Co-Sleeping

When I was pregnant, and even before that, I never understood the people who co-slept with their babies.  It seemed strange, foreign, unsafe and a whole slew of those negative words, not to mention just plain weird.  After having a baby, I have done a complete 180.  In the beginning, Henry slept in his bassinet at night, which was in our room.  He’d be right next to our bed, so we’d have easy access to him whenever he woke up.  Also, being brand new to the whole parenting thing, it was nice to easily be able to peer into the bassinet to make sure that he was still alive.

For about the first two weeks or so Henry did pretty well at sleeping in his bassinet.  We’d put him in there all swaddled up and he’d sleep for 2 to 3 hours at a stretch at night.  Then, something changed.  I have no idea what changed, all I know is that something did.  It seemed like all of a sudden he refused to be in the bassinet.  I’d rock and/or nurse him to sleep, and then lay him down in the bassinet and as soon as he touched that mattress he’d wake up crying.  At that point, J and I would take turns walking up and down the hall of our house to try and lull him back to sleep.  And of course we’d try to lay him back down in his bassinet again, and of course he’d wake up again.  We’d go hours like this at night….

Eventually, I’d lay with Henry on my chest in bed until he fell asleep, and then I’d try to transfer him to his bed after he’d been asleep for a while.  The problem with that was our bed is very soft, and high off the ground.  So, I’d sit up as carefully as I could (never carefully enough) and then I’d have to scoot to the edge of the bed, and the slide down to the ground so that I could put him in the bassinet.  It NEVER worked.  Maybe it would have if I could have moved gracefully and seamlessly, but I have my doubts that any sleep deprived person at 3:00 am can do that.

After days of being unsuccessful that way, eventually Henry just stayed on my or J’s chest while we slept.  From there, we started getting scared that he’s slide off and topple to the floor, so we started putting him in between us and going to sleep that way.  And you know what?  As soon as we started co-sleeping full on, he slept through the night!  My month old baby was sleeping through the night!  Of course at this point he was still waking up for one middle of the night feeding, but by 6 weeks, that had stopped.  And honestly, I’d rather co-sleep and be rested, than have to wrestle Henry to sleep every night so we could be in separate beds and then no one would get any sleep.  It’s a pretty clear choice to me.

J has made the biggest turn around on the co-sleeping front.  He was so AGAINST it in the beginning.  Afraid that we’d crush him, or knock him off the bed, or smother him and the list goes on and on.  But as time went by, he grew to love it.  J only gets to see Henry for about 2 to 3 hours a day.  An hour in the morning while we’re getting ready, and about 2 hours in the evening (if we’re lucky) before Henry has to go to bed.  So, being able to cuddle him, even while he slept made him feel that much closer to him and helped him get those extra snuggles in that all parents are desperate for.

I’m not sure how long it’s been now, but we’ve established a bedtime routine for some time now.  Henry goes to bed around 7:30 every night (of course there are the exceptions).  So, as J and I don’t go to bed at 7:30, we started putting him in crib for his first sleep stretch.  So, from 7:30 to 11:00 – 1:00 he’d sleep in his crib.  Once he woke up we’d transfer him to our bed and we’d all go back to sleep again – easy peasy.

Last night we decided to try and keep him in his crib for as long as we could so that we can start the transition for him to be there all night.  He went to sleep last night at 7:45 and he slept in there until about 11:00 when he woke up.  J replaced his pacifier and he went back to sleep until around 1:00.  Again, the pacifier was replaced and he slept until around 2:45.  At that time, I got up and rocked him back to sleep for about 10 minutes and was able to put him back down.  At 3:45 he woke up again, and J and I were tired…so back into our bed he came until the alarm went off at 6:00.

