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I can't do this anymore/What am I going to do?

post #1 of 59
Thread Starter 
Seriously. I can't. I won't. DD will not go to sleep without an elaborate, hours long fight that takes both parents to complete, and I am out of patience. I've been doing this crap for 10 months. TIME'S UP, game over, everyone loses.

DD is 10 months, and INSISTS on sleeping on DH or I or next to us. That was fine for the longest time. We sidecarred her crib, let her nurse at night whenever she wanted, all was well. I woke up to nurse her 6-7 times a night, but it's fine, I'm a trooper.

Then I got pregnant. Breastfeeding is now worse. By the third time I wake up to feed her I'm so tired I'm shaking. By 6am I'm hysterical. I don't do well when I'm tired even when I'm not pregnant.

Breastfeeding is horrible for me. Wretched. Breastmilk may be best, but breastfeeding is the worst. I am really contemplating formula feeding for the next kid. I never thought I'd say that, and for the last few days I've been trying not to say it out loud, but there it is. I don't want to breastfeed again.

So we started slowly, gently, carefully nightweaning. I slept on the couch for a few days so she could get used to bottles of milk when she was hungry, bottles of water for comfort. The couch is HORRIBLE. It is a free couch that was a part of our 'furnished' student housing. I get only slightly more sleep on that then I did with her tearing off my nipples all night.

But after 6 days of that she STILL won't sleep with me in the room unless she's attached to my nipple. So we moved our bed out. DH is upstairs right now trying to get her to lay down.

NCSS was a complete waste for us. NOTHING helped. A routine just told her when to start screaming and fighting. We've tried putting her to bed sooner, keeping her up later, putting her to bed at the first sleepy sign, and waiting until she's exhausted. NOTHING works.

I hate this. Seriously. I hate this fight. I hate this discussion. I hate this ordeal. Every. Single. Night.

The whole time I'm rocking her all I can think about are all the children I know who've been sleep trained or CIO'd and are fine. All the parents who just shut the door and walk away. I honestly do not believe that CIO would have the same physical ramifications at 10 months that it would with a younger infant. So every time she wakes up, I am less committed to putting her back to sleep.

Why am I doing this? Why am I still parenting her to sleep every night and all night? What is the point? The kid is still fighting, the whole time, and I am way less loving when I haven't slept in more than a year. GO TO BED ALREADY.

Before you ask, yes, of course she's getting teeth. She has honestly been working on at least one tooth nonstop for the last few months. Yes, she's been sick. Yes, she's working on stuff developmentally. For MONTHS I have been telling myself that once THIS tooth comes in or after the NEXT milestone things will get better. It's all lies. They don't get better. We don't even get a few days before the next excuse comes along. I am so done.

So please, somebody, tell me why I shouldn't be done. Give me some reason to keep up this nonsense. I've got nothing. Maybe it's the hormones, maybe it's the exhaustion, but I just can't stay up one more night doing this. I'm up with her so long that I have to pass her off to DH so I can go eat. Granted, as a pregnant and breastfeeding mom I eat very frequently, but if I can't even get her to bed in time to get myself to bed without going back to the kitchen, I am NEVER going to get any sleep.

I don't want to say things like "CIO won't hurt her, just shut the door" but at this point I just can't get it out of my head.

post #2 of 59
Ah mama you sound exhausted.

Is she on solids? Your supply may be down making her want to nurse more. Maybe there are food sensitivities?

Have you tried some homeopathics for teething pain? Rescue remedy? Chamomile tea?

What about a white noise machine, black out curtains, swaddling or heavier blankets on her lower half etc.

Can you hire a sitter to take her out for a walk during the day so you can sleep for an hour or two (assuming you are a SAHM).

If she sleeps with you (rather than sidecar etc) you may find night nursings less disturbing to your sleep.

I'm not going to suggest you aren't going through a rough patch. But it doesn't sound like CIO will work for you. She's not doing this to drive you crazy or manipulate you. Her reactions are not a choice. She's still a tiny baby and she's communicating to try to get her needs met in the only ways she can. CIO will teach her that she can't get her needs met.

I get being tired. I have twins . I have a daughter with Type 1 diabetes and there are weeks on end that I need to wake up to check her at 2 and 4 am. One of the things that really helped me was getting on an adrenal support program through my naturopath. Can you talk to a HCP about what you might be able to do to help you stay on an even keel while dealing with broken sleep?

good luck
post #3 of 59
Wow, it sounds like you are having a really tough time. I'm so sorry.

