Oh god have I damaged DD forever?

(75 Posts)
emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 15:44:46

We have an 8 week old DD and it has been tough, no more so than anyone else coping with a newborn but tough.
DH and I have just had a screaming row right in front of her while she cried.
I feel physically sick with guilt.
It was a stupid row, I was trying to sleep after a bad night and DH was 'looking after' her... I know I am being unreasonable but he was not doing a stellar job, she woke up and was crying and for some unknown reason he decided to suddenly sterilise a load of dummies rather than just pour boiling water over one and give it to her to soothe her. I had managed fifteen mins sleep and all I could hear was wailing from the kitchen, he wasn't even talking to her, just waiting for the steriliser to finish. He is a good DH but I think he has no real instinct at the moment for the difficult moments of fatherhood.
I charged downstairs criticising him,I know it was unhelpful but I was just so desperate for a sleep and I couldn't believe he had only managed fifteen mins with her. He obviously felt defensive because he screamed at me which isn't something he normally does. I screamed back and whacked him on the arm sad
I am ashamed of myself and feel sick. Poor little DD she was crying even more.
I always swore we would not row in front of her, my parents did it a lot and it is frightening.
We have a great relationship usually but this is taking its toll. I just want to feel I can rely on him so that I can get the occasional bit of extra sleep, I am struggling with DD in the week as I am so tired.
Have I damaged poor little DD permanently? What can I do to make it ok for her?
DH has taken her off for a walk in pram which I think was the right thing to do to calm us all down
I can't possibly sleep now, I am scared of what impact this has had and am scared we will do it again and frighten her even more.
Sorry for rambling, am in a bit of a state here.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sun 05-May-13 16:14:09

You need sleep! You are so tired, everything looks bigger and more important than it actually is smile I do remember those feelings very well indeed.

Try to relax, get some rest and then talk calmly to you DH

It does get better xx

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 16:16:53

And yes I think I do need to leave DH to it.

I was so fed up as I had only just gone to sleep and was feeling like h couldn't even manage to keep her asleep/happy for long enough for me to rest. I was up with her a lot in the night while he slept in spare room and slept in til 10am(!) as I thought he could do with the lie in... I just lost it when my catch-up got wrecked almost immediately

LEMisdisappointed Sun 05-May-13 16:18:49

I also think its unreasonable to expect to never argue in front of children, it can be so stressful when you have stuff going on and and a crying baby/demanding toddler/child not letting you hve a minute to think straight. So you end up chipping at each other and sometimes it explodes.

A friend of mine said something once, that she feels that its OK for children to see arguments so long as they see the making up, the "i'm sorrys" and the cuddles. That gives them a sense of security apparently - i can see she has a point, i think this would be bad if all the arguments were explosive and of course no physical but it makes sense.

It does get easier - life is so much harder without sleep

poozlepants Sun 05-May-13 16:19:27

That was my DH. When I did get 15 minutes before the next feed there would immediately be crying and bawling. Ear plugs are the way to go.

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 16:20:47

Yes lesMis, I kind of agree, I just feel awful about the sheer intensity. I mean both of us were literally screaming, not even just shouting sad Christ knows what the neighbours thought...

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 16:23:20

Hadn't thought about ear plugs... Good thinking.
Maybe I could also get a pair for DD and a blindfold so she can't see and hear the next time we row... Black joke btw...

Emerald, just try and be a bit gentler on yourself and DH, your daughter will be fine.

badbelinda Sun 05-May-13 16:28:47

We have no neighbours so nobody can hear the screaming!

Pusspuss1 Sun 05-May-13 16:29:39

She'll be fine - you're just sleep deprived. It brings out the worst in everyone. Things will get easier as your baby gets a bit older and starts sleeping better.

StuntGirl Sun 05-May-13 16:31:26

Your daughter will not remember (or even be aware of) even a second of today.

You and your husband however...how would you have felt if he thought you were doing something wrong and he hit you? No matter how tired you are it's no excuse. I hope you've apologised and are looking into strategies to avoid losing control in future. Ear plugs sound like a great idea, perhaps put some music or the tv on quietly as well, if you can sleep with them on, to try and block out other noises coming from the house.

