The Seven Week Itch

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Happy Labor Day!  I hope you are either lounging by the pool, out on a traveling adventure, marathoning shows on the couch, earning overtime at work, or doing whatever needs to be done with a smile.  We are sticking close to home for probably the first Labor Day weekend in a long time.  Since Labor Day weekend falls around our wedding anniversary, we historically take advantage of the extra day off work by celebrating another year together and going on a trip.  Life tip: Schedule your wedding around a long weekend whenever possible!

Seven Years...and Counting

Seven Years…and Counting

In our seven years of marriage we have been fortunate enough to have gone on anniversary trips to Las Vegas, New Orleans, San Antonio, a local winery (boy that didn’t go well), Maui, Colorado, and now for our seventh anniversary we stayed within a 15 mile radius of home.  Clearly that is a big departure from our normal type of celebration, but we made the best of it.

However, I have a confession.  The Seven Year Itch is real.  Rather, it is really the Seven Week Itch in our case, but it just so happens to fall on our seventh wedding anniversary.  Baby S is now seven weeks old and life hasn’t been going quite as smoothly as we had hoped.  I have written about this some, but while many babies are getting a little bit more settled into a routine that includes less crying and longer sleep at seven weeks, the chaos at our house has just been increasing.

Last week we hit a wall and took her back to the pediatrician who determined that my just avoiding dairy wasn’t enough for her as her gut was still clearly quite irritated likely via something getting passed through my milk.  That means that other common allergens/proteins that can bother the little one also got immediately cut from my diet (soy, egg, and nuts).  I’ve never had to be a “label reader”, so this has been a big adjustment that sadly seems to be helping some, but not as significantly as we hoped.  She is also now on reflux meds which also may be helping ever so slightly, but certainly aren’t the magic bullet either.

Given all that, on our “to do” list for next week is to get an appointment with a pediatric gastroenterologist and maybe even try a pediatric chiropractor….and do anything else that might help her.  Voodoo, wishing wells, magic potions, whatever are also welcome if they will help.  We hate knowing she is in pain, and day 51 of very limited sleep and lots of crying isn’t exactly a pleasurable environment for any of us, either.

However, even though we are living in chaos and are stressed (to say the least), we are getting itchy.  I’ve now been home for close to four months, and I am ready for at least a small adventure.  Even my husband who doesn’t nearly have the “travel bug” as badly as I do said he is ready for us to have a change of scenery.

We are coming up on our first trip as a family of four very soon, and while part of me is dreading it as Baby S isn’t as settled as we had hoped by this point, part of me is really looking forward to it just as something different.  I hope that she is a happy and comfortable baby by the time we depart, but even if she isn’t, the trip will hopefully be good for all of us to at least have a ‘slice of different’ interjected to our long and challenging days (and nights).

At this point being tired and stressed by the ocean at a resort sounds like a nice break from continuing to be tired and stressed in our house.  Having us all staying together in one hotel room will probably be very trying, but the attraction of something different is overshadowing the fear of how the logistics will play out.

If you have been traveling so frequently that you aren’t super excited about the next adventure on your calendar, or perhaps are even kind of dreading it, let me encourage you to just stay home.  Just stay home until you get the desire to explore again, because that desire really will come back…even if you know that leaving home will bring its own set of challenges.

I don’t know how our next adventure will play out, but after seven years together, and now seven itchy weeks as a family of four, I’m ready to find out.

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Comments

  1. Sorry to hear the first few weeks have been so tough! I wish I had a magic solution. If there’s anyone around who could take the baby (wailing or not) for even a couple of hours at night–even a tiny break can make a really big difference. Both my kids cried for a few weeks, but fortunately it didn’t last too long.

    When my daughter was a couple of months I was so tired of being at home we checked into a hotel with a beautiful water view for one night. I was up all the time, of course, but I really enjoyed listening to the birds and watching the fishing boats, and left feeling a lot better. It was such a nice break from staring at my bedroom walls. So I heartily recommend a change of scenery with a newborn. Good luck!

    • sfmom, we are lucky to live two streets from my parents who have stepped in to help more than I wish they had to. You are right that little breaks are so necessary and helpful.

