Friday, December 28, 2012

The Night Time Nurser

From discussing baby nap sleeping to baby night sleeping.

The naps are getting better guys, SO much better.

MOST days he manages a 1-2 hour nap followed by half hour naps for the rest of the day.

But I'll take it because I believe he'll gradually continue to take longer naps and squeeze a few short ones out of the day...no need to rush, as long as I see it improving I'm fine to let it happen on it's own.

Now...on to nighttime sleeping.

Here's my situation:

We co-sleep.  I loved co-sleeping when it helped us get more sleep and we both stayed in bed all night without getting up.  Even if he fed often it wasn't that disruptive.  BUT something has changed recently and more often than not nighttime feedings are followed by a screaming baby who requires a burping, which means...I have to get up out of bed.

If I have to get up out of bed for nighttime nursing then the baby might as well be in his own bed.  The ONLY benefit to baby sharing the bed is never getting up in the middle of the night.

Ok, there's the suppressed fertility as well, but I'm not looking for (or holding out hope for) baby to sleep over 5 hours...if I can get a night with more than one 3-hour stretch I would call it a success.

So not only are night nursing sessions not working anymore but Baby Jett also likes to feed EVERY HOUR from about 4-5am onward until he either spits up because he's been eating so much or it's time to get up for the day sometime between 8-9am.  No amount of shushing and patting from me will convince him that he wants anything other than MORE MILK MOM!  If he doesn't get it we get more crying!

We used to survive the night with NO CRYING whatsoever which was part of why I loved co-sleeping so much.  But NOW THERE'S LOTS OF CRYING.

Something isn't working anymore.

One thing I've learned as a mom, if something isn't working and you are resenting it...CHANGE IT!

So something has to change.

While here in Oregon where we have no crib Dom has started taking baby downstairs to sleep with him on the couch from about 6-7am onward because BABY DOESN'T NEED TO EAT EVERY HOUR and what do you know, when baby isn't next to me he sleeps just fine and doesn't wake up to eat.

So, NEW GOAL for 2013 is get baby to sleep in his crib for at least part of the night.

Here's where I need some help...

I've tried to start this several times.  I want to put the baby down in his own bed to start the night and then bring him into bed with me after his first nighttime feeding, keep him there through the 2nd feeding and then stick him back in his own bed again after the 2nd feeding with the hope that if he's not next to mama he won't keep waking up thinking he's hungry because 2 feedings at night should be plenty.  And OMG what if we had 3 hours between each feeding?!  Or dare I dream for more?!

But BABY WILL NOT STAY DOWN at the beginning of the night until mama is in bed with him.  I've tried moving his bedtime earlier and I've tried moving his bedtime later trying to figure out if he just wasn't ready for bed yet or if he was overtired etc etc.  But no matter when I try to put him down he will continue to wake up every 15-30 minutes until I finally give up and take him to bed with me and lay down next to him.  Often it doesn't even require anything more than that, no extra nursing or cuddling there's just something about mama being in the bed with him that finally settles him.

I both love and hate this at the same time.

I love the silent still sleeping baby next to me when I go to sleep.  

I hate that I don't have any evening time to myself, or with my husband, because he needs constant attention until I go to bed.  I am starting to resent this part thus...time to change it.

To add insult to injury he's also not improving the night time feeds.

Last night I don't think I even had a 2 hour stretch.

IT WAS BAD.

So, somebody help me!

How do I get my baby to fall asleep and stay asleep NOT in bed with me?!?!?!

We have a bedtime routine that starts after his last cat nap of the day.  We take a bath, we put jammies on, we have a little play time to get any extra energy out, we read a book or two, we nurse and then we wait for signs of tiredness, yawns, rubbing eyes or fussiness and then we put him down.

What we get is a baby who thinks this is just another nap and we're back in the bedroom trying to get him back to sleep after half an hour.

Things we've tried to get him to stay asleep:

Daddy putting baby to bed.
Mama nursing him to sleep in the big bed and then sneaking away.
Swaddling.
No swaddling.
Belly sleeping both in crib and in the big bed.
Bedtime anywhere between 7 and 10pm.

I need help.  What do you guys do to get your baby to fall asleep at night?  And how do you get them to STAY ASLEEP???

I should add, Baby Jett is right around the 4 month sleep regression age if you adjust his age from his early arrival.  He also has just learned how to roll from his back to his belly.  I know that 4 months sucks for baby sleeping and I know that new skills can disrupt sleep, PERHAPS that is all this is and next week he will go back to normal nighttime sleeping or maybe next week he will go down in his crib.  Either way I'd love baby sleep solutions anyway!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Very Very Late 4 Month Update

I didn't do these monthly Baby Jett things...and now I regret it.

I'm not gonna call it postpartum depression because as far as I understand it that comes from the hormones right after you give birth right?  But that whole dairy/colic fiasco really fucked with me and I had absolutely no desire to document and remember things about my baby for a 6 week span there...so I didn't write any of it down...which now makes me sad.  

But I'll try to make up for it now.

And I did take the piccies!





I'm retarded and forgot to take the 4 month photo at home (we're in Oregon for the month of December) on the pretty rug...boo on me.

