Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Happy New Year

The longer I wait to blog, the more I have to say, and thus, the harder it is to write. My intrinsic laziness sets in, and I just stare at the blank screen thinking of all the things I want to tell you. And then I get so overwhelmed by the magnitude of it that I just start reading other people's blogs, or I start typing an incoherent stream of consciousness that I don't even want to read back through again. So I'm going to try and compartmentalize all this as much as possible so that you three readers I have left won't leave here with your eyes bleeding.

Let us address the crying baby. He doesn't cry as much anymore, which is so very wonderful. However, he solidly has his days and nights mixed up. There was one week, one blissful, beautiful, delicious week where he slept at night. And because he sleeps besides me, I can nurse him while I sleep. And before you judge me for sleeping with him, I will just tell you that we both actually get sleep this way. And that is why I'm not willing to try and give it up until after I'm not working anymore. Anyway, then he got a cold and he started going to sleep at 4 am again.

Ben is a joy when he first wakes up. He smiles and coos and giggles. And about half an hour to forty five minutes later, he's crabby. He's tired and cranky. This is when he cries. But, he fights the nap. He fights it so hard. And when he does go to sleep? He will wake up again within the hour. The result is the two of us fighting over sleep all day and him not getting enough sleep during the day which makes him overtired when it's time for him to go to bed for the night and then it's really hard to get him to sleep. And I don't mean I put him down for a nap and then he wakes up (because I know he'll wake up if I put him down). I'm holding him in the exact same way he went to sleep, and he'll still wake up.

I asked his doctor how I should go about switching his nights and days back around. He told me that I should limit his naps during the day and when he wakes up at night, don't interact with him other than to feed him or change him and that's it. And also keep the lights off. But don't pick him up or play with him or make eye contact. Well, if he wakes up in the bed, I have to pick him up to go into the living room so we don't keep Chris up. So there goes that. Last night, I was trying really hard not to make eye contact or encourage him to be awake or anything. But I saw him out of the corner of my eye, and he was just smiling ear to ear at me. And how can I resist? I don't want him to think smiling won't get my attention. So I looked at him and smiled back. He started kicking his legs and waving his arms in excitement, and he was giggling like crazy. My word, this kid already knows how to melt his mama. So of course, I played with him. My heart is not made of stone, and apparently neither is my resolve. I'm pretty much going to die when I have to go back to work.

I went to my doctor again today about ppd. The estradiol didn't work as my doctor had hoped. What it did do was decrease my milk supply and give me a period. Yay! So I started taking fenugreek to boost my milk. It finally kicked in last night. It's super sweet. I got 4 oz of milk in 7 minutes today when I usually only get 2 oz in 20. This is going to make pumping and working so so much easier. So even though my doc took me off the estradiol today, I'm definitely sticking with the fenugreek until I get laid off. Now I get to try Prozac. I'm not really thrilled about going on an anti-depressant, but I'm not getting any better on my own. Mostly, I just wish this would all go away. I don't want to deal with it, and I can't tell you how many times I thought about canceling the follow up with my doctor and just not dealing with it. But it's important to me to try and really be there for Ben. He's having such a rough time getting his sleep together, and I'm not going to be able to help him if I'm falling apart. I really really hope the Prozac works.

A happy thing that I have to share is my weight loss. I've lost 38 lbs since I had Ben. I still have 14 lbs until pre-pregnancy weight and, oh, probably 40 lbs until before I started trying to conceive weight, but I'm encouraged. I haven't done anything to lose this weight so far (just breastfeeding and staying hydrated), so I'm really trying to get motivated to start at least walking to get some exercise. But my big excuse right now is the snow. I just don't want to walk around in it. My other excuse not to walk in the snow is that I'm notoriously clumsy and I will slip and fall with my baby hanging on me in his sling. I'm sure even if we didn't have so much snow, I'd still have some sort of lame excuse. But I can still be happy about the weight I have lost and try not to put any back on.

