How….I repeat….HOW is my sweet baby nearly 11 weeks old??? Those teeny, tiny newborn days seem so far behind us now, he is getting so big that he has practically outgrown his bassinet!! It breaks my heart and makes me so happy all at the same time. As with most advice, I’m realizing after the fact how true it was that I needed to soak in these precious days, even during the hard parts, because they are over so so soon.
Every week with Austin seems to be getting better and better. Each week that goes by, I look back on and say “that was my favourite week so far!”….and then each week seems to top it after that! He is so expressive with his face, hands and legs now and it’s just impossible to be around him without smiling (at least when he’s in a good mood – which he is for the most part!). He’s started giggling now, a real little person laugh, and it just makes me die laughing whenever he does it. Normally Matt is the best at getting a laugh out of him when he makes a motor boat sound with his lips LOL….I’ve tried the same trick and just get a raised eyebrow from him, so apparently Mommy isn’t so funny……
Sometime during week 7, we had an especially rough couple of days with breastfeeding (same old story – he just refused to eat from me and each feed caused him to scream hysterically until he couldn’t breathe), and I hit my breaking point. I told Matt, “that’s it, I’m done. I’m spent, emotionally exhausted, I tried, we tried….this just isn’t working”. I knew that my sentiments weren’t too far off the mark, because my very reasonable husband actually agreed with me.
We agreed that we would maintain status quo (trying to breastfeed each feed and then following up with a bottle of pumped breast milk) until Austin got his shots on December 15th, and then we would call it a day with breastfeeding. I would pump as much as I could in 3 sessions each day to bottle-feed him, and we would supplement the balance with formula once my supply ran out. It didn’t feel good, but we were really out of options. We had tried everything.
We had a really great couple of days with breastfeeding shortly after this decision (of course – I swear this baby understands English and once we get to our breaking point, he figures “meh, I’ll throw ’em a bone!”), but then reverted back to our same old struggles, tenfold. We had several days in a row where he was (strenuously) refusing both the breast and the bottle, and my anxiety was through the roof because I knew he wasn’t getting enough milk to support his weight. At his doctors appointment, he weighed in at 12 pounds exactly, and his rate of gain had slowed down significantly from earlier.
Our doctor was very matter of fact and said that it really wasn’t a big deal, and we needed to just pick one: breast or bottle, and it really didn’t matter which one we chose as both were good options for him. And so we did. We’ve been feeding him almost exclusively bottles of pumped breastmilk for about a week now, and while we are still struggling to get the timing exactly right, he is eating so much better, is a much happier baby, and my anxiety is gradually starting to reduce a little bit. A win for all. I’m lucky to have a ton of milk, so I only have to pump three times a day to have more than enough for a full day of breastmilk feeds. I’m not keen to use formula just yet, so will have to keep an eye on my milk supply, because if it starts to go down then I’ll have to reevaluate.
I’m still holding onto our early morning breastfeeding session because he seems to do really well at this time when I have the most milk, and he’s a bit dozy (read: not yet wearing his sassy pants for the day), and so far this routine is working well for us. I’m glad to have at least one breastfeeding session a day just for the snuggles and am actually looking forward to this session now that things are going so much more smoothly.
I’m dealing with extreme guilt that we aren’t breastfeeding very much anymore, but I’m gradually accepting that this is the best decision for all of us. It’s a real shame that we didn’t get the hang of breastfeeding, but I’m grateful that we did have a few months at the beginning, and I’m hopeful that for future babies we may have a better shot at it now that I know more about it and have some experience behind us. For now, we’re doing the best we can for our little muffin, and I’m glad that he is still exclusively on breastmilk. I hope that we can make it to six months, but we’ll just have to wait and see!
Oh mama, it’s been an amazing couple of weeks for us!! I really and truly don’t know what changed, because we sure haven’t done anything in terms of setting a routine or sleep training, but our little man is sleeping like a boss at night…HALLELUJAH.
It started one night at about 6 – 7 weeks when, totally out of the blue, he slept for 5 hours straight overnight. I woke up so confused and nearly killed myself toppling out of our bed and getting over to the bassinet to make sure he was okay…and there he was sleeping in his usual “arms overhead – riding the roller coaster” pose (LOL – melt my heart).
Each night from there onwards seemed to get better and better, and his intervals stretched out from 3 – 4 hours to 4 – 5 hours….then 5 – 6 hours…..then two nights in a row, he slept 7 hours straight……and then came the 8 hour stretch?! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!
Like I said, we really don’t have much of a routine, but we do give him a big 120+mL bottle and put him to bed in his swaddle sometime between 11pm and midnight each night. He’s been going down for a nap around 9:30pm – 10pm each night, but pretty consistently wakes up around 11:00pm for his last feed of the night. Ideally, we’d love to push his bedtime much earlier, but for now, we’re sticking with what works.
I may have gotten a little cocky thinking that we were completely over our sleep woes; sometimes he’ll have a night where he’ll only do a 5 hour stretch, but usually on these nights, he just wakes up for a quick feed, and then gone down for another 3ish hours after that. This isn’t bad at all either, and we can totally function on this routine, so I’m not complaining at all.