Originally Posted by dislocator3972 View Post
I honestly do not believe that CIO would have the same physical ramifications at 10 months that it would with a younger infant. So every time she wakes up, I am less committed to putting her back to sleep.
My guess is that you *don't* actually believe this or you would be doing it and not coming on MDC asking for an alternative so you don't have to.

So, did she sleep with your DH and the bottles? I know you didn't get much sleep on the couch but, if she will sleep with your DH, would it be possible to set up a better bed for you somewhere and let them co-sleep? You don't mention how pregnant you are, if you are in the first trimester maybe you will start to feel a bit better in the second?

Is there someone who could come and stay and help you out for a little while? Mum? Sister? etc so you could maybe catch up on sleep during the day while they had your little one? Or maybe they could even do some of the nights for you? Even if you alternated nights you would still get some more sleep.

If that isn't possible could someone come and care for her for a little while during the day so you could sleep? Babysitter? Mother's helper? A couple of hours nap in the afternoon may make the nights a bit easier, especially if your husband can still do some/most/all the o/night feeds.

That's all I''ve got I'm afraid. I hope someone else will reply with more advice. I felt so bad for you when I read your post
post #4 of 59
I personally LOVE to breastfeed and would never in a million years think I wuold say this, but if you honestly HATE it this much that you are starting to resent your child I would maybe switch to formula. Please bear in mind my caveat: I do not think it will help your problems to switch to formula. Formula will STILL not make her STTN. That is a developmental thing. Formula will not cure her teething. It might upset her tummy and cause WORSE problems. Same can be said for CIO. There is something your baby needs and she is trying to tell you this. Letting her cry all night until she exhausts herself to fall asleep will not solve her problem. It may cause her detach from you and no longer ask for your help if there is something upsetting her, causing all sorts of mistrust issues. I wholeheartedly believe that at any age before a baby can talk and communicate WELL her desires, CIO is NOT appropriate. You sound SO tired and the only thing I can suggest is letting her sleep with you all night long, I honestly do not notice my daughter latching on and off at night...
post #5 of 59

I really feel for you. It's hard enough having a bad sleeper without having to deal with pregnancy tiredness. It definitely sounds like something has to give. How long did you stick with NCSS? We ended up devoting 21 days. I drew up a wall chart and basically blocked out a month of my life to making DS sleep. I picked a few strategies and stuck to them. In arms crying is not the same as CIO but is better done in the arms of someone who isn't tired frazzled and stressed. You need a break. Can DH take on some extra?
Eating just takes the edge of when preg so you need to have time to do it. f bub is eating at night you should too. Can you stash snacks in bed?

One thing I took from NCSS was to pick a strategy and stick to it. Can DH wear bub down in a sling? At this age I'd send him out walking cause it was summer. Such a relief to have a quiet house for 30mins!! As for BF its a tough one. I really only like DS to feed when he's asleep otherwise he's too rough. Have you read much of DR Sears? His theory is if you resent it change it. Would expressing work for you? It sounds like you are the type of person that if you just got some sleep and a few hours off (maybe even a massage once you hit the next trimester) you'd probably find your own answers so "you" time has got to be a proirity. Have a week of night sleep duty. It is amazingly rejuvenating. Best of luck.
post #6 of 59
Oh, poor mama. s I can hear your exhaustion and frustration. All the PP gave you some good suggestions but I just want to say the first thing you need to do is get some sleep. DH is going to have to take the brunt of baby-care this weekend. Talk to a relative or friend and ask them if you can spend the night. Go over there early, sleep all night long, and rest for a few hours the next day. You will probably need more than one night to catch up on your sleep but I think it will make a world of difference in your perspective. Once you've gotten a good night's sleep, you can tackle this issue of your DD not sleeping well.

Also, I agree with Lauren about BFing. If you hate it that much, you should stop. I also loved the experience and bonding and was VERY sad to stop. But I had to. I was working 40 hrs a week, some weekends, with a 50 minute commute, and couldn't pump at work. I pumped for 45 minutes before work, fed DS once I got home, then pumped 45 min before bed. I felt like I spent all my time pumping or being engorged. It was stressful and it really affected my wellbeing. DS got 6 mths of BM and I am PROUD that I was able to BF for so long. It may do you some good to realize that your DD has benefitted from 10 months of BM!! She will be fine if you need to gradually switch her to formula.
post #7 of 59
Another vote for switching from BF if you're hating it so much. If it's making you seriously consider FF the next babe wouldn't it be better to wean now, and be ready and fresh so to speak when the LO is born, so you can BF them? I don't know, i had to wean DD1 at 7 months due to a medical issue. But i'd certainly rather all my kids got 10months of BF, which is totally awesome BTW, than some got none because i was so exhausted i'd grown to hate BFing.

