Exhaustion.

April 29, 2008 at 8:32 am | Posted in The second month | 30 Comments

Figures that the day I post that we’re doing so well, despite Baby O’s apparent gassiness, that I’d totally lose it by the end of the day.

Listening to a crying baby is fucking stressful. Add to it a lack of sleep for the past 6 weeks?

You end up bawling your eyes out over a kicky screamy baby at 5pm, apparently.

Because yesterday he fussed ALL FREAKING DAY. By all day I mean ALL DAY. He dozed for an hour, tops. And cried and fussed the rest of the time, until of course J came home at 7. By then he was so tired he was asleep. Slept until 10, when I woke him to feed.

And it’s not like I could really even get out of the house either – it was pouring, and I just didn’t feel like walking the mall with a baby that could erupt into screams any minute.

Today is more of the same. He woke up gassy – he’s been straining and farting now for the past two hours. Will only nap in my arms. I’m exhausted myself, since he was up for an hour and a half last night (though awake and alert and NOT fussy, I should count my blessings, right?).

I am more tired than I’ve ever been in my entire life. And I have another day of trying to calm my crying baby looming in front of me. At 8:30 in the morning. And it’s still raining, so we’re limited mostly to the house today.

Fun.

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  1. Think it might be worth giving the pedi a call and see what they recommend for constipation, since it sounds like he’s straining so much and maybe having trouble moving his bowels? I know there are several things that they’ll often recommend for even young infants, but I’d feel better about what your doctor has to say.

    Or perhaps it’s the dreaded c-word? It sounds like he might have some of the signs (http://www.thenewparentsguide.com/babys-and-colic.htm) though obviously you know better since you’re with him on an everyday basis.

    Whatever it is, I hope he gets some relief soon!!! 😦 I know that’s not fun for EITHER of you!

    D

  2. I’m so sorry he was so fussy. Nursing is hard work. Good job. I was only able to handle it for 3 months and I thought I was going to lose my mind.

  3. Have you tried wearing him in a sling when he’s really fussy? It might help you feel like you have some freedom. I justed to squish the Sprout’s legs up when she was in it and it would help with gas. It also made me feel human again to be able to have her not completely freaking, and still be able to do some things.

  4. Why not goto the mall? Is it more of a pain? Yes. BUT if he’s going to be fussy anyway, why not get YOU out of the house and about? Wander around – look at spring clothes for him or you, grab a bite! Maybe the stimulation will do him good and make him sleep better? My kids all love being out and seeing what’s going on – I hope this helps!

    Don’t be confined just because of the baby – get out and change the scenery!

  5. I say go to the mall. Everybody knows that babies only fuss when at home ;). The lights, the stimulation, they will help soothe him.

    K would scream bloody murder in the car the whole way there. So much so I would consider turning back around. Then when I would get her into the stroller and start pushing her around… miracles! She would be totally quiet and then fall asleep while I walked around.

  6. Oh honey, I feel you. For what it’s worth, 6 weeks is generally THE peak time for fussiness. My post-partum doula said so, and so does Moxie (do you read AskMoxie.com? it will make you feel so much less alone!). The only way I survived was taking lots of walks with BG in the Moby Wrap–one day I took four walks in under 10 hours, just to keep her calm-ish. I second the suggestion to just go to the mall anyway–strap him on (wearing him upright may help with the gas too), put a raincoat on over both of you, and go. Worst case scenario, he freaks out and you go home. But it will help YOU to feel connected to the world again, and if he’s going to freak out either way, why not do something for yourself?

  7. I’m sorry Baby O is being so fussy. I can’t say I have any good advice for you, but you’ve got some good comments here for suggestions, so I’m writing to offer moral support. I hope that things start getting a little better today.

  8. I’m not a big believer in getting out of the house. I always figure that by the time I get the kids packed up and get us all somewhere, and get them into the stroller … it will be time to feed the one, and then the other … not worth it.

    If he’ll nap in your arms, let him nap. And nap yourself, while you hold him. You won’t drop him, I swear. I do it all the time. With two babies, even. No one has died yet. The warmth and pressure on your body likely makes his belly feel better, along with being so soothing.

    And when he’s awake and screaming? Turn on some music. The TV. Anything. And turn it UP, so you can actually hear it over the screams. Or call someone to talk. Getting a non-screaming voice to talk to is a major sanity-saver.

  9. The point that was made about six weeks being the height of hell is right on-and the only thing that got me through some times. Just one more week, just one more week….However, it’s not like a light switch goes on, but the fussiness generally abates over time.

