I was really hoping that between maternity leave and cutting back to part time at work, I’d be able to keep up with this a bit better, but it turns out its actually easier to find quiet time to write in my secluded office than while nursing an infant and/or chasing a two year old. I’m sure you’re super shocked.
Let’s see though, I’m stuck with a nursing Hazel in a quiet room from midnight to 2 am every night, so perhaps I can pull this off one handed if I just give up entirely on narrative arc. I’m sure you’re also shocked that these are not my sharpest hours.
Hazel has changed enormously in the past few weeks. She is still challenging in many ways, but it is much less desperate. We switched her over to prevacid, and there was an immediate and stark improvement. She still spits up constantly and copiously, but she’s not unhappy about it. She is still a bit fussy and restless in the evenings, and much choosier about how we soothe her, but it is like night and day. Her fussiness peaked at about six weeks and has been diminishing rapidly since then.
The toughest things about her at this point are her sleep schedule, and her continuing, worsening aversion to bottles. Her natural sleepy time is about 1 or 2 am till 10 or 11 am, with 2-3 wake ups. My natural sleepy time is 9 pm till 6 am. Eliza also wakes around 6 am, so sleeping past then is pretty rare. Because she won’t take bottles, especially at night, there is really no way around her schedule. She would prefer to cluster feed from 6 or 7 pm until her bed time, but we’ve found that Kevin can get her to chill out and not eat by keeping her in a carrier and walking around, so I can catch a nap up front. This allows me to get a 2-3 hour nap, and then I can usually get her down for a three hour stretch (sometimes more! Sometimes less.), so I’m averaging probably four to five hours of broken sleep every night. This is … untenable. But! She IS a good sleeper. She’s done a couple of really long stretches – a six, a seven (!!!), they just aren’t at useful times for ME, yet. But someday they will be. And it could be so, so much worse.
Also in the super awesome developments category: she will sleep in her bassinet for at least a few hours at night! Swaddled. She seems like she’ll be a tension decreaser, based on a handful of times she was yapping and passed out before I could get her (ah, poor second child). And lastly, maybe most importantly, this kid is SO HAPPY. She smiles so easily! We had to work hard for Eliza’s smiles. This kiddo just grins all the time. Sometimes we can even coax a grin when she’s pissed, which is pretty hilarious. She giggles already too! It’s the best.
The no bottles thing is pretty insane, given that Eliza was the polar opposite. It’s making work challenging. (I started back about two weeks ago, at 24 hrs/week.) I have only been going in for about four hours at a time, because she won’t eat much when I’m gone, and she makes up for it later by cluster feeding. Also, I go in the mornings when she is easiest to feed, but when I have more milk. So I pump ~4 oz and she eats ~1 oz. This is great that I’m building a freezer stock – I’d have killed for that with E! – but, well, not like she’ll drink it. And I wouldn’t say I have oversupply, so she nurses more on the days I work, trying to get what’s not really there. She’s nursing for 4-6 hours a day, depending. At least it doesn’t really hurt much anymore, eh? I had to cancel a work conference next month, though, because of this. I can’t leave her. So wacky – I left Eliza for a work conference at like 4 weeks. I’m actually glad I did that, because at least my boss knows I’m not just being a crazy helicopter mom. But yeah, if I weren’t part time at work, I don’t really know what I’d do – take more time off? Let her reverse cycle and not sleep? Who knows.
We are doing bottle boot camp, a la Nancy Holtzman, so I’m hopeful this is temporary, but so far no change. Also bottle boot camp effing sucks – Kevin tries to feed her a bottle till she gets angry, then I nurse her and alternate trying a bottle, so each feeding takes more than twice as long and milk gets everywhere and it’s so frustrating. Bah! I keep reminding myself that this is super temporary, and that is helpful! But also makes me feel like I’m counting down her infancy (two months down, ten to go!), which is lame. Really most of the time I’m pretty cool with all of this, but I get frustrated/bummed a couple times a week at being in jail, basically. Other bright sides are how easy it is to go places. I take literally nothing with me, most of the time, except a diaper. Also how fast I got over any embarrassment at nursing in public. Necessity is the mother of not giving a shit! That’s the saying, right?
Anyway, I was calling Hazel a hard baby for a few weeks, there, but I don’t think I can lay claim to that title anymore. The lingering difficultly is mostly situational rather than temperamental. And I feel like a jerk when I say she’s hard now, like I need to footnote the hell out of it. So I guess this post is that footnote. Ok this is long and Hazel is sleeping, so I’m out!