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Old Oct 26th, 2017, 09:43 AM   1
MEPride
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the REAL first 6 weeks postpartum for FTM's


I am a ftm. Delivered via c-section on September 8, 2017 to my beautiful little girl, Aurora. And I was completely blind sighted.

I want to tell other soon-to-be ftm my 'experience' of the first 6 weeks 5 days with a newborn that I consider average, or so I've been led to believe.

I break it down into 2 week increments:

-week 0-2: tough because of sleep deprivation and recovering from surgery. Tough because of nursing sessions every 1-2 hours and figuring things out like car seats and how to turn off perpetual worry-wart mom brain (checking on baby every 2seconds). Crying spells and feeling sad/lonely/alone related to hormones every day to couple days. But a sleepy baby who is easy, content, and is put down for naps quickly and easily... except from 10pm-2am when baby inexplicably wakes up.

Weeks 2-4: "bliss". Starting to find our groove and starting to get a routine down. Nights are getting easier and she no longer is awake for hours on end. Clusterfeeding is less and baby is spacing her nursing sessions more. A 3 hour stretch of sleep at night on occasion! No more baby blues but still with a crying jag maybe once a week as a result of sleep deprivation. Baby is still easily put down to sleep but she is starting to get inconsistently cranky in the evenings.

Week 5: hell on wheels. Ouch. Baby goes through her first leap week and the days alternate from being completely off her rocker with fussiness and refusing to sleep and sleeping all day and night. Talk about at my wits end with frustration because of a baby who is super cranky. But after 5 days she 'wakes up' and is suddenly more alert and aware. Notice little milestones achieved. Thank goodness mil was visiting to help that week.... but with a more aware baby comes a more consistently cranky baby in the evenings. The witching hours are officially a constant companion in the evenings. Can last a few hours any time between 4pm and 11pm. Miss crankpot is her new nicknames.

Week 5.5-6.5: crankiness continues to increase. Toughest period yet with the new baby. She is calmest first thing in the morning but it all starts going slightly downhill after her first nap of the day ends around 10am. She gets more fussy as the day goes on. Doesn't know what she wants except to suck on the breast or binky for comfort. Usually has meltdowns in the evening when she won't sleep and can be awake for hours needing 100% attention/entertainment and a lot of soothing to go back to sleep. Nursing around 7-8pm is a nightmare. Overtired and fussy. She cries at the breast, pulls away, claws at it. Very ineffective nursing session. Momma sometimes cries too, feeling worn thin and frustrated. Doesn't know how to help baby and generally feeling helpless and out of control. Momma is desperate for some alone time in the evening sometimes. But baby simultaneously is fussiest around momma and is soothed best by momma. Momma feels almost betrayed. She can't sleep at night, not because of baby but because she is stressed, overworked, and frustrated. Baby is better at night and can sleep for 4 hour stretches.


No one has said ANYTHING about this part of the newborn phase. There was no warning. Everything online and in books gloss over the unrelenting fussiness around 6-8 weeks. It can be hell. I'm still waiting for the moment she smiles.

Don't get me wrong. I am so happy I have her in my life. She is so wonderful. But I won't pretend... the newborn phase sucks. It's a good thing we women have ocytocin to help us forget. And lots of newborn baby smell. And snuggles. Lots of adorable snuggles.

I figured I share this as it's something overlooked and not spoken of. Hopefully this thread will open conversation for new and veteran moms to share their experiences.



 
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Old Oct 26th, 2017, 11:34 AM   2
Cewsbaby
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Oh, I remember that stage all too well. In fact, its the part I am least looking forward to. My son actually never wanted to sleep at night but it turned out he wasn't latching well at all so he never got enough milk. That was the most frustrating thing ever but I pumped and it helped me out a lot.

Im curious how much harder its all going to be with a 3 year old and a newborn. Thankfully my DH will get 2 weeks of paternity leave and then is taking 2 weeks of leave to help out. MIL and mom should also be here spaced out to help me.

My biggest surprise though was how my insides felt for a few months. It was hallow and everything felt like it was floating around. It made me feel so grossed out.



 
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Old Oct 26th, 2017, 12:09 PM   3
GI_Jane
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Not looking forward to the sleep deprivation stage and having a 4 year old to deal with either!



