Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Of COURSE we had to take Will to the Pumpkin Patch in honor of his first Halloween. I have been going to pumpkin patches without kids since my husband and I were married, so it only makes sense that I would drag my 10-week old along for the fun.

The only problem was that Will didn't seem to think it was so much fun. He was asleep for most of it (I think his costume was too warm).

And he didn't want to be a pumpkin!

But when we dressed him in his Pirate suit this morning, he was much happier.

Or maybe just humoring Mommy, since I was so very excited.

We went to Daddy's work party and got to participate in a costume contest. And he even won a prize . . . for the scariest costume?

Life with Will is so much fun . . . and filled with so much love.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mama Drama

I haven't really written about my trip to my parents last week. There is a reason. I didn't know what to say. I still don't. But it is troubling me so much that I know this is a good place to get it out in words.

For those of you that have been reading for a little while, you might remember this post, where I explained about my sister's engagement and how it was hard for me to get excited because she was going to have a destination wedding - to which our family was not invited. My sister and my mother have a decidedly complicated relationship. Until recently, I would have described my relationship with my mother as excellent. But in the past few years, there have been a few events that have shaken that strong foundation. She was not really a fan of my husband (for unfounded and illogical reasons) and was not pleased when we married. The day of my wedding, she refused to watch me put on my wedding dress. She went around telling people that the marriage wouldn't last three years.

She was less than supportive about our miscarriage problems and quest for a baby. But she said that a lot of that had to do with her concern for my health and well-being. I tried to understand that, as a mother, it was hard for her to watch me go through the emotional and physical hardships.

You might remember this post, where my mother's reaction to Will being a boy was decidedly less than enthusiastic. When I called her on it, she said that after the baby was born, she would "get over" her disappointment at his gender.

I have kind of learned to accept that my mom's personality is what it is. And as much as she has hurt me with some of her recent actions, she is still my mother. I feel as if I had a wonderful childhood and I am grateful to her for the large role she played in that. She was a stay-at-home mom and sacrificed a lot for her children. Yes, sometimes she hurts me, but I have felt as if she is ultimately there for me when I need her and that despite her outspoken nature, she loves me very much.

What I haven't written about is that after Will was born, my mom had what I can only call a nervous breakdown. It's really too much to write about here that won't bore you, but to sum it up, she didn't want to see Will after he was born and was so depressed and agitated that my father considered admitting her to a pyschiatric hospital. This was all on the same day that we got home from the hospital, and it was so upsetting to me that I think I kind of blocked it out. I was on so many painkillers and the natural adrenalin of having a new baby, that it was kind of easy to pretend that it hadn't happened.

She did eventually get her act together and my family came to visit, but then she seemed to have precious little interest in holding the baby. She was acting more herself, but still seemed a bit "off." I had so much going on that I couldn't focus on her problems and, after talking with my Dad, he promised that he would handle it. Over the course of the next few weeks, she seemed to be more her old self on the phone, asking about Will and offering parenting tips.

This was one of the reasons why I wanted to make my trip home last week. I didn't feel as if my mom had a chance to bond with Will and I thought it was time to reintroduce him to his Grandma. I thought if she had a chance, things would be different.

Remember, this is a woman who sends e-mails to my dogs - and calls them her granddogs and her house Camp Grandma. She cooks for my dogs, makes them Christmas stockings, talks to them like they are people. She loves babies and I was really looking forward to watching her be a wonderful, doting grandmother to a non-furbaby.

When we got to my parents' house, I was surprised to see that she seemed ill-at-ease with Will. She has raised three babies and yet, didn't seem to know how to hold him, diaper him, or comfort him. When he cried, she would stare helplessly at him, and make no effort to calm him. At one point, she was holding him while he cried and started crying loudly back at him (not really crying, just making a crying noise right in his face). At first, it startled him out of his cries, but then she kept doing it and it scared him into a horrific wail. I grabbed him away and he immediately burrowed into my should and shuddered.

It was hard for me to watch this, but I wanted to encourage their interaction. I thought that if she held him a bit more, she would start to respond differently.

Until, on the second day of my visit, my mom told me that she feels no bond to Will, and certainly not the love she had been expecting to feel for him. This broke my heart.

