Friday, September 26, 2008

I want to give up

I do NOT know what to do with this baby. I've been feeding him non-stop for 3 days and still he is completely miserable. Bean hasn't had any attention (except to be told be be quiet or sit down or handed a box of dry cereal or some grapes to eat) in days and I AM EXHAUSTED.

If he isn't eating or being held in my arms, he's SCREAMING.

Is he sick? In pain?

What do I do? I can't do this to Bean any longer. Right now he's lying in his crib just wailing his little heart out/ head off, but I HAVE to get Bean ready and I have to EAT SOMETHING, as does she.

Should I just give up and feed him formula? What is wrong with him?

Can't cope like this. Just can't.


Nicola said...

I don't know Megan, I'm sorry to hear you're having such trouble :( I know I'm not of any use really, but know that I'm here for you if only as a sounding board. Have you spoken to your doctor/health visitor about it? ***hugs***

twithhoney said...

I don't mean to laugh but I am. THIS is the life I remember from when Princess was an infant. The constant crying, the misery, the lack of sleep, the wondering if I was producing enough milk, am I starving my daughter.

Yeah. Not pretty. So I feel for you.

My assvice? Hang in there. I remember when all the babies at the new mommy group hit the 6-week point. There is something that happens with the development of the digestive system that makes them miserable. Pair this with a fairly typical growth spurt and you've now found the reason for the constant nursing and crying.

Most likely he is hungry, make that ravenous because he is growing while at the same time some extra reflux and gas will be kicking in because of the developing internal organs.

When we learned to walk upright humans gave up the ability to carry our babies until they were fully developed. Our babies are born before they are fully cooked and thus all the crying and fussing as their systems try to deal with life on the outside.
I hope it passes quickly for him and you and everyone in Fried Okra Manor!!

Tat said...

Stick with it Megan - you are doing the very best for your baby - he is hopefully just going through his 6 week growth spurt, and he needs to feed this much to get your supply to the point where he needs it to be - he's a clever lad.

I've not commented before, but felt I had to here - this will pass, this will pass, this will pass (repeat as necessary). Bean will not be traumatised by a few days Mummy time, and it's the weekend tomorrow so another grown up to look after her while you concentrate on the milky monster.

{{{hugs}}} 'cos you sound like you need them.

BerryBusyMom said...

Don't give up. It will pass soon. Reece had to put up with the lack of attention because I was nursing two babies. It will get easier. T with Honey is right.

You can do it. This may be the time to ask for help from Al. Maybe a couple of times a week he can go into work later than usual to help you through this rough patch. I wish I was closer so that I could help you. Trust me I understand.


Shelly said...

Hi Megan.

With both my kiddos, they went through a time starting at about 4-6 weeks where they had some intolerance to dairy and had some of the same symptoms. It was only for a few weeks, but by reducing my intake of dairy products - eliminating really, everything was good. After a month I introduced them back in and voila, that time had passed.

I'm not saying that's what the story is, but just something to think about.

Hang in there girl.


Melissa said...

The concensus is clear -- don't give up! I know it's tough. And you are struggling with the emotional side of not feeling confident that you are nurturing either of your children...believe that you are. Believe in yourself.

