NICU mom meltdown

I'm definitely having a NICU mom meltdown. I just feel so overwhelmed with trying to be here for my baby and be home for my husband and to take care of the things that need done around the house. Baby girl is doing great and doctors are happy with her progress. I'm the one having issues. I'm so frustrated and tired of pumping! I hate it! If it wasn't the best thing for her I would so stop. I have seen LC the last two days and they had some great tips. I have been doing those but I'm still not keeping up with LO. I have to stay the night here tonight to try to pump enough. It's hard because only one of us can stay here. It has been working I spend the day here with here and go home at night and be with DH. I can't tell if I have the beginning of PPD or if it's just being overwhelmed with having a NICU baby, pumping, and being home. Thanks for letting me vent.

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Re: NICU mom meltdown

  • It is certainly hard. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. That's my only advice. This to shall pass and when she is home it will be worth all the struggle. Just remain positive! You can do this momma!!!
  • I feel the EXACT same way about all of these things.  Just trying to survive and live right now is enough.  I am also tired of pumping, very very tired...when I wake up to pump in middle of night I can't get back to sleep as easy even though I am exhausted.  Travel and traffic to NICU is 30 min but its the worst traffic ever so you never know how long exactly it will be.  There are some great nurses and then there is that one that has a bite and seems like she owns your baby not you.  And FOOD, keeping my husband fed and me seems like the ultimate chore.  We got a puppy before we found out I was pregnant....he is beyond cute and I seriously love him but he is WORK right now.  Making sure he isn't in his kennel a ton and gets play time as well is a chore.  Our NICU doesn't allow anyone to spend the night, which might be nice cause I would be there every night and that would make our life perhaps even more stressful.  Sorry your post made me want to VENT as well!!!  LOL  Just hang in there cause I know you can and I know I can it just seems like right now that everything is too much.  But this will pass!  
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  • How much is your husband helping out? Obviously, if he works and you don't, you might have more time to get stuff done, but this is not business as usual. Go into survival mode right now and only do the stuff at home that you absolutely have to. If you have friends or family offering help, take them up on it. Even if it's making you a meal so you don't have to cook or doing a load of laundry for you. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

    And don't be afraid to have your husband help too.

    As for pumping, I've been there. I never made enough for DD and stopped pumping when she came home. If you feel like it's too much for you, stop. It really is okay and your little girl really will be okay with formula.

    If you don't want to stop just yet, there are some things you can try. I'm not sure if the LCs have already suggested them, so I'll run through the list:

    1. Have your thyroid checked.

    2. Talk to your dr. about reglan or domperidone (although reglan might give you bad side effects, so watch for those)

    3. Oatmeal. Lots of oatmeal.

    4. Lactation cookies

    5. Mother's milk tea

    6. Fenugreek. says how much to take. Don't go by the bottle.

    7. Power pump


    You can get through this! And remember, if pumping is too hard, it's really okay to stop.

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    [Deleted User]mrs_chewie
  • Ditto the others, pumping isn't for everyone. The most I've ever gotten at one time was like 2oz, and that was after about 2mos and was the peak of my production. Give it your best, then recognize that that IS your best and if you need to let it go, it will be fine. On the flip side, babies only need a tiny bit of BM per day to reap the health benefits of it, so anything you can give is a true gift. Screw the things that need to be done around the house, you are in survival mode - when baby is home, she'll be sleeping a TON and you'll have plenty of time to get stuff done. Go to the store today and buy a bulk pack of plates and cups. You'll get through this.
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  • First of all stop worrying about your husband he is an adult who can fend for himself. He needs to grow up you are not his maid or cook, your job and only job is to take care of yourself and LO. Even if your husband has to eat take out every night so be it. As for pumping I gave up my boobs weren't producing and it was stressing me out and I was completely exhausted on the verge of a breakdown. My advice would be if you gave the baby colostrum and gave it your all it's ok to stop thats why formula was invented. Its not worth losing your mind to give your baby breastmilk. And I have the attitude that if the house falls down while we are in the nicu too bad we can get a new house we can't get a new baby.
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  • The other ladies have given great advice, I'll just add hugs. We've all been there and it is really, really hard. You have to be easy on yourself and let things slide. I know sometimes it's nice to be able to get things done around the house, to have some sense of order in this period of chaos, but your rest is more important. When you are home, rest, eat, and pump. This should be your ONlY jobs!!

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  • Thank you all for your kind words and great advice. Right now I get to stay home but I will have to go back to work full time at 6 weeks pp unless I can get my doctor to write a note saying I can't go back until 8 weeks or whenever. With my short term disability they only will give you 6 weeks regardless if you have a vaginal delivery or a c-section. My husband is working evenings and going to school full time. He has pretty much been living on take out. He doesn't complain about the dinners and we agreed we will both just do what we can around the house and just doing one or two things a day will help make us feel better and maybe make it more manageable. I really do want to breastfeed not only is it good for her but it also saves money. However if it continues to be a nightmare I will pay for the formula to save my sanity,

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  • Everyone has already given great advice, I just want to say hang in there! ((HUGS))
    Hoping this one stays put a little longer
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  • Ditto everything PPs have said. Your DH can take care of himself. He'll deal. Right now, your priority is healing from delivery, working on pumping, and most importantly -- being there for your LO (to whatever extent you determine is do-able for you).

