Mommy guilt.

So the last few days have gotten somewhat better. With each day that passes, I feel like my daughter drops us a few more breadcrumbs about who she is and what she wants.

 

….and then we still have nights like last night when she wailed for two hours and pulled so hard on my nipple while I was breastfeeding her that I thought she was going tear part of it off, and she furiously shook her head and scratched at her face and my chest despite the fact that I did everything I could think of to soothe her. Then she promptly fell asleep at 1:30 am and slept until 6am. A gift, perhaps, for the terror she subjected us to the night before?

Those nights are impossible when I am living them and I get so frustrated and I verbalize how frustrated I am with her (I dont yell, but I definitely talk in an angry voice). Then afterward when the dust settles I feel so guilty for being upset in the moment and just want to love and cuddle her and help her to understand that I was never mad…just frustrated, tired, and afraid that it would never end – or worse: that something was wrong with her.

Part of the reason why she slept so long last night was that my wife and I invested in a soothing baby bassinet called a “Snoo”. Its way overpriced (though I suppose that is subjective), and we used my wife’s accrued credit card reward points plus as gift that her Godmother gave us to cover 3/4 of the cost. The bassinet senses when baby is fussing and adjusts its white noise and rocking to calm the baby down (and it’s all controlled by an app). She slept well last night, took a 2 hour nap in it earlier today, and has been asleep now since 9 pm or so (it’s currently 10:30 pm). While I thought I’d feel elation after last night’s pre-bed debacle, I just feel guilty that shes sleeping. I’m not soothing her or feeding her – in fact, she slept through a feeding last night (and I did too since I was so tired) and I just feel bad that I’m not holding and feeding her now (when I typically would be).

Things that I also feel guilt for:

-My poor breastmilk supply (I’ve been pumping an ounce or so every 2 hours which hasn’t been nearly enough to accommodate what she wants to eat)

-The fact that we bottle feed her the breastmilk often (which started when she was in the hospital as that was the only option initially in the NICU, and then they wanted me to monitor her intake in order to help reduce her jaundice. They encouraged us to syringe or bottle feed my colostrum along with donor breastmilk – which we chose over formula – so we knew how much she was eating. We continued that at home to help us better understand her weight gain, and just got into that habit).

-Her naps (I feel like I should be holding and cuddling her, but enjoy napping and/or preparing dinner or catching up on chores when she falls asleep and I can rest her in the Rock N Play or now the Snoo).

-The fact that she is already growing and changing and I WISHED FOR IT, because I desperately want to understand her…but at the same time, I want her to be little forever. I feel like I dont spend nearly enough time just staring at her and cementing her sweet little coos and expressions in my heart before she stops doing them.

I don’t know, I suppose that some of this guilt is just sadness that time is already passing and my tiny newborn is already going to be a month old and I should have enjoyed it all so much more.

In the meantime, I’m going to resolve to try to capitalize on every moment that I can, and try not to get frustrated as easily and just love on this sweet little babe for as long as I can before she becomes a bigger crawling babe, then a walking and talking babe…

No matter what, time will pass exactly the same way so I might as well enjoy this ride. 😊💜

7 thoughts on “Mommy guilt.

  1. Can you see a really good lactation expert to ensure her latch is right? Have check for any tongue tie too . Might be part of the problem. Every mother and baby is different. Also ask about the pumping ~ how often, how long, amount produced, etc. And, lactation encouraging things for mother to eat/drink. Some are hokum and some are not.
    I had one baby who needed her hands free to eat and the second needed hands swaddled down so they did not flail and distract the process.
    Babies really need sleep. MOMS DO TOO. Rest more and do more fluids. You are doing really well!!!

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    1. Thank you so much! We’ve seen the lactstion specialist at our pediatrician’s office a few times, now. She’s wonderful and spent close to an hour with us at each of our last two visits. No tongue or lip tie. Latch has been good (historically…not so good at the moment with so much bottle feeding, but we keep at it!) I’ve just resolved that I produce less milk than some other women. My doctor speculated that it may be related to blood loss during childbirth, and I’ve tried a few supplements, but nothing with any major impact. Thank goodness for formula to fill in the gap. I think my heart would hurt more if my babe was hungry than it does knowing that I dont make all of the milk she needs. At least she is well fed! 😁

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    1. Thank you! I’ve slowly been learning that but am trying to keep the guilt to a minimum as much as I can so I can enjoy all of the things I do think I get right (including making my little lady smile!)

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  2. This sounds sooooo familiar. It’s like our minds just search for something to worry about or feel guilty over in those first few months. It sounds like you’re doing awesome and your reactions are completely normal (so are your baby’s!). This overwhelming feeling that you’re not doing enough or you’re not doing it right will either fade or we become acclimated to it – I’m not sure which. Hang in there and keeping loving her. That’s the best mothering there is.

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