For what it's worth, here are a few thoughts:
(1) What about following each nursing session with some of that liquid gold you've been freezing these last few weeks? Or, if you feel like your milk is the problem, then chase with some formula...but the first drops in his bottomless belly should be from his Mama, if possible. :o)
(2) I could be wrong, but from what I've read, formula isn't necessarily that much more filling than breast milk -- it's just that we often over-feed our children with formula because we don't have a clue about the normal volume of milk they would take in.
(3) Have you considered calling your local La Leche League? Or visiting a breastfeeding support group in your area? My little missy and I are going to one today because she's been refusing one boob or the other this last week...and she doesn't have enough fat stored to be doing that crazy stuff!! So off we go to Miss Pattie to see what she can advise.
(4) Is there anyone in your neighborhood that could come over on pre-school mornings to help you get Bean ready? Even if you had to pay her, it might be worth the help for a few weeks till Mr P settles down. Or what about someone who you can schedule a regular play-date with to help Bean burn some afternoon energy?
(5) I never get used to it, but folks around me "in the know" say it's okay for the baby to cry in the crib some. As long as you have met all his obvious needs, you can safely walk away. No, it's not easy. It sucks, I know. Oh, I know. But sometimes it's okay.
(6) Have you learned his different cries? Like, maybe he's crying because he's got gas, but because it's been 2 hours since he last ate, you assume it's hunger? I know I made quite a few errors in judgement till I got the Dunstan Baby Language DVD. It really helped me get through months 2 and 3 when it all sounded the same.
(7) To me, an important part of being a parent (all 4 months of me, yes) is teaching my child(ren) what it means to be a parent themselves...and to Bean, that might mean watching you manage both kids, and her realizing that being a mom is going to take some juggling, and that she'll still love her child(ren) more than her heart can contain, but that she won't always be able to spend 100% of her time with each child. Plus, she needs to see that babies go through phases, and that they aren't all snuggles and coos and sweet-smelling, not-eating-solids-yet poopy diapers. :o)
(8) (I know! Long-winded, aren't I?) When my girl is nursing, I always try to remember to pray that God will bless this meal, she will use it to create more cells, and energy, and store some fat, and grow her in all ways, and that she won't waste it crying, etc. :o)

Hang in there, and believe that you are doing what is best for BOTH your babies.

We'll be praying for you!

Jenn said...

I went through a period like that with Boo... it lasted a loooong time. I don't want to sound mean (I know lots of moms - and I used to be one of them! - look down on people who do what I am about to suggest) but just let him cry. Crying never killed anyone and you're right - you need to eat and you need time with Bean. So yeah, as long as he is fed and dry(ish) and not hurt then let him exercise those lungs. (It's good for them to cry sometimes. Really.)

I know how insecure you are about nursing but I honestly think that whatever is wrong with your little guy, it isn't that. In fact, if he is nursing for comfort pretty much all day then there is a chance the screaming is more from eating too much and having an achy belly because of it. (That used to happen to Monkey.) I don't think that you need to substitute formula. One more thing about the breastfeeding - that bruised feeling can be a sign of mastitis which can sometimes make the breastmilk salty and some babies don't like it as much so they fuss while eating. Just a thought.

Also... didn't you say he is sleeping 6 hours at night? Because that's pretty darn good! Boo didn't manage that particular feat until she was about a year old! Not more than once or twice anyway.

I'm thinking of you and I wish I was close by so that I could help out. xoxo

Oh! Just read through the comments and someone mentioned dairy products. Which reminded me that I had to cut dairy out of my diet when Boo was about the same age (remember?) and it did help.

Cassandra said...

I agree that it sounds like he is getting lots of feedings, so if he's gaining weight then it's probably not the nursing that's bothering him.

Do you have a sling or baby carrier you could carry him in so that he's happy while you have your hands free to help Bean and do other things like eat, etc?

Does Bean have any friends from preschool that might be able to have her over for a play date?

Hang in there and hopefully this weekend you can get some of the rest you need and deserve!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you've had some GREAT advice. I'm so sorry yall are having such a hard time. I pray it doesn't last long and that you will follow your instincts in dealing with each situation as it comes up. You are a great mama Megan. AND don't you forget it! I love you and am thinking bout you. xoxo Julie

Leigh said...

Everyone else has already given you some excellent advice, but the main theme seems to be don't give up on breastfeeding. Try to believe in yourself, as by the way your little man is growing, he is definately getting the nourishment you need. Like Jenn said, perhaps the screaming is from being too full. If I don't unlatch Sophie, she will keep feeding for comfort, until she throws it all back up again.

And I know that it is hard and some people don't agree with it, but letting babies cry for a little bit doesn't hurt them. I have had to do it with Sophie, and it helped. She exercised her lungs, I had a little break to calm down, and after, we were both much better. What I did was when she was tucked up safely in bed, I jumped in the shower for 5 minutes. I could stick my head under the water and block out the crying enough to relax a bit, and the hot water got rid of some of the tension. Then I could go back and get Sophie feeling so much better and I think Sophie picked up on that vibe, as she was calmer too.

