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Don't know what to do :(

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by truelove, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. I gave birth a week ago to a beautiful, much loved and much wanted daughter, but I'm finding it all overwhelmingly difficult to cope! Sat here now with tears streaming down my face with a baby who is just refusing to settle, she's been crying now for over three hours and I feel exhausted, I'm trying to breast feed as I know that it's best for her but it means that i haven't slept for longer than an hour at a time for the last week and it's starting to take it's toll on me.
    People keep saying to persevere an it will get easier but I don't know how many more days I can do like this. I keep wondering if I should swith to bottle feeding so at least my other half can share the burden and give me a bit of a break, but I would feel so guilty if I did.
    I just want the best for my daughter but at the minute I feel I can't give her what she needs, I feel so unhappy
  2. Oh trulove - am busy with breakfast things but didn't want to read and run. I'm so sorry you're feeling like this and I can empathise because this is exactly where I was at your stage. Unfortunately, and I know this is no help at all at the moment but everything you are feeling is completely normal and believe me it does get better. We spent the first 2 or 3 weeks in a complete daze...up at stupid times etc. etc.
    The great thing is that it sounds like you are doing well with the breastfeeding and bubba is loving it, I know at this stage I was just beginning to realise that I had no supply and was trying to feed and express whilst LO was screaming all the time. In the end I did switch to bottle because it just wasn't working and I decided not to feel guilty cos I had done everything I could. My LO is now 21 wks old and is thriving and happy...I know it feels like that is ages away but it really isn't.
    Do you have a mum/relative close by? I think you need someone who has felt these things to talk to, I know I just couldn't believe how hard the 'baby blues' (rubbish name made up by men I'm sure!) hit and how useless I felt about everything...and it was really hard for my OH to watch what was going on.
    Good luck, post back and let us know what's going on xxx
  3. sending big hugs....
    Baby blues is definitely a rubbish name, as comes nowhere close to describing the big hormonal upheaval you've just been through. My LO is 2 and a half weeks and my 'blues' hit about a week ago. They have settled down again over the last week, but still apt to cry at the slightest thing... LO turning her head round to find us, mum making a joke about me being a bad mum for going out for an hour (joking, but NOT FUNNY!), OH having to go to work today etc.
    Two things to remember:
    1. This is very very normal.
    2. This will pass.
    3. Lack of sleep is enough to drive anyone crazy!
    I'm really sorry to hear that things are so tough for you right now. Is there a reason that LO is feeding so often? If there are any problems with BF then it might be worth talking to someone about that as there are a lot of people out there to give advice and help. There is also nothing wrong with considering bottle feeding... you could also combine the two, it doesn't have to be either/or.
  4. Truelove, many many hugs for you. I hope you are feeling a bit better. I know how you are feeling. I am sure all new mums experience this. Ask for help if you have people around who can offer it. Could you express some milk and get partner to feed the baby so you can rest. Of course you want the best for your baby but you can't give your best when you are the totally knackered stage.
    take help if it's there
    call in help from afar if needed - they will understand
    get your partner to feed
    vary between bottle and breast
    for what it's worth my baby was bottle fed from birth, I got over the guilt within about six hours solid sleep and she is active, bright and very well.
    lots of love
  5. Chica77

    Chica77 New commenter

    It's totally normal to feel how you're feeling. I remember crying and crying over nothing really, and it's also normal to feel guilty over every little thing.
    I had to formula feed in the end as my son lost too much weight, but I did mix feed for 10 weeks, and that was stressful what with all the expressing and so on. It did mean that my husband could feed him though. I wouldn't say my son slept particularly well though, BF or formula didn't seem to make much difference on that count!
    Why not call a BF counsellor out for some advice? I think sometimes milk doesn't come in properly for a few days so it is probably worth persevering. What does your midwife say?
    The first few weeks with a baby are the hardest, but soon she will be more settled and this will be a distant memory! My 2nd is due in 6 weeks, so it didn't put me off!!
    Take care x
  6. undiwear

    undiwear New commenter

    Congratulations, truelove. The first few weeks of motherhood comes as a great shock to a lot of us.

    Firstly, can I ask about your labour and delivery and the first few hours and days? These can be significant on how things are progressing right now. What was her birthweight and weight at the last weighing? And lastly, where is she spending her days and nights when you are not trying to feed her?
    Do you have any help with you during the day and in the evenings?
    Don't feel like you have to right an epistle to my questions as I know that having 15 mins to yourself right now is a godsend.

    As chica says phone a breastfeeding helpline even in the midst of tears or have someone pho ne for you on your behalf if you are not up to it.
    ABM - 08444 122 949
    BfN - 0300 100 0210
    NBH - 0300 100 0212
    LLL 0845 120 2918
    NCT 0300 330 0771

    They are all trained to deal with the sort of emotional difficulties you are feeling right now. It doesn't have to be strictly a breastfeeding problem. And if you need to ring back, please do. They are all volunteer mums who have school runs etc. to do around their support work.

