Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hippy Hair

This picture shows several things: The fact that I can't seem to put a pacifier in my son's mouth correctly, the obvious proof that Jack is adorable, and he has hippy hair.

See those long, wispy hairs above his ear? I am constantly pushing and tucking them back behind his ears. I won't cut them though. I refuse to believe that my son is old enough for any sort of haircut.

My husband thinks otherwise.

I will win this fight.

The conversation this morning went something like this:

J: "It's really time to cut those hairs." (after kissing Jack and getting tickled by his long hairs).

R: "No way, it's not going to happen."

J: "He looks like a hippy. I don't want my son to be a hippy."

R: "He is a little baby. He does not look like a hippy. Didn't your dad hate your hair when you were younger because it was long? And didn't you refuse to cut it?"

J: "Yes, but that's besides the point."

WRONG! It is the point. Our son is not getting a haircut. He can keep those wispy, baby hairs.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I'm Groggy

This medication that I am on for my PPD (yes, I was officially diagnosed with it) makes me really groggy. I almost don't want to take it because I feel like a zombie. But, I know side effects are normal and I need to stick it out.

That's all I really have to post. I am so tired that I think I might go to bed. It's only 8:00pm. Oy.

I will post a Jack Jack update another time.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Let's Not Mince Words

I am depressed. Let's just get that out there. Yes, I have a beautiful, healthy baby, but I am sad. I have fought this for six months and now it's time I do something about it.

Tomorrow I go see my doctor. I don't know if this is post partum depression or just a really bad funk.

It doesn't help that I am tired, virtually a single parent (my husband works swing and I hardly see him), try and maintain a household all by myself and have a very cranky baby with reflux who doesn't sleep.

I know, cry me a river right? Quit your whining? Is that what you want to say? It could be worse, suck it up Rachel. People would kill to be in your shoes Rachel. I know all this, but it still doesn't mean that I AM DEPRESSED.

My new goal is to try and enjoy the little things. When Jack laughs hysterically at something stupid I do. Or when he sleeps for 2 hours straight. Or when I get the first brownie out of the pan straight from the oven. Okay that last one isn't baby related, but it is still damn important!

I want to enjoy my baby. I feel like I have missed a lot of time with him because of the way I am feeling. I don't really talk about my feelings to anyone because, well, let's face it, being depressed is pretty depressing. No one wants to hear the woe is me story. I was told by someone (who shall remain nameless) that I should pray. I don't think praying is going to help solve all my problems but TYVM.

There you have it.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I Hate My Body

I realize that I shouldn't complain, after all, my body is at least working. But I am getting my first post-partum period. Almost a week ago, I had the telltale signs of ovulation.

Now, I am spotting.

I guess it was only a matter of time. I heard the first one is awful.

You may find me curled up in the fetal position tomorrow.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sleep Issues

I have never made it a secret that Jack has sleep issues. I don't know if they are his issues or our issues, but someone has issues! Jack currently wakes up an average of 5 times a night. Generally, he goes for about 90 minutes before he needs to wake up and eat. Yes, he eats every time he wakes up.

This is not unusual for him, although at one point, a couple of months ago, he slept through the night for a stretch of 9 days. He would go to sleep at 8:00, wake up at 2:00am to eat and then back up for the day at 6:00. I know he CAN do it. I honestly don't know what changed between then and now.

I feel like we are at a crossroads. I need to either force him into a sleeping habit or learn to give up and realize that he will get on a schedule and sleep through the night when he's darn well ready.

I am struggling lately with all the parenting advice that is being thrown my way. Even Jack's pediatrician thinks we should let him cry it out. I have never felt comfortable with this approach, but we decided to try a modified version on Friday night. I am going to review what happened along with the other strategies that we have tried along with why I don't think Jack is ready to STTN (sleep through the night).

Friday night, I decided enough was enough and read up on the Baby Whisperer's version of training a baby to sleep. It involves the Pick Up/Put Down method. Put the baby in the crib awake, don't pick him up unless he starts crying. Before you pick him up, try and place a hand on their back to calm them. If that doesn't work, pick up the baby but then put him back down as soon as he stops crying. Repeat this process until he realizes that he needs to go to sleep. By picking him up when he's crying, you are telling him that you are comforting him but that he needs to go to sleep.

I did this twice with Jack and Jason did this over four times. It took 30 minutes both times I tried it. It took Jason the better part of an hour. Jack got so upset by doing this that he hyperventilated and threw up. I am sorry, but how is this method soothing in any way? I am not willing to try it any longer. One night was enough. He was so traumatized that on Saturday, every time I put him in the crib, his face would crumple in his sleep and he would cry and wake up.

The author of this book emphasizes that all baby sleep habits are learned and the fault of the parent (that is my summary at least). I am not willing to let my child cry for that long and get so upset that he throws up. Method fail.

