Joint webchat with Conservative and Labour housing minister and shadow housing minister, MONDAY 2 MARCH 1pm x

Not coping - bad mother

(38 Posts)
aliphil Wed 05-Sep-12 21:58:42

DD is nearly three weeks old, and since we got her home has screamed for at least an hour after every night feed. I'm pretty sure it's wind but nothing we do seems to make any difference. Most nights she won't settle for long anyway. She is better in the daytime but only if I don't put her down, so now DH is back at work it's hard for me to catch up on sleep when she sleeps as everyone keeps telling me to do.

DH has a work meeting tonight and I ended up screaming at her to shut up, so I'm hating myself for being a bad mother and frightened I'll end up hurting her. I want to love her and cuddle her and play with her and generally be a good mother, but I'm so tired. I seem to spend all my time trying to calm her down so I can just have five minutes to go to the loo and make a drink. My arms ache from having to hold her all the time, and my back starts aching if I hold her unsupported for more than a few seconds. It doesn't help that my stitches aren't healing properly so I'm in pain from that. The midwives are doing all they can for the stitches but have no helpful suggestions about DD. I don't know what to do or how much longer I can go on.

In no way are you a bad mother, nothing prepares you for how hard the early weeks are, nothing.
My midwife actually suggested noise cancelling headphones for when you just need time to clear your head - you can see dc is fine and the skull shattering noise stops!
Stitches were the worst part of it all for me, I think I could have coped so much better with the sleep deprivation, crying etc if I hadn't have been in constant pain.
Talk to your GP or midwife/hv - a huge percentage of us have gone through what you are going through & help is there to be had.
Hope all is better soon.

Sarahplane Tue 25-Sep-12 20:05:05

I'm glad you're getting a bit more sleep now. It'll get easier as she gets older too. But do keep sleeping when your dd sleeps.

Iggly Sun 23-Sep-12 17:23:40

Ah she's probably over tired then and screams in the evening. With dd I has to keep feeding in a dark room with white noise on very loud and she'd conk out. As she got older it got quicker then became her bedtime (around 6/6.30pm)

greenhill Sun 23-Sep-12 16:52:43

I'm pleased to see that you are getting a bit of a gap between the feeds/ crying and can get some sleep when she does. There is light at the end of the tunnel. You'll start to feel less exhausted as long as you remember that is always best to try and sleep when they do: putting the dishwasher or the washing machine on, before you do is fine, but doing the ironing when you need a lie down more, is not!

We had a swing chair that was marvellous, it was comforting and meant we got some hands free time, I used it with both my DC and friends borrowed it for their DC too. I'd also forgotten just how effective cycling their legs was for moving trapped wind around, it also made them laugh, so made them forget to cry too.

Have your stitches healed now? I hope so, if not you need to speak to a dr or your HV to get them checked out again. You can use paracetamol when you breastfeed too, so don't let aches and headaches go untreated.

aliphil Sun 23-Sep-12 16:04:14

She's not screaming after every feed, just for most of every evening; in the daytime and the middle of the night she's usually fine! Apparently I did the same for the first several weeks of my life. blush

Unfortunately it's not quite as simple as handing her over to DH in the evenings and weekends, as he doesn't have a 9-5 job. On the plus side, she has taken to going about 5 hours between the end of the evening screamfest and waking for the next feed, so at least I'm getting some sleep.

Sarahplane Sat 22-Sep-12 23:08:48

If she screams after every feed or whenever you lie her down then as others havs said it may be reflux. My ds was impossible to put down until he was prescribed ranitidine at 5 months and then he was like a different baby. He was so much happier.

Just take it an hour at a time, if it's all getting too much then put her in her cot for a few minutes and give yourself a breather. You're not a crap much, it's just bloody hard work. This is not something you're doing and it will get easier. Hugs. Can you get to bed as soon as you're dp gets home everyday so he can take over and you cam get some sleep before you have to get up during the night? And make sure he gives you as much break as possible during the weekends. Maybe just go back to bed and he brings dd in for a feed and then takes her back through to the other room.

