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AIBU to feel I'm missing out? (Baby sleep)

(46 Posts)
MeltchettsLovelyMoustache Sat 06-Jun-15 22:08:57

I have bipolar disorder which is well managed. The two main things that keep it so well managed are my medication and getting enough sleep.

I have a 3 month old son (who is the loveliest baby ever and a complete joy). Since he was born, DH has done all the night wakings and coslept with him in a Sleepyhead. We've tried him in his bedside cot but he utterly hates it and won't sleep more than 20 minutes in it, even in his sleepyhead. This means I have only slept in the same bed as my DS a few times since he was born (my DH next to baby).

It isn't safe for me to co sleep alone as my medication makes me very drowsy, and also so drowsy that when his crying wakes me up, I can't go to him as it's like being drunk. I tried once and dropped milk everywhere sad

So, I've been sleeping in the spare room alone for 3 months. My DH quit work to be a SAHD and doesn't mind, and can have a catch up nap in the day if he needs to. I'm going back to work full time in October and feel very sad about it.

AIBU to feel like not sleeping with my baby and doing night feeds means I'm missing out on a part of motherhood and that I should be doing it? I've felt like quitting my medication so I can do it but I'm now completely dependent on it for sleep, on the few nights I haven't taken it, I haven't slept or rested at all.

Or should I stop worrying and count my blessings that DH does this instead?

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Sat 06-Jun-15 22:11:11

Your baby needs a healthy mother. That is your priority and that is right.

I have been sleep deprived for most of 6 years. It ain't all that.grin

Annunziata Sat 06-Jun-15 22:12:44

I understand why you feel like this, but it doesn't make you any less of a mother. Your health is the most important thing and you are very very lucky to have such a caring DH.

I know it is easier to say this than to actually know it inside yourself. Take care honey flowers

bittapitta Sat 06-Jun-15 22:18:42

Count your blessings and bear in mind that this is just a short period of your child's life - you have so so much more ahead which you can fully participate in... The fun and not so fun stuff!

Artistic Sat 06-Jun-15 22:19:35

You aren't missing anything significant (other than sleep deprivation). There is nothing that happens at night that you don't do in the day. Enjoy the rest & have lovely days with your baby!

Purplepoodle Sat 06-Jun-15 22:30:48

Your being the best mum by taking your medication and supporting dh doing the night shift. You are not missing out except being sleep deprived. I think it's a great way to share being parents. Dh takes the nights and you get the day cuddles. I think your being very sensible and responsible - good traits for mums for realising dh needs to do the night wakings. A huge part of being parents is working to are strengths. This is something dh can do and won't mean a huge impact to your health by stopping meds

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Sat 06-Jun-15 22:38:09

Sounds like you are doing a great job between you.
Ds needs healthy, happy parents. It sounds like this is what he has.
Ds will eventually sleep through the nights anyway. So nobody will have to tend to him then.
As long as you are doing your fair share in the day, and dp is happy to do the nights, all is well.
Enjoy your time with your little family.

Starlightbright1 Sat 06-Jun-15 22:46:47

It sounds like you are working as a team and that is what parenthood is about. You do what works for you as a family because after a while you realise we are all are doing it differently

Sleep deprivation is not all that without it making you ill.

littlejohnnydory Sat 06-Jun-15 23:03:06

I understand why you would feel like that but being a good mum means doing your best for your son, which is what you are doing. You're sacrificing the co-sleeping and night time care to ensure that he has a healthy mum.

For what it's worth, I breastfed and did all the night wakings. They're no closer to me than dh. In fact, I heard one say, "Daddy's my favourite" the other day! There will be plenty you do for him to outweigh this one small thing you can't.

MagpieCursedTea Sat 06-Jun-15 23:08:54

YANBU to feel like that.
However, I came off Quetiapine when my DS was born so I could do the night feeds. I had a manic episode when he was 3 months old. It was unpleasant for everyone. I got back on the meds and stabilised. DH does that nights now and everyone is happier/healthier.

Your baby needs you well, being manic or depressed will mean missing out on more than night feeds. Being a Mam with bipolar is very challenging, but can be managed.
Feel free to PM me if you ever want to chat about it.

MeltchettsLovelyMoustache Sat 06-Jun-15 23:09:46

Thank you everyone. It's nights like this I feel bad about it, DS has been sleeping since 7pm and I'm guessing this means he'll be up more tonight and I feel like I should sometimes be the one to be up with him. In his first month one of us was always awake with him so we did it in shifts when he just wanted to be held. He's pretty good at sleeping and I do pull my weight otherwise but I feel like it's unfair sometimes. And the looking at your baby sleeping making you cry thread made me feel a bit sad, I don't lie with him at night sad I sometimes take him upstairs for his naps and lie next to him. I wish I could nap with him, my brain won't even let me do that.

MeltchettsLovelyMoustache Sat 06-Jun-15 23:11:30

Magpie, Quetiapine is what I take, too. I'm under the perinatal mental health team who are lovely and I'm doing really well. I've broached the subject of coming off medication with them and they, probably rightly, say that now isn't the time.

seaoflove Sat 06-Jun-15 23:12:11

You will look back one day and realise that this time was a really brief part of your son's life. Keeping yourself well is the most important thing.

Barbadosgirl Sat 06-Jun-15 23:24:17

I also missed out on the early months, the sleep deprivation etc. because I adopted my son. Not the same thing, I know, but you can still bond with your baby and have a great relationship. You and your husband sound like a fab team.

