What a rude awakening I've had.
She doesn't sleep. ever. Her naps are 5 minutes long- she'll nod off while I nurse her and then wake up the very instant I try to move her or put her down. I can wear her down in the sling, but as soon as I try to lay her down in our bed- BAM, eyes open, commence tears. Nighttime is just as bed. She'll nurse down, sleep for a couple hours, then starting around 3, the marathon begins- she'll nurse for a minute or two, fuss, nurse, fuss, nurse fuss, cat nap, fuss, nurse, ad infinitum.
She spends the majority of the day complaining- she only likes to be worn- which is all well and good, until god forbid I need to poop or cook a meal. I'm not comfortable wearing a baby around sharp knives or a gas range. So my meals wait until my husband gets home from work around 4:30.
I can't put her in the swing, nor the bouncy seat, nor the exersaucer, nor her jolly jumper. She hates it all. She NEEDS to be attached to me- literally. And even then, sometimes that's just not enough.
She also won't nurse long enough to call it a full feeding, 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there, so even at nearly 5 months, I am still nursing her 12-15 times a day, so I rarely go anywhere, because I'd rather not have to find a place to sit and nurse.
I give and give and give and give and she takes it all. I know this is a part of motherhood, and I don't have any delusions about that. I just thought that maybe, just MAYBE, from time to time she might want to take a nap, and I could shower or read or maybe even nap with her.
I'm just so tired, worn out, and the worst part about it is that parenthood comes so easily to my husband- When he comes home from work, she gets one look at him and is instantly all smiles- she worships the very ground he stands on, and I am the pathetic, discarded ham sandwich. It stings- I carried her and loved her for months, anticipated the perfect birth I never got (ER c/s after 31 hours of non-progressive labour due to amnio infection)
I find myself resenting her, and my role as her mum. My house is falling to shambles since I literally can't put her down for more than 2 minutes to sweep or vacuum lest the screaming, crying or fussing begins.
I can't decide if there is something wrong with her or if it's me. Does this sound like PPD, should I seek help for myself? Does it sound like she might have health issues that need to be addressed (They've never said anything at her WBVs, though we don't go anymore). I feel like this is so secret, like I shouldn't admit to anyone that I feel this way. I don't want people to think I'm a bad mum, but I'm getting so close to the end of my rope.
I think venting was the first step. Mods, sorry if this doesn't belong here, but I didn't know where else to go.
Student mama to Lyra June ( 10.24.09) and Olive Isis (12.12.11)
I'm very sorry that she needs to be attached all.the.time. That is very draining.
Given the birth, your expectations for motherhood, and the demands dd is making I would consider getting screened for ppd. This will do no harm, and could potentially do a lot of good.
I would also see if dh would be willing to take the baby as soon as he walks in the door and then be "on" until bedtime.
Considering dd's on-off-fuss-on-off nursing pattern it might be worth looking in to reflux. This would make her preference for being worn (and upright) make sense too. Perhaps you could try block feeding? I don't remember all the details but I know I found the information at kellymom. I think it was feeding only on one side for 2-4 hours and then switching sides for the next 2-4 hours. I also wonder if it would be worth trying to space out feedings on a more active basis?
Sarah, Farmer, photographer, teacher, mother to Noah 05-05-06 and Del 03-27-08 and best friend to Josh 05-29-04.
Fostering sisters aged, 6, 3.5, and 2yrs since Sept 2013.
second, both of ds were just like this, high needs. if i may, i'll share a few practical ideas that worked for me.
consider food allergies/sensitivities as potential irritants. my ds1 is casein-sensitive
my kids absolutely needed to be in the sling at all times up til about 6-9 mos when crawling and walking began. when i had to cook, i wore them on my back. it took some practice to feel safe and secure with them back there, but it sounds like your dh is a good guy who would be willing to help you learn how to get her up on there yourself so you can be confident doing it alone.