I would also second the suggestion that you get away for a night and SLEEP. Before yu do anything else - i've been so tired i shake when i wake and the next thing you'll get, which i did get, is hallucinations. Frightening and dangerous so try to get rest ASAP.

I had a high needs baby. SHe cried no matter what i did. So eventually, after literally months of the battles you describe fought on my own because i was a single mama then, i gave up. I did nothing. I didn't leave her to cry, i sat by her while she cried, singing to her, rocking her, holding her, putting a hand on her while she lay in the cot. She cried anyway, it's not as if my doing *something* would have helped. Nothing helped. Eventually she stopped. I can't tell you how long it took, a long time. But it did feel easier to me that i was witnessing her battle with sleep instead of pitting myself against her. The fight went out of it all and even though nothing substantially changed, i did feel better about it.
post #8 of 59
You poor thing!
We used to swaddle our 10-monther in a bath towel to fall asleep...
Any chance that she is having food sensitivities? Silent reflux maybe? Does she seem not to like to lay down flat? Does she do any better sleeping at an angle?

Your next baby will probably have a very different personality, coupled with your experience as a 2nd-timer. (My 2nd was easier, and my 3rd is a breeze, but YMMV.)
post #9 of 59
If you are beginning to resent your baby and you are so exhausted and upset that you are considering formula feeding the next one, you need to consider weaning her. I know that is extremely controversial to say and you won't find a bigger advocate for breastfeeing than me, but circumstances alter cases.

You don't have to make it a permanent thing if you don't want to, but it's ok for you to be done if this is what you truly want. You have given her 10 months of your milk. That is an amazing accomplishment and one you should be proud of.

Can you get away for a couple of nights and get rested? You may have a clearer head about this if you can get rested.

Have you tried establishing a bedtime routine? We used to do bath, book, nurse, bed and then I'd lay the baby in the crib, kiss him and leave the room. You don't have to go full stop CIO. You can pat her back or you can leave for 5 minute increments. If she just fusses, let her fuss. If it escalates into screaming, you need to try something else. Bear in mind that it's going to take a good week or more to establish a new routine when she's used to the old one. It will take time and patience that you don't have, but it may pay off. Can your dh take over the bedtime routine for at least a full week? I'mm not advocating CIO, but a modified version may help your situation. You can't be a good mother if you dont' take care of your own needs.

to you.
post #10 of 59
My son nightweaned when I was working nights and he slept with his dad all the time.

I echo the sentiment that everyone else is saying: get some sleep. Go to a friend's house, get a hotel room, get a futon mattress off of Freecycle or craigslist and get in the other room to sleep. When you come back to the bed, keep your daughter on your husband's side of the bed and don't allow her next to you.

The other thing I'll suggest is to get her evaluated by the pediatrician. Her lack of sleep could be causing her other health problems (or vice-versa) and it might be time to turn to chemical or herbal assistance, for either you or her. I took Ambien a couple of times while I was pregnant, with my midwife's okay, and even though there was crazy going on in my house, I slept right through it all and felt great when I woke up.
post #11 of 59
Nursing while pregnant feels horrible. And your supply is almost certainly plummeting from the pregnancy, making her hungry and making everything else worse.

I add my vote for keeping her bed in the other room, and giving Dad the night time parenting duties. He is her father, she knows him and loves him, she's OK with him. Can you get out of the house while the getting to sleep battle is going on?
post #12 of 59
I have to say in this situation I vote to try to switch to formula, my DD was 2 when I was pg with my second and I can tell you the exhaustion was immense and there is NO WAY I could have bf with the pregnancy. My boobs hurt SO BAD with DS's pregnancy, with DD they never did but with him holy-moly, I thought I'd die if someone touched my boob.

Thing is she may not STTN, you need HELP, like ASAP. I cried nearly every day from shear exhaustion, my DD was 2 and would.not.sleep. and she would.not.nap. it was winter, we were stuck in the house, it was hell on earth. Those first few months of pregnancy were all about survival. Plus I was puking sick or having acid reflux all day long. I had to call in the troops, my family had to take DD so I could rest, is that an option?

