I feel like I've made a huge mistake. Not in having my son, no. I love him dearly, and wouldn't trade him for anything. No, my first mistake was ever letting my son sleep in my bed.
He is almost a year old. His favorite things to do at night are spread out horizontally across the bed while digging toenails into Papa, and suckling at my breast all night long. All. Night. Long. If I at any point try to ease my nipple out of his mouth, he starts fussing and whining, and if I don't replace it, he quickly progresses into ear-piercing mode. Early this morning he fell out of our bed (for I think the 3rd time so far) and bumped his head. I feel horrible. I know he has to start sleeping in his own crib, but nothing seems to work. He only seems to be able to sleep if he is using me as a pacifier. I feel like I've tried everything to get him off my breast and into his own bed. I've tried binkies,blankies, stuffies, CIO, holding him while he CIO, not nursing when I know there is no possible way he's hungry, and more that I am too delusional to think of right now. He is strong, too, and if I try to just rock him to sleep without nursing he hits, stretches, flails, and screams.
He used to not show interest in nursing during the day at all, and I figured that's why he's been at it all night, but now he wants it all day too! I feel like he can tell that I'm feeling like weaning soon, and so he is clinging on with all he's got. So I am pretty much a 24-hour human pacifier. It is not as constant during the day. He does stop to eat solid food, or play for a little bit. The thing is, this might not be such a problem if I didn't mind breastfeeding in the first place. I have never felt warm and fuzzy about nursing. Since I got pregnant (it wasn't a problem before) I have had a serious aversion to having my nipples touched at all. While I was pregnant, if my Love wanted to play with them, I would cringe and pull away. I figured the sensitivity would go away after I had my baby and started BF. I looked forward too it. I was so excited to be able to provide this wonderful nourishment and nurturing for my child. But then we had problems latching on because of his tongue tie, too, and i ended up with very sore nipples, and I never took to it kindly after that. I do it, but only because i know it's best for him. So it doesn't help that he loves it so much that he won't do anything else. And I really cannot get a deep sleep EVER with him attached like that. Plus, DS and his Papa are not getting good sleep either. :( So we are all a cranky mess.
So, now to get to the PPD. All of this lack of sleep and constant physical attachment, added to the fact that I am already a little unstable because of severe anxiety due to childhood trauma and previous drug addiction, is making me feel like I might get carted away to the looney bin soon. White coats and all. I was an addict for 5 years, and I am 5 years clean now, but I quit by myself, with no real "treatment" and I never even saw a therapist through all of it. So, I know that will probably help, but I feel like it is all a CYCLE, an inescapable cycle, because I am so tired that I forget appts that I make, and then feel too depressed to even reschedule. I know I need to eat better, but I am too tired to prepare food. I know I need to exercise, but how does one do that when you can't figure out any kind of routine? And it doesn't help that my fiance works days and nights as a server, with no kind of regular schedule, and I also babysit 2-5 nights a week with no set schedule. I watch my friend's kids, and often times I have to wake up my son (even though I try to keep him asleep during the transfer--Ha!) to take the kids home for bed or to go home from their house.
School starts for me again in September and I am terrified. Last semester I went back when he was 5 months old. I somehow managed to get a 4.0. This semester I know he is going to be so much more of a handful. And I am a mess. I cry every day. I am grouchy with both my fiance and my baby. I can't handle any kind of stress without having a tantrum (literally) and I think at this point I have scared my fiance with my rage. I would never hurt either of them, but he sees in my eyes that I am not well, and my words are like knives. I feel like a horrible mother and partner. I know I am setting a bad example for my baby, and sometimes I feel like just running away. Then I remember I am an adult, and i shouldn't behave this way, and then I feel like a failure for sucking at life so much.
I don't even know what I'm looking for. Maybe just a little understanding.
Couple things I could suggest (take what you think is worthwhile, leave the rest)
See a dr about the ppd and any prior issues. Get referred to a therapist. Obviously they haven't gone away
Its possible your ds might be picking up the tension from you (they are great at that) and that's why the extra clinginess, day or night. What I did when I didn't want to nurse so much I tried to find another together activity that was more desirable for me. Like reading books, going for a walk, playing with toys. Anything
That said, maybe set aside a couple extra nursings during the day, maybe it will help at night? Especially close to bedtime, but not in bed (armchair, couch, etc)
I am all for nursing IF both parties happy. You don't sound happy at this point. If you were to wean, it is OK! Yes, it would be quite hard at the beginning. But once he accepts it, you would be happier and more relaxed and therefore he would be too. Maybe offer him some water in a new sippy cup instead? For some reason my son would settle if I wrapped him in a blanket and hugged him tight. He was a nurser till 2.5 but I had to cut back the nighttime sessions many times to preserve my sanity. I also don't feel all fuzzy about nursing, especially a toddler
Maybe carrying him in a backpack carrier or a sling for closeness without nursing? Especially when having to go somewhere in the evening and he's sleepy?
Hang in there. Don't be afraid to ask for help
SAHM to one moody son J (06-27-03), one super-girly daughter M (02-23-06) and welcome Sophie! (05-23-10) expecting fourth in July
Oh Mama..I can so relate with you. My two cents:
--Honor yourself and recharge your energy.
--Get some sleep, do whatever it takes. A year of breastfeeding is fantastic,maybe consider weaning him.
Self care does wonders for PPD and anti-anxiety meds can help with the crying.
Hang in there, this to shall pass.
E married to J, 7/08, DD 10/09, DS 5/12
1) See a therapist
2) Wean cold turkey.
3). Have you husband deal with his at night. In his crib. There many books on sleeping problems in kids. See if your pedi can reccomend something
4) Go away for 3-4 nights to hotel and sleep, sleep, sleep. Ask doctor for sleeping pills if needed.
4) Be kind to yourself above all. Lack of sleep is huge trigger for depression . Remember how on the airplane mothers need to put oxygen mask on themselves first because overwise they will not be able to do the same for hte child? Well, you need to put your oxygen mask on.
A year of nursing is fantastic. Being a good mom does not mean to be human pacifier.
5) Take care of yourself! IF we are not kind to self, how can we be kind to others?
I can only speak the the constant nursing of a toddler driving one batty - I recall that vividly with my dd. Nursing on demand, anytime, anywhere stopped working for us by about 15 months because it was making me crazy. What helped us was that before we weaned I nursed only in a specific chair in my house. So very much better for me, and she got to nurse a little longer and it made weaning easier since we had already phased out nursing everywhere else.
Hang in there.