Parenting after a Loss

Emotionally exhausting..

I just need to vent.. to someone, anyone, or no one!! Sigh..

Things have been so exhausting.. DS can not seem to stick with any sort of a schedule.. which, is fine, he's a newborn.. I didn't expect him to stick to a schedule.. but the whiplash is driving me crazy!  One day, he sleeps ALL day long.. no matter what I do, he just sleeps (and, he's nearly impossible to wake up -- tickle toes, tickle ribs, rub behind his ear -- hell, I even gently tugged his hair and he still wouldn't wake!!).. then, he's up ALL night long.. other days, he's up ALL day, and sleeps decent at night.. then there are days when he's up ALL day AND ALL night.. there's no rhyme or reason.. and, sometimes he's up and content (and that, I'm 100% fine with.. I can handle that!!), but other times he's up and screaming.. SCREAMING.

I swore it was colic.. because, he gets in these moods and he just WAILS.  Lips quivering, tears filling his eyes, face turning red.. and it doesn't matter what I do to try and console him.. he just, wails :(  We switched his formula.. now he's having issues with pooping.. I've been giving him an ounce of apple juice a day to try and help, and it does, but usually takes 10-12 hours from the time he's had the juice.. I really thought the new sensitive formula was helping as he doesn't seem to be pulling his legs up nearly as much.. but, he still gets in these moods where he just cries and cries.. 

It's so hard.. because, when he's not in one of these moods, he's great.. he'll sleep!! So, 90% of the time whenever I've had company come over, he's content.. he sleeps in their arms!  So, everyone keeps saying to me "Oh yea, he's "such a tough baby".." Or, they will say "Oh look at this screaming child" as he's peacefully sleeping.. ugh, it's making me feel so frustrated!!! It's like, YES he has his moments where he is nice and content, but he also has his moments where he will scream for HOURS.. 

Even DH.. I could have killed him yesterday.. he was working from home as we had someone come out and service our water softener system.. anyway, DS was great -- I did his overnight feeding, then he woke up at 8, DH fed him, and went back to sleep.. was back up around 10ish, I fed him, then we bathed him, then played a little, then back down for a nap -- slept for 3 hours in his crib!  Woke in the afternoon, fed him, he was content, happy, playful, etc.. DH had the balls to say "Is he always this "difficult" during the days?".. or something along those lines.. something sarcastic.. because, he was great yesterday, and there have been many days DH comes home and I'm exhausted and frustrated and a mess from dealing with the devil side of DS.. ughhhhhhh.

It's just so frustrating.. it's like people act like I'm making this *** up.. And, I've said to them.. don't you think I ENJOY it when he's nice and content?! This is a BREAK for me!!! 

And of course, this all plays on my emotions, too.. nothing like feeling like a failure Mom.. can't console her child.. screams for her, but is an "angel" for the rest of the world.. not to mention the guilt.. I feel guilty if he's screaming because he has a belly ache, and the belly ache is from the formula, and he's on formula because I failed with nursing.. bahhhhhh.. one. vicious. cycle.

Last night, I snapped.. I had a mini sob fest.  It was 1am, DS was still WIDE awake, I was exhausted, he was screaming.. I had fed him, fed him more, and fed him even MORE.. nothing was helping.. he didn't want the pacifier, didn't want to walk around, didn't want to snuggle.. he just wanted to scream.. at one point, I just held him in my arms as he was screaming and I was just sobbing.. 

DH comes in (now, mind you he has to get up at 5:30am for work).. says "give me the baby - go to bed" in this frustrated tone.. like, I can't "handle DS" and so he had to get up and come intervene.. then he's yelling at me to just go to bed, I'm exhausted and crying and it's not helping.. bla bla bla...

And the whole time, I can hear DH mumbling things under his breath because it's after 1am, and he's up with the baby and he has to go to work, etc.. 

Talk about feeling like an utter failure.  All day today, whenever DS cries (and, mind you, he's having one of those -- let's cry non-stop and fight taking any naps kind of days..) I just fill up with tears on my own.. 

I'm trying to chalk it up to hormones.. I'm trying to say this is normal, everyone feels like this.. but, godddddd does it suck..