The No Cry Sleep Solution is another book that I have read and we have had limited success with. The methods all make a lot of sense. Create a bedtime routine with your baby and stick to it. Use things such as a lovee or a pacifier so that they can self soothe. Fill your baby up with food so that they don't wake during the night. All great ideas, but again, we have had limited success. Even with a bedtime routine that never changes, Jack still wakes every 90 minutes.

I am now reading Dr. Sears Sleep Book and so far, I like it. He stresses that methods such as cry it out stress a baby out unnecessarily and can cause problems later on. He also states that babies who are breastfed (Jack is mostly breastfed) are made to wake up several times a night to eat. I don't get the impression with his book that it's the parent's fault for sleep issues. He actually has plans for parents who want to co-sleep or for those who want their babies to sleep in their crib.

Now, here is where I don't think Jack is ready to sleep through the night. Everything I have read says that babies who are as old as Jack don't need to eat in the middle of the night. Babies at his age should be taking in double their body weight in milk. For Jack, that is almost 36 ounces. He has NEVER EVER eaten that much in any one day. He is lucky to take in 30. By the time bedtime comes around, he has consumed about 20-24 ounces. That means he still has a milk deficit. When does he get that extra nourishment? AT NIGHT. With his reflux, he still eats constantly and very small amounts. His stomach is not capable of taking more than 3-4 ounces at a time, and even that is rare. He is waking up because he is hungry. By not feeding my baby during the night like the supposed "experts" claim is not necessary, he would be going hungry.

The advice that has been presented to me is generally crap. I have had people tell me "sleeping with your baby isn't beneficial". Well, I would like to challenge those people because when Jack was sleeping through the night for those 9 days, he did so sleeping next to me. And when we sleep together now, he still wakes up every 90 minutes. Regardless of where he sleeps, he wakes up the same amount. I have also had people tell me that I should let him cry it out, try and feed him more solids (which he is struggling with, that is another post), put him exclusively on formula, and other myriads of information.

I had an ephiphany today. My baby is MY BABY. He is his own person and can't be compared to other babies. My child wakes every 90 minutes to eat. That is his way of life and Jason and I need to accept that. We have talked about it and are willing to live with this way of life for a little while longer. We are still going to try some other non-invasive methods, but for now, it's okay. Our baby doesn't sleep through the night and I am okay with that. He will in his own time.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

All About Food

Jack has started solids and he seems very uninterested. At first, he seemed to really like carrots and peaches, but now, eating is just too much of a chore for him.

He usually takes a couple of bites but then starts to fuss. I refuse to feed him if he's fussing because I don't want to get into a bad habit of force-feeding him. Everything I have read says that if you do that, you set them up for disliking meal time among other problems.

Maybe it's his highchair? Maybe he is just slower to like foods then other babies? Whatever it is, I am trying not to be frustrated. I don't let on that I am getting overwhelmed. He gets his pill mixed in during meal time so I need to get him to at least take a couple of bites. If he doesn't get his pill, he's pretty miserable.

One night, he ate the peaches with gusto, but yet the next, he threw up as soon as the peaches touched his lips. I thought every baby liked bananas, but yet Jack gags if he gets them. He doesn't like rice cereal and only eats oatmeal if something else is mixed in with it (usually peaches). I have even tried giving him finger food of fruit and he is not interested.

I really want him to enjoy mealtimes. God knows both his dad and I love to eat.

Now about the other food: Breastmilk. You may have read my previous posts about quitting pumping and going to formula. By last Sunday, I was down to four pumps a day (from five). I noticed right away that my supply took a huge dip so I thought, "Oh good, my body is realizing it's time to stop".

Come Monday, I started having huge anxiety about pumping. HUGE! I realized that I don't want to quit. I like knowing that I am taking care of my baby's nutritional needs. I am cheap. I don't want to buy formula. I will still have to supplement because my supply isn't great. Jack still needs about 8 ounces of formula a day.

Here I am whining and complaining about pumping and lugging bottles to work and lugging my pump and all the dishes. I guess feeding my baby is more important than my inconvenience.

Stupid right? But I am happy with my decision (again). I am going to continue pumping as long as I can. My supply is very low, probably because my body wasn't used to the 4 pumps a day. I am back up to 5 now and might eventually go back up to 6 if I can swing a 5:30 pump like I used to.

I wish I wasn't so wishy-washy about making major decisions like this. I was all set to quit, and now I am not. Next week when I want to change my mind again, will someone kindly slap some sense into me? Thank you kindly.

Monday, August 2, 2010

6 Month Appointment

Today, Jack Jack had his 6 month pediatrician appointment. I felt bad scheduling it on his 6 month birthday, but it was the only available opening.

He did so great! I was worried about him gagging and throwing up the Rotavirus vaccine like he did two months ago, but he didn't!

He officially weighs 17 pounds 11 ounces (60th percentile) and 27.25 inches (80th percentile). He has been pretty consistent with his weights and measurements and usually stays in the same percentiles.

