Sunday, March 6, 2011

"You'll Be Fine"

My house is complete chaos at all times, I am beyond exhausted and my nerves are shot. I write this as my eldest is screaming in his crib (believe me, I've tried calming him, he's just overtired) and my sister just pointed out that I put my Pringles can in the cupboard with the cleaning supplies after having a quick snack earlier. Seriously?!

As I have expressed anxiety about taking care of two babies, I have had pretty much everyone I know tell me "You will be fine" and "You'll do great." I know I will be fine, I will do great, I will get through this. One day. But not today. I am not fine. I am not great. I am on the verge of collapse. I am just not ok.

Here are just a few reasons for my current "not ok" status:

  • Jackson has regressed. Big time. Note the previously mentioned screaming. He hasn't done that in weeks before naps and bedtime. He now does it on a regular basis, 2 out of 3 times today. Sometimes, he just won't sleep. Just refuses. He now wakes up in the morning at least an hour earlier than he used to, and he wakes up screaming. He does not calm down. Before Addy was born, and even right after she came home, he woke up happy and babbling and was content to do that for up to an hour in his crib. Now, he screams until I get him up. Then he screams some more if I put him down. Then he screams some more when I feed him his solids for breakfast. Then he continues screaming when his solids are done. It doesn't end until after he has had his bottle. He is grumpy now a pretty good portion of the day, and grumpy for Jax means a lot of screaming.
  • During all of Jackson's screaming, Addison also needs to be fed and screams if I don't oblige her immediately (of course, she's a newborn!). Since I am breastfeeding, that also is all my job. And the babies have done a perfect job of waking up at the exact same time and both wanting to be fed right away. The mornings have become a scream-fest, every morning, for at least an hour. The rest of the day is on and off.
  • Breastfeeding is really hard. For one, Addison falls asleep constantly on the breast, no matter what I do. So I never know if she is full and satisfied, or is just sleepy and will wake up and want more. After about 45 minutes to an hour, I generally take her off the breast. Sometimes she is content and sometimes not. I find I have NO clue what I am doing with breastfeeding. None. I don't know if she's latched right, if she's getting enough, if she's full, if she's over-full (she spits up at times), if she needs more, etc. All I know is she is peeing and pooping very regularly (like pooping every feeding still!) and gaining weight according to our scale (and she did surpass her birth weight already at her doctor's appointment when she was 10 days old). Then, once she gets tired, it means more work. She has to be swaddled, she has to have her paci, and she has to be held. We've tried the swing and the papasan and she just screams. And then, even being held and bounced, she spits her paci out at least 2 times and screams for a little while. Eventually, she does fall asleep, but not before I second guess myself constantly - is she still hungry? Did she get enough? Should I feed her again? And it is possible she is hitting the growth spurt the lactation consultants told me to expect around 3 weeks, as she is eating more frequently and not sleeping very soundly at all. At least I hope that's what it is. So, feeding her means about an hour and a half of full attention between the feeding and getting her back to sleep. And that is during the day, every 3 hours (which leaves about 1.5 hours at a time that I get a break from her, and remember Jax is also needing me during the day) as well as at night. Which leads me to arguably the hardest part...
  • Since the aforementioned feeding/rocking routine is necessary for every feeding, and since Addison still needs to eat very regularly, I am lucky to get 4 or 5 hours of sleep every night, and that is definitely not all at once. It's usually 2-3 hours for the first chunk and then an hour here and there until I am abruptly woken up by one of the babies, or sometimes both, screaming. I am beyond tired. There are no words for my kind of exhaustion right now.
So, those are the biggest reasons for my current state, but certainly not all of them. Life goes on and there are many other things that need to get done that just add to the stress (and I'm not even talking about unimportant things like, say, cleaning). Once my sister leaves tomorrow, I'm convinced I won't be able to even eat a meal a day. The only way I have eaten the last 2 weeks is because my mom and sister were here to put food in front of me. If I had to make it, or sometimes even take the time to put a poptart in the toaster, it wouldn't happen. There is no time, and no energy. Thank God for them the past couple of weeks. I honestly could not have done it without them...but now what?!

Let me be clear, I love my babies more than I can even describe. Even with all of this difficulty, they make me smile and laugh every single day. I know I am blessed beyond words. And probably with some sleep and a few hours of peace, I would be able to have a better perspective. But not today. I just need to be able to say, for the record, I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, "fine." At least not for now.


  1. I've been thinking about you! I can't even imagine! Alana is still very needy and it makes me think of you with two! You are right some sleep would put you in a better mindset but getting that sleep is the hard part! I'll be praying it eases up for you.

  2. Aw Faith my heart feels for you so much as I can ONLY imagine...and ya no whats it perfectly fine that today you are not fine! You are allowed entitled and completely deserved a day where things are just not OK!

    Lots of prayers for you and everyone...I have nothing good to say at all except that we;re thinking of you!

