I don't know how to tell you all just how crazy this life feels

Archive for November, 2012

weaning

I think we are coming to the end of breastfeeding. I’ve noticed over the past month or so that FrostedBaby has been less attached to it. I forget how much I said in my last post about it aside from the nursing strike. And I think I also mentioned my intense sensitivity that comes and goes, assumedly with my hormones and cycles though I can’t seem to find much correlation. He’s also not latching properly on one side, he often tries to go out with a narrow mouth (more like he’s trying to suck on his sippy cup straw) and I have to latch and relatch repeatedly, so on top of the severely annoying feeling of him eating properly, I get the pain of him not latching well and being irritated about that too.

So for the past while I’ve been feeling that I was ready to move on but he showed no interest in doing so beyond what he’d reached for the past while – nursing morning, naptime (if he takes one), bedtime, and in the night if he wakes up. The past month or so he’s mostly slept through without waking up and sometimes shows little interest in nursing when he has woken up, a few times just fussing until I put him back in bed even though I had tried to let him go back to sleep without going in.

After that night when he went back to bed without nursing, I decided that he must be moving away from needing it so much and that due to my sensitivity, I am ready to encourage him in that direction. I’ve been putting him down for his naps with no nursing and he’s been fine with that. When he got his shot last week at his 15 month appointment, I offered him my boob and he didn’t want it, he preferred to be hugged instead.

I asked at my weekly BFing support group about weaning. My main thing is that I don’t want to force it on him, especially dropping the bedtime one. I feel like he’s moving in that direction himself and because he’s been so attached to me, I don’t want to traumatize him or anything. I was told that I’m correct in reading his cues that he is moving away from it. It was suggested that I do the “don’t offer, don’t refuse” method, which is basically don’t give him my boob unless he asks. If he does, then I won’t refuse him. That way he can phase it out as he needs, but if he does want/need it then he’s not getting upset.

My other concern is engorgement so I’m doing it slowly. The first step is to drop the morning feed since he’s less attached to it and I’ve often thought that unless he wakes up starving, that he wouldn’t really miss it. This morning was the first time I didn’t bring him into bed and nurse him. I woke up before him and took my shower, then he was awake when I came out so I just got him up and did our morning routine without that part. He didn’t seem to care.

Last night he woke up at 3:45 and was fine on the first side and then he latched wrong on the second side, and when I tried to encourage him to go back on with a wide mouth, he started crying and wouldn’t calm down until I put him back in bed and left. So he hadn’t eaten for over four hours when he woke up (he was up around 8:30 or so) and hadn’t even had a full amount. But he was still very interested in playing in the bath for a while before getting out and didn’t seem to be looking for an opportunity to nurse.

I’m not sure when I’m going to start trying cutting out the bedtime feeding. I want to create a new routine, where we’ll hopefully replace the nursing with storytime so we can still snuggle. I love that part and one thing I’m sad about lately is that unless he’s nursing he doesn’t have a lot of interest in the snuggling part – he just wants to be in bed so he can put himself to sleep. Before he wanted both and for a while I had to snuggle him to sleep, but now once he’s done eating he either wants to be in bed or he wants to go and play. This does make bedtime easier and faster and means that anyone can do it (well, once the nursing is gone) since I’m not doing anything special anymore (unless he actually is still super attached to it being me doing the nothing :P) but I have always looked forward to the closeness after a busy day.

On the other hand, he is still very attached to me. He takes multiple breaks in his playing to come and hug me, he loves being held and carried by me, he’s always interacting with me. So I don’t really feel that he’s moving away and replacing me, which is nice.

I did miss the snuggle time in the morning since I usually bring him to bed to nurse and we all four (me, FrostedBaby, Husband, and the cat) snuggle in bed together before FrostedBaby is off to play and crawl around.

My other concern is if he’s not nursing, what do I give him if/when he wakes up in the night and is hungry? I don’t love the idea of having to get him real food. I think we are going to get him some homo milk to drink when he needs it – maybe first thing if he wakes up hungry, at bedtime if he needs it to fill himself up (I make sure he has a good amount of protein at night and he usually goes to bed fairly soon after, but just to top him up), and in the night if he needs it. I’m not nuts about that since why have another species’ milk if he can have some made specifically for him? And that’s partly why I’m not forcing the issue. And this is all assuming he actually will drink it, of course. He hasn’t had any from me, although he did steal the sippy cup of milk from a friend and seemed interested in it.

