Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Six Weeks and Some Days - I'm Bleary, Sue Me.

I need to be napping! It's crazy I'm here instead about to "waffle on" as Alice would say, but I have so much to talk about and I NEVER get a minute to myself, until today, because TODAY, I finally caved and put Peabody down to sleep on his belly and he's napped so well thanks to that. I already feel like a new person and it's only 1:30 PM.

Since last Wednesday we've been having a rough time with sleep for Matthew. Prior to that he was literally allowing himself to be put to bed awake and was peacefully drifting off on his own. BUT THEN! Like clockwork, just as the books and new baby websites state, my little almost six-week old (at that time) found his hands and decided that HE MUST SUCK ON THOSE HANDS, OR DIE TRYING.

Which meant we could not swaddle him tightly enough to keep him from prying those hands and arms loose, whereupon they'd wave wildly around his little head (because he hasn't developed control of them yet), batting him in the face and ultimately knocking out his precious pacifier. Then the floodgates would open and he'd be inconsolable until somebody went in, reswaddled and plugged the pacifier back in, which would last another 8 minutes until he'd pry his hands loose and start the whole miserable cycle again.

At night he still slept very well, but getting him DOWN the first time at night was miserable. I'd feed him, swaddle him and put him into his bed all sleepy with his eyes closed and the minute he was actually fully into his bed, his eyes would FLY open and he'd just lie there, staring up at me with this "HOW COULD YOU???" look on his face, wrestling his swaddle blanket and whimpering.

Sigh. And I'd rub his head, tell him I loved him and to have a good sleep, and walk away, hoping he'd drift off quickly.

And the nursing at that time of night has been really difficult. For some reason he squirms and pulls and grimaces and kicks while I try to feed him. He pops off and on and angrily roots around, but once latched he seems SO DISSATISFIED with the meal. I thought it was that he was tired because a few times two weeks ago the MINUTE he started that I'd just wrap him up and put him to bed and he'd go right to sleep, but that didn't last and now he just does the whole stare pathetically thing and begins to howl. So of course my first thought was, "I'm not making enough milk for him." Because as well as we've been doing, my confidence is still very shaky and the first sign of anything wrong immediately makes me think I'm going to FAIL AGAIN at feeding him myself. Anyway so two nights ago I decided to give him, on top of nursing him, about 2 oz. of expressed milk from a bottle.

And wouldn't you know he guzzled that down and fell merrily off to sleep as if that was all he'd ever needed and why hadn't I done that ages ago?


So all day yesterday I fed him every hour on the hour (he wouldn't nap anyway so I figured why not?) to build up my supply and by day's end my back and The Girls were KILLING ME from all that nursing (not my nibbles - his latch is great and they've really never hurt - just the whole breast feels bruised and raw on the inside from all that vaccuum action, if that makes sense). I haven't pumped today so I don't know if it did anything for the supply, and now I think that wasn't the issue anyway because he went to sleep pretty well last night (after an hour of the pacifier relay we do, one going to plug it in, then the other, back and forth like that for an hour. It's so stupid. Why did we cave and give him that thing?)

Besides, if I've been putting him to bed hungry night after night, why does he sleep six hours and then wake up and only eat one side before falling back into blissful sleep again?

It really can't be that I'm not giving him enough milk.

So today I decided to try some new sleeping positions, and to let him out of that swaddle for awhile to see what he'd do. First I tried him on his back without the swaddle and that just made him cry. Then I tried him (I know, it's bad, but I'm right here with the monitor, his bedding is plenty tight and the mattress very firm) on his belly and WHAMMO. Lights out, dude. Oh, and I also put a little wind up sailbox that plays Row Row Row Your Boat in there with him, which he LOVED. I think the best part of being on his belly is that with his right fist placed naturally up by his chin, he can actually hold his pacifier in his own mouth.

So now, he sleeps again. I don't think I'll put him on his tummy overnight - maybe on his tummy for the first sleep of the night and the when he gets up to eat I can put him back down on his back or his side, because he seems very easy to get back to sleep then anyway.

We shall see. All I know is that by 11:30 AM yesterday I called Al to warn him that things were not going well at ALL and he might need to come home, but I'd give it another hour or two before I asked him to do that. (I never called him again but he came home by 3 anyway. I guess he knows I don't make that kindof call without a seriously good reason and so decided to just come on home.) I never made a call like that even once with Bean, although she wouldn't sleep during the day for MONTHS. It's the two-kid factor, I guess. I was kindof at my wit's end yesterday. But then again, I forgot to mention that night before last Bean was up for an hour on top of the two times I got up with Peabody, and we stayed up until nearly 11, so I only got about 2.5 hours of sleep that night, which I can't handle. At rock bottom minimum, I have to have 5 hours or my brain does all sorts of weird things the next day. I really need 9 hours a night, but that's pretty much out of the question at this point, obviously.