  3. Email me and let me know if you would like me to drive down to days off are on Thursdays. I can feed you lunch and love on the babies and help you clean. Trust me, take my offer, I would be more than happy to do it! It is what friend's are for. Big hugs!!!

  4. You will be fine ONE DAY, and that's fine for you to say to yourself, but when others say it and you are just about to collapse on the floor from exhaustion, it just doesn't help at all! Call anyone you can for even one hour of help, a short nap, or to bring you a sandwich. I'd bring you one if I lived close to you! Where do you live, btw? I'm in Baton Rouge, LA. Take J up on her offer, right now!! Hire a college student for a few hours a week? Anything at this point so you don't lose your mind??

    Thinking of you and saying a prayer the babies will sleep so you can.

  5. Oh my, that sounds crazy. I think you got it right when you said chaos.
    I do hope things calm down for you.
    I cannot even imagine the kind of stress and pressure you feel right now. I will be thinking of you and hoping things get better quickly.

  6. YIKES its like you have twins. I wish I lived near you cause I'd come over an help you with the babies! Is it acid reflux that makes Jackson cry so much? Is the prevacid not working? Have you tried breastfeeding him? See if he'll latch on? If so you could feed one on one breat and the other on the other. Maybe breastmilk would be easier on his reflux? Just a guess. I hope the chaos ends quickly so you can enjoy the newborn and baby bliss!

  7. I only had one needy baby to take care of, and I feel your pain. And I'm still feeling with our current issues with sleep. She's doing the screaming thing too and I have no clue why.

    As for breastfeeding, I'm not sure we ever did anything right considering my child is in the 10% for weight, yet I have a ton of milk. I think she'd get bored with it before she'd get full even though she'd fall asleep latched on too. Hang in there.

    Motherhood is very trying and is exhausting. It sucks when everyone acts like you're doing great and you feel like your world has collapsed. I'm there with you this week and I'm handling half the load as you. If you ever need to talk, I'm always here for ya and I understand... :)

  8. Just checking in and saw this post...

    As a mom of six - almost seven - kids, I can tell you that is does get better. There are phases that kids go through, and they can pop out of them just as fast as they popped into them, especially at the age of your oldest child.

    Having said that, I would encourage you to find a mother's helper if at all possible. Maybe a high school or college age girl from your church or neighborhood?

    And, with regard to nursing, I had so many troubles and so many issues until I made an appointment with a lactation consultant. That was the best couple hours ever. Google lactation consultant for your city, and see if someone can watch your oldest while you take the baby with you to see the lactation consultant.

    Meanwhile, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Hang in there! Those cute (albeit fussy) little ones need their momma! :)

  9. I can't imagine how difficult this must be. I wish I had words of wisdom (I am not a mom yet), but I am de-lurking to say that I am praying for you.((HUGS))

  10. I was going to suggest trying to breast feed Jackson, too. At least they can both latch on at the same time, with some practice. My oldest son was a very needy infant, because he had acid reflux. I know it is exhausting!


  11. Oh Faith, I can only imagine how exhausted you must be! I know it will get better/easier in time for you. Please please let me know if I can help in ANY way. I can drive down on a Sat/Sun to help you out. Just let me know! Love ya!


  12. Hi there,
    Every once in awhile I check in to see how you are doing! I am thrilled ot hear you now have not one but TWO healthy babies to love! However, I do know that it is REALLY hard in the beginning! About 6 months is when I remember things starting to slow down a bit for me, but I didn't have a newborn show up! I don't have much advice but to let yourself feel the way you feel and not feel guilty at all. Just as I have, you've been down a road to have these little ones and it is tempting to feel guilty about feeling stressed over "normal" new mother new baby issues. Sometimes you'll even here others say, "Oh, but isn't this what you wanted?!" Ugh. So, hang in there, don't be afraid to ask for help... I was and wish I hadn't been... there are so many people out there that want to help they just need to know.. Its humbling, but thats what motherhood is all about it seems! And remember, down the road, you can always repay the favor! Do whatever it takes to stay strong and happy for yourself and your family. I got so stressed with Amelia that I wound up letting myself spiral into post partum depression and had to pull myself out again... Later people told me they just assumed I wanted to "be alone to enjoy my new family." They just needed to know how much I needed help... company, rest, a meal... I'll keep you in my prayers... Godbless.

  13. I am new to your blog, but I wanted to say that my Isabella was SUPER needy as a newborn and and horrible in she NEVER slept more that 1.5 hours at a time during the first 3 months of her life!!! She is adopted/thus formula fed, but it didn't help her sleep deeper or longer. I got the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child around 3 months and by 4 months, we had the happiest baby ever. She is so content and loves to sleep (in her bed).
    So, that being said, I am hoping Addy will grow out of the fussy stage like Bella did!
    Praying for you!