Wednesday, February 29, 2012

On Breastfeeding, Cloth Diapers, and Sleeping Through the Night

Let's start with this: I live and breathe baby. School? What is that? The dean of students actually had to call me the day my rank list was due for my residency choices to ask me if I was going to do it before the 6pm deadline. Three months ago I would have had obsessed over and finished that list weeks before the deadline. I did think about it, but let's just say it was more of an afterthought to my recent obsessions with breastfeeding, cloth diapers, and sleep, just to name a few.

Oh sleep. How I miss you.

I've never thought of myself as the motherly type. I still don't. I didn't immediately bond with little Edie. It's been a slow process. This is likely partly because breastfeeding was a nightmare at first. For school I've been doing a reading elective on breastfeeding...learning all its benefits to mom and baby and society at large. I was determined to make it work. I knew deep down that it wasn't going to come easy to me. For starters, I've always had really sensitive skin and I thought it might be painful. What I wasn't prepared for was the absolute ripping, searing pain that occurred nearly every 2 hours like clockwork for Edie's first 3 weeks. Instead of the loving bonding that was supposed to be happening during those precious awake hours with my little girl I spent most of it sobbing. Ha, labor was easy and finite compared to this never-ending torture. 2 midwives, 1 pediatrician, 3 lactation consultants and 1 occupational therapist later, we finally got a diagnosis I had never heard of--Edie had a posterior tongue tie so her tongue didn't work the way it was supposed to. Two hours driving up to Phoenix and one five-minute procedure later and 7/10 pain was now 2/10. We still had to spend some time teaching Edie to un-learn the bad habits she had picked up with her odd anatomy, but finally, after 5 weeks of post-partum depression directly correlated to my pain level, I felt sunny again.

Right around the same time Edie started sleeping a longer stretch at night. First 5 hours, then 6, and then 7-8 hours starting around 7-8pm. So for the past two weeks I've felt soooo much better since she only wakes up at 3am to nurse. Except tonight as I write this it is 8:30pm and after an hour of complete silence in her crib from 7-8 she is screaming. However when I picked her up, worried that something was really wrong, she started cooing and smiling so I'm pretty sure she's fine. I'm not looking forward to the nights ahead if this is going to be a new normal for her. I was just starting to enjoy sleeping through the night (which is evidently defined as 6 hours straight). And I'm not sure if I should let her cry it out or not. Most books say it's too young for that (she's only 7 weeks), but she seems to know exactly what she wants (to play and not sleep), so I feel like I'm creating a bad habit by giving in to her. Sigh. I just don't know how to do this parenting thing. OK-so after 20 minutes of crying she gave it up and I can see on my video monitor that she is sound asleep.'s all so frustrating really. Can you tell I'm not exactly into attachment parenting?

Lastly, we've decided to do cloth diapers. I LOVE them. When our diaper sprayer broke we did a few days of disposables that we had been given and she got the angriest diaper rash I've ever seen. One day of cloth diapers again and it was gone. I realize that's completely anecdotal, but I love our little TotsBots tinyfit newborn diapers. I'm trying to decide what to put her in when she outgrows these around 12 pounds. I want to do a one-size diaper next. Suggestions?

So that's what's been on my mind. Mommy stuff. This is so much harder than I expected. Part of me wishes someone would have told me, but I realize that I wouldn't have really listened--wouldn't have really heard it--anyways. I do love our little girl, but the newborn stage just isn't quite my thing. I'll take my next one potty trained, thank you very much.


a2zbaby said...

Very interesting post..

diapers for babies

Megkran said...

It sounds like you are doing a great job! Breastfeeding is hard, I was told to suck it up 40 days and 40 nights, and sure enough six weeks in it got much better. I've used and love GroVia cloth diapers. I would recommend the snap ones if you are doing one size diapers because the Velcro wears out eventually. Good luck!

Dani said...

Sounds like me. Depressing beginning while figuring out breastfeeding, slow bonding. But it gets better almost every day. Definitely every month.

Kristi said...

Totally understand. Took me about 6 weeks and going back to school to realize that I was actually attached to my baby more than he was. The best thing I ever did was follow the general principles in babywise. They really worked for us and both mom and baby were much happier and well rested!

Hulme Family Awesomeness said...

One of the biggest helps for me was (once I was recovered... about 8 weeks) making time to exercise. I didn't want to because I was tired and out of the habit, but I felt a really strong prompting to go.
When I got home from my first very slow jog I stopped and was shocked at how good and happy I felt. Then I had this dawning realization... I used to always feel like this. It became as important as my scripture reading each day. It was my lifeline.

Leann said...

Breastfeeding is HARD. I never really knew that the first time either. I felt like NO ONE warned me. Well, you figured it out! GO you! After #2, I learned some women's milk comes in hard. That's me. So after dealing with it once, the second time I picked up on it faster and was able to help myself. The 3 weeks of pain with baby #1, was turned into 1 week of pain with baby #2. So it gets better and easier! Still no cake walk, but totally doable. My attitude with nursing is get to 2 weeks, then get to 6 weeks. Then if you are still struggling, re-evaluate. By 6-7 weeks, I'm always doing much better.
Books will always tell you what to do. Do what works for you! Let her cry if it helps her settle down. Some babies need to get some last bit of energy out before they sleep. Also, it will change as the grow. Try to adjust and do your best. As long as you love her, she will do just fine!
Congrats, you are doing awesome!