We’re slowly reaching our goal of having him in his own bed.  As much as I love co-sleeping and the fact that it’s saved us an enormous amount of grief and helped us to be rested new parents, it does have its draw backs.  That cuddle time you have with your spouse is pretty much gone while you have a baby sleeping between you, not to mention any nighttime recreational activities, if you know what I mean 😉  There were/are also those time were you wake up in a panic because there’s a blanket covering the baby’s face, or when you roll over and discover that your slightly on top of the kiddo.  Those things scare the shit out of you, but the good news is that babies are sturdier than we think and a lot more resilient.  So, while I’m not as worried anymore about killing him in my sleep, J and I still have freak out moments every now and then.

All in all though, I’m glad we did/are co-sleeping.  There’s something special about being able to snuggle with your baby while they sleep, and waking up still snuggled with him.

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Budding Musician??

J is a band director, and all through college he studied to be a percussionist and even now plays gigs throughout the year for different people/organizations.  He’s pretty awesome at it (and he’ll be the first to tell you that –  being a percussionist goes hand in hand with having an ego).  Anyway, it looks as though Henry is taking after dad even at 3 months old!

 

Month 3

Dear Henry,

Today you are 3 months old!!  Three months!!??  How did we get here already?  I swear that it seems like I brought you home from the hospital just last week.  Despite the feeling that time is flying by way too fast, you are growing and developing everyday.  Your head control is getting to be down right awesome.  We’re to point now that we can put you in your jumperoo and you just have a ball in it.  So much so that your Bubbi got you one for the office as well.  You are starting to be able to touch all the different parts and to make them move and make sounds.  It’s so fascinating to watch your determination to make it do what you want it to.

Tummy time is getting better everyday for you as well, but you still hate it.  You can tolerate it if I have you propped up on a pillow so you can see better.  But that really only stalls the crying fit that you have.

We think that you’ve started to teeth.  You chew on anything that you can get into your mouth (you really love chewing on our fingers best), plus you’re a little drooling machine, and you can blow bubbles like a pro.

Your dad and I are starting to transition you into sleeping in your crib all the time.  You start the night out there, we usually put you down between 7:30 and 8:00, and you’ll sleep in your crib until about 1:00 am.  By that point your dad and I are too tired to try and get you to sleep in your crib for the rest of the night, so we just bring you into bed with us and you’ll sleep the rest of the night there until the alarms go off in the morning.  So far this is working for us, but at some point you’ll start sleeping in there longer and longer…hopefully.

You’re talking and cooing all the time now, and not to mention smiling.  Your smile just lights up a room, and no one can resist smiling back at you.

At three months old, you LOVE:

  • Cuddles
  • People who make funky faces at you
  • People who make funky noises at you
  • Smiling
  • Having your diaper changed
  • Being in the bath/shower
  • Being in your jumperoo/exersaucer
  • Playing airplane
  • Chewing
  • ….the ipad…..
  • Seeing your mom and dad (melts our hearts every time)

At three months old you HATE:

  • Being hungry
  • Being tired
  • Being overstimulated
  • Being under stimulated
  • Not being the center of attention
  • Having a dirty diaper
  • Being cold/hot
  • Getting in/out of the bath/shower

You’re growing so much everyday and discovering new things everyday.  It’s such a joy to watch you discover the world.  I love you so much and I’m so proud of what you can do and who you are already becoming!

Love,

-Mom

 

Nursing Strike???

Life has been a whirlwind lately.  I have so much to tell you, but I’ll have to break it all up into several different posts, otherwise this one will be so disjointed and not to mention LONG.

I’m going to start with my day yesterday, but it requires a little back story.

On Tuesday I had Henry with me at the office and my mother-in-law commented that he didn’t seem like his normal smiley, happy baby self.  I agreed with her.  He wasn’t incredibly fussy, but he wasn’t happy, and I started to notice that he was pulling at his ear at different times during the day.  So, I called the pediatrician and they made an appointment for him that afternoon.  I thought that he was coming down with another ear infection (yes, he’s already had one…), but they checked him out and told me that he was perfectly healthy.  So, I took him home and get some extra snuggle and cuddle time in with him.

