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Old 08-31-2012, 02:11 PM   #1
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Dealing with pregnancy exhaustion and caring for littles

This post may be slightly incoherent due to pregnancy induced exhaustion. Just a warning.

I currently have *only* 3 kids (ages 5, 4, and 20 mos) and I'm 31 weeks along with baby #4. I've always had anemia during my pregnancies but I avoid the iron supplements because they tear up my stomach pretty horribly. But with this pregnancy...I am just completely exhausted. I wake up from a solid 8 hours of sleep feeling like I didn't get any sleep at all. My oldest 2 have outgrown nap time, so I can't catch a small nap during the day, which I'm sure many of you can relate to. We also home school, so we usually use nap time to do some of the work that is more difficult to manage when the toddler is awake. I'm almost tempted to try the supplements again to see if they make a difference, but I'm really nervous about the stomach issues happening again. How do you ladies manage the pregnancy fatigue with other non-napping kids running around? I try to get to bed earlier, but since DH works a lot of mandatory overtime, he usually works from 6am-8pm and then we try to spend at least a little bit of time together from 8pm-10pm or so. That time is important to both of us and I think it's really important to our marriage as well. The fatigue is really getting to me, though. I'm so tired that I'm literally in tears by 4pm!! There have literally been times when I couldn't take the boys to karate because I was afraid that if I drove, I might fall asleep at the wheel.

We do have family around, but my 2 SILs are also pregnant (read: exhausted) with their 5th and 6th kids, my sister is in college and works, my MIL is busy helping her elderly mother, my parents both work full time. So there isn't really anyone I could ask to help out. Everyone else is just as busy and/or exhausted as I am! And hiring a mother's helper isn't in our budget. I'm just so tired. So, so, so, so tired.

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Old 08-31-2012, 02:22 PM   #2
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Re: Dealing with pregnancy exhaustion and caring for littles

I completely and totally understand, from the anemia to the upset stomach as a result, to the lack of nap, I get all of it. There are times I am SO sleepy, I am actually falling asleep sitting up. The only difference is my oldest is 16 instead of 5, which does, on my most desparate days, give me some reprieve once she gets home from school.

Unfortunately, I don't have an answer. I am 2 weeks ahead of you, at 33wks today, and I am really just counting down the days...and giving up a bit. Right now, I am sitting on my butt on the couch, watching tv with my 4 yr old running around outside and my 2 yr old destroying something in the playroom. I have given up caring.

I DO try to make sure that I get as much as I can done shortly after getting up in the morning, so that I can say I accomplished SOMETHING before I sat on my butt all day.
Also, do eggs for breakfast as often as you can. I have more energy when I eat eggs for breakfast. If you can do it for lunch too, like some hardboiled eggs, even better. The protein can give you some energy and it does help with the iron too.
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:28 PM   #3
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Re: Dealing with pregnancy exhaustion and caring for littles

Mama, try Floradix. It is an iron supplement that is food based and will not cause you stomach issues. It helped me tremendously while pregnant!

That being said, battling pregnancy exhaustion with little ones is very tough. I completely understand. Last year when I was pregnant with my 5th, my DH was working in another state and only came home on the weekends. The only way I made it through was to go to bed early with the kids (at like 8pm). Maybe you could start going to bed early during the week but then staying up with your DH on Fri and Sat nights, and then sleeping in a bit later the next morning.
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Old 08-31-2012, 03:21 PM   #4
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Re: Dealing with pregnancy exhaustion and caring for littles

Floradix is amazing! Give it a try!
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Old 08-31-2012, 03:26 PM   #5
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Re: Dealing with pregnancy exhaustion and caring for littles

Thank you for the suggestion!! Is Floradix something that CVS would carry or do I need a script?
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Old 08-31-2012, 04:17 PM   #6
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Re: Dealing with pregnancy exhaustion and caring for littles

Floradix is available at Lori's in Henrietta. But it is cheaper other places but Lori's will have it on the shelf. It's wonderful but if you are avoiding iron (I can't take many iron supplements either), increase your vit C intake. Vit C will help you process the iron you do take in from natural sources better. Just doing that has often kept me from being anemic during pregnancies and I have a thalassemia trait which causes me to often become incredibly anemic. Chelated iron is also often helpful and tends not to cause the stomach issues.

