Saturday, November 15, 2008

14 Weeks, 2 Days

Al has been on vacation this week and we've all been together, the four of us, as a family, for 8 days, which means I've had lots of help with both kids and Al has had so much time with Peanut, which has been good for both of them, I'm sure.

Peanut appears to be teething. Actually he's appeared to be teething for a month or more now. He drools constantly, all bubbly and stringy and shiny, and frequently stuffs his whole fist in his mouth and gnaws on it. Sometimes, though, when he does that fist thing, it looks like it's related to pooping, because often he poops or makes a little poo-poo sound, as we call it around here, at the same time. Anyway his gums show no sign of pending teeth, but he's very drooly and gnawy right now.

He's also at that stage of development where his desire for stimulation and his physical ability to entertain himself are out of balance, and he's dependent on us to cart him around upright so he can look at things, to help him stand, then sit, then stand, then sit, ad nauseum and to generally find ways to keep him happy and occupied so he doesn't constantly rail against his boring life. Either that or his teeth hurt (or something hurts!) and when we distract him, he forgets about it for awhile and seems happy.

Regardless, these are sortof grisly, snarky, unhappy days for him and we find ourselves running out of ideas as to how to cheer him up. He also doesn't seem to be eating all that well (hard to tell for sure though, you know), so maybe he's got a little cold (no mucus though) or maybe it is all down to his teeth. I've given him a tiny little bit of Tylenol two nights running at bedtime to help him with whatever ails him and it does seem to help, although maybe it just makes him sleep better. Lately he's been nearly impossible to get down at bedtime! It has taken me up to TWO HOURS a couple of nights, but then at the same time, his napping has improved dramatically. (Maybe the two are related?) (But he MUST nap! It's crucial for all of us.)

Ah yes, life with a baby this age is a constant guessing game.

But he's mighty cute and when he's happy and occupied doing something he loves, like looking at a smiling, loving face, or taking a bath, or both at the same time, he is ALL SMILES and all kickity-kick-kick and he easily melts my heart and makes me want to chew on him. Goodness that boy is CUTE.

We bought Peanut an exersaucer thingy last weekend and he seems to really enjoy standing in it for short periods of time. I keep it mainly in the kitchen so he can be right there at my feet while I cook or clean up or fold laundry and he also generally uses it while the family eats meals together, right there with us at the table. I'm shopping eBay right now for a Bumbo seat, as well, as I think that will be a major source of fun for him - he is just so into the upright position.

The nursing distraction continues although right now it's hard to tell if he's squirming and popping off and on because his teeth are hurting, or because he doesn't really feel hungry, or if it is TRULY that he's distracted. He rarely eats both sides at a feeding and thus the feedings have to be much more frequent. I'm okay with it for now because it seems related to something that's going on with him physically, but it's not been great for my milk supply as he never really gets going with wild abandon - he's more snacking off and on right now so The Girls are serving up snack-sized portions. Not so gratifying for Mama. I sortof like that feeling of being able to fill him all up until he's nearly overflowing vs. giving him an ounce here and there. It makes me feel like I'm DOING something for him.

Al continues to feel I should just stop breastfeeding and give him formula, because he can be so hard to feed, but I don't see that solving any issues, really, only potentially causing more.

I WILL nurse him until he's 4 months old. I am willing to listen to and consider adding formula and/or solids at that point if it seems necessary or helpful to Peanut to do so. For now, I don't see a reason to stop nursing, and I see plenty of reasons to continue nursing, so that's what I'm going to do. I don't like being at odds with Al over it. I know Al only wants to help me and I appreciate it, but his getting up once a night to feed Peanut wouldn't REALLY be that helpful to me and it's disruptive to Peanut and causes Al to miss out on sleep, so why do it? I'd rather have help in other areas, anyway.

Peanut's still big, regardless of what he's eating. He's closing in on 14 pounds now and will probably be there in DAYS. We will have to do another total wardrobe overturn in a week or two, I think, and move on to 6-9 mos. stuff. He's just so LONG.

He's also beginning to grab for objects (and for me, and for Bean!) and to make noises and facial expressions to get our attention when we're not looking. He does this especially to Bean. He'll look at her and make little "Ah! AH!" sounds and smile or laugh, and kick his little legs. He gets really irritated when it doesn't work, too. He pouts and cries angrily when she ignores him. Oh dear!

No longer content to sit in his bouncy chair, he prefers to be lying free on the floor where he can kick wildly or to be in my arms, upright, or standing in the exersaucer. I can already tell that when he gets mobile, my life is going to be total chaos, as he's going to be WAY more active and into EVERYTHING much moreso than Bean ever was. But I expected that.

