Working Moms

I Can't Do This.

Oh my gosh, please somebody tell me this can get better.

Today was my first time back to work.  DD is 15 weeks.  I work evening shift as a nurse at a busy ICU.

Due to birth trauma DD has had trouble sucking/swallowing and we tried since 3 weeks for her to take a bottle and she first could not and now will not due to a combo of difficulty and aversion.  Yes, we have tried numerous bottles, therapy, nipples, thickened feeds, etc.

I nursed like crazy and left for work at 2pm.  My mom and DH stayed to watch DD at our house.  She did NOT EAT and stooled 4 TIMES for a total of 6 for the day (which is insane, she normally does once).  They brought her to me to nurse and she refused to eat, just fussed and played at the boob.  She also DID NOT sleep from 0130 and was still awake when I talked to them at 9PM.  I am going insane waiting for my shift to end. 

She is going to get dehydrated at this rate!  This is not worth the stress!  What the hell am I going to do?  I am the breadwinner and hold the benefits, but my daughter and family are suffering for this.  Not to mention if she nurses all night now I am going to be even more exhausted if that is even possible and if I mess up at my job people can die!  This is awful, I am so close to tears, what do I do?????

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Re: I Can't Do This.

  • That sounds really hard. Are you able to get any more leave? Will they keep being able to bring her to you to eat? My DS wouldn't take a bottle due to reflux and his resulting eating aversions, and it was very stressful for me, and I was so sleep deprived that it wasn't safe for me to drive. Looking back, it was crazy. However, in my job if I screw up no one dies. Our nanny would sometimes try to syringe feed him so at least he would get something. You could try that. Or sometimes babies will drink from a little cup? Did you try that yet?

    I'm sure the sleeping part will get better and hopefully she will learn to eat when they bring her to you. I guess all I can offer is that if it doesn't improve, I would talk to your boss and see if you can get any adjustments or additional leave. Sleep deprivation and a non-eating baby are big issues. 

    Best of luck. I really hope it gets better! By the way, my son is now two and he's great. He was not an easy baby but he's a wonderful little guy.

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  • MKDeeMKDee
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    First, it really may get better. a lot of moms come on here and say their baby won't take a bottle on their first day back to work, and within a week or so, the baby catches on that a bottle is the best alternative. So this may only be a shortterm problem. Secondly, try the syringe or cup feeding, as pp suggested. You're right, with your job, you can't just let her reverse cycle all night long. Sorry you've had a rough first day. It will get better. I'm also the breadwinner for my family, so I get the stress of feeling like you need to be in two places at once :. Hang in there!

    Edited because I always forget that I can't use special characters on mobile. I don't normally type in run on sentences, I swear!
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  • image MKDee:
    First, it really may get better a lot if moms come on here and say their baby won't take a bottle on their first day back to work/ with a nanny, and within a week or so, the baby catches on that a bottle is the best alternative. So this may only be a shortterm problem. Secondly, try the syringe or cup feeding, as pp suggested you're right, with your job, you can't just let her reverse cycle all night long. Sorry you've had a rough first day. It will get better. I'm also the breadwinner for my family, so I get the stress of feeling like you need to be in two places at once :. Hang in there!

    This.  Babies will start to take a bottle if they are hungry enough.  It's your first day back and you need to make it work.  It will get better.  I swear!  Actually, it might become enjoyable, like my job did again. 

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  • *hugs* You CAN do this. It will get better. I don't have a lot of experience with bottle rejection, but I've heard good things abour syringe and cup feeding. Early days are rough, but it really does improve.
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  • Mine refused the bottle the first few days back. As long as you nurse when you are there they will be ok. How is it worse than babies who sleep 12 hours through night at 6-8 weeks. Give it a few days and she may have picked up at your anxiety when you held her at work. Stop calling home and ask them not to stress you. They are two adults, let them work at it. She will eventually give in and eat. Also, can you try 4 months sippy cup. She's close to 4 months. Maybe she'll like that. 
  • image jroth33470:
    Mine refused the bottle the first few days back. As long as you nurse when you are there they will be ok. How is it worse than babies who sleep 12 hours through night at 6-8 weeks. Give it a few days and she may have picked up at your anxiety when you held her at work. Stop calling home and ask them not to stress you. They are two adults, let them work at it. She will eventually give in and eat. Also, can you try 4 months sippy cup. She's close to 4 months. Maybe she'll like that. 

    this exactly.  It WILL get better. 

     

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  • I don't have any suggestions, but wanted to give encouragement!  It will get better. Try to relax.  She will eat when she is hungry.

    Good luck to you!!!

  • image gingerfamily:

    image jroth33470:
    Mine refused the bottle the first few days back. As long as you nurse when you are there they will be ok. How is it worse than babies who sleep 12 hours through night at 6-8 weeks. Give it a few days and she may have picked up at your anxiety when you held her at work. Stop calling home and ask them not to stress you. They are two adults, let them work at it. She will eventually give in and eat. Also, can you try 4 months sippy cup. She's close to 4 months. Maybe she'll like that. 

    this exactly.  It WILL get better. 