as for napping...i learned years after infancy that my kids had sensory processing issues. most newborns do, but they grow in to their nervous systems. my kids just didnt. as newborns they needed bright light to stay asleep, for example, and loud background noise, like a fan or even just the radio on loud. maybe you could find a used white noise machine on ebay?
and as far as not being able to even so much as poop or shower, i decided a shower was something i NEEDED to feel human and function. so each morning i would feed and change the little dear and then put babe in a seat in the bathroom (i had a clear plastic curtain) and allow myself 30 mins to wash. both the boys cried for the better part of the 30 mins, but you know what? i was single mother and there was no chance of waiting for a dp to get home to help. i HAVE to feel clean or my brain just refuses to work. so i had to just tell myself that the baby could see me and hear me and he would be fine for a few minutes each day while i showered.
aside from that (which i dont view as cio) there is a difference between "letting" a baby cry and "in-arms" crying. i know it is terribly frustrating, but there is nothing wrong with making sure all the usual needs are attended to and then if she still needs to cry just letting her do it while you hold her. true, food allergies and sensory issues can be exacerbating a babys foul mood. however, once you've ruled those things out, if your dd is just the type to need to blow off steam by crying, its not your job to make the crying stop, just to be there near her so she doesnt have to cry alone.
as for seeking help for yourself, if you feel you need to, then dont be ashamed to do so. but please remember, this stage only lasts so long. as your dd becomes verbal, the crying will reduce. you have many days of playing singing and walk-taking ahead of you!
The good news is that at 7 months he had started napping for more than 5 minutes at a time. The bad news is that he continued to nurse on & off thru the night until he was 2 (and when he was teething...oy! He just gnawed all night long). The good news is that by then we could talk though night weaning & it wasn't traumatic for either of us, and within 6 months he was mostly sleeping through the night. The even better news is that he did a complete 360 turn around....becoming affectionate (for the first time ever), patient, calm and - gasp! HAPPY! I hardly knew what to think.
Sadly, I didn't respond with the joy I'd expected. By then my sleep was so disrupted and I was so completely devastated by depression that I could hardly function. And yet, I pressed on without help.
Now I fear permanent damage. The chemicals in my brain have been out of whack for so long. I am on zoloft and sleeping meds (as I still can't sleep through the night, although DS is a dream-sleeper now!).
So, this is my long way of saying...if you suspect you need help - even if it's just someone to talk to, please consider getting it as soon as you can. In retrospect, I feel like I missed the first 2 years of DS's life because I was so out of it (even though he, clearly and thankfully, has adjusted beautifully).
Wife & Mama to 5 yo boy and 13 yo .
Well I agree that some of the other suggestions are worth looking into- food sensitivities, reflux etc. I just wanted to add that my DD was really hard at that age too- never napping, ALWAYs wanting to be held, and it's a vicious cycle because they get too overtired to function and only want you.
But while you feel used and abused - take heart that you're the mama and while we get shafted because they get sick of us by the end of the day no one can replace you! My DD got way easier a couple months later- I just wanted to pass this on for some hope! And now she's 13 months and the laughing and playtime and games are awesome. The big rewards come a bit later I promise. Now our days are full of sloppy kisses and tickles and hugs. Hang in there- it can be a really tough age for a fussy babe because they don't have the means to move around or communicate well yet and life is just one big frustration for them (and their mothers ).
The only thing that worked for my DD was bumpy stroller rides - that got her to sleep sometimes and then I would wheel her inside and not make a sound. (and jump for freakin' joy!)
Stay strong mama! It'll change before you know it!!!
Are there people you can reach out to who can give you a break? Don't hesitate to ask for the help that you need. No one is a better mother for going it alone.
there's also this link: http://www.askdrsears.com/html/5/T051200.asp
Also, keep in mind that your birth experience was hard on both of you. Another thing that's completley not your fault! But it definitely takes some healing & emotional recovery.
Be easy on yourself & don't be afraid to ask for help.
I made an appointment to have her see a chiropractor next week. I'm hoping they can give her some comfort and me some sanity.
I'll bring up an elimination diet with him/her and see if that's worth trying too. Perhaps we have some dietary issues.
