DH back at work, I'm not coping(45 Posts)
Hi, my baby is 3 weeks old and my DH has been back at work a week. I cried practically every day, and doing all the calming throughout the night for my LOis exhausting. I love her my LO to bits but she has silent reflux so the last couple of weeks haven't been very easy and I didn't really get a chance to recover from labour. I know my DH going back to work is reality and I need to get on with it, but I feel like I can't cope. I regularly feel overwhelmed and wish someone else could take my baby after each feed to calm her down. I don't even seem to be able to wind her properly. I guess I just wanted to know if others found all this hard and struggled when DH went back to work. I'm dreading another week xx
Reflux is so unfair! Both of mine have made silent reflux and cmpi, it does get easier as your body heals from pregnancy and birth and as you learn strategies to cope with the reflux. Best things to do to help are to get some fresh air every day and find a reflux forum - little refluxers is good. The more you talk to people the more people you find that have experienced reflux, I am far from a chatterbox and they are everywhere. Don't bottle it in. You will get there, chocolate is proven to help!
A few things to google and consider:
A wedge (much better angle than blocks) or even tucker sling
A&e if your baby just won't stop crying to ask for the next level up of medication
Keeping your baby upright all the time
Not using a bumbo because of the pressure on their stomach
Staying away from any waist bands
Putting to sleep on stomach under docs guidance
Thickening feed with carobel
Swaddling when feeding when in the middle of a flare up
Oh, and if you can afford it, a night nanny once a week, sleep glorious sleep!
DS had silent reflux and barely slept, it was a horrendous time when DH went back, and I know how hard it can get.
My biggest tips are firstly, just remember that you're doing a great job, and forget all the 'shoulds' - like feeling that you 'should' have a clean house, dd 'should' sleep like all the perfect babies in books, or that you 'should' be presentable at any point of the day. As pps said, do whatever it takes to relax and rest, whether that is eating cereal for lunch (or dinner), watching lots of crap TV or napping at very odd times. For us a sling was our most important piece of baby kit - it kept the reflux at bay, the baby asleep or at least calm, and I had hands free.
Secondly, you sound like you could do with more support. Do you have someone who could come over and hold the baby for a little bit while you shower/nap/eat/cry? Or at least make you some food and a cup of tea or do some hoovering while you hold the baby? Also, DH needs to be aware that caring for a small baby is also a full time job, so if he is not taking any role in the evenings then he is working 8 hours a day while you work 24. My DH is not the most hands on dad, but even he took the baby in the sling for a few hours sleep at nights (often he'd do 9 till midnight, ideally while DS slept but if not then he would rock, shush etc and only bring into me for urgent feeds). Lots of other partners do late nights too. It may sound tricky for your DH, but ultimately it's a lot less tricky than if you end up exhausted to the point of collapse or PND, when he'd have to take over a lot more.
Is your dd on medication? It hasn't been a silver bullet for DS but meds and/or dairy and soy elimination (for at least a week) has been very helpful for lots of silent reflux babies on these forums.
Finally, I bf and think it does get easier and easier and is totally worth it, BUT if you are beyond it and need a rest, don't feel at all guilty about a dummy or some ff, your child needs a well mother more than it needs breast milk.
It does get so much easier - people kept telling me this and it felt like such a long way away, but in no time at all you'll have a 4 month old and chatting to friends about how yeah, the first few weeks were a bit tricky but you got through!
just want to say you are not alone! my dd1 was a nightmare with reflux, it is so tough. I invested in earplugs and an eye mask plus a second set and sleeping bag 4 the car! sleep whenever you can xxxxx
big hug from me! seriously, it gets easier.
ps if a messy house gets you down one thing I do is have a "sacred space"-one bit of table that, no matter what, I keep clean with a candle on. if mess gets me down I light the candle, focus on that tiny clean bit and ignore the rest! ok rereading this it sounds insane but it helps me
Thank you so much. I had a friend round yesterday and DH's sister today, which makes it easier just because it breaks up the day. I'm finding it a real rollercoaster...sitting here crying because it's only Tuesday! My friend looked shocked y'day when LO was so upset. It made me realise that not all babies suffer like this and left me really sad. Trying to be more positive today I've had one cranial osteopathy appointment with LO and have another next week. I tried a sling this morning and failed miserable to put her in correctly - round 2 this afternoon
DH finds LO's evening crying really stressful (it goes on for 3-4hrs at least) and he doesn't seem to be able to calm her either. I find that I end up feeding her again for some peace and quiet. We've argued the last 2 nights. It makes it so much harder...and lonelier too.
