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Thread: Did you have a Babymoon?

  1. #1

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    Default Did you have a Babymoon?

    Seems like so many of us are back in the saddle pretty quickly after giving birth. Did you actually have a season of rest and recovery after birth, snuggled up with your newbie, people bringing you food and drink? Did anyone take your older children to the park and being meals, hang out washing and vacuum?



    If you did, tell us - how did you wangle it???

    Did anyone get stir-crazy and feel like you just have to get out?

    Any regrets, or do you feel like you timed it about right?

  2. #2

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    I am in the middle of my babymoon now. My DS is 9 days old. He was born at home in our bedroom and we have only ventured as far as the kitchen since his birth. My DH has taken 6 weeks off work and has been doing all the cooking, washing of nappies, school lunches, school run, etc.

    I didn't have a babymoon with my last bub. I developed mastitis when he was a week old- I was very ill. This time, I wanted to rest and recover from the birth, make sure bf was well established and just enjoy my little one. It is such a precious time that ends so quickly.

    My MW is doing home visits. My mum drops in most days to hug the bub, so I can grab a shower. She often takes a load of washing home with her.

    We have a food roster starting this weekend. A friend organised it. It will give my DH a well earned break.

    I love the fact that I don't have to be anywhere or do anything except spend time with my bub. My kids are enjoying having their dad around, and I don't think they are suffering any ill effects from their mum cocooning in her room. They spend time with me and bub, reading and talking- and, of course, cuddling him.

    My room is very cosy. My MW lent me a breast feeding chair. I have beautiful flowers, cards and gifts for bub arranged on my dresser. My bedroom windows have a lovely view of distant mountains. Bub feeds 2-3 hourly, so if I am tired during the day, I doze while he does or lie next to him and read a book. I am making my way through the Hunger Games trilogy!

    I have had a cracked nipple so I have been focusing on healing and establishing good attachment. We had our first round of visitors yesterday, so I actually went out in to the lounge room - and I put on a bra and some decent clothes!

    The only downside- DH doesn't have the same housekeeping standards as I do! Not that he has a lot of time, I know. But I have just had to accept the fact that the house will be untidy for a little while. There have been a couple of mornings where I have done 10 minutes of housework while bub is asleep, because I am aware that DH is carrying a lot at the moment. But, he hasn't complained. I think he is enjoying the break from a stressful job and enjoying one on one time with DS2 while the other kids are at school.

    When will my babymoon end? I don't know yet but I want to be having pain free bf before I venture out. This is my 4th bub. You'd think I wouldn't be having any bf problems. I am just very grateful that I have the time and space to nurture myself, my bub and our bf relationship.

  3. #3

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    Nope First few weeks of my DD's life were spent desperately trying to establish breastfeeding. After two weeks of cup feeding (and other methods, with a bottle, spoon etc) we got her to latch with a nipple shield. Then at 3 weeks old my marriage broke down and I moved out with my daughter. So yeah. No babymoon here. I would have loved one.

  4. #4

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    I didn't have a babymoon either time but am seriously considering one this time. Following DD1's birth I was feeling the best I had felt in nine months so was eager to be out and about with my new bub. With DD2 I was home from hospital within hours of her birth and got right back into it all, until I developed viral vertigo when she was 5 days old that flattened me for a few days. Otherwise I had done heaps of prep work with frozen meals etc and we were lucky enough back then to have a cleaner coming once a fortnight so things just went on as normal. With both girls I was out and about with them within days of their birth.

    This time around I am seriously considering a longer stay in hospital just to get a bit more of a rest and a bit of time to establish feeding with DD3 without having to worry about doing that while still looking after DDs 1 and 2. I know my mum will be great at helping out, but I've never been comfortable with my mother cleaning for me so it would all be child or baby based help. Likewise my DH is extremely hands on, but in a way I think it may be easier for my girls if I'm simply not in the house while we try and get feeding established. Not sure. They'll be out a bit during the day with kindy and pp, but I still have to play that one by ear, and given I'm not good at being in hospital I'll probably read this thread again in a few months and wonder why I didn't take my own advice and stay in hospital for at least one night!

    I truly feel far more energised and healthier in those first few weeks after giving birth than I ever feel during pregnancy, so I'm climbing the walls pretty quickly if I'm not out doing stuff. I love the idea of a babymoon - especially the way Ash has described hers.

  5. #5

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    With my first I had completely stocked up the pantry and freezer so we didn't have to leave the house or cook. But I was so keen to show off my brand new bub we had a never ending stream of visitors. My sister was sitting in our driveway when I came home the day after giving birth! I was so proud I didn't mind at all. I was so exhausted in those early weeks from the birth and having a newborn that DH had to blow dry my hair and help me get dressed. In hindsight I should've been a lot more easy on myself.

