Monday, April 30, 2012

Guilt

I hate to complain/whine/bitch about anything having to do with caring for my baby. Why? Because I feel like I don't have the right to. I struggled for so long to have this baby, we've been through hell and back, and now our little miracle is finally here. I'm sure there are people (who are still struggling with IF) reading this who want to punch me in the face. I get it. I do. But I just have to say, this is hard....

Samantha seems to be screaming more and more with each day. At first it was just at night, now it's during the day too. Last night was especially hard. She screamed so hard that you could no longer hear the cry and her face turned blue! And not once..but twice! I tried EVERYTHING to soothe her. And it wasn't working. I did everything I was supposed to and she was still unhappy. I finally woke up my husband up in tears and we took her for a long ride in the car at 2am to try to get her to settle down. In the car she was was fine but then the minute we walked in the door she was crying again. You know bothers me the most? Not being able to soothe my own daughter :( That's tough. I love her so much and just want her to be happy and okay. My husband and I are convinced she's having tummy issues because of all the screaming and her body movements and facial expressions. We took her to the doctor today to get checked her out. She's 6lbs 3oz now. Which is good that she gained, but the doctor said she should be a little more than that by now. So now we are sticking with just one formula all day and she said to feed her on demand during the day. Still do the zantac but instead of putting it in her bottle to use the dropper into her mouth. We are also going to increase the amount we offer her in her bottle. So I feel guilty! Was she starving to death??! Although we had been offering her more in her bottle the last few days and she doesn't always take it all. So I don't know. We have to go back and get her weighed on Thursday. I also feel guilty that maybe I should have tried more with the breastfeeding. My milk supply never really came in enough and in the NICU I was just giving her what I could. The same when we got home. But then it dwindled to nothing. I feel like if she was on breast milk it would be easier on her tummy :( I'm also feeling sad and having thoughts that because she went straight to the NICU after birth we didn't get to properly bond or something :( Sometimes I have these thoughts that my own baby doesn't like me because I can't seem to soothe her when she's upset....

All I want is for her to feel better and be happy. I can deal with no sleep but I can't deal with thinking something bothering/hurting her and I can't fix it! I have been swaddling her more (against her will) and that seems to help a little bit. Also she pretty much lives in her bouncy/vibrating seat. The Sleep Sheep we bought the other day with the white noise sounds? AMAZING. She really likes it. At least for a little while. So I highly suggest it to everyone. Although, they sell a small one and a big one and I think only the big one has the "mother's heartbeat" sound on it. Not positive about that, but we just got the big one. She seems to like it on the "rain" button the most.

Hopefully someday soon this will all be a distant memory and our sweet girl will be better!! I think we are all craving a bit of a routine. Right now it's all about survival! :)

19 comments:

Baby Hopes said...

Don't feel guilty!!! For one, this community is about the entire experience of IF... that includes parenting after infertility! For two, you are doing the absolute best that you can. You had an extremely difficult situation with Samantha being in the NICU... it's hard to keep up breastfeeding in the midst of all you faced. You're doing all the right things by trying to soothe her and taking her to the doctor. Hang in there mama!!!

I don't want to be one to give a$$vice... I still fall in that category of those that can quickly become "know-it-alls" but have absolutely no true-life experience as a mom. So I'm treading lightly here, but wanted to share that one thing I've come across and am hoping helps me when Firecracker arrives is this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv3-74EFtWQ&feature=related. My sisters have found it to be very helpful with their babes, so I've been keeping it in mind for when our little girl arrives.

Thinking of you! Good luck, mama! You're doing just fine!

Matt and Meg said...

No matter how or when you have a baby, it is hard. I am sure you are doing a wonderful job. I can tell how much you love your sweet daughter. Hang in there! She knows you love her!

J o s e y said...

Just because you are grateful to be parenting doesn't mean that parenting isn't REALLY FREAKIN HARD sometimes. Don't feel bad complaining!!