Student mama to Lyra June ( 10.24.09) and Olive Isis (12.12.11)
No wonder you're completely overwhelmed! As my sister says in reference to motherhood, "Who warms the sun???" I think the above posters gave you some fine advice and I see that you've already taken some steps to get some solutions going on. The only other thing I'd advise is perhaps attending some sort of mommy-baby class. This will get you out of the house and provide a very comfortable place to nurse.
You are doing such hard, thankless work, tirelessly giving of yourself. It sounds to me like you are a wonderful mom who is trying so very hard! Your baby is very lucky to have you 1. becuase you are so giving, and 2. becuase you are SMART enough to realize that you need to reach out for some help.
Ok, hang in there and please update after you've had your visit. I know you will get through this. We are pulling for you!
Jen-loving Bill, mama to Teryn 18, Kalyn 16, Ricky 13, Natalie 5, Angel Zoe '07 and Amelia Rae 22 mos bonus kids (dss) W 14, W 13 NEW grandbaby due 10/10/11
For your meals: I also don't feel comfortable cooking while wearing a babe on my front. Can you make things ahead and pop them in the micro (or on low in a covered pan on the stove)?
Also, go easy on yourself as far as letting her cry while you do self-care things like getting dressed and going to the bathroom. I felt terribly guilty for a long time because dd would cry while I was getting my boys dressed and diapered in the mornings, but I had to let it go. I wasn't philosophically letting her CIO. I was right there and doing the best I could. There are some things that *need* to be done. Babies cry. I gave up on the guilt in those circumstances. Self-care is important, too.
Motherhood is far from easy. I felt more overwhelmed after my first than after my third - it's a steep learning curve.
"So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." - Jack Layton
My DD was also very, very fussy for the first couple of months of her life. We could not set her down to eat, and I could not leave the house because she was constantly attached to my breast. Constantly. I think out of the 24 hours of the day that she was awake, she was attached to my breast for maybe 20 of those hours- no exaggeration. It was her way of self-soothing. When the vomiting began, I realized she was reacting to many things in my diet. I eliminated so many foods and nothing worked, and finally, I just did a Total Elimination Diet, and that finally worked.
DD is a little over 4 months now, and I am adding food back to my diet one by one. I've realized that I can't have dairy, soy, tomatoes, citrus fruits, and apples. And, I don't know what else I can't have. To top it all off, she is teething now, so it's back to fussiness here.
Anyway, maybe you can try eliminating dairy from your diet. In most cases, this should do the trick. It didn't work for us, though, so you may have to further eliminate soy, eggs, nuts, etc.
And- find a holistic pediatrician if you can. Our pediatrician is fantastic and very supportive of breastfeeding so putting her on prescription formula was never an option. Also, she referred us to an acupuncturist who has been helping me with my own digestion issues (with the help of Chinese herbs as well), and that has helped tremendously. I haven't seen a chiropractor yet, but I hear they do great things, and I am considering getting some work done even though we seem to be doing better. In general, I think chiropractors do great work.
Also, try getting your DD on a probiotic. That has helped us immensely.
It is such a tough place to be in. You are so smart and brave to reach out for help. My DH knew a little about what I was going through but she was more calm when he was around... at least it seemed that way... and he seemed to know just what would make her content. My confidence as a mama really took a beating in those first few months when daddy was around because I really really felt as if she hated me. (I know it's so irrational, but the adjustment to being a mama was so hard and I suspect I had pretty bad baby blues). We also had a long labour at 42+ weeks that ended in multiple medical interventions including a c-section, definitely not the peaceful home birth that I wanted. DH did a lot of the holding and comforting of DD in the first few weeks because of my physical recovery and it hurt me a lot and made me feel like less of a mama that I couldn't physically do as much with DD as I felt mama's "should." Of course, now that DD is 8.5 mos, she's all about mama these days and I am starting to see just how much she actually does need me. That helps.
