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Four week old screams or cries all the time, at the end of my tether

(11 Posts)
StarlingMurmuration Thu 11-Dec-14 17:15:17

I'm having an awful time with my four week old. I feel like he never sleeps. He screams constantly after being fed, whether formula or expressed breast milk... He had a really severe tongue tie and though that has been sorted now, he refuses the breast. He eats a lot and is gaining weight well, but he seems to have colic permanently, and it's just getting worse and worse.

I was already suffering from depression when I was pregnant and now I cry all the time. I'm on anti depressants that make me really dozy during the day and drugged at night, so getting up for the night feeds are torture. He will wake us at midnight, 2am, 4am and then 7am, and scream for an hour after each feed before settling into a noisy sleep. During the day, he will only nap on my chest... If I put him down, he sleeps for 15 minutes to half an hour at most, all the time grizzling, before he starts screaming again. I don't have time to express if my partner is at work, because I never get more than half an hour when he's not screaming, and if I'm expressing when he starts, I can't respond straight away, or if I do, I have to stop expressing and my boobs get really sore and engorged. I had very severe SPD in pregnancy which hasn't resolved yet, plus a traumatic birth with an emergency forceps delivery with left him with scars and I think a sore neck and me with damage to my coccyx. I also had an episiotomy. I'm finding it hard to walk, I can't carry him in his car seat and so I'm practically housebound. I can't even carry him downstairs so I have to get up before my partner leaves for work so he can take the baby downstairs for me, so I can't even lie in if the baby is asleep.

I've been diagnosed with postnatal depression but I think most if my symptoms are just because I'm exhausted. Someone from our local mental health crisis team calls eve morning and will visit each day if I want them too but to be honest, their visits cut ally stop me sleeping or expressing so are adding to my stress.

I'm really concerned about bonding with him. Sometime I feel love for him, but mostly it's just a sense of concern and responsibility. Sometimes I hate him, and I've even shouted at him when he's screaming, then I cry because I feel so guilty, I'm a terrible mother to him and he deserves better. I'm so tired. Someone please help. I'm at the end of my tether.

linnypops Thu 11-Dec-14 17:28:38

RE: pnd - what i realised in the middle of my dd's screaming days was that if the screaming would just stop - i'd be fine. Maybe that's not completely the case for you, only you can answer that - but that really helped me to realise that my feelings were basically a really natural response to an awful situation we all found ourselves in. That said, obviously keep speaking to your doctor and HV and taking medication if it's helping.

Have you ruled out or medicated for reflux? I tried it ALL! nothing really helped her except time. She cried constantly it seemed. Fussy and crying all day, screaming her head off by night time. Now she is 5 months and while we still have our 'days' - they usually consist of some moaning and a bit of fussing...essentially not even a tiny patch on what it was. The change was gradual, but at 4.5 months there was a real obvious change. For many it happens much earlier.

And...this sounds awful but feeling angry and shouting and all that - it's normal. Honestly. I did it. My friend did it. It's not what any of us want to be doing obviously....and after i shouted a few times I realised the best option was to put her somewhere safe and walk away to collect myself for 5 minutes. Yes, she cried through that time but she didn't have me shouting at her, and I was able to compose myself and go back to the job of comforting her

Only advice is - accept help if you are offered it, ask for it if you're not, this won't last forever, keep repeating it to yourself. You're only human, mothers aren't superhuman, keep guilt for things where you could easily have chosen to do something better - not for times when you are at breaking point and at a loss. I can genuinely say that was the hardest patch of my life so far, nothing tops it. So, pat yourself on the back, put your feet in hot water when the baby is asleep for a short time, be really really nice to yourself, particularly when you feel like a rotten mother. You are doing GREAT! X

JuniDD Thu 11-Dec-14 17:28:47

First have a big hug. It sounds really hard. I found four weeks really tough, DD seemed to spend every waking moment screaming. It does get better.

One thing that jumped out to me was having to arrange your day around your partner. Could they bring everything you need for the day upstairs - packed lunch etc - then you can spend the day in bed with the baba and get some rest?