Also, it sounds like she possibly has colic, and that is ROUGH. Like R.U.F.F. rough.

Have you read The Happiest Baby on the Block? That book helped me a LOT during Stella's breakdowns - and with S being a pre-mie, she is definitely in the 3rd/4th trimesters that he talks so much about. Check it out if you haven't already.

Stella didn't have true reflux, but she is definitely a "happy spitter" and laying flat just does NOT work for her - she always ends up crying and sounding like she's in pain. The swing (while being tightly swaddled) has been a lifesaver for that. Even if they fight the swaddle the first few minutes, most babies truly NEED that comforting feeling of being securely swaddled, and can then relax and sleep.

Deciding on the right balance of how much food your baby needs will be something you'll worry about for years. Don't beat yourself up about it. :) Bottles can be out for 4-5 hrs after being warmed up, so at this point (at nearly 5 months old) I make 4 oz bottles for the daycare provider and she gives her one bottle...then if she's still fussy, as much of the 2nd bottle as she needs. Some days Stella eats 3 oz at a time, some days 8...and if there's leftover in the bottle, she's always hungry again before that 4-5 hr window is up, so we just start the next feeding with the bottle that is already at room temperature, that way you're not wasting breast milk or formula. You never know. At Samantha's age, her belly is tiny, so of course those ounce numbers will be smaller too!

You will survive this, and you will have a happy baby who doesn't cry all the time. This is just a stage...albeit a really HARD stage. Hang in there honey - you're doing a great job!

Samantha said...

Don't feel guilty for one second! Having a baby is hard work. You are doing everything you can for her and she undoubtedly loves you.

I promise that things will get better in time.

Jenn and Casey said...

Big hugs to you. Don't know if you use twitter but there are a bunch of Moms there that are totally awesome. Just remember you're both learning and you're both perfect. Big hugs!

Heather, Neilson, Grace & Creighton said...

I know I'm a random stranger of the internet but my son was very much like that. It turns out he had a dairy allergy, the screaming and the difficulty pooping and the suspected reflux all were indicators. Maybe switch to soy and I too recommend the Happiest Baby on the Block

carebear said...

We had a similar situation and it was painful! Finally figured out that we had to switch to the similac sensitive formula (the one in the orange bottle) and it seemed to do the trick. We also used a nipple to give the zanatc (she would sometimes drool it out if we used the dropper directly into her mouth--so we would dropper it into a nipple and she sucked on the nipple). Finally, and this was the hardest and has totally messed up naps for us at this point, but after each bottle we held her for a good 30 minutes pretty upright for her to get all of the milk down into her tummy. We didn't have a pukey reflux--but definitely had the silent type. After we did the things above for 2 days, it was a world of difference!

Smldada said...

Big, big hugs. The beginnings always seem to be rough. My girls are 4 and 11 months. My younger is a Zantac baby. By 6 ish weeks there were hours and hours and hours of screaming. Every Single. Night. It is heartbreaking to not be able to help no matter what I tried. And it sucks to be frustrated by the very child I wanted so badly.

It is okay to still be in survival mode. Stay there as long as you need to. Take any help that is offered. I totally cried the day one of my irl friends showed up, two kids in tow, and stripped my beds, washed the sheets, and remade beds.

Amber said...

I'd like to make you feel better about your early bonding by saying that I had the experience everyone wants. Vaginal birth, she was laid immediately on my chest, nursed like a champ, etc. And guess what? I had NO bond to her for about 2 months. No exaggeration. I felt like a terrible person. And I couldn't ever soothe her. She would cry for hours a day and I would feel so helpless. The bond will happen. Sleep will happen. And she will be happy. I promise!

Mrs. Mocha said...

My heart just breaks for you having to be in this situation. I'm praying renewal, refreshing, patience, comfort, joy, peace and understanding for you guys. I hope you can feel the good vibes that I'm sending.