    So with our second born in December I was very vocal during the pregnancy about having time just for the four of us. Again I had filled the freezer and the pantry full of everything we could want. I had taken on a cleaner who was coming once a week. I came home the same day and though I had visitors in the house before I even got home, we then had no one for about 5 days. When I was ready to have people over I wasn't afraid to say no if it wasn't convenient, I probably only had two or three visits per week. My DH was home for ages, I think it was 8 weeks, he did everything and all I had to do was lay in bed and cuddle my bub! I actually felt fantastic after my 2nd birth but I still loved taking it easy and enjoying those early weeks as much as I could. I will always cherish that time.

    In regards to going out, with my first I felt very stir crazy and went out quite a bit! With my second we still went out but it was more for DS1, we took him on car rides to see xmas lights, out to see santa, to the local playcentre...I took advantage of my sleeping newborn and my carrier and always enjoyed being out with my family
    Last edited by ~Hestia~; February 23rd, 2012 at 03:06 PM.

  6. #6

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    Ash, that sounds like babymoon heaven! And it's so important - it makes such a difference long term. I wish every mama had a real babymoon and real support - I think our PND rates would be lower.

    This post by Gloria Lemay has some suggestions: After the Birth, What the Family Needs

    PZ, I'm so sorry your post natal time was so stressful. Last thing you needed.

    This article, How other cultures prevent PND also has some interesting thoughts:

    In my work as a Doula, my focus is on the mother. I want to provide whatever it is that she needs to feel comfortable, nourished, relaxed, and appreciated: to facilitate a harmonious transition for both mother and child in those profound first days and weeks after birth. A mother needs someone who cares about how many times the baby woke to nurse in the night, how many diapers were changed, how her breasts are feeling. She may need her back massaged or her sheets changed, or she may need someone to provide an abundant supply of water or tea, salads ready-made in the refrigerator, a bowl of cut-up fruit. She needs to be able to complain about how little her mate understands what she's going through, and perhaps, some gentle reminders of all the contributions he has made. She needs someone to hold the baby so she can take a shower or even go to the bathroom; someone to answer the phone when she's napping; someone to water her plants or garden, to clean the kitchen and bathroom, to keep up on the family's laundry. She may have many questions and concerns that only an experienced mother can understand. She needs patience and kind words and a clean and calm environment (Webber, 1992, p. 17).

    While our culture continues to lack supportive postpartum rituals, the work of individual women can make a significant difference. Many are surprised that this decidedly "low-tech" intervention can work. Yet this is perhaps the most important lesson we can learn from the cultures that Stern and Kruckman described. We must begin to change the way we think about providing care for new mothers. This care should not stop once the baby is born, but should continue throughout the postpartum period.

    In conclusion, we have learned that women can make a comfortable and peaceful transition into motherhood. Postpartum illness is not inevitable and in many cases can be prevented. It is time that we recognize and meet the needs postpartum women. The health of our families depends on it.
    Last edited by Julie Doula; February 23rd, 2012 at 03:12 PM.

  7. #7

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    I didn't first time, made sure I did second time though!

    First time was c-sect birth and was 2 weeks out from Christmas. Lots of visitors, not much help from DH, no family around to help so I was up and at 'em straight away. It was not good. I had heaps of trouble breastfeeding, was an emotional wreck, much more than gentle baby blues and developed an infection at my scar site. Thank goodness my DD1 was a well settled baby as I did manage to catch my breath and survive.

    Second time I had a homebirth and knew much more about post natal needs. I knew that I needed to set up a good support network and take things easy after birth, modelling myself on so many other cultures where new mothers are expected to rest and focus only on baby for 40 days. This was reinforced by my midwife who ordered me to sit on the couch for 2 weeks and only get up to go to the toilet or go to bed. I thought she was mad but I had trusted her implicitly up to that point and she had never steered me wrong. Interestingly, at my 6 week check up when I mentioned that I was amazed at how well my lady bits had healed and how I felt that I had no lasting effects of the vaginal birth even though I was expecting to never feel the same after stories from my friends, my midwife was not at all surprised and explained that the 2 weeks off my feet had allowed my body to heal. I knew I trusted her for a reason .

    How did I wrangle it? Well, Dh is pretty useless when it comes to looking after me, the kids and house (love him but it is the reality!) so I called on my mother and asked her to stay for a few weeks. I was really lucky to be able to do that, as she had retired and could spare the time. She was awesome, took care of DD1, the house, the meals, everything. I was very lucky and after my other experience, I knew it.

