Being in the UK I have found that there are very different expectations to the post partum experience to others around the world. Our cousins across the pond for example hold this as a sacred period for women and I wish I had done the same.
Once we had been told we were able to go home we arranged for my in laws to come meet Baby B all together, so MIL, FIL, BIL and girlfriend in one go. Since the morning of Baby B’s birth I had been receiving text messages from MIL asking when they can come to see Baby B so me and my husband decided it would be better to just get it over and done with and then we can relax for a couple of weeks.
Looking back I wish I had done things differently and given ourselves a little more time to recover and adjust. I was running on 2 hours sleep in a 72 hour window, was still sore from the stitches I had to have, and instead of resting when we got home I hopped in the shower because our house was to be invaded less than an hour later.
Thankfully the visit lasted only 2 hours (mostly because I pretty much kicked them out) and we were able to rest afterwards. It didn’t last long though, the messages started up again shortly after asking when we were going to bring the baby over to them! Because we totally wanted to be carting our newborn around in the car so other people could overstimulate her for their own gratification right?
My advice to any other woman out there is take all the time you need and forget about who might be offended. At this point in your life their feelings are not your problem.
There was so much going on with my body and it is entirely overwhelming for a new mother, particularly a first timer who had never experienced this before. There’s the bleeding (who knew there would be so much left over??!), the aches from childbirth, the hormones all over the shop (I literally cried about a chocolate eclair), my milk coming in, and the fact that I was pumping around the clock to give Baby B my milk as she was unable to latch.
For those who are breastfeeding there’s the added challenge of getting this established, working on the perfect latch and position, identifying and resolving any issues, and building your milk supply. If you are going to try breastfeeding I would certainly recommend taking at least 2 weeks to yourself so you can essentially sit topless with your baby attached to your breasts. Nobody wants to be doing that with their FIL ogling them do they?