Monday, January 11, 2016

Longer on the Outside

Jack is nine months old. He's officially been on the outside longer than he was on the inside. I suppose it's time for me to update about him, even if no one reads this anymore. I might like to remember this someday.

He is now 20 pounds, 10 ounces and 29 inches long. His weight really slowed in the last few months because he is so freaking active. He started crawling a week before he turned 7 months. A few days later, he was pulling to stand. On Everything. Now he can easily cruise around the room holding on to furniture/toys/walls/people's legs. He has a perpetual bruise on the middle of his forehead from letting go and attempting to walk.

He is still breastfed - barely. He is so distracted, I feel like the only full feedings he gets are the early morning one and the bottle of pumped milk before bed. Then he snacks for a few minutes at a time throughout the day. He eats a ton of solids though. We're working on using a sippy cup because at one year I am done nursing. It's been a good experience; I'm glad I'm doing it; it's beautiful; we've saved a boatload of money on formula; yadda, yadda, yadda; but I'm ready to be done. I'm ready to have my body back. I'm ready to be free from the pump. I have a whole post drafted in my head about the whole breastfeeding experience. Maybe someday I'll get it written.

Sleep. I guess I can talk about sleep now. It was rough there for awhile. I actually have a post drafted that I wrote at a really low point in our sleep deprivation nightmare that lasted about 4 months. A post that would get me kicked out of the infertility community permanently. I was not in a good place. I hadn't slept for more than 2 straight hours in months. I had a constant migraine. My vision was fuzzy. I was afraid to drive anywhere because I knew I would fall asleep at the wheel. I laid down during most of Jack's naps, but they only lasted 30 minutes, so it didn't help much. Many days I would lie on the couch while Jack played on the floor and just try to keep my eyes open. And in my really low moments, I admitted that this was why I was infertile. I never should have messed with nature. I wasn't cut out to handle this. I wished I wasn't a mom.

Things were not getting better. Jack was waking up at least every 2 hours during the night, often more. I was in an ugly pit of depression. Bobby was doing everything he could to help, but he works 9 hour days. He'd take vacation when he could and let me sleep, but it hardly made a dent in my exhaustion.

So we did it. We started sleep training. We tried no cry methods and baby whispering. It'd work for a few days, but nothing substantial. Same with Ferber checks. On Christmas Day, we bit the bullet. We let Jack cry himself to sleep for as long as it took, with no intervention from us.

1 hour, 14 minutes. Since Bobby was off the next day, he agreed to take the full night, and I would sleep. Jack woke again at 12:30 and cried for 10 minutes. Again at 2:30 a.m. for an hour and a half. Slept til 7:30 a.m.

The next night he cried 44 minutes at bedtime, 29 minutes at 1 a.m., a quick feed at 4 a.m. and slept til 7 a.m.

Night 3, he cried 46 minutes at bed time, 8 minutes at 1:30, up for the day at 7 a.m.

He had one 40 minute relapse on Night 6 an hour after bedtime, but I think I messed up his schedule and he went to bed too early. Other than that, he goes to bed awake with zero crying, one feed after 4 a.m. and generally goes back to sleep until 6:30 or 7 a.m. Occasionally he'll wake up and fuss for a few minutes in the middle of the night, but he puts himself back to sleep in less than 5 minutes.

So...we're those parents. We did full extinction Cry It Out. We're terrible people who must hate our kid. Judge all you want. I'm well rested enough to take any criticism these days.

Jack's a good kid, and I'm a better mom now. We do much more playing and activities. We take a weekly Baby and Me class. We go on adventures. He loves going to Cabela's to look at the animals, especially the fish. My mom got us a family pass to the Minnesota Zoo for Christmas, so I'm excited to start going there whenever we can.


Other things...Bobby's brother moved in with us at the beginning of December. He's got a mountain of student loan debt (and didn't graduate...so not a lot of job prospects either...), plus credit card debt. He was crashing at a friend's house since he doesn't have enough money for an apartment, but they finally booted him after six months. His car doesn't run and he had no where to go. It hasn't been the best situation for me, home all day with a baby - plus breastfeeding, pumping, etc - not things I want to do in front of my brother-in-law. We're managing, but I'm seriously hoping he can find a place soon.

I'm also working two mornings a week for a few hours. It's been pretty perfect. I'm tutoring at the high school in an elective class. It's good for me to get out, and good for Jack to have a few hours without me. He's having some rough separation anxiety right now. I am at a loss for what to do about it, so advice is certainly welcome.

Last Friday, we had 20ish* weather, so it was perfect for building a snowman. Jack had fun playing in the snow as long as one of us was holding him. When we set him down, well...this might be my new favorite picture of him.

Plus here's a bonus picture from Christmas Eve:

As always, I will try to update more often, but in any down time, I'm mostly trying to dig myself out from the pile of laundry, dishes, and Cheerios from under the high chair. If you're still following - thank you. I need this place much more than any of you, but I do appreciate you coming along for the ride.  

13 comments:

  1. He is precious and I'd still live to read those posts because I think most moms have those times at some point where you just want to give up. Of course we wouldn't but you know what I mean. What age did you do the sleep training?