So, here we are at 4 months Baby Jett:
  • Is somewhere in the 15-16 lb range (Dr. apppt Jan. 4 for his real weight) but we bumped up his BumGenius diapers to the medium size which is supposed to happen at 16 lbs, so he must be close to that.  He's still pretty tall and skinny though, so most of his clothes are now 6 month because of the length and are generally a bit baggy around the middle!
  • Rolls from belly to back, though most of the time he blatantly refuses, but he CAN do it when he chooses.
  • Love mirrors, if you stick him in front of a mirror he just smiles and smiles and smiles at himself.
  • Does amazing on playmats for good chunks of time.  He spends his hour of awake time in the morning happily amusing himself on his playmat.
  • Still nurses around the clock, rarely going for longer than 2-3 hours but some days is so distracted  WITH LIFE that he goes 4 hours or so without nursing...on those days he feeds ALL NIGHT LONG.
  • Can grab with both hands and will stick anything he can get his hands on into his mouth.
  • Loves looking at food!  He doesn't actually watch us eat, but loves looking at the food on the plate.
  • Is a smiley happy baby most of the time and has THE BEST LAUGH I've ever heard come out of a baby.  No bias at all.
  • Only cries when he needs something.  Food, diaper change, different position, burp, nap etc.
  • Is generally a craptastic sleeper.  Naps are slowly improving but nighttime is a crap shoot.  Sometimes we get longer stretches but some nights LIKE LAST NIGHT baby is feeding every hour or two...so much for unlocking baby sleep secrets!  He will sleep on his own for naps but at nighttime he just wants to cuddle up to mommy and wakes up the second I try to sneak away from him!
  • Loves the TV.  I don't sit him down in front of it and let the TV babysit him, but if it's on and I'm sitting on the couch and he's smiling away at the TV in my arms I don't force him away from it...he especially likes Sofia Vergara.
  • Will go to anybody, no stranger danger yet, but wants mommy when he's super tired and cranky.
  • After a bit of a rocky stretch, he is turning into an awesome baby =)
First snow!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Because All I Can Talk About is Baby Sleep

Well kids...It finally happened.

My baby slept through the night.

Don't get too excited...sadly I'm talking the "technical" sleeping through the night, not what most of us consider through the night.

That's right folks...he slept for 5 WHOLE HOURS...in a row.

I woke up at 2am and thought my boob was going to explode.

It was amazing.

I lay there torn between desperately wanting some relief for my boob and wanting to wait and see how long the kid would sleep if I left him alone.

Luckily it was obviously my mommy radar that woke me up because about 2 minutes after I awoke the kid started squirming for some food!

As exciting as this all is, it's unfortunate that I did not get the same 5 hours of sleep as he went to bed at 9pm and I went to bed at 10pm, but I'll take the 4 hours!  

Can you believe I haven't slept longer than 4 hours in a row in the 4.5 months that Baby Jett has been alive?

And can you believe that was the first time that my boobs have EVER gone 5 hours without feeding the baby?

This 5 hours thing was awesome for more than the fact that it's a milestone of "sleeping through the night", I also seem to have unlocked some baby sleep secrets that actually worked!

I've discussed Baby Jett's odd half hour napping and how he takes like 7 million naps a day because he only naps for a half hour and he wants to nap an hour and a half after he awoke from his last half hour nap.  I've also discussed my frustration with trying to get him down for the night, in that he seems to think 7:30 is just time for another nap and he won't REALLY go down for the night until 9-10pm.

Well, yesterday I did a little experiment.  

I kept him up after he woke up for the day for a full hour and a half, whereas usually he's down an hour after he gets up.  Then I kept him up for 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours between each nap, which drastically reduced our naps from 6 down to only 4.  And finally I didn't put him down for bed until 9:00 which was 2 hours after his last nap ended at 7:00pm.

AND IT WORKED.

Not only did he take an hour and a half nap for his first nap of the day (followed by some 30-40 minutes naps) but he also SLEPT FOR 5 HOURS immediately after I put him down for the night.  Had it not been so cold I COULD HAVE PUT HIM TO SLEEP IN HIS CRIB and he would have slept for the 5 hours...I know this because my husband is gone and there's lots of room in the bed and I wasn't touching the baby for that 5 hours!!!

Please...everyone hold the applause for Jesica finally getting her baby to sleep without snuggling into her boob...I know the rest of you figured this out when your babies were like 6 weeks old and I feel like I'm late to the baby sleeping party but I have to repeat it again tonight before it's real!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Boobs Revisited

I'd like to revisit the status of my boobs.

When last I left you here these babies were producing...and spraying....milk like there was no tomorrow.

And they were big.  Full D's.  That was big for me folks, I know some of you have like HH's or some other crazy letter with your new mama boobs, but D's were big for me!

Everyone told me that things would calm down and settle somewhere around the 12 week mark.

Well 12 weeks came and went and we were STILL making enough milk for me to provide for my own baby, pump 5 oz bottles even after a feeding and also donate to several women in my midwife group who didn't produce enough milk.  

I was convinced it was all a bunch of crap and that I was just going to make tons of milk forever.  I was going to be like the Mother Teresa of Nursing and just continue to donate milk to women with low supply everywhere.

And then FINALLY somewhere around Week 16, 4 months in to this whole breastfeeding thing, the boobs got the message that I didn't give birth to triplets and relaxed.

It was such a subtle change that I wouldn't have noticed it except for the fact that my brand new bras suddenly didn't fit.

I found these really pretty nursing bras whist in London and bought them in D's.  I tried them on, amusingly spraying everywhere all over the dressing room while trying them on and they fit beautifully.


Two weeks later after we'd returned home my beautiful new bras suddenly didn't fit anymore.

Sad face.

So, here we are 4 months of nursing and my boobs have shrunk back to their pre-pregnancy size of 34C and they are now just kind of always full of a certain amount of milk.  Engorgement is rare and deflation is rare, they are just sort of always semi-full , so much so that I have a lot of trouble remembering which boob baby last fed on.  Before it was easy because one boob was huge and the other was not, now they always feel the same!

Annoyingly, pumping now only gets me 3-4 oz. and that's every drop and takes half an hour.  I used to be able to pump 5 oz. in 20 minutes and that was with me choosing to stop the pump because pumping is tedious and boring, not because my boob was done giving milk.  

In hindsight I should have built up more of a freezer stock in those first 4 months...but they would of been tainted with dairy...so nevermind!  Advice to new mamas though, build up your freezer stock before your milk regulates!

I already miss my D cups.

So there you have it, oversupply or not, things DO eventually regulate in the milk department!!!  How long did it take some of you other new mamas???  Longer than the 3 months they promised?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Baby Continues to Change it Up

The baby is always one step ahead of me.