On top of that.. I haven't been feeling well.. I'm trying to juggle DS, keep the house clean, keep the laundry done, etc.. and, we have a big house.. and a big dog, which means, cleaning is no 1 hour task.. it takes hours.. so I've been trying to juggle all these things (which, I'm well aware that every new Mom has to do this -- please don't rub that fact in).. but, it's tough.. and the past few days I've been really sore.. my incision has been oozing/scabbed over.. some days it's scabbed with dried blood.. now today, there's a small welt on one side of it.. ugh.  I've had a massive migraine.. I only took pain meds the first few days of being home from the hospital, but I think I've taken the motrin almost every day this week at least once just to kick this migraine and take away the burning sensation I have in my incision.. I mention this to DH and he says "well, you're doing too much, call the doctor".. um, sure, let me call the doctor.. then I have to find time, and energy, to go over there.. and they'll just say "do less".. except, I can't do less because these are all the things that still NEED to be done..

 Ahhhhhhhhh.

And, in the 20 minutes it's taken me to write this post.. which, I chose to do instead of eat lunch or take a shower, sigh.. DS is already fussing again.. 

Tell me it gets easier.  :(

Loss #1: 18w5d.. D&E 04Mar03 BFP #2: Jun2011.. missed miscarriage. D&C 08Jul2011 8w4d. BFP #3: Nov2011.. Our Rainbow Baby!!! DS Born: 15Jul2012! BFP #4: Nov2012.. 2U1 - DS2 born 12Jul2013.  BFP #5: 01Jan2014..3U3!!

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Re: Emotionally exhausting..

  • First off, it does gets easier. Trust me.

    I struggled early on with a baby that fought sleep. Once I realized what he liked, it helped a lot. For instance, I kept putting him to sleep on his back at first. It's so heavily stressed as safest for baby. Well, wouldn't you know that I'd have the baby who hates laying on his back to sleep? So, I started putting him on his tummy. I cleared it with his pedi and now he sleeps great. Before, it was 30-60 minute cat naps on his back.

    Also, do you seem tense or anxious around baby? I know DS can tell when DH or I are really upset or stressed. If someone raises their voice in frustration or even in excitement, he will go hysterical sometimes. Babies are very in tune with our feelings and their own.

    Just try to cut yourself some slack momma. You're doing great. It takes some adjusting on everyone's part but I do promise it gets better. If it doesn't seem to be after awhile, ask family, friends, or his pedi. They can be great resources and are there to help. :)

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  • :hugs: momma it does get easier.

    DS was the same way. You have to accept that the house and laundry are not always going to be clean. Do enough to keep yourself in clean clothes and keep minimum sanitary standards. The rest can wait.

    You just have to figure out the magic way to soothe him. Every baby is different. Some babies will mellow in the swing or car. For DS it was hanging in the Moby while I vacuumend.

    We'll never hold you in our arms, but we'll always hold you in our hearts.
    natural m/c 5-28-10 @ 6w
    Dx: MTHFR- compound hetero & Lupus Anticoagulant Syndrome

    BFP: 8/27/10 ~Sawyer Liam, our little miracle, born 4/17/11 @ 37 weeks 6 days.


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  • You poor thing!  I remember those days - and yes, it does get better.  Even if you go to those baby preparation classes there is no way that they can fully prepare you to be a mom - a lot of it is on the job training (or as I refer to it: baptism by fire).  You're doing it right - even though it might not seem successful now - you're trying different things and eventually something will work and you will be so freaking proud of yourself when LO actually stops crying!!  If YS is anything like DD (Pip), what worked one day, didn't work the next - so it's like hitting a moving target - but soon you'll have a repetoire of go-to moves to choose from and you'll be an old pro in no time.