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    1. He was about 8.5 months when we did full CIO. We sort of dabbled in other things around 6 months, but we weren't consistent (which was our biggest mistake). He seemed to be a good age to catch on quickly, but it may have worked better if he was a little younger and couldn't stand up yet - I think that was an obstacle for us.

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  2. We SO have the same baby. Admittedly I've been a bit luckier than you in the sleep department, but I totally get where you're coming from. Sleep deprivation will turn you into a totally different person, and you won't like her very much. At least I didn't. Ferber worked for us for nighttime sleep, but naps...we're still in a pit of suck for naps a lot of the time, so I'm in absolutely no position to judge. You gotta do what you gotta do. I'm also kind of ready to give up breastfeeding, and have a post in my head about it, but I have to admit I like the calorie burn. I eat a lot of crap right now that I'm going to have to give up. Glad to read an update from you!

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    1. Oh my gosh - the eating. The only reason I'm still below my pre-pregnancy weight is because of breastfeeding. I am eating terribly, but I'm still SO HUNGRY.

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    2. Breastfeeding hunger is no joke! I prided myself on my self control during pregnancy, but I finish pumping and I feel depleted. I have resorted to secret stashes of cookies, because A) i don't want my husband to know how quickly I am devouring them -I already feel shame and B) I don't want him to eat any. It sucks, in order to be a cow, you need to be a pig.

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  3. I'm happy to hear from you! So happy to hear that things are better too! Sleep deprivation is TORTURE! We're also working through the cry it out, because IT WORKS. No judgement, it must be nice if your kid is so perfect that it's not an issue for you. My lession learned, don't do it when the grandparents are visit, because the will make you feel like shit. I'm also ready to give up nursing at on year at the latest, actually I'm hoping I have enough breast milk stored to stop around 9-10 months, but give her milk for a year, because I'm with you, I will be so ready to be done. Although they're comfy, it would be nice to stop wearning nursing tanks all the time. The pictures are so sweet! Jack was our boy name, so I love reading up dates!

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    1. You are sooooo right about not letting your baby cry when the grandparents are around. Ugh!

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    2. That was my plan exactly with the milk storage - and it would have worked (I had a pretty good freezer stash), but I got my period back around 5/6ish months and my supply to a HUGE hit, then I got sick and that made it worse, and then I got my period again. I'm still trying to boost it with oatmeal/Fenugreek/a gallon of water a day/etc., but it's never back where it was when I was pumping more than he was eating. Jack gets a bottle of pumped milk before bed and the only reason I'm keeping up with it now is because of my stash. I'm burning through it and not pumping anywhere close to replacing it. I can probably make it a year, but I doubt I'll be able to stop early.

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    3. I got Nexplanon, so ovulation is suppressed and I think I'm still estrogen depleted, but my supply went down a bit when I went back to work at 4 months. I also find that if I eat healthy, my supply drops, so I'll go on a bender of oatmeal raisin cookies, gelato, beer and Powerade, it will swing back up a bit. I also started pushing my nighttime pumping sessions to every 4 hours, as I'm getting a little less than when I do it every three. I'm so going to need to do a Whole 30 when we're done

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  4. Lilee!!!!! I am SO happy to hear from you! I actually think about you often, although I know that sounds totally stalkerish. I promise I'm not a psycho. I've just enjoyed being your bloggie friend and hoped all was well. Do NOT feel remotely guilty about sleep training and doing CIO. Sleep deprivation is an awful, horrible thing that nobody understands until they've personally experienced it. Kudos to those that haven't had to do it, but not all babies are the same! I can't believe you were going through all of that and still able to coach!

    What a mobile little fellow you have! At 9 months and he's almost walking. Must be taking after his mom and dad's athletic skills. I LOVE the picture of him in the snow. And he looks so handsome in his Christmas outfit.

    I agree with Amie. I'd love to read the posts you've drafted and to hear from you more, but I also know how busy life is once we finally achieve that ultimate goal of parenthood.

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    1. I think we got into terrible sleep habits BECAUSE I was coaching. It was literally as soon as I started, J woke up more and since I needed the sleep to go to preseason in the morning, I would nurse him to get him back to sleep quickly. This just reinforced the bad waking habits. 2 years in a row, I wasn't the coach I wanted to be...maybe next year!

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  5. So glad you're doing well! Sleep... sleep... How can the most advanced mammal on the planet be born without the innate ability to put itself to sleep?! It's maddening. We've been through that particular hell too. As for separation anxiety, we've tackled it by treating the seeing of other people like it's THE BEST. We wave, we clap, we say things like, "Yaaaaaaaaay, it's Grandma!!!" etc. And Mac seems to respond in kind.

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  6. Hello old friend! It's great to hear the latest from you. I kind of feel like pieces of this could've been in my blog, if I ever got around to updating it. The sleep story, in particular... and the being barried in dishes and laundry. I've written so many posts in my head, but nothing on the blog since April! Anyway, know I think of you & wish you well & check in from time to time... so keep posting if /when you can.

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