Always.

Just when I think I have everything figured out, he changes it up.

As we discussed here, he was only napping for half hour at a time, after trying everything and I mean EVERYTHING including letting him sleep on me again...he still woke up after half hour...I decided he was just going to be a half hour napper and that I would have to accept that and work around it.  I wasn't going to continue to stress about how much he was sleeping, all it was doing was making me crazy and definitely NOT making him sleep more.

Our "schedule" went something like this:

7-8am - Baby up so everybody gets up

8am-9am - Almost exactly one hour later - Baby down for a half hour nap

Then the day proceeded from there with baby needing a nap no more than 2 hours after the last time he got up.

This resulted in 5 half hour naps in the day (sometimes 6 if bedtime at 7-7:30 resulted in a half hour nap on the boob and baby not really going down for the night until 9pm) and me feeling like all I did everyday was put the baby down for a nap over and over and over again.

But whatever, if that's what he wanted to do then FINE I was adjusting and working with his schedule he made up, tedious though it may be.

And then out of nowhere...he started to take one 1-hour nap a day.  Which still meant he had about 5 naps everyday and that he was a cranky beast by the time 7pm, his "bedtime", rolled around because lots of half hour naps does not a happy baby make. 

And then, AND THEN, this morning he took a glorious long nap, we're at 1 hour and 45 minutes...and he's still asleep.

WTF Baby?

I mean, I'm thankful for the extra time to myself, but guess what I've done?  

Absolutely nothing.  Because I kept thinking he's going to wake up?!  

For the first half hour I just sat in front of the computer with my coffee, enjoying my half hour to myself.  After we hit half hour I sat anxiously by the baby monitor waiting for him to wake up.  Because normally that's all I have!

When he made it to 45 minutes I went and did the dishes and then went back to watch the baby monitor some more, CERTAIN that he would wake up at the one hour mark.

When he made it to an hour and 15 minutes I thought for sure I didn't have enough time for a shower now as he'd already been asleep so long but thought I'd just skip the shower and get dressed and put makeup on and get ready for the day.

When he made it to an hour and a half I kicked myself for not taking the damn shower.

And now, now we're at just over one hour and 45 minutes and here's what I'm doing...I'm writing this damn post...and baby is still asleep.

This makes me super anxious as I'm like "what's wrong with the baby?!"  But normal babies sleep for 2 hour naps don't they?

I can only hope that this is the new normal and not just a crazy growth spurt or some other out of the ordinary reason for baby to be napping so well.

Everyone cross their fingers for me!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Turning a Corner

It's no secret that me and Baby Jett struggled to survive the first few months...especially after my husband went back to work traveling and Baby Jett developed my worst nightmare...colic.

Nighttime sleep notwithstanding, sometime in the last month things got easier.

We've turned a corner.

I can't pinpoint the week it happened exactly, but I think it might have been in London when we were finally able to get him down for naps consistently and Baby Jett started to develop a sleep routine.

Mornings are so predictable now that I can actually PLAN a bit of my day around baby naps.

Before now it's been very very unpredictable when baby would go down for a nap and if I would have to hold him for the duration of the nap or if he would let me set him down, so it was hard to figure out when I would:

Clean the kitchen
Make Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Do the Laundry
Pick up my bedroom
Take a shower
Get Dressed
Pee
Put makeup on...

And the list goes on and on.

Basically I was just winging it every day, hoping to get at least something done, but planning on a day of baby holding and little else.

But now...now I can do it all, even with only half hour baby naps I can get shit done...as long as I don't plan too much into my day.

Certain things I do while baby is sleeping like laundry (SO many stairs involved with laundry) and cleaning up the kitchen.

Other things I've figured out are easier to do while baby is awake...he "helps" =)

Like cooking, baby helps cook.  I just keep a running monologue of what I'm doing and make sure he always has his "green beans" handy to shove in his mouth.  If he gets bored here, there's a mat nearby and a vibrating chair, as long as I rotate him every 15-20 minutes he's happy.


Also things like taking a shower is easier when he's awake.  I just plop a blanket down in the hallway outside the bathroom, put baby on the blanket, leave the door open and hop in the shower.  Baby happily plays on the blanket while I take a shower, popping my head out every now and again to make faces and talk to baby so he doesn't get bored.  I also feel like I can take a longer shower when he's awake and I can see him because if he's sleeping in another room I get paranoid that he's woken up and is screaming and I just can't hear him because of the shower.

And then we move on into the bedroom and he goes down on another blanket or the swing and he happily amuses himself while I get myself ready for the day.

I know this will only last another month or two until baby is mobile, so I'm taking advantage now while I can.  Because of course I will have to completely change everything up again when he can roll and crawl.

But for now, at 4 months old, things are easier.

Even now as I type, Baby Jett is hovering nearby happily amusing himself on his play mat.


Dom is even gone...all week...and when I got the news that baby and I would be spending the week on our own there was no dread, no sense of doom, no fear, because I GOT THIS.  I might have taken 4 months but finally, finally I got this motherhood thing down...

At least until the next developmental milestone throws another curveball at me.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Half Hour Napper

Finding time to blog has been nearly impossible lately.

Because we're still having some sleep issues.

The good:

Baby goes down for naps.

And I can kind of get him down at night without going to bed myself.

The bad:

NAPS ARE ONLY HALF AN HOUR.

I feel like I've tried everything to keep him asleep for longer but nothing is really working.  The best I've managed is after a half hour nap in the afternoon, he starts crying and I go up there nurse him for a bit and he goes back down...for another half an hour.

I can do this 2-3 times so that he's taking a 2 hour nap...but I'm still tending to him every half hour.

It's hard to get anything done when you only have a half hour window.

And bedtime?  Same thing.  He will go down at 7-7:30pm...for half an hour!  So, once again I'm up there every half hour nursing him back to sleep until I'm ready for bed about 9pm.

I'm frustrated.