She justified it by saying that she is still parenting (my little brother is 15) and not as emotionally ready to be a grandparent as others might be. She said that since he looks nothing like me (he is the spitting image of my husband as a baby), she feels no instant attachment to him.

I was angry and told her that she had better be very careful because she had just had her third strike. I told her that as much as I love her and do believe that she was a good mother to me as a child, this wasn't about her and me anymore, this is about Will. I cannot allow him to be exposed to someone who doesn't treat him well. And I am concerned that if she would say and do these things in front of him now, will she change her ways when he is older?

I am obviously very sad about this. It makes me feel that I cannot trust my mother around my son if I am not there. I don't believe that she would intentionally hurt him, but her lack of physical care for him makes me fear that her inattention could inadvertently cause him harm. My father was wonderful with Will, and her behavior seemed to improve when she was around my dad, but my dad works and isn't always around.

I don't know what to do, my heart aches. I do hope that the future will bring a better relationship between my mother and Will, but I never imagined that I would be facing something like this. I don't know how much of it is my normal mom, with her normal outspoken ways, just throwing a bit of a hissy fit because I had a baby with a man that she still doesn't like much. Or how much of it is truly a psychological problem that I really believe the has.

I think my mother needs help, but when I suggested that, she flatly refused. She doesn't think talking to someone will help and hates the very idea of taking medicine (she won't even take Tyle.nol for a headache). My dad also seems to be burying his head in the sand about this, saying that she isn't as bad off as I am making it and has lots of times when she is "normal." While I agree with him that there are times when she is the same old mom, the times when she isn't right are alarming.

I just don't know what to do.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sleep Evades Us Once Again

So, for awhile, the sleep situation got better. For a week straight, we had a great routine of 10 PM bedtime, 2 AM feed, then 6 AM wakeup. It was heaven to get four hours of consecutive sleep.

When we went to my parents, he even did at 10 - 4 stretch. I wanted to do a victory lap around the neighborhood when I realized that he had technically "slept through the night" (although who defines a night as six hours, I want to know!).

But he has been back to his old habits again these past few days. First off, he was always asleep by 10. And last week, he started falling asleep by 7 PM. Now, he is fighting bedtime and didn't go to sleep until after 11 last night.

Then, he was up at 2, 5, and 7. That's a lot of waking up for a nearly 10 week old baby. And a twelve pounder at that!

I also haven't noticed any real organization to his daytime sleep. I keep hoping for the change that most moms seem to notice around the 3 month time frame, where sleep patterns tend to even out.

He has seemed to locate one important sleep tool this past week - his right hand! He loves to stick his hand in and slobber all over it. It is the cutest thing!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Whole Milk

We had Will's two month check up on Thursday. You know what that means. . . the dreaded vaccinations. I was nervous all day.

Will surprised me with how well he did. The first vaccination was an oral one, which he took like a champ. He seemed to like the flavor and didn't spit any back out.

After that, M had to hold Will's arms down while the nurse poked him in the thigh with the first shot. To all of our amazement, he didn't make a peep!

Of course, he did start crying for the second and third shots, but it wasn't the horrible wailing that I had been expecting. And the minute that I picked him up, he stopped! We did give him some Ty.lenol before the visit and then four hours later, just as a precaution, but he seemed fine. I was really relieved.

Also, there is no question that Will is thriving. I am just not sure that Little Man is an appropriate nickname any more! He weighed in at 13 pounds, 8 ounces! Even though I am not a fan of percentiles, I will share that is in the 86th percentile, just to give you a reference for how much that is. We asked how much is "too much" when it comes to weight gain, but the pediatrician assured us that BMI and such doesn't come into play until 2 years of age. She said that breastfed babies tend to put on weight faster in the early months and then slow down later and actually have less problems with obesity. She said that he is healthy and that babies bodies do what they need to and not to worry. I told her that we were on an every three hour feeding schedule and she said that was fine and not to move to a four hour feeding schedule until he was four months old.

