Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sleepless in Benson

Our last few nights have been a little rough.

When I put her to bed two nights ago, she was asleep at 10:30pm and slept until 2:15am which was perfect. The downside? I couldn't get her back to sleep until almost 8:00am. She slept until noon. Last night, she took until 11pm to go to sleep, woke up at 2:15am and finally went back to sleep at 6:45am. She slept until around 11am.

I don't know what it is. And I hate to wake her in the morning but with her weight, she needs to eat often and if she doesn't, I'll have another bad pediatrician weight check where they get on my case about her weight again and I don't want that. The lactation specialist recommended feeding her every 2 hours in the daytime and every 4 hours at nighttime.

But there's this catch-22: If I let her sleep however long she wants, she will wake up hungry and feed well but she won't eat as often and may not gain the weight sufficiently. If I wake her, she is more sleepy and she eats often but she won't eat as thoroughly. The only reason I'm worried about letting her sleep is because I was told that bigger babies tend to be lazier babies and I don't think she will eat enough right now without trying to establish a schedule. Even at the hospital, after she fed the first time after birth, I couldn't get her to eat for 12 hours. That wasn't from sleep though; it was a lack of proper latch.

I want to go with what the lactation specialist told me to do until she is at her weight and my mom recommended that, once she is at the weight, to let her sleep however long she wants to and she will work out the schedule. I'm hoping that after a few days, she will understand nighttime and daytime feedings since I'm trying this schedule now. She's doing pretty okay at waking up every 2-3 hours during the day and every 4-5 hours overnight so I normally only have to wake her for the first of each of those feedings and I only wake her because I don't want her to wake up so hungry and frustrated (which is what she has done). At my first pediatrician appointment, Dr. Smith said to keep her on the schedule until her birth weight is reached again.

I know that none of this will matter after she gets to her birth weight again but it's just overwhelming in the meantime. On the upside, she is finally having a consistent wet diaper after almost every feeding and a dirty diaper 1-2 times a day, which is way better than the first week. (Side note: Just read that this is totally normal.)

I know I think about all of this more than I ought to but I just want a healthy, chunky baby :) I'm wondering if she is going to take longer to gain the weight back since she was 10lbs at birth! I even just read that breastfed babies can take 3 weeks to return to birth weight, but the article also said that normal weight loss is 7% to 10% (Emily lost about 15%, which is probably due to the difficulty at first).

On an unrelated note, I think I need to be babied too. I don't need to be changed or burped or swaddled, but I would like to be fed and be able to relax some more. I have been trying to eat better/more with the plan my mom gave me but it's hard to eat everything I need to when it takes time to prep the food, cook the food, eat the food, clean up after the food, and still find the time to take a nap when she does or feed her or find time to do something for myself! I think I'll go crazy if I don't find a way to do something for me.

That is kind of why I'm working on my blog right now - the comments I received on the link I posted on Facebook (and the verbal ones I received from my mom) were so encouraging that I was moved to tears. It feels amazing for my friends to reassure me that I'm a good mom and that I'm doing things right; it comes right when I need it. I even apologized to my mom yesterday because I've been calling and texting her so much - not (always) because I need help, but just because I'm lonely and I want to engage in a conversation that doesn't involve me telling Emily to calm down or something.

I think my girl is starting to wake up again. Thanks to everyone who reads this - I appreciate it.

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