What is my baby trying to tell me?!
Apparently last week she was super cranky because she was teething. Tooth 1 Monday. Tooth 2 yesterday.
Oliver does this from time to time too, and he's 100% breastfed. do your babies also do that at night? mine doesn't, so I'm thinking he just has too much to do and see to bother with eating during the day. he doesn't nap much either (I think for the same reason), so I think the sleepy fussiness contributes to it as well. I would guess it's just a phase they'll grow out of.
so I know I posted here a few days ago - "it's just a phase..." maybe so, but that's no consolation today. I cried hard today for the first time since... maybe this time last year? when I was still really upset about being pregnant. the rest of my pregnancy, even labor, and the initial postpartum period didn't inspire tears, but tonight, I kind of came unglued. so not only has Oliver been pretty much refusing to eat during the day, but yesterday he would not eat while I was holding him, but only while I laid down in the bed next to him. incidentally, this has been the only way he'll sleep during the day (provided I stay in bed next to him) for the last couple of weeks. I figured he was hungry and sleepy, and that this was his way of letting me know that. but I just can't stay in bed for several hours a day, no matter how tired I am from the night before. and speaking of the nights... after going for 5, 6, 7, and sometimes even 8 hour stretches before waking to eat, he started waking 4, 5, and 6 times a night about a month ago. since that coincided with his more distractable daytime hours, I figured it was to be expected. and now that he's even less willing to eat during the day, he's waking up even more frequently - I didn't even bother to count how many times I was up last night. sometimes he eats excitedly for 10 or 15 minutes, and other times he falls asleep again after just 5 or so - only to wake up 45 minutes later.
it came to a head tonight while I was on my way home from my parents' about 30 minutes away. he wouldn't eat before we left at 6pm, and he'd only had two 30-minute catnaps since 10am, and I imagine he was hungry since he hadn't eaten substantially since then either, and he was INCONSOLABLE in the car. I actually felt angry with him for being so unreasonable, and I didn't even try to soothe him with my voice or his pacifier for the last 5 or so minutes of the trip. he screamed and screamed, and when we came into the house and I tried to feed him, he refused the breast again. I undressed both of us and cuddled him for a few minutes before trying again, and he calmed down and ate after that. he was awake until 8:00 or so, when I got him ready for bed and headed into our dark room to nurse him to sleep. despite his protests during the day, he always takes the breast around this time at night and goes right to sleep. not tonight, though. he arched his back, threw his head back, and screamed when I tried to feed him. apparently that was my last straw, because I just started sobbing. he took his pacifier happily, and just watched me while I cried for about 10 minutes. I explained to him why I felt so powerless, and begged him to eat and sleep when he was hungry and tired, and he just looked at me with his sweet little baby face and sucked on that pacifier instead of my tit. after awhile I tried to feed him again, and even though he complained a little bit, he nursed for about 20 minutes and fell asleep.
so... I guess I just feel like I have no idea what I'm doing. do you think there's something obvious that I'm missing? I don't think he's sick (no fever, no signs of ear infection), his gums don't look red so I don't think he's working on any teeth, and he's still gaining weight and peeing regularly. should I be trying to encourage him to eat more during the day and less at night? I don't even know how I'd do that; like I said, he straight-up refuses to eat during the day, and I don't want to starve him at night when he wakes up. I think the cumulative sleep deprivation and daily feeding frustration are taking their toll. nursing was the one thing that would always soothe him before, and it feels like my magic bullet has been taken from me. I can't imagine what it feels like to do this alone (my husband is working this evening, but he'll be back later tonight), or have to take care of another child as well, or go to work in the morning. is this what being a mother is like? do you just cry when you can't hold it back anymore and wish and hope that things get better? that's what I'm going to be doing tonight, anyway. if you read this whole novel, thank you for humoring me. I think writing it out helped me feel a little better.
@rf1170 , I just went through a similar thing, only add crazy baby eagle screeches to the list. It lasted for just 6 days… which felt like an eternity. But now, on the other side of it, I am just happy it's over. That's all I have for you: hope that it will be over soon. I think it was a growth spurt. I put into storage several of her smaller PJs.
With the nursing, I'd continue to offer often but be more laid back about it and respect no as an answer. I'd keep offers brief (say 20 seconds for example) to make sure he doesn't feel pressure or stress at the breast and simply offer again in a short while if he hasn't eaten. This sounds like a nursing strike and babies often snap out of those at random. I'll track down the kellymom page for you.
One thing that may make him reluctant is constipation or gas. Is his belly nice and soft?
Finally, yes as a mom I find myself crying more, especially if one of my kids is hurting or otherwise not herself. We so desperately want our children to be happy, healthy and safe but the truth is that there is so much we can't control. It's heartbreaking not being able to fix something for them. In the end , all we can do is try our hardest to do what we feel is best and simply be there if that doesn't do the trick. The best and hardest thing about parenthood is how quickly things change. It's ok to have a hard time. It's ok to despair and feel inadequate. The only thing that matters is that we try our best anyways and survive another day.
I just wanted to say right now that you are doing a great job. Being a mom is so, so, so hard sometimes. It's ok to feel angry, sad and inadequate. We all do at one point or another. Be gentle with yourself. You're both still figuring things out and there's bound to be periods of adjustment!
Hang in there!