I have other things I want to blog about, but I'm so tired. I'm running on about 4 hours of sleep and I should be sleeping with my baby right now. If anyone has any ideas about how to keep Ben asleep through his sleep cycles during his naps, that would be appreciated. He's not waking up because he's hurting. He always wakes up happy; he just wakes up too early.


  1. I know EXACTLY what you mean about the trying not to make eye contact only to see or hear your baby smiling super big at you. Abby does it all the time and it melts my heart.

    I've heard that you shouldn't change the baby at night unless he/she is poopy. Also I know you said you go out into the living room to avoid waking Chris up but I think if you two were to stay in bed and keep the lights off or just a very dim light he might quietly eat and then fall back asleep before he gets out of his groggy stage.

    Daddy's can suffer through the sleepless nights too.

    Also about day night stuff, keep the lights dim at night and bright and sun light during the day. Music, tv, noise etc during the day and quite at night. Also try the Johnson & Johnson Lavendar bedtime bath soap and then follow up with an Avveno Lavendar massage, it puts Abby out in 15 minutes flat!

    Last thing, do you swaddle? Maybe he's waking himself up at night with his arms? The Moro reflex makes them feel like they are falling.

    Hope it gets better.

  2. That was good advice! The lavender is good. Be sure and bathe him before going to bed at night, that worked for my babes. I am so excited by this time next week I'll be seeing you. Should we try to bring those clothes on the plane or should we ship them? You are such a good mommy to work so hard to try to find the right things to do for Ben! You are doing great!!

  3. "Daddy's can suffer through the sleepless nights too."

    I did. We would take turns, actually. We would each try our best to hurry and get up with the kid when she started screaming. Usually, only one of us didn't have it in them to get up right away. Karli still makes the cute noises when she wakes up in the morning. But if it's too early, she just lies there and thinks or plays with her blanket or whatever while mommy finishes her rest. If Ben is lying there happily make cute noises, that's something you can learn to sleep through, even though you'd like to witness it.

  4. ummm...I don't know how to fix that. I've been tired for, how old is C? oh yeah, the last 9 years. If I could go back, I would really not have sacrificed myself so much. I REALLY needed the sleep I didn't get. I truly know how it feels to not want your baby to cry when you are the thing that could make him stop. When all he wants is mama, it's next to impossible to say "too bad sweet lil baby, just cry it out." I'm sorry I can't be more helpful. You are definitely in my prayers. I do have some advice though. My babies ALWAYS loved it when I sang Janis Joplin. :)

  5. I feel for you. Had the PPD and had a baby who had his nights and days mixed up. I had serious sleep deprivation. I wish I could do something for you.
    My advice would to be sure that when you do lay Ben down for his nap or at bed that it isn't TOO quiet. We always made sure our babe slept with a little noise. That way he'd be able to sleep through any sounds throughout the day or night. I wouldn't worry too much about your husband. :) You guys got into this baby business together, ya know. :) I would get a small night light in your room for nursing and changing so it doesn't keep Chris up. Try to get Ben on a routine. Someone else mentioned giving him a bath before bed. That might be soothing, especially if you massage some lavander smelling lotion on him afterward. The bath will signal for him that sleep time is coming shortly after. Sometimes white noise helped. Like using a blowdryer, or a CD with soothing sounds.
    I wish I had more advice to give you, but our babe didn't start sleeping through the nights until he was about 10 months old. It was frustrating.
    One thing I would like to mention is that maybe you should get your hormone levels tested. Perhaps there is something going on like thyroid issues. And the PPD is just compounding it. Just my 2 cents. I just don't like the idea of getting on some anti-depressants if the underlying cause is something else. Does that make sense?
    Oh, and congrats on losing so much of your baby weight!

  6. I have a suggestion with Ben at night, but if he cries the whole time, then this won't help. But I learned to sleep with my legs crossed Indian-style so that Tripp fit in the crook of my knee-pit, because he would be awake and I would be exhausted! Plus, a little night-light helps too, I HAVE to have light to be able to nurse.