My only concern out of the appointment is that when she put Will on his tummy, he would not lift his head. He had been doing that pretty consistently, but we didn't get a lot of tummy time at my parents house (they have three dogs, plus my two, so it was a zoo). It was a 6:00 appointment, so she just said that he was probably tired, but to watch it at home. Well, I have done tummy time every day since, and he is not lifting his head anymore. I find it strange that he could do it and now isn't. I am hoping he is just feeling a bit lazy right now.

Friday, October 24, 2008


So my sister is getting married today. Actually, right now, she is in her dress, flowers in her hair, feet bare, at sunset, in Hawaii. Getting married.

And I am not there.

There is, of course, a dramatic backstory. Bad relationship with my mother. Not wanting any "complications" on her big day. Hurt feelings, angry words, tears. It's all been done.

But today, what it boils down to, is that my baby sister, the girl that I played Barbies and My Little Ponies with, is getting married.

And I am not there.

It breaks my heart a bit. And feels completely. . .


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Moments That Make You A Mother

So Monday was the big dog fight and probably one of my lowest moments in my motherhood journey.

But as I posted later in the week, things started turning around shortly after that. I knew that I had turned a corner when the following happened.

On Thursday, I was invited to come to lunch at a meeting that my workgroup was having. The district that I work in covers from California to Alaska and Montana, too. Despite the large geography, we get together fairly often for sales meetings. This meeting was scheduled to be in Seattle, which I live about a half hour from. My boss e-mailed me and asked me if I wanted to come show off Will.

Show off my son? Of course!

I was a little stressed about the idea, however. You know how it is in front of work people. I wasn't about to show up looking post-partumish in my usual uniform of maternity jeans which are now way too big and any sort of top that zips or buttons up. I also wanted Will to be looking his best, too. I had one outfit that I hadn't had him wear yet, so I decided to save that for the occasion. After scouring my own selection of clothes, I managed to find a shirt and pants that somewhat fit, if I sucked in my gut and didn't eat any lunch!

On Thursday morning, I was all organized. I left the house way earlier than I needed to, counting for traffic or parking delays. I wanted to get parked and feed him in the parking lot - I wasn't about to pop a boob out in front of the team, Hooter Hider or not!

I am glad that I planned on the unexpected. First off, it was raining, so there was a bit of traffic heading into the city. Secondly, the hotel parking lot was full. Luckily, the lot attendant felt sorry for me when I explained that I had a newborn with me and let me circle until I found a spot.

Finally, I settled down to feed Will who had been sleeping on the way down. Since I had woken him to feed, he wasn't that into it. I knew that a diaper chance would rectify that. As I was taking his diaper off, I realized that I only had the cheap diapers in the diaper bag and that he was wearing a barely wet expensive diaper. I almost left him in the expensive diaper, but figured that I wanted him smelling as fresh as possible when I introduced him to my workgroup.

I put some sweet smelling baby lotion on him, adjusted his too-cute-for-words outfit, and admired how adorable he looked and clean he smelled. I took him back up front to finish feeding him. It was about ten minutes into the second breast when he let out what I thought was a huge fart. It rumbled through the diaper and made me laugh. He then kept "tooting" away as I finished feeding him. I noticed that he now smelled poopy, and I decided to change him again. I took him back to the rear of the car and pulled down his pants to reveal. . .

Major. Blowout. Huge.

He has never had a blowout like his. Not even close. I blame the cheap diapers. And the fates.

He was covered, from tushy to neck. His cute outfit was ruined.

Here I was, in a parking garage, with no really good way to clean him completely. I stripped him down, used a truckload of baby wipes to try and get him clean, and then smeared more baby lotion on him. I put him in a new not-nearly-so-cute outfit.

I looked down at my son and realized that he was just as adorable, no matter what he was wearing. And I realized that his timing was impeccable. I could either cry about the ruined outfit, the fact that I was now running late for lunch, and that my own dry-clean only shirt had some suspicious brown smudges on it.

Or I could laugh. Which I what I chose to do.

It's moments like these that make you really feel like a mother.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dog Fight

So, I was in the middle of a dog fight last Monday.