    I don’t recall if you are looking at anything in your diet that might be contributing to the gas issue. For my son, a good trigger was anything with onions, and I avoided stuff like brocolli, etc. Dairy was also a problem (he has a mild dairy allergy that keep me from cereal and milk for over a year). It may be worth keeping a food journal that corresponds with O’s day to see if there is a link anywhere, and test it out for three days (eliminating the particular offender).

    And go to the mall, Ta*get, just for the change in scenery. It does help to restore some sanity. I promise.

  10. Do you have a friend or relative that could come over for an hour or two to let you take a nap? Everything is easier to take after you get some much needed rest. I remember one time when I was at my wits end, my mom came over in the afternoon and let me sleep in between feedings (maybe 1-2 hours) and afterwards it felt as though I had gotten 10 hours of sleep – it helped so much. Even when you hand off a fussy baby to a grandma or good friend they still think it is fun – plus they are well rested and it doesn’t phase them. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

    Hang in there – everything you are experiencing and feeling is SO normal. You’re not alone and it will get better.

  11. I so understand how you are feeling, I am so tired as well. Lyla did not sleep all night long because of gas problems as well, and I am back to work already. I am tryign to fuction but my brain is not working!

    Hopefuly it will get easier soon!

  12. Yes, this is the peak of the tough time. Not that it is much consolation.

    Some people swear by gripe water for gassiness. It might be worth a try. The food journal is a good idea too. And the constipation thought — we did go through a brief bout of that at one point and even had to try glycerin suppositories, but I think that was at a much older age.

    Hang in there. It does suck. Don’t feel guilty for being frustrated or angry. It’s normal.

  13. I second or third whoever mentioned a sling. I wore Baby L around whenever I could and he liked being so close and warm, plus I could do stuff again.

    It’s nasty weather here again today, but if you’re up for it, you could try the mall just to get out. The department stores tend to have nice women’s lounges where you can nurse if necessary.

  14. nope, no advice. Just know it will get better.
    (and if that doesn’t work…DRINK …LOL)

    thinking of you sweets!
    *Hugs*

  15. Sending you cyber support and good thoughts. That and 3.00 will get you a cup of coffee – but I really do hope Baby O calms down for you.

  16. This is probably the worst that his fussiness and gassiness will get. The 6-7 week mark tends to be the peak of these things and then everything improves…so hold on for a few more days. Truly, relief is right around the corner.

    You can try cutting things out of your diet but, as someone who cut almost everything from her diet during the “gassy weeks,” I can say that I think my efforts were for not. She just grew out of the phase and her digestive system matured. I contend that probably, more often than not, by the time women resort to cutting certain foods out of their diet they are at their wit’s end (as you are now) which happens to coincide with the moment just before their baby’s digestive system naturally matures. So they make a cause and effect relationship between the two but in all likelihood it’s more correlational.

  17. Welcome to motherhood πŸ™‚

    This is what I would love to explain when women are in the throws of infertility, but who wold actually listen and get my point?

    This piece of advice helped with my babies more than anything else EVER: “Next month will be 50% better”. And it was. Each passing month got 50% better. And it helped.

    Oh, and this: “Your job as a mommy is not to get a baby to stop crying, because that is what they do. Your job is to be there while he’s crying and keep him company”. That helped too.

    ~hugs~

  18. A nurse we met early in Kiddo’s babyhood passed on some great advice: if your kid’s screams are raising your blood pressure and/or stress level, try earplugs. They block out some of the highest register sounds, but you won’t miss any of the important cues. I found that earplugs made it easier to wear her, even when she was screaming, and the baby wearing soothed both of us.

    Sorry about the screaminess. That, coupled with big-time sleep deprivation… yeeps.

  19. Your posts are helping me to realize that mothering a little one is alot like infertility – constant ups and downs…..

    Sorry that Baby O is so uncomfortable and leaving you so overtired. I can’t believe you made it until 5pm to break down!!! I am certain that I would have done it HOURS before that point (like, say, 9am)

    Since I am catching up, this response is to the last week or so of posts…… I know that I am not a baby but having IBS makes me an expert of sorts on gut discomforts. I agree that it sounds like Baby O’s problem is gas and not reflux in the pure sense. There may be discomfort in his stomach, though, which I have learned is often referred to generally as “reflux” – at least for adults. When my stomach problems were acting up, my IBS got much worse (including the gas.) So I wonder if the same overarching terminology is being used for Baby O. I understand your hesitation with giving him medication but I am also worried about what you are going through. Taking care of yourself and maintaining as much of your sanity as possible is important, too.

