Dumplin’: 4 Months Old- Are All Babies this Fussy?

I’m laying in bed right now, giving myself a time out, because I’ve just about had enough screaming for one day. Dumplin’s just a bit older than 4 months now, and it seems that we have a bit of a clusterfuck of unfortunate circumstances happening right now:

– Wonder Weeks Leap #4: shitty catnaps (previously was a better napper), nighttime sleep is less easy to go down for, bored super quick (so needs to be entertained more and more actively)

– definitely teething (lower front teeth- you can kinda see them trying to poke through): endless amounts of crying, chewing on fists, crying, crying, crying… We’ve been using Hyland’s teething gel, Camillia homeopathic drops, and when super desperate, infant Tylenol

– acid reflux: screaming and arching back after burps and feeds, hates lying on his back, hates sitting up, basically hates all positions, hates the omeprazole medication that was prescribed for him (spits it out and screams some more)

– still refuses to take a bottle for more than a few seconds, and hates his hypoallergenic formula that I’m trying out. Wants to be exclusively breastfed and on demand, which is fine except that we need to prepare for when Mochi comes and the fact that Dumplin’s gonna need to be babysat by grandma and grandpa during the birth and post birth recovery (ie. Needs to take a bottle and learn to sleep by himself in a crib- cue anxiety for me!)

I’m pretty much going deaf in my left ear from all of the screaming, and nothing soothes him…. Nothing. 
I can’t even microwave and eat my lunch without having to contend with leaving him in the swing screaming. 

I also tried to sleep train his naps using the Happy Sleeper method, and it took more than 12 sleep waves (ie. 12 x 5 minute intervals of crying) to get him to nap for 40 minutes. I had planned on sleep training naps for a few weeks, then training bedtime from bedsharing to crib sleeping in his own room… But then the teething pain got worse, and the acid reflux medication struggles, and I thought that maybe it would be too much for him, so I haven’t sleep trained him since that first time.

I’m obviously very excited that Mochi will be here in 10ish weeks (DW is 31 weeks today), but I’ve got all sorts of anxiety about what those days are going to look like for Dumplin’, and how we’re going to handle a newborn and a 6 month old. For example- Dumplin’ has strong sleep attachments to motion and nursing. He will only nap in the swing, or in his car seat while in motion. As soon as either is stopped, he wakes up and starts fussing. I’ve been worrying lately because the swing is becoming less reliable at helping him nap, and I’m so ready to give away the dogs because every single day, they bark at imaginary things and wake him up. It’s gotten so frustrating with the dogs that I’ve even started to get stressed about coming home because I know the dogs will bark and ruin whatever nap I’ve managed to get Dumplin’ to have during the course of a car ride. I am so frustrated and annoyed with them. 

At bedtime, Dumplin will only fall asleep on the boob. I sense he is wanting an earlier bedtime, so I’m pretty much rushing to get ready for bed after dinner. This means I’m in bed at around 8:30 with him, and tonight, it was 7:30 because he was fussing super badly. But of course, teeth! So he slept for 20 minutes, woke up and started screaming, and now DW is downstairs sitting in front of him in the swing, watching the Vampire Diaries. I know we need to break these sleep attachments, but I feel like with the Leap and the teething, it would just be too traumatic to go hardcore right now. I was shocked that it took 12+ sleep waves to get him to finally nap! 

Our plan is to sleep train him during March Break, when DW has the week off and can deal with a little bit of sleep deprivation. I want to sleep train him now, because I feel like our tricks just aren’t working anymore and like we’re doing everything short of a jig to get him to sleep. 

In other news, DW recently turned 40! We celebrated with a surprise birthday dinner with 14 of our close friends. 

 
And Dumplin’ is 4 months old and quite the chunky monkey still:

      

And I’m enjoying awesome strength gains at the gym, and starting to see my upper abs peeking through the loose postpregnancy belly skin. I’m still 7lbs above pre pregnancy weight, but my clothes fit loose and I’m ready to buy myself some smaller jeans soon.

  
  

Advertisements

Nursing Troubles

Aside from our first week of waiting for my milk to come in, Dumplin’ and my nursing relationship has been really good. He’s a champion latcher, and I have no pain from regular nursing (only at the beginning when he would cluster feed over night). My supply went crazy at about two months in because I was pumping to create a stash, only to find out that I have really high lipase content, so my milk would taste soapy within 6 hours. The oversupply caused me to have plugged ducts and then mastitis. After that, I decided that the stress of always having to grab my pump (rather than just breastfeed on demand wherever, whenever) at the perfect time- when Dumplin’ was already going for a feed, was too much for me, so I ditched pumping all together. Eventually, my supply levelled out, and now I seem to rarely get engorged, and have the perfect amount of milk for what he needs.