We got to his appointment on time and didn't even have to wait. Jack had a blast staring at himself in the mirror and sitting on the exam table. He played with the paper covering and shredded it to pieces. Funny how they get excited over the most simple things. He was shrieking and yelling and having a grand ole time even though I had to wake him from a nap in his carseat. I am lucky to have such a generally happy boy.

I talked to Dr. D about what to give Jack after orange veggies. I always thought it was green veggies but she told me to move on to orange and yellow fruits. This makes me really happy since I am thinking my boy is going to take after his Mommy and prefer sweets. More on that later.

After the appointment, Jack got his shots and immunizations. Icky. He always does so great but I was nervous about his oral vaccine. He surprised me. I came armed with a bib and a blanket to clean up the throw up. He was stripped down to nothing but a diaper in case he threw up like last time. Although he cried, arched and spit out a lot of the medicine, he didn't throw up. He doesn't cry for his shots, but this time he did. I think he was just generally irritated that he had to get icky tasting medicine. He didn't cry for the first one, but he wailed for the second. After a quick snuggle with Mommy, he was all better.

He needs to start taking flouride and vitamin supplement. Not looking forward to this folks. It's just another medicine to give him. Let's hope he doesn't gag.

The low point of the appointment is when I talked to Dr. D about his sleeping. She recommended cry it out. I can't do it folks, I really can't. I don't have the heart to let him cry. She could tell that it made me really anxious so she suggested putting him down when he's fully awake. I am not sure that is going to work either. He is like trying to tame a Tazmanian devil when he's tired. He flails, arches, cries and gets really rowdy. I imagine putting him down when he's awake will be like trying to tame a wild beast. Going in every five minutes to pat his belly just won't work.

I am going to do some more reading before resorting to either of her options. Honestly, his sleep sucks, but you know what? I am not sure it's a problem for him. It's a problem for us, but it's been 6 months. What's a few more months? I have three books checked out from the library on sleep. If they don't work, I will see about putting him down fully awake for two weeks like Dr. D suggested.

When we got home, guess what? He got peaches! And guess what? HE LOVED THEM. I couldn't shovel them into his mouth fast enough. He got fussy in between bites until he saw the spoon coming. Tonight was the most amount of food he has ever eaten. He ate about a quarter of the jar of peaches!

I can't believe how fast 6 months has gone by and I can't believe how big my baby has gotten. Good gracious!

6 Months Old!

Happy Half Birthday Jack Jack! 6 months ago, at this very moment, I was in my hospital room. I had just woken up from a restless night of sleep and was waiting for my nurse to come in and start my Pitocin drip. I knew I was going to meet you in just a few hours and was so excited!

You are getting so aware of your surroundings these past few days. When we sit at the table to eat, you watch us like a hawk in the hopes that you might get a nugget of food. Speaking of food, you are officially on "solids". Pureed baby food is more like it. So far, you have had rice cereal (you aren't a fan), oatmeal (eh), sweet potatoes (yum!), carrots (OMG), and butternut squash (pretty tasty!). In the next few days, we will start giving you the green vegetables. I hope you like them!

You drank from a cup for the first time on Saturday. We were at the beach for our family reunion and were watching Nana intently. You wanted what was in her cup very badly. Mommy gave you a cup of just a little water and you loved it! It was really cute watching you drink and then your eyes get so big when you tasted the water.

Here are a few more interesting things about you:

* You are wearing size 3 diapers and 6 month clothing. You can still wear a few 3 month onesies, but the pants look like you are channeling Steve Urkel.

* Bathtime is fun for you. Immediately after putting you in the tub, you start playing with your boy parts. They are just the most interesting thing to you. Same goes for diaper changes. 3.2 seconds after I get the diaper off, guess where your hand goes?

* You are up to about 8 ounces of formula a day. Mommy just can't keep up with you but that's okay. You don't seem to have any issues with the formula.

* Thankfully, in the past couple of weeks, you have learned to get your gas out. In the form of really loud, stinky farts. Sorry buddy, but it's freaking hysterical! You even fart in your sleep.

* Sitting up on your own is on the horizon. You can do it for a few seconds but then you topple over.

* Sleeping through the night is really far off I think. You still wake up about every 90 minutes during the night. Thank goodness Daddy is on nighttime duty otherwise Mommy would get no sleep.

* I haven't witnessed it, but Nana says you are getting a little leary of strangers. This weekend at the beach, you saw a ton of new people and weren't scared at all. As a matter of fact, you were smiling away all weekend.

* You are absolutely enthralled with the cats, especially Kahlua. You shriek/talk at them in the hopes that they will get close enough for you to grab.

* Speaking of shrieking, you have certainly found your voice! You shriek when you are happy and although it's cute now, I have a feeling it's going to get pretty old fast.

Buggy, we love you! Keep growing strong and healthy. Today, you have your 6 month pediatrician appointment. I can't wait to see how big you have gotten.