    It sounds like YS is colicky.  The first couple of times I told my Mom that Pip was going nutso she came over and hung out and, like you experienced, Pip was a dream baby.  Mom clearly thought I was exaggerating.  Then the colic really kicked in and she would call and hear Pip screaming in the background and Mom stopped coming over.  Kids will make a liar out of you on a regular basis - get used to it.  Wink 

    It sucks that YH made you feel bad that you couldn't quite the baby - I'm very sorry that he did that to you.  It certainly doesn't help you when you are already feeling down on yourself to have somebody pile on.  There's a reason why they call it inconsoleable (sp?) crying.  I know it feels like you should instinctively know what's going on or how to calm the baby but that's a total myth.  You blame yourself and lay tons of guilt at your door - but it's not your fault and you're not doing anything to make the baby cry - some babies are just harder than others.  PP mentioned that the LO can pick up on frayed nerves and she is spot-on!  If you feel yourself getting unhinged, hand the baby off to YH or ask for help.  I remember sobbing many, many times when I couldn't soothe Pip - I felt like a failure, I was regretting ever having a child - I was a mess!  Then, DH came home from work one day and saw me, took the baby - told me to go take a shower (not because I was dirty - because I couldn't hear the baby crying when I was in the shower).  I felt guilty doing even that - but I did it and when I got out - the baby had stopped crying.  Of course, I was so resentful that DH could get her to stop crying when I couldn't - but after a couple of days we noticed that if we took turns consoling Pip, she would quiet when we switched off because we each had different styles of consoling - and also because we were both less stressed because we had a chance to take a break. 

    After we figured that out DH would come home, make dinner and eat - then he would take Pip so I could eat, take a shower and do stuff that fell by the wayside during the day - it was a HUGE help and seriously, I think it saved my sanity.  Maybe you should see about getting family, friends or even hiring someone once or twice a week to come over and give you a break?  We also have a service to clean the house once every 2 weeks - I don't know what I would have done without it.  I'm completely rigid about having a clean house - and it makes me crazy if stuff starts piling up.  YH mentioned that you're doing too much - this would be a great time to tell him that you need a cleaning service.  If he balks at it - suggest that it be a temporary thing - maybe 3 or 4 months, just enough to get you over the hump and beyond the colic.  If that doesn't work, tell YH that it's time to pitch in around the house - that means cook, clean, do laundry - whatever.  I didn't cook for the first 3 months - and I love to cook - I was that busy.  If I wasn't trying to calm Pip, I was holding her while she slept.  Morning, noon and night.  One thing that I had to do was reprioritize everything and just let some stuff go.  That meant turning a blind eye to dirty dishes in the sink, laundry piling up, piles of mail that needed to be dealt with, etc.  My priorities became making sure Pip had what she needed (food, clean diapers, calm) and making sure that I had food (didn't always happen) and could make it to the bathroom at least once a day.  I didn't Bump for months!!

    Things are A LOT better now.  I can move more freely and I'm not as tied down - she's still more sensitive than most - but I made it through to the other side and it's incredible how much I learned from our early rocky start and I feel so confident.  I know this reply is practically a book - but before I sign off there are a couple of things that helped us that I wanted to pass along that sometimes helped the crying:  1)  holding LO in my arms while bouncing on an exercise ball, 2)  a CD of a vaccuum cleaner being run (don't know why it worked - but Pip still finds this very soothing), 3)  lightly rubbing LO's belly in counter-clockwise direction around the bellybutton, 4) Walking up and down the stairs with LO or just walking around the house and lightly bouncing the baby.  Different holds seemed to help - holding baby like a football, etc.  I wish you so much luck hon!!  If you do have any questions or need to just cry - feel free to PM me or just post to the board - these ladies are incredible and helped me through a lot!!!  ((HUGE HUGS))

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  • I would and C&P Jertie's post in my reply, because she is spot on as usual, but it would have made this string waaaaaay long.  So let's pretend it is posted right here:

    *

    Like Jertie, I am a recovering Colicaholic.  My DS was, and is, a very, very high needs baby.  He also had/has reflux and a dairy/soy intolerance.  He spent so much time crying in his first months of life it is riduclous.  I have not been able to bring myself to fill in his baby book pages describing months 0-3 or 3-6 yet because I truly would have a hard time even now saying anything other than "you cried all the time and we were both miserable."  That sounds bad, but trust me, it was true. 

    It did get better -- he has never been a "typical" or happy baby, and I realize he never will be, but it has defintiely gotten better with time. 

    How to survive it?  For one thing, the ladies on this board kept me sane.  Literally.  Jertie and a couple others who had babies around the same time I did were of special help. Others who had been there and done that were also super helpful. 

