Monday, June 02, 2008

Baby Blues

I have a really bad case of the Baby Blues. This is actually a misnomer because I'm not blue - there's nothing sad about the way I feel. What I feel is overwhelmed, angry, and exhausted. I'm overwhelmed by how much I love and care for this child, overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for him and how time- and energy-intensive that is, overwhelmed by the postpartum and lactation hormones that are ravaging my body and making me a basketcase, overwhelmed by the fears and doubts that pop up - Are we doing this right? Is he going to be ok? I don't really know why I'm angry, but today that is my main emotion. I'm angry that he sleeps through feedings and then won't nap when he's supposed to, angry that this is much much harder than I ever could've imagined it being, angry because this is not what I signed up for and feeling that way then makes me feel guilty. I had been told that the first month to 6 weeks of motherhood were going to be really really hard, but I was in no way prepared for this. I don't think anybody could be. I guess I thought that the joy would kind of make up for the difficulty. It doesn't. There are moments of joy, but they are far outweighed by the other stuff right now. I'm told it will get better. And I know I'm definitely not unique. Every mother in history has gone through this before me, and they all made it fine, so I know I will too. But I'd really appreciate your prayers.

To top it all off, we dropped by the pediatrician's office today to check Elias' weight and make sure he's gaining. He's not. He's still losing weight. This is not good. So the doctor squeezed us into his schedule to check Elias over. He said he's definitely not dehydrated and his diapering pattern is great, so we're not in panic mode yet. He said I need to step up the feedings, though - every 2 hours around the clock. This makes me want to jump off a cliff. Elias is so sleepy during feedings that a lot of the time it takes us over an hour to finish a feeding. If I'm supposed to be feeding him every 2 hours, that means I have like 45 minutes from the end of one feeding to the beginning of the next. The doctor said that Elias eating better should make him sleep better during naptimes and then wake up better for feedings. But trying to get this started just makes me want to cry even more than I already have been, which is a lot. So please, please pray for us. Pray that Elias will fall into a good pattern of eating and sleeping, and that he will start to gain weight immediately. Pray also for Justin and I as we persevere through this difficult time of adjustment. We go back to the doctor Thursday to check on progress.

Sorry to write such a downer post, but I really need you guys praying for us, and I want to be completely honest about what is going on so you can lift us up to the Father with as specific details as possible! Thank you for your prayers and support.

11 comments:

Kristy said...

Sweet Joni! I am going to send you an email. I love you girl, just hang in there. I know it doesn't help at all right now but it WILL get better. I promise. But i know exactly how you feel.

Tracy said...

I had to do the every two hour feeding schedule to get rid of Elliott's jaundice. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life. Hang in there!

The joy of parenting didn't really happen for me until he was about 2 months old. When he smiles at you someday soon, you will melt.

Shelly said...

I'm so sorry to hear that difficulty you guys are having. We will definitely lift you up in prayer!!

Corrie said...

Oh Joni...Your honesty is refreshing, and I want you to know that I will pray for you tonight before I go to bed. The frustration and even anger are normal. I felt like I was in a haze the first month. Take care of yourself and in doing so you'll be taking care of Elias!

Melissa said...

Lauren used to always fall asleep during feedings, too. The only thing that kept her awake was stripping her down to only her diaper for every feeding. When she was fully clothed, she was warm and sleepy. She was a better eater when she was naked. And when she would start to fall asleep I would tickle her back to wake her back up. My mother-in-law thought all of this was CRAZY because it was November and she was sure Lauren would freeze to death. But it's the only thing that worked!

Jeannie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeannie said...

Praying for God to fill you with His strength and Peace.

Jackie said...

Thanks for your honesty Joni- it's what I need to prepare for my own little boy. I'm praying for you guys! Do you have a good audio book on ipod or your favorite worship to listen to while you're spending all day and night nursing???

Andrew's Mommy said...

Melissa's post is right on - Andrew fed naked for at least 6 weeks, too. It was the only thing I could do to get him to eat. He also had jaundice. It WILL be better but these first 2 months or so are just really hard. The lack of sleep does not in any way help this situation. Keep praying, cry when you need to, and know that you are being lifted up. HANG IN THERE, MOMMA!!!!!

Jessica said...

I know this is going to be MUCH easier said than done, but i am going to PRAY for your to try to really focus and even meditate on RELAXING... With Asa I continue to realize over time that when I relax and even rest and eat good then I have much more milk and my milk makes him much happier. When I am uptight, the milk supply goes in the toilet and I even think my "edgy-ness" infects my milk. Elias is going to be GREAT!! He is a healthy baby boy who has plenty of weight to carry him for a while longer (I can say this because mine did too!!). and he has AMAZING parents who love him so much!! You will be fine and so will Justin. You need to think relaxing, peaceful thoughts about how GOOD God is to have brought this baby in to the world (even if Elias is making things a little difficult right now?!?) and throw out worrying about his weight or when he "is supposed" to do this or that. I know you have to feed him, and often!! but try to think calm thoughts friend!! and i bet you are already doing this, but i bundled Asa so tight Ty thought he could hardly breathe, but it made him sleep good at night. I love you guys and you are in my prayers continuously!!

Nicole Allen said...

Hi Joni, (Nicole here)

I remember those first few weeks with Joshua all too well. The world seemed to stop turning, in fact I remember being surprised that the mail still ran. :)

They started me on the 2 hour schedule just days after he was born to get rid of the jaundice and for him to gain weight. It was exhausting! And I felt like a milk factory, that my only purpose for existing was to make and give milk, and it was. The good thing about it is that it won't last forever, maybe even just a couple of weeks. God's design for our "milk makers" is cool in that the more frequently Eli nurses the more milk you will make. It took about 24 hours for it to kick in with me. It will happen in the future too as he goes through growth spurts. Be sure you are drinking lots of water (even if you are not thirsty)and eating lots too. You burn at least 500 calories a day just by breastfeeding. It is hard work! One way we kept Joshua awake during feedings was to pump his little arm along with undressing him.

One of the hardest things for me during that time was knowing that all the plans I had made didn't matter to Joshua, he was just getting used to being "out here". Once I relaxed a little I was able to get him to sleep easier. One thing I know looking back is that I made his wake times too long in the beginning. At this age they can usually take 15-20 minutes and then need to sleep. I missed his sleep cues and didn't put him down soon enough and he became overtired and then wouldn't sleep at all. There is a side bar in the sleep section of the baby whisperer book that talks about the 3 stages of sleep and how to recognize them. That helped a lot and still applies.

I don't know if any of this helped or not. Know that we are praying for you and Justin and that things will get better! Please, please let me know if there is anything I can do for you. I will be happy to help in any way that I can.