I mostly feel bad because if it weren’t for sensitivity issues (which are only sometimes, but it seems like it’s 2 weeks out of every month right now, and it’s not even pain, it’s just this really annoying feeling) I would be fine to continue indefinitely. Although I must say I feel ready to have my body fully back, especially if we are hoping for a second. The chances of that happening soon are pretty much zero right now, but in any case I would like to have my body back for at least a little while before having to start all over again. I feel like I’ve enjoyed the breastfeeding and I have good memories but I’m ready to be done and I’m glad that he seems to be going there too.

The one thing I am sort of excited about is that it might mean that other people will be able to put him down, feed him in the night, and in the morning. Maybe that means I can go out over bedtime, maybe Husband and I can go away overnight sometime (okay, that’s a bit longer again, I’m not sure I’m ready for that quite yet, but we’re not at the minimal point of that anyway). I’m sure it will be nice for Husband not to feel helpless and unable to do that, I know it’s been a source of frustration for him at times.

15 months, 5 days

It’s been a while. I’ll have to look back on my last post to figure out what to update about.

After that nursing strike, he’s been nursing fine since, although I’ve gone back and forth between finding it comfortable and finding it really irritating and wishing I could stop. Right now is the latter and I only let him nurse a bit on one side for the nap I just put him down for because I was seriously going to scream or smack him or something if he continued. I don’t know why, but at certain times it’s really such an annoying feeling (not so much painful as just the kind of feeling that really gets to you) and I don’t really know why. I think it might have something to do with my cycles, but they’re kind of irregular and I don’t think I’m ovulating so it’s hard to tell what’s happening. If it were right after O or before or whatever, I could see that, but before it seemed to be in the days before my period, last time it was a couple weeks before and then went away for a bit before I got it, and this time seems to be similar.

His sleeping has been hit and miss. He went from that not wanting to sleep alone and being up a lot to overnight being fine with being on his own and going to sleep with no problem. I have no clue what the difference was, but one night he was pulling the don’t want to sleep alone thing but wasn’t settling down in bed either, didn’t want to play, didn’t want to be held, nothing, so I got fed up and put him in his bed just wanting to get a couple of minutes by myself. And he fell asleep after screaming for about two minutes. The next night was similar, and since then he’s been fine.

And! Last night he wouldn’t go to bed when we first tried, which was okay since we’d had a strange day where we all slept in and he napped late and he was playing okay. He seemed tired but maybe not sleepy enough, so we were just waiting him out. Then he kept purposely going over to the TV and touching it even though he knows he’s not supposed to (he kept looking at us to make sure we were watching as he went over and then as he was touching it) and after doing that repeatedly and being moved away and going back, I picked him up, took him upstairs, put him in bed and gave him his bear and walked out. I figured I’d let him scream then I’d go back in in a minute and hopefully he’d get the idea that if he was purposely misbehaving then he couldn’t be down here. Well, he screamed a bit, then quieted down, then cried a bit more (not screaming though), and then fell asleep.

May not seem that big, but it’s actually huge. If he can go to sleep without being walked, snuggled, or nursed, that means that if he is not hungry and is tired enough, that Husband should be able to put him down on his own without me. It also means he hopefully won’t need to be nursed every time he goes down. I don’t mind it at the first bedtime, I really enjoy that (well, a bit less when my nipples are sore but I do enjoy the end-of-day snuggle time), but I hate having to come home if I’m out because he needs to be put back to bed and if he’s up late for some reason and I’ve gone to bed, I always had to get up when he was ready to do down (luckily doesn’t happen very often, but did for a few nights when he was going through the wakeful phase). He just fell asleep (I think – he’s been quiet for the past few minutes, so either he’s asleep or is on his way) so that’s another good step in that direction. Now just to get Husband to feel confident that he can do it.

