Monday, March 4, 2013

From Scratch

Aleesia has been here for a little over a month and, generally speaking, I pretty much feel like I have never had a newborn living in my house before. 

Or possibly that it really doesn’t matter how many children you have or how close (or far apart) in age they are because they are each different and therefore each time is different.  Parenting from scratch, if you will.

I am doing a lot of things differently this time, but still, I feel like I am totally out of my element in so many ways.  But really, two pretty major things.

The Sleep Sitch

My little peanut has a serious dislike for sleeping in her own bed.  This is totally foreign to me because Gianna slept in her crib every single night from the day we came home from the hospital. Aleesia wants no part of that nonsense.  I put her in there for naps and she wakes up by the time my feet hit the next floor.  I try to put her in there for night time and she wakes up even faster.  So, right now she is sleeping in the rock & play (that thing is AWESOME!) next to our bed.

I’m not going to lie – it is really nice in the middle of the night, I can just reach over and calm her and/or feed her without much fuss. And without getting out of my warm bed.  But also, I feel pretty strongly that kids and parents need their own sleeping spaces.  Any tips on helping her to transition/adjust to sleeping in her own room? 

She likes to be cozy – so we either swaddle her (even though she MUST have her left arm out!) or put her in a sleep sack at night, so that’s all fine.  I have considered putting her rock & play in her room for now (she likes the snuggly-ness of it, plus the incline helps her reflux) but I don’t know if that will just end up being one more thing to “transition” her out of in the long run.  I know she’s still teeny and maybe I shouldn’t make a huge deal out of her still being in our room – but it will be a huge deal to me when I go back to work.   And also, she sleeps pretty well how things are right now – she goes anywhere from 2-5 hour stretches at night.  Obviously, I don’t want to mess THAT up either! I cherish anything over 3 consecutive hours of sleep!

She isn’t a huge fan of the nap (although, she has been doing pretty good today) probably because she doesn’t feel so hot a lot of days.  She seems to have pretty intense gas pains, hiccups a plenty and reflux to boot (thankfully, it is not NEARLY to the degree that Gianna’s was at this point so I am hoping we can manage this on our own without meds. but, we’ll see) all of which contribute to her inability to relax/nap.  She sometimes takes small cat naps with a longer stretch at some point during the day.  Almost always the longer stretch is laying on me, occasionally she’ll stay asleep in her swing for an hour or so.  Again, not a huge deal right now – but I’d LOVE for her to nap in her crib  (or in the swing, I guess) for Mike when I am at work!  I’m sure she’ll learn to appreciate the nap eventually.

The Breastfeeding Sitch

This is all new territory for me so I am obviously learning this from scratch.  Overall, it’s going well.  She gets kind of lazy with her latch, so we are working on that.  I am not used to the “schedule” or rather, lack of schedule, associated with breastfeeding.  Aleesia will feed from anywhere between 10 and 40  minutes at a time and go 1.5 – 4 hours (at night, mainly) between feedings.  I’m sure she is getting enough, but the Type A part of me feels this need to know EXACTLY how much she eats each time (mostly because I need to make sure I pump enough for her).  I did do a weight before/after feeding with her last week and she only ate about an ounce that time.  Who knows if that is normal for her.  I don’t LOVE it or anything – but it is working so far.  I have noticed her reflux and fussiness (and possibly some dermatitis) is a little worse if I eat raw dairy especially (milk/yogurt/cheese).  I am going to talk to the pediatrician about it tomorrow.

Pumping can totally suck it though – I already know if I am going to make it to six months (let alone a year) of pumping/feeding I am going to need a lot of support.  I finally got the right size shield for my pump so that helps – but oh my goodness what a pain!  I know it’s worth it – but it is hard for me to fit in a pumping session during the day.  Or maybe I’m just not making a ton of time for it so far.  I know I need to work on this because I do have things going on in the evenings this week and every other week until I go back to work that she will need to eat when I am not home!  Any magical tips to keeping up your supply/making pumping more bearable?

