Friday, October 15, 2010

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes...Turn and Face the Strain

Oh David Bowie. You have no idea how much that lyric rings true in our house this week which brought lots of ch-ch-c-changes to Maggie McGoo's life. First, last Saturday, in honor of her one month birthday, we tried giving her a bottle. Girl took it down like a champ. Clearly, she does not mind WHERE the food comes from, as long as she gets it. Since then, Nate has given her a bottle a day - usually in early evening.

I was a little nervous about how she would do with the bottle. On one hand, she has used a pacifier since early on, albeit sparingly, and her pacifiers (the green soothies) have the same nipple as the bottles (dr. browns). However, those of you that have breastfed before will attest to the fear that the phrase "nipple confusion" will strike in the hearts of new moms everywhere. I'm not saying that nipple confusion isn't a valid concern, just that we really didn't have to worry about much with our beast :)
I will say that it is more of a pain to use bottles. It IS much easier just to breastfeed. With the bottles, I have to pump and I have been pumping at the same time she has her bottle. Since I have been building a supply in our chest freezer, we have to thaw out a bag of milk and put it in the bottle and also wash the bottle in addition to the pump parts. Of course this isn't a huge deal, just more work. I have to say that it is nice not to feel completely depended upon for feeding. I went to an investment club meeting this week and didn't have to plan my return around what time Maggie might be hungry.

In other changes, Maggie is now transitioning to her crib. We have had her sleep in her pack and play next to our bed since she arrived. Lately I have been waking up to her sleep sounds, which consist of a lot of grunting. Waking up to these in addition to feed her has left me exhausted. So last night she had her first night in the crib. Once she actually fell asleep, it went totally fine. She even went 6 hours and 40 minutes in between feedings! Of course, that didn't mean that I had that much sleep - I got up twice in between to do breath checks and because my boobs were starting to hurt b/c they were so full! Her room is right across a very small hallway from ours so we do not use a monitor. If she cries, I can hear her, but i CAN"T hear all of her sleep sounds which makes for a more restful mommy. I thought it might be more of a pain to feed her now, but it isn't really that much of a change. With the pack and play, I still had to get out of bed to go change her so now I get out of bed, change her and sit in her chair to feed her and then put her back in her crib. Easy Peasy.

What has NOT been easy is transitioning her to the crib DURING THE DAY. Ok, so I will admit for the past 5 weeks, I have held her...A LOT. This includes holding her for her naps. I do love holding her, but I have realized that in doing so, I a) don't get to sleep (the whole "sleep when she sleeps" thing) and b) I don't really DO anything all day, which has been a little mentally challenging for me. A Motherhood Catch-22: I love holding her but I love reading a book or having a little time to myself too. I also was worried that she would be dependent on someone holding her to sleep. So on Wednesday I decided to try putting her in her crib for naps.

HOLY COW. Someone by the name of Margaret Hazel did NOT like that idea. SCREAMED. WAILED. I knew she could do this since she is a pretty good sleeper at night - and can get herself to sleep at night. Yesterday was really no better. My process has been to a)leave her alone if she is just making little fake cries (which she does on her way to sleep sometimes); b) Let her scream for a bit - any escalating cries I go back in there, pick her up, calm her down and put her back in the crib. UGH. It has been a process, which sometimes means doing (b) several times. But today I think we finally have some progress!!! For both her morning and afternoon nap, she did not scream. There was some fake crying for no more than a minute but then she would sleep. I am hoping this means progress. I am not hoping that she gets herself asleep from wide awake to comatose - I still help her get very drowsy, even lightly sleeping but I am trying to wean her from being held so much. This has also been a weaning process for me :)

1 comment:

Sarah said...

You're doing great! Just stick with it and she'll get used to going to sleep on her own. My husband can't stand hearing our baby cry, even those fake cries as she's getting to sleep. Training him not to pick her up immediately has been WAY harder than getting her to sleep by herself!