My pottery class is going well. There are two left, and at the last one I glazed the bowl I made on the first class and also two of the cat spoon rests that I made during the class before. I have one more to glaze and then I’m not sure what I’m going to do. Maybe try the wheel out a bit more, since it won’t matter quite so much if I wreck it and end up with nothing to take home. I’m excited to see how they turn out once the glaze is fired. It’s hard to picture because the bowl is going to be blue, but the glaze is a grey colour and the cats are black and an orangey colour (they’re supposed to be tortoiseshells) but the black is red and the orange is greyish. I just hope I didn’t wreck them. I’ll be sad that the class is over and I’m going to miss having the night out. It’s made a difference in my stress levels as far as getting some Me time and it’s been nice doing something different. I just wish it didn’t run so late because I’m not home until 10 and then I find I have trouble unwinding after and end up staying up late because of that. I’ll have to figure something else out… maybe I can even do it earlier in the evening if I don’t have to be around to put FrostedBaby down to sleep.

I’m annoyed with my insurance company right now. Well, my former insurance company since I’m no longer covered. It started a few months ago when I tried to make a claim while I was still on mat leave. I mailed in the stuff, they declined it and said I wasn’t insured with them. I contacted work to ask what was going on, could they check with them to find out what happened and the very unhelpful HR person told me to file my claim online because it’s easier. Okay, thanks so much for checking to make sure that I am in fact still on their records as I should be. I tried asking her to check on that and she didn’t respond. So glad she wasn’t there when I was still working there. Anyway, so I did file it online and that was fine. Last week I tried to file the last few claims I have and the stupid thing gives me an “unknown error”. I tried a couple of times and even waited til the next day to try it and it did the same thing. So I wrote to them to ask what was happening, they replied that the error was because I didn’t attach my receipt. The reason I didn’t is because there was no place to do so. I told them that and attached it to the email. I got a note today that they were being declined because I didn’t claim them before Nov 19th. First off, I was told I had six months past my termination date to claim anything. Second, the first claim I attempted was the day before I sent the email, which was dated Nov 20th… which makes it Nov 19th that I submitted the first claim (that’s just luck, but should still count). Maybe they need the receipts, but I would have done that if their stupid online system worked properly and had a place to submit them. So now I’m waiting to hear back from them yet again. Stupid.

Let’s see… what else is going on with us?

FrostedBaby is communicating a lot now. He indicates what he wants by pointing and making different sounds depending on what he wants to do. He’ll respond to me asking if he’s hungry or thirsty, he tells me what particular food he wants if there are options (he’s really particular if there are different options during a meal, like if he’s having a couple of different things at the same time, he wants different items at different times and will tell me), he’s started gesturing at things and making inquisitive sounds and I’m telling him the names of things since I assume that’s what he’s asking. He started saying “mama and baby” a few weeks ago before bed and now I’ll say, “mama and…?” and he’ll respond, “baby!” He talks a lot, though it’s a lot of “baba” with varying inflections and different sounds. Sometimes I think he’s really trying to say things and other times I think he’s just talking. I swear today he said, “I drink” when asked him if he was going to drink his water (he’d asked for it but then was just playing with it).

He’s loving using his fork and spoon and is getting better at them. Today he even speared his food himself, usually he needs a bit of help to be accurate enough. He’s now using his spoon properly and dipping it in the food rather than just touching it to the top. I’m not sure I’d trust him with liquidy stuff yet since he tends to fling it around in excitement and sometimes gets really silly, but he’s getting good at it.

He’s started climbing a few steps, which is a big thing for a baby as cautious as he is. I’m kind of amazed he hasn’t started climbing more, but he’s just done it a few times and just one step. I’m betting on the cat being on the landing and him deciding that he wants to go after him that will inspire him. Because he’s cautious, I have a feeling that he’s just going to start one day when he feels confident and then he’ll be unstoppable.

He’s starting to stand up more often and was even taking steps the other day. I’ve tried encouraging him to step when I’m holding him up but usually he whines and just wants me to hug him. That’s another thing that I feel like once he gets it into his head that he wants to walk, he’s just going to take off one day.

