Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Episode 1: Bad Mommy

I feel like a terrible mommy.
Why? Because I can't seem to do anything right for Gunnar today. And this has sort have been growing over the last 3 days....but he is just so fussy all the time. I am just beside myself. I want to throw in the towel. And I know it has everything to do with SLEEP.
The first week or so of Gunnar sleeping sans swaddle was heaven...he was sleeping 6-8 hours straight and everything was glorious. Now suddenly we're back to newborn sleeping schedules. I mean the kid wakes up screaming every 1-3 hours at night and he's lucky to get 30 minute naps in during the daytime.
I don't know if he's teething, has a tummy ache, is going through a growth spurt or if he is just testing me...but I am soooooo exhausted and today I have no patience.
I hate this.
As I am writing this G is screaming his head off in his crib. But what can I do? He really isn't sleeping and neither am I.  I am beyond exhausted and I can't focus. I have a perpetual headache and I just don't know how to be a better mom today.
I'm sure every mom goes through these kind of days...and often. But this is the first time that I feel absolutely lousy. It seems like everything I try: changing his diaper, feeding him, shhhshhing him, rocking him, bouncing him nothing will make him happy.  I've even resorted to teething rings, trying to force him to take a nuk, to re-swaddle him...I'm a desperate mommy wanting sleep results to no avail.

I took G out to run some errands because I knew he'd fall asleep in the car...but that was it. As soon as the car slowed to a stop he woke up screaming again. And this mommy just can't drive around all day when she's this tired...Chicago drivers are too unpredictable and it just isn't safe to drive tired.

He doesn't have a fever. He doesn't have any cold symptoms. It could be a tummy ache but I get burps out of him and he still cries.  What is an exhausted mommy to do? How long can I really let him 'cry it out' in his crib? And is this really humane?

My husband thinks the big culprit here is his new talent of rolling over. Which could be quite a bit of the problem. I mean he's constantly flipping around in the crib and he seems to be angriest when he's on his tummy. I'm not sure if his crying in the middle of the night results from waking up on his tummy and not having the strength to roll back to his side or back and he's crying out of frustration.  But this doesn't explain why he's crying while I'm feeding him and crying while getting a diaper change, etc.   Acid reflux? Maybe...but sleeping on his tummy should actually feel better.

I'm lost, tired and feeling like a terrible mommy.  I'm really trying to remind myself to be loving toward him today despite my frustration and exhaustion but I'm afraid I'm not doing the best job. Gunnar, mommy loves you soooo much!! Please SLEEP!!!

What's a mommy to do??? HELP!!!!!!!!!


  1. Hang in there! Every mom goes through this!! Just last night Finley was up from midnight to 3am and I caught myself being really short and rough with her because I was so tired and frustrated. You are not alone!
    I found that when my kids were either on the verge of meeting a milestone or had just met a milestone, like rolling over or sitting up, was when they were the fussiest. I don't know if they are just on sensory overload, but it always lead to sleepless nights and a very cranky and frustrated mother! I'm sure that you are doing everything you can to make it easier for Gunnar...even though it might not seem like it. Just remember that it is all just a phase...this one will be over eventually and then you have new joys and challenges with the next stage. Take some time for yourself when John gets home and just relax if you can. Try to remove yourself from the situation...even if it is just for 10 minutes. Sitting and reading a magazine without any distractions or making a solo run to Target can feel like heaven after a long day of taking care of a fussy baby!

  2. oh, I'm so sorry Kirstin. It doesn't help to know it happens to every mom. There's always the possibility that he's got some kind of intestinal issues. If he's not eating well, and not pooping regularly, you should probably take him to the pediatrician. ... especially if he's in consolable.

  3. Sounds to me like teething. Just know that gets easier, too. They get used to it. I had a swing for Robbie at the age and the constant movement helped, and sent him to sleep. I set it up, got him going and then lay down on the couch next to him, wearing ear plugs. That way I could see him but not feel like I was jumping out of my skin. A friend of mine's baby liked the sound of the vacuum cleaner? I think that movement helps because having rolled over they want to do more --- Mommie needs a break, though. B'Sitter?
    I think at about this age the other thing that helped RBE was a floor gym. I'd put him on his back on a blanket on the floor, with the gym above him with things hanging down, some that easily made sounds. This kept him doings something, and kept him from rolling over and getting stuck. Night time bumpers? Some of my friends used these sort of bumpers that came up to the side of the baby (no idea where to get these) and kept him feeling hugged, and also it wasn't so attractive to roll over and get caught on his tummy. I'm assuming you've lots of milk. I had that problem and was told to drink 1/2 a wheat beer, by the lactation consultant. Fixed me right up. The thing that helped me most were the ear plugs, whether holding him, listening to him, or watching him.
    It will pass and you are doing a beautiful job. Babies aren't supposed to be happy all the time. Mama's are getting tested by all this. It's not fun, but it's part of the big beautiful picture. He's making you stronger! xxoo Earplugs, the soft kind :)

  4. Since I have no experience of my own of which to speak, I'm sending you a huge hug instead and words of wisdom from Gone With The Wind: "Tomorra is anuthuh dae!" Seriously, xoxo - and hang in there, m'dear. It will get better.

  5. Do you two want to come over tomorrow? We'll be around! We don't have plans yet and would love to give you some TLC. I can take the three men for a walk while you take a nap! I would be happy to do it! Maybe G would sleep in the baby bjorn while I push the men in the stroller? I know you are doing a great job. Check this article out. It might make you feel better.

  6. Whenever Chloe wouldn't be comforted by anything, I nursed her and she would be better. Usually it was because of a growth spurt. I noticed when she was achieving new milestones, she would eat more often during the day, and wake up to eat when normally she would sleep through the night. Every child is different. It worked for Chloe, and it may/may not work for Gunnar.

  7. Sometimes I hold or nurse Emma while bouncing on an exercise ball. I swear, it's the only thing that works when neither one of us can take it anymore! Good luck!

  8. I would try putting him on his tummy.

  9. Hi Kirsten. Looks like you have gotten plenty of advice. I am here to simply say, "Hang in there." Unfortunately, you are learning quickly about the self doubt that we as parents experience all too often. Still happening... 16 years later... I always say Maddy is remarkable in spite of me. People laugh when I say that, thinking I am joking. But sometimes I am not. Thank goodness for friends and family to help us keep our sanity. Take advantage of offers from friends and family. That's what we're all here for.

    And thanks for sharing your story... :)

  10. Three month growth spurt is my guess! He is probably hungry and wants your body to make more milk for him....take a day or two to nurse him alot. You should catch up soon. Your lactation consultant auntie. ps You are not a bad mommy, just a tired one.

  11. Chiropractic,Chiropractic,Chiropractic it is amazing!!!!!
    Do your own research, I think you will be amazed at what you read.