Tired.

Up several times again last night. Inconsolable crying due to blocked nose and inability to breath.

The worst part is that there’s nothing we can do except hold him while he wiggles in frustration. Poor guy.

Each morning, the daylight breaks to reveal a cheery Gus who’s happy to see us.

Not sure how he recognizes us behind the black and withered bags around our eyes.

20 thoughts on “Tired.

  1. I’m definitely glad you haven’t given us his cold, though I miss seeing you. I’ve had an exhausting couple of days and a cold would have made things worse, though I can’t say that she’s sleeping any less so I’m not sure why I’m so tired. Maybe the sleeplessness is catching up with me, but I basically just wanted to sleep all day today. It was nice to have Leigh around for the weekend just to give me a break for a shower.

    I hope Gus’ cold eases up soon and you can start to get into a better sleep routine, esp. now that the weather is feeling more like fall and less like a heat wave.

  2. Argh, very annoying. My commiserations. If misery enjoys company, Louis has a cold, too, and I’m up again at night as well.

  3. Oh and Amanda? I’ve never met you but I feel like I know you a little reading your comments!

    I just wanted to say, my heart goes out to you and all new mothers. It’s SO HARD in the beginning with the sleep deprivation. Yes, the sleeplessness can gather momentum and it feels horrible, so take all the naps yo9u can. But just so you know (and sorry if you’ve heard this a million times before) but it does get better.

    Really.

    Very soon, it will get better. It’s a matter of toughing it out and just hanging in there until about (for me) three months.

  4. I’m always glad to hear that it will get better. It’s what keeps me going; it’s what kept me going with the nursing, even tho I’ve told myself several times I just can’t do it anymore (usually at night). I’m not looking forward to those colds tho, esp if I get one at the same time…

  5. I wish I could come over and help you take a nap. That’s the best gift anyone can ever give a new mom. So much for my big plans to help out!

  6. You can do it, Amanda. Just look back at how far you’ve come already! And it will not get worse than it is now. Yes, the colds suck but they’re not as bad as the beginning bit, at least for me. Em might feel differently about this, though.

    In those first eight to ten weeks, my heart used to chill at about 7pm when I knew the evening was upon me, and I had all those solo night feeds to look forward to. I would go to bed by 8pm, sleep for two hours, do the 10pm feed and then throw myself down again until 1am. Repeat until 4am. And then 7am. It’s just insane. But the breastfeeding is completely worth it, from this vantage point when the child is six months old.

  7. Your nights sound *exactly* like mine, down to the chill and the timing of the feeds. I can’t believe it’s already been 4 weeks. I do feel like I’m come a long way already and it’s already starting to feel better. I don’t go to bed as early as I should though because Leigh doesn’t get home until 7pm and I’d hate to only spend an hour with him before I sleep, plus he’d never get any time with the little munchkin.

    No worries, Em, it’s enough to know that you’re close by. You’re also going through your own things with Gus. I just love having the emotional support and people like you and Lex as cheerleaders! Pretty soon I’ll be looking back on this with nostalgia, wishing she was back at this age rather than talking back to me!

  8. Lex, I agree about feeling like I know Amanda, and you too (I often read your blog and laugh out loud at how perfectly you nail it!). Amanda, I feel for you – I felt so so lonely in the middle of the night, feeling like the only one in the world. Resenting my poor husband because it was always me that still had to get up at 6 or 7 to start the day with her no matter how much I’d ben up through the night. Everyone kept saying it would get better – for us, the feeds were still taking an hour a time till around 5 months (I think using a shield probably made it worse) but suddenly overnight they became SO much quicker, easier and more enjoyable – now she can get herself on, we usually lie down and it finally is one of my favourite parts of the day/night which I know I’ll miss soon.

    In a weird ironic twist, i actually don’t even mind the nights as much as the days at the moment. 3 weeks ago, desperate to start getting some decent sleep we brought in a baby whisperer, thinking it would be the answer to everything. Daniella was too long for her bassinet but we were too scared to move her into the nursery as we were having to replace the dummy 20 times a night. what bad timing – separation anxiety, crawling, on top of allergies/eczema – the next 2 weeks were a hellish blur of crying and fighting every time she went near the cot. I’ve now ended up sleeping on the floor in her nursery and inevitably halfway through the night we all end up back in the big bed together, trying to rebuild the trust and safety we had worked so hard to give her till then. I learnt a very expensive and painful lesson – you really are the only one to know what your baby needs and you’ll work it out just fine, do whatever it takes to get you through. Is it hard? Yes, the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced. Is it worth it? yes, no question about it. You’ll be amazed at what you can get through..Sorry if thats not as hopeful as you needed, there are good days/weeks and bad – lots of things are much better, I”m just realising that this magic sleep journey is likely to have a lot more steps to go yet.

    Em, sorry to hijack your blog..we miss you but its great to see Gus thriving in his new home (colds apart) – would have loved to see that vid though. will be in touch soon, when hopefully life gets back to some kind of normal. Nx

  9. Oh my gosh, you are so not hijacking the blog. This is great! The next best thing to getting you all in the same room (that’s my little fantasy -one huge mums group + Granties, Aunties, Grandparents, family, friends and Jake).