We've tried:

Tummy sleeping
Swaddling
White Noise
Crib
Bed
Swing
Vibrating Cot

Nothing keeps him down by himself for more than half hour. 

Once I go to bed with him HE'S DOWN FOR 3 HOURS.

WHAT THE HELL, KID?

I'm sure this is all because we co-sleep and he sleeps better when mama is next to him.  And I'm still not ready to give up on the co-sleeping because for the most part it means I get more sleep at night, but I would love to be able to have this kid napping for longer and going to bed before me and without me.

Anyone else dealing with something similar?  Any suggestions?  How long do your babies nap??? 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Baby Jett Does London

A post in pictures.

These 2 were due 4 days apart and ended up with birthdays 3 days apart...and Jett discovered his hands in London...we think he's teething as his hands are ALWAYS in his mouth now.

Babies with their mamas!

It was bloody cold in London!

 To prove to Baby Jett that he was in fact in London when he was 3 months old =)

Baby Jett in his first pub. 

Having his first shandy ;-) 

First ride on the Tube.

And the best thing to come out of London...we've finally figured out how to get baby to sleep on his own.  He looks like he's passed out drunk doesn't he?

We're coming home today.  One more 10 hour flight and we will have successfully completed our first international trip with a baby!  Who says having children means you have to change how you live?

Friday, November 9, 2012

What Do You Mean Your Baby Sleeps Through the Night!?

I could also title this post Pros and Cons of Co-Sleeping.

The biggest con?

My baby at 14 weeks is nowhere near sleeping through the night.

P.S. Sleeping through the night is defined as 5 straight hours.  Yeah, I know!  We're not even talking 8 hours here people, just 5 hours!

My jaw drops to the floor when I read that some of your 2 and 3 month olds are sleeping 8 hours at night.  

THAT IS BEYOND AMAZING TO ME.

I'm lucky if I get 3 hours in a row these days...baby thinks he is ALWAYS hungry at night.


I know I'm not getting great long stretches of sleep because the baby is next to me and can smell my milk and sometimes just wants to SNACK every 2 hours...

But I'm not a zombie.

Because...

The biggest pro to co-sleeping is that me and baby stay laying in bed all night long.  Sidelying nursing is my savior as I don't get up at all unless it's to pee or we have a massive blowout that needs tending to.  This is HUGE to me and means the difference between a well rested mama and a sleep deprived crazy lady. 

In the midst of the fallout from the dairy allergy before we knew we had a dairy allergy an extra side effect was that sidelying wasn't working for us anymore because EVERY single time I would try to feed him in bed he would spitup HUGE amounts all over both of us and we'd end up having to change both our clothes.  This means that before we uncovered the dairy thing we were physically getting up and into a seated position EVERY 2 HOURS ALL NIGHT LONG.

It added to the hell that was my life a few weeks ago.

But now, even though baby doesn't sleep for long stretches, I still feel like I'm getting a pretty good amount of sleep.

Our nights look something like this:

I Moby the baby when he looks tired until bedtime, so he's usually sleeping from about 7-8pm onward.  Then between 9-10pm we go to bed (just me and baby usually, hubs comes to bed later) sleep great, amazing and wonderful AND STILL until 1-2am...and then it's feeding every 1.5-2 hours for snacks the rest of the night.  I hardly even wake up for these, just make sure the boob is out and that baby can get to it and back to sleep I go.  THEN THE GRUNTING AND KICKING AT 4:30am starts...oh yes...there's still grunting.  He continues the grunting and kicking and wiggling until he finally wakes up between 7-8am and the husband takes him downstairs for the morning baby shift and I sleep in for an extra hour.

I know I'm not getting great long stretches of sleep because the baby is next to me and can smell my milk...

But the fact that I barely have to wake up to feed him means I'm not a zombie during the day and don't even feel the need to nap most days.

For now this is working for us.  And while I long for a full night of sleep, the fact of the matter is that I've been sleeping like this for more than a year now as while pregnant I was up at least every 2-3 hours to pee.  The amount of wakefulness required to feed the baby while lying in bed is about the same amount required to get up and pee and it means it's very easy to fall back to sleep after the middle of the night feedings...mostly because I don't actually get up!

Ideally I would like to put baby in his crib at 7pm, go get him at 9-10pm whenever I go to bed, keep him in bed with me until he starts grunting at 4am and then put him back in his crib until he gets up at 7-8am.  But honestly I still can't figure out how to get the baby down without me laying next to him for any length of time. 

Sad but true...baby only sleeps alone for morning naps...the rest of the time he's on or next to me.

All our other sleeping issues aside the other huge pro to the co-sleeping and the frequent feeds continuing through the night is that I can expect my period and ovulation to stay away for longer.  I've heard many of you out there complaining about your periods making unexpected early appearances as soon as baby begins sleeping through the night...I shudder at the thought! 

The fact is that I NEED any ovulation that may happen to continue to be suppressed for as long as possible because otherwise WE HAVE TO START TTC AGAIN.  I have no idea how long I will ovulate if ovulation starts again on it's own and if we didn't TTC and then ovulation stopped again like last time I WOULD NEVER FORGIVE MYSELF FOR THE WASTED OPPORTUNITY.

Bottom line is I am in no position to be thinking about #2 and thus frequent nursing sessions all day AND all night help keep me suppressed which means we will continue to co-sleep for as long as I'm happy with the quality of sleep and the suppressed ovulation.

It's entirely possible that I am creating a terrible situation in which my baby will never learn to sleep in his crib but for now it works and I'm not messing with it.

I still have hope that one day baby will sleep longer than 4 hours but I'm learning that it's rare for a baby that co-sleeps to sleep through the night because of the aforementioned smell of milk.  Anyone out there co-sleeping AND have a baby that sleeps through the night?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

It's So Much Cuter When It's Your Own Baby

Remember when I found my newborn photographer here?  Well...

It's so much cuter when it's your own baby!

