Monday, October 25, 2010

Blessed Sleep

Wiggles has started sleeping with some regularity.  Halllllelujah!  :)

He's slept at least 5 hours each night since the last post...though one of the nights I guess he woke up twice in the 5 hour stretch.  I wouldn't know because it was Friday night and Mr. Random so very kindly took the boy and let me just sleep.  I've been getting headaches and now have a sore sleep seems ever so important now.  I do NOT want to get sick!

He's still taking his midday nap pretty regularly, but the intermediate naps that would get him to the awake for 2 hours then sleep schedule are still sporadic at best.

Now, the thing about babies that has frustrated the scientist in me the most is that they grow and change so fast it's impossible to account for all the variables!  I mean...Wiggles is sleeping so much better.  Is it because I'm sticking to my super restricted diet?  Is it because we're letting him actually cry for more time during the day instead of instantly soothing him all the time?  Is it because his medicine for The Reflux is working better/he's actually taking his full dose more of the time?  Or is it because he grew, and whatever he needed to work out in his little body/brain has been worked out so he can sleep better at night?  There's kind of no way to know...

Though...I did have pizza for dinner on Saturday.  Just cheese, so that the toppings couldn't be an issue.  And it was soooooo good.  Did it effect little Wiggles?  Well...that's what's so hard to say!  I didn't notice an immediate he seems to be having more trouble pooping after doing so well with it all weekend...could that be from the dairy?  Or is it totally unrelated?  I don't think we can say for sure.  And that, my friends, is very frustrating.  He's just a little mystery, which, as frustrating as it is, can also be quite interesting.

And he's starting to really coo and "talk" and look at us and smile.  Which makes all the fussing and crying and sleep deprivation seem worth it.  He really did push me to my breaking point...but hopefully we're just going to keep slowly improving from here.

Ugh.  One thing I HATE about living in an apartment:  Wiggles WAS down for a nap, but someone just SLAMMED their door quite loudly, it shook the apartment...and guess who's awake?  Dammit people!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I now appear to have developed insomnia.  I am so tired, and yet find it difficult if not impossible to sleep.  Oh the bitter, bitter irony.

Last night little Wiggles slept for 8. hours. straight!  Amazing!! (I, however, woke up 3 times during that 8 hours) He cried a lot more during the day, and I've noticed the days he cries more (usually when Daddy's in charge...he let's him cry more) he sleeps better at night.  My mom suggests he just needs "the exercise".  I have a really hard time listening to him cry though...

We went for a walk today.  We were attempting to go to Target to refill his prescription for's a roughly 2 mile walk 1-way.  We didn't make it.  I was just too tired.  So I turned around.  Then, when we were one street away from our street, I saw a lady in a power scooter "walking" to two dogs turn the corner right ahead of us.  She was taking up the whole sidewalk between her and these dogs and going quite slowly.  Wiggles had fallen asleep so I thought I'd take a short detour around by taking the earlier street and then cutting up to our street.  I missed the turn.  And was basically sleep walking for part of it (and I'm fit enough to care for a baby!?) and it turns out this street loops back around to where we'd turned around in the first place.  When I finally realized I was hot, sweaty, and super tired.  And Wiggles had woken up and also was hot, sweaty, and hungry.  So it was a bit of a misadventure but we both lived through it.  I thought the exercise would help me sleep during his midday nap (pretty much the only one he takes) but...once again, he slept better than I did.  I managed 1.5 hours to his 3.5.  Which is a pretty long nap.

Which is the next thing I'm wondering about.  I've been reading some books and getting lots of advice on helping baby's sleep, and a lot of it centers around "scheduling".  I'm a fan of a schedule, so I like the idea of working Wiggles into one.  Now, the book I've liked most suggests 3 naps during the day for a baby of his age, and then 8 to 10 hours of sleep at night (fingers crossed!).  I haven't finished the book, but I can't work out just when these naps should occur.  Wiggles' natural schedule goes something like this:

Wake up for the day around 7am, give or take an hour.  Then, he's pretty much up until noon, give or take an hour.  I might rock him into a 30 minute nap before the midday power nap, but might not.  He hasn't ever taken a longer nap in those hours.  Around noon, he usually will take a 1 to 3 hour nap and then he's up again until...well, it gets quite variable.  He sometimes will sleep around 5ish...sometimes not.  He might go to bed around 8:30...or we might not get him down until 11pm.  There hasn't been much consistency in the evening yet.  I finally decided I had to accept that he wants to get up at 7 and stay awake until his midday nap, and then awake again until...who knows?  But then I worry the little guy isn't getting ENOUGH sleep and that's compounding everything else that makes him so fussy.  Sigh.  The joys of motherhood I suppose.  :)

Well, while we were walking I composed a much more coherent and interesting blog post in my head...but can't remember it now for the life of me.  I suppose I ought not to blog when so tired, but Mr. Random has Wiggles for the moment and I thought I'd seize the opportunity before going to bed.  Hoping to beat the insomnia before it really takes hold!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Enough Complaining!