I am both loving this age and finding it challenging. It’s fun because he’s so communicative and interactive and he’s crawling all over the place and it’s so neat to see him invent games and testing things out and obviously soaking in so much. It’s challenging because he knows what he wants and gets upset when he doesn’t get it, which depending on what kind of mood he’s in can pass quickly or it can lead to whole days (it seems) of whining and crying. I’m guessing that part will only get worse, but in general he gets over it pretty easily once he realizes I’m not going to give in just because he’s whining. We get frustrated because sometimes he’s trying to communicate something and I don’t understand, or I’m trying to tell him something and he doesn’t get it. On the other hand, while I think fondly of him when he was younger, I don’t really have any real desire for him to go back to that because he’s so interesting now. If I went back to when he was younger and was maybe less opinionated, I’d also have to give up his doing funny things to make me laugh or putting anything and everything down the ramp of his Fis.her Pr.i.ce garage (this list includes the cars and people that came with it, his roller zebra, his legos, his shape sorter shapes, his stacking rings, and his socks) or his shouting random crazy things during meals just because he feels like being silly.

I’m sure there’s lots more to update about, but I should be getting him up from his nap soon. He did wake up about half an hour ago but then went back to sleep. I don’t like him to sleep past 3 because then he’s up too late. Actually, usually I like him up by 2:30 but he took a while to get to sleep in the first place.

 

Sickies

FrostedBaby and I are both sick 😦   I think his started first, but I was hoping it was just a snotty nose and hoarse voice related to teething like he’s had before, but he now also has a cough. I woke up with a sore throat the night before last and it has progressed into a real cold now. It’s not horrible, just a regular cold, but it’s still not fun.
So night before last FrostedBaby did his now-typical wakeup thing where he wanted to play, so we were up for about an hour (I think he heard about the time change and decided to use that extra hour to play) then he started to act tired again, but wouldn’t go down. I took him to bed, he wanted to crawl all over me and I got annoyed and decided I needed a few minutes to myself so I took him into his room, put him in his crib, and walked out. He cried and I was watching the clock, figuring I’d leave him 10 minutes and then decide what to do. He stopped crying after 8 minutes. Of course, then I have all these horrible thoughts that he inhaled his pacifier or something so I was listening carefully at the monitor and he made a sound so I knew he was still alive. And then I got to sleep in my own bed all by myself for like four hours!

Last night he woke up at 1-something, refused to nurse (very strange!), was restless, didn’t want to snuggle, didn’t want to play, didn’t want to sit with me, didn’t want to do anything that I could figure out. So I put him down after trying a bunch of things (including changing his diaper, which did have poop in it) and walked out and went to sit in bed and he stopped after maybe two minutes. A couple of hours later, he woke up and I again tried to nurse him, but he wouldn’t and again was very weird and restless so I put him down and this time I don’t think I even had the door closed before he had stopped. A few minutes later, he cried again but I was in bed and decided to wait him out and he stopped after a couple minutes. Then I heard him coughing a few times in the night and the morning but he didn’t actually cry to get up until 9.

And he’s refused to nurse all morning now :/ This is very strange for him, usually no matter what he’s feeling he’ll always nurse well. He’s eating real food well and drinking, so I’m not too worried, but I’m not sure what to think. Is he picking up on my “I’m feeling done with nursing” vibes and has decided to start weaning himself? Is he too stuffed up to suck? Except he’s fine using his sippy cup. That’s good because at least he’s drinking and taking fluids, but I’m not sure whether to pump or not. I probably will to relieve the pressure that’s just starting to build up and to maintain my supply until I know whether this is temporary or not. I’m not sure what to hope for. On the one hand, I feel ready to give it all up…. but on the other hand, how the heck do I get him to relax and go to bed if he’s not nursing? I have put him down for naps without nursing so I know it’s possible but with his reluctance to snuggle sometimes, I don’t know. I guess we’ll see what happens at nap and/or bedtime, whether he’ll nurse or not. I’m a bit afraid if he doesn’t (because he’s stuffed up, not because he’s decided he doesn’t want to anymore) how bedtime will go. I’m also not sure what to do if he wakes up in the night and he’s hungry if he’s not nursing. Do I get up and give him a snack? Won’t that just wake both of us up? Or will he not bother to wake up and call for me if he’s not wanting to nurse?

