Tuesday, March 05, 2013

The Baby Blues

I've been feeling blue lately but I can't quite put my finger on why.

Sleep deprivation is the obvious culprit.  I haven't slept more than 2 hours at a time since Noah was born and  probably won't until he's sleep-trained.  Sadly, however, sleep-training is not going as well as I hoped.  His longest sleep stretch is a mere 3 hours and he doesn't seem to be very good at self-soothing.

Don't act cute with me.  You know what a pain in the butt you are!

But it could also be because I'm sick.

And/or that I haven't touched dairy, chocolate, or caffeine in 8 weeks.

And/or I've been isolated at home because I'm deathly afraid of taking the baby out and having him catch a cold.

And/or the fact that the baby is not really on a schedule so I can't plan my day and I have almost no control over any aspect of my life.  For a type-A person to not have control...well, let's just say nothing could be worse.  Add to the mix that I'm generally a pessimist and debbie downer and it's no wonder the blues have ensued.

And/or the fact that I can't put Noah down for naps.  The physical exhaustion of holding a 12 lb child for 8-10 hours a day is definitely exacting a toll on my achy neck and shoulders.

And/or that I feel guilty about not giving Judah much attention.  Ironically I wanted to have another baby to force Judah to be less attention-needy.  To be able to play on his own and be more independent.  But instead it's just made him weepy and miserable every day.  He constantly tells me "I missed you all day at Ms. Lori's house (his daycare)."  And he falls apart every time he sees me holding Noah (which is practically all the time since I can't put Noah down for a nap).  And more than ever he constantly wants me to play with him and does not play on his own.  Ugh.

My poor neglected big boy.

This last weekend I checked in on him during nursery hour and he looked downright depressed.  I've never seen him like that before.  He's always a happy, hyper, active guy.  But even though his favorite people were joking with him and trying to cheer him up, he just sat glumly on a chair, looking downcast.

A rare moment when Noah isn't around!

Being replaced by a baby has really taken a toll on poor Judah.

Judah proudly shows off his new police badge and gave me a 'deputy' orange sticker.

I know this newborn period won't last forever.  By at least 14 weeks Noah should be able to sleep at least 5 hours at a time and take naps on his own.  But that seems like a hopeless eternity when you have the baby blues.

Every morning I wake up and regret the fact that I've woken up.  Every morning I have to give myself a mental pep-talk just to cobble together the will to go on.

Usually, it's just a simple mantra that I try to believe each time I repeat it--it won't always be like this.  It will get better.  Just get through this one day.  One more day.  One day more.

Or when it's really bad...one more hour.


C(h)ristine said...

It's rough having a second child, and one in winter during the worst flu season in years! I have flu paranoia too. I did buy this mega oneside down thing from REI that gives me some peace about taking P out, as well as this amazing little car seat bag-that-turns-into-a-toddler-sleeping-bag-later thing from 7 A.M. enfant.

Also, I discovered co-sleeping a couple weeks ago and it has made my life 150% better! I know it's not for everyone, and it will probably be tough later to kick her out of bed--but I couldn't go through the hell of sleep deprivation anymore. I'm still sleep deprived enough that I fell asleep while getting my hair cut, but it's better than before.

The upside is--everyone keeps telling me it will get better!

meanwhile, P has suddenly rejected my hubby (who was until this evening her Favorite Person In the Universe) and my hubby is heartbroken. ah the drama. it never ends.

C(h)ristine said...

er, onesie. not oneside.

Alice in Wonderland said...

I love the co-sleeping idea but isn't it hard to burp the baby after feedings? That's the only real downside I can think of. I'm surprised baby has rejected dad--poor papa.

C(h)ristine said...

@Alice: I get out of bed to burp the baby (more expedient), though my husband is an expert at burping the baby while sitting in bed. I also burp the baby while sitting on a yoga ball. LOL. And hallelujah: baby is back to loving Dad again. Thank goodness--that was too much drama.

Co-sleeping is one of those things wehre you have to decide between hell now, or difficulty later. I chose difficulty later, because I couldn't take the "hell now" anymore.

Alice in Wonderland said...

Don't worry about the co-sleeping. I've read that sleep habits aren't formed until after 3 months so anything you do before then can easily and quickly be undone. So co-sleep away without fear!

Anonymous said...

You are right about the sleep and the fact that everyone is still getting used to your new family. BUT! Please, please, please! See your doctor and be screened for Post Partum Depression. I felt EXACTLY the same way you describe when my first was born and that's what it was - PPD. I was able to get a treatment plan immediately, and it didn't start with medication (I know some people don't like to take meds while they're breastfeeding, or are wary of anti-depressants). I initially sought treatment around 7 weeks postpartum. By about 12 -14 weeks, I was mostly back to normal, except for still being sleep deprived (hello, colic!). The one thing that bothers me is that I didn't enjoy any of my maternity leave except the last week, when the PPD cloud was finally lifting.

Anyway, maybe this isn't what's going on with you, but it was so hard for me to recognize what was happening when I was in the middle of it that I thought it was worth mentioning on the chance that it might save another mama from some pain.

Peace (and sleep!) for your family,


Alice in Wonderland said...

Thanks Shannon--I do think I'm tipping into PPD territory (and I prob had it full-blown with my first baby). I'll mention this to the doc. I think it's the total loss of control that makes me so upset/anxious.

C(h)ristine said...

@Alice: I second Shannon (wise woman). I didn't know how to approach you delicately about it, but I'm now going to check in and say to check in with your doctor about it. I was really close to PPD (I definitely had baby blues) those first few weeks (one of my friends had an almost psychotic case of it and she helped me a lot, as did a bunch of my other friends), and I felt like you feel. Like Shannon said, drug therapy isn't always the first step (and even if it is, it's okay)...but take care of yourself. Happy mom = happy children. :)

I seriously enjoyed almost zero things about motherhood until about week 6, when things began to shift for me (namely, I started getting more sleep).

C(h)ristine said...

And as for co-sleeping, I don't think the lasting effects are bad. I'm not worried about that at all. I co-slept with my grandmother, and my husband co-slept with his parents, and if we're messed up, that's certainly not what messed us up! LOL. So far, I really really enjoy co-sleeping with my kid. And she is a lot happier, too.