And so ends another disjointed chapter about the life of Peabody.


Leigh said...

I love reading your entries about Peanut. So often, it's like getting a preview of what is to come for me. For instance, Sophie is drooling ALL THE TIME. She is such a dribbly baby! And she loves chewing and sucking on her hand and fingers. She's so loud, you can hear her sucking on her hand from across the room! She doesn't seem to be teething though, and I don't think she's hurting, so we are lucky in that respect.

And Sophie hardly ever feeds on both sides. She is definitely a snacker. I know when she is going through a growth spurt, as that is one of the rare occasions when she feeds both sides.

We have recently bought Sophie a Jolly Jumper for when she is a bit older, and I have a funny feeling that she will absolutely love it! She sits in her bouncer kicking her feet like a mad thing. I can just see her having a ball jumping up and down.

Tequilamonky said...

You're doing so great! That boy is growing well and developing right on target and that's all down to you clever Mama!

I think you'd be surprised if you could see how much milk he is actually getting each feed. the thing is that once they get past that 3 month stage they never get that "milk-drunk" look where they look really full up with milk. You might feel like he's only getting snack amounts but he's obviously getting all he needs as he's growing well. Jove had a favourite side and hardly fed off the other one so I ended up a bit lopsided for a while haha! it's all evened back out again now though ;)

Please, please do what you can to delay solids till 6 months. It's only another couple of months on 4 months and so worth it in the long run! Both Stu and my mother tried to persuede me to use formula/solids on Jovey but I stood my ground and now they both agree I did the right thing. In a child's lifetime those two months are really so short and it's age not what they're eating that makes the real differance to them sleeping through.

For teething I found Ashton and Parson's teething powders to be brilliant... although I'm not sure if you can get them in America? If not then you should be able to get Chamomile teething powders. Also an amber teething necklace seems to help. I have Jaya's old one I could send you if you like?

Big hugs honey! You're doing great! These first 6 months are soooo hard but flash by and I fiind it hard to remember now all the sleepless nights I had with Jove. Reading your blog takes me right back :)

Mari said...

Teething can be so hard on babies! You just stick to it with the nursing - you are doing great!

linds said...

I still love getting caught up on Peanut and hearing how he is doing. It sounds like things are going well, keep doing what you are doing, Mama!

Rambling On said...

Megan, I just love to hear about your little Peanut. You are such a good mama bear. I admire all that you do so willingly for your family. I agree with you about continuing to nurse. I wish Al would just be a bit more on board with that...I know he probably does want to help. I wish men would just not be so helpful sometimes. Why do they always want to fix things? Just trust your instincts and stick with it. These times are short and breastfeeding is a learn as you go endeavor...frustrating as hell for control freaks like me...but it is such a reward when you look back at it. It is the greatest gift you can give and you are doing a great job of it.

Melissa said...

Gosh, reading this is like looking in a rear-view mirror! At just about the same time, I noticed Mookie was rejecting one side completely and popping off the other "early" so I went to my favorite breastfeeding support center and they weighed her before and after a feeding, and she had taken in 3 ounces in a VERY short period of time. The lactation consultant also noticed that Mookie had a couple of tooth buds (which I thought was REALLY early, but those buds blossomed in the last few weeks, so I guess it wasn't that early?).
I understand (oh, boy, do I ever!) the frustration about the baby popping off and feeding so quickly or not at all, but I agree that you should stick with the nursing as long as you can. I have never had that warm-fuzzy, angels-singing-the-Hallelujah-chorus feeling while nursing, but I'm so thankful I can do it. For one, I know it's good for my baby. Two, it's FREE!!! :o) And I'm all about the frugal! :o)
I wonder about feeding solids so early? I honestly don't think it has helped Mookie out at all. She doesn't seem to sleep any better at night, or during the day. Also, they say that for the first month or so, you should only feed solids once a day -- it's "dessert" and the milk/formula is the main course.
We've got a Bumbo, and I like it, but Mookie won't sit in it very long, as she seems bored with it. I've got a tray that fits on it, too, but she'll stay in her exersaucer much longer. But most of all, she seems content with a handful of toys and a plastic mirror on the living room floor. Once she figures out how to move, though, like you, I think I'll have to up my game!
I agree with you on the night feedings, as well. Why wake the men? And, to be honest, I think Mookie is mostly asleep during it, why wake the baby? And if I sit right in the rocker, I can kinda fall asleep, too! :o) If Dave was feeding her - none of us would sleep!
I'm SO glad you guys have had a great week together, and keep up the good work! I think pretty soon the weeks will start whizzing by and you'll forget all about this! :o)
Have a great week!

My Lil Family