Just hang in there. (((hugs)))

Tequilamonky said...

Aw honey hang on in there, it's classic 6 week growth spurt, he just needs to feed like crazy and get your supplies up and then it will pass.

Lots of people have given you some great advice here, the only thing I wanted to add was have you tried a sling? Jove used to just live attached to my front at times like this and I even learned how to breastfeed with it on. It freed my hands up for toddler wrangling etc.

Hope it's eased up already for you! Hugs xxxxxx

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

I'm so sorry to hear you are having a rough time right now.

It isn't the end of the world if you supplement with formula. I know there are a lot of people that would never think of doing that but if it gives you a little break and helps keep his little tummy full a little longer, then, I say, go for it!!!

Whatever you decide, hang in there because this too shall pass! (Easy for me to say, right?)

Lisa said...

I agree with everyone else, I think he's getting plenty of milk and is nursing for comfort. Have you tried the gas drops or gripe water from the drugstore? My bug lived on those for a week or so at about 8 weeks.

What about taking a drive? will he go to sleep in the car seat so you can catch a break?

Jennifer said...

You poor thing! That kind of stuff is so frustrating.
I wonder how close together his feedings are. With my first I kept nursing him every time he complained and he just seemed to complain all the more and then the nurse told me if you are feeding him within 2 hours of the last feeding then he is never getting a full tummy because your body hasn't had enough time to replenish.
If he is gaining weight and your doctor isn't concerned about how much he is eating than don't give up. It will get better.
I would also agree with the comment about milk. I was drinking tons of milk and having it on cereal and that was something else my doctor told me I needed to cut way back on because he might be fussing because he just can't tolerate that much dairy.

Mari said...

I'm sorry you are dealing with this. It's so hard to even think straight when your baby is crying that much and of course you start to doubt yourself. I went through this with mine too and I was breast feeding. I echo the others - hang in there. It'll get better and I'll be praying for you.

Anonymous said...

Just some thoughts from an old
mama. My first son was a very
big baby, and I breastfed him.
When he was about six weeks old,
my doctor (who was older and the
father of five kids), advised me
to start giving him a little baby
rice cereal mixed with my milk.
It seemed to help him, & if I
remember right, I soon added a
little strained applesauce.
When he was six months old, my
doctor advised me to stop nursing
him as he was growing so big and
he thought it was taking a lot
out of me to keep nursing him.
He did quite well with the plan.
He continued to grow well and
was around 30 pounds at one year
old. He grew to be a very tall
big guy. Also, when I put him
down for a nap, I would give him
a tiny little backrub which seemed
to soothe him, and I would turn
the radio to some soothing
soft music and put it under his
crib. It worked great & he grew
up loving music. This was all
about 40 years ago. But it worked
for us. Maybe you could ask your
doctor about adding some baby

Rambling On said...

This is like deja vu. Camden was around 7 weeks when he hit this stage. It sucked!!! We had Mylicon drops handy round the clock and gave them to him everytime he fed. EVERYTIME and it helped immensely!! Try it. Don't worry, honey. This will pass quickly and Bean will be fine. Don't give up and I swear the sun will shine through the clouds again (and you will be offering the same advice to me very soon:).

Megryansmom said...

I second the Mylicon or gripe water. You want I should come over and let you get some sleep? Or take Bean to the zoo with us? LOL

Melissa said...

One more thought...:o)
A few short months ago, someone wise told me, and I quote, "do not believe for a minute that you are a bad or even slightly inept mother because you're not getting breastfeeding right (100%) or you *gasp* don't feel like friggin Mother Nature herself with the angels singin' and the harps playin' every time you latch that child on to your little ladies." :o)

And also "do it if it works, let it GO (this time) if it takes away from the enjoyment of the baby and the family."

I'm not saying I think it's time to "let it go" -- I'm just saying that whatever happens, you are not a failure. You are not a bad mother. You are the BEST mama ever! And Mr P will get to be big and strong and give you smiles and giggles and hugs and say "Mama, you're my bess fwend." very very soon. :o)

And you've got lots of folks out here loving all the FriedOkra clan, and praying for you.

