Friday, September 13, 2013

Just Call Me Mommy

Oh my digital friends, I know I've been  MIA for many a months. My life is fully consumed with Little Man and all the ripples his existence creates.
As I am allowed to pump at work, twice a day, I am losing basically 2 hours of work related productivity a day. I have managed to stay on top of things by working through my lunch, but then my Boss went and reduced my project completion time. Things have been a tad stressful on the work front to say the least because of this. I don't really have the "spare" time to be writing this, but I need to clear my head of a few things and I know putting them out to the digital world would help relieve some of the stress. And possibly garner some ideas and suggestions.
Little Man is causing me all kinds of stress. I love him so, but seriously kid, SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT ALREADY. When he first arrived on the scene he would start to doze off and I would put him to bed still awake. As time went on, he would have to be completely asleep or he would cry and scream. We were creating a monster. I think the trip Back East was the breaking point. His entire schedule was off by a mile. All the pointing and prodding and smile demands really got to him, and me. At one point, after I was allowed to nurse him instead of his "Nanna" feeding him a bottle, (um, yeah, that's a post in and of itself) he just laid across my lap and rested. I would pat his belly and when I stopped he would make his little "eeehhh" sound and I would do it again. This went on for a good 20 minutes before F looked in on us.  Anyway, this trip is where I feel it all fell to hell. Getting him to sleep that week was hell. Napping was just as bad. When we got back it got a tad better, but never back to where we were. All my mom friends keep  telling me he should be sleeping through the night and to just put him to bed and walk out. Let me tell you, it DID NOT WORK. I put him to bed, told him I loved him and walked out of the room, closing the door behind me. Little Man LOST HIS MIND. I went back in 2 minutes later, calmed him down, put him back in bed, and left. HE LOST HIS MIND. This went on for an HOUR AND A FORTY FIVE MINUTES. I increased the times between going back in, tried to stop picking him, but it didn't work. He SCREAMED at the top of his voice THE ENTIRE TIME, unless I was holding him, and even then he might let out a good scream just to let me know he was still pissed at me even though he was stroking my hair.  F? F was beside himself, almost in tears listening to it. He finally couldn't take it anymore, deciding I was forever damaging Little Man psychologically, he went in and held Little Man for half an hour until he feel asleep. I felt like such a bad mom. And I was pissed at myself for listening to the other moms. But I was SO TIRED. Little Man is still waking up at least twice a night. F rarely hears him, so I go in, comfort him, put him back to sleep and then get everyone up and out the door in the morning. I am beat.  But clearly, just up and leaving him isn't going to work, for any of us. So I've switched tactics to a more gradual, less crying sleep training version. And I'm sorry, but there is no such thing as the "No Crying/Tears" method. My kid cries, period. Anyway, we do our normal bedtime routine, lotion, pj's, nursing, prayers, a little song, now maybe a book, and then we sit for a little bit. When he is relaxed, I tell him it is "Night Night time" that I love him, and put in in his crib. He stiffens the second he feels me move to get up.  I lay him down, he is UP and screaming and crying. Yes. No cry method my foot.
The first night I sat on the floor next to the crib with my hand through the bars and if he was close enough to me, I would pat or rub his arm/leg, whatever. It took an hour of him crying and flopping dramatically on his mattress for him to fall asleep. He slept through the night.
The next night I sat in front of the crib with my hand through the bars, but didn't touch him. Well, too much. He would flop dramatically next to my hand and I would touch him with my finger. I mean, come on! The kid was crying and reaching his little chubby groping hand through the bars at me, I'm not made of stone people!
He slept through the night.
So basically, I am slowly moving away from him each night. How tired he is depends on how much dramatic flopping and crying goes on, but it is NO WHERE NEAR the over an hour of crying and screaming, mostly screaming. The most so far I think was 40 minutes. I haven't made it out the door just yet, and I'm not completely sure I will. If I step out to get something during this process the wailing kicks in. Can I spare 10 minutes to sit in my kid's room until he falls asleep? Yes, I can. Is this the wrong thing to do? Probably. My hope however is that I will be able to put him down and walk out of the room like I used to do in the beginning. I'm sure I'll get this put into place just in time for us to go Back East for Christmas. And have it forever FUBARed again.
So there is that. Sleep training is a bitch and I hate it.
Next? Again, Little Man. He has gone from being a Champion eater to a non-eater. He has dropped to the 3rd percentile. I can see his rib cage when I change him. Some nights he just refuses to eat. Even Cheerios!!
Other nights he stuffs whatever he can lay his hands on in his mouth to the point where I'm afraid he's going to choke. F and I are completely beside ourselves. We are worried, confused, at a loss. No one else seemed concerned though, even his Doctor thinks he is fine. And he is growing, reaching all the important "milestones." But we, as his parents still fret over every morsel. I am sure we are developing an eating disorder in him.
And lastly, the nursing. In the beginning F and my Mom; while she was staying with us, (another post unto itself) had me in tears with worry over not producing enough for Little Man. My mother kept telling me to just stop and switch to formula. Eventually though production went up and all was well, we were stockpiling like mad. Then I went to visit CBF for a week, got sick, passed out in her bathroom from dehydration and it has been a struggle ever since. I was able to stockpile some, but no where near what it was before. In fact, I don't think I've stockpiled anything in over a month. I am producing enough for him to have one bottle a day. The rest is formula. He is almost 10 months old. Most people tell me that it is GREAT to have gone so long. But I wanted him full breast milk for his first year. I'd like to know how in hell these people are doing it for six years! I will admit though, that the gradual decline is making it much easier to accept. I'm not tied to him, or the breast pump. I can go quite awhile without worrying about the need to pump. It is, freeing. I will miss it when it comes to an end though. Little Man and I have had some of our best times together, thus far, while he is nursing.  We've also had some of our worst. He continues to bruise my upper arm because he likes to pinch my bingo wings while nursing. F thought I was crazy until he saw the bruise. Despite that, I feel sad whenever I think about it. I remember how hurt I felt when he refused to nurse while he had a cold because he couldn't breath. F didn't get it, to him it was logical. And I knew that, the poor kid couldn't breath, but my feelings were hurt. It felt like rejection. Silly. I know.  I think it all stems from the guilt. My mom was a stay-at-home mom for the most part until I was 9. I spent all day with her. Not that I remember much of it, but I do remember some of it. I spend very little time with Little Man. F even less. So every moment I get is precious gold. I really wish I could switch to part time so I could spend more time with him. But unless F gets some kind of dream job or we win the lotto, that ain't happenin.

