement we have made is that he'll take off the first week, then go in half-days in the afternoon for 2 weeks because that's when I'll need more help (with school; and the toddler naps in the afternoon). My mom does live close and is supportive, so she has offered to come help one day a week too. Honestly people have all kinds of arrangements. I have one friend who just had her second daughter and Grandma came in to take the night shift for a few weeks. Wha? That sounded really cushy to me, but I guess it all depends on who you have around you and what they are willing to offer.


Could you ask for mother's helper hours as a baby gift? Or do you have a friend who is willing to sleep on your couch for a few days? I always refused this kind of help because I pictured an outside party being there as something that would interfere with bonding. Then I got the chance to do this for a friend and my perspective changed. Basically I did the meals, laundry, dishes,dog walking, etc., which freed her up for more bonding. I know it wasn't a positive experience when relatives stayed before, just wondering if a friend might be more respectful of your boundaries?

eta: I noticed several house cleaners on groupon for my area, so you may be able to get a deal on that service. Also I am stocking the freezer.

Last edited by made4this; 12-20-2012 at 10:44 PM. Reason: eta
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