Monday, January 4, 2010

What's That Thing You're Supposed to Do At Night?

Oh yeah...SLEEP!!

Someone forgot to give my daughter the memo... The two weeks that she was home on holiday have felt like two years in a lot of ways. But there are a couple of key issues.

First of all, the separation anxiety. I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to be in a room full of relatives who want nothing more than to spend some time with your baby, only to have said baby scream bloody murder anytime Mommy puts her down/walks out of the room. We all know that I am a single mother, so I thoroughly enjoy it when there are other people around who are interested in helping out with the care of my children. The holidays are great for this. Everyone loves to feed a baby. Everyone loves to hold little babies. So for those precious moments during the holiday get-togethers, I look forward to others getting their "baby time" if you will. But none of that happened this year. The Girl is at the age where not only does Mommy need to be visible at all times, it is preferable if she is somehow touching Mommy. Sitting next to me on the floor is just not sufficient thankyouverymuch. Plus, there are times when I simply MUST put her down in order to get her brother a plate for dinner, or help clear the table, or pee for GOD SAKE! And during those times she would scream like someone was poking her eyes out with sharp sticks. Fun, fun times...

I briefly mentioned during my Christmas post that she got her first bad cold on Christmas day. The sickness was yucky in and of itself, but the ramifications of the sickness are just as bad, if not worse. When she was so stuffy she couldn't breathe she had a hard time nursing. Understandable. But now? She can breathe out of her nose, but during the day she isn't so much into the nursing anymore. Now don't get me wrong, I haven't started giving her bottles or anything. But she wants to see what is going on in the world. She arches her back, rips her face away (usually while still attached) and basically has no patience to lay there and eat a proper meal. She is fine first thing in the morning, and right before she goes to bed at night. But other than that? No thanks. Can't be bothered.

This has led to what appears to be some supply issues. During the time she was home with me she was basically only nursing 4 times a day. First thing in the morning (between 6 and 7), right before her morning nap (around 10:00), right before her afternoon nap (around 3:00) and right before bed (around 7:30). Sometimes I would try and throw another one in there either before lunch or after, but again, not all that interested. I know that is not enough milk in a day. She is eating three full meals right now (of solid foods), but still... I think this lack of milk she is getting is leading to the biggest and most frustrating issue of them all...

The child no longer sleeps through the night. There have been several nights since she was home (starting with when she was sick and continuing on) that she is waking up SCREAMING during the night. I have tried everything you can think of. I have gone in there and rubbed her back and "shushed" and calmed, I have tried to let her cry it out (that one definitely doesn't work), I have gotten her up and given her Tylenol/Gripe Water and rocked her and tried to put her back to bed. I have tried everything. But after several different variations on all of the above I am coming to the conclusion that she is hungry. Based on what I have read I try not to make nursing my first go-to conclusion when she wakes up. She has been sleeping through the night forever so I didn't want to get her into a habit of waking up to snack when it wasn't really necessary. So that is usually the last thing I try. But it seems to be what works. So that is why I think it is linked to the milk production going down. Last night she woke up screaming at like 9:30 and after half an hour of settling her she was up again at 10:15 I decided to give her a 4 ounce bottle of expressed breast milk. She downed it and went right back to sleep and slept until 7:20 this morning. I think she was hungry.

So now that she is back in school I am going to step up my pumping routine (hate that damn thing). I have a ton of frozen milk right now so I am not close to having to supplement.

I should note that while that is wonderful for most people, I have serious links back to my son's eating issues all starting at 9 months and he being on formula and...well I could write an entire post on that alone. But needless to say if you supplement your child I do NOT think you are a horrible person. On the contrary, I wish I could let go of my own issues regarding what happened to my son and just do what is right for my daughter...oh man, I am digressing BIG TIME!!).

Right now I am going to try and do what I can to get my supply to go back up and hopefully that will give her some more milk and help to have her sleep through the night again.

I also have been reading around on the internet and it seems right around 8 months is when a ton of kids start waking up during the night due to separation anxiety. That could explain why if I "give in" and bring her to my bed she almost always calms right down, smiles at me like, "See...was that so hard?" and goes back to sleep. But I don't want to start that as a habit (again, go co-sleeping if that's what you're just isn't for me) so I am trying to teach her to settle in her own room, in her own crib.

Oh yeah. And she's started crawling. Like for real. Damn...what a two weeks it has been. I feel like I aged 5 years. And since I have done nothing but bitch about her for this entire post, here are some super cute pictures to make it all seem okay. :)
She emptied her basket of toys and then sat in it. Seems like a good solution.
On the move. Crawling over to get her chubby little hands on the camera as fast as she can.

PS--Any and all suggestions for any of the above issues are greatly appreciated...

1 comment:

Guinevere said...

We've been having waking up to eat some nights, too, though not others. That is actually the biggest issue for talking to with pediatrician at our 6 month checkup this week - not sure if we should be encouraging it, but he's not a big guy and he's always been a distracted eater, so it's harder to say, "you're not really hungry." Like the Girl, he will down 5 oz if I give him a bottle of EBM... I think the waking happens on nights when he's really distracted at his last meal.

Stranger anxiety - I'd continue just as you're doing. Screaming like bloody murder does not actually mean that she is coming to harm if you are not in physical contact for a minute or two. I'm pretty sure she will learn this eventually. :)

As for the not co-sleeping... if you don't want to go down that road, I'd try to be firm about not giving in and taking her to bed with you.