I'm writing this in the middle of the night, right after a bottle feed and a nappy change coupled with incessant wailing piercing through my ears. I've often tried to seek solace on the internet hoping that I'm not alone in this situation and that someone out there has some answers to offer or, at the very least, is able to say that I'm not alone in this trying times.
My daughter was delivered via c-section just over 3 weeks ago due to unforeseen birth complications that arose during labour. Upon seeing the amount of pain, discomfort and immobility my wife had to endure in the first few hours and days post-op, I offered to sleep on the couch with the cot by my side during the night so that I can tend to my daughter (change her nappies, bottle feed her and rock her back to sleep) without her jolting my wife up from sleep with her crying. I made it my goal to ensure that she had at least 6 - 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep before she gets up to breast feed at intervals in the day. My mother-in-law also chips in to help during the day so that my wife wouldn't have to move about too much. All I wanted for her was to have a speedier recovery so that we could look after our child to the best we can.
3 weeks on, I endured with only an hour or 2 of sleep in the night before throttling off to work. I usually knock off around 5 - 6pm and get back home in less than an hour. I try to have my dinner as quickly as possible before starting my shift around 8pm by helping my wife to bathe and then tending to my baby. My mother in law is usually exhausted by then so she usually turns in early. The last breast feed my wife gives is at around 11 or 12 before she turns in and leaves everything else to me.
3 weeks in with the lack of sleep accumulating and work piling up, I'm beginning to feel increasingly frustrated that:
1) Despite making such quick recovery and being able to move around without assistance (the Gynae has even remarked that she has recovered extremely well), my wife doesn't seem to be getting herself involved as much as I would like her to be. I'm still running the same night shifts and my mother in law is still doing the bulk of the work in the day. My wife does chip on a few rare occasions when neither of us are available, but that usually amounts up to 1 or 2 nappy changes.
2) No one in the household seems to recognize that I still have a job to do in the day in order to pay for all my family's necessities. Not once has there ever been an offer to lighten my burden; somehow it has just become an expectation that I have to fulfill by default.
Does anyone know how I can cope with this? I understand that it generally takes 6 weeks for c-sect mothers to fully recuperate but by the 2nd week or so, most are able to tend to basic things.
Does basic things constitute of just breast feeding or is there more that c-sect mothers can and should do 3 weeks in?
It seems that fathers traditionally make up the half of parents that do not contribute enough or are unable to properly fulfill parental duties. The internet has no lack of advices on how mothers can "deal" with this. Is there something that fathers can do if they find themselves in a reversed situation like mine?
My night shifts are driving me nuts and it doesn't help that my daughter is showing signs of baby colic.
Can somebody point me in the right direction?
I wish I could mark all the responses I've gotten so far as an answer because every single one has so much truth in it.
I took the time to speak with my wife a little about my frustrations and limitations today. Although we haven't really gotten into the motion of working things out just yet, I certainly felt a lot better speaking and talking about it. I could tell that my wife appreciates the honesty as well. How things pan out at the end of the day remains to be seen, but I'm definitely a lot more optimistic than I was yesterday.
A big thank you for all the support and advices that I have received thus far. I'll be accepting the first response as the answer not because it is any better or worse than the others but because I should at the very least mark this thread with an "answered". I hope that I'm not stepping on any toes by doing so; please be assured that every single response I have gotten has really provided me with valuable insights and support.