I’m sure I will have a whole post dedicated to this eventually.  I really do feel clueless and I (irrationally) worry she isn’t eating enough a lot of the time.  This is tricky!


Overall – I just feel like everything is SO new and SO different from “last time” that I need to forget about “last time”.  Aleesia is her own person, she is going to test us in new ways and do her own thing.  I should probably take the perspective that any similarity she has to her sister (that we know/remember how to manage) is a lucky break for us!  I have gotten pretty good at managing my (non-existent) expectations up until now, but these two things are really throwing me off. 


Dana said...

The sleep sitch...I'd try:
1. Putting the rock and play in her room - even in her CRIB if the thing fits :) So what if you have to transition her out of it? The goal is to get her out of your room and that would totally help with that, so go for it, babes!! :)

2. Get out a water bottle or your iron and try warming up the sheets before you put her down. That was the ONLY thing that got Genevieve to sleep in her crib. She felt the difference in temperature going from Bob's chest to the crib and went, "WHOA BITCH! You cannot put me on these cold ass crib sheets!" Ironing them first helped to totally fool her ;)
3. We had to find the right white noise. We tried like 8 different things and found that water sounds helped keep her asleep for longer stretches. But, we did a lot of trial and error with that.

Simone, like Gianna, slept in her crib from 1. Genevieve was a total pain in the ass about it - she slept on Bob's chest on the couch for the first 6 WEEKS. I feel ya.

The BF Sitch:
1. Do you have her on a probiotic? I would absolutely start there. Newborns have immature little digestive systems and a probiotic COULD be an easy cure for a lot of her gas/pain/fussiness/reflux. We used Nature's Way Children's Primadopholus - it was poweder and we put a 1/2 tsp in about 1/2 ounce of warm water and gave it to Genevieve via bottle. It cured about 90% of all those issues PLUS the horrible yeast issues she had.
Will it definitely work? No. You might have to cut out dairy completely to see some relief. But, it would be a cheap and easy START. :) If you DO decide to cut out dairy, give it at least two weeks before you decide if it's working. Dairy remains in your system at least that long - sometimes a month.
As far as the pumping....she's just not old enough yet for you to be getting large amounts in pumping sessions. She probably only eats 1-2 ounces at a time at this point in time, so that's about what you're going to get - IF that. A full time BF'ing mom averages pumping 1/2 to 1 ounce from BOTH SIDES if they pump in between sessions. So, if you're getting a 1/2 ounce total, you're a rockstar. If you're pumping in PLACE of a regular feeding, you're only going to get about 70% of what Aleesia would normally eat. My pumping production didn't really pick up until closer to 3-4 months. Right now, you're just not going to get a huge pumping output because you are just busy nursing ALL. THE. TIME. Once Aleesia eats less often, you'll have an oppotunity to really get a good pumping session in. Right now, that's hard. At the 4 month mark, I pumped 7 ounces off my left side every single morning and Genevieve ate NINE ounces off the right side and that was her one huge feed for the day. The rest were all like 1-2 ounces, even at 5-6 months old.

alison said...

This made me smile - I forgot everything by the time Jude was born. Like, I nursed him after delivery and the nurse was like, "ok! and now you need to burp him." Like zomg, I forgot babies had to be burped!

I struggled w/B with not knowing how much he was getting, too. (Jude was a tank, so I guess I didn't fret about it so much?) Don't worry about the long term, you don't know what will happen between then and now anyway. Just feed her today, as well as you can. I can't believe she's a month already!

Pam B said...

Try fenugreek to boost your milk production. :)

Deborah said...

We are the opposite with sleep - my first never wanted to be put down, and I've been pleasantly surprised to find that my second will actually sleep on her own! My husband put a knitted blanket down in her bassinet; that seems more comfortable for her somehow.

For the BFing, as she gains weight you will be reassured that she's getting enough, and as she gets more communicative you won't worry about that as much either.

To make pumping more bearable, you may have already done this, but I found it helped to just set up the pump somewhere and leave it there. It saves tons of time not to have to unplug it, roll up the tubes, put the pieces back in the bag... sounds minor, but I found it helpful.