Glad your cushions are helping. Best tip I got for my stitches was to have a bath not a shower at least once a day with some lavender and tea tree oils. Makes your stitches feel better but also a good excuse for some peace to relax every evening smile

Iggly Sat 22-Sep-12 21:07:51

I'm willing to bet its reflux if she screams after every night feed. Get we to a GP. My two has this. It Was Hell.

Gimblinginthewabe Sat 22-Sep-12 20:08:14

At three weeks she won't need dentinox, although I will say no other teething gel works a fraction as well and DS hated the bubble gum flavour ones like calgel, he seemed to love dentinox (but I don't think their taste buds are developed at that age so it may have simply been the fact it worked better that he liked)

When DS was tiny (I've only got one, this wouldn't work with a second) I just surrendered to the fact I was stuck to him. I made a nest on the sofa with some magazines, drinks, snacks and tv remote and stayed there. Lowering my expectations of what I was supposed to achieve was fantastic my schedule was simply to cuddle and feed him all day. Also - it meant that I made no mess so there was no housework. I'd put on a load of clothes and wash dishes when he went to sleep at night. During the day I slept when he did to keep up with his night wakings. I just worked to his schedule.

Saying that, one day he was screaming and not napping at all and I REALLY needed a shower. I put him in his moses basket screaming and had the quickest shower ever, buy the time I legged it back to him he was fast asleep!

aliphil Sat 22-Sep-12 20:01:11

LOL, stopping the dentinox helped - she seemed to hate it, it made her scream even more. Can't say I blame her as it smells awful!

eggsandwich Fri 21-Sep-12 21:31:56

My son who is now 12 years old did nothing but cry from the moment he was born, it got especially bad during the evenings, we gave him dentinox colic drops which we found to really help him, also gave him a dummy as well. But these baby swings that rock are a brilliant idea, wish I'd had one for my son, I felt like we were constantly joined at the hip, I still remember how tired and emotional I felt even now, so fully understand how you are feeling, just remember your a new mum, every thing is new to you and your extremely tired, but it will get better I promise you!

LittleBearPad Tue 11-Sep-12 23:11:47

Ali, in May I could have written your posts but it got so much better as the weeks went by, particularly once DD was able to cope with her wind better. Massaging her tummy worked, as did infacol and bicycling her legs - also the dummy I gave in to giving her at 6 weeks.

It will get better before you know it. Talk to your health visitor and GP, that's what they are there for. Good luck and take care of yourself.

aliphil Mon 10-Sep-12 16:25:30

It's got a bit better already and I think I am finally getting fonder of DD! The car seat was an inspired suggestion; she will sometimes sleep in it, and I managed to get myself a hot lunch for the first time. The cushions for me help too. The mw said this morning that the episiotomy is starting to heal at last, so I should be able to get out more before long (climbing our hill at the end of a walk turned out to be a bad move).

Xiaoxiong, handily I don't drink tea or coffee, just squash or water, so don't have to worry about drinks going cold or burning DD's head!

Xiaoxiong Thu 06-Sep-12 15:43:27

Two other things: I got a thermos mug so tea stayed hot even when I had to bounce on the birthing ball with DS for hours on end or had one of our many marathon feeding sessions (mostly lying down like mrshoarder or in the rugby ball position with him lying on a cushion next to me on the sofa). And I tried to get out with the pram every day, even for 10 min, because that was the only way DS would calm down most of the time.

Xiaoxiong Thu 06-Sep-12 15:40:06

Oh love, DS is nearly 9 months but I could have written your post back in January and a number of times since then (including last night!). You are not a bad mother, no one will report you or take her away. It does get better I promise. If you are in London PM me, a burden shared is a burden halved. xxx

MrsHoarder Thu 06-Sep-12 15:31:39

I'd forgotten stitches. I suppose at first I more waddled!

And lots of feeding lying on my side i'm need because I was actually comfy there

MrsHoarder Thu 06-Sep-12 15:29:17

You don't have to tell them the full truth. Only dh knows how bad I was in the worst of the nighttime screaming phase, everyone else just was told I was finding it very hard.