     

    Yup, all of this.  Give it some time, she won't really get dehydrated, she's probably picking up on everyone's anxiety, try a cup, a dropper, and a syringe.

    Also -- I'm not suggesting reverse cycling as a long term alternative, but if she does it for a few weeks, can you have DH handle bringing her to you at night to nurse so that you don't really need to wake up?

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  • What about dropper feedings? That can keep your DD from getting dehydrated while you're at work. My ped has extra large droppers so it's not as tedious. The wide awake thing and the not eating much thing are not out of the normal realm, even though they're really tough. It gets better, hang in there. 
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  • My son refused a bottle as an infant and it was SO stressful starting daycare. The first handful of days he didn't eat well there, but he quickly caught on and things got better very fast.  I think if you give it more time, you will all be OK. I would call the pedi for advice too if you are worried about dehydration. GL!
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  • I freaked out too when I first went back and my DS wouldn't take a bottle at daycare. These are expensive, but this is what wound up working for us: http://www.amazon.com/Innobaby-Nursin-Smart-Nurser-Nipple/dp/B002IBZM70/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1367331402&sr=8-2&keywords=innobaby+bottle 

    They also have a spoon feeder for babies with feeding issues, but we didn't have to go this route:

     http://www.amazon.com/Innobaby-Nursin-Smart-Bottle-Feeder/dp/B002IBZM7K/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1367331528&sr=8-3&keywords=innobaby+bottle

    It took a week for LO to get the hang of it, and I had to keep up with a few bottles on the weekends for a few weeks, but we made it through. GL

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  • It gets better.  DD refused her bottle the first day that she was in daycare.  She was a little better on day two, but it took a week or two for her to eat normally at daycare.  This is a really tough transition.  Hang in there.
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  • PP all had very good advice, but I just wanted to be another one to say it WILL get better!  My suggestion is learn how to nurse lying down.  DS2 refused bottles for weeks after he started daycare.  He reverse cycled and would nurse ALL NIGHT LONG.  With your job, you certainly need your sleep. So, if you nurse lying down you can rest and feed him at the same time.  Some people won't do this because it can be a safety issue.  But, if you do some research you'll find that there is a safe way to do this.  (The ladies on the AP board know a lot about this.)  It saved my life during the first few months.  

  • D2 refused a bottle too.  She learned pretty quickly though that she needed one during the day.  It was not a fun time but it was shortlived.

     Can you hire a postpartum doula to help your DH and MIL bottle feed?  We had a million different people attempt to feed D2 and it was the calmest person who actually got her to take it. 

    Good luck!  It will get better, the first day back is always the hardest.

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  • image laurakaz13:

    Babies will start to take a bottle if they are hungry enough.  It's your first day back and you need to make it work.  It will get better.  I swear!  Actually, it might become enjoyable, like my job did again. 

    Agreed!  DD2 didn't drink her bottles for the first 2 weeks or so.  Eventually, she got into a routine and everything was fine!

    Sorry it's been a stressful first time back.  It definitely gets better!



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  • hugs - it really will get better. Ditto telling your mom and DH to stay calm - she wont' starve to death or dehydrate - she's just being stubborn. Also. ... have you tried formula? Any chance she might be will to take that in a bottle or sippy or even spoon feeding.
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  • Big hugs. It will get easier!!! I'm a L&D nurse, I work 3 nights/wk. (So I totally get the exhaustion and the whole "if i mess up i could kill someone!" mentality.) I had many of the same issues with my first daughter-- pretty bad bottle aversion too. We had her in an in-home daycare and the first few days were rough. But eventually she got the hang of it... it's like she realized she had to. I know it's hard to imagine it getting better but I promise it will. Hang in there and good luck!!
  • My DD1 had pretty bad bottle aversion too. She flat out refused to eat the first several days at daycare and literally never took a bottle from my DH in an entire year. My mom had some success feeding her with distractions-- in front of the TV or at the sink with the water running or even in the bathroom with the shower running. Eventually she did decide to eat at daycare and once she did it was never a problem again. It was hard in the beginning because I would pick her up and she would cluster feed and literally nurse from the time I got her until she went to bed and then all night. So I can see how hard this will be if you are on nights and need to be asleep during the day. Have you tried having someone else feed her outside of your home? Maybe even outside in the fresh air at a park? She could definitely be associating your home with you and nursing.

     

    DD1 7/10/08  DD2 8/11/10  DS 7/2/13

  • You can do it.  It will get better.

    I am a doctor, and yes, the consequences of making mistakes at work are potentially life-threatening. (I used to remind DH of this when I needed him to step up more.)  You may need to arrange help with other responsibilities for a while, so that you can just focus on getting yourself and baby adjusted to the new routine.  

    The good thing is that your baby is still young enough to sleep a lot--try napping with baby or nap-nursing to get extra sleep during the day.  Bedsharing was a necessity for me for the first few months.  Good luck, and let us know how it's going.


    DS born 8/8/09 and DD born 6/12/12.
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