Tummy sleeper

When Elliott was 3 months old he went to the Pediatrician for his normally scheduled appointment. She said to keep a keen eye on him as he was going to roll over any day now.

Well, 5.5 months later our boy has finally rolled over. Which is perfect timing, since he wont sleep (at all really) in any position other than his stomach.

This of course has caused me a terrible amount of stress and anxiety. I have visited the SIDS website no less than 5 times, each time looking for some new bit of information that will justify letting my boy sleep on his tummy.

Alas, my own need to sleep has bested me, and last night we put him to sleep in his tummy. He slept for 4 hours straight. Which, these days, folks is a record.

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Almost 5 months old!

Sheesh, the time goes so fast! I have been wanting to post a few updates about Elliott, and have been mentally banking them for a later post. He is changing and growing up so fast that I can barely keep up. I am going to bullet point the items just to be sure I get all of them in (while he is still sleep and before I have to work).

  • pre-teething began about 2 weeks ago (drool, sore gums, finger and the whole hand when possible is the mouth, crankiness, etc.)
  • which lead to his first cold (which he is still struggling with)
  • and during both –to chomping and chewing on my nipples while feeding (more on this saga later) due to being stuffed up and having sore gums.
  • he has been tired earlier so we have been giving him his bath at 5:30pm, he eats at 6pm and is asleep before 6:30pm, then I feed him again before I go to bed at 10pm
  • Last week–he slept from 10pm all the way until 4:30am straight through!!! And I think he would have slept longer, but I was so freaked out that he didn’t wake up in the middle of the night to fed that I went in to check on him and woke him up…
  • He seems to be working his way up to sleeping through the night. Typically he sleeps until 2am, eats and then wakes up around 6am. But every few nights he will sleep until 4am (rather than the normal 12am or 2am) without waking.
  • The best part of this is that regardless of what time he wakes up in the AM-he is waking up playing in his crib, laughing, cooing and smiling. What a joy to be greeted by that smiling, happy face. It melts your heart (even at 5:45am!)
  • While the overnight routine is in flux, he seems to also be working out his daytime nap schedule. We have not done too much sleep training. Instead we trusted and have allowed him to decide when to nap and when to go to bed. That is not to say we haven’t helped him along! But, more so we watch for sleepy signs, or excessive crankiness and then follow his lead. That being said, he has had a consistent bedtime since he was about 10 weeks old. And now it seems that the daytime naps are starting to get a little more solidified. Whoo hoo! They aren’t set yet, and vary in length, but they are becoming more consistent. Baby steps.
  • He hasn’t rolled over yet, and doesn’t seem to be showing much interest in it. He is content to lay on his back and occasionally roll to his side. He will play on his tummy for 5 or 10 minutes, but then starts to fuss signaling that his tummy time is over. Maybe we need to leave him there longer and not rescue him…but, i cant watch him struggle for too long before my sympathy kicks in and I need to flip him back over. He will figure it out in his own time. I am not in a rush, as crawling ensue soon enough!
  • He is extremely alert, attentive and interactive. He loves to read books, and play on his play mat. Bee is his favorite toy to swat at and put in his mouth.
  • His hand-eye coordination is excellent. He is very good at batting his toys, sometimes with both hands simultaneously and often times with his feet too.
  • Everything goes in his mouth! What a funny and interesting way to explore your world.
  • He had his first diaper rash over the weekend. It lasted 2 days and then resolved itself.
  • Bath time = Bliss for little Elliott. He LOVES being in the bath. As soon as his tushy touches the water, he melts. We call it spa time because he just sits there, all of muscles relaxed not moving, letting his Dad wash him, and pore warm water over him. Hubby bathes him every night. What a treat to watch the two of them play together and love one another.
  • He is pretty fearless already. He isn’t jumpy nor do loud noises scare him. He seems to like adventure and surprise.
  • He loves being outside. If he is fussy or cranky, we just take him outside. It is like an immediate calming force. While strolling around the neighborhood he just chills in his stroller observing the trees, sky and scenery. When he was sick, I took him outside at 4am just to calm him down (the neighbors probably didn’t appreciate it…but it soothed him immediately).
  • If I prop him up on the floor, he can sit up for a short time before toppling over onto his side. His muscles are getting stronger and soon enough he wont need to be held all of the time, or for matter want to be held all of the time. *weep* My little boy is growing up so fast!
  • I am looking forward to this day because he is so big and heavy, but I also want time to slow down!
  • We haven’t left him with a sitter yet, but I finally feel comfortable enough to consider hiring one for a weekend night. Woot! This will be the first time hubby and I have gone out together with out him. Drunken Saturday night here we come!

