Constantly Worried 

I have caught myself constantly worrying lately. It’s at an all time high for some reason. It mainly focuses on Isabella but I would be lying if I didn’t say there were other things that have popped up in my mind. I told my sister the other day I feel like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. Like something is going to happen. The best way to explain it is I can’t get comfortable, like I’ve been holding my breath. 

From the moment we found out I was pregnant with Isabella I’ve been holding my breath. After she was born in the NICU, I remember how I tried to avoid looking at the monitors. Sometimes things would start beeping, it would stop reading her temp or her heart rate. I could visually see that she was ok but regardless the worry was always there. 

When we brought her home I would swaddle her and put her in the pack and play next to our bed. I found that I couldn’t sleep even with her right there. I would keep my cell phone light on so that I could sit up and see her to make sure she was still breathing. I would fall asleep but never a deep sleep. 

I eventually moved her into the bed with me. She wasn’t sleeping well on her own at all and discovering I could breast feed her lying down was a life saver. Having her close has been comforting and she doesn’t cry at night anymore she just wakes up, I feed her, and we go to sleep again. Unfortunately I still can’t shake the worry. I will lay my hand on her belly as we fall asleep to feel her breathing. On more then one occasion she will breath so shallow that I panic because it appears she’s not breathing so I pick her up to shake her awake. 

Zach and I have been debating on training her to sleep in a bassinet by our bed but I’m at odds of how I feel about any of it. I’m being torn in half. When she’s tired she WANTS to be right next to me. She will cry so hard until I lay down with her. We may have created a habit of her nursing to sleep. I’ve tried moving her after she falls asleep, she wakes right up. My body is stiff from always sleeping in the same position each night, but in my mind it’s worth it because I love having her right there. 

I have so much guilt because of the way that she was born, that I’ve noticed it effects all my decisions with her. I feel like because she didn’t get her mommy right after she was born and even HOURS after that, deep down subconsciously in her tiny mind she’s being effected by it. 

Yesterday I got a lecture from the pediatrician about sleeping with her. Bed sharing has a bad stigma and even if I explained that I’ve done a ton of research, I’m a light sleeper, I keep blankets and pillows away from her face, I don’t roll over etc I will still be made out to be endangering my daughter’s life. But what’s the alternative? Her sleeping in a bassinet and me checking her CONSTANTLY to make sure she’s ok? I worry she’s too cold, too hot, that she can breath ok, and as weird as it sounds that she feels like I didn’t abandon her. 

I feel like I’m going crazy with worry trying to decide what to do and how to handle it all. I am so scared of SIDS or of something happening to her it is overwhelming me. I have already lost one child and this fear of losing another is debilitating. 

I have always been so good with fear and worry but I can tell you right now they are both winning at this point and I hate it. 

If you have experience with this or have any insight please send it my way. Is this my life anymore?? I know you always worry about your children, but how do you not let it consume you after you already know the devastation of losing your other beautiful perfect girl. 

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  1. afterevalyn

    March 2, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    You are not the first to worry when it comes to your children, and you will definitely not be the last. Although I do not have my rainbow yet, I constantly worry about another pregnancy and making sure any baby in the future is safe. Unfortunately, I don’t have any break-through advice . . . just wanted to let you know you’re not alone. x

    1. Crystal S

      March 2, 2017 at 4:48 pm

      Thank you so much friend. I think after loss sometimes you tend to feel alone. It’s nice to be reminded that I’m not xx

  2. Jana

    March 2, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    Crystal, all five of my kids slept with us as babies…. and nursing while laying down was also my saving grace. We did have a bassinet right next to the bed and, at times would put baby in it, but it usually never lasted long. Nursing to sleep was also my norm. I know there is a lot of negativity around co-sleeping. My rationale was that generations and generations before us did so. Who is to say that it is wrong now? If it works for you, good. If you’d like to try another way, go for it, but not out of guilt. Make sure you are taking lots of naps! I usually napped twice a day with my young ones. You are doing great! Your fears are normal! Ask what others do, but ultimately, you are the one living your life. You need to do what works for you and your family. Love ya! -Jana

    1. Crystal S

      March 2, 2017 at 4:51 pm

      Thank you Jana your words have made me feel better! I always forget to nap I think that alone would do wonders. I don’t know why it’s been so hard to make a decision but you are right, it’s my family so ultimately it’s what’s best for us. Love you!!

  3. Anonymous

    March 2, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    I have never lost a baby, so I can’t begin to relate to the fear of losing another. But, I would not let my first sleep in my bed. I was constantly up to nurse her and rock her. I didn’t get any sleep. In fact we put her in a full sized bed when she was 9 months because I could sleep by her until she went to sleep. My second and third I kept in a rock and play next to my bed, but nursed them while laying in my bed. Eventually they just started sleeping in my bed. My almost 3 year old has only been sleeping all night long in his own bed for about 6 months. My 1 year old still sleeps in my bed most of the time. I always laid them by me because I can sleep without moving and would never roll when they were next to me. I definitely think that it can be dangerous, but I also think that we know what’s best for our child and what we can safely do. I’ve never been concerned because I know how I sleep.