So tell me, my digital friends what are your tips on getting your kid to sleep? To eat?  How to deal with being a parent who maybe cares a little too much??
Seriously, how cute are they together? 


Tracy said...

Well it certainly hasn't been an easy time of it - welcome to parenthood love.

Firstly with the sleeping, man what a drama, firstly don't bloody listen to anyone who says your kid should or should not be doing anything including sleeping through the night - news flash people, every kid is different. It sounds like you are slowly, very slowly easing into this one. Keep at it & above all be consistent. The first step is getting to sleep to start with. Then deal with the night time wake ups.

The breast feeding dilemma - I know I know breast is best, however an exhausted stressed Mummy is not worth it, seriously. You should be damn proud that he is 10 months old and still getting any breast milk. You can still have as much cuddle time whilst bottle feeding him. It will also help with your tiredness because breast feeding is tiring on the Mum.

Is he on solids yet? If you are worried about his eating, try keeping a food diary of what he eats over a week or so, I bet he is doing just fine. Sometimes he is probably not hungry and those times he seems to do nothing but eat may be a growth spurt, all perfectly normal.

Your son is a very much loved wee man and he will be fine. There are no hard and fast rules and everyone has an opinion on what you should or should not do, what he should or should not be doing at any given age. Just keep doing the best you can and make your decisions on what you can and cannot do based on your own circumstances.

BTW if you are only just getting the sleep thing sorted, avoid going to see the inlaws over Christmas, if a strict bedtime routine is what the boy needs for a while then so be it.

Good luck - you will be fine, he will be fine.

DevilsHeaven said...

Thanks Tracy! It helps to hear someone else say it.
The sleep thing is worked out for now. Skipping the in-laws is really not an option. I do truly believe that the trip this summer is what got us into this situation sleep wise, but convincing F of that? Yeah.
And thank you for still reading! :-)