Bye Bye Sleep

*Written in a sleep-deprived state

In one well-intentioned weekend with the parents, it has all gone to shit. Our beautiful, in-bed-at-7-wake-up-at-2-to-eat-sleep-until-6:30 sleep schedule is gone. Since we’ve been here, sharing a room, every night E has:
– Gone to bed late
– Been woken up by someone around 9:30 or 10
– Needed to nurse to calm down after said wake up
– Also woken up at 10:30, just for kicks apparently
– Woken up for his usual meal
– Also woken up between said usual meal and morning and needed help back to sleep
– Woken up early in the morning

It seems to have gotten worse every night we’ve been here (5). Wake ups have gotten progressively earlier every night, morning and other, and our ability to calm him without nursing has become less and less. What started out as curtesy to the other adults sleeping in the house (i.e. “Just nurse him so he isn’t screaming) overnight became set habits. He has regressed two and a half months of sleep learning in five days.

I’m never coming back here.

Breastfeeding Woes Continue

I stepped on the scale with E on Friday to find that he has lost weight in the past two weeks. Half a pound. That’s as much as he gained last month! Assuming that it’s supply-related (as it was when he was a newborn), I started trying to nurse him more often to “up” supply. Well, that threw everything off, since he was basically snacking, and our naps went out the window too. So we tried giving him a few ounces of formula at each feeding to make up for the snack-y meals. (Which I hate to do).

Then on Monday I had to be away for the morning, and pumped three times while I was gone, with about three hours in between each. And ended up with a TOTAL of seven ounces. TOTAL. Meanwhile, E had been having six ounce bottles each time at home.

E has always taken significantly more from a bottle than I have been able to pump, and would eat even more if we would let him. So we just judge bottles on what I know about feeding/swallowing as a speech-language pathologist, which is that babies should have about an ounce per month of age (until 8 ounces/months) (i.e. About six ounces now).

I took E in to the doctor yesterday, and she said he seems fine and we’ll check back in a couple weeks at his six month appointment. I’ll admit, he does SEEM fine physically. He looks okay (albeit slim), is happy, plays, and is developmentally on-track. But that doesn’t change the crazy small amount that I pumped the other day. So is there a supply issue? Is he on a downward slope now? And, to top it all off, E is now refusing the breast after having been getting so many bottles. (Besides the formula ones the other day, I started pumping between feedings and giving it to him after he breastfeeds to try to help supply.) Do I have to continue pumping between feedings if I want to keep supply up? E is nursing several times on each side to try to satisfy him. Poor guy.

It has all left me feeling like such a failure… Nearly the same way I felt about infertility. I am biologically supposed to be able to do this! And what does it say about me if I can’t? Was I even supposed to have a baby? I mean, evolutionarily speaking, I wouldn’t have. I know it’s quite a bit dramatic, but that is where I went in my head. I’m not ready to be done breastfeeding him. As stressful as it is at times, I love it, and I love being able to do that for him.

5 Months Old

I’m getting this out super late (since E will be 6 months old in two weeks), but nevertheless, here are my reflections on E at five months old.

Wow.  E is so much fun right now.  We are getting sleep figured out, and he is spending more and more time awake, alert, and happy.  Nursing sessions are fewer, which means I am truly treasuring those moments of quiet snuggle time with him.  And he is super distractible during nursing, so it forces me to keep my attention is solely on him.  I am actually grateful for that. It’s such valuable time spent in awe of this little guy.

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(My favorite monthly picture yet!)

At five months, E loves:

– Chewing on his feet. Ever since discovering those little piggies, E is constantly sucking on his toes. Diaper changes are a battle of wills, and his is pretty set on those toes. His socks are constantly soaked too.

– His dogs. The thing that makes E happiest right now is the dogs! He loves to watch them play, and touch and grab them, and get kisses. He is constantly reaching out for them, to the delight of two and chagrin of one.

– Swinging. E loves to be in his swing at home. He laughs and giggles and smiles… He would love to be in there all day, if we would let him, but swinging time has become our go-to when he’s losing it. We’ve also gone to the park to swing a few times this month! So much fun.

– Pop Goes the Weasel. This month we started attending baby story time at our local library. We love it! The first session, we sang Pop Goes the Weasel, and E have me his signature lips-curled-down-as-far-as-they-can-go frown, and almost cried. But, with that catchy tune stuck in Mom’s head all week, we started doing it daily, and now he loves it! Gets smiles every time.

– This month, E rolled over both directions! Front-to-back and back-to-front. This happened pretty early in the month, and now he is a rolling machine. He mostly goes in a single direction, so if we leave him on the floor for a minute, he fireman-rolls himself pretty far across the room. His rolling over also created some new sleep stress, as he figured out how to roll over in his swaddle, prompting an immediate drop (and subsequent panic) of swaddling. There were a few really rough sleeps while E tried to get used to sleeping without being swaddled, but he discovered tummy sleeping, and is now happy as a clam! E’s first time rolling over was in trying to reach Mason, our Golden Retriever (see “I love my dogs” bullet point). So cute!

Here are some of my favorite pics this month:

E's First Zoo Trip - 22 E's First Zoo Trip - 26 Everett Month 5 - 005 Everett Month 5 - 013 Everett Month 5 - 051 Everett Month 5 - 072 Everett Month 5 - 083 Everett Month 5 - 094 Everett Month 5 - 099