Well, I'm tired of feeling like all I do is complain about how *difficult* my baby is.  Wiggles presents challenges...but what baby doesn't?  No...he doesn't sleep a lot.  Yes...he cries a ton.  Yes...he needs help pooping, passing gas and burping.'s pretty standard fare, right?  He is a little baby.


It would sure help if my friends who have babies the same age had similar challenges with their babies though.  :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rough Day...Week...Month...Life

I'm just going to go ahead and say it, being a new mom has been rough.  I love Wiggles and we have some great moments together.  His little smile always melts my heart.  But his cry has frayed my nerves.  And I'm so sleep deprived I can't even tell that I'm tired any more. of the night time feedings when I notice that I'm literally twitching trying to stay upright...then I think I might be tired.  But the rest of the time I guess it's just my new "normal".  And I'm too tired to know better than to write this all in.

I feel like I shouldn't be so tired.  I feel like I shouldn't be so frustrated.  I feel like a failure.

But here are the facts: Wiggles has reflux.  That complicates life.  Think about this: Upon waking, I check his diaper - 5 minutes, I re-swaddle him - 2 minutes, and then I feed him, now only on one side to slow down his consumption and help with the reflux.  This mean he eats for about 40 minutes.  Fine.  After eating, we burp ever so gently, but get that burp out lady!, and then I need to hold him upright for 30 minutes.  The little guy has now been awake for just over an hour.  And quite often, he's tired by that time.  If we're lucky, we might get about 20 minutes of play time.  But very quickly he becomes overtired.

And we often have mornings like this morning.  We woke up at 7:30am.  After his last 1.5 hour "nap" of the "night".  We did the routine I outlined above.  And he was awake after the 30 minutes, and happy, though yawning.  I should have paid attention to the yawning, and just put him back down.  But he was being really cute, and I really, really, really wanted to get a picture of him in a cute outfit he got from Grandma that he's almost outgrown but never worn because I want to get the picture, dang it!  So, we did that.  Just 10 minutes of fun...but it was 10 minutes too long.  Because we spent the next 2.5 hours crying.  Yes we.  He was crying.  I was crying.  He just would not soothe, despite my best efforts.  And he just got more tired.  And finally hungry again.  And more wet diapers.  And then he'd almost be asleep, but wake himself up straining to poop.  Or fart.  He hasn't pooped in awhile actually.

So not only does Wiggles have reflux.  But he's had a lot of trouble getting food out the other end too (ie poop) AND he has colic.  The definition is apparently if one spends at least 3 hours/day soothing to prevent crying, 3 days a week, for 3 weeks or longer.  I laughed when I read that.  At least 3 hours/day?  If we have ONLY 3 hours/day of soothing to prevent's a GOOD day.  At least 3 days a week?  Haha, try 7 days a week sir.  And it's been since his first week of life basically.  So roughly 6 weeks here.  No wonder I'm tired.

And I'm just so frustrated.  Everything I've read.  Everything I can find out.  Everything the doctors tell me, say that I'm doing everything I can.  I'm doing right.  My mom, who's flown out twice now to help out, also said she thinks I'm doing really well.  I needed to hear that.  It helps a little.  But it still feels so frustrating.  If I'm doing all that I can...why does he still cry so much?  Why can't he just sleep?

And it does NOT help that I have friends who had babies right around the same time.  "Good" babies (though I hate that terminology for this sense) that actually sleep.  Babies they had to wake up to feed.  Good grief I wonder what it'd be like to have a baby that sleeps!  Regularly!  For more than 20 minutes at a shot.  Who sleeps enough that I could shower regularly.  Or at least pee in the morning and afternoon so I don't wind up holding it for 4 hours past the time I had to "go".  Or so that I can poop in peace without feeling like I've abandoned the screaming child...

And then.  I get angry.  And judgmental.  I mean, these other moms had C-sections!  C-SECTIONS.  Could we get any more intervention than that?  Wiggles was born DRUG FREE!  And yet...he's the baby with so much trouble.  And their babies just snooze away?  It seems so unfair.

And then...I feel guilty.  About...everything.  I mean, he's fussy, but he's here.  He's alive.  He's adorable.  He's ours.  Not everyone gets to experience parenthood.  And I feel guilty for feeling like life is unfair.  I feel guilty for judging my friends.  I feel guilty for wishing Wiggles was something other than what he is.  I feel guilty for wanting him to sleep so that I can...I don't something.   Or scrapbook.  Or work on an abstract that's due in a week.  I feel guilty that I'm not enjoying being the stay-at-home mom more.  Mr. Random would love to have this gig...

