Monday, August 6, 2012

When baby comes...

I'm going to tell you a secret. Well, it might not be a secret for some of you, but it's not anything I've ever said out loud before. 

When Archer was first born, other than the whirlwind of emotions from just having a newborn baby and being exhausted, I was exhausted from spending extra time in the hospital (NICU parents, my heart goes out to you indefinitely) and I wanted to get to my home so that I could learn what life was like with a new baby. When I got home there were well intentioned visitors at my house which was ok for the first hour or so, because it allowed me time to shower and eat. 

After that first day, the constant stream of visitors really wore me down. I really just wanted time alone with my baby to learn what in the world I was supposed to do. Why wasn't he eating, why didn't I have enough milk, when would I ever sleep again? It was so stressful and overwhelming. My baby wasn't getting any bigger and I was really just freaking out. 

The people who came to visit were most likely met with me running to my room, a messy house, and I was struggling to hold it all together and take care of myself and a new baby. I know I cooked a few times, but other than that, I couldn't tell you what Chance ate or if he did. 

I wasn't a very good hostess. I was really upset that people kept coming and wanting to hold this baby that I was supposed to be feeding every hour. I needed help with other things, but holding the baby wasn't one of them. That feeling, knowing it would be happening again, knowing I'm going to feel so territorial and stressed has been causing me anxiety from the moment I found out I was pregnant again. I try not to stress about stuff like that, but those emotions were so strong that I'm not ready to feel that way again. 

When I tried to talk to Chance about it, he said he wasn't sure why I was stressing, I've done it all before. Sure, but I did it all before without having to worry about getting up and getting a 4 year old ready for school or feeding him or ensuring that he has enough time and attention. I want to be successful at breast feeding and that means better habits at the beginning, which is going to be even harder with a preschooler. 

It's going to be harder this time because I may or may not have help, depending on Chance's work schedule. I might be doing it all on my own right away, and I'll need so much help. 

I'm saying all of this to say, I'm not against people coming over. I know they want to see the baby. But before I have guests coming over to hold and spend time with my baby, I need time to be a mother. I don't need people holding him, I need people cooking dinner so that I don't have to loading the dishwasher, folding clothes or tossing something in the washer, going to the store for groceries or whatever, taking Archer to play at the park or just giving him one on one time. I'm terrible at asking for help, and chances are, I won't. I'll sit and cry in my overemotional state. 

Breastfeeding is hard and I'm so anxious to do it in front of people, I need privacy. I've never really pumped before, but definitely plan to this time, so I imagine I'll just be living in my bedroom until I can get the hang of it again in peace and privacy. 

I found this blog early in my pregnancy and it put words to so many things I felt. I think it goes a little further than I would, but the bare bones are such great ideas. 

I'm not saying I think every visitor who comes to my house should come expecting to clean and not be spoken to, without getting to hold the baby. I just ask that everyone be respectful of the time they spend and please try to be somewhat helpful without expecting me to entertain you or let you hold my baby for long periods of time. Have patience with me, because I'm going to be on an emotional roller coaster and most likely will not have patience for anyone. 

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Amy said...

I think your requests are reasonable and you should reiterate when in labor! I did NOT want people coming to see my in the hospital but of course Rob's family didn't respect that. I was so emotional after the twins and them coming in when all I wanted to do was scream and cry was awkward. I was in pain, I needed to pump, and it just stressed me out. Once we got home we made it clear people needed to call first before coming over. Rob's parents even got mad we asked them to wash their hands before touching our premature infants. It was ridiculous. This time we have agreed no one will know the due date, we'll hire an independent baby sitter for while I am in labor, and then Rob will take the kids while I care for the new baby. We'll let family know when we feel up to having visitors.

Sally @ A Blessed Existence said...

If it's a normal healthy delivery, I really don't mind visitors at the hospital. It's neutral ground and people don't feel compelled to stay around forever. My biggest concern is coming home and not being able to feed or pump comfortably in my own home because people will want to come and visit for hours, not just the baby but Chance too, since he's gone a lot.

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