Sunday, November 2, 2008

Lethargy and a Great Misnomer

Daylight savings time can kiss my arse. It hasn't done a thing but cost me time today.

I put Nate down (and thus myself) an hour later than usual last night with the hope that his sleep and nap pattern would not be greatly affected. We retired to bed at 10:30pm. Nate woke around 1am. Pop out boob. Suckle. Back asleep. Stirring again at 3am. Pop out boob. Suckle. Back asleep. Stirring again at 5am. Pop out boob. Suckle. Back asleep. Stirring again at 7am. Usual wake-up time. Gave up the pipe dream of a decent night's sleep. Changed massive pee diaper. Put baby in swing. Watched him doze off enviously. Made myself a cup 'o joe and hopped online to look for holiday gift ideas.

Due to Nate's reflux, we feed from only one side at a time. This limits the spit-up and projectile vomit episodes. But it does mean he needs to eat more frequently - about every 1.5 hours - as opposed to 3 or 4 hours that most babies can manage. His light snacking is not an issue during the daytime but it poses a problem for sleeping through the night. I guess I'm destined for many a sleepless night until his digestive system matures and he can handle the load from both of my milk trucks.

MIL told DH she thinks I should give up breastfeeding, as it makes Nate too gassy, and opt for formula instead. Don't even get me started on this. Yes, I have an overactive letdown reflex and yes, it can sometimes choke him and cause him to gulp, taking in more air. But I refuse to wean him and give him exclusive formula, which would probably be harder on his sensitive tummy than breastmilk. I'm not opposed to supplementation but I have really been trying with all of my might to reach my goal of 6 months exclusive breastmilk. And I don't plan on straying from this objective unless a medical professional convinces me otherwise. How about supporting the decision I've made in my family's best interest instead of insulting me and basically implying that my son's reflux is my fault? Just because you raised two children does not make you an expert on what works for every child. Case in point: I specifically told her that Nate is now in 3-6 month clothes. I even pointed out which drawer to use in case of an impromptu accident. On the one day we ask her to watch him, she purposefully dressed him in a 0-3 month outfit - contrary to my crystal clear instructions - because it was "cute". Nevermind that it looked like a muscle tee and nearly cut off the circulation in his thighs.

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!

Sorry, where was I? Oh, yeah, reflux...

I've been avoiding meds since Nate has been gaining weight like a champ. I didn't want to administer anything deemed unnecessary. But I'm wondering if I should give them a go and see if we can build up to longer intervals between feeds. Something to discuss with the pediatrician on Tuesday, I suppose.

I'm also conflicted about cosleeping. I do love having him close to me - and simply rolling over to feed is quite convenient and conducive to my laziness - but I don't want to hinder his development or foster dependency on my scent or presence in order to fall asleep in the future. The nurse practitioner at my pediatrician's office practically slapped my wrist at his last visit and told me not to continue with it unless I wanted a three-year old sleeping in bed with us. Then again, I've heard from BTDT moms who said they waited anywhere from 4-8 months to transition to the crib and had very little problem doing so. In fact, they encouraged cosleeping and said that until 4 months old, babies are incapable of soothing themselves to sleep. I'd like to believe I could have the same seamless shift but since things have yet to be "easy" en la casa del Sticky, I need a plan of attack.

We have attempted to cry it out (CIO) a few times to no avail. At bedtime, I would rock him and feed and once he was drowsy, I would lay him down in his crib and quietly leave the room. He would be peaceful for several minutes but eventually whining would ensue. Whining would give way to crying. And the crying would give way to screaming - virtual pleading for me to come back. After 5 minutes, I would go back in to rub his back and soothe him without picking him up, speaking in a soft whisper. I would leave the room again and he would begin crying so dramatically that I feared he would vomit. I reached my limit of 10 minutes before I conceded to his demands and retreived him from his prison crib.

I've tried to use the crib more for naps, reasoning that we could gradually work our way from resting to slumber, but the maximum I can get out of him is 20 minutes. In his swing, I can get at least 45 minutes, if not longer. So, back to old reliable.

I've tried to execute the 3 B's (bath, boob, bed) but when reflux strikes, leaving behind the scent of eau de spoiled milk, or we have a morning blowout from the sheer force of hours of compacted waste, I have to bathe on demand. And since consistency is key to establishing any long-lasting routine, this plan is also unreliable.

I took an outing to the bookstore today and bought several sleep books. I should be able to pull at least one piece of useful advice from these texts. If I can only find the time to read them...

I'm desperate to nail down a routine. I think structure, in whichever form it may exist, is needed to preserve our sanity.

10 comments:

Kim said...

Gosh, I really feel for you. When he's in his crib, is he flat on his back? If so, have you tried a crib wedge?

Two Hands said...