I have to start the story by explaining the day that Will and I had been having. His morning nap was too short, and he didn't seem to want to sleep in the afternoon, either. The result was an overtired, fussy baby and an overtired, frustrated mommy. It was kind of a tough day. Despite the crummy fall weather we were having, I decided to get us all bundled up and brave the elements to get some fresh air. It usually works wonders for both of us to get outside, plus I knew that my two dogs would appreciate the exercise.

A few minutes into our walk, I was so glad that we had gotten outside. Will was dressed warmly enough and the brisk fall air felt good. Despite some serious storm clouds, it wasn't raining, so I opened up the cover on his stroller. He stopped crying and I was relieved to see that his eyelids were drooping. He was as good as asleep. I breathed a sigh of relief that we were both getting the rest that we needed.

The next thing I knew, I felt a bumping into the back of my legs. Startled, I gave a little yelp. I looked down to see a brown dog at my feet. A brown dog that happened to be a pit bull.

Now, allow me to say that I am a dog lover. And I know that pit bulls can be loving creatures with a bad wrap. However, when this dog stuck his head into the stroller, my heart stopped beating. I think this would have been my reaction no matter what the breed. I screamed and pulled the dog back from Will's face.

My little dog is a terrier and as terriers usually go, he is stubborn and full of fight. He decided that he did not like this interloper sticking his head into "his" baby's stroller. So, he growled. And of course, the stray dog did not like being growled at by a dog that he could eat for dinner. So, he growled back. And my big dog, who is not much of a fighter, decided that he couldn't let his brother take this on alone, so he joined in the growl-fest.

The next thing that I knew, I was in the middle of a dog fight. Try as I might, I could not pull the dogs apart. I found myself in a web of leashes, trying to stay upright and keep the stroller free of the snarling dogs.

Luckily for me, a car stopped and the passenger hopped out to help me pull the pit bull off of my big dog and give me a chance to disentangle myself from the tangle of leashes. By this point, I was crying and Will was screaming. So much for our peaceful walk and Will's nap.

The kindly strangers scared the pit bull off and then followed me home to make sure that I got back all right. Shaking, I got in the house and vowed to never leave home without my pepper spray again. I looked over both dogs and found only a small bloody scratch on Rocky's ear. We seemed to have emerged mostly unscathed.

I sat on the stairs in our entry way and clutched Will to me. I was still teary and unsettled, but he seemed no worse for the wear. In fact, as I rocked us both on the stairway, he finally fell asleep. Even though the danger had passed, I started to cry again as I thought about how scared I was when that dog stuck his head in the stroller. If something happened to Will . . . I can't even process those thoughts.

Really, he was never in any danger, but I find that the aftermath of my struggles with infertility is that I always go to the worst case scenario. After all, the worst did happen to us. So many times. Our babies died. And babies die. No one can tell me that it doesn't happen. I sometimes still feel as if we somehow "cheated" the fates and wonder how long we will stay lucky.

I pray that it is forever.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Road Trip

Will and I are about to embark on our first trip together. We are travelling three hours south to my hometown to see Grandpa B and Grandma J. Oh, and my sister and her fiance, who is leaving to get married in Hawaii tomorrow. I also have a couple of girlfriends that want to meet Will, and some of my mom's friends are clamoring, too. I have a feeling it is going to be a busy trip.

M has to work, so I am flying solo (well, duo, with Will). I am a little nervous. I am planning to put him in the car right after he eats and right before he (usually) takes him morning nap. He doesn't usually sleep for three hours, but I am hoping that the car ride will lull him to taking a bit longer of a nap. For the most part, it is fairly populated along the drive, and it's all along a major freeway. So, if he does wake up a bit early, we can always make a pit stop.

I am bringing his travel swing and his bassinet (the top detaches from the base) which is what he is currently sleeping in (we have the top in the crib). I have packed tons of extra outfits and a whole package of diapers. My parents have raised three babies and so they will be a ton of help. There are lots of stores where I am going in case I need anything.

But I am still a bit nervous. Wish us luck!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Turning Point

I think that there was a turning point in my motherhood journey this week.