Ashley said...

Oh sweetie, I hear ya! I really do! I joked about B hating me, but deep deep down I really wondered. Did we not get enough bonding time because he was in the NICU? Does he not love me?? I just have to say do what works and don't worry about it. If the vibrating seat works kill the thing from using it so much. Seriously, B napped in his swing for months because it worked. And B also had colic. I think it's a preemie thing, but who knows. Anyway, every night around 7 he would start crying, and girl, SO would I. I would start panic crying around 6:30 knowing that it was about to start. It was ROUGH stuff. And I felt so guilty because of all we went through to have him. Just because you love your baby to the moon and back a million times doesn't take away the fact that parenting is HARD. You want to give them the world and sometimes they just don't care. Ha. They just want to cry. I don't say this at all to belittle your feelings, but instead to encourage you...you are not alone. You are a great Mom! *whew* Sorry for the book.

Faith said...

Mommy guilt is a part of the experience - it just is. When our children aren't feeling perfectly happy, we go to guilt. You are right, having a newborn is INSANELY hard. I promise you, this phase will fly by. Try to survive it - it's ok to just survive. She sounds like a hard baby to be with all the time. Accept help when people offer it - get some rest and quiet. Take it one day, one hour, at a time. Before you know it, she will be on to the next phase. Thinking of you! Oh and don't feel guilty about "complaining." We IFers prayed for our babies - and we get to experience the hard parts just as much as anyone else! It's all a part of this parenting experience and we shouldn't be expected to "stuff" any of it!

manymanymoons said...

I hate that you're feeling to conflicted about saying how hard all of this is. You have every right to acknowledge how hard your new "job" is! You are doing everything you can to do the best job you can and eventually things are just going to level out. It really is going to get easier. Please please please don't doubt yourself ok. You are doing great!!!!

Guiri de California said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Liz said...

Please please please don't feel gulity. Everyone has the same right to "vent" when things are difficult. Being a mother is such a hard job but it also the best job anyone could ever have. Hang in there!

Carlia said...

all the parenting books in the world can't prepare you for just how hard and how unpredictable actually caring for a newborn will be. you are doing a great job. don't you ever doubt that. just remember that this too shall pass. this is still really new and it takes time to get in the swing of things. samantha will grow and continue to develop and she will even outgrow the colic. just stay positive and remember that no one else could care for her nearly as well as you, because no one could love her nearly as much as you do. whether you can see it or not, the bond between you is there and it grows and strengthens every day. you are a wonderful mama and she is one lucky little girl!

kkasun said...

It is HARD. It is overwhelming and it is terrifying.

I counted down the days til I went back to work.

And then those were hard too (not in an I missed her way, but I was tired and stressed way).

Things will eventually just "snap" into place. It took us til 4 months and then it got easier and easier and easier and now parenting is just a true joy rather than tough.

I hope things get better, but know that this will pass eventually.

Rebecca said...

Oh the joys of motherhood! Have you thought about sound proofing or ear plugs? No, I am serious. One of my friends had to do that when her baby went through a screaming phase.

Kristen said...

Ohhhhh Sarah!! You are doing an amazing job!!! Don't you dare feel one bit of guilt! You have properly bonded with Samantha too, I mean after all you DID carry her! And re,ember how she settled down when you started singing to her?? She knows you and your voice and she definitely feels your love! Some babies just have those issues - tummy/colic, etc... I know it's got to be so hard though feeling like you can't just MAKE HER BETTER, but that right there just goes to show what a great mommy you are. You would do anything to take away her misery.... You're doing the right things.. Taking her to the docs, increasing her formula, switching up how yiu give her her meds, etc.. She will outgrow this and/or with the help of your ped you guys will figure this out. Just keep doing what you're doing.....your best, because that is all you can do! Sam is a lucky girl to have such a wonderful, caring mommy and she knows that already! Love you girl... Hang in there!!! Xoxo