    Interestingly, at 3 weeks, when mum went home, I had to go to the shops to get something and I bumped into a Chinese lady there who could not hide her horror when she saw me with my 3 week old in my arms! I guessed she was shocked to see such a small baby out and about and I was right, she asked me how old DD2 was and explained that in the culture she does not leave bed for 4 weeks and would never leave the house. I told her I thought it was a wonderful system and we do have a very strange system here where we are expected to leap back into life straight away She wanted to know why it was this way in Australia and the only thing I could think was the disconnection between the generations and community. For her it was a given that her mother or her mother in law would come over to help. That, sadly, is just not the case for us - generally. Most people I have talked about this with are usually gobsmacked to think that a new mum should be in bed for 40 days, or at least resting. I find it so sad that we cannot see the benefit or normality of that.

    I have made it my mission now to sit new dads down, or dads to be, and spell out the benefit to them of allowing their wife/partner a minimum of 2 weeks rest. I tend to skip past most of the obvious benefits for bonding/bf etc as there can be a bit of eyes glazing over and 'oh that hippie stuff again' attitude. I have found that focusing on the benefit to a new mother's vaginal healing is a big motivator! I figure, if Dad is motivated to help mum rest, it is more likely she will.

  8. #8

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    Technically, no.

    With DS, once we were home, that was it. DH had days off work but they consisted of when I was in hospital. I had him for 2 or so days at home and then he was off to work all the time again. Having said that, though, I've got wonderful ILs. Whenever I needed help, and I've called/SMSed them, they were over like a shot to help out, even if it was only for 2 hours so I can have a bit of sleep/rest.

    With DD, I was lucky enough to have had her while there was school holidays, but I still did most of it because DH was getting everything ready for work. We were also trying to establish and keep up the feeding schedule that I had when I got discharged from the hossy.

    I'd not gone anywhere myself until Valentines Day (DD 1month old the next day), when I went out with DH to poker for 3 or so hours and left the kids with the ILs cause I needed to get out. I told them I was honestliy going to go stir crazy if I had to stay home any longer (It wasn't the kids. DS has been pretty good except for kicking DD in the face once and smacking her a couple times across the head. It was the feeling of four walls around me all the damn time, and the only time I got out had been for DD 10 day checkup, to take DS to the dr for his chest infection and myself because I had a small infection in my scar)
    My first night out on my own, was for 3 hours on Tuesday night. I needed it. What the best thing bout it was, I turned $45 into $160 and that paid for more nappies for both DD and DS

    How'd I wrangle it? I honestly thought I was going to struggle with going from one child to two. But I'm lucky enough to have a DS that will keep himself occupied, and I think he could do it all day if he could get his own drinks and food! The only thing I'm kinda of struggling with is how, whenever I put DD down, she cries and cries until she gets picked up But since DD has been born and DS has gotten better from what he had, he's regularly getting up at 8-8:30am so if DD goes back to sleep around 7-7:30am, I will end up getting at least another hour of sleep and that usually kick starts me in my day (of course cause DH has to let me know when he's off to work)
    I can honesrly say though, I'm lucky, I'm very lucky enough to have two wonderfully behaved children that it makes it easy for me (and hard for me to want to go back to work!)
    Last edited by ElleJay; February 23rd, 2012 at 06:25 PM.

  9. #9

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    Would have loved to. Unfortunately, both times we spent the next week planning a funeral. Which is hell anyway, let alone after giving birth. If we ever get a live baby, I'll be staying home cuddling him/her for a month.

  10. #10

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    I didn't the first time round as I had a Em-C-Section and was in hospital for 6 days after, DH only had 2 weeks off. Second time round he had 4 weeks off and we agreed that he would look after DD1 and the cooking etc, while I got to snuggle up with DD2. I have to say the difference between the 2 experiences has been phenomenal, I had PND with DD1 but it went undiagnosed for 3 years but with DD2 it was so different.

  11. #11

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    Definitely not with DS1. Though his birth was a pretty good one, I barely slept for four days as we tried hard to establish breastfeeding, and I didn't find hospital particularly conducive to R&R (and for the record, we did achieve bfing which continued 13 months - so in hindsight it was worth it).

    With DS2 it was different, he BFd immediately and was so settled after he was born. Lots more time to "sit back" and enjoy him. My parents stayed with us for a couple of weeks too, so I had some help when I got home. It wasn't without its odd stressful moment (just with lots of people in the house and trying to find our groove a bit), but post-DS2's birth was definitely far more relaxing than DS'1s. This time I'm determined to get pampered after bub's birth ... if only!! lol

  12. #12

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    sort of

    baby was born at home at 8:55pm Sunday night after a 45hour labour (start to finish). By 4pm the following day, my BIL has invited himself over, sat on our couch talking about himself for an hour and then asked DH for a ride to the train station. Later that evening, SIL and my closest girlfriend came around, both quick visits.

