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Lost at 7 weeks

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Hey all (and by *all*, I mean the three of you that still read this blog!), I’m sorry I haven’t written in such a long time. It hasn’t been intentional…in fact, truth be told, I haven’t thought about writing until this morning at 4AM when my bleary, sleep deprived shell had a moment and realized that it had been a couple of weeks since I had posted last.

Shira turned 7 weeks over the weekend.

Truthfully, it’s been tough. I’m incredibly exhausted…the likes of which I have never known. It’s a deep exhaustion that comes from basically 3 hour spurts of sleep twice a night, going on 8 weeks. Shira is a very. very demanding baby. I know that all babies are demanding, but seriously guys…this girl does not stop for a second unless she’s sleeping. Her legs are always kicking, her arms are always flitting around, she squirms (will not sit still in my lap, doesn’t like to be cradled for long, HATES carriers…I’ve tried and tried with the carriers, and she will scream and/or push her legs up like she wants to stand and get frustrated when she can’t), screams (and I mean, screams like I’m torturing her) at every. single. diaper change until the diaper comes off, in which case she laughs, smiles, and coos, and “talks” to me in the most adorable baby babble. And when she’s done smiling and babbling, she goes back to screaming. I don’t think it’s a digestive issue, as she eats fine, has minimal gas, rarely if ever spits up, and goes to sleep right after eating during her night feeds. It’s our days that are just…well….non stop. I can’t leave her in her chair for more than 10 minutes before she starts screaming to be moved on to the next thing (stroller, play mat, bouncing…) Life has been a cycle of moving around my living room to different activities, taking a walk around the neighborhood for a change of scenery, sleeping, changing, eating. Our Mommy and Me class on Wednesdays breaks up the day, and I’d like to do more stuff outside the house/neighborhood, but I’m so FUCKING TIRED that the effort it takes to pack up everything, make plans, get her in the car, and go somewhere seems daunting. This sounds horrible, but she sleeps in the car rides sometimes, and I get sad because I’m missing out on a time when I could be napping because I’m driving us somewhere.

I feel like I’m losing my mind.

The good news is, she sleeps very well at night (knocking on every piece of wood in my house right now…) She takes small cat naps during the day that last anywhere from 20 mins to an hour, and then has a nuclear meltdown every night around 6PM. We give her a bath (which she LOVES–shuts her right up!) and then swaddle and diaper her (cue: SCREAMS), get a bottle (likes), and then passes out around 7:30ish and sleeps for 6-7 hours. I know this sounds amazing, and like I should be getting more sleep, but there’s no way I can go to bed at 7:30 with her every night! Hubs and I have a precious few hours alone together, clean up the war zone we call “home” which has been filled with blankets, toys, and dishes from throughout the day, go to bed, and I’m up for a 12 or 1AM feed. Or I’m pumping. Always pumping…

Does it get better? Am I doing enough to keep her stimulated? Not too stimulated? Our days and weeks are seriously blending together…I had no clue what day it was today.

I’m told it gets easier…it’s hard to believe this, but I’m hoping it does. Thank God my mom can come in and help us a couple times this week…even 3 hours once a week takes the edge off sometimes.

Shira is up from her 20 minute nap now, and the screaming will cue up soon.

Arrrggghhhhhhhhhh.

 

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About Sunny

I'm a happily married, 31 year old gal who is just starting her journey to conceive. I also have ovaries that may need a jump start. This blog is an attempt to channel my obsessive research on my Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome into something positive....like a pregnancy test. That would be awesome. I also hope that other women with this condition will find support in this blog. There are a lot of us out here! Happy reading, whatever your journey may be.