Why was he sleeping in the spare room while you did all the night wakings? Do you share the load at night usually or is it all on you?

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 16:32:03

Thanks spoony. smile
I am not good at just chilling, I am a very anxious person. But so far I believe I have been doing a decent job at being relaxed around DD and making her the pretty calm little soul she miraculously seems to be.
I hope I can get the equilibrium back now.

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 16:35:32

Stunt girl, he does the (roughly) midnight feed and then I do everything after that.
He has gone in the spare room for the last two nights, I can't quite work out how we made that decision...
Trouble is that he is hearing impaired so even if he were going to do a full night of feeds I would have to wake up to wake him when she cried.
It is quite a lot of pressure on me tbh and I am not sure I anticipated how much.

She will be fine, sleep deprivation is terrible and can lead us to act out of character.

When your DH gets back with your dd, apologise, have a family cuddle and chill out with a brew

When calmer sit with DH and talk with him about tricks you have learnt to make things easier, remember you spend every day, all day with her learning as you go along. When I went back to work when dd1 was a baby (DH SAHP) I had to leave lists for him to refer to. Being a new parent is hard, a steep learning curve, be gentle on each other.

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 16:43:20

Good advice Stitch thank you

NoSquirrels Sun 05-May-13 16:47:17

emeraldgirl, I remember your post from earlier in the week.

Both you and your DH are feeling under pressure. I think you said he's had a bad time at work, you are stressed and sleep-deprived and 8 weeks is pretty slap-bang in the middle of the hardest time of having a newborn. Your baby is 'old enough' that you expect your life to be getting easier, but actually it feels harder than when your little one was born.

Chin up. It will all come good soon. Babies change really quickly, honestly. It feels like for ever at the time, but it's not.

Please be kind to your DH. Please give him the cuddle that you are desperate to give your DD (she'll get one too, but give him a hug first. Honestly.) As you know, you've got to let him get on with it. Stick in your earplugs, bury head in pillow, don't come downstairs unless ABSOLUTELY VITAL. If your DH can't cope he will come and get you. If you don't let him find his own way, then he may stop trying. Short-term pain for long-term gain.

(BTW, I would say that one small baby can sort-of fit around your needs, you know. They are quite adaptable, and it's only when they get bigger and much more established in a routine, or you have a second child, that you need to really adapt to them rather than have them fit in with you.)

Doubtfuldaphne Sun 05-May-13 16:49:43

Everyone's tired and stressed when they have a baby and lots of couples row because of it.
It sounds like you really need a break- can you alternate night shifts?
The fact you hit your dh is a sign this is serious and you need to talk - now! Come up with a solution and talk about your differing parenting styles as everyone's different and you need to work as a team more than ever now
It does get easier, you'll be ok and your dd won't remember any of this.

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 16:50:09

NoSquirrels yep it's me again, sorry... I was so grateful for your very sensible advice before.
It does seem to have got harder these past few days, I think I have been misled into thinking eight weeks would be an improvement!!

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 16:52:48

Doubtfuldaphne, tricky to completely alternate night shifts as I say due to the hearing problem... I guess I could try to get my mum to come and stay for a night or two but I have a hard time relinquishing control (can you tell?!) and not sure I would like to sleep apart from DD so I don't wake at all overnight and have my mum feed her...

WafflyVersatile Sun 05-May-13 16:56:39

You have not ruined your DC's life.

However thinking 'I don't want to parent the same way mine did' sometimes isn't enough to stop you repeating their mistakes.

Maybe a parenting class* or therapy?

*this does not mean I think you are a bad mum, but everyone needs a bit of help and guidance sometimes.

emeraldgirl1 Sun 05-May-13 16:58:38

Waffly, have had therapy sad which just makes me feel like more of a disaster-mum as I really SHOULD know how to deal with anger triggers by now.

NoSquirrels Sun 05-May-13 17:00:09

Do you have any other help you can call on, emerald? Could you draft in your mum/DH's mum/sister/aunt/kind friend to come for a day or 2 in the week and let you have some morning or afternoon naps while they take the baby out for a walk? Even my MIL, who is a champion chatterer and can be quite hard to have around due to the nonstop talking was a wonder when our first baby was born as she insisted I go for a nap whenever possible and I was only too happy to oblige! Could DH take a day or two of annual leave? Honestly, now's the time. I often think that paternity leave comes at totally the wrong time, when the baby's no trouble and you're coasting on euphoria.

