Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Migraines, Cluster Feedings, & Baby Blues

Several friends had warned me during my pregnancy about the Baby Blues. That they often hit women as hormones go crazy re-regulating in the 10-14 day postpartum period. It isn't postpartum depression, per se, but more a strange predictable purging of hormones.

Now I know what they were talking about.

I have been feeling really tired & tearful the last few days. It has nothing to do with sweet Iyla herself- I am loving being her mama and still appreciating being able to be home with her. It is more to do with the overall lifestyle shift & feeling a bit shackled to the house. I am someone who is always out and about, running errands, hitting up my local coffee shop, meeting friends out, etc. With a newborn, however, it is MUCH harder to freely get out- I am lucky if we make it on one small outing a day, and that one outing takes a lot of preparation!

It was surprising to me to feel my reaction to BC's golf day Sunday & then his night out last night. This morning I asked if he might consider golfing every other Sunday, such that we could have a few weekends all together or - on that other Sunday- maybe I could get a little break and have some "me" time? To which he replied "I thought we talked about this before we were even pregnant." Meaning, we'd talked about making sure we didn't change our lives/schedules based on having a baby.

Well, the baby's here and these feelings are here too. Sure, it might be due to Baby Blues, but how can one really predict how a little one will change your lives and schedules? I definitely want BC to feel nurtured and to have his boy time, but it is hard to have him gone 6 days out of the week where those 6 days all bleed into one another for me- same routine with baby, etc.

This morning's exchange led me into serious tears, leading to further talks. BC communicated- and I know he is genuine in it- that he does want me to get the 'me' time to stay balanced. The tricky part is I prefer that time to happen during the daytime hours (vs. the night- I've been going to bed so early these days!), which pretty much only leaves Saturdays right now. Since that is the only day the three of us have all together I also don't want to give up that time. *Sigh* I have to trust we'll figure this all out- if we are loving & respectful of one another's needs & keep continuously checking in with each other, hopefully we will find a harmonious balance.

My ocular migraines have also returned with a vengeance, which does not help matters in the Baby Blues department. I have had 4 migraines in the last 4 days- including TWO on Monday. If I take my flushing niacin in time once I get the flashing lights I usually don't feel much pain; however, if I have to take that niacin close to a feeding time with Iyla I don't want to risk her getting the flushing effects. So last night at 3am saw me awakening to a migraine, taking a niacin pill, Iyla waking to feed, me feeding her for 10 minutes before feeling the 'flush' come on, then taking Iyla with me down to the kitchen to proceed to warm up a bottle of breast milk while simultaneously pumping & dumping what was left in my boobs.

Iyla also started a round of cluster feeding yesterday- where she was wanting to eat about every two hours vs the typical three. Newborns do this to help up breastfeeding moms' milk supply as they enter a growth spurt, and it is common to see happen around the two week old mark. Couple this with the migraines & lack of sleep and it is no wonder I am feeling the blues!

My Mother-in-law arrives Sunday for a 4 day visit, and it couldn't come at a better time. I am looking forward to seeing her and for her to meet Iyla, and am thinking that maybe, just maybe I will see if she is up for some one on one time with the little one as I head out for some solo errands!

In closing, I bring you a few more photos of Iyla. She is such a sweet, gentle, independent spirit and looking into that little face definitely helps me through these blues. : )

Post bath relaxation

She definitely has her Papa's feet! We call those "Lambert Toes"- long & slender

Snuggle time


  1. I just want you to know it gets easier to go out! It took a few months but I finally feel completely comfortable leaving the house with the baby to do whatever I need to do. I remember the first month or two it would really stress me out! But it all gets easier, I promise!