    1. Crystal S

      March 2, 2017 at 4:53 pm

      That’s definitely how I’ve felt I know how I sleep. I think it’s others that make me start questioning myself. Thank you for your thoughts and comment!!

  4. allthethings3

    March 3, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    My oldest daughter had issues sleeping and I worked in childcare and so had been trained over and over about SIDS. I was terrified but she wouldn’t sleep unless she was moving. Bouncing or swinging. I read a book that saved me Happiest Baby on the block. I’m not sure if it would help you but I know there are books out there about co sleeping that might make you feel better. Our doctor wasn’t supportive either and it caused so much angst for me. Also, I’ve battled anxiety and for a long time when I did finally get my daughter to sleep in her own room, I had to sleep on her floor so that I could hear if someone was going to come in the window and steal her. I knew that was crazy but I couldn’t help it. Be good to yourself and maybe think about getting some real help. And remember that you are not alone. You are not a bad mom, you want to best for your baby but there are no easy answers.

    1. Crystal S

      March 3, 2017 at 5:33 pm

      I’ll have to look up that book thank you! I feel like I started to really question myself after the pediatrician gave me a lecture. I have gone back and forth with her sleeping with me for some time because it’s frowned upon but never like this. Meditation has always helped calm me but I haven’t figured out yet how to work that in with her yet. Thank you for understanding and for the advice!

      1. allthethings3

        March 4, 2017 at 9:29 am

        I thought of something else to tell you, this too shall pass! Your baby will get bigger and she won’t need to nurse in the night and won’t need to sleep with you forever. You’ll know once it’s time to move her if you choose to do so. You can’t really spoil them now, comforting your baby when they are this little does good things for them, they feel safe and cared for. I know there are books that explain it better. It’s good to question yourself sometimes, are you doing the right things but then you need to give yourself a break. Hang in there mama!

        1. Crystal S

          March 5, 2017 at 2:32 pm

          Thank you so much I tend to forget this stage is temporary. But then I start feeling bad wishing it away 😬 I can’t win sometimes haha I appreciate the advice so much! I can say I’m feeling 99% better then I was the other day. Hugs mama xx

          1. allthethings3

            March 5, 2017 at 8:01 pm

            Good to hear!! Sometimes you just need a little bit of time and a different perspective.

  5. Messy Wawa

    March 3, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Breastfeeding to sleep is never a bad habit. Breastmilk contains sleep hormones for baby and releases the same for mum so it’s just as nature intended. I’m sure you know how to cosleep safely. Sounds like your doctor could do with reading some updated advice on safe cosleeping.

    1. Crystal S

      March 3, 2017 at 5:36 pm

      Yes I’m very careful when I do it. I think the problem is all the conflicting studies out there. There is so much pressure to do the right thing as a mom it definitely gets overwhelming. Thank you so much for your comment!

      1. Messy Wawa

        March 4, 2017 at 1:48 am

        I felt so confused when my boy was little too. So many people telling me to do different things! In the end I decided to do what he wanted me to do, rather than try to live up to other people’s impossible expectations. I think you’re doing an amazing job.

        1. Crystal S

          March 5, 2017 at 2:29 pm

          It’s true it seems like everyone has their opinions. Thank you so much!

  6. Brianna

    March 13, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    You are so not alone in this. When we brought Gus home, we put him in his crib in his own room right away because I knew that if we put him in our room first I would never want to move him out. I would have to check on him every single night before I went to bed to make sure that he was still breathing. If I didn’t do that, I would get anxiety and not be able to sleep.

    You will find what works for you. As long as what you are doing is not negatively impacting you, her or anyone else in your family, then it works for you and that’s great.

    1. Crystal S

      March 14, 2017 at 6:55 pm

      Thanks Brianna!! How was it having him in his room did you get anxious at all wondering if he was ok? It’s like a double edged sword sometimes. I just have to figure out what makes me less anxious and stick to that!!

      1. Brianna

        March 15, 2017 at 2:30 pm

        From when he was born until he was 3.5 we lived in a house where our bedroom door to his bedroom door was around 15 feet. We would put him to bed, then before I went to bed I would sneak into his room to make sure he was still breathing. Then I could go to sleep without worry. We also had an audio monitor, so I could hear him if he awoke in the night. He had a night nursing until 9 months old. I think I finally turned the monitor off when we took the front off his crib to turn into a toddler bed when he was 2y2m. With Lucy, we had a video monitor, so I could look at her to make sure she was still alive. There were some nights, though, where I was very nervous with her, and would sneak in her room to make sure she was breathing. She’ll be 2.5y in April and I still use the video monitor with her.

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