    In addition to all the good advice Jertie gave you, I'd add or emphasize a few things:

    1)  Step Away and Recharge Your Batteries.  Let DH, your Mom, or MIL watch your LO, go to Target, or for a walk, or to a movie, or for a mani/pedi, by yourself.  Not with your friends, not with your mom, not with anyone else.  Just take a little time for you.  Breathe.  Look at things that are unrelated to babies.  Don't talk about LO, don't call to check in, just get away for a few hours of time to decompress and get your perspective back. 

    You will not want to do this, and you will probably fee guilty to do it, but you must.  Must.  If you are nursing, pump and leave a bottle.  Do not let anything impede you from clearning your head.  You may need to do this from time to time to stay sane.

    2)  Consider Earplugs.  This sounds weird and terrible, but it honestly saved me when I was at my darkest and most despondent with a baby who cried all day, did not nap, and I was low on sleep and an emotional wreck.  A wise PgALer made this suggestion and if I ever meet her I will give her the biggest hug ever.  Earplugs do not cut you off from your baby, or mean that you are not being responsive, it will just cut the noise enough to not make you totally crazy when it is going on and on and nothing you do can stop it.

    3) Don't Deny Your Feelings.  I trained as a nurse years ago and worked with babies.  So i should be pefectly situated to take care of one, right?  This should all be perfectly natural and second nature, right?  I'm a 40 year old professional, so this should be no biggie, right?  Not.  I was an emotional wreck and general basket case.  As a perfectionist type, I tried to mask what I was feeling and internalized the sadness, pain and doubt for the longest time, particularly when others asked how things were goiing.  Then I'd have a meltdown and start all over again.  DH never saw me cry until about a week postpartum when I lost it for the first (and certainly not last) time in the postpartum period.  Even the jokes that you are exaggerating your situation hurt, I know. Then I gave up the "everything's fine" act.  It was liberating - I was up front with people and gave examples.  And you know what - once they experienved DS being "himself" they validated what I was experiencing. 

    4) Realize Your DH Probably Wants to Fix It But Can't.  Men want to fix things.  They don't know how to fix colicky kids.  He is probably frustrated that you are upset and he does not know how to make it better.  He might be doubting his abilities, too.  Keep asking for support, and support him when he might need it.

    Other than that, I can offer ((hugs)) and a virtual cocktail.  Drinks  Please feel free to vent here, to PM me if you need a virtual shoulder to cry on.  It is tough stuff. 

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    BFP #1 5/2010 - Missed m/c at 8 weeks
    BFP #2 2/2011
    Baby G welcomed with love and relief 10/2011
    Surprise BFP 1/8/2013...say what? Baby A arrived 9/2013

    Motherhood is not for wimps

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  • It gets better!! 

    Oh my does it get better.

    It takes time to adjust and heal. Your LO will get easier to handle and more fun. You will figure out how to balance things but holy cow woman don't worry about the house. You will have time for that later, so if it bugs you maybe ask someone (like a sister, mom, etc) to come over and help out a little. 

    With DH, we snapped at each other and fought more in the first six months than we had in the seven years we were together. It got better when P started STTN on a regular basis.  

    Oh, and ear plugs are awesome!  

    BFP CP 1/12/11 DD born 10/16/11
  • Thanks so much ladies.. especially sandyd and jertie.. invaluable advice.. I'm way too exhausted to respond more, but know that reading through these responses made me cry -- just knowing that I'm not crazy.. I'm not a monster.. and I'm not a complete failure because others have gone through this definitely helps my sanity a bit..

    (((hugs)))

    Loss #1: 18w5d.. D&E 04Mar03 BFP #2: Jun2011.. missed miscarriage. D&C 08Jul2011 8w4d. BFP #3: Nov2011.. Our Rainbow Baby!!! DS Born: 15Jul2012! BFP #4: Nov2012.. 2U1 - DS2 born 12Jul2013.  BFP #5: 01Jan2014..3U3!!

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  • I also started reading "The Happiest Block on the Block" tonight. DS is already past the 3 month mark but the advice is there is great. Many of Dr. Karp's suggestions are things we've found work with DS. It was highly recommended to me and I see why.
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