DoJo Sat 06-Jun-15 23:42:13

I occasionally co-slept with my son, and it was nowhere near as relaxing as I had hoped it would be. I would dream that he'd fallen out of bed, or wake up with a start, checking on him to make sure he was ok.
Now he is 3, and we still sleep together sometimes, only now he really snuggles up and cuddles me properly and when he wakes up he whispers to me to check if it's morning or not. Earlier today he hurt himself and all he wanted to do was snuggle up on the sofa and have a little doze on my shoulder. So don't worry - you will have plenty of snoozy snuggles and cuddles to look forward to, and I would say that the ones you get as they get older are even nicer as you can relax and enjoy them without worrying.

editthis Sat 06-Jun-15 23:58:41

YY to meaningful snuggles as they get older.

Sleep deprivation was, for me, OP, desperate. It made me ratty and compounded my PND and, once the baby started sleeping more reliably through the night (at nine months), I became a much kinder, more imaginative, more energetic mother. Honestly, it was awful. I know how you must feel reading the "Looking at your baby sleeping" thread, but I never felt like that ^at night^; I would just be going through the motions of feeding and cuddling and going back to sleep as soon as I was able.

Also YY to waking up in a panic that they have suffocated under the duvet, fallen out of bed or been crushed by me. It really is not as idyllic as it can sound.

You are doing a great thing safeguarding your health. We all feel envious of others' abilities or choices at some point, no matter what they are: stay-at-home parents vs working parents; attachment parents vs strict-routine parents; parents who craft, parents whose children have beautiful manners. None of can be all things. This is a passing phase, one which might be romanticised to reassure those who feel they might die due to lack of sleep, that it will pass and we must not wish it away. The best is yet to come. flowers

ninetynineonehundred Sun 07-Jun-15 07:35:17

Every family figures out the best way of doing things for their circumstances.

On the other side of the coin I've often worried about being so tired that I can't give the girls my best during the day and that affecting our bond.

Sounds like you are doing the best thing for you all.
Congratulations on baby flowers

MrsBobDylan Sun 07-Jun-15 07:50:24

Yanbu to feel sad. But looking after a baby as a team will be fab for your dh, you and your baby.

I know it's not the same but I really hate cooking and I'm shit at it so dh does all the catering for our kids. But I'm really good at organising their days and making them feel better when they are sad. We concentrate on what we can both do and work as a team.

You sound like you are doing brilliantly and you should carry on as you are.

Fwiw I didn't do that crying over my sleeping baby thing in the night as I was just hoping they wouldn't wake upgrin. It was the daytime sleeps when I would look at them and marvel over their wonderfullness and have a little cry.

Congratulations on your lovely, snuggly baby flowers

ScarlettDarling Sun 07-Jun-15 08:36:59

Don't feel sad. I never co slept with my babies, they were in a Moses basket in our bedroom and then in their own bedrooms once they were old enough. Night feeds were done by me at first when I breast fed, but I took the babies into their nursery and sat in the nursing chair. I never fed them in bed, I was terrified I'd fall into a deep sleep and squash them.

When we moved onto formula with dd, Dh did a fair amount of night feeds and I loved it! My dc have only slept in our beds on a handful of occasions, when they were toddlers or older and were unwell. They do love to come in on weekend mornings when they wake up and have a snuggle and a chat...that's a complete joy and something you'll be able to do when your little one is older.

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that LOTS of mums don't co sleep and do all the night feeds. It doesn't have ANY effect on bonding, at all. Your health is paramount, it sounds like your condition is well managed and you need to keep it that way. Enjoy your delicious baby! flowers

maddening Sun 07-Jun-15 09:16:34

If there are any bits to "miss" the night wakings are the ones to miss - and some dc sleep through from 5-6 weeks - you don't hear those lucky bastards parents lamenting on how they are missing out.

You don't have an option and really are not missing out - it was a shit aspect of parenting - I was knackered For 2 years. Your dc will have a happy rested mum and that is fab smile

LovelyBranches Sun 07-Jun-15 10:22:26

I co sleep and breastfeed. My DH is in everyway an equal and important parent to our baby son. It's the same in your case. It's the care and love that's important, not the gender providing it. Carry on with your meds and carry on loving your baby.

Lorgy Sun 07-Jun-15 10:26:25

You sound like a great parenting team. I never co-slept at night with either of mine but did enjoying napping with my first. This hasn't been possible with the second and whilst I did miss it at first, it's had no effect on our relationship at all.

Writerwannabe83 Sun 07-Jun-15 12:58:12

I know what it's like to feel like you've missed out on a vital part of motherhood and it can be really upsetting and something that plays on your mind constantly. I can really empathise with you feeling sad about it, I frequently have days like that and it's hard.

Having a healthy mother is important but I really hate it when people say that to me as it doesn't make me feel any better. I just nod along and smile but that's all.

All I want is acknowledgement that my feelings are justified and that others can understand why I feel the way I do.

I hope you find a way to manage your feelings and when you do please let me know flowers

ocrasaranmuc Sun 07-Jun-15 13:10:04

Congratulations on your beautiful new baby and on doing so well managing your mental health. You and your dh sound like a brilliant team. I read the thread about crying with joy at the babies and I have to admit it made me feel nauseous grin. Stop comparing yourself to others and enjoy your lovely family. Xx

MackLin Sun 07-Jun-15 14:10:50

You're doing great and by ensuring you stay well you are doing what's best for your baby which is all that matters. You and your DH are a parenting team, and you're both doing what works best for your family.
Relax, enjoy... You're doing great smile

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