    Sorry to hear about the baby whisperer. That’s the controlled crying right? It’s supposed to be really good for lots of people so there’s no way you would have known. Could very well have been the answer. The ‘no cry sleep solution’ book is big on sleeping on the floor of the nursery, by the way, as a way of transition. So it sounds like what you’re doing will eventually get you there as well. We’re all in one room still so I’ll be calling you when it’s time to move him to his own room. Seems like such a huge step.

  10. Yeah, I told her I definitely didn’t want controlled crying and she said it wasn’t, as we were standing with her patting her till calm. But she cries and cries and fights it for so long it may as well be controlled crying. every time i wanted to pick her up but was told that was giving mixed messages and thats why she wasnt getting it. so i persevered as per the ‘rules’ for a week or so, breaking my heart and it got no better. I’m now right back to the beginning – feeding to sleep, which doesn’t even work half the time, the dummy’s gone and i feel like we’re right back at the start again. yes i know, I’d lent out the no-sleep solution book (that’ll teach me!!), but Pinky Mackay is pretty good on this more gentle side of things. Grim right now but i know like everything it WILL change (hopefully soon!!) Take care x

  11. We did something similar for a month or so -holding him while he cried to sleep. He wouldn’t do anything else. Wouldn’t feed, wouldn’t lay in his cot without crying, etc. Eventually, we realized that he’d never put himself to sleep while he was unhappy, so I started doing whatever it took to jolly him -including breaking all sort of rules like talking to him, looking him in the eyes and such. And that seems to be slowly working now. We even have to change the songs we sing around a lot because (except for one) when he starts to recognize it as a ‘sleep song’, he starts to cry in the very first strains. But I also am able to feed him to sleep sometimes again so I do that lately too. I’ve also basically given myself a break in sleep training since the move and heat and cold but it doesn’t seem to be any better or worse results wise! sigh. Will definitely check out Pinky Mackay (who sounds like could be a friend of Slinky Malinky). x

  12. Wow – you all sound so knowledgeable and advanced. Sleep training – never heard of it. Don’t know what the/a dummie is. Controlled crying? Drawing a blank. I am familiar with Slinky Malinky, though. 🙂

    I’m just coming out of the bubble of the first week. Elizabeth Sabine was born August 22. She’s been pretty good. The first couple nights were a complete blur. And I’m alone at night, too. Can relate. My biggest thing is a tension headache from tired shoulder and neck muscles. I think I was clenching for last 8 days. The result: throbbing headache. Now I sit straight up, rolling my head side to side, trying to relax my shoulders when I nurse. Could use a long hot soak. But not to be for now, of course. Speaking of which, time to nurse…

    Tricia

  13. It’s so nice to hear all of the perspectives! I often feel like I’m doing everything I shouldn’t, esp. as far as the “sleep training” since we’ve only managed to get her to sleep in her bassinet once (it was a very nice 1.5 hour stretch) otherwise she sleeps with me. The main way I calm her (although she’s starting to allow for a wider variety of methods) is to hold her on her belly with my thumb in her mouth (so much for “no pacifier”)….Sometimes I’m afraid that she’s really just hungry and is tolerating the thumb, but then I test that theory and she won’t take the nipple and just cries until I put her back in that tummy lock. I managed to get through a quick trip to the store in that position (where she promptly fell asleep still intermittently sucking on my poor withering thumb). I have no idea what we’ll do when it comes to actually trying to “put her down” for the night. She still sleeps with me and seems to not be able to fall asleep on her own without a little bit of my thumb and some butt-patting. Or she won’t settle until I put her on her tummy (big no no nowadays).

    I’m glad to hear you’ve made it through the first week Tricia!! I didn’t hear complaints about the nursing so hopefully that is going well (except for the tension headache, which I definitely understand. I still struggle with the positioning, though the boppy pillows have really helped!) I can’t wait to hear more about how it’s going and how you’re all doing!

  14. Tricia, congratulations! Yes the soreness will definitely get easier, the pair of you will gradually find more comfortable positions especially as she starts to get more able. My tip would be when you can practice feeding while you’re lying down it’ll be a lot more relaxing and less painful for you. its not always easy though so don’t stress about it – we didn’t really manage it till around 5 months.

    Amanda, the tummy lock sounds like a great method to calm her – see you can still teach us (relatively) ‘older hands’ a thing or two! Don’t worry too much about sleeping on the tummy if that’s what she likes. Once they’re out of the wrap, they’re likely to end up on their tummy anyway, so you just need to keep an eye on her.

    And don’t feel bad about the sleeping in bed with you – we did it for most of the first couple of months, though i didn’t get much sleep as i was so careful not to disturb her! I still get a nagging feeling even while we’re persevering with getting her used to the cot that the family bed would be the best option all round, but it feels a bit of a waste to have this nursery sitting waiting even longer. Torn between approaches based on the Continuum Concept (great little book if you haven’t read it) and more mainstream ones based in ‘our’ world.