    The following morning, my parents and brother were coming from interstate to meet DS. Dad told us they'd be here at 10am and that they'd hire a car so they could say hello, spend some time with DS, go out and get us some lunch then come back for another visit in the afternoon before going back to their hotel and fly home the following morning. Their flight arrived at 9:30am but rather than come around, they all went out for brunch and showed up at our place at 1:30pm without bothering to call or message. They also didn't bring us any lunch. Dad told me he'd make a sandwich, I told him we didn't have any bread and his response was 'oh'. They stayed for 5 hours. My mum nursed DS the entire time. Time *I* should have been cuddling him.

    The Wednesday FIL and 2 of DHs teenage siblings came to visit from interstate. Again, they showed up over a meal time. Lunch. DH suggested that his Dad go down the street to get some groceries for lunch...FIL responded with, 'oh don't worry about us! We ate McDonalds on the way here!' DH told him no, food for US. FIL just looked confused, then suggested we ALL GO OUT FOR SOME DINNER LATER ON!! DS hadn't yet worn clothes and FIL was suggesting going out for a meal?!?

    The Thursday my older sister was going to come and meet DS, I told a girlfriend not to come on that day because I wanted my older sister, who has been estranged from the family for periods, to have time with DS. She didn't show up. No call, no text. I was angry but relieved to have a day with no visitors.

    Friday, my birthday, a girlfriend came around and brought her two toddlers. While DS slept, her girls took everything off our shelves, played with wooden toys on our wooden floors (noisy!) and my 'friend' sent some other friend SMSes. After sitting for awhile, obviously bored and annoyed she didn't get to cuddle the baby, she said 'he's probably wet - you should change him.' Wake up my 5 day old baby to change his nappy so you can hold him? Uh. No.

    Next time, I'll be insisting on no visitors for at least 5 days.
    Last edited by e_p; July 31st, 2013 at 10:28 PM.

  13. #13

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    Oh eutra, I was feeling frustrated just reading about it. Big hugs.

  14. #14

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    I spent 8 days in hospital (minimum requirement was 7 days) with the option of staying longer. My DD was born in winter & my DH is an outdoor labourer, so go to take additional time off whilst I was in hospital, so he would come in the morning and stay until the evening - that would give me time to sleep and shower whilst he looked after DD.

    At home he had another 2 weeks off & cooked, cleaned, washed etc.... and was very hands on with DD.

    My mum then come over in the mornings and spent most of the days with me - letting me rest, feeding me & keeping me company.

    I also had my IL's for about a week and they helped out too

    I found that I wanted to get out of the house - I felt I had a bit of cabin fever b/c I was used to doing whatever I liked before DD come along but this time around I am planning on staying home as much as possible and taking up lots of offers for help & meals. (even though DH can cook)

  15. #15

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    No, and I really want to do things differently next time round.

    It didn't happen for the following reasons:
    1. Everyone in the world seemed to think it was a great time to come and visit. They would only tell us vague times they would be coming so I didn't want to go to sleep just before they came (I felt like I would be being rude). I also felt like the house needed to be reasonably presentable when people came over (again, it was my thinking, but it made things worse for myself).
    2. DH had just started a new job and we weren't sure if his 2 weeks off were going to count towards his annual leave or paternity leave. In case they were his annual leave he wanted to have some time doing things 'he' wanted to do, meaning I was left doing everything.
    3. I'm a bit anal about keeping the house clean, so being around the house all the time drove me nuts if things weren't clean.
    4. I wanted to 'show off' DD, so wanted to get out the house a bit.
    5. When people (eg MIL) came over, I felt as though I should be staying in the same room 'entertaining' them. I should have taken the opportunity to have a rest/shower.
    6. Because of all of the above I don't feel like I look after myself/was looked after enough and I just ended up soooo tired and an emotional wreck.

  16. #16

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    Another sort of here,
    I stayed in hosp for 4 days post birth and was one of those people who always had 10mil people visiting cos 3 lots of people flew straight over to meet the first grandbaby, when we got home there was 5 people waiting for us (thankfully one of them was MIL who had done some washing and the dishes etc.) Then we got some peace, only broken by my sister, mum and MIL who mainly were very useful and welcomed. First outing was 6days old cos he was too long for all the newborn clothes we had!
    My biggest issue was DHs work, he was on the phone to them within 4hrs of DS birth and spent most of his 2wks off on the phone to them, on the work computer, or dropping into work. I am still not over the fact that they were calling him needing help before we got to the ward!

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