22 responses »

  1. Hang in there. You are doing amazing. I am a strong believer in the temperament of the baby. Every baby is different and yes your baby is normal. Does the sleep deprivation end? I don’t know yet. We have good nights and bad nights. Last night I saw EVERY HOUR ON THE CLOCK. every f’ing one. Normally I would call in sick after a night like that, but now it’s just par for the course.
    Tabs didn’t like carriers until recently, so maybe Shira will grown into them later (though I know you want them NOW for making things easier).
    I think her nap time is normal. The most Tabs usually naps is 45min-1hr unless it’s some freak nap when it’s longer but that is so rare. She usually takes 4 a day.
    I understand the wanting to nap when she’s napping in the car. So not fair.
    I think it’s going to get better! =D So “they” say. 31 years later I don’t think I keep my own mother up too much anymore… heehee … =\

    Reply
  2. Well shit. I can’t wait to read the comments because I’m going through this exact thing right now and I’m out of my mind. My 10 week old girl twin is only taking half hour naps resulting in a meltdown in the evening and a tired cranky girl all day long. It’s a mess. Thank god my boy twin doesn’t do the same. I don’t know what to do about it.

    The only assvice I could give you is in regards to bedtime. I think shira’s bedtime might be too early. I say that only because we were doing something similar and having lots of night wake ups. Then we pushed back bedtime to 10:00. We try to get a catnap in there around 7:30 and if that doesn’t work then cue meltdowns. We just deal. However, then we do a big feed at 9:00/9:30 and since then, both babies sleep until at least 3:00, sometimes 4:00. So we only have one middle of the night feeding.

    Otherwise I have no idea how to do this. Little girl is high maintenance and I’m exhausted.

    Reply
    • Ugh. I’m sorry you’re going through this too!! I’ll see what I can play with in regards to bedtime, but I’m reticent to wake her up if she’s passed out hard…She has been sleeping from 7:30-2AM (last night) so if we can somehow push to 8:30PM, she may be down until 3ish, in which case we’d only deal with one early feed.

      Reply
      • I actually don’t recommend pushing the bedtime back any later! What happened with us is that stretch got longer and longer, until it became 7-5am on a regular basis. And now it is 7:30-6:30. You never know if she will still sleep that 6-7 continuous hours if you change the routine that you currently. What I would do is just give her an extra minute or two after she wakes up before you go to her, see if she will go back to sleep or if she is really hungry. That was how I stretched out our sleep in the early weeks. It’s not cry-it-out, it’s just giving her a minute to fall back to sleep or really get up because she’s hungry.

        Some people have had success with a dream feed after an early bedtime. Going in at around 11pm and feeding her while she is still drowsy – no diaper change, no unswaddle, just bottle in mouth and burp all done in complete darkness. I’ve never tried it but I know people have been able to stretch out their sleep that way, get another 5+ hours out of baby (and then if they go immediately to bed they will get some more sleep too!).

        People say “it” gets easier, and I don’t know what they are referring to. At some point there is a routine, and some predictability, and that makes it easier to cope with the stress of taking care of an entirely dependent human being. That’s why I wouldn’t change the current bedtime routine if it’s working… the routines that work, I hold them sacred, and the ones that don’t are the ones I experiment with.

      • I’m with you on the routine that works! I don’t think I can mess with the bed time right now…I figure I have a kid who sleeps 7 hours straight at 7 weeks, and I wake up twice before 5AM…it’s still pretty good, relatively speaking. It’s my days that suck. Last night I let her grunt and shift in her co-sleeper a bit before I got her, and it bought me an extra 45 minutes of semi-sleep. I agree– I NEED to have a place to go during the day, every day, and help to break up my day. Tomorrow is Mommy and Me–i NEVER thought I’d be so excited for it!!

  3. Oh honey I have like a million different things I want to say.

    Let’s start with…It DOES get better, I promise =) Though I must admit it wasn’t until about 4 months that things really started improving, so you have a ways to go =(

    Second, even though you aren’t noticing things like gas and spit up my ped and my midwife both told me (when I was in the exact same place as you!) that 99% of colic in babies was because of digestive issues. So, once again I’m gonna suggest you cut out dairy and see what happens. It can’t hurt anything and it definitely makes you feel like you’re DOING something to improve the situation rather than just waiting it out.

