Thursday Baby Update: Late (and loud) nights

Vegan Goodness:
Today we ate:

  • Breakfast: Green smoothies and toast for Dad and LP. and some toast and tea for Mom.
  • Lunch: We all dived into an amazing noodle salad with peanut sauce provided to us by a dear friend who came by to meet IP.  It was amazing – I absolutely LOVE peanut sauce!
  • LP snacked on some almonds and raisins after lunch.
  • Dinner: Tomato Basil Tart, with a green salad on the side.
  • Some more Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies for dessert – I’m really getting the most out of my the fact that LP can have peanut butter!

Money Matters:
Today was a super fun and social day for us, but we didn’t spend anything since most of our visiting was done at home!

Thursday Baby Update:

Part of me wants to make this post only about the good things going on with IP.  There are plenty of them!  She is tracking faces from side to side, she can hold her head up at about 45 degrees during tummy time, and she is making some super cute “ahh-goo” sounds every once in a while.  Tomorrow she is going to be one-month old, and so far she is a big, beautiful and healthy baby.

But (and you knew there was a but coming) she has also had some super rough days recently.  Monday and Tuesday night especially, followed by one more really rough session on Wednesday afternoon.  What happens is this: IP nurses, gets fussy, starts crying, we try and fix it, she cries louder, we try and fix it, she cries louder and louder and louder . . .  you get the picture.

After much lamenting, trying lots of things, trying too many things too quickly and some “internet research” (not always the best idea, that last one) I’ve decided that the problem is that I have a “let-down” that is too fast.  What that means is that, when IP nurses it all starts out fine, but when the milk starts actually flowing (which can take a bit) the milk flows so fast that she is gulping, or even choking on it, which leads to discomfort for her, and also more opportunity for her to suck in air while eating.  This all results in a painful “dining” experience for baby (which also doesn’t fill her up, so she gets more hungry), tons of gas for her afterward, and a super, super frustrated mama.

What is hardest for me about this is the pure frustration.  With LP talking so much now he can pretty much express his needs to us.  Even if we won’t give him whatever he wants, we are able to explain to him what is going on, and when he gets upset we at least know the reason.  I had forgotten how absolutely awful it is to have your baby shrieking in pain and not knowing what the heck to do about it.  The first night that she was totally inconsolable we tried all kinds of walking, burping, swinging, etc.  She eventually fell asleep after some serious car seat swinging, but it took a while.  We checked her temperature and it was normal, so we at least knew that wasn’t the problem.  And nursing didn’t help, which was really hard for me.  For LP, nursing was my go-to when he needed to be comforted.  To have nursing not only not comfort IP, but acutally cause her pain is really, really rough for me.  Yesterday afternoon I started to have a meltdown.  The G-man just came, picked her up and let me off the hook.  I got to spend an hour or so just hanging out with LP by himself (for the first time in a while) and then eating dinner with LP in a normal fashion while the G-man raced around the house trying to keep the baby asleep.  Thank god for my amazing husband.

I’m in the midst of trying some remedies, including only nursing on one side at a time, not pumping at all (so that my body gets trained on how much milk to actually produce) and nursing in different positions.  Last night was a good night, and today has been a good day, with IP eating calmly, staying awake calmly and going to sleep with minimal walking/bouncing.  We’ll see if it continues, but I’m certainly going to continue with these remedies for a while and see how things go.

My baby is adorable, amazing and I love her to pieces.  Yet I still lose it sometimes since her crying gets me more frustrated and upset than anything else I have to deal with on a regular basis.  I start crying myself, and I want to yell at her, just to get her to tell me what’s wrong!  This is, of course, impossible for a baby, but that fact doesn’t quell my urge.  I’m just saying that because I don’t think people talk about this frustration enough.  I know I talk about it with my parent friends, and that helps.  But too often I think we pretend we have ourselves all together when we really don’t.  Today, after some extra sleep this morning while the G-man took care of the kids, I have returned to a more functional self.  Without that break, however, I would have had a hard time coping healthily, for me or my baby.  This week was a good reminder to me that I need to ask for help, especially when frustration, sleep-deprivation and emotional pain start to rear their ugly heads.

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