  2. If S has dairy intolerance, it may take up to 2 months from the moment you stop dairy until it gets out of her system. And you need to be religious about that – reading the labels, asking at restaurants, etc. Even the smallest amount can start the problem again. It is amazing how many foods contain dairy, even those you would never expect. Good luck and hopefully she will get well soon and you can travel in style!

    • Julian, I cut dairy 2-3 weeks before she was born (so roughly 9-10 weeks ago) but just added soy and the others last week. I was pretty good about avoiding dairy, though probably wasn’t perfect with some of the hidden dairy. Since last week I have become very strict about it, so hopefully something will help. I almost can’t eat out right now other than at places that have ingredients listed. Whole Foods is my current favorite. Travel will be a real challenge!

      • My wife had to be on a strict dairy free diet until our baby turned 2 (we wanted to be extra safe and sure that he outgrew the allergy). It was a real challenge when traveling internationally (and even in the US). We can’t count the number of times when we gave strict instructions and they returned the food with cheese or butter spread all over it. Of course that didn’t stop us from traveling but it was a pain. When not traveling, we mostly cooked at home.

      • Also they told us that babies that have dairy intolerance, are also likely to have soy intolerance too, so we tried to avoid that as much as we could. Almond and coconut milk were our favorites in all shapes and forms – yogurt, ice-cream, etc. My wife even baked cookies with that.

  3. My wife is a doc and she has recommended Jarrobaby probiotics for babies with upset stomachs. We have had heard good things from a few moms recently. Good luck.

  4. Oh man, I had to do no dairy, no soy for a year with my daughter. It was a huge pain, but I did find that many restaurants were extremely helpful in showing me their ingredients and using substitutes where possible. On the plus side, it was fantastic for losing baby weight! Are you drinking any caffeine? Perhaps enlist some assistance from a lactation consultant as well to make sure that latch is good, no tongue tie,etc? Happy anniversary and I hope you get to go someplace soon.

  5. People think I’m nuts but I kept a big pair of ear covering, noise cancelling, the kind that you wear on tractors kind of headphones near the crib so I could hold my baby when she cried and not lose my mind. A calm mom is always good. Hang in there. This too shall pass.

  6. Summer: Would you consider going to bottle feeding? (gasp) Obviously not your preference but it may be the better choice for baby and the ability to have help with feedings.

    • Kimberly, only as a last resort. From what I’ve learned breastmilk is still best on kids with tummy issues as long as mom is willing to adjust diet. There are logistical benefits to formula though. 😉

  7. I’m sorry to hear about the baby’s eating issues. My son had reflux as an infant and it took us several long, long weeks of seeing the pediatrician every week and changing formulas to finally get in to see a pediatric gastroenterologist. Once we finally did, she was very aggressive (in a non-invasive way) with putting him on reflux meds, ordering a swallowing test to check for reflux at the base of the esophagus, and putting him on a very neutral formula (neocate). While the formula was very expensive, it seemed to make all the difference to the little guy, who stopped screaming at every feeding.

    So, I guess my message is to talk to lots of docs and do what feels right for you and your family. If you don’t like the first opinion, go get a second one. That way you will be sure that the treatment is not only working for the baby, but that you are not leaving a stone unturned that you want to utilize.

    • Totally agree with your approach. Have appts scheduled within the next week (after multiple attempts). We will keep pushing til we find a solution or she outgrows it, whatever comes first.

  8. I feel so bad for you, but you seem to have a very healthy perspective on the whole thing. It is nice to have a change of pace of any sort, even if you are bringing chaos with you. Hang in there!

    If you are really going to go to a chiropractor, most good chiropractors I’ve ever been to adjust infants as well, so you may not need to seek out a specialist. Might make it a bit easier on you. Have had all 4 babies adjusted since they were infants, and I do think it has helped their overall health. Not a cure-all, but what is?

    • Kristi, I’m lucky that a friend recommend a chiro that specializes in pedi and is nearby (and taking new patients), so that part was easy. Fingers crossed it helps at least a little.

  9. Good luck with you little one. You will find a solution eventually, and will look back on these days with an “I don’t know how we survived” attitude. Just writing in to say I love your website as we get not only the ups in your life but also a few of the not-so-ups. Your site was the one that spurred me on to collect miles and points and after a year we had almost enough to travel to Disney. We had to throw in about $1000 extra dollars but the 5 of us had a great time. Thanks for keepin’it real!!

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