I present the best of Jett's photo session at 5 days old.






All photos are property of Sarka Trager Photography.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Halloween from the UK

I'm a day late, but we're in the UK and I spent yesterday in a jetlagged haze so...

Happy Halloween Everyone!



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Colic and Dairy

After my last post in which I declared victory in the Great Sleeping War of 2012 my baby promptly pulled the rug out from under me once again.

Belly sleeping worked for exactly 2 days...2 days people!  For 2 days I felt like an awesome mother.

And then everything went from bad to worse.

I've been in hell...and thus not blogging.

When you're a new mom hell is a 5 letter word known as COLIC.

If you've never had a baby with colic you will not understand...if you have...you have my sympathy.

Baby Jett went from having a 2 hour fussy period in the evenings around 6 weeks to BEING FUSSY ANYTIME HE WAS AWAKE at 8 weeks.  We could sometimes get some smiles out of him in the first hour that he was awake in the morning but then it was FUSSY, SCREAMY, WHINY, MISERABLE BABY all damn day.  Nothing could soothe him.

He was also having a lot of trouble falling asleep and staying asleep during the day so I could hardly get a break from the crying.

He was miserable.  I was miserable.

I felt like I was losing my shit.  Rapidly falling into depression.

I would cry at the drop of a hat about anything at any time.  I didn't want to be around my baby and spent most of my time crying right alongside him.

For clarification at no point did I want to hurt my baby or myself but I REALLY wanted to give my baby to someone and have them bring him back to me when he was 6 months old and out of whatever fussy period he seemed to be stuck in.

I didn't care if I was going to one day look back on his newborn days and be sad that I missed them, he was making me hate my life.  Especially after fighting so hard for this I spent a lot of time trying to figure out WHY we fought so hard for this because in that moment...it wasn't worth it.  There was no joy, only tears.

It was bad, I was in a really bad place mentally.

And then the straw that broke my back.  My husband's travel schedule had him gone for 3 days one week and 4 days the next.  

I couldn't do this on my own...I wasn't going to make it.

Something had to change.

So I flew home for 2 weeks.  Grandma, Grandpa, Aunts, Cousins, lots of hands to hold my fussy baby and give me a break.

AND at the urging of my midwife and pediatrician we decided to cut out dairy and see if baby's demeanor changed because Baby also had green foamy poop, spitup ALL THE TIME and burping and spitting up seemed to hurt him.

The green foamy poops are also a sign of foremilk/hindmilk imbalance and when you have an oversupply like I do, it's common for baby to get too much foremilk.

Dairy allergies are actually quite UNCOMMON in babies so everyone was skeptical, myself included, but we all needed to eliminate the possibility of a dairy allergy so that it wasn't looming in the back of everyone's minds and we could focus on the milk issue and soothing baby in other ways.

But wouldn't you know it, 2 weeks on the nose from when I eliminated ALL dairy from my diet his poop changed, from green and foamy back to yellow and seedy.

And then 2 days later, 16 days after my diet change, MY BABY DID A COMPLETE 180.

I have a brand new baby.

He started smiling ALL THE TIME when he's awake.  He started laughing.  You can SET HIM DOWN without him screaming.  He hardly ever burps.  His spitup now comes in tiny amounts and doesn't appear to hurt him on the way up.  AND HE SLEEPS BETTER.

2% chance of a dairy allergy and my baby is one of them.  But holy hell I'll take the no dairy for me over that fussy screamy miserable little thing I called my son a few weeks ago.  I feel awful that my screamy baby was screaming because his belly hurt all the time from what I was eating.

He still has that evening fussy time when he's really hard to get down, but it's different.  He's not screaming at us until he falls asleep, now he still won't go to sleep but instead stays up smiling at us trying to convince us it's not bedtime.

So happy and no one is holding him!!!


Hangin with the cuz in Oregon.

I'm happy with the change in my baby and thus will continue to be dairy free as long as I need to, but do you guys realize how many things have dairy in them?  It's actually quite a challenge to eliminate ALL dairy from your diet.  Take a look at this crazy list of ingredients that are all other names for dairy:

source

Now go look in your cupboard at the ingredient list of anything that comes in a box, jar or package.  EVERYTHING seems to have a dairy ingredient because oddly enough it's a preservative.

And eating out?  Nightmare trying to find dishes with no dairy!  I've taken to telling waiters I have a dairy allergy so they go check with the chef.  It's ridiculous!

The only plus I can find...besides the happy baby of course...is that the things I can eat I can eat as much as I want because I am losing weight like there's no tomorrow.  Including pasta which has no dairy!  I am down about 5 lbs now from my PRE-pregnancy weight and about as small as I ever remember being.

We're talking high school weight here folks.  Lactation plus dairy-free equals one skinny bitch!



As nice as it is to quickly get my body back and be able to fit into all of my clothes, we're rapidly heading in the other direction in which all of my clothes are going to be too big.  I have to get a handle on the weight loss before it affects my milk supply!  I would love to be eating cupcakes and eclairs and other delicious pastries, because for some reason that's what I'm craving, but alas...those are dairy.

So, now that we've solved the fussy baby problem and I can set him down for short periods of time during the day we're on to trying to get baby to sleep somewhere besides in my arms at which point I might be able to really start blogging again...and baking dairy free desserts to soothe my new sweet tooth...wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Dirty Little Sleep Secret

Wow.  I blinked and 2 weeks flew by without me posting a damn thing.

So, here's what's been going on in Brennan household...

Sleeping has been shitty.

Baby Jett has been a BAD BAD sleeper lately. 

And when Jett's a bad sleeper we all suffer.

We were running into several different problems and they were all colliding making nighttime HELL and something I began to dread each and every day.

It all started with that awful night when I was by myself and he was little Screamy McScreamerson.  Ever since then every night he became a fussy little monster sometime around 7:00-8:00pm and without fail we had 2 hours (sometimes longer!) of terror baby before he would finally settle down to sleep.  This resulted in us and baby going to bed sometime between 9:00-midnight all together.  Some nights when things were very bad he would end up sleeping ON one of us because after 2+ hours of a fussy baby you just do whatever works to get him to sleep.  