Gunpowder Thu 11-Dec-14 18:01:30

I echo everything previous posters have said. I now have a stroppy two year old which comes with it's own challenges, but I found 2-6 weeks the very, very hardest time.

Just wanted to let you know it does and it will get easier, and once they smile up at you at 6-8 weeks you will realise it's worth it and your baby doesn't actually hate you. Don't worry too much about bonding, your DS will bond to you regardless because you are cuddling him and feeding him and you smell right, you will get there when it is a bit easier for you and you are getting something back! Not everyone has the huge rush of love thing, it's ok. smile

Sometimes 'everyone fed, nobody dead' is good enough when you are a mother. flowers

JuniDD Thu 11-Dec-14 18:05:38

What I should say is DD is seven weeks and a million times more fun!

Do try to rest in bed as much as you can

unclerory Thu 11-Dec-14 18:20:47

Don't worry about bonding, if you are concerned and feel responsible that's fantastic.

Practically, if you baby is suffering from wind then don't keep trying to wind them one way, try something for 30 seconds max, then try a different way. I always started with the 'rocking yoda', they are sat upright, hand holding chin up to their airway is clear, other hand on back then roll from their hips so torso and head are moving in circle as one but legs are sitting in stationary position. If no burps after rolling first in one direction then the other then rub their back, if no burps then lay on their back and cycle their legs. If something isn't working there's not much point sticking at it and I reckon changing positions regularly helps get the air moving.

Have you thought about a cows milk allergy. It's probably difficult to find out for certain at this stage but look into it if your DS keeps being so unhappy. Have you spoken to a BFing councillor about re-establishing BFing to save you having to express?

Get as much help as you can, can your partner take some annual leave to help you rest? When he's not working then you must rest as much as possible and let him look after the baby, he can do everything you can do except BF and it will be a good bonding experience for them both. Ask family, friends, neighbours, professional whoever possible for help. Most people are lovely and will help as much as they can.

Heels99 Thu 11-Dec-14 18:22:21

I would switch to formula, other people can do feeds for you, dp can do a night feed, you need sleep and rest.

Stripylikeatiger Thu 11-Dec-14 20:14:19

My youngest is 4 weeks, I think daytime sleep for half an hour whilst not on you is great! I think they are hard work at this age, they can't really do anything alone, soon they will be able to be entertained by a baby gym or some baby toys.

Could you pump whilst having skin to skin with your baby? It might keep him calm and help with the pumping.

Waffles80 Thu 11-Dec-14 21:18:34

I really feel for you - the first few weeks are hell but honestly, each week gets easier and things really improve.

Can you try infacol to help get the wind up? Gripe water to settle tummy? Not sure these things do work, the infacol seemed to help my babies.

Film feed to show Gp and demand they investigate silent reflix. We found infant gaviscon made no difference but ranitidine changed things dramatically for us with our premature twins.

Would you be able to carry the baby in a sling? I am so sorry if this is totally missing the point re SPD but I am unsure and thought it worth mentioning. My Hana baby wrap and Moby wrap distributed the baby's weight so carrying around the house felt easier than in my arms.

You could contact Crysis for some over the phone support, and La Leche League re finding a lactation consultant.

Nipple shields helped my babies learn to bf. I hand expressed into them to get them going.

Anyone who can help? Can you limit the jobs you have to do in the day and focus only on eating, drinking and looking after the baby. Can OH do laundry and help with evening meal? Can anyone else help with chores?

I am so very sorry it's tough. I was beside myself when my babies were four weeks old. I wanted to drive away, I dreamt of being hospitalised with something minor just so I could have a break, I sobbed apologies to my OH for ruining our lives. I do not think any of these things now and my babies are the best thing that has ever happened to me.

It'll pass. Keep posting here for support and advice. flowers

Waffles80 Thu 11-Dec-14 21:21:09

Re car seat - can you leave seat in car and carry LO to the car so you can get out? Can a friend come and help you go out for the day and do all the lifting in / out?

Miranda33 Sat 13-Dec-14 10:00:03

Have you considered cranial osteopathy for the baby? Cost me £40 per session. Mine went to three sessions and was like a different baby. Also the Bowen technique which a homeopath can do can be very effective for colic and reflux.

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