On Wednesday he was fussier than normal.  At around 11:00, I nursed him and he was clearly having problems with it, he would latch on and give a few sucks and then abruptly pull himself off.  He would also swing his arms wildly during the nursing session and after a while I felt like I was getting beaten up.  After an hour of latching and unlatching he stopped.  I don’t know if he was full or just too aggravated to eat anymore.  At 2:00 I tried to feed him again, and as soon as I brought him to me, he started crying.  When I put the boob in his mouth, he screamed and cried harder.  He refused to latch and eat, and I started to get worried.  I figured that I’d give it a little bit of time and that we’d try again.  At 3:00 he was still refusing to eat and I didn’t want him to go too long without eating so I decided to take him to a clinic that was close to work.

When I got to the clinic, they said that they don’t see anyone without an appointment, and that their walk-in clinic doesn’t start until 5:30.  They told me to head around the corner and take him to an urgent care.  So, crying baby in tow, I headed over to the urgent care.  Once I got there, I went to the receptionist and told her what was going on.  She told me to hold on for a moment, she wanted to go straight to the doctor and that she’d be right back.  When she came back, she said that they don’t see babies this young and that I should take Henry to the hospital.  At the word “hospital” I lost it and I started crying.  I somehow made it to the car before I started bawling.  Once I got to my car I calmed down, and sat in the backseat with Henry and decided to breastfeed him there to make sure that I’m not imagining the problem, and see if he would nurse at all.  The nonstop crying that he was doing then escalated to screams again as soon as he was up against my breast.  At this point I call Henry’s pediatrician.  The receptionist there takes my message and says that a nurse will call me back.  Having to leave a message while a baby is screaming in the background infuriated me and brought me to tears at the same time.

After that, I called J and I completely broke down phone.  I didn’t know what to do or where to take Henry.  I knew that he needed to be seen, but no one would see him anywhere that I took him and I didn’t know what to do.  J tells me that he’s going to call the pediatrician again, and to start driving Henry and myself there.  So, we head from Greensboro to Asheboro (40 minutes?) all the while with a screaming/crying baby.  After about 20 minutes Henry cried himself to sleep, but was making those hiccup sounds that children make after they’ve been crying for so long and so hard, and that was almost harder to listen to.

When we arrived at the pediatrician’s office we were almost immediately taken into the back to see the doctor.  They weighted Henry first, and he had lost 4 ounces from when he was there yesterday.  We were put into a room and in just a few minutes the pediatrician came in.  He examined Henry pretty thoroughly, and his prognosis?  Well….he couldn’t find a thing wrong with him.  His ears had no sign of an ear infection.  His throat was normal.  He wasn’t running a fever.  He didn’t have any swelling or hair tourniquets.  He said that he could test him for a UTI, but that he didn’t think that he had one.  We decided to test him for UTI just to rule it out, so they put a catheter in him, but unfortunately his bladder was empty.  They put a bag over his penis to capture any urine that did eventually come out, and we waited in the exam room for about 30 to 45 minutes to see if he would pee.  He didn’t.  During that time I tried to nurse him again because he had stopped crying and was pretty calm for the moment.  As soon as I brought him to my breast he started screaming.  I don’t need to say that that completely deflated me and made me feel like a failure.

We eventually went home.  The pediatrician told us that we can bottle feed him expressed milk, and that if he rejects that to give him as much pedialite as he would take to help keep him hydrated.  And if anything was to get worse, to call or come back.  So, we went home and I defrosted a packet of pumped milk for him and he gulped that down like it was his job.  I also pumped more in case he refused to nurse again that evening.  He did refuse again that night, so we fed him from the bottle again.  But by the morning, he was nursing again.  Not as well as he was 2 day before, but it was definitely better than refusing the breast all together.  It took a few nursing sessions for us to hit our rhythms again, but we did and we’re doing fine again now.

I have no idea why he refused to nurse for so long.  Maybe it was something I ate, or maybe I didn’t smell good to him for that day or maybe it’s him starting to teeth.  Whatever it was, I’m just glad that it’s over.  His nursing strike was incredibly hard on my emotional state and I hope that I don’t ever have to go through that again.