I feel ya mama, I'd be getting formula
post #13 of 59
post #14 of 59
I'm with Texaspeach... s

and Sarah, for what it's worth, I think you are totally tapped out, cause I have never heard you talk like this. Go easy on yourself, and it has to be the hormones and lack of sleep.

I'm with one of the PPs that mentioned letting your LO fall asleep with you there. Even if it means some crying is involved. Do everything to comfort her minus giving her the boob. IMO, it is nothing like CIO (you are not abandoning her) and in the end, it will save your sanity and help your LO learn a new way to sleep. I don't think it will help to let your husband do it, because in the end your LO will still want to nurse when she wakes up and you are there. I'm sure it will only take one or two hard nights, and then she will be a lot better. Not perfect, but better. Maybe even a nice glass of wine or a beer before you start the night to help ease your nerves in the first place. It might also help to get a really good night of sleep or a massive nap before you try it.

Again, s to you mama. It's hard enough parenting a baby without adding pregnancy in the mix.
post #15 of 59
just another
post #16 of 59

All I can say is nursing while pregnant is so hard. I don't have any great advice, just a hug.
post #17 of 59
Let me lend my support too!!!

I'm preggo w/ a 10 month old and it's hell on earth. For a solid week, she's been up all night - and last night - halle-freakin-lujah - she only woke up twice, and both times she latched and went right back down.

The world is a brighter place today, let me tell ya.

This is what I'd do. Inform your hubby that YOU. ARE. DONE. and get a hotel room for the night. Sleep in a hotel bed for 12 hrs straight and everything will be ok. You just need sleep.
post #18 of 59

Another vote for weaning your daughter. she got 10 months of BM and it makes a world of difference. I could not breastfeed my 1st DD when I became pregnant again. I could not do it mentally or physically. Don't feel bad.
And yes you need to get the sleep. Is there a mother or sister or a very good friend who can perhaps help and take your daughter over a couple of times a week? Or as someone suggested, go to the hotel and let your DH take care of your LO. He won't break and you will feel better and be able to find a solution (hopefully).
I personallly could not do CIO. My DD1 did not STTN until she was 15 months old. Then my mom came and got up at night with her. That did it. She did not need milk, she just wanted her mommy. But I had to work FT and I just could not go any longer on 2-3 hour sleep increments. Could your mom maybe do the same?
Good luck. It's tough.
post #19 of 59
Another vote for weaning. You're miserable. You hate your nights. You are considering formula for your next kid because it's so horrible. My advice: wean and have your dh sleep with her for as long as it takes to get her used to not having you in the bed. Remove yourself altogether from the nighttime equation. She will probably cry a lot, but if she's with her father it's NOT CIO. Once she's used to sleeping without you, you can try to transition her into a crib or even bring her back to your bed if she will sleep and not wake up looking for your breasts anymore. (However, unlike a pp, I wouldn't expect this to take just a few days. Maybe, and that would be great, but prepare yourselves for a long haul.)

At this point, you need to take care of yourself. You are pregnant. You need sleep. You need the stress to stop. Don't feel a shred of guilt for weaning under these circumstances.
post #20 of 59

I understand. Oh, man, do I understand. I don't have friends or family here to turn to so that I can get a good night of sleep. We get to do the kick-and-scream-and-turn-over dance pretty much every night. It sounds to me like your husband is doing as much as he can to help - staying in bed with her and the bottles all night, getting up to help. Like with your little one, a routine just told our son when to start screaming. We tried earlier (we got him to sleep earlier once, he woke up for the day at 3 am!), we've tried later (crabby baby that won't nap the next day). We've tried crib-sleeping (no sleep), co-sleeping (chasing baby around the bed), going to sleep on the couch and moving him (he wakes up but goes back to sleep more easily - a little screaming, less chasing; this is how napping happens, but without the moving him).

Our solution at this point is to wrestle him to sleep every night and deal with the multiple wakings and feedings and just be exhausted. I don't really have any awesome advice to offer, obviously, but wanted you to know that you're not alone. We've tried everything we (and everyone else) can think of. My husband and I try to take turns with getting up later on the weekends but that doesn't always go well, especially if we have things to get done (like most weekends.) Whoever is closest to seeing things (past the waking up shaking stage) gets the extra sleep if it can be managed. Make sure you are eating and drinking enough (which I know is also incredibly difficult) to be sure that sleep deprivation is your major issue (and not also dehydration or malnourishment.)
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