    For me, I had SUCH a slow start to getting my supply to come in. I pumped every 2 hours during the day, power pumping 2-3 times a day, and then every 3 hours at night. I was EXHAUSTED. I, too, had so much trouble falling back asleep after pumping over night -- I still do to this day! But, power pumping and making sure I was eating enough food were the two things that were key for me. I tried fenugreek, oatmeal and even Dom, but it was all about supply and demand in my case. 

    Hang in there, keep it up. This is easily the most stressful, overwhelming and exhausting experience I've ever had.

    Also, your insurance may cover the formula if your LO needs to be on Neosure or another preemie formula. Ours covers it - I BF, but we have to add the Neosure to get it up to 22cal/ounce. We actually will needs to start supplementing a bottle or so this week (I cannot believe we made it this far!) - so I had been stocking up on some formula via insurance in anticipation of needing it for this. Regardless of what you end up doing -- that's also something to consider.
    TTC Since 11/10 due to Unexplained IF 
    4 Rounds of Clomid, 2 Rounds of Femara + IUI, 2 rounds of IUI+ Injectables (Bravelle + Menopur) = First BFP! TWIN GIRLS!

    November 2, 2012 - Claire (2lbs 8.9oz) and Paige (2lbs 10oz) arrive at 29w3d due to PTL and pPROM at 28w5d 
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  • @Brummy14 what insurance do you have?

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  • direy25 said:

    Everyone has already given great advice, I just want to say hang in there! ((HUGS))

    Ditto this! I felt the same way. Do your best and forget the rest!
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  • Make sure you get lots of sleep. That really made a difference for me. Is it terribly hard. Let people know that it's tough. We've had so much help from family and friends. Big hugs! It'll get better. Not easier, but better!
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  • Oh yes. I know that feeling. You have to take care of yourself too. And the stress is def not helping the milk supply. Think and ask about donor milk. Does your nicu offer it? Are you okay with it? Do some research. If I hadn't been able to produce enough, I would have used it. Make sure to drink tons of water and get some rest. Have you tried looking at pics of your baby (or babies in general) when you're pumping at home? I also listened to lullabies when I first started. It helped me. I think its more psychological than we realize. I'm surprised they'd ask you to stay overnight. My nicu allowed it but they weren't big on it, for the family sake. Too much going on to get any rest. Anyway I wish you well. Keep us posted
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    Pregnancy #2 EDD 8/28/2013, Carson was born on 6/28/2013 at 31w - spent 37 days in the NICU
  • *hugs*  I hope you feel better soon.  I had some crying episodes while LO was in the NICU, but it really hit me after he came home - all of the emotions I had suppressed to get through the NICU days, the feelings of being tired and overwhelmed at home, the fears that I wouldn't be able to take care of him when DH went back to work, the grieving over not having had the birth experience I had imagined, the jealousy.  I was having mood swings every day, going from happy one minute to crying the next with no warning.  It really helped to talk to my husband and my doctor about it and to acknowledge that we had just gone through a traumatic event and that it was perfectly normal to feel all these things.  My doctor gave me a prescription for Deplan, which also seems to help.  

    Take it one day at a time and go easy on yourself.  Don't try to do more than you can handle.  The best thing for your little girl is a healthy happy mamma and a full tummy, however she gets them. The laundry and cleaning and cooking can slide.  If you decide that you've given pumping your best shot and it's just not right for you, it's ok to stop.  I feel that there is too much pressure and guilt surrounding breast milk these days.  It's gone too far.  Yes, of course, breast milk has many health benefits, but formula is just fine too.  Definitely keep trying as long as you feel like it's worth it, but don't let anyone guilt you into doing what doesn't feel right for you or make you feel like a bad mom.  
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  • With the exception of staying overnight, I could've written your post! I went back to work four weeks pp and have been back a full three. I'm exhausted. I haven't really cleaned in weeks. we've probably eaten a total of five meals in the last seven weeks at home. I've started reglan this week so well see if it has any bearing on my supply.
  • I agree with what what person said in that breast feeding isn't worth losing your mind over and this is why formula was invented. You have a lot on your plate right now. Being a happy mommy is important and if pumping is making you miserable then it's ok to stop! I would try to set smaller goals for saying ok I'm going to pump until her due date or she's four weeks old or 8 weeks, or sometimes my goal would just be to make it another day.
  • OMGTree said:
    @Brummy14 what insurance do you have?
    @OMGTree - Sorry, I totally missed your question. We have Humana, but the NICU handled everything through Cincinnati Children's Hospital (we also got a multitude of medical supplies -- feeding tubes, all of DD2's oxygen equipment, etc). 
    TTC Since 11/10 due to Unexplained IF 
    4 Rounds of Clomid, 2 Rounds of Femara + IUI, 2 rounds of IUI+ Injectables (Bravelle + Menopur) = First BFP! TWIN GIRLS!

    November 2, 2012 - Claire (2lbs 8.9oz) and Paige (2lbs 10oz) arrive at 29w3d due to PTL and pPROM at 28w5d 
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  • I am feeling the same way! This has been the hardest week ever, but it will just make us stronger in the end!
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