February 20, 2010

Beautiful Nightmare

My sister-in-law heard having a baby described as a "beautiful nightmare" and I couldn't agree more. Jackson has come out of his newborn coma of sleeping most of the time and a high maintenance baby has emerged.

I have never in my whole life felt so hopeless or inept. Although I'm sure it's not the case to an outside observer I feel as though all he does is cry and there is nothing I can do to soothe him. He gets the most terrible gas cramps. Poor guy whimpers, screams hysterically and moves his little legs around just begging for comfort but none seem to come. Thankfully Amy has the magic touch (along with the patience and strength) to calm him long enough that he can fall asleep for a little bit until the discomfort wakes him up again. Which only adds to the problem because he's not getting enough sleep which only makes him even more upset.

I've read in some books that cutting cows milk out of my diet might help aid in his digestion so starting today I've cut that out to see how that goes. At least doing this makes me feel like I'm doing something. Sure, I am responsible for feeding him but I feel like I'm responsible for putting the very thing into his body that is causing him so much discomfort.

This is hard.


Anonymous said...

Sorry, hon. I know it does get better, but it's hard to think of that in the here and now. :(

K said...

We had reflux/gas issues (as you may recall) and it was the kind of terrible you can't even describe to someone who hasn't experienced it. I cut out dairy and that did help us. We also used OTC gas drops before every meal and that seemed to help too. I have other tips, but I think they are primarily for reflux so I'll save them.

Here's what I know now that will make #2 so much easier: The first few weeks are infinitely harder than anyone will ever tell you, and they really are THAT HARD. It's not just you. I think no one wants to talk about it because we don't want to admit to the thoughts that go through our heads during those first few weeks. I know M and I both spent E's first few weeks wondering what the hell we'd done, how we could have been so off-target in our desire to be moms (when we were clearly so not cut out for it), and wondering if and how we'd ever survive. Next time around, I will carry this mantra: It gets easier at 6 weeks and 6 months. I know it seems obvious that time will change things, but at the level of sleep deprivation and emotional exhaustion that only new parents can reach, logic such as that completely dissolves into vapor. I think I subconsciously believed it would stay exactly that hard for the rest of my life, but it didn't, and having a specified light at the end of the tunnel (6 weeks) would have made it all so much more bearable. I can do anything for 6 weeks.

I hope you don't mind me spewing my "wisdom" here. I also hope it's helpful but if not, kick it to the curb. I just wanted to validate how hard it is, because it really, really is, but you guys will get through it. You've already come through worse together and you are very strong.

*big hugs*

Anonymous said...

You'll probably get lots of suggestions about what to cut out of your diet, but I tried removing cow's milk and orange juice, and that really helped my son. It kind of sounds like you might have a colicky baby, and most babies with colic seem to thrive and gain weight well, in spite of all the crying. There are ways to hold the baby to help the gas move through.
Try laying him along your arm, on his tummy. The gentle pressure from your arm can help with farting, which is what he really needs to do. Good luck, and remember that all of us who are already moms know just what you are going through.

jessie said...

Maybe grab some Mylicon gas drops? Also, you can try bicycling his legs to help get some gas out.

The first 8 weeks are the hardest thing in the world. No one can EVER prepare you for it. And the lack of sleeper makes it infinitely harder. I have no good words of advice, just support and the knowledge that you will make it through!

Anonymous said...

i agree with everyone else. the first 6-8 weeks are just plain hard. colic, gas, refulx, lack of sleep...perfect storm. if my son was awake he was crying. it just seemed like he was uncomfortable all the time. we found that (outside of gas drops) long walks outdoors, especially in the evening helped a lot. hang in there! it does get better. one hour at a time and do whatever helps you get a little rest in between feedings :]

Anonymous said...

It breaks my heart to see you question your vast abilities. I understand why it's so very very discouraging (and my ears are still ringing from Rilo's last freakout to prove it), but I can also tell you it WILL get better. Maybe very soon, as there are no established patterns (yet). Maybe in a month or two. Either way, it will get better, it will.

A beautiful piece of advice that a nurse gave us back in 2004... earplugs + babywearing. The babywearing soothes the child (even if they fight it at first), and the earplugs save your sanity, since the babywearing puts you in very close proximity to screaming. Just taking out the highest register of the screams (while still being fully aware of their needs) is thought to lower maternal blood pressure almost instantly, and it gives you more stamina when the kiddo really gets going.