Obviously it’s too soon to jump to conclusions, particularly since he is sick and probably teething as well, but it’s just so weird for him to ever refuse a chance to be on the boob.

I am hoping that the “I’ll put myself to sleep, thanks” thing is not just a fluke and will continue because it’s even easier than snuggling him back to sleep 😛  And potentially someone else can manage to leave him alone or stick his paci in until he goes back to sleep. You’d think that if he can do it while he’s sick, he could do it when he’s well, unless it was just that he was too tired to cry because of being sick. Doesn’t seem to stop him other times though.  I also put his bear in his arms when I put him down – he was refusing his paci and everything, but when I put him down he opened his mouth to scream so I popped it in, gave him his bear, and left.

I’m hoping I’m feeling better by tomorrow since that’s my pottery class. I’m not sure I want to go and make everyone sick, although we’re not really on top of each other and we all have our own clay. But the room is dusty and makes me feel coughy at the best of times and when I get home I feel similar to how I felt after being in a smoky room for a while – like my lungs were full of crap.

Husband is home this week, thankfully. FrostedBaby was napping when he got home yesterday and when he got up he was really happy to see him. He started talking and being very cute. It’s nice to know he feels that way, since before he could take or leave him, it didn’t matter. Sometimes it seemed like he didn’t quite remember who Husband was, like he knew he knew him but it wasn’t a big “Daddy!” reaction, it was more of a “ah, you are a familiar person, now where’s my mommy?” thing.

It’s later in the day and FrostedBaby went down for his nap without nursing. I tried to do it before then and he pushed me away, then at naptime he didn’t even acknowledge my boob. He was fussing and squirming and I got him to relax by singing and then he went to sleep easily. I can’t help but hope that maybe he is weaning, especially given my hate-hate relationship with nursing lately. I forget if I’ve written about that here. A quick glance back and I don’t see anything about it – anyway so when he was sick a few weeks ago (when I wrote about taking him to the walk-in) he was nursing like crazy and I was not thrilled because I was really enjoying only doing it a few times a day. Then he dropped the day feeds again but was wanting to nurse a lot when he was awake at night, but often not because he was hungry but just because it’s soothing and I really hate the way it feels when he just pacifies on me. His sucking is shallower and it’s so irritating.

This is now the end of the day and I’m heading to bed. He did not nurse all day, and I was afraid he wouldn’t nurse when I put him down for bed but he did (after looking like he was going to refuse, then he suddenly seemed to change his mind) and then I put him down while he was still awake (obviously tired but was playing around and fighting sleep). He looked like he was going to cry but I gave him his bear, turned around and walked out. And then I’ve heard nothing since. Fingers crossed for a good night!

14 months, 11 days

I think our sleeping troubles may be a combination of factors: developmental growth spurt, teething, and maybe a dash of separation anxiety thrown in.

Since Husband left yesterday on a business trip, FrostedBaby has started learning how to use a fork (he’s been working on utensils the last couple of days and really got the idea with the spoon, but yesterday he was showing that he had an idea of what to do with the fork, just hasn’t figured it out totally yet – oh, and totally cute, I help him spear his food and then he puts it in his mouth and then I tell him what a good boy he is, and he grins, puts down his fork, and then claps for himself. How adorable is that?), started signing “more”, and this evening he pulled himself up to a standing position between the couch and ottoman and then took a few steps over to the ottoman to be on it more squarely. That’s the first he’s felt comfortable enough to do it on his own and he hasn’t taken that many steps before, especially on his own.

He’s been chomping on his fingers on and off lately and has been a bit more drooly than usual, but I hadn’t thought too much of it. We tried giving him T.yle.nol earlier this week when he was chomping during getting ready for bed and he slept for 6 hours straight, which he hasn’t done in over a week. I didn’t think much of it until today when he was chomping again and being really whiney and clingy. I gave him some Tyl.en.ol and within 20 minutes he was cheerful and running around on his own playing as he usually is. He also took a nap before he was completely exhausted and couldn’t stay awake any longer. And he’s been so cheerful the rest of today, though I haven’t given him any more. I googled it and apparently the two year molars can start causing symptoms this early, especially in an early teether, and can take months before you see anything. Oh boy! But it means I might have an answer, which I could have used yesterday when he was whiney and clingy all day and I wanted to scream.