A couple things that helped:
1) Chiropractor. We went weekly from 8 weeks - 5 months and I know it made a major difference in her mood and ability to be soothed. I'm convinced she was in pain from the difficult birth that we both endured.
2) I cried with her a couple times... like big sobbing outbursts... and talked to her about how I didn't want to bring her into the world in the way that I did and how brave and strong she was to go through the birth with me how she did and how sorry I was, etc. She actually stopped her wailing and listened to me and touched my face after. I think it was incredibly healing for both of us and it was just something that happened spontaneously.
3) Time. Honestly, I didn't believe it but even a few months later, my DD is much more relaxed and content. She is still passionate and strong-willed and requires a lot of energy to keep happy (and she still doesn't nap well or STTN) but I think she's matured a bit out of her newborn stage. She took longer than some babies to adjust to being in the world and she's still adjusting, but it's much better than it was.
Big hugs, I know how tough it is... you sound like an excellent mama. Your LO is very lucky to have such a strong mama like you. PM me if you want to talk more... I really do think our experiences sound very very similar.
Here's a couple things that have helped me:
First, I try to always have a shower and get dressed in the morning. It really does help me feel so much better. Sometimes DS fusses through the whole shower, but I take one anyway and leave the curtain half open and talk to him the whole time. I don't know what it is, but if I'm cleaned and dressed I don't feel so defeated. The house may be a mess but at least I don't have to be.
Second, I've just stopped fighting the fact that DS can only sleep with me. For his naps he usually falls asleep on the Boppy while nursing, and I just let him stay there. I bring the laptop or a book over before he falls asleep so I have something to do. I tried for months to be able to put him down for his naps but he always woke up. Then he was extra sleep-deprived and the whole day would be even worse. I've just learned to enjoy this snuggle time, because some day he will be older and I won't get it. If he is my only baby, I'll be so glad that I took this time to relish every moment.
So, those are my suggestions. Nothing fancy or ground-breaking, but I hope they help. Good luck! I hope things turn around for you soon.
My first dd was a lot like this, with her own variations - like continuing to go to sleep late and wake up late all the way until age 10 . My second dd, 10 years later, has been a little less overwhelming.
I doubt that many on this board will agree with the one additional option I will suggest, but I believe it worked wonderfully for my dd #2 and is a major cause of my increased sanity this time around. The idea is: nurse the baby on a schedule you set (I'd go for every 2 hours, or a shorter interval that makes it so you're feeding her before she really realizes she's hungry), 10 minutes a side. My experience was that this allowed us to miss out on (1) really sore, cracked nipples, (2) dd getting so worked up over being hungry that she couldn't do anything except cry, and (3) me feeling like I was being run around by a 10 pound baby.
YOu are smart to ask for help and it sounds like you have a great partner. You're going to be having more fun soon!
Kianna doesnt sleep well at night, plays by herself for about 20 minutes and thats it. . . I feel lucky if I even get a shower somedays!! Its definetly made transition from free to do whatever I want me to motherhood. Dont get me wrong, I love her dearly but geez somedays I just want to take a nap!!
I do know that she will be much happier as soon a she is crawling/walking because she doesnt like to sit still. Even if I have her in a sling or wrap I cant sit or stand still, I HAVE to move or she gets mad and starts grabbing my hair, earrings, shirt. . . She is almost crawling, takes a few moves so hopefully soon Ill get a break. But I do know the feeling. And it doesnt help when moms around you think your baby is rotten cause "my baby slept all night at 6 weeks" or "my baby only eats every 4 hours" or "my baby goes to sleep on his own, i just lay him in his bed and he closes his eyes. Doesnt cry or anything". Its does make you feel like your weird and all alone but then I realize that MOST of my mommy friend s IRL are formula feeding there babies AND had epidurals/pain meds in labor. Call me crazy but I can totally see a difference in our babies. The epidural babies are soooo much more laid back and just kinda lazy (for lack of better word). My Doula said too she can totally see a difference even right after the baby is born in a epi baby and a all natural baby. And Formula fed babies do often sleep longer cause it takes longer for them to digest it.