Peter and Nancy said...

I have friends of teenagers who tell me they long for the days of crying babies . . . huh?! I know they mean the problems of teens are so much more potentially dangerous, BUT there is NO more physically demanding time of motherhood than what you're going through right now.

Hang on -- as my husband has reminded me with all three of ours, just because they cry doesn't mean you're a bad mama. I second the ladies who've recommended cutting back on dairy for a few weeks. And make sure to invite other adults over for some grown-up company and a little help during the week.
-- Nancy

KTE said...

SWING!!!! Kevin lived on the mylcon drops and in that swing I have. Allowed me to get stuff done, without killing my back. The carrier is wonderful but after a hundred hours you start to fatigue!

Alice said...

Oh Megan, I really feel for you! Matthew (mine!) was just exactly like this around the same age. The others were too, but Matthew was by far the worst. I think it's one of the reasons I felt like I could barely cope with the transition to two kids, because I was just toooo stretched and felt like I could NOT learn to juggle no matter what, and constantly felt guilty about Arthur's needs not being met. Sounds like you are feeling much the same.

I learned that sometimes one of them HAD to cry and I was NOT to feel bad about it. Bean will not be traumatised by this stage in her life! I promise. Even if she's still eating dry cereal and grapes on her lonesome for another week or more, really I promise she'll be okay. Use 10 minute snatches if you do get them, to do her favourite SHORT activity with her, a few times through the day. This will keep her ticking over re. the Mama Attention much better than you think it will. Reassure her cheerfully that it will only last for a short while and then things will get back to normal - EVEN IF you totally have no idea if you're telling her the truth! ;) Be reassured - it IS the truth. She'll feel better for hearing it from you regularly.

Regarding Mr. Peabody... I think I would say let him cry while you eat or snatch one of those 10 minute activities with Bean. Nathan still does this aplenty. One thing I struggle with, despite doing it anyway, is that it DOES feel dreadful. Also, I know your stomach is of the same persuasion as mine, and trying to eat while my sweet lambie love cries his heart out on his own somewhere, results in my stomach acid boring a hole right through my entire torso while I eat. *sigh* So I try not to do the CIO-while-I-eat thing, and maybe you'd find the same?

With Matthew, something that did end up drastically reducing the amount of time he spent crying was to cut out milk from my diet, as some others have said. Mind you, this we found out MUCH earlier, as the crying started just before 2 weeks old and he had poop issues that suggested as much too. Also, he did still cry. He ended up having to, but he still turned out happy and smiley and non-neglected!

I'm waffling, but basically I really feel your pain and difficulty in this situation. The best thing to do is what others have said - constantly repeat the words, "This too shall pass!" It doesn't help the difficulty as it stands, but somehow it helps a little to hear your own voice say the words! And it's even better when one day you find out it was true after all! It really WILL pass, and though it feels terribly pressing right now, his needs will settle (your milk is fine for him, by the way - hang in there! I second (third?!) the "It's the 6-week growth spurt!" reassurance), Bean will survive, and so will you.

*hugs* I'm praying for you! xxx

Alice said...

That, and BOUNCY CHAIR! Seriously made life easier with Matthew (never used one with Arthur). Even when he would cry in the bouncy chair, I could push it with my foot to rock it (soothed him to sleep sometimes, other times he cried anyway but it felt better to be physically DOING something in his direction!) whilst playing Duplo or drawing with Arthur on the living room floor, or something. Nathan did not ever sleep in the bouncy chair, and the bouncing bothered him. They're all different. But it's worth trying something with soothing motion (although you've probably already tried the swing) if you haven't already done so.

It will pass! It will pass!


Rebekah said...

Sorry to hear. Suzie would scream a LOT. We used a hair dryer to calm her down. Seriously- it worked

(no we didn't conk her on the head- we turned on the hair dryer and the loud humm seemed to calm her down)

I would have the Dr check him out (ears throat stomach) and as long as that was ok, he may just be colic

My Lil Family