This is also the age apparently where it’s common for separation anxiety to peak, and that combined with maybe not feeling too well from the teeth and the crazy brain growth and that could explain why he’s not wanting to sleep on his own. Last night he went down at 11 and slept until 2-something. I nursed him and tried to put him down but he was having none of it so I brought him into bed with me and we both got some sleep, more in a row than we’ve had in many nights. He woke up again to nurse but it was easy because he was right there and we both went back to sleep easily. I’ve tried doing that a couple of nights before but maybe it was because Husband wasn’t there or maybe he was less awake and he didn’t complain this time. I’ll definitely try it again if he does that tonight, but I’m praying a dose of meds at bedtime and when he wakes up in the night might make him okay to stay on his own.

He has certainly seemed more like himself today, so whether it’s because he slept, whether he’s feeling better because of the Ty.len.ol, or just because I’m not sure but I’ll take it. I feel so much less exhausted and dragged out today, which is good since Husband is gone for another few days.

Oh, the other thing was the signing. I’ve been trying to teach him “more” and “all done” as useful signs because those are things I have trouble figuring out sometimes and it would be easier if he could tell me. A lot of other things he’s able to communicate to me in other ways so I haven’t bothered with the signs. I haven’t been very consistent with it so he hasn’t really picked it up, but today at dinner I was doing the sign for “more” and he copied me, and then would do it if I just said, “more?” And he stopped doing it when he was done eating. So I think he gets it? It’s not actually the real sign, but it is distinct from anything else he does, so it’s fine. He interrupted my writing this to climb up and wanted me to kiss him. So I was kissing his head and face and cheeks (he loves this) and then he pulled back, very carefully signed “more”, and leaned back in. How cute is he?!

(whispering) He went down really easily tonight and about 3 hours earlier than he’s been for the past several nights. Please let this not be a fluke, please let it be the Ty.lenol because that’s at least something I can control.

And apparently I either didn’t press post or it didn’t work because this is still sitting here. He ended up sleeping with me again last night, which was not very restful since he was wiggly and moved away from me on the bed and I kept jolting awake thinking he was on the edge and about to fall off. Meds did not work last night, as although he slept in four hour blocks, he would not go down by himself after waking up in his crib the first time. Tonight I try a nightlight and see if that’s why he’s okay with going down at naptime and at bedtime and not afterwards.

I’m so torn on what I should be doing to deal with this. This is really common at this age, so it’s just a phase that will pass eventually; hopefully soon. But in the meantime, is bringing him into bed with me the best move? It does ensure that we both get maximum sleep, but is it setting him up for wanting to sleep with me forever? I am really not open to this idea. All the things I’ve read said to keep going in and reassuring him that I’m there, but without picking him up. I could sit in the room until he falls asleep, I could pat his back and tell him he’s okay, and then leave. I could leave him to cry all by himself until he’s so exhausted he falls asleep. That last one I’m not up for beyond about 10 minutes. If he’s not asleep by 10 minutes, he’s not going down on his own. And in the past, when we were nap training him, going into the room just made it worse because he was excited I was there to rescue him and then it would start all over again once he realized I wasn’t. Which leaves sitting and rocking him to sleep until he’s asleep enough not to wake up, though I have no idea how long that is. Or bringing him into bed with me, which quiets him down immediately. I tried letting him cry a bit last night but he was just getting more upset and awake so I gave in. I know I need to be consistent but I just can’t get behind the idea of letting him cry all by himself. If this is separation anxiety, that’s not teaching him the right message. I want him to feel confident that I am available when he needs me, so that he only cries when he really needs me…. which is usually what he does. But then I hear that it’s not SA, it’s dependency or the kid is too attached to one parent or whatever. And it’s only at night – during the day he’s pretty good. He has moments but overall if I ignore his whining he goes off to do something else after a minute. I don’t know, I just feel like nothing I do makes a difference and it might just be down to how we decide to ride it out.

And when I put it that way, I decide to do it with less crying and more sleeping.