Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Clarification

OH! What great advice I got. I want to thank each and every person who commented and/or emailed me after that last pathetic post. And I have and will try many of the things you suggested, I promise.

BUT.

I want to clarify what I wrote because, dude, what I wrote was far from clear!

The issue is not so much that Matthew cries allatime for no reason. Oh no. His reason for crying is very very simple.

He does not want to take his naps. Unless he is allowed to take them in my arms or in the Snugli. Period. He will sleep, once we get him to sleep, which I will discuss in a minute, in his crib overnight, and he's still doing pretty well at that. But once the sun is up, that boy cries his head off when I put him in there, no matter WHAT state he's in when I put him in. Awake, asleep, half awake, half asleep... doesn't matter... the minute I lower his little self into that bed, he commences to wailing. For a very very long time. Napping in the crib, unless I am willing to let him cry for 45 minutes or more, is a NO GO.

Now, the putting-him-to-bed thing. Here's the issue. Peabody likes his belly plenty full when he goes to bed for the night. Trouble is, he also likes to eat many, many times leading up to bedtime - he's a cluster-feeder starting around 4:30 or so. So by bedtime, he can eat and there are milkies there, but he is tired and The Girls are not chock full and he is displeased with that situation. He fusses and fights and fumes and WILL drift off to sleep and allow himself to be placed into his bed, but then, 5 or 10 minutes later he's up crying and screaming and mad.

So we've been giving him a couple of ounces of expressed milk from a bottle, which for some reason, does the trick, puts him out like a light, and he's happy.

Trouble is, the way the days are going, I have a baby strapped to my front all day and zero free time or really opportunity between live feedings to actually pump any milk anymore. He seems satisfied with what he gets from me during the day at each feeding, but JUST satisfied. And two hours later he eats again.

Now maybe, MAYBE this no napping, eating every two hours thing is STILL the 6 week growth spurty thing, but if so, that means he's been growth spurting for TWO FULL WEEKS as of tomorrow. That's a long time, and I haven't read or heard a thing about a spurt lasting longer than a week. So.

But the issue is, well, after tomorrow, if I don't find time to pump at some point, we will have gone through our supply of expressed milkies.

AND even more importantly, is this little "supplement" at the end of every day (would it still be a supplement if I pumped it out at some other point during the day?) somehow going to mess up or at least not properly adjust my supply?

To be honest, after all of this baby-wearing feed-on-demanding I EXPECTED my supply to be noticeably more plentiful, but it doesn't seem to be at all. Maybe it's because at the exact same time as that growth spurt my body finally adjusted itself, but lately I do leak less, feel less full, and then there's those feeds that never seem to want to space themselves out even a little bit more over time. Also the night feeds are staying exactly as they were, or are maybe slightly closer together, too.

All of this is rattling my confidence.

And the baby-not-sleeping thing too.

And I feel whiny. And tired.

This is all SO EXACTLY BEAN. She did all of these things. And we ended up letting her cry (which I so do not believe in for a baby this age!) and giving her formula. And all that made life so much easier for everyone. She slept, we slept, she was happy, we were happy. (Well, I wasn't all that happy about the crying and the formula, of course.)

I WANT this to get better without employing either of those methods. I wonder, though, if it will.

9 comments:

T with Honey said...

These are all suggestions to try and help a mom at her wits end. Feel free to ignore what you wish.

Are you eating and drinking round the clock? Literally, around the clock? I had to store food in my nightstand and drink tons of water overnight to keep my supply going. Otherwise there wasn't enough left to satisfy Princess before bedtime - another evening cluster feeder.

I didn't supplement until I went back to work. And then we did it because I just wasn't able to pump enough (amount and frequency) to meet her needs. We found that I was able to meet half her daily needs and she got the other half as formula. If your sanity is on the line then giving Peanut a supplemental bottle of formula before bed may be the solution for you.

Then there is the magical herb to help milk production - fenugreek. It will make you smell like you're wearing a dab of maple syrup on all your pulse points but it does work. I know a woman who was able to breastfeed after reduction surgery because of this stuff.

So maybe you can give him a bottle before bed at night until the fenugreek kicks in?

BerryBusyMom said...

Here are my 2 cents worth. If sanity is in danger, then by all means supplement, but don't give up on the breastfeeding. With the girls, I as feeding them ALL THE TIME, and didn't have time to replenish myself. Didn't have a hand free drink anything while they fed. So ultimately, by afternoon, the "wells" would be dry. We made the decision to supplement with formula in the afternoons, and I would breastfeed through the night and day. I don't really remember the specifics of their sleeping only that it took us 9 months to get them to sleep through the night (some nuckleheaded Mommy thought that if one cried out in the night that she should feed that one so that the other wouldn't wake up!) Little did I know that they were so used to each other that one crying in the night wouldn't wake the other up!!!