8 weeks in and you are EXHAUSTED. Your brain, your body, your soul. At the same time you are totally in love, it's all consuming and you find it hard to hand over control to anyone when you most need to, because you are worried about what will happen to this precious little person if you're not on duty. You are learning so many new things every day, you have been through a huge physical experience with pregnancy and childbirth and your hormones are doolally. You have little to no sleep (torture!) and you can't see an end in sight. I promise you there is one, and this too shall pass.

In the meantime, just remember that you and DH are both trying your best. Maybe he feels guilty about the hearing impairment making things harder? My DH did no night duty, it is a tough one, no doubt, but you sound like he is doing the midnight feed which should give you a chance to get a good block of sleep in if you can put everything else aside and just go to bed. Prioritize sleep over everything at the moment.

BrianCoxandTheTempleofDOOM Sun 05-May-13 17:02:06

I was ready to strangle exP this afternoon. How many times can you show one person how to strap a bloody car seat in. it isn't that hard. I tutted loudly, he reacted, luckily no row but it is only a matter of time before we have an almighty row and I will cause it because I'm sick of him not taking the care that I do, where DS is concerned.

examples :

not applying the break on the pram.
not testing the car seat after strapping it in.
leaving DS with no nappy under him while he wraps the old nappy up, resulting in DS peeing everywhere and ME having to sort it out as he will probably fuck up the clean-up too angry

All pathetic stuff but my god it winds me up. I sound like a nag "dont forget this,.have you done that?" If I don't remind him, he doesn't do it though.

Then he tells me how tired he is, after his full night's sleep in his house that his mum runs, cooks, cleans, washes wipes his arse for him.

If we were still together I dread to imagine the rows we'd have had by now.

I'm a grade A bitch. He loves DS and is trying his best BUT I.am fucking exhausted and don't want to have to second guess everything he does sad

So, OP, you aren't alone.

((hugs)) brew

Svrider Sun 05-May-13 17:04:18

Just to echo what everyone else has said
It took me a while to realise that dh's approach wasn't wrong, just different
Take up an iPod next time, and plug in some music
Don't interfere
Enjoy your rest

whatamardarse Sun 05-May-13 17:10:59

And go easy on yourself and your dh. Having a baby is physically and emotionally exhausting and you will both make mistakes. Nobody's perfect, and your dd will be ok as long as she knows she's loved.
Op that is good advice.

I'm so pleased that the majority of posters acknowledged that when op struck DH arm it was unacceptable. There simply is NO excuse.

When I had my first dd , my dp at the time was never good enough at dealing with her and I wouldn't let my self have a break as I would all ways butt in and take over. Then cry because I was so tired and didn't get any help. Maybe your dp is feeling inadequate, you don't seem to be supporting him either.

Your DD will be fine, I'd concentrate more on dealing with the issues of you and DH . Woman seem to 'know' what to do easier At the beginning than men do. Support him rather than expect him just to know what to do.

I would be apologising to DH too.

sarahtigh Sun 05-May-13 17:14:27

you have had a chance to calm down when DH gets back you need to give him a hug and apologise for hitting him that was wrong even if you were right in the argument and so you have to be very sorry for that as you know it is unacceptable

then you can discuss the rights and wrongs of argument, you are anxious but you have to let him parent his way, your way works for you but it is not necessarily the best or only way; neither does it mean his way is best either, your DD will not be damaged by one screaming row nor was she damaged waiting for dummy to be sterilised my DH would have washed under hot water

it does not do her any harm to cry occasionally I remember when DD was a similar age riving to my mother stuck on motorway in traffic she was wanting fed but she just had to cry until i reached next service station, it was almost certainly worse for me listening to her cry fr 35 minutes as we crawled along at 10-15mph but there was no alternative, hard shoulder closed signs to keep in lane etc but she would not even remember an hour later never mind now, your DD will be fine and if your relationship is basically good you and DH will be good too

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