    And I agree that Baby O is incredibly adorable!!! And am so glad to hear how fast he is growing!!!

    XOXO

  20. I second the pedi and sling ideas.

    Ethan will go in a sling and sit for a long time when he would otherwise be screaming. The upright is good for gas in my experience.

    I’m sorry it’s been crazy. 😦

  21. Oh….my sling reccomendations:

    For a very young baby, the Mai Tai (Target) was nice because it’s major body contact. For Ethan we now use the Hotslings sling a lot now because he can sit more upright with his arms out checking things out.

    Good luck!

  22. Just to send you some unsolicited advice. I’ll make it short so you can ignore it if you want.

    Dr. Brown’s and Mylicon. Worked for me.

  23. I read one of the comments about the “C” word. My daughter ended up with cholic and it was soo painful to hear her cry all the time. She used to scrunch up her legs and get very tense. I’m not sure if you are open to medication or not for Baby O but you may want to ask your Pediatrician about Levsin drops. They worked wonders for my daughter. They can be viewed by some as a bit on the harsh side (since Levsin has been given to adults with Irritable Bowel Syndrome) but they worked for my daughter a number of years ago (she’s 6 now)

  24. Hi, I’m a long time reader and delurking to say that I wonder if it might be colic. I did IVF twice before I had my miracle baby. He is now 7 months old and the joy of my life. But from 6 – 14 weeks, he was extremely colicky. He was also very gassy, which I believe contributed to it. I was miserable because I was so tired and it was such an isolating experience because of course none of my friends or relatives had had colicky babies. But more than anything, it was difficult because I hated seeing my baby in such distress and I wanted to soothe him, but nothing (not even Dr. Karp’s 5 S’s) seemed to really help. The good thing is, the colic mysteriously ended and my baby’s gas also got better to the point where he’s hardly gassy at all now. It’s hard in the beginning because babies are such a mystery and they can’t really communicate their needs. So hang in there. You’re doing a great job.

  25. This was so me for the first six weeks of Lily’s life. It is so freaking hard. Is there anyone you could call who would come over and just take over every single thing for at least three hours or so so that you can take a break. Nap or get out and see a movie or whatever – just get some time away. I will never ever forget one night at about 4am just pounding up the stairs (where my husband was deep asleep thank you) and bawling hysterically because I thought I couldn’t take another second of the fussing.
    You are doing such an amazing job. Things WILL get easier!

  26. Oh, Serenity, I’m so sorry. The beginning is so, so hard. It will get better, really it will!

    I second the suggestions to get out of the house if you can. The movement usually calms babies, and it even helps with gas/colic. And it’ll make you feel better too — so much less trapped.

    I don’t remember (and I’m too tired to look it up now — it’s almost 3 a.m. here) whether you’ve read The Happiest Baby on the Block? Some of those techniques really helped. Sorry if this has been suggested before (possibly even by me. My brain is fried)…

    Hang in there, cookie.

  27. Hey there, have 4 and half week twins that have also started fussing a lot more lately. Have you tried swaddling? The miracle blanket is a god send. They seem to have moments where they get so worked up they cant calm down and the fussing goes on and on. We started swaddling them when they got like that and they immediately calmed down and either put themselves to sleep or stayed in a calm alert looking at the world state. The only time they dont is if their stomachs are really hurting (we discovered they have a soy allergy) And yes Happiest Baby on the Block book definitely helps…

  28. “This too shall pass” was my mantra for many a tough days not too many months ago! Good news is that the saying is totally true and after awhile you actually forget how tough those times were and begin to really miss your teeny tiny baby that has grown up so quickly before your eyes. During the roughest patches I always wondered why there weren’t more only-child families and now I know that it is largely due to “mommy brain” (o:

    One of the hardest things to do as a mom is to see your child cry, especially if they seem to be in pain. However, sometimes you have to remember that a baby’s only form of expression early on is crying and it’s just his way of communicating with you (although at times you wish it was ANYTHING but crying!!) so try not to feel like you are failing your son. Practically every mom goes through this and although that doesn’t make it easier for you right now, you aren’t alone and you and Baby O will both make it through this brilliantly. Just don’t lose faith!

  29. Oh, I can relate. My baby didn’t have the gassiness/reflux issues, but the newborn stage is so DAMN hard. And the lack of sleep can really, really make you crazy. You just don’t know until you haven’t slept for nights…hard, hard, hard. BUT it does get better. So much better! Sending good thoughts your way and hoping for sleep for all of you!

  30. Hang in there. It won’t last forever. (This is part commenting, part practising my mantra.)

    Bea


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