Ohh, sweet little boy, do I love you! I occasionally struggle with feeling overwhelmed, over tired or just over taken from…but most times, just a cute little laugh or smile from you is all I need to get me out of my funk and back to reality. Both Hubby and I work hard to be present every day, making sure we are making you are our first priority (he is far better at it than me)! Being present is harder than it sounds (for me anyway). I can always tell when I am not living in the moment, because caring for you ‘seems’ harder. But, when I do a reality check I realize that I am worrying about this or that and not paying attention to the here and now. This is a big challenge and learning opportunity for me. I am still working on it, I am growing to be less selfish and more patient and am WAY better than I was before you were born. Thank you for being patient and allowing me to grow and learn along with you. I love you son.

Woot!

Two amazing things happened today. Actually one was last night, but I will report on it today.

The first is that Elliott slept in his crib last night (all night). We put him down at the normal time (7pm), he slept until 10:30pm, I fed him and he fell back asleep. Woke again at 2am, same thing. He ate and went back to sleep. Woke again at 4am and 5am. Hubby took over and soothed him back to sleep. Then at 6am, he woke again and we brought him into our bed for some bonding time. It was the first night he slept all night in his crib. I hope we can continue the trend. I suspected that Elliott was getting disrupted by our tossing and turning and therefore not getting enough sleep. Hence the constant eating (to try and sooth himself back to sleep). Time will tell!

The other awesome thing to happen is that for the past week he has been taking 2 hour AM naps, and at least 1.5 hour afternoon naps (cool in itself…but wait there is more). I usually have to rock him to sleep, and then swaddle him tight in his crib. But today, I lay him in his crib tired, but wide awake, swaddled him ….and yup, you guessed it! He feel asleep on his own.

Could a Mom be any happier? **smile**

4 month check up

Elliott went to his 4 month check up with his Dad on Monday. He is doing great, growing like a weed. His weighs 18.4 pounds and is in the 95% for weight, and is 26 inches long, and in the 90% for height. He is wearing 12 month old clothes for the most part.

He got his shots, and handled the first one like a champ. But, by the time the third one hit him in the leg he was very pissed off to put it mildly. Hubby said he was glad I wasnt there to see the look of sorrow, betrayal and disbelief on his face.

The Pediatrician said we can start to introduce juice, water, solids if we wanted to. But, I am going to wait until he is at least 6 months, has some teeth, can sit up on his own, and expresses an interest in real food. I am in no hurry.

He is still sleeping very erratically. Last night he was up every 2-2.5 hours to eat. He sleeps in between hubby and I in our bed. We still swaddle him because he wont fall asleep if we dont. Although, during the night he breaks out of the blanket. Depending on who he is sleeping closer to…he will tap us with his hand–repeatedly until we wake up to care for him or feed him. He doesnt cry, he just nudges us awake and whines. It is endearing in its own baby language way.

Randomness

I was waiting to have my Rx filled last Friday, and read in a parenting magazine about Pro Ana websites that are popping up on the WWW. I googled it out of curiosity, and hit a couple of sites. Pretty shocking. The websites at first glance appear to support peeps that are suffering from Anorexia and/or Bulimia, but upon closer inspection they are actually supporting the disorder, and helping perpetuate the problem.

I learned how to nurse in the side lying position last night. Hubby and I decided to sleep share with Elliott, and kick the co-sleeping bed to the curb. I think I finally have enough confidence as a parent, trust my instincts, and feel that all of us would get a better night sleep. We tried it out last night, and he still was up like an alarm clock at 12:30, 3am and 5am. But, it was so nice to only have to get out of bed once (for a diaper change)! I was unable to master this position before because of the surgery. I couldnt lie/sleep on my side comfortably for several weeks post surgery. Woot!

My headache went away finally, after 34 hours. Needless to say, I did not take any more of the medication. I am still suffering with the nipple/breast pain, but we are trying to manage the best we can.

Elliott occasionally will latch on by himself without my direction or assistance. What a pleasant change. Breastfeeding took a positive turn over the last few days. **huge sigh of relief** It still isnt easy, but it is easier than last week.

My sister reported to me today that she quit smoking. Big props to her.

Elliott’s Aunt and Cousin came to visit yesterday. We had a great day together. I think with the exception of a couple last people, almost everyone I care about has come to visit and meet Elliott.

We booked our trip to SF for our friends wedding. I am a little apprehensive about traveling with a 2 month old.

I decided that sooner versus later, I need to talk with my work about going part-time, at least for a while. I need to just get it out of the way, so I can rest easier and start to mentally prepare for my return to the office. And should they decline, and insist that I work full-time, then I can also prepare myself for that as well. I have been composing my words in my head for a few days. Wish me luck.