But yes to just going and making that drink when you can honestly take no more. I used to give screaming ds a kiss tell him where I was going then run.

It will pass. And once baby is a little happier and you're gettingmore sleep, then it gets fun!

aliphil Thu 06-Sep-12 15:11:55

We don't have any family nearby and pretty much everyone we know locally is through DH's work, so I'm not entirely happy about letting them know we're having trouble coping. I'm scared that if I tell anyone I screamed at DD and am scared of hurting her, they'll report me and get her taken away. sad

Silk, I'm not local to you, but thanks for the offer anyway.

aliphil Thu 06-Sep-12 15:06:59

Thanks for the advice, everyone. We've got a Kari-me, but she won't always settle in it, plus carrying her in it for more than about 10 minutes gives me backache - but there's a local sling meet next week so I'm going to try and get to that so they can tell me what I'm doing wrong. She doesn't like the bouncy chair yet, I think because she's so small she slips down in it. And she hates being swaddled. I might try the car seat as she doesn't seem to object to that. She's fine in the pram too; DH has just taken her for a walk.

I feel a bit better today. DH cuddled her in the night for three hours so I got a bit more sleep, and the HV came today for the first time and was quite reassuring. DD has regained her birth weight plus an extra pound so I must be doing something right, plus the HV showed us how to massage her to help with the wind so we'll see if that does anything. Also two cushions have arrived - a Widgey for feeding and a doughnut one for me to sit on - so I'm hoping to get more comfortable.

Alwaysinlove Thu 06-Sep-12 13:56:54

I feel for you - those first weeks are so hard. We found that swaddling our son in a really soft, stretchy blanket helped. Infacol and Colief are fantastic. Most importantly, I promise you that this stage will pass and you won't be this tired forever. My son is nine weeks old now and we've definitely made it out of that hazy, shattered period. I can enjoy him much more now! Good luck - you're most definitely not a bad mother for finding this stage hard.

MainlyMaynie Thu 06-Sep-12 13:55:03

Definitely get a sling and try feme pads on your stitches. It will get better.

SilkInsideAChestnutShell Thu 06-Sep-12 13:17:37

White noise or the sound of water running worked with DD (apps on iphone or on youtube).

lambinapram Thu 06-Sep-12 13:14:31

Have a look at this thread:
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/_chat/1552125-Baby-will-only-sleep-stop-screaming-if-I-hold-her-Keep-me-sane-please

Maybe a trip to an osteopath would help?

I hope things get better soon.

You are not a bad mother.

My DS1 had silent reflux, which was not diagnosed until he was 4 months old. So he screamed continuously for 4 months, didn't sleep for more than an hour, it was a nightmare and I actually hated pretty much every minute of it.
Nothing I did comforted him.

So...maybe it's colic, maybe it's reflux but I can assure you it's not your fault.
The next piece of advice I ever got was not to lay him flat because it causes them pain if it's reflux hence the screaming.
So you could try putting a rolled up towel under wherever baby sleeps so they aren't flat. Try and keep her upper body raised a bit as much as possible.
White noise helped a little bit, have you tried that?
Also car seat was not too bad.
Pram was a nightmare, how is your Dc in the pram?
You could try propping that up as well?

It will get better, they cannot scream forever.

Do you have anyone that can give you a break so you can sleep for a few hours?

SilkInsideAChestnutShell Thu 06-Sep-12 13:09:52

Oh, and take it an hour at a time, not even a day at a time.

(In fact, I think there were times I took it in 15 minute slots at a time!)

SilkInsideAChestnutShell Thu 06-Sep-12 13:08:37

Just reiterating everyone else - you are not a bad mother. A bad mother would hurt the baby and not give a shit about doing so.

If you feel angry, pop her in her snuggly bed and make a cup of tea. Crying for 5 minutes is better than risking hurting her. Tell your mw/HV how you are feeling - the earlier PND is picked up (if it's that rather than just being knackered and in pain), the better.

It does get better. Honestly.

If you're local to me (E Mids), I'm happy to help, just send a pm.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now