  2. And P.S. Every 2 hours doesn't sound much like cluster feeding, just sounds like a normal day to me! Cluster feeding is when they feed for 45 minutes you pull them off for 10 minutes and then they want back on for another 45 minutes!!! There are days when they literally are on your boob all day =)

    1. She went at it every hour for awhile today too- rooting and seeming voraciously hungry, then getting ticked off if she couldn't latch fast enough! Like a little Hungry Hungry Hippo. : )

  3. I have to say I got a little angry reading the part where your husband says he thought you discussed how you weren't going to change your lives or schedule after the baby. Because that really means HE doesn't want to change his life or schedule - YOUR life and schedule has changed DRAMATICALLY and it is not selfish for you to ask for him to compromise with you and only have every other weekend for golf (not even asking him to give it up, this is more generous than me for sure). You aren't smothering him or trying to take away something from him, you are asking for HELP. I don't know you or your situation but please know that advocating for yourself in wanting help from your parenting partner does not make you a crazy smothering bitchy wife, it makes you a human being who wants a partner in this crazy hard job. It isn't going to go away, even when the baby gets easier, you are still going to need some support... Iyla is his baby, too.

    Hang in there, you are not being irrational. This is really hard and your life and body have changed in ways you couldn't predict beforehand.

    1. Thanks Robin, that comment about discussing pre baby made me upset too! I think my husband realized his faux pas b/c after the exchange he came back into the room really feeling badly and wanting to let me know he DOES want me to feel nurtured and will be more open to that. Historically he is really good about these things. This is a new journey for us both, and I am sure this will not be our first hurdle to figure out! I am hopeful that perhaps the golf can balance out to every other week, so we can have more family time together & I can have the opportunity for a little 'me' time as well. Thank you so much for your thoughts & support! xo

  4. Newborns typically eat every 2 hrs. That's not cluster feeding. Your baby won't be eating every 3 for a while!! Your husband sounds like a selfish child. Talking about about a baby a d setting up expectations is totally unrealistic. It's not unreasonable for you to ask him to give up golf every other wknd. He should be thrilled and willing to make sacrifices for his family. Think how many sacrifice you have and will make. It's not fair for you to do ll the sacrificing. He sounds like a jerk...if he's acting so selfish already think of what will become. Yikes. Sounds like you are in for a rude awakening and a bumpy road ahead.....

    1. Thanks for your comments! Iyla has been feeding in 1 hour increments occasionally as well, but sounds like the cluster feeding may still be ahead of us! I definitely have full faith my husband and I will figure out a compromise with outings, golf, etc- historically he is really good at hearing me out and making sure that we are both nurtured. This is a new experience for both of us- I think my feelings took him by surprise, and I was obviously upset at his initial reaction, but he did soften and come back to talk further, so we will keep an active eye on this to make sure we stay in balance!

  5. Hey Honey,
    Gonna call you just as soon as I can get some kid-free time but just my quick thoughts:

    When I have felt similar resentment towards M for his hobbies taking him away from the family, I have tried to shift my thinking to a more positive and productive mindset: "how can we BOTH enjoy our hobbies/me time?" I find my resentment melts away when I know my own fun time is built into the weekly schedule.

    We have had to be creative in scheduling each of our hobbies (Sat late afternoon, Sun morning and Wed early evening, for examples). When Iyla has a more predictable sleep pattern, you can arrange for childcare for quick outings, though this may not happen for 6+ months.

    I can totally relate to feeling trapped at home with a newborn nursling but I would encourage you to get out with Iyla in a carrier. When you get used to wearing the baby on your person, it really opens up a lot of outings (a stroller can be cumbersome and it's just more "stuff" to deal with when the goal is to make it easy). I stayed at home a lot more with Noah b/c the thought of getting out seemed so hard. I don't have the choice with Ezra and it is much better this way (less isolating).

    Exercise, especially (all the better if you can go with a friend), will help with the blues and give a little "purpose" to the day. Find a mama friend with a slightly older baby who can help you with the first outings.

    Big hugs - newborn care is the hardest part of the parenting path for many moms, including me.


    1. Thanks sweet friend. I am currently at Bouldin Coffee shop with Iyla- and it feels WONDERFUL. What a difference getting a better nights' sleep & an outing make! It is indeed the little things. And I do know and trust it will only get easier from here- for now, I will try to plan small outings, and yes- am taking daily power walks around the neighborhood. Thankfully this is the time of year where Austin has amazing weather so we can get out more!