  7. Co-sleeping is sleeping with baby- it may not be 'recommended' but it can be impossible not to- so it is better to do it safely than do it by mistake. I was given a leaflet on safe co-sleeping by my midwife. Many people do it, maybe not every night or even for the whole night, I am sure more people do it than would admit. I don't 'intend' to but frequently fall asleep feeding.
    There is a form of parenting called 'attachment parenting' where parents will always co-sleep, though there are extremes to this!
    I think it is more dangerous when parents are drunk/drugged.
  8. GOD, how I wish I'd been able to co-sleep! I was so jealous of those women who could do it successfully. I think our bed was just that wee bit too small (not that baby took up much room, really)
    I always just got up at 4 AM and watched Catch-up tv while breast-feeding. I have grimly fond memories of that time...
  9. Oh, and I totally agree with those who suggested feeding while lying down. Even if you don't fall asleep, it's a much kinder way to feed if you're absolutely shattered.
  10. undiwear

    undiwear New commenter

    The way researchers use the term, co-sleeping is sharing the same room with a baby. so if your baby is in a moses basket, hammock, futon or cot. there are now side-car cots which you can drop one side and attach to the bed which puts the baby on its own sleep surface but have them in arm's reach. Sort of a half-way house deal.
    Most people however seem to use the term 'cosleeping' to refer to sleeping in the same bed.
    Researchers use the term 'bedsharing' to mean sharing the same sleeping surface with a baby in an actual adult bed.
    They make further distinctions which a lot of media and the public doesn't make such as calling sleeping on a sofa (intentionally or not) bedsharing.

    Co-sleeping is safe for all parents. Bedsharing is safe when following certain guidelines which are outlined by the FSIDS and UNICEF. Bedsharing is recommended for breastfeeding mothers who fit the guidelines because bedsharing is shown to promote the establishment and continuation of breastfeeding. http://www.babyfriendly.org.uk/pdfs/sharingbedleaflet.pdf

    Sofasharing is never safe as is sleeping on a waterbed. Some parents myself included did not know enough about safe bedsharing in early motherhood and have woken up with a baby in arms while sitting up in a chair. Because I was told not to take the baby to bed with me, I inadvertently put myself and child in one of the most dangerous environments.

  11. undiwear

    undiwear New commenter

    Which is why the public ought to be more educated about safe co-sleeping. Several studies in the UK since the late 90's have shown that at least 20% of parents are bed-sharing for at least a part of the night. A lot of these parents will not be aware of the guidelines and are therefore inadvertently putting their babies at risk. I agree too that a lot of people will not admit to doing it because there is such a stigma attached to it.
  12. Oh this is what I could have written when I gave birth. It really knocked me for six - I knew I was going to be tired, I knew it would be difficult, but my oh my, I didn't know it would be THAT tiring and THAT difficult!
    I sat like you, tearing my hair out about BFing. I had told myself I would try it, I know how good it is for baby and really wanted to do it. But then I had a hard old labour and was pretty ill and was expected to feed this little hungry thing - it just didn't work. I stuck it out for three weeks and by this point baby was losing weight, I was so exhausted and unwell and something had to give. I was crying because I was having to give top up feeds, crying because baby was losing weight, crying because I wasn't doing a good enough job, in my opinion. My heart would sink when, after feeding for over an hour I'd try to get a shower, have a bite to eat, and then OH would say "oh I think he's hungry again!". I dreaded feeds as I felt I was doing such a crappy job of it.

    Having your first baby is such a hugely steep learning curve - my boy is nearly 8 months now and I look back at those early weeks and think I was doing just fine and shouldn;t have worried. Maybe I'll not panic so much whenthe time comes for No 2!! [​IMG]. In the end up, I decided to bottle feed and although I felt so guilty for ages, although I had to just tell myself to wise up, as although breast is best, formula is not poison!

    Good luck
  13. This is so true, I remember about three weeks in a friend told me that by 8-10 weeks things are getting a bit more sorted and just bursting into tears. I know it feels like ages away but it really isn't. Also I can relate to how blooming knackering being strapped to a monitor and given prostin is, I think it is mentally stressful as well because you are not sure what's happening. My delivery was not as bad as yours in the end but felt exhausted from the 3 days of waiting around to see what would happen!

    Hope you're getting a bit more sleep x
  14. i struggled too with the constant breastfeeding and my milk took 6 days to come in. i had an easier delivery than you and my body found it difficult. have another read of your posts and think what you would advise that person if it were someone else. you're doing a great job and it takes weeks to settle into breastfeeding properly - about 8 weeks i was told. be kind to yourself. x
  15. You are doing really well and definitely mustn't feel guilty or beat yourself up about not being the 'perfect' little family! The reason your husband is able to be so strong is that his body has not just been through a beating, his hormones are not in the biggest state of flux ever, his nipples aren't sore, his chest isn't having a painful surge of milk and he is not the one up all blinking night feeding! That is not to belittle your OH - he sounds fab! But you cannot possibly compare what you are going through with what he is.

    Your labour and birth are affecting you - I had a very similar experience plus a soaring temperature and infection and I was a total mess down below for a long time. I also wept every time I thought about it. Actually I wept pretty much two thirds of the time until she was 6 weeks old. The only way I got through was taking every day one at a time (and sometimes an hour at a time). I personally was glad I persevered with BF as by about 9 weeks it was amazing and easy, but that is not to say it is always the best decision to take.

    One week post natal is an incomparable state to be in - nothing else is anything like it. It will be hard but it will improve and you will even enjoy your baby as you start to come out of this tough stage! For now I would suggest going through your birth story with a midwife if this is available in your area - my feelings about the birth haunted me for a long time.

    Good luck and look after yourself - feeling a total wreck and an utter failure is, sadly, very normal and (happily!) usually very temporary.... xxx
  16. Oh I really sympathise with you! I felt exactly the same for the first month after giving birth to twins! I remember the first two weeks sitting there absolutely shell shocked and crying my eyes out as it feels absolutely relentless and overwhelming! Then the hormones sort themselves out and you'll wake up one day feeling relatively normal. Then you'll get the odd good day and then more and more of them and before you know it, it'll feel normal. I still have absolutely horrendous days where they will both scream for hours on end but it all becomes a lot more manageable when you get to know your babies and are no longer so intimidated by them.

    Lots of luck to you. x

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