The bloodtests:

We went last Thursday to the hospital where Matthew was born to have blood drawn for his bili-level and anemia/hemophelia tests. The phlebotomists couldn't find a vein in my poor boy for the longest time - he had to be stuck FOUR times, once in the hand, then in both arms and finally in his heel (should have done that to begin with!) to get the blood they wanted for the tests. At one point they decided they couldn't SEE a vein anywhere so they'd just stick a needle into the inner crease of his elbow and DIG AROUND in there until they struck gold.

I about body slammed them after several minutes of digging in my baby's arm as he screamed and cried. They made ME hold him down, too. It was AWFUL.

I know it's hard to find veins on newborns. I do. It's hard to find a vein on me - I'm notorious for that and no one can EVER get into a vein the first stick on me. I'm an adult. I can take it. BUT A BABY?

What a nightmare. We were in the room working on him for TWO HOURS, with poor Bean bored and restless, me sweating and angry and ready to FIGHT someone, and Matthew wailing away. I stopped them at one point and nursed the poor guy for awhile to give him some comfort, but he had to go back to them again after that.

The test results were fine though. I shouldn't have had to take him in for those tests - she KNEW he was fine.

Anyway by the end of that day I couldn't string two words together. Al came home and I just looked at him blankly. Bean had to tell him where we'd gone and he gleaned all the info he needed from what she told him. "MAFEW CRIED A LOT DADDY. A REALLY REALLY LOT."

Oh yes. He did.

Anyway, his bili levels were slightly elevated but not enough to warrant the doctor "insisting" I stop breastfeeding for 24 hours. Much to her credit, she said, "You could do it, but I know you really would prefer not to, so we'll reassess at his 2 month c/u in three weeks."

You betcha we will. He'll be fine, too. He's fine now. No longer yellow as far as I can tell.

I just want to know how much he weighs, because I was looking at him today and I swear he's gigantic. His facial features used to take up his whole head/face area and now they seem so small when I look at them in the context of his big round noggin. Al comes home every DAY and says he's grown more. I just bought 0-3 mos sleepers for him less than two weeks ago and he'll be out of those in a few days - his FEET are too big for the feet on the sleepers, and he's so long they just pull on his little shoulders when he stretches out full-length. My boy is BIG.

He's also gettin' those CHEEKS like Bean's. I need to take a picture of his little pumpkin-head cheeks. He's adorable.

And smiley.

But he has cradle cap really badly. (Did someone say to put breastmilk on cradle cap? Jemma, was that you?) I'm using dandruff shampoo on it and that works great, actually, but I have to be SO careful not to get it in his little eyes, and one place he has it very badly is his eyebrows, so that's a challenge! He also has it on his ears and the creases on each side of his nose. Never seen anything like it, but it's confirmed to be cradle cap. I want it gone - because he's just so adorable but then he has this CRUST all over his cute little self.

Oh, I have to go. He's starting to grumble which means time is of the essence and I have to potty and hopefully get a little fifteen minute rest in myself. And drink something. I have constant cotton mouth!


Southern Fried Girl said...

so that happens at six weeks?


Lisa said...

My bug (5 months) sleeps so well on his side. I shove a little blanket behind him to prop him up as I'm putting him down, and then before I go to sleep for the night I very very steathily sneak it away so he only has one light blanket over his legs as he sleeps on his back. Well, that works at bedtime. He's not such a good napper and I haven't got that down yet, but I only have to deal with weekends, my sainted daycare lady has to deal with M-F.

Tequilamonky said...

Oooh no it wasn't me who said about breastmilk for cradle cap...although now I'm wondering why I never tried that as I used breastmilk for everything else from gummy eyes to sore bums! The only thing I do know about cradle cap is that by the time you find something to sort it, it'll have disappeared all on it's own!

Hope you get to have some more sleep soon. Any chance Al could look after Bean if she wakes in the night, give you a break?

Good news on the blood tests, cary on the good work :D

Mari said...

I'm so glad the blood tests turned out good, after all you went through to get them. I hope you hve the sleep thing figured out, because you all need sleep!

Alice said...