    Third, why in god’s name doesn’t your husband take that 1am feed??? One of the benefits of not nursing is that YOUR HUSBAND CAN FEED THE BABY! I know you probably pump during that time too, but at 7 weeks your supply should be able to handle a 5-6 hour stretch at night without pumping.

    Fourth, every single day plan something that gets you out of the house. Even if it’s to nowhere, I know you say she doesn’t like carriers but strap her on and go for a long walk outside, even if she doesn’t sleep the outside should be both stimulating and soothing for her and if she does in fact have digestive issues the upright position should keep her from screaming. If she’s pushing up with her legs then it’s time to get her legs out so they dangle and she doesn’t have anything to push against.

    Fifth, will she not sleep ON you when she naps? The only place Jett would sleep during the day for the first few months was on my chest so I’d let him…and take a nap too. Honestly I did that with the afternoon nap until 6 months? maybe 8 months? Anyway…a long time.

    Hang in there! You’re doing nothing wrong, we’ve all been there, it’s awful but it does get better with time.

    Reply
    • Thank you Jes!! I know…I know…I should play with the “no dairy”, but the thought of restricting my cheese consumption right now is so so so depressing. I don’t think Shira has colic. She is not crying all day for hours on end, and she’s not inconsolable. Her emotions just flip 180 and back again at the drop of a hat. My gut is telling me it;s just her normal way of expressing herself. I should clarify: Hubs does at least one bottle feed a night! But I do wake to pump once, and sometimes it’s really hard to fall back to sleep when she wakes, even if he’s feeding her. I love your idea of planning something every day that gets us out of the house..in fact, that plan of attack may be my next blog entry 🙂 we may not do the carrier just yet, but we will get out! Lastly, she will sometimes nap on me, but lately she gets frustrated and tries to lift her head and “crawl” on me rather than relax. She’s much more relaxed in her chair, and will nap fine there.

      Reply
      • I tried to convince my pediatrician that Jett wasn’t colicky either, but in hindsight (always 20/20!) he was totally colicky and what you described is colic. “Normal” babies, ie. non-colic babies don’t scream for no reason…I learned this only after my own brush with colic, I thought it had to be non-stop crying for hours as well but there’s a whole range and what you’ve described is on the lower end of the spectrum but colic none the less. It will drive you mad quicker than any other form of torture I swear!
        As to the crawling up you when she’s supposed to be napping, that usually means she’s not tired enough for a nap, this chart helped me immensely with when to try to put baby down for a nap, when he was supposed to be awake etc etc.

        http://www.mybabysleepguide.com/2013/02/average-sleep-charts-by-age.html

        I still use it to this day!

      • I also agree with planning something every day!!! For a while my “plan” was to go to a coffee shop every day – I would walk until the babies fell asleep and then I would go into a coffee shop until they started waking up, then go home. Just getting out made me feel confident enough to deal with the rest of the day. (Guess I am just hopping onto a bunch of other people’s comments today)

  4. You have described it all so well. Yes, it gets easier. Gradually and in small spurts. When sleep improves everything improves. The first time I slept for four hours straight I woke up feeling like a super hero (the feeling was short-lived, but it was a fantastic feeling).
    I tried looking for magic tricks to help my baby sleep longer, but ultimately he did it when he was ready. I followed his cues (still do) on bedtime and nap time. He first slept through the night (8 hours, all of a sudden) at 10 weeks – he then slept through the night 99% of the time for the next three months. I thought we were set for life!
    After three months it was gone as swiftly and completely as it came. Now we are up 2-3 times a night; every night. Still beats 2-hour sleeps round the clock.
    Every baby is different. I know, everybody says that. It’s all you can say. Nobody can tell you when and what Shira will do. You will come out of the fog, I promise. You will be ok. Eventually.

    Reply
  5. This is SO normal. It’s called the Period of Purple Crying. Seriously Google showed me that it was a real thing and it peaks at two months. I tried my best at that stage to make sure they weren’t getting overtired, and making a point to put them down for a nap after being awake for 45 mins to an hour and that seemed to help, but honestly I think just knowing that it’s normal helped the most.