We just accepted this as the way it was and tried to grin and bear it, hoping he would just grow out of it.

He WAS also at this point still giving me 3 hour stretches of sleep.   Only waking up briefly to nurse in the sidelying position and then back to sleep.

Then that changed and now he's on a EVERY 2 HOURS ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT nursing regime.  And the amazing sidelying position to nurse at night is no longer working as he ends up spitting up on me so that we both have to get up and get changed or he starts screaming half an hour after eating because he needs to burp.

And then shitty nights turned into shitty days as the only way I could get the baby to sleep and stay asleep was to sleep ON ME.  So not only was I getting no longer than 2 hour stretches of sleep at night but now all day long I had a baby chained to me and I felt like I couldn't get anything done.  I spent all day getting baby to sleep, trying to put baby down, baby wakes up screaming and repeat over and over again.  I WAS EXHAUSTED.

Something had to change.

After talking with my midwife about all of this we've decided on a few things.

The first thing we did is bedtime moved to 7pm.  No more waiting for him to wake up from his afternoon napping and then dealing with his meltdown for two hours.  If we can get him to bed BEFORE he melts down and becomes terror baby he sleeps through his witching hour.   If that means his afternoon nap immediately becomes bedtime, THAT'S GREAT.  Apparently Baby Jett was just overtired in the evening as this seems to work wonders with no more fussy baby in the evening.

We also are coming to the conclusion that Baby Jett may have a bit of reflux.  He cries when he burps or spits up like it hurts...and he spits up a lot.  And he despises being put down to sleep on his back.  So at the suggestion of my midwife I did something very taboo.

I PUT BABY TO SLEEP ON HIS BELLY.

And it was like magic.

I CAN NOW GET BABY TO SLEEP ANYWHERE.

Do you know what this means?!  

This means I can do laundry.  This means I can cook dinner.  This means I can EAT.  This means I can take more than 2 seconds to get dressed in the morning.  IT MEANS I CAN BLOG AGAIN.

It's freedom.

After making this wonderful discovery yesterday I discovered something else too.

Basically ALL PARENTS END UP DOING THIS AT SOME POINT.  And no one talks about it because you're not "supposed to" do it.  

Well I'm here to tell you that ESPECIALLY if you have a reflux baby putting them to sleep on their belly works wonders and I wish someone would have let me in on this dirty little secret weeks ago!

As to the nighttime...we're still struggling...and no one has any brilliant suggestions for me that I haven't tried.  Some nights he'll give me 3 hour stretches, other nights, like last night, he'll give me one 2 hour stretch and then up every hour after that. 

Big sigh.

I can only hope that Baby Jett grows out of this soon because otherwise come 4 months or 14 pounds Baby Jett is going to end up in his nursery...and there might be lots of crying involved...both his and mine.  But I can't keep on like this.

Everyone cross your fingers that we start making some progress in the nighttime sleep department and that it improves just like the daytime sleeping.

Is there some other dirty little nighttime secret that no one is sharing with me because it's something else we're not "supposed to" do just like the belly sleeping?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Milk, Milk, and Even More Milk

We all know and worry about low milk supply issues.

And while pregnant we all hope and pray that we will be able to breastfeed our children successfully and not suffer from said low supply issues.

But have any of you spent any time worrying about having TOO much milk?

I didn't even know such a think existed and if I had given it any thought it wouldn't have seen it as a problem.

And anyone who suffers from low milk supply can't see how it's a problem.  Because how can having TOO much milk be a problem?

Well...it's a problem.  And one that I don't hear discussed very often.

It turns what is supposed to be a calming soothing experience into a form of torture for your baby known as WATERBOARDING.

If you couldn't guess I have an oversupply issue.

And we're all drowning in a sea of milk over here.

You see, my body is convinced that it produced twins and has enough milk to feed those twins...and maybe a few other babies as well.

Do you know what happens when you make too much milk?

You have a crazy quick FORCEFUL letdown in which you milk comes shooting out of BOTH BOOBS regardless of which one the baby is on and tries to drown your infant.

My midwife compares it to having a firehose shoved down your throat.

DOESN'T SOUND CALMING OR SOOTHING DOES IT?

Well, my baby doesn't think so either.

In fact there is A LOT of coughing, sputtering, spitting up and burping every time we nurse.  Which is still roughly every 1-2 hours during the day!

IT'S ROUGH.

Baby latches on smoothly enough, but as soon as I feel that tingling of the letdown, off comes the baby choking and gagging on the firehose of milk while my boob sprays him and whatever else is in front of me with a geyser of milk.

I then have to somehow cover my geyser with a towel (without pushing on my nipple because I WANT the geyser to gush out into the towel to get rid of the excess milk and pushing on the nipple will staunch the flow) and soothe and burp the crying coughing gagging baby.

Really it requires 3 hands...at least

After the geyser is down to a trickle it's back to latching and sucking for awhile and then OH RIGHT THERE'S ANOTHER LETDOWN and we do it all over again.

Everyone INSISTS that around the 3 month mark the excess milk will start to calm down and my body will adjust the milk according to what baby actually NEEDS...and not try to feed all the babies in San Francisco.

I'm waiting patiently.   But in the meantime...

There are several "remedies" to this oversupply, all of which we've tried, but we're still drowning.

I feed on only one boob for 3-4 hour blocks of time, once we get close to that 4th hour the boob FINALLY feels like it's emptying and baby can nurse calmly without coughing and gagging.  But then the next feed is onto the heavy full boob and we start the routine all over again.  

I feed in positions in which gravity is NOT helping the milk flow.  Lots of getting baby latched and then leaning back so that the milk has to flow UPHILL.  We also do a lot of baby in sitting positions rather than laying positions so that he can better deal with all the milk.

