Happy mum, happy baby. Right?
I begin to wonder if my baby is unhappy and sad. If I in turn am becoming unhappy and sad. Does my mood reflect my babies?
Don’t get me wrong, I love this newfound stage of my life and being a Mother to my baby daughter, Eleanor. I take pride over nothing more than Motherhood and being a new parent.I feel more comfortable than I have before and I am at peace with myself as an individual and in a happy and loving relationship. I have the family of my dreams. I am raising a child of my own with my best friend. It’s crazy.
My daily thoughts and actions all reflect on my daughter. She comes first in everything now, no matter what. Move over number one, no time to be selfish anymore. Yep, mum guilt is definitely a real thing. I can’t even run out to the shops anymore without bringing back a treat for my baby.
Does anyone else get mum guilt?!
Anyway, I’m going to share with you some recent thoughts that I have and wanted to get off of my chest. Somehow, I always feel better if I can write down my problems. It’s as though they evaporate when written down in text. My mind gets the chance to start over.
Lately, I have began to think that my baby is the only baby in the world who cries all of the time. I know babies cry, yes but I’m talking inconsolable tears. Endless and relentless tears. Crying that means you can get nothing else done but comfort your baby. My hands are tied. My mind is going crazy.
I have no idea what I am doing wrong or why my baby is so needy. I know that with breastfeeding this can generate clingier and more demanding babies in general but I didn’t realise just how much so. I find that had I known breastfeeding would have brought so many issues with it, I’d never have bothered. I’m so tied to my baby, I have very little time alone to breathe. To sleep.
I feel as though the happiness of this new stage of life is being drawn out from the inside slowly with the inconsolable cries of my baby. It’s tough. Each day brings more crying and soon, I think I’ll be joining in with Eleanor. Euan will come home from work to find us wailing, both a mess of tears and runny noses. It can be that bad.
I don’t know what I have done so wrong to be gifted with a baby who’s sole purpose on this planet seems to be to cry. At least that’s how it feels. It’s endless. It’s tiring. I don’t believe that there is anything wrong with my baby, on paper she is perfect and healthy. I’m constantly told that so long as we have regular dirty and wet nappies, periods of sleeping and no floppiness, all is well. How can all be well if without the comfort of breastfeeding she will cry?
It seems to be one thing after another right now. First the colic and reflux -which is now under control through medication. The immunisations which knocked her for six (prayers for the next trip to the GP), a dose of the cold (poor baba) and now we have extended teething woes.
I can’t win. No matter what I do, how much I nurse, what medication is distributed or how long I spend trying to comfort her, she will cry. My job as a Mother is not going so well. I can’t seem to ever get it right.
I thought that we were over the worst of the colic but it seems that with all the other factors coming Into play on a daily basis and this pesky cold that she contracted and we can’t seem to shift my baby is super unhappy and angry.
I live for the gummy smiles that she will give just a few times a day during a brief spell of calm. Now, when I say brief, I’m talking but a mere few moments of pure calm. I feel like I’m missing out on so much and losing out of my babies first stages.
I find that, Eleanor is not interested in playing nor reading no matter how fun I try to make that. I try tummy time with her, I sing to her, walk around and get out more onto the fresh air to save her from being couped up indoors all day. I get on my hands and knees even though my back aches and I try to entertain her with toys and rattles, make funny faces, bounce on the birthing ball with her. A bath will soothe her while she is in the warmth however, take her out from the bath and the cries begin. Nothing. Nothing comes from all of this but cries.
My baby is interested than nothing other than feeding. If Im not feeding you can place your bets she will be crying. Eleanor won’t even settle alone for five minutes in her bouncer. I have to run to the bathroom to wee as quickly as I can as she howls in the front room. Frankly, it’s crazy and this whole stage is beginning to suck the life out of me. How much tears can one fragile and tired new Mother take?
Will colic ever come to a hault. Is this even the result of colic? I think I must have it all wrong and begin to wonder if something more sinister is going on. It’s impossible to know and I feel bad that I don’t know. I don’t have the answers.
I try so hard and try to do the very best for Eleanor and her development. I’m trying to be the best that I can be. I have great patience with her but at times, I have to leave her to cry and walk away. My mind can’t take it, and I need a breather in the next room. Wether right or wrong to leave her, I don’t mind too much, it is just what I have to do in that moment, I’ll feel guilty about it later.
I want to meet the needs that my baby requires so badly for crucial development stages and to ensure she grows to be confident and well socialised, but I am at a loss. I think the only need of hers I meet is to feed the hunger that she has. I play music frequently, I forever talk to her and let her know what I am doing as I do it to help with her language skills but I don’t know if i should be doing more. I’m so limited to what I can do with her right now as she doesn’t allow much. It’s quite saddening.
Not only is it tough going to have her crying all day, the constant feeding is tiring. It’s a battle each day and I am forever toying with the idea of giving up breastfeeding completely. Would my baby have turned out completely different if formula fed from the get go? Would formula milk make her happier? Questions I can’t answer.
I don’t think that I have had a solid five hour sleep since birth, each time I get into a sleep, Eleanor wakes for a feed and she can feed for all hours through the night. I know this is a lot of comfort feeding but if I take away the comfort, the tears are inevitable and my gosh there are tears shed. Heartbreaking tears. I don’t know wether to keep up the feeding and try to break through this stage or if I look for answers elsewhere and try to tempt her with formula.
Whatever the cause of this crying, I can’t take too much more of it. It’s never ending and it really does make you feel like the worst person. To be so helpless and unable to stop those tears no matter what you try. The fun of having a baby is being taken away and I can’t even get any fun out of play times because she is so uninteresting by play.
At ten weeks old, I don’t expect too much interest and engagement from her but there has to be something more than this. Something more than the scowls and crying. Its disheartening that we thought we were passed the stage of colic and it had cleared up but it’s back with a vengeance and worse than ever.
I was led to believe that a breastfed baby is unlikely to have spells of colic and that it will diminish the chances of the baby blues but I am beginning to think that this is what health care professionals are told to say in order to use as a selling point for promoting breastfeeding. My baby certainly hasn’t skipped out in colic, she doesn’t seem happy and I have days where I’m at a complete loss and unhappy.
I am tied with giving up breastfeeding or keeping it up and hoping that I can get to the point where we have a breakthrough and see bug changes within Eleanor. I don’t know what is the best option?
I am keen to continue to feed her up until we hit the six month mark but if I’m not in for anything other than tears and upset, I’d be aswell cut my loses and give up while I can in the hope for a better outcome from formula.
Anyone else experienced excessive crying and colic with an exclusively breastfed baby? What did you find helped to take the edge off?
Has anyone else experienced the same issues with their baby? When did the stage of colic pass for you? It feels to me right now that I’ll never get passed this stage. That each and every day will be the same old routine of crying, feeding and changing nappies on repeat.
I fear that my baby is missing out on key development stages by skipping play times and having no interest in anything other than nursing. How can I incorporate more play and early learning with a baby who seems so unhappy?
Love, one tired mama (Keren) x