I used to be really great at enforcing quiet time for everyone. Totally slacking on that now but think it will be reinstated soon. With just young ones, I'd honestly just gate them in a room, pop in a video and rest/crash on the couch for a hour in the afternoon. I've also been known to get pretty strict in the mornings about "No one my leave their bedroom until such and such a time" so that I can be sure I have some time in the mornings if needed. I know it's rough. Right now I am sick on top of pregnant but I have the two older ones who can help quite a bit (my oldest made a carrot cake today for me just to be nice) but when I just had younger ones pregnancy often meant paper plates, sandwiches for dinner, cereal for lunch, and frozen pizza because my husband traveled for work 3 to 4 weeks a month. It was rough. Are you willing to ask some of the local families you know with teens if someone would be willing to be a mother's helper for the last few weeks for you? Just to come in and play with the kids so you can nap? I'm sure there are few near you who would be willing to help.
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Old 08-31-2012, 04:20 PM   #7
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Re: Dealing with pregnancy exhaustion and caring for littles

Oh, I meant ask for volunteer mother's helpers. Kids often need community service hours for confirmation, scouts, school, etc. And Mom's who have been pregnant with small ones understand you need help. I know my oldest would be more than willing to do something like that for someone if needed because he remembers the family who did that for us when my husband was deployed during my 5th pregnancy.
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Old 08-31-2012, 05:05 PM   #8
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Re: Dealing with pregnancy exhaustion and caring for littles

Totally been there. It is really hard! I suggest Floradix and what ever you need to do to rest in the afternoon. I trained myself to take naps while my littles watched a movie in the same room, our bedroom. I've semi napped under a blanket, on the couch, while the little bit olders watched the littler ones and watched tv. If you need to table some subjects for a time, do it. If you need to drop an activity this fall, do it. Whatever gets you through. This time is very short, but a well rested mom is crucial, at least for me and to mange everything else.
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:36 AM   #9
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Re: Dealing with pregnancy exhaustion and caring for littles

Thanks, everyone!! It's hard for a mom to relax. I tried going to bed at 8:30 last night...and laid there for 2 hours thinking about all of the things that I could be doing instead of sleeping. Such a vicious cycle! I took an iron supplement last night and I do feel a little bit better today. No stomach issues yet. I'm sure after 3-4 days of it, I won't be feeling so hot, though. I'm going to get the Floradix ASAP. We usually "do school" Tuesday-Saturday, but this week we fell behind because I wasn't feeling well. I think I'm just going to call this week a wash, take today off, and try to get us all back on track next week. And try not to let the mommy guilt creep in while I try to regain my energy.
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:55 AM   #10
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Re: Dealing with pregnancy exhaustion and caring for littles

Quote:
Originally Posted by millermom1110 View Post
Thanks, everyone!! It's hard for a mom to relax. I tried going to bed at 8:30 last night...and laid there for 2 hours thinking about all of the things that I could be doing instead of sleeping. Such a vicious cycle! I took an iron supplement last night and I do feel a little bit better today. No stomach issues yet. I'm sure after 3-4 days of it, I won't be feeling so hot, though. I'm going to get the Floradix ASAP. We usually "do school" Tuesday-Saturday, but this week we fell behind because I wasn't feeling well. I think I'm just going to call this week a wash, take today off, and try to get us all back on track next week. And try not to let the mommy guilt creep in while I try to regain my energy.
Are you teaching K to your 5y/o? We spend about 45 minutes with 5y/o's, I have w/ all my K kids and about an hour w/ my 1st graders. Ahhh, the days If you did nothing w/ your 5y/o until after baby was born and you had time to recover. I give it 6-8 weeks, it would not matter. I am telling from the perspective of the other side. I have two that graduated this past May, one in college. Don't be so hard on yourself. Also, we do school 4 days a week, day 5, Friday, is cleaning, menu planning and errands.
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