Which, by the way, he's still Super-Dad.  It's just that he's working full time, and extra Saturdays (not his choice)'s just me and Wiggles a lot of the time.  Plus I'm still breast-feeding and it's hard to find time to pump with such a needy yeah.

And that's all I have time for.  But I wanted to get this out...and I feel marginally better.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


The little baby shall be known as: Wiggles.

Poor little Wiggles.  He's had a rough 1st month of life.  He started out as a super alert baby, literally from birth.  The L & D nurse commented with surprise that his eyes were already open.  I didn't know any better.  As he's my first baby, whatever he does seems "normal" to me.

I planned to breastfeed and have been very lucky that Wiggles has a great natural latch.  He's really taken to it without much trouble.  My plan was to feed on demand for the first 2 weeks at least to establish supply.  That's what was recommended in my childbirth class and it made sense to me.  We did this.  Wiggles gained over a pound in his first week home from the hospital!  The pediatrician just said "good job Mom!". 

Soon after that his little belly started to be obviously very large.  More than "normal" it seemed.  and it was a bit firm.  But since he was gaining weight, continuing to eat, and still pooping...the doctors didn't think too much of it.  Just to keep an eye on it.  There was one 24 hour period in which he didn't poop...which we ended with the skillful application of a vaseline covered q-tip.  That was messy.

Meanwhile, he was getting more and more fussy, and less and less sleep.  We'd get up in the 7-9 am window, and he'd not go back to sleep until the 1-3pm window.  Sometimes awake for 7 hours straight.  That's not normal for such a little baby.  During this time he'd cry inconsolably, root like he was hungry every hour on the hour, but not latch well and fuss at the breast, and was just generally unhappy. 

He also spit up quite a bit, and got hiccups quite regularly.  He also has a funny little cough.

Finally, at his 1 month appointment, the doctor thought he might be having reflux.  And that the stomach acid was inflaming his esophagus.  So, now the little guy is on Zantac.  He seems to be doing better, though we have a hard time getting him to swallow the medicine.  He doesn't seem to like peppermint much.

The first 2 days on the medicine he would eat, and go right back to sleep.  The interesting thing is that he started eating less but more frequently on his own.  That had been the recommendation from the doctor, but he just started "demanding" every 2 hours, but being done after eating on one side.  Which means he's basically eating half what he was before.  I mean, it's hard to say how much he's getting since it's from the breast, but he's at the breast half as much.  And wonder of wonders, it looks like his over-large belly is coming down in size.  It was definitely less firm this morning.

So, now I think he may have been "over-eating" to try to soothe from the reflux...which actually made matters worse and distended his belly.  I guess we'll see as time goes.

Meanwhile, I've been eating a restricted diet for just over a week.  No dairy, chocolate, caffeine, leafy greens including broccoli, or spicy Mexican or Italian.  It pretty much sucks.  I'm a picky enough eater to begin with...adding these restrictions just makes it frustrating to work out meals.  And boy do I miss chocolate, ice cream and pizza!  I think the idea is to keep up the restrictions until it's been 2 weeks, then start slowly re-introducing things and seeing how he takes it.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Written Word

Well after some of the comments on my last post I was ready to give up writing.  At least when in a state of supreme exhaustion. I thought I must have completely missed the mark and had somehow conveyed a message I never intended.  Fortunately, or unfortunately if you were hoping I'd give up writing, some of the other commenters have restored my inspiration. 

Colby was right on the mark.  I wasn't hoping for a Nobel Peace Prize.  To have drugs or not during birth is definitely an extremely personal decision.  I made the choice that was right for me, and it wound up being no drugs.  That I successfully navigated what is often considered one of the more painful experiences of human existence without the aid of drugs, seems like something I can be proud of, without alienating or offending others.  If you don't think so...well, I think that's your issue, not mine.  And truthfully, my sister didn't even make me feel that grumpy.  I thought the whole situation was highly ironic, and in my mind, irony usually equals funny.  Which is why I decided to type up and submit the story.

And Danielle had a good point too; this sister has not had a child, and it's very likely she thought it was like on tv, where once the baby is delivered you spring back to "normal".  I hadn't even considered that, so thanks for the insight.  :)

About this Blog

I have a journal. You know, the real kind...paper, bound in a book form...nice leather cover. And I do write in it...every few months. I like it, but somehow I find it hard to keep up regularly. I'm at a computer nearly all the time, so I find it easier to keep up on this blog. So, that's what this blog is for. To help me journal when I'm away from my journal. A place to collect my thoughts before I lose them to the chaos of my mind.

Or see my first post here. That's why I started this blog.