It could have been the extra sleep that Will is finally allowing me, or it could have been the way that the stars and moons aligned. But something changed.
I still had my moments, but instead of feeling overwhelmed by them, I actually felt that I rose to the occasions. I did a lot more laughing than crying. I felt more in tune with his needs, more able to meet them before he even knew he had them. As a result, Will did a lot more smiling than crying this week, too.
I believe that the true turning point came on Tuesday, when I went to the grocery store. Usually, I race through the aisles, trying to "Beat the Clock," or basically, get my shopping done and get out of there before Will wakes up and starts wailing - which he invariably starts doing in the check out line. For some reason, I put him the Baby B.jorn instead of leaving him in the car seat as usual, and he loved it! We walked around the grocery store for almost an hour. I had no less than ten people comment on how happy and relaxed my baby was. And he was! He just looked around the whole time, smiling and cooing and charming the heck out of people - including me! It was magical.

Having the "B.jorn Backup" made me feel more comfortable and confident in taking him out. We went to the next day! That time, he stayed in his car seat, but just knowing that I could make him happy with the carrier boosted my confidence. I got out more this week than I have in previous weeks and it felt good to join the human race a bit again.
I also started allowing myself to take naps with him. It is the most incredibly bonding and calming thing to nap with my son. I feel our breath and heartbeats synchronizing and I feel at peace in the world. I do find that I sleep lightly, but heck, at least I am sleeping! Before, I had been so caught up in getting him to nap on his own. But after reading more into sleep habits and training, I have come to the conclusion that it really doesn't seem to hurt them at this early age and so I have decided to enjoy it while it lasts. Someday, he won't think it's so cool to nap with Mom.

Here are some of my favorite moments from Will's eighth week!
The smiles are getting bigger and better. . .

Such a popular boy - He already has a ton of friends. . .

Another Halloween outfit. . .

Last but not least, this is how M found us when he came home tonight . . .

Thursday, October 16, 2008

On Sleep and Preparation

It's been awhile since I posted on our sleep progress.

First off, I want to thank those of you that posted ideas or e-mailed me with suggestions. That's the great thing about motherhood - getting some expertise from other moms in the trenches.

I did tweak a couple of things to Will's routine, including:

Putting a blanket underneath his crib mattress to "prop" him up a bit.

Reading this book by Marc Weissbluth (found it fascinating and flexible to whatever method of sleep training to want to use, anything from family bed to extinction cry it out) - and turning Will's swing off after he had been fully soothed to sleep.

An extra formula "topper" at the 10 PM feeding - 2 oz. of formula after breastfeeding and immediately before bed.

I also think it is no coincidence that Little Man is now 8 weeks old, which is when some sleep experts say that things start to smooth out a bit in that arena (others, including Dr. Weissbluth, say not until the 12 - 16 week mark, when melatonin is produced by the baby's brain). But the good news is that we have a bit more of a "routine" now, including a nice morning nap of about two hours and a four hour stretch (10:30 - 2:30) at night. Of course, it all changes a bit day by day, and just when I think we're on to something, we're not really. But it's all a bit more liveable than the 1 - 2 hour wake ups we were having all night.

Though I am by no means an expert, I do feel as if I have some advice which might help you when you reach this phase. For the still pregnant:

1) Know what sleep method you want to start from birth (no matter what book I choose, all of my reading shows that consistency is the best that you can offer your baby).

2) Read all of the books that you can on whatever sleep method that is and write down pertinent facts that you want to retain (time after baby will be more precious and your mind will be foggy).

3) Get your spouse on board (and possibly get him to read the same material).

4) Know that it might all change, based on your baby's temperament and your own feelings about those methods once you are employing them on an actual baby.

5) That you are not alone if it's hard. And it it's easy, then count your lucky stars!

And one not related to sleeping - if you are planning on breastfeeding, have a variety of button and zip up tops/sweaters/lightweight jackets to wear. Trust me, when the baby is here, you will not feel like/have time for shopping for clothes and trying things on, so it's good to have some of those things handy in addition to nursing bras. Get one size larger than your prepregnancy size and they should fit once the swelling goes down (which took about a week post-partum for me).

I hope this helps!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I Will Never Forget

Today is a special day for all of us that have lost babies. It is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

No matter how many living children I may have, I never want to forget the angel babies that we have lost.