I'm just so tired, worn out, and the worst part about it is that parenthood comes so easily to my husband- When he comes home from work, she gets one look at him and is instantly all smiles- she worships the very ground he stands on, and I am the pathetic, discarded ham sandwich. It stings- I carried her and loved her for months, anticipated the perfect birth I never got (ER c/s after 31 hours of non-progressive labour due to amnio infection).
I don't have anything to add, just wanted to say hang in there & hope everything gets better with your little one.
I liked all of the advice above, and I really agree with the whole shower thing. Not that I've tried it. But, I bet it would help you and I'm thinking it would help me! I'm gonna start doing that!
I think it's pretty normal for someone in your circumstance to feel bitter. If you can find some help to digest and process this gargantuan lifestyle change, I'm sure you'd feel more in control. My situation has some similarities to yours and I can just definitely understand why you're feeling this way. It's totally warranted. But, yeah, some professional help could be nice. I've often said to my friends that I don't know how anyone goes through pregnancy, birth and motherhood without some preofessional counseling. All this stuff we do, it's kind of a big deal!
And lastly...yes, my husband walks in and you'd think he's the pied piper. Her eyes follow him until he comes to get her and she squeals with delight. Mommy? Mommy who?
"Nothing is constant but change" not sure who said that. But somedays it helps me get by.
Now, if your baby has reflux or anything else, that won't work, but it did work for me. Good luck!
I never thought of seeing an LC. Maybe I'll look into that
Student mama to Lyra June ( 10.24.09) and Olive Isis (12.12.11)
Deep breath... long exhale....
Sometimes it is just so hard. When they are so tiny and fussy and uncomfortable and you are getting no sleep and no time to yourself and no time with your partner the days seem so long and the nights even longer. It is hard to believe that it could get better but IT DOES!! I promise. You have gotten some wonderful advice here - I think talking to a LC and going to a chiropractor are great ideas.
The one thing that DH and I did that helped a lot in those first few months was to actually schedule blocks of time when he was on duty and I was NOT! Even though it might have only been for an hour at a time, I knew that I could put in my earplugs and sleep a little bit. I remember that sometimes DD would cry but I knew she was well fed and that Papa was being a wonderful, loving parent and taking good care of her. Now she is 8 months old and they are best friends! I think that she learned to trust him during those early times.
Lots of hugs, Mama.
Proud Mama to DS1 09/07 , DD 07/09 , and DS2 06/11 . Feeling more and more blessed with each day!
One thing that really helped me was to realize how short his wake times were. At 5 months old, he was only awake about 60 minutes at a time, including feeding time. He nursed when he woke, and he nursed to sleep, so that was a big part of his awake time every day. I learned to watch the clock, and I'd try to be nursing him, swaddled, at that 60 minute mark, so that he could fall asleep. Luckily, he'd often stay asleep, but even if he only nursed/napped for 5 minutes, he was a much happier baby for it. Before I realized how short his wake times were, he was much fussier.
I swaddled him until he was over a year old, for every nap and every night-time.
He is still (at 3.5) on the very high end for sleep needs, and you can really tell when he doesn't get enough sleep. Of course, ymmv on this, and there are babies that don't need much sleep. But, mine did, and he was unable to fall asleep without help (swaddling and nursing and a quiet place), well, forever it seemed. So, I helped him, and he was much happier for it.
FWIW, he is very intense (even now) while he's awake. VERY. He is one of those 100% on/100% off kids, with no gray area. Makes life interesting.
He cried bloody murder in the car for the first 6 months, too, so it made getting out really incredibly hard, and I limited it a lot.
Other things that worked for me in those early days were a daily shower (it was also important to my sanity), a weekly "play" group, trying to simplify my life (cooking some on weekends so that dh could hold him, really prioritizing which things made me feel like my house was "clean", etc), and sleeping when I could, even if it was 5 minute cat naps with the baby.
Big hugs to you as you make this transition! It IS hard, but you're doing a great job.