Ahhhh you're just FABULOUS with the breastfeeding, Megan! I personally KNOW there is nothing for you to worry about with the supply, but I got concerned when I read the bit where you said about your confidence levels in that dept. Then right after that bit, you said something to the effect of, "So I just nursed him every hour on the hour to build up my supply" and I about said out loud, "Oh, well DONE!" because you DO know what to do! Nursing him hourly will improve your supply, even if it was fine and that wasn't the problem! :)

Hmmm, the sudden issues with sleep at that age and also the on-the-breast, off-the-breast, angry dissatisified baby thing REALLY rings a bell with all 3 boys, but despite it all being very recent, I can't for the life of me remember what happened to change things, or how long it lasted! I'm sure I must have written about it. I will have to look and get back to you soon, when I get chance!

Needless to say, my last two were tummy sleeping by around 6 weeks (maybe it was the same issue that you're describing?). I think I was too terrified with Arthur to let him tummy sleep. But we started with naps with the other two, and one night sleep, and in the end it turned into full-on (nerve-wracked!) tummy sleeping. They really preferred it soooo much. We never swaddled prior to it though, and they still needed to sleep on their tummies to feel secure. Couldn't hold dummies in though - what a pro Matthew is already! :)

I'm sorry you all had such a hard time at the blood draw, ugh. Poor baby boy! I don't know how I could have handled that, and am just soooo thankful no little person here has needed one so far!

You're doing so wonderfully! xxx

p.s. It did make me smile to see you quote me about "waffling on" at the beginning, hehe! I sometimes see people referring to "parsnips" in diary entries as well ;)

Leigh said...

We have just reached the 6 week mark as well, but Sophie's sleeping isn't too bad (yet!). We have discovered that we need to use a pacifier sometimes. I a not a big fan of them, and Emily never had one (she hated them actually when we did try them out with her). But after a few days of putting her down, her sleeping 10 minutes then waking up crying, getting her back to sleep then staring all over again, James had the bright idea to use the pacifier. Thirty seconds sucking on that for comfort and she was out like a light. I don't want her to get reliant on pacifiers, for the very reasons you wrote about, but it really has come in handy! You do what you have to do don't you!

Melissa said...

:o) What a blurt-tastic post! :o)
Oh, I'm so there with you on thinking I'm not making enough milk. I think I make enough, she just doesn't want as much as I make, or as much as she needs, I think.
And she won't sleep on her tummy unless it's the third blue moon after a cosmic shower. I wish she would! I think it's so adorable when babies sleep on their tummies. :o)
Keep up the good work -- if he's really as ginormous as you are describing, then your milk must be just what he needs!

Peter and Nancy said...

Sounds like you're doing so well with nursing -- don't freak yourself out! He wouldn't be so huge if you weren't doing a fantastic job. :o)

If tummy-sleeping makes you nervous, you could roll up a receiving blanket and prop him on his side, then tuck another one around him to make him feel swaddled. It worked with one of my 3, and helped me not feel paranoid about him being on his tummy. (It's also good for head shaping, so he doesn't end up with a flat spot on the back!)

Courage and peace, mama!
-- Nancy

Baneweer@yahoo.com said...

I came across your blog through a friend's blog and I enjoy reading about you and your family. You have an amazing writing ability and style!! ;)

My Lil Monster will be 2 in December. He was Bottle fed, but when he was about 3 weeks old he went through the exact same sleeping probs that you and Peanut are having except it was from 10PM to 4AM. I am a single Mama and so by the time 4AM rolled around I was a sobbin' just as hard as he was!! I started to question weather he was a colicky baby or what the heck I was doing wrong. My mom finally convinced me to put him on belly to sleep and he and I were both out like a light!! 5 Hours later I woke up in a panic thinking I had fallen asleep and he was awake or something was wrong, but he was still sawin' logs!! Before you know it he will be rolling around and will be able to find his own favorite sleeping position. Jace was a lil Gassy too so the sleepin' on his belly really helped push them toots and belches right out!!

I also came across the best product in the whole entire world that every single Mama should know about it is called Gripe Water it is a natural supplement of Phenyl and Ginger that is used for gassy or colicky babies. Just a Teaspoon of it in the bottle of formula, milk or just by itself and it helped get rid of the gas and easy the tummy ache. It works miracles let me tell you, I used it on a daily basis and now give it to all new Mama's as part of a baby shower gift!!

We too also had a bad bout of cradle cap. I had heard somewhere to lube up their lil head with some baby oil massage it in real good and run a comb through it a few times right before you give them a bath. That seemed to work very well!

Good Luck and Hope these ideas work for you too!! I can't wait to read your next update!!

My Lil Family