I know we'll get there. Roll on weaning and hopefully recovery for the LO. In the meantime, I've got lots of remedies to try, so thank you so much. I can't begin to tell you how comforting it is to hear others got through this in one piece. I just really didn't imagine it would be like this. Xx
Which sling are you using? The soft fabric ones like mobys are great but do take a bit longer to get the hang of, otherwise the manduca is a great structured option with a built in newborn seat, or there are some like the k'tan which are soft but less work.. With a reflux baby it's really worth finding one (or in our case three ) that works for you, maybe via a local sling meet.
It can be so hard when the reality doesn't meet with what you expect or what others seem to be experiencing. The good thing is that the four month sleep regression and the terrible twos will be so much more manageable with the experience you are gaining now... And my mother had 5 babies and said all her trickiest little ones became the sweetest toddlers (and vice versa!).
Just remind yourself that this will pass. Really importantly in our experience, don't let yourself believe - or let people tell you - that your baby is a 'difficult personality' or angry. Your baby is hurting, and only has one way to tell you. Some of my family tried to tell us that we just had a grumpy baby and needed to let him cry - but now his reflux is recovering, DS is one of the sunniest babies we know.Just hang in there for a little longer!
I so agree with refluxers making awesome toddlers! I adore the toddler stage and can't wait for my dd to get there, she is going to love it! The relief of feeling comfortable must be huge.
If your dh can't help with nights then he really has to buck up and cope with a couple of hours crying and be lead parent in the evening - you have it 22hrs a day, it's his turn! He has to be parent too, it isn't all fun and games being the dad. My dh frequently sings the Mary Poppins song about patting the children on the head and spending them off to bed in a hopeful dreaming one day sort of way, but he know that his job doesn't end in the evening and he is on duty when he gets home. He looks after the screamer, usually taking her out for a walk in the buggy or carrier and I get to give toddler ds a few cuddles and a bit of attention. I live for when he gets home! He dreads it but knows that I have it worse. It does end though, it's just bloody tough while it is going on.
Hey there, last night was a real improvement but then tonight has been awful. She's on a full dose of Gaviscon now and I can express enough to mix it with milk alone. I mixed if 50:50 with aptimil and worried this is why she's been in so much pain. DH has helped all evening but now next to me in bed with eye mask on and earplugs in. I've had enough. I just want to run away xx
Poor you. Hope that you also get a turn with the ear plugs and eye mask, and that your day improves. X
Could you afford to get any kind of help - local mum or teenager with experience of babies to come at tea time for example and just hold the baby for a couple of hours?
Personally I think most exhaustion / sanity issues around babies are made so much more bearable once some kind of proper support is in place
Someone who will stay calm ...
Maybe even a local nanny an afternoon a week with you in the house ?
Or could your partner take a days holiday so you can sleep ?
Does your dh get weekends off? If you are express/bottle feeding then could he do Friday and Saturday nights? Dh did that for me with our first because he drove to work so couldnt do anything midweek and it was a life saver, I loved knowing those nights were coming and it made the mid week ones easier and less eternity like. Second time round we have moved near his work and ddddh does every other night because he knows (and i have drummed into him!) that, as our first is a bit hyper and no longer naps during the day, it just isn't possible for me to do it all. We tried, I broke. I have to sleep in the sitting room on my nights off because even with ear plugs etc she has programmed me to wake every hour at the tiniest sounds. With a little gerdling everybody, dh's included, have to give more of themselves. It just isn't an option not to.
