When will things get better?(12 Posts)
I'm really struggling at the moment, especially at night. My daughter was born at 33 1/2 weeks so was 6 1/2 weeks early. She is now 9 1/2 weeks. If she had been full term she would be three weeks old now.
She is beautiful but I'm really finding things hard. She sleeps a lot in the day. She still seems to have no form of routine. I go up to bed at about 8:30/9 and my husband stays up with her until 11:30 and then puts her in the next to me crib by me and he goes to sleep in the spare room. Sometimes she goes 3 to 3 1/2 hours between feeds and sometimes, like last night, it was more like 2 1/2. It takes a while to settle her after a feed and I have to try and keep her upright too as we think she has reflux so often some milk comes back up.
By the time I have managed to drift off I'm only getting about 30mins- hour of sleep between feeds and I'm exhausted. People keep saying to sleep in the day when she sleeps but when i tried that I couldn't get to sleep when I went up to bed that night. I just lay there for ages and ended up getting all worked up because I couldn't get off.
I'm usually such an organised person and I found it difficult when she came early. I wasn't mentally ready for the birth and we hadn't got everything ready at home. Selfishly I feel like I had been robbed of the 6 weeks before her due date where I was going to get ready for her arrival and also have some to rest and relax.
I'm just so tired of being tired all the time and can't see a light at the end of the tunnel. I don't want to cry myself to sleep anymore because I'm exhausted and I'm not getting out to meet people. Any tips out encouragement would be great. Thanks.
Her sleeping pattern sounds very normal, and indeed pretty good for her age. I don't know if she does have reflux - it is more common in prem babies - but if the milk coming up doesn't seem to cause her pain and she is gaining weight, she may just be a "happy spitter" - most babies bring up milk and you don't necessarily need to keep her upright after a feed.
I think my worry would be you and whether you may be at risk of PND with the anxiety, trouble sleeping etc. Tearfulness is common when you're tired and a newborn is hard at the best of times but you really sound like you're struggling. It will get better - normally does by about 12 weeks - but in the meantime, are you getting out for any fresh air and adult company? Is your partner pulling his weight? Do you have anyone to talk to about how you're feeling?
Hang on in there, it does get better. My DS was 5 weeks early and behaved much the same. Feed, wind, sleep, on repeat, every 3 hours round the clock. I found it utterly relentless and felt my anxiety levels increasing towards bedtime. What helped me was making sure I spent as much of the day out of the house as possible, getting fresh air and meeting other new mums.
Once I had people who were also up feeding at night we used to message each other if we were having a particularly shit night and it helped to have that virtual company. Things improved massively at 10-12 weeks, when I cut out a night feed. Everything seems so much worse when you're tired. I also felt robbed of my pre birth maternity leave!
All of the above, my little boy was 7 week early he slept a lot in the day too. Try get out when you can even if it's a very short walk to the shops. Fresh air will do you both good. You could try a baby sling/ carrier for during the day if baby seems to have reflux. It helped me a lot. The 3 hour feeds are hard but it won't be forever.
I was in hospital for 3 months before baby came so had to do all my nesting when I came home.. He's 6 months and u still haven't finished lol.
Hope things get a bit easier for you soon x
Your other half needs to help out more during the night. I know he's sitting up with her til late but that's not enough. You feed, if bfing, and if she wont settle in say an hour then hand her over you him. If you're bottle feeding then do alternate feeds. Its so important you look after your health and he has an instrumental part to play in that. Also i wholly recommend seeking counselling when you're ready to deal with your feelings.
A few months ago I could have written everything you’ve said but I can honestly tell you that it will get better soon.
My DD was born at 32+5 and until 6 weeks post her due date so actually 13 weeks I was really struggling due to lack of sleep which included holding her upright for 20 minutes after every night feed for those reasons. We had 7 extra weeks of the newborn phase and it’s incredibly tough but you’re nearly there and soon you’ll start feeling the effects. When my DD started going from my 10.30-3.30 it made a massive difference due to getting a little more sleep.
Also at this stage I was still experiencing very mixed up feelings about her early arrival and to an extent still in shock. I found seeing a midwife counsellor and having a debrief with the consultant massively helpful and healing.
In terms of tips I found sleeping when someone else was sitting with her helpful as I struggled to sleep when she did and also just being kind to myself and not expecting too much of myself in terms of getting out and about.
It’s completely normal and ok to feel robbed. I felt robbed of the newborn experience that I watched others have and it’s taken a while to get over that.
Mine didn't get a routine till about 12 weeks corrected either.
Thanks for all the advice and support. I am trying to get out for walks when I can and it does help. I listen to podcasts and stroll around the village. Some days I just don't have the energy or inclination to.
It's good to know things should get better within the next few weeks. I don't feel it would be fair to ask hubby to do night feeds. He works 10 hour days and has quite a demanding job so he needs to get a decent amount of sleep.
It's so hard to try and leave the housework and just relax because I know it will just mount up. I don't know if I need counselling or to speak to someone or if it's just normal and I will feel better once things settle down. I don't think I'm depressed because I do have good times and I know I'm doing my best it's just a really difficult stage at the moment.
It must have been so hard being in hospital so long before baby was born. Huge sympathy there. I know being in with my baby for 5 nights was hard work. Fingers crossed for a bit more sleep tonight.
I’ve just seen this thread and this is exactly what i’m Going through now. My baby was nearly six weeks early, we’ve had him home for just over three weeks (after 12 days in neonatal) and I feel like we’re taking 1 step forward and 12 steps back - each good night is counteracted with about 8 or 9 horrendous days and nights. Query reflux at the moment and the GP won’t help, just suggested I try the stuff i’m already trying, today I have literally not been able to put him down as he screams and screams. I get anxiety about night time as i’m petrified about falling to sleep with him on me. I feel like i’m failing. Help!!
Hi @CharlotteLM we are going through something similar. Ds is 4 weeks old now he came 3 weeks early bt had they say he has stopped growing about 2/3 weeks before that. He spent 7 days in nicu. Some days he will sleep for maybe one 4 hour period at night but usually that's followed by feeding almost constantly the following day and night. He also seems to struggle with wind. My consultant has just said little babies with low birth weight or preterm tend to eat alot at the beginning to get and catch up... I'm glad he is saying and putting in weight but wow I'm tired.. It's easier said than done to "sleep when he sleeps"
Hi @CharlotteLM and @Smurf123 I didn't see your posts until now. How r u both getting on with your little ones? Things are so different now. DD will be 1 year old on 11th August. Can't believe it. End of November things got a lot better as she started to sleep much longer and was only waking once in the night with the occasional sleep through. She's been sleeping through for a few months now. We did go through a phase of her waking at 5:30 which was tough but she seems to be sleeping a bit later now. Hope things have improved for you both x
DD1 was born at a similar gestation. The anxiety took a long time to fade but she's developed completely normally and is now a stroppy, backchatty, utterly normal 6 1/2 year old - one of the tallest in her class, absolutely top of her class for English and reading in particular, and near the top of her class for Maths (when she makes an effort - she doesn't like Maths).
Her class teacher was shocked when she learnt how tiny she was as she shows absolutely no signs of it whatsoever now.
It's hard going because basically you are stuck with the pretty unrewarding newborn stage hard slog of sleep deprivation but before they learn to do any of the stuff like smiling and giggling to give you the "rewards" part of it for so much longer than a full-term parent.
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