So I light this virtual candle today, in honor of all of my sweet children and for all of you who have lost your babies, too.
Remembering today and always . . .
Angel Baby #1 "Piglet"
January 31, 2006
Lost at 6 weeks
Angel Baby #2
March 30, 2006
Lost at 4 weeks
Angel Baby #3 "Poco"
July 31, 2006
Lost at 7 weeks
Angel Baby #4
August 25, 2006
Lost at 5 weeks
Angel Baby #5 "Gummy Bear"
December 12, 2006
Lost at 11 weeks
Angel Baby #6
September 13, 2007
Lost at 4 weeks

Monday, October 13, 2008

What A Difference A Year Makes. . .

I was going through some old posts the other day and found this one.

I remember writing this post. I remember the emptiness, the feelings of utter despair, the very real thought that I would never be a mother.

Infertility sucks. Big time. Why do any of us have to endure feelings like this that continue to haunt us even after we get our miracle babies?

I dream a lot of dreams where Will is taken away from me, either through death or someone coming to my door and asking for him back. I truly think that is why I get so crazy when things aren't going well or I feel as if I can't figure something out.

I am afraid that someone will realize that I am not quite up to the task and take my sweet baby away.

But at least I have more hope this year.

What a diference a year makes.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Since You Asked. . .

Joy asked for some pictures. And I just know that the rest of you were wanting to see some, too, right?

Here are the latest too-cute-for-words pictures of Little Man!

First smile captured on film. . .
Punkin Bum - Showing off one of his FIVE Halloween costumes!

Some Puppy Love (that he is not lovin' so much) . . .

More Puppy Love (and being nakey, which he does love) . . .

Modeling another one of his costumes . . .

The Cutest Toes. Ever. . .

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Will Likes. . .

Will likes. . .

to smile.

to take naps in his swing.

to coo.

to spend time on his changing table.

baths. Loves 'em.

breast, bottle, breastmilk, or formula. The kid is an eater.

being nakey.

time in the Baby B.jorn.

the hairdryer or vacuum.

napping in the car (and yes, I resort to this almost daily).

Will does not like. . .

napping in his crib, on his own.

pacifiers (unless he is in his B.jorn).

sleeping more than three hours in a row.

his yicky diaper rash.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Questions on Napping and CIO

For those of you with successful sleepers (and success in my book is anything close to a six hour stretch during the night), I have some questions!

On napping during the day. . .

Do you wake your baby(ies) from naps that go longer than three hours? Or just let them sleep?

How many hours a day would you say they get (total) from napping?

Do they sleep all of their naps in their crib (or bassinet)? Or do they get naps in swings, strollers, carseats, etc.?

And on Crying It Out (Parent Controlled Crying, Ferber, etc.). . .

What age did you start?

How long did/does your baby(ies) typically cry?

Any advice? Resources or books that helped you?

We are not really thinking about doing CIO yet. Our pediatrician and my Mom Hero Amy (IVF B/G Twins) both say no to that until 4 - 5 months when infants have the ability to self-soothe. However, I want to start reading ahead so that I am prepared if (and probably when) we need to go down that route. I am eager to hear about real life success stories and how you got there!

Oh, and our own personal success for today? I put Will down for his morning nap. . . and took a shower with the monitor in the bathroom. I kept waiting for the wail that I thought was coming for sure. Instead, by the time I was out of the shower, toweled off, and in my clothes for the day, he was fast asleep! And stayed that way for an hour and fifteen minutes! Other than that, he is napping in his swing during the day and sleeping in his crib at night.

One small victory at a time. . .

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sleepy Time Kid

Last night, a miracle occured at our house.

Will slept for five consecutive hours.

Now, that's only one night, but it is a step in the right direction.

Thank goodness!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sleep, Hot Baths, and More?

It's amazing what just one less wake up will do for me. Will went to sleep at 8:30 and didn't wake up until 12:30. Too bad that I didn't go to bed until 9:30, but still!

He then went from 12:30 - 3:30 and then again from 3:30 - 5:30. At 5:30, M got up with him and I slept until 6:30. I almost feel human today, although I think that I would need a lot more sleep to really catch up.

