I’m finding myself under a lot of pressure to perform as a mum. In Belgium, babies are followed medically quite closely by the state so one gets to go to free consults with paediatricians who basically weight, measure and check your babies’ progress. This means we have our regular paediatrician (Regped), the state paediatrician (Stateped) and the neonatal paediatrician (Neoped) that see my girls regularly. As a consequence, we get enormous amounts of input by professionals which are sometimes at odds with each other.
Food: Stateped raised her eyebrows when told the girls still had 5 meals a day and was adamant we start giving them bread for some strange reason. Regped just nods when I tell her what they eat and the Neoped asked us to keep as we are doing (veg/meat/fish/fruit and milk) as the girls are growing up well.
Charts: Neoped and Regped always measure the girls against their adjusted age chart (while double checking where they are in their actual age charts) but the Stateped thinks it’s stupid and even asked us “why? when you do stop doing the adjusted age thing?” errrr, at the age of two years old (or so we’ve been told by any paediatrician who knows about premature babies).
For now, we’re going with Neoped for everything, really. She seems by far the most interested, reasonable and invested Doctor of all three. But the seeds planted by other doctors often make me doubt if we’re doing what’s right. Food wise, I know we should aim to end up with four meals a day and therefore increase calories during the daytime meals (while ensuring at least 500-700ml of formula a day). Now, the girls rarely finish their 210ml bottle, so how on earth am I meant to ensure they drink 240 or 270ml bottles twice a day? They’re already with thickened milk because of reflux, I can always start adding cereal to the evening bottle (6.30pm) and see if it helps them sleep through the WHOLE night, but I fear it might be overly thick. Anyone with any suggestions welcomed… did cereal in the milk help your babies sleep?
Sometimes I feel I should be pushing them a bit more to eat more… sometimes I think they’ll eat what they want (and can)…
I feel there’s more to be done for sleeping through the night. I just cannot find a solution to the problem. It all used to be in a good direction before the illnesses took over. It all seems to be going backwards. Is it food? Is it naps? Should I put the crazy baby that has decided to wake up every hour SCREAMING MURDER in a separate room? Wouldn’t that make her even crazier? Is she screaming cause she’s hurting? Is she hungry? Is she teething? Is she doing it for attention? Does she have separation anxiety? Three paediatricians following their progress and none of them have a solution to propose.
Sleep deprivation makes me a worse mum. I try so hard to sooth my crying baby calmly. I rock and hug, and shhh and pat. Hours later, after being woken up repeatedly every 10, 15, 20, 5 minutes, I’m finding myself as angry and mentally deranged as I’ve ever been. Screaming to my poor baby to go to sleep (“what do you want????” seems to be a favourite of mine), thinking she’s being selfish, frantically putting her in prams, arms, rockers while she obviously keeps getting more and more freaked out by the crazy woman supposedly taking care of her. Who am I when I’m in that state? I’m so ashamed of how badly I deal with a baby that’s too tired to sleep. Then the morning comes, lights come on, she smiles at me when I hug her tight hoping she’ll never remember the night… I’ll remember, and I swear over and over again that next time I’ll deal with it better. I do sometimes, but I also don’t other times.
When I’m freaking out in the middle of the night I feel like just letting them cry themselves to sleep in their room. I just know that if we decide to do that, we need to do it in a planned manner rather than just leaving them in hysterics in a moment of sleepless induced desperation. But then when push comes to shove and I have all my mental faculties back (or as much as I can have at the moment) I shy away from the cry it out solution. We fear it’s impossible with three babies that, if left alone, will cry until they’re sick. Controlled comforting doesn’t work if we can’t pick them up as they won’t get any comfort from a tap on the belly. Anyone care to share how they did with their triplets?