Soooooo, so grateful over here, I know that not all babies figure sleep patterns out so easily, we are so, so lucky! Fingers crossed that it’s only onwards and upwards from here! I pretty much live in fear of this four month sleep regression that I hear so much about, but am trying to just keep my nose to the grind and keep doing what we’re doing because it’s working like a charm right now.
THREE CHEERS FOR AUSTIN, THE CHAMPION SLEEPER – HIP HIP HOORAY!
I feel like I’ve just been this black cloud of despair when it comes to my recovery for the past 10 weeks, but I finally, finally am feeling a little bit more optimistic.
The six-week mark was a really disappointing one for me, because I really didn’t feel even close to fully recovered, or able to return to really any aspects of my pre-baby life. I had a very dismissive doctor’s appointment at the end of week six, where my doctor really had nothing to say to me except to “give it time”, and that it would be a long road to recovery. I left that appointment so discouraged and upset. It felt like I was running in place and getting nowhere.
Weeks 7 and 8 specifically were HUGE ones in terms of moving forward with my recovery. I don’t even know what the catalyst or the turning point was, but things just slowly started feeling more and more “normal”, and I was thinking about the injury less and less every single day. I remember one day I even jogged up our stairs without even thinking about it, and realized that it didn’t hurt or feel odd one bit!
Week 9 was a harder one for me, with the return of a lot of pain, and a heavy sensation that really freaked me out. I went into the walk-in doctor towards the end of week 10 and found out that I had a urinary tract infection. Sigh. I left the office feeling like I had just done ten rounds in the ring with Muhammed Ali, and that I just couldn’t catch a break.
Once I started taking the (breastfeeding safe) antibiotic, I started feeling dramatically better in all aspects. The pain I was having started to decrease, the heaviness mostly went away, and things just started to improve a lot. I’m kind of in a new steady state now where I wouldn’t say things are improving dramatically every day anymore, but I feel pretty good most of the time.
My head is starting to fall apart a little bit in terms of my recovery and my goals. I’m starting to change the dialogue in my head to one that kind of scares me because it’s one that says “oh well, maybe you don’t need to teach or exercise anymore, maybe you can find other hobbies, you have a family now, you’re too busy to exercise anyways, it’s okay if I can’t jump anymore, you’ve always wanted to write more, learn photography ….maybe if you don’t teach anymore then you’ll have time for those things “………
Fitness and exercise was such a gargantuan part of my life that it makes me really sad to be thinking like this. In mentally strong moments, I feel like maybe one day I’ll get back to what I used to do, but I’ll admit that more often then not, I’m in the mode I described above. It’s odd really, because as I feel better and better, you would think that my head space would be improving, but for some reason, it’s been the opposite. I was bound and determined early on that I was going to make a full recovery and get back to teaching ASAP, but now I just feel lethargic about it all. Tired. Tired of the stress and the fear, tired of the sadness, tired of the dull pain all the time, tired of it all. It feels like it may be less painful to just let it all go and start over with a new passion then fight so hard and try to claw my way back to what I used to be.
I’ll be fine – really. No really, I mean it 😉 I’m trying to be patient and just believe that what is meant to be will be. Once the holiday craziness is over and we settle into our new normal again in January, I’m hoping that things become more clear to me.
Holy cats – talk about stress!!!
So Austin was due to get his two month shots on Friday December 15th….but that didn’t end up happening. Like I mentioned in one of my pregnancy posts from my third trimester, Matt and his younger brother both had serious reactions to these vaccines (i.e. stopped breathing!!!) when they were babies. We mentioned this to our doctor, and asked for her opinion on whether or not it was safe to give Austin these shots, or if there were other options for us. She ended up referring us to an allergist to test him for adverse reactions to these vaccines before we give them to him, which will delay him getting his shots by several weeks. Gah.
I’m ultra stressed about cold and flu season and exposing Austin to germs, now that he’s getting a bit bigger and so, so snuggly, everyone is dying to see him and hold him and touch him (a complete stranger at my office put his little hands IN HER MOUTH pretending to “eat his hands” when I brought him in for a visit….WTF!?!?!?!? I nearly body-tackled her!!!)….and I feel like we’re just on the bubble of a cold. Stresssssssssss!!!
Thankfully our little man has been a trooper, even with strangers licking him (lol) and seems to be in good health. I’m hoping and praying that things stay that way until his allergist appointment in February.
In general – it’s been an amazing couple of weeks for us. I truly feel like I have a little friend in Austin now, and I’m just in love with the time that we spend together all day. We will sometimes spend hours at a time listening to Michael Buble music (this child WILL appreciate talented musicians – I refuse to raise a fan of the garbage that you hear on the radio these days), and dancing around our house, or just singing along in his MamaRoo, and I will treasure those memories for the rest of my days.
I’ll leave you with some of Austin’s newborn photos that we got back from our very talented photographer….my little baby….look at how tiny he was!!!
We wish you an absolutely magical holiday season – I hope that you take the time to hold your family close, laugh lots, eat delicious food and just enjoy life completely ❤ ❤ ❤
Lots of love,