    And Em, yes its a great name isn’t it?! She’s a lovely lady with a great website/articles on belly belly and a number of books. Not surprised you’re taking a break – good idea… Honestly I sometimes wonder if we just stopped obsessing about it it might just start coming together… Hope Gus’s cold is clearing. I LOVE the new contraption! And hey, good to know it puts him to sleep so well – maybe we’ll have to get one!

  15. Nicky, my stepmother bought me that book (continuum concept) and I read through some of it. It was how she tried to raise her youngest (who is now 20 and was homeschooled). The daughter is now brilliant in all the creative arts but not really well schooled in the hard science or other academic subjects. I agreed with some of their principles and would love to think I could impart some of the independence and creativity as well as the self-confidence that the author thinks that way of child-raising gives the child. I think it would be nice to blend that with traditional child-raising ideas. That’s why I tend toward the no-cry idea. I want her to trust that we will take care of her needs and that that trust will allow her the freedom to explore and be independent.

    My aunt was telling me the other day that all three of her kids slept on their stomachs when they were little because that (20 years ago) was the recommended way to put them to sleep…it was then thought to help reduce the SIDS incidences. How times have changed. Glad to hear, too, that so many others are co-sleeping, too.

    And it was good to hear that sometimes it can take longer than the 2-6 weeks I’d heard of to get used to the breast feeding. I’m coming up on my 6-week mark and was considering trying the lactation specialist one more time and then giving up. I’ll keep with it!! but I’ll still talk to the lactation specialist. We get it some of the time but one side hasn’t healed well.

    Keep the advice coming! And glad that I can offer possible solutions to fussiness. a:)

  16. Amanda, don’t give up – just get all the support you can. I also had lots of problems with feeding for first few months, we have great support here in Oz, went to the breastfeeding unit at the hospital a few times, saw a lactation consultant, the works. Things finally sorted themselves out by themselves and now i enjoy it and will miss it when we stop (which may end up sooner than I planned if her allergies are due to me rather than her :-(). When I spoke to friends and relatives back in London they had no support for this sort of thing and hardly any of them had persevered. Take what you can get!

    And yes, I completely agree with your philosophy on child-raising, just so hard after countless sleepless nights to find an answer that works with all these people convinced thats the only solution. It will get better. It will. It will. It will…

  17. Thanks for the encouraging words. I saw the nurse today and she thinks perhaps I might be dealing with a short frenulum (under the tongue). I would so like for there to be a “reason” for the trouble. I definitely envy the help that it sounds like you and Emily had in Sydney. I wish the US would start to value the preventative side of medicine and give a little more support up front that way. But living in small town USA, we also don’t have a lot of access to what they have in the bigger city. I’m hoping to make a trek to Portland next week to talk to another consultant, and hopefully get some more assistance. I will stick with it!

    I will keep my fingers crossed for some restful nights for you, and for Lex and Em too. While I don’t care to hear that the sleepless nights get better and then come back (oftentimes), it helps me to know what might come so I will know that sometimes it just happens for no particular reason that we can change. We just have to ride it out and do our best to maintain our patience! That’s awfully hard at 3am when you just want to go back to sleep.

    Child-rearing philosophies definitely have to be balanced with the reality on the ground. You can take advice only so far sometimes. I’m trying to listen to some of what Emily has written about in previous posts about listening to that inner voice that tells you that you are the one who knows best what your child needs, even as people are bombarding you with “shoulds”. Good luck!! I do think it will get better (esp. if you keep telling yourself that). The bad nights only last for so long, even though they’re hard to get through at the time.

  18. Amanda and everyone, There is one really important thing to keep in mind and that’s your own health and well being. If you get sick, bummed out, over the top, then who will care for your baby? That’s part of balancing the theory and the practice of having a baby. You must, absolutely must also take care of yourself. Parents can want to do the best, be the best and still we all (I mean all) of us mess up and yet the kids grow up, generally healthy and as happy as human beings can be. You can bet that your own folks messed up with you and look how good life is! So, take care of yourself too.

  19. Is this the longest list of comments to a post yet?

    Amanda, I certainly don’t want to discourage you – it does seem to be getting a little better, slowly. I think we brought a lot of the problem on ourselves and its certainly not the norm. After 6 different people this week advised me to let her cry it out, I’ve decided the ‘self-settling’ thing just isn’t right for us at this stage and I’m going to do my best to get the dummy back to help soothe her so she goes to sleep calm and happy. As you say, forget all the ‘shoulds’. If a little piece of plastic and rubber brings her and me peace, then absolutely I’m going for it. She can learn to sleep ‘by herself’ later.

    And yes we were also told her frenulum was a bit short but that it would sort itself out – and it has. Have you tried a nipple shield? worked for us for first few months, but feeds didnt get shorter (much) until we dropped it so i wouldn’t leave it too long. Such a shame about the lack of support, we truly are lucky over here. But take it where you can. Here if nowhere else 🙂

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