 
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Old Oct 26th, 2017, 13:22 PM   4
MEPride
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cewsbaby View Post
Oh, I remember that stage all too well. In fact, its the part I am least looking forward to. My son actually never wanted to sleep at night but it turned out he wasn't latching well at all so he never got enough milk. That was the most frustrating thing ever but I pumped and it helped me out a lot.

Im curious how much harder its all going to be with a 3 year old and a newborn. Thankfully my DH will get 2 weeks of paternity leave and then is taking 2 weeks of leave to help out. MIL and mom should also be here spaced out to help me.

My biggest surprise though was how my insides felt for a few months. It was hallow and everything felt like it was floating around. It made me feel so grossed out.
How did you discover that he wasn't latching well?

Funny, I never felt like my insides were floating around. Maybe it's because I had a c section? I did feel empty for a while though. Like something deeply a part of me was missing.



 
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Old Oct 26th, 2017, 13:28 PM   5
MEPride
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Originally Posted by GI_Jane View Post
Not looking forward to the sleep deprivation stage and having a 4 year old to deal with either!
I don't blame you! We want 2 kids and I cannot even fathom having a toddler and a newborn at the same time.



 
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Old Oct 26th, 2017, 14:37 PM   6
krissie328
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I remember feeling that way with DS. It is such a shock because people make it seem so amazing with a newborn. That was definitely not my experience and I am really dreading it.

I did find by 3 months we were in a groove and he was smiling so things improved a lot by then.



 
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Old Oct 26th, 2017, 16:15 PM   7
Kelskiii
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Oh yes I remember those days .. 9 weeks & I will be doing it again ..

Yet this time all that with a soon to be 4 year old who will need to be at nursery 8.45am each morning. I remember with R we used to sleep on & off all morning finally getting dressed mid afternoon .. most certainly won't be happening this time round.

I do have plenty of family to help me though, I will probably let them help this time & not be so protective of my daughter .. maybe/maybe not.

It does get easier though! My daughter still doesn't sleep well but no longer every 2 hours haha soon as we got to 12 weeks we found it got easier x



 
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Old Oct 26th, 2017, 16:19 PM   8
Cewsbaby
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MEPride View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cewsbaby View Post
Oh, I remember that stage all too well. In fact, its the part I am least looking forward to. My son actually never wanted to sleep at night but it turned out he wasn't latching well at all so he never got enough milk. That was the most frustrating thing ever but I pumped and it helped me out a lot.

Im curious how much harder its all going to be with a 3 year old and a newborn. Thankfully my DH will get 2 weeks of paternity leave and then is taking 2 weeks of leave to help out. MIL and mom should also be here spaced out to help me.

My biggest surprise though was how my insides felt for a few months. It was hallow and everything felt like it was floating around. It made me feel so grossed out.
How did you discover that he wasn't latching well?

Funny, I never felt like my insides were floating around. Maybe it's because I had a c section? I did feel empty for a while though. Like something deeply a part of me was missing.
He cried a lot and was really gassy all the time. He was really getting more air than milk. When we took him in I asked to speak to the lactation consultant again and we discovered he had lost 1lb in 2 weeks. We tried even with bottle feeding (breast milk) and he just wouldn't latch. I am big breasted and the consultant thought that might have something to do with it. Hoping this baby will breastfeed but if not then I am perfectly ok with pumping again. I was able to do it for 6 months last time before my supply ran out.



 
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Old Oct 26th, 2017, 16:29 PM   9
Bonnie11
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Yes! Motherhood often looks really way but it's the hardest job in the world, especially the first few months. I don't think I felt properly confident till around 6 months. I was just treading water before that!



 
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Old Oct 26th, 2017, 19:25 PM   10
Palladium
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No matter how prepared you think you are, the reality is such a shock!

With my DD I was completely unprepared for when she had bad gas on the second night and wouldn't settle. Thank goodness for a very patient and attentive midwife who helped me out!

Then on the fifth night (still in hospital after a C-section) I was totally caught off guard by her first session of cluster feeding from around midnight to 4am. I'd thought I'd read up on everything but somehow I'd missed cluster feeding, and I was at my wits end with her. My DH was with me but I was trying to let him sleep as much as possible because he was going to be driving us home the next morning. Thankfully a midwife came along to check on us and explained what was happening so at least I knew she wasn't sick or anything.



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