Sidelying also works really well as the excess milk just flows out the side of his mouth and he doesn't have to try to gulp it down.  We both end up in a puddle of milk when sidelying but nighttime feeds are actually the easiest!

I'm also drinking peppermint tea everyday as peppermint is supposed to naturally help lower one's milk supply...so far nothing, but we're only 1 week in to Operation Peppermint.

Anyone else out there dealing with an OVERSUPPLY issue?  And if so, what did you or are you doing about it?  Anything work?  Or do I just have to give it more time?

And please no one tell me to try pumping as I do pump occasionally but anymore and it is only going to increase my supply!

Oh, and look who smiles finally!




Friday, September 14, 2012

Wherein Another Anonymous Comment Makes For a Very Good Blog Post

The Anonymous Commenter says:

Your posts make me so sad. Not once have you talked about how precious you think your baby is or how blessed you are to have him after considering yourself to be "infertile". All of your posts have been about how boring you baby is or how much he cramps your style or how he won't "shut the fuck up". What did you honestly expect from a newborn? I hope for your baby's sake that you can stop being so selfish and thinking about yourself and figure out that it isn't all about you anymore.

You are correct Anonymous, I don't come into this space and write about how wonderful my child is and how blessed I am to have him.

I come here to vent.

What is the point of blogging if not to vent?  Am I right?

I don't come on here, into this space and start writing when life is great.  That's not why I started blogging, that's not why I blog now.  If I'm here it's because I need advice, or I need help or I need to get something off my chest.  Or I just need to know that there is someone else out there going through the same sort of hell that I am.  

I need to feel less alone.  

This is why infertility breeds so many bloggers, because we NEED a space to vent about how much life sucks while we're dealing with infertility and we need support.

This is also why infertility bloggers drop off the face of the blog planet when they finally get pregnant.

It's because they're happy.

Or because they fear comments like the above.  They don't want to be seen as complaining when they fought so hard to get there.

Well, I'm not gonna blog about how great it is to be a parent and how it's the most special thing in the universe and how I think my child is the most wonderful child on the planet.

That's not real.

I don't enjoy reading mommy bloggers who only have good things to say.  I don't believe women who say their first months of motherhood were the best months of their lives.  

If that's all you read about from other bloggers and then you get there, when you're the mommy and things aren't as great or as easy as all those other mommy bloggers led you to believe you start to think that something is wrong with you or your child.

BECAUSE IT'S NOT ALL GLITTER AND CUPCAKES.

Parenthood is fucking hard, whether you deal with infertility beforehand or not does not change the fact that sleep deprivation and a screaming child who won't sleep IS HARD.

I don't need support from others when Baby Jett and I have an amazing day together.  I don't need to tell you about the nights when he sleeps well and when I feel like a rockstar parent.

Again, I don't come here to gloat or for you to tell me how special and gorgeous my baby is.  I come here for help.

IRL this is also what we. as women, do with our girlfriends.  We get together to bitch about one thing or another.   We bitch about our husbands, we bitch about our babies, we bitch about our weight, we bitch about our jobs.

Rarely do I get together with my friends and we all start chatting about how wonderful life is.

Maybe me and all of my friends are bitchy?  Do others sit around with their friends and declare how much they love their husbands?

You'll notice Anonymous that I don't write much about marriage or my husband on here.  This is because marriage and my relationship with my husband are pretty great and I don't find myself needing advice or seeking help in those areas of my life.  But you also won't find me saying how wonderful I think my husband is and how great our marriage is.

For me, this is not what this space is for.

So, while I may post pictures of my son from time to time (I know my family reads this and wants to see piccies!) the majority of the time that I mention Baby Jett it is to "bitch" about something and seek advice or I just want to know that someone else has gone through the same thing and that what I'm dealing with or feeling is "normal".

If you're a parent and you've never thought to yourself OMG MY KID IS SUCH AN ASSHOLE, CAN I TRADE HIM IN FOR A DIFFERENT QUIETER ONE then you either have the best baby in the whole damn world or you're lying to yourself.

You and me Anonymous would not be friends in real life (thus you don't need to read my blog if it makes you so sad) because in real life my friends all understand when I say my kid is being an ASS that it's because KIDS ARE LITTLE SHITHEADS...especially at night...and that I still love him more than I've ever loved anything else in the world.

I'm also preparing all of my pregnant readers for the wonderful world of parenthood that is before them...because as I've discovered, NO ONE TELLS YOU THESE THINGS BEFOREHAND.  So maybe, just maybe, if one of you lovely ladies who hasn't had your baby yet hits 6 weeks with your little one and he turns into little Screamy McScreamerson and you want to kill yourself as you hit the 4th hour of Screamfest 2012 you'll remember how that blogger once wrote about how her baby turned from a great sleeper to a sleep boycotter overnight and instead of thinking OMG MY KID HATES ME , I'M THE WORST MOTHER IN THE WORLD you'll think HOLY SHIT NOW I KNOW WHAT SHE WAS TALKING ABOUT and you'll feel just a tiny bit less alone and a tiny bit less like everyone else has the best babies in the world and yours is the only asshole.

But now I'd like to know, why do the rest of you blog?  Do you blog to vent?  Do you blog to share the "good" with your family and friends and keep the "bad" out of it?  Or for some other reason?  And does anyone else actually get the feeling that I'm not eternally grateful for my son and think that all I do is bitch about how hard parenthood is?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Maternity For Sale

You guys know I struggled with maternity wear.

I bought SO many things that did not fit, most of which I was able to return but there were a few things that I was either too lazy to return or was convinced that they would fit me at some point later in my pregnancy.

Well later came and went and there are a few items I have that were never worn and I wanted to see if anyone else who is still preggers and with a different body/bump shape than myself might be interested in buying said items?

For reference so you know if something might fit you or not: I am 5'5", weigh 125 lbs and have a "slim" build.
While pregnant I gained 23 lbs., and had a small ball shaped bump right out in front that never exceeded 35 cm.