I'm mean, if dh wasn't helping enough and got out the ear plugs then there could be one hell of a rant and the ear plugs and eye mask would be shredded! But then I get so pissed off with fathers that leave everything to the mothers and say that work is their job, it gives me the rage that they absent themselves from parenthood when it is tough.
just one thing to add: go back to the GP and ask for ranitidine. Gaviscon is a bit useless IME especially if you're BFing.
I'm breastfeeding and just expressing so that I can mix the Gaviscon in with breast milk, so it's hard for DH to do a feed. I don't express enough extra for a whole feed.
We've been on the phone to Dr and on ranitidine and domperidone, and hoping these start working over next few days. I'm supposed to continue with Gaviscon but struggling to get it down her on top of infacol and syringes meds!
DH is going to take her in between feeds in the mornings over the weekend so I can nap. I need to build up my reserves for next week!!
Thanks so much again for your support and connects. I've made it through week 2, and have stuff to put in place to help week 3!!
Good plan! Domperidone especially is good stuff. We had a rocky start on it (dd had nasty diaorreah), but are now trying again at a low dose with the aim of building up, so far so good! It has made a huge difference already on 1/3rd the dose we are meant to get to. I'm sure it was mentioned up thread, ranitidine is very weight sensitive so next time you see your doc ask for the calculation so you can manage it yourself, with ds we had to update it on a weekly bases to keep the effects.
I am really guilty of wishing away dds babyhood thinking each weekend that it is another week she never has to suffer through again, but I know that she will love being a toddler and just can't wait to get there!
I know that someone mentioned pnd but I wanted to let you know that even if you don't feel you have it there may be moments of very uncharitable thoughts about others that are entirely normal (for me at least!). I really struggle with my relationship with my db, we have the same parents but his children magically missed out on reflux while both mine suffer through it. Dont get me wrong, I wouldn't wish it on anyone, but I also really didn't want it for mine. I struggle with jealously of his 'perfect' babies and him not knowing exactly while it is like for my family and him belittling the problem.
Oh, and my HV said that infacol can make reflux worse. It did for dd but was fabulous for ds.
Make sure when your dh is on a day off the next day that he does as much of the resettling etc through the night. BF then hand baby to him and get the mask and earplugs in. You need to get some shut eye and he needs to pull a little bit of weoght when not at work the next day.
great advice! yes! I got my husband to take on a 24hr shift once a week so sat plus night and it is a godsend, he finally gets how hard it is for one thing. we bottle feed tho so easier for him to help, but def try to get him to do some stuff too, it will help him to know he can do something contructive for you
hope your day has gone ok and that you have a good night
God you poor thing. My daughter is 6 weeks and I can totally relate. I am currently reading 'what mothers do' which is a huge comfort to me and makes me feel less mad! highly recommend it (intro a bit waffly but once in very good) and its not a manual, just a book about how you feel.
With reflux I don't know - I have had to FF since my milk never came in (whole other story) but she got awful colic, infacol did naff all. They give fennel tea in germany for it. I got confused and mixed it with the formula. After DH making smart remarks about making funny milk for our daughter - he eat his words since it has been a fricking lifesaver to be honest and my special mix has really helped with her poor tummy. Something to think about if you are using formula anyway for some of the feeds. I use one tea bag in 500ml of water. I feed her upright with a small grapeseed cushion warmed up for 20 secs in microwave gently on her stomach - seems to really help. Also I found a warm bath has helped when desperate to calm her and break the crying cycle. This meant some days she got bathed twice -albeit very quickly.
I had a huge bust up with DH on our wedding anniversary- god knows what about to be honest. I think it's fairly normal behaviour!! We have since had a good laugh about it.
If I am honest only just starting to feel more confident with her now - I found the first 4 weeks quite rough going. hang in there - you are not alone :-)
Not sure what kind of kit you're using to express. If it's a normal pump for home use i.e. Medela Swing or similar, I can heartily recommend upgrading to renting a hospital grade pump. I had similar experience of slow expressing with DS1, taking half an hour to get any kind of decent volume - the hospital grade pump can take the same amount in about 5 minutes!! This would give you a bit more time to yourself...
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