Anyway, long story short, don't give up the breastfeeding altogether, but supplement if you need to!

Hang there girlie!

Tequilamonky said...

Wow I was just about to put everything t with honey said! All those things worked for me. I ate like a horse, drank like a fish and reeked of fenugreek off and on throughout Jove's first year hehe!

The other thing I will say is that things can change so quickly when they're at that age so don't make any decisions or big changes without waiting it out a bit first. I'm afraid 2 weeks actually isn't unusual for a growth spurt... particularly if you've been suplementing and therefore he actually hasn't been able to build your supplies up in the evenings.

Good info here.....

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/growth-spurt.html

http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/fussy-evening.html

Tequilamonky said...

Oooh just realised Jovey cut my comment off before I could finish there... he's such a pickle right now ;)

Just wanted to finish by saying that I know you must feel like no-one knows exactly what you're going through and that you're worried that by doing one thing or another you're going to cause problems later, but really none of that is true. This will pass and even if you feel like you've made a decision somewhere you're not happy with it's not set in stone and can be changed. He's only 7 weeks! Seriously if you're getting any sort of pattern to his feedings before 12 weeks it's pretty amazing. There is no reason at all to panic about routines or sleeping through the night until then. Sitting in front of the tv with him feeding away for hours right now will have no impact on whether he'll sleep in the evenings in a month's time. I can tell you that from experience with my own little cluser feeder!

Speaking of whom I'd better go as he is now a very stinky pickle indeed! You're doing a great job honey, never doubt it xxxxxxxx

Tequilamonky said...

Ooop me again!

Just looked back at an old document I had where I made a note of how often Jove was breastfeeding and he was feeding every 2/3 hours until he was 7 months old! He did get quickr at feeds so therefore it took up less of my time, but generally every 2/3 hours was normal feeding for him! Maybe it's the same for your boy?

Here is a day with Jove when he was 8 weeks old....

09.00 feed
09.30 play
10.15 sleep (in sling)
11.00 feed
11.20 play
11.30 alert time in sling
12.15 sleep in sling
12.40 tried to transfer to fleece. Failed!
12.55 back in sling. sleep
13.15 feed
14.15 play
15.00 sleep in sling
15.40 tried to transfer....success!
16.00 feed
16.30 alert time in sling
17.00 sleep in sling
17.15 tried to transfer....success!
18.00 feed
19.15 sleep tried to transfer to carrycot. Failed.
20.00 feed
21.30 really alert!
22.30 feed
23.00 sleep tried to transfer to carrycot. Success!
03.55 feed
04.15 sleep in carrycot.

Don't worry it does get easier! okay I'm going to go now and stop filling up your comments page ;)

xxxxxx

Megryansmom said...

Hi Peanut, and Bean too, and of course Megan and Al.

Yeah what all the other commentors said.

But most improtantly, do not beat yourself up over your choice. Happy rested mommies make happy babies.

Rambling On said...

I remember so many times during those first 3 months asking myself if I was doing the right thing by breastfeeding only. Shoudl I have just given a bit of formula? Camden was the EXACT same way...never wanted to be lay down by himself, had to be snug to me, attcahed to the boob, or just inmy arms ALL the time. It was so infuriating and exhausting. But... I just had this drive in me to not give up and giving formula forme was giving up. That, for me, would have torn me up harder inside than having to endure a few months of closeness with the little guy. I can only tell you what I have heard form other mothers that fall into the supplement just here and there plan...they always end up stopping breastfeeding. It will affect your supply because what may tend to happen is that you will find yourself supplementing more and more often. I don't have a mangic answer and whatever you decide will be right for your family. I knwo what it is like to expect a routine, a bit of distance from your child, and also to think that there is something just wrong with them if they don't do what you think they should be doing. What I do know is that you ARE doing a great job. I would strongly encourage you to consult a La Leche League group before you decide to supplement with formula. You have come this far, honey. It isn't easy, but you do have to give up a lot of yourself in the process of nursing your baby. Especially in these first few months.

Jenn said...

Supplementing with expressed milk will not mess up your supply as long as you keep pumping AND nursing regularly. Drink lots and lots of water. TONS.
Giving Peanut formula at night - one bottle at bedtime - is not going to hurt anything. He will still be getting all the benefits of breastfeeding if you continue to nurse on demand during the day and for night feedings.
Mostly, though, I think you should just do what works for you. Forget what everyone else is saying you should/shouldn't do. The only RIGHT thing is to find what works for Peanut, yourself and your family as a whole. What Peanut and Bean need most is a happy, rested Mama.

KTE said...

SWING!!!! Lots of batteries to keep the thing running for a few hours and you will have some time to do what you need to do! Kevin lived in his because he had such a gas bubble in his tummy the swing kept him upright. I think it is worth a shot. I have a fancy one you can use. My friend Julie swears by this swing as well! Just a helpful suggestion. Let me know.

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