    Reply
    • PPC!! I love that term. It’s exactly what she looks like. There have been purple faced “tantrums” due to the fact that I have removed the nipple of the bottle 2 seconds too quickly…she’s clearly still hungry, but will refuse to eat until she’s been soothed and calmed down from the travesty of having the nipple taken away. High Maintenance!!!

      Reply
  6. Weeks 6 thru 8 were definitely Jodie’s fussiest, especially for no blazing reason around 7 pm every night. It got better and I’m sure it will for you, too! Do you have a swing? It wa the only saving grace for us for a while. Also, baby massage. She LOVES it! Good luck, hang in there!

    Reply
  7. So, so, so normal. Those early weeks are BRUTAL because of sleep deprivation. My boy was extremely high needs in the first 5-6 months, but months 1-3 were the hardest. I was dealing with bad reflux and not colic, but it doesn’t matter. Every baby has something. Things will settle, and I’ll bet highly improve after 10 weeks.

    You are already getting great advice but the biggest sleep advice I can give is to stick to Weissbluth’s recommendations about wake time. Basically, you are going to do everything you can to avoid her getting into the overtired state. So, she should go down for a nap every 1.5 hours at this age. Max would only sleep 30-40 mins at a time, but he did it 4 times a day and that is age appropriate. Then, all of a sudden, he went down to 3, then 2 naps between 6-8 months. As for bedtime, the ped and Weissbluth both say most babies need an early bedtime (6-7pm) and an early waketime (5:30-7am). It is totally different than adult sleep. The idea is the earlier they go down, the longer they sleep because sleep begets sleep. This was VERY true for Max. If I put him down late, he would wake even earlier. The Baby Sleep Site is incredibly useful. Google it.

    I also echo the pp who said try the carriers (or wrap) again in a week or so. She may like it better then. Also, if you have been tucking in her legs, try legs out. Max liked that much better. And getting out of the house, even just for a walk, is KEY.

    Oh, and I found in the early days if I put Max in bed next to me (swaddled, after rocking him until he was nearly asleep, literally right up against me) he would nap twice as long. I wouldn’t do that long term but some days it was the only way I could get some rest.

    P.S. I used to stick Max in the carseat and drive him until he slept JUST to get some peace.

    LOVE YOU!

    Reply
  8. Mrs. Sunnysideup

    Go dairy free! I promise it will completely rock your world!

    It does get better!! But seriously try the dairy free route at least two months. Dairy is an inflamatory. While you might not think its colic. It very well could be. And or reflux issues. Not all cases are the same.
    We went dairy free and never looked back!
    Plus it’s healthier for you too!

    Good luck!

    Reply
    • Arrrrrrrrrrrgh. I know, I know… I should try it. But I also have an issue that I supplement with formula that she has been tolerating pretty well, I think? And it’s dairy. I maybe do at the most 2oz of formula a day at this point, as I’m pumping enough to feed her…if I do even a tiny bit of dairy, will it throw the whole thing off? At this point, I don’t know if I want to try and figure out a new formula to give her…

      Reply
  9. I had no idea until we were ten weeks deep, but babies go through a fussy phase from weeks two to twelve that peaks around weeks 6-10. By twelve weeks a lot of the fussing dies off – if not completely. You’ve done the right thing by making early bed time, that gets rid of a lot of it. You’ve got this – 5 more weeks. It’ll go by just as quickly as the last 7.

    Reply
    • Thank you for this encouragement…I am torn between going dairy free, or seeing if this is just a fussy time for her.

      Reply
      • I found the fussiness was mostly evenings, we didn’t have a lot of fussing during the day. Almost all after 4 pm…..the dairy free might be worth trying if she’s really fussing all day. I think though that either way it ends around 12 weeks. I don’t have colic experience but I’ve heard most of it clears by then too. Good luck!!

  10. I have no advice since I’m only 2 weeks in myself. The exhaustion is no joke. I freak out every once in awhile when I think of how long it may be before I get a full night’s sleep again – or even 5 hours in a row. Hang in there! Hopefully she is just going through a fussy phase.

    Reply

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