However…

There’s always a however, isn’t there?

Lately he’s been really distracted at the boob, and not eating as much. He’s also going long periods between nursing- like 4 hours now, compared to 2-3 hours.

Worst of all, he’s been having shitfits on my boob. Like this morning, he hadn’t eaten since about 4am, and was due for a nursing. I had tried multiple times to feed him, but the exact same thing kept happening:

He would latch on, suck suck suck, and then pull off in frustration. Then try again, and same thing, over and over again, never staying on long enough to actually eat. I tried different positions- side lying, cross cradle, football… Each time, the same reaction.

So it’s now 10am here, and he hasn’t eaten since 4am. He’s screaming at the top of his lungs, and I’ve just put him in his swing to chill out and hopefully take a nap. But- I feel really uneasy about the fact that he hasn’t eaten since 4am.

Now, there are other concerns that I have too:

1. Is my supply dwindling? My mom said her breasts “dried up” at 3 months. I’ve also heard that from several other women. Is that a “thing” that commonly happens, and why?

2. I’m working out about 5 days a week right now, just lifting weights- no cardio at all. I keep my workouts under an hour, and am conscious not to burn too many calories, but is this affecting my supply? I’m also consciously refeeding- so I’m consuming between 2500-3000 calories a day, and drinking lots of water.

3. Wonder Weeks says he’s in a stormy time right now. Leap 4 is long too…. Is this why he’s so fussy and has gone on a hunger strike?

4. The little man refuses to take a bottle now. I still need to try different nipples, but he just flat out refuses. I’ve tried the Philips, the Playtex, Medela Calma. No dice. And this is with freshly expressed breastmilk.

5. When I pump, I get less than 1 ounce now. It’s feeling pretty futile every time I try to pump. I don’t want to be pumping again, but it just seems unfair to leave Dumplin’ with DW and nothing to feed him if I’m gone for more than an hour and a half.

6. Boobs don’t seem to soothe him as much anymore. It used to be that if he was having a crying fit, nursing was the instant way to calm him down. Nottasomuch anymore… Damnit.

Any thoughts?

Damn you Dairy!

Since Dumplin’ started showing signs of acid reflux two months ago, I completely cut out dairy- no lactose-free milk, no cheese, no yogurt/kefir, no cottage cheese, no sour cream… And the ones that hurt the most- no butter and no whey protein. 

Time passed, and I guess I was so preoccupied with his gas and general colickiness that I didn’t notice how much less he was vomitting (“spitting up” doesn’t accurately convey volume). Plus, I think it took a while for the dairy to leave my system.

So things were good. My boy was less barfy, and he was sleeping better at night. I was gonna take it, no questions asked.

And then…

Renee’s Caesar salad dressing happened…

And buttery garlic shrimp happened…

Within the same 24 hour period….

Two evenings ago.

And all day yesterday, my beautiful boy was puking and crying, writhing and arching his back after every feed. When laying flat on his back, even an hour after a feed, barf would start oozing out of his mouth. Poor baby hates it and tries covering his mouth with his hands, or covering his face with a receiving blanket. 

But last night was the worst. No one got any sleep. Dumplin’ wasn’t acting like his normal self at bedtime (usually he nurses right to sleep while we breastfeed side lying). He fed and fussed, we sang to him and rubbed his belly thinking it was gas, but still crying and kicking. Then he puked a bit. Then he puked a lot and we had to change the thick receiving blankets we lay down on our bed. DW took him downstairs and put him in the swing (because it’s on a bit of an incline) so he could be more comfortable. Then he got hungry and I fed him and we tried having him sleep in the Boppy nursing pillow propped up (yes, I am aware of the safety risks of doing this), but that was short lived because he’s so wiggly that he’d end up in weird and unsafe positions, so I took him out of it. Then morning arrived and poor DW had to leave for work, and Dumplin’ was crying incessantly and inconsolably. He had been puking but swallowing it all morning, and was in so much pain that I even considered taking him to the hospital to get some reflux medication, but I decided to breastfeed him instead