First of all, can I have your MIL's number so I can call her and tell her all of the great things you're doing for your son by breastfeeding him?
Please do not let her dissuade you. You are doing a GREAT THING.
As for the co-sleeping. My first co-slept until 4 mos. old and then transitioned well into a bed, my second took a bit longer and did need some transitional help (very similar to what you have been trying to do with the comforting). I let them co-sleep for a few reasons. One is that yes, it is lovely to just roll over and feed your baby, and given Nate's feeding schedule, if I was your midwife, I'd say you wouldn't be able to survive without co-sleeping (remember though that I have two years of training to go). The other is that, contrary to what many people think about creating dependence, co-sleeping with your baby might actually help to foster independence by giving them confidence and assuring them of your love and support. I am NOT and will never be one of those people that says we should put our baby in another room because they might need us if we don't. Of course they need us and will need us until they feel comfortable enough to change.
Please forgive my assvice, but it really fries me when people try to undermine what parents are doing and fill them with doubts on their parenting abilities. Sounds like you're doing great and I wouldn't change until YOU'RE comfortable with it.

Courtney said...

Sorry about the MIL with the need to voice her opinion. How unusual to have a MIL like that...ha! Seriously, could they just learn to keep it to themselves???

We just started with the crib a week ago, and it has allowed us to develop a bit of a routine. We are trying out the EASY method (eat, activity, sleep, you) and it is working fairly well. Good luck figuring out what works best for you all!

Emily said...

MIL needs a good swift kick in the arse. JMHO.

Will had reflux too, but we managed. It's NOT the end of the world.

I agree a routine will help your sanity... you'll figure one out, just give it time. (easy for me to say, right?!)

xoxo, et

Somewhat Ordinary said...

What is it about MIL's that they want to dress them in clothes that are obviously too small. My MIL does it all the time. She finally stopped doing that and just last night she came over while I was gone and put him in a fancy cream velour outfit because she thought they were pj's and he proceeded to spit up sweet potatoes all over them.

Elizabeth said...

I can so relate to everything you write about here.

Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...

First, I'm so with you on your MIL not listening. My mother did the exact same thing last week with choosing an outfit and I practically lost my shit. It's so frustrating depending on someone else to do what you want to be doing. Bleh.

Anyway, as for sleep...Lemy and I occasionally co-sleep, but for the most part she sleeps in the bassinet much to her dismay. I think if she could permanently sleep on me she would. I've found that the pacifier is my best friend at night. After feeding her, I give her the pacifier and rock her for a while. I sing the same song every night, over and over until she is drowsy then I put her down.

She usually starts to fuss for a bit and then spits the paci out. Sometimes this fussing continues, in which case I replace the paci and leave her for 10 minutes at a time to see if she falls asleep (she's usually overtired by bedtime since she doesn't nap--ever!). If she starts crying and wailing, I pick her up, sway and sing to her and put her back. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Eventually that crying turns to straight fussing and the fussing turns to sleep. It's just time and patience. And we have a good routine...and it still is hard.

Hang in there. I think with time it will get better. I hope the books help! ((HUGS))

Amanda said...

Here are my suggestions....talk to your pediatrician about reflux meds. Bryce was gaining well but was in pain from the acid burning. Zantac helped a bunch.

If you have an overactive letdown, side-lying nursing can help a lot. I nursed Emily laying down for months to avoid her choking and swallowing air. I know they say to feed a baby with Reflux more upright, but it may be worth a shot to help with gas and air. Bryce seemed to do ok with it even with his reflux.

Definitely, do not stop breastfeeding. That will only make Nate's reflux and gas sooooo much worse. Breastfeeding is the best thing you can do for baby's developing digestive system. His reflux and gas issues will get better as he matures. Don't let your MIL make you think it is your fault....it is not. Keep breastfeeding and Nate will get through this.

Cosleeping....if it works for you don't worry about what everyone else says. I learned not to mention it when I went took the kids to the dr. All of my kids have coslept. Ryan and Emily both sleep happily alone in the beds now. Ryan took a bit of work to transition, Emily transitioned quickly...it just depends on personalities. If you and Nate are more comfortable co-sleeping then keep doing it. You will know what is best for you and Nate.

Me said...

I think it's wholly inappropriate for your MIL to offer unsolicited opinions on when you should stop breastfeeding your son.

eggorchicken said...

If I can just put my 2c in...

Each and every family is different - and so our needs and solutions will be different...

WRT the co-sleeping, I love, love, love co-sleeping. You know just as well as I how quickly the time goes, and I'm making the most of these hugs and cuddles while I still can!

My daughter is 3.5 years old and co-slept with us virtually from the beginning (at first it was just easier, and then it just became NICE). I had the best of both worlds as she would sleep in her cot until 1am(ish) thereby giving me some much needed me-time, and then she'd call, I'd pull her into bed and we'd snuggle for the rest of the night. Nowadays she sleeps through (in her own bed) about 40% of the time, but most nights she'll creep into bed with us around 3/4am. I just wrap my arms around her and hold on for dear life, and those nights that she doesn't come through I miss her like crazy!

My son (16 months) is following in her footsteps. He also spends a couple of hours in his cot every night, and the rest of the night in bed with us.

(thank heavens for King size beds!)

For US it is the perfect solution and it works...but of course your needs might be totally different :)

x
Yvonne