I hope it gets better, and I'll be thinking about you.

La said...

Ali and I experienced stomach tightening and what seemed to be reflux with HC. Ali also cut out the cows milk
(which takes 2 weeks to get out of your system) You can also try gripe water. If you think he may be colic, I suggest babywearing and swaddling. Someone gave us a good book....Happiest baby on the block that helped address some of these issues. Hc is much better after the milk elimination. She drinks only Soy and there hasn't been a problem.

Anonymous said...

It is very hard. IT WILL GET BETTER. You will feel better. You will get better. This is way teenagers shouldn't have kids.

tireegal68 said...

Sending soothing thoughts to you all. All the previous commenter sound right on. You can do it!

Pufferfish said...

We're right there with you ladies. Right there.
We aren't having the intense colic/reflux and I'm sorry to hear that about yours, but when they Babies are LOUD.
I hope you get some rest. It's the sleep deprivation that kills you.
Hang in there. That's what they keep telling us!

Abigailsmom said...

I had to cut out dairy completely and I had to limit my chocolate with Abbie. It seemed to help. Abbie still has a slight issue with dairy today.

Kate said...

Sending love
and hopes for soothing for all of you.
Earplugs, and time away/handing off ... please take care of yourselves as best you can. I hear the main goal of these first few weeks is simply survival.

thank you for sharing with all of us, it helps us offer support and encouragement, and it will also help us feel less nutty when we get there too.

best wishes to you always,

For the Long Haul said...

I agree with all the other commenters. For me Baby's Bliss Gripe Water was a saviour. I would pump a little (like half an ounce) and mix it in with my breast milk and give it to my daughter every few hours and it made a huge difference. Also the Happiest Baby on the Block book worked really well too.

Hang in there. You will get through this. And you guys are amazing parents. This is the toughest time. Like everyone has said, it WILL get better. Promise.

Next in Line said...

oh that sounds so hard. I know you will get through it and little Jackson will grow and grow and get better and better at digestion. Don't doubt that you are doing a good job even if he does keep crying. Sometimes they do that. xoxoxo

B. said...

I'm so sorry this isn't the blissful transition into parenthood that we all dream about. I hope your no-milk solution works well and you get to enjoy Bit sooner rather than later. He's a lucky man to have you two mamas- no baby could be loved any more than he is, I'm certain. And thank you for trailblazing and posting so that I'll have some clue what to do if Ishka is that way when she/he finally arrives.

Hang in there! Above all else, please don't doubt your ability as a parent!

Shannan Riemer said...

When Jacob was gassy I would sadly have to cut most dairy and do my favorite game "chugga chugga tu tu"
So, I would put him on his back and move his legs back and forth while saying "chugga chugga" and the squeeze his knees to his chest and say "tu tu". repeat. hope it helps!

Mariah said...

Sorry things are a little rough. Hopefully you can change a few things and have a happy baby back. I know it can be rough at times but no matter how bad it seems, it won't seem so bad once it all passes. Thinking of you all and know you are doing the best you can!

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B. said...

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Shannon said...

Our little guy was exactly the same. And it was so, so hard. I remember thinking we would never be past that stage, it was awful. He is a very gassy baby still, but in the end, we took him to a chiropractor (he was around 4 months old then) and it turned out that he had pain in his neck caused by something that happened during birth. That's what was causing all the crying and the reason we thought he was so "strong" lifting his head up when he was a newborn. It wasn't strength, it was a reaction to pain. He wasn't turning his head one way and wouldn't lift it up on on tummy time. He cried when we held him upright and carried him around because that position was painful for him. It only took a few adjustments by the chiropractor and we were already seeing an improvement (three adjustments before he was turning his head and lifting it on tummy time.) I'm sure you're getting tons of different advice so just one more thing to think about.

My partner cut out dairy with both our kids but it wasn't the cause of the problems.

Oh, and our guy (both our kids) also have/had reflux, another thing that causes pain and discomfort in babies.

Hang in there - it does get easier, even though it's impossible to believe that right now.

Anonymous said...

Oh sweetheart, this is the hardest stage I hear but I also hear it gets better and you are doing just what you should. You are doing a great job.

I hope poor J's tummy gets better soon.

Anonymous said...

I hope things are settling down for you guys! My boss had the same issue with one of the twins and she eliminated cows milk, which helped dramatically. Hopefully this works for you also!