Sunday, March 01, 2009

I am contractually obligated

If you have a parenting blog, it's mandatory to do a sleep post at some point. (I'm sure it's in that terms-of-service legalese SOMEWHERE.)

We started out with Andrew in the co-sleeper, swaddled and pacifiered, and initially it was lovely to roll over, feed, and put him back to bed. As newborns do, he napped wherever he happened to be, in the swing or in the crib or especially in the bed for naptime with Mama. We've fought the 45-minute nap monster his whole life, but he seemed happy enough, and went to bed at 8 PM or thereabouts without complaint. In November, he started sleeping until 7 AM, and I thought we had the sleep thing more or less licked.

In retrospect, the return of the night wakings should have been a clue that my milk production was on the wane. Once I got clued in to the great milk supply debacle, I started making sure he got a supplemental bottle at bedtime, and resigned myself to night feedings for a while. There was no question he was getting hungry in the middle of the night, and straightening out his weight gain was the top priority. Eventually he dropped the 2 AM feed, but was still waking up at 5 AM and then getting up for the day somewhere in the 7-8 AM range.

The milk supply seems to be pretty well fixed now. I gradually weaned him down to one 4-oz bottle a day, and when he gained a whole pound in a week on that single bottle, the doctor gave me the okay to discontinue it. (He even had RSV and needed a nebulizer during that week, and still he gained a pound!) I'm still on the Reglan, mainly because I'm scared to mess with non-brokenness. He's obviously gaining weight, and during the day seems very content. He's spacing his feeds out to be more like every three hours, instead of wanting to eat every hour and a half or two hours, which is a really nice break.

Now that he's knocking on the door of six months old, I'm getting really ready to get him out of our bedroom. He is a light sleeper, easily disturbed by the TV on the other side of the wall, or the barking dogs, or toddler wails. I miss not being able to read before falling asleep, and fold and put the laundry away in the evening, and have conversations with my husband in bed at night. To that end, I spent last week painting his room and setting up his nursery (total case of third-child syndrome, that).

More importantly to Andrew, I took his pacifier away and stopped nursing him down. He got to where I couldn't put him down unless he was so deeply asleep that he didn't care if it fell out of his mouth, and couldn't get back to sleep without it if he started to wake up. I'm still rocking him to sleep, and he fusses for a minute or so about wanting something to suck on, but then he goes down and stays that way until he wakes up for a feed. I'll be dropping the swaddle tonight, since he is outgrowing the blanket and also keeps winding up on his tummy, despite the sleep-positioner foam blocks I bought to prevent that. No plans to drop the rocking -- that was a major production with the girls and involved some crying-it-out, which I'm just not big on at his age. (I don't consider the pacifier removal fussing to be CIO, given that he's crying while being held, rocked, and sung to.) He's still waking up to eat in the middle of the night at least once, but at this point I'd rather go upstairs and either nurse him there or bring him back downstairs.

I'm pondering night-weaning, but I'm not ready for it yet, especially given that I am probably about to disturb the milk-supply equilibrium with endometriosis treatment stuff. After almost three weeks of good days, I've had some pain trouble again for the last several days; and I can't explain without going into TMI territory, but the endo has clearly been growing. I'm going to see the RE for another scan this week, and depending on what the ultrasound shows, it's probably time to start treating it, before it gets too invasive. I am half leaning toward asking for another lap excision, but I expect he will want to at least try BCP first. We'll see.

The sleep thing could certainly be worse, and it makes me realize just how fantastic the girls were at this age. They slept from 8 PM to 8 AM with three 1.5 hour daytime naps, which is as close to textbook sleep habits as you can get. I could wish Andrew napped better and didn't still wake up in the night, but I know the status quo really isn't too bad.


Mandy said...

We're having sleep issues around here too.. At our house it has been a neverending cycle of teething, illness, new skills, etc.

Come to think of it, your little one's night waking might be related to developing some new skills...I'll bet your supply is likely fine. There's some debate on how long they need to eat at night, but whatever you decide, here's hoping it works quickly for you. ((hug))

Here's hoping we both start getting more soon.

sexy said...
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Nic said...

I've had this post bookmarked to comment on for oh, a month now!

I wanted to say that your girls slept a lot more than textbook - 12 hours at night plus 4.5 hours = 16.5 hours of sleep; the average at six months is around 14 (according to HSHHC). So you totally lucked out there!!!

Timmy's still waking at night to eat too... I *know* he doesn't need it as he's tipping the scales at 19 lbs these days... I'm just afriad to CIO because I don't want to wake Ant up! I think I really just need to get over that and do it! Have you gotten Andrew going through the night yet?