So, if your pregnant with the same body/build you don't want any of this stuff!

Up for grabs we have:

Gap Maternity Size XS, new with tags!  - $30

This dress needs a pretty big bump to be able to fit right.  It has a cowl neck and an empire waist that ties in the back.  It fit me right around 38 weeks...but of course I didn't need a fancy dress at that point because I had the baby!  This is the dress with it tied loosely in the back.

This is the dress without it being tied.


Old Navy Maternity Size XS - $5  

This one fit great earlier in my pregnancy when I bought it but by the time summer rolled around and I needed it my boobs were too big!  This one is definitely for someone with a smaller chest, my D's wouldn't fit into it when I wanted to wear it, thus I never did!


Liz Lange Maternity for Target  - Size XS - $20

This dress is such a pretty color!  This dress is like my signature purple color that is dotted all over my house and my wardrobe and I really wanted this dress to fit me better, I kept waiting for the bump to be just the right size for it to work...but it never did.  It's a bit long on me, sort of hits me at a funny length so it would probably work best on someone taller and needs a good size bump because it has a lot of fabric to accommodate said bump.


Glamourmom Nursing Tank new with tags- Size M - $30

I bought this while still pregnant, it was the one nursing item I had the forethought to purchase and it turns out that YOU SHOULD BUY NURSING CLOTHES IN THE SAME SIZE YOU WOULD WEAR PRE-PREGNANCY.  So, I needed it to be a size S or XS and it's just too damn big at a size M.  Again, my favorite color purple!

Tank with the boob down!

If anyone is interested please include your email so I can get into contact with you!  Also if anyone would like to see more piccies please let me know!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Post In Which All Hell Has Broken Loose and I Am Carrying My Baby Everywhere Because It's the Only Way to Make Him Shut Up

It was like a fucking light switch.

One minute I'm concerned because my baby sleeps SO MUCH...like all day and then all night.  Meaning no he does not sleep all the way through, but he would sleep, wake up and fuss, get a diaper change or nurse and then back to sleep...repeated every 2-3 hours all day and all night.  And no this does not mean I have a lot of free time on my hands because he only sleeps in his crib for like a half hour at a time!  The rest of the time he is in someone's arms, except at night where he is in the bed with us.  The only AWAKE time he really had was 2 hours before bed when he was REALLY fussy and I was getting concerned that he wasn't awake enough for like proper interaction time.  Because ALL the websites and books (too much fucking information out there!) keep telling me he should start to be more awake these days.

And the next minute I have little Screamy McScremerson for a baby who REFUSES to sleep.

Today I have my 6 week postpartum appt and I was all set to ask about all the sleeping and see if it was normal to be sleeping so much.  I should also mention the husband is away!  Well last night he decided to just boycott sleep altogether.

This is form a torture.

He slept ALL damn day.  Woke up at 8pm, right on schedule AND THEN WOULD NOT SHUT THE FUCK UP.

I tried EVERYTHING.  And I mean EVERYTHING!  Swaddling, shushing, swaying, pacifiers, shower noise, taking a bath, baby Mozart, nursing, burping, baby massage, baby wearing.  He kept at it until MIDNIGHT.  That's 4 hours of baby fussing, crying, screaming, grunting, spitting up, screaming at my breast and trying to wiggle out of my arms.  He just would NOT settle!

Finally at midnight I retried swaddling, as in 2 hours earlier the swaddle was a no-go, he HATED it and started screaming even louder.  Well, suddenly the swaddle was all he needed.  I wrapped him up, picked him up and OUT.

I couldn't fucking believe it.

Unfortunately he then woke up at 2:20 and at 4:30 for the grunting and then up for the day at 7am.  

It was a fun night last night guys, a really fun night.

I am now scared to take the baby off of me.  Seriously.  I've been wearing him all day because the second I take him off he starts screaming.

My husband is gone for one more night and I am DREADING the night more than I've ever dreaded anything ever before.

How, just HOW do single mamas do this?!  I've never been more happy to be married...and never been more upset that my husband travels so much.

Wish us luck that tonight is better!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The 4am Grunting - Advice Needed!

There are many many many of you who have just had your babes in the last weeks or months...and I need your advice!

Baby Jett has this new thing that he does and it makes me want to die.

Generally he's a good sleeper, he naps plenty during the day and then he gets fussy for 2 hours before bedtime, but we nurse and burp and fuss and nurse and burp and fuss until he finally goes down sometime around 10-11pm.

Then he sleeps for 3-4 hours, change, feed, back to sleep.

He used to then go back to sleep for another 3-4 hours and lather rinse repeat.

BUT NOW, now he has this thing that he does. 

At 4am, give or take an hour, after the change, feed and burp routine HE STARTS GRUNTING and straining and wiggling AND HE KEEPS IT UP FOR 3-4 HOURS or until I give up on sleeping and just get up for the day having really only slept the original 3-4 hours that he allowed.

It's as though he is constipated and he's straining straining straining to have a bowel movement.

But breastfed babies don't get constipated!

Conveniently he started this just before his 1 month appt with the pediatrician and I asked her about it.  She said it's VERY COMMON and a complaint she hears from new parents a lot.

In a nutshell, he's learning how to actually control his bowel movements, learning how to push BUT HE  ISN'T RELAXING HIS BUM so he's pushing and straining and grunting.  AND HE WILL GROW OUT OF IT.

I accept this explanation.

BUT OMG I WANT TO DIE.

He's been doing this for almost a week now AND I AM SO TIRED.

So, new mamas, DOES YOUR BABY DO THIS AT 4AM?  And if so, IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT?

Or is this one of those cases of "this too shall pass".

The damn baby is absolutely fine the rest of the day, not gassy or fussy...generally a good baby, so I don't believe this is a diet issue or a reflux issue but I'm having trouble functioning on 4 hours of sleep.

CAN ANYONE HELP ME?!