Monday, October 24, 2011

Briefly Checking In

The latest on the sleep front: she slept seven and a half consecutive hours last night, had a bottle, and slept another four hours.

That's two nights in a row, now, with a seriously long stretch of uninterrupted sleep.


I still haven't done anything to try to eliminate the night feeding, but I'm starting to think about it, if the current trend continues.

The book recommends decreasing the bottle by a half an ounce every third night.

I figure it's worth a shot... if she won't go back to sleep, fine, I'll give her more. And if she doesn't miss it... well, that will be weird. To not have to get up with her during the night. Will I miss having the time with her? I'm guessing not for now, while I'm home with her all the time, but maybe once I go back to work I will?

But here's my main concern, brought to me by a couple of friends: what if I need her to nurse at night, once I go back to work, just to maintain my milk supply? Will I have a problem if she's no longer accustomed to eating at night? Will I be devastated and angry with myself if I can't keep up with her need for milk down the road?

I'm not too worried at this point, but I'm thinking about it. I'm sipping Mother's Milk Tea tonight for the first time, and I added in a bedtime pumping, just to make sure things are really all right after last week's one-day-dip in the milk supply. I got about two and a half ounces, not bad for a night pumping. The last two mornings, after the 12 hour break, I've gotten about six ounces from my right breast, the one that hadn't been used since the previous night -- enough to nearly fill the entire bottle! -- and two ounces from the left.

Today was a strange and difficult day. We stayed home the whole damn beautiful day, waiting for a FedEx package that never arrived. I nearly cried when I called and was told that "delivery attempt was unsuccessful." I mean, I didn't even shower for fear of missing the FedEx man. I can't bear the idea of another day spent entirely at home, waiting.

At least tonight I realized that both yesterday and today's "door tag" says that they need the apartment number. So there's a reason for the problem, at least.

Meanwhile, Calliope took a nice 1.25 hour this morning, as usual going down exactly one hour after she woke up. She then got up for a half an hour to play without eating (a new discovery, that this was possible, since starting "sleep training"), then took a catnap in her crib until it was time for her noon feeding. An hour later she was just starting to yawn when I swaddled her and put her down in the crib, where she happily took her pacifier and turned her head away from me to sleep. A few minutes later, she started to fuss. I went back and replaced the pacifier which had fallen out. Silence reigned... until a few minutes later, when the same thing happened. After I replaced the pacifier again, I determined I wouldn't go back... if she was spitting it out, she didn't really want it, she just needed to work something out and fall asleep on her own.

And so she fussed and cried intermittently for an hour... something she hasn't done since the first day I put her in the crib. After an hour, I took her out and tried to nurse her... she wasn't particularly interested, and kept fussing. I changed her diaper. That didn't help. Finally I put her back in the crib.

She never went back to sleep. At four o'clock I went to get her from her crib. As I unwrapped her swaddle, she grinned up at me with delight. As if she wasn't exhausted, though I knew she must be. She's never up for more than an hour!

I nursed her again, and popped her into the swing. I had just received my bad FedEx news and was about to come out of my skin with frustration and pent up energy from sitting at home all day. I desperately climbed onto the elliptical, needing relief from the overwhelming frustration, and started to feel better almost immediately. She dozed in the swing. She was asleep when I finished so I went to take a quick shower.

While I was showering, I heard her start to really wail, the kind of heartbreaking sobs that end in breathless coughing. I hurried out, wrapped my dripping self in a towel, and went to investigate the problem. She wormed desperately against my chest, burrowing her hot, tearful little face in my neck in utter despair. I unwrapped the towel, not caring that my neighbors across the alley could see me if they cared to look, and tried to offer her my breast, but that only made her cry harder. I took her to the changing table, and as soon as I undid her dirty diaper and cleaned her up, she suddenly started to smile again. Ahh, relief! So that was the problem! I offered her the potty, which she sat on merrily enough, though she didn't produce anything.

I popped her back in the swing so that I could get dressed, intending that we would go out for a walk as soon as I was clothed. But as I headed into the bedroom to retrieve my clothes, she started to scream again. So I went back to her... and again she grinned at me as I scooped her up. Separation anxiety at ten weeks?

I brought her into the bedroom with me and laid her on the bed, and she was content... even when I went out of the room to apply moisturizer in the bathroom. So then it's not separation anxiety?

After that, she rode in the Beco carrier during the short walk to Emily's house, a block away, and watched wide-eyed as Emily carried her around the apartment, unloading the dishwasher and making dinner while I sat alone in the living room and enjoyed a much needed break from my infant. Thirty minutes later she started to fuss, and nursed desperately, soon lapsing into a lazy, sleepy suckling which is a new behavior in her since the dive in milk supply last week. Of course it makes me worry that I don't have enough milk for her... but when I squeeze my breast, milk comes out! So surely that means she's getting enough, right?

At last she was asleep. She woke up and fussed briefly when I transferred her back to the Beco, then fell back asleep around 7:30. And has been asleep ever since (it's now 11 pm), apart from a quick waking when I brought her home and opted for a quick "Dream Feed" since I knew coming out of the Beco would wake her anyway.

So I have no idea what bewitched her and kept her up for seven and a half hours, nor what caused her to scream out of the blue. But I'm hoping, not very optimistically, that the long awake period plus the dream feed might just induce her to sleep through the night. Fingers crossed.

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