I was teasing a friend over the weekend, and must have hit a sore/sensitive spot. His wife did the hand across the throat thing–like cut/stop. I felt embarrassed and blushed, and as quick as my conflicted brain could changed the subject. Of course, I felt remorseful, but mostly I felt embarrassed for crossing over some unsaid line, and not having known it. I certainly didnt want to hurt any ones feelings, and felt horrible for several days at the prospect that I might have. However, since the cut/stop sign was silent, I didnt feel like it was appropriate to address the mis-speak. But, perhaps I should? It keeps creeping into my thoughts, and I cant seem to let it go.

Elliott has outgrown his newborn size clothes, and is now wearing 3 month sizes. He is weighing in at over 12 pounds and many of the adorable onesies are too small for him. I have a whole bag of clothes to put into storage awaiting #2. Speaking of clothes…I wore a pair of pre-pregnancy jeans yesterday. Granted they were the stretchy varietal, and they were baggy before and now they are tight. But, lets not split hairs. After all this is the first pair of pants I have worn in 6 plus months that doesnt have an elastic waist band.

Not sure if I shared this already, but about 2 weeks ago, I bought the My Brest Friend breast feeding pillow (which I dont recommend). The paper insert in the package had the word waist spelled waste. Now, I am not one to talk about spelling since I am a horrible speller (I was always one of the first to sit down when we had a spelling competition in school). But, hmm…kinda a big difference there, doncha think?

Food, Sleep and Closure

When I went into Labor on 6-30-07 at 8:30am, I got a pretty good night sleep the previous night. That is to say that I sleep on the couch, in the upright position for a few hours at a time. In between the 2-4 hour bouts of rest, I was up and around the house. Usually thirsty, or having to use the bathroom. But, occasionally just wandering around the house, or reading. The last months of pregnancy were like this.

I have said in previous ruminations that this was a prep for parenthood, or so I thought while I was pregnant. What I wasn’t prepared for were the hours and days immediately following the birth of my son. From the time I went into Labor on Saturday until I left the hospital on Wednesday July 4th, I slept about 15 hours in total.
Saturday night while I labored, I of course didn’t sleep. My husband and my Doula took turns taking cat naps (which I barely noticed). I delivered on Sunday evening, and was put on Percoset, and moved to L&D to recover. That night and subsequent day, I couldn’t sleep and barely noticed the difference between day and night. I was so afraid that if I closed my eyes my son would stop breathing or choke to death on his lung fluid (when you have a c-section, even when you labor first, the child doesn’t fully benefit from traveling down the birth canal and getting the fluid squeezed out of their lungs, in the same way). Every little noise he made had me up, checking on him. This was coupled with the nurses coming in every 2 hours for stats, and every 4 hours for meds, housekeeping, food service (see below), and my doctors and the pediatricians. My doc started rounds at 5am, and I was apparently first on the list. Oh, and since UCSD is a teaching hospital, you see a student and a doc–2 separate visits.

Since I had a C-section, I couldn’t co-sleep with Elliott as I had planned and he in turn slept in a little plexi-glass crib next to my bed. The inability to co-sleep was due to a variety of valid, although frustrating reasons. The first was that I was on pain meds, the second was the bed was sooooo small, and the third is that I could barely move without assistance (the surgery, the IV, the catheter…). Had I delivered him vaginally in the Birth Center, both baby and husband all can sleep together. They have normal beds (not mechanical hospital beds), that are Queen size. They encourage baby and Mom to sleep together. UCSD is also a baby friendly hospital, and as such they don’t have a nursery. If you need to take a break from your baby, you can ask the nurses to watch them. At this point they will wheel them into the nurses station and keep an eye on them in there. I never opted for this.

I ate lunch on Saturday, at the Bar Mitvah. But, the remainder of the day I just wasn’t that hungry. Maybe it was nerves due to wondering if this was “IT”, or not. The evening only brought nausea and lack of appeal for anything food related. I did manage to eat a few lolli-pops and a bite of fruit. But, mostly I was thirsty and drank a ton of water. By the time Sunday afternoon rolled around and my labor had basically slowed to a snails pace, I was hungry! However, since I was going into surgery…there would be no food for me.

I wasn’t allowed to eat on Sunday night, nor Monday. All they gave me beginning with lunch was liquids. Broth, jello and juice. Plus, vicodin, gas pills and stool softeners. Yummy!

By the time I was allowed to eat, and I was begging the nurses for food by this point (sometime on Tuesday)-the meal that the food service people brought in was mostly wheat products (lasagna, a dinner roll, etc.), of which I am allergic. So, I was foiled again.

How are you supposed to function/parent/nurture on so little sleep, without food, and all doped up on meds? It seems counter intuitive to me. There are a lot of things about pregnancy and labor that are backwards in my opinion. Let me give a few examples.

When you get pregnant, usually you take a home pregnancy test to confirm. And if you are like me, I knew on day one of my missed period. Once you confirm, you are sooo excited (lets assume this is a planned pregnancy), that the first thing you do is schedule a doctors appointment. If you have an HMO, they wont schedule your first appointment until you are somewhere around 8-10 weeks along. Now, isn’t the first trimester the most critical as it relates to development of the baby? Why would you leave a newly pregnant person on their own, without advise or guidance during the most sensitive part of their pregnancy?

The second situation/example is during your post-partum period. Since I had a c-section, I spent 3 nights after the birth in the hospital (although they wanted to release me on the 2nd night, I declined). They removed my staples (13 of them), on the third day, and gave me instructions for caring for my incision. They also instruct you to schedule your follow up appointment for 6 weeks later. Now, I just had major abdominal surgery and a baby…wouldn’t you want to see me sooner than 6 weeks? Apparently not.

The sleep has improved since I have been home. And I suspect we are faring well compared to some. Elliott on most nights, sleeps from 9-12 or 1, eats, and then sleeps again from 1-4 or 5 am. Then he eats again, and occasionally will sleep again from 6 to 7:30am. Although, when we are struggling with the let down problem, he is less likely to sleep for such long periods, and is awake for longer time periods in between. So far I am OK with the sleep patterns, and feel good most days. I can see how the lack of sleep can be impossible to handle, especially if you have more than one child, or have to go back to work sooner rather than later, or don’t have a lot of help or support from your spouse.

Well, after all of that typing…I am not sure what the summation of my thoughts are. But, I wanted to share what was on my mind anyway. I am all for closure, but for this post, there is no closure… to my dismay.

The honeymoon is over

The last couple of days have been a bit of a challenge, both in terms of patience and sleep. Elliott has taken to fussing and crying, and wanting to eat constantly. But, once we get to the boob, he doesn’t want to latch on or he falls asleep. I thought maybe he was going through a growth spurt. I have read on several peoples blogs about a cry room…I have never heard of it before. Perhaps because I am not a church goer, but I sure do wish we had one here.
We were on a bit of a loose (very loose) schedule. But, the previous 2 nights threw that out the window. He was sleeping for 3-4 hour blocks and when he awoke, it would take us about 45-1 hour 15 minutes to feed and go back to sleep. But, the last few nights, he slept in 3 hour blocks staying up for 2 hours in the middle. Luckily my hubby is still home to help in the middle of the night–he is the designated diaper changer. On a side note, I had no idea that babies were so loud when it came to farts, burps and pooping noises. Holly cow.

This picture pretty much sums it up. Today we have a nurse coming to our house. There is a program here in CA that is backed by state funding and grants that assists first time Mom’s. It’s called First 5, but I don’t know too much about it. Except that the nurse makes a home visit, does a check up, weighs him, and counsels on breastfeeding. I am going to take her up on the breastfeeding offer. My left breast needs some serious counseling.
We have been making more outings, and I am getting around a lot easier. I am waiting for the steri-strips to fall off my scar…but, I think I might have to ‘assist‘ them. I wonder what a SAHM’s (I’m not a SAHM, but I think about it sometimes) schedules look like during a typical day. Would I get bored? Would I be fulfilled? I suspect and hope that once my healing has reached a certain stage, and my car is functional again, and my hubby is back at work…that I will be able to get out and about with ease. Mostly, I hope that my nerves about driving with the little chipmunk are relived after a few solo car rides.

Luck and Love

I feel like I am the luckiest person on the planet right now. I know that babies are born every second, and that every Mom must feel this wonderful when they look at their baby. But, I just have to share how head over heels in love I am with my son. As I write this I am starting to get a little teary eyed.

Last night we had a little cluster feeding session, and around 9pm I put him to sleep in the co-sleeper (not the kind that hooks to the side of the bed, but the kind that is a little bed in itself). Hubby and I put it in between us in our bed. The rock star sleep until midnight, nursed on both sides and went back to sleep again. I woke up at 3:00 am out of a dead sleep, and woke him up, did a diaper change, and we nursed again. Went back to sleep until 5am, did the same routine-diaper change, nurse. I thought we might be up for the morning so I made coffee, fed the dog, etc. But, Dad wanted to snuggle some more so he took Elliott to the couch and slept with him for another couple of hours, and I went back to bed for another couple of hours. Last night I got more sleep in one night than I have in a week cumulative.

I am still working on my birth story. It is going to be a long one, and I want to ensure that I have included all of the details, feelings and the like.