My mother-in-law is coming tomorrow. I should be able to get a nap in and possibly even head to bed a bit earlier. She adores holding Will, so I don't feel guilty if I sneak away for a bit. The only problem is that I still need to be on hand for breastfeeding. While I don't mind giving him a bottle at night to "tank him up" so he'll sleep longer, or an occasional ounce or two during the day if he seems hungry, for the most part, the breastmilk seems to be doing the job. Since he eats every three hours during the day, that's probably the longest nap that I will get. But that still sounds like heaven.

Will is sleeping in his crib for another nap today! The method that I am using for getting him down is called the shush-pat, by the Baby Whisperer. It seems to work to get him down for this midday nap, but it is time-consuming, and doesn't seem to work to get him down for morning naps or later afternoon naps. It took 45 minutes to get him down today, but now he has been sleeping for well over a half hour. Usually, if I can get him past the 20 minute mark, he's down for at least an hour. Of course, nothing is guaranteed in the nap world.

I have my six week post-partum check today. Can I just tell you how much I am looking forward to getting the all-clear for a hot bath. During the IVF cycle, my clinic makes you swear off hot baths, and of course, the same was true in pregnancy. So, I haven't had a HOT bath since November! I took warm baths, mind you, and have taken scalding hot showers since delivery, but there is nothing like a steaming hot bath and a glass of wine. I hope M is up to watching Will when he gets home . . . Mama is ready for a bath!

Of course, the clearance for a bath also means that we're cleared for something else, too. I am a bit nervous about our first time following delivery. Even though I ended up with a c-section, I had a lot of stretching and exams. Now, I still wasn't torn or stretched like someone who pushed a kid out, but I am sure things got. . . shifted. . . about a bit. It will be interesting, to say the least. That is, if I can get M interested. I think he is still traumatized from the whole experience!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Getting There One Small Nap At A Time

My last few posts have been on the negative side. I am sorry for that. How many times did I read new parents lamenting about newborn woes and think, "I'd give my left arm to be up with my baby eight times a night."

I want one thing to be very, very clear. Will is my life, my world, my love. I would hold him all day and all night if that was what was best for him. Lately, however, even me holding him doesn't seem to assure that he will rest well, and not having enough sleep can be damaging to a baby's health and well being. I get to a point where I start feeling panicky as the minutes tick by and Will does not get the sleep that I know he needs. I start wondering what kind of mother cannot provide her child with the basic elements of survival.

Last night, my husband also pointed out that with as little sleep as I am getting, no wonder I am getting short tempered and frustrated. I agree that I am both of those things, but I am not frustrated with Will or even what appears to be his short sleep-cycles. I am frustrated with myself. After waiting this long and wanting this so much, I want to do it right. I want to be a good mother, I want my son to know that he is safe and loved, I want him to thrive.

The thing about these parenting books is that there are so many and each advocate a different method of parenting: attachment, cry-it-out, scheduled, demand feeding, clock feeding, Ferberize, Parent Controlled Feeding. You name it, it's out there. It makes it so difficult to feel as if you are doing anything "right," because while one book might advocate it strongly, another can make just as convincing of an argument against it. No matter what you choose, you can feel is if you are still doing it all wrong.

The good news is that each day is a different day. Each nap is a new opportunity for me to get Will to sleep. And while I wrote this, Will slept in his crib. For almost an hour now. It's a small victory, but it gives me hope that, one nap, one feed at a time, we'll get there.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Drowsy But Awake, My Arse

So, all of the sleeping books recommend putting your baby down "drowsy but awake."

Is my baby the only one that won't go to sleep this way?

I have been trying to do this for one nap a day and also at night. It doesn't seem to work with Will.

It starts out okay, in that he will lay there for a few minutes, sometimes fussing a bit or even completelyquiet. But as time goes by. . . the fussing starts and then escalates into full-fledged crying. Right now, I am staring at the monitor which has five green lights on it. I am okay if his fussing is at the one or two green light stage. When it gets to three, I start getting a bit nervous. When it is at four. . . excuse me while I go pick up and comfort my son, will you?

Okay, I am back. For the fifteenth time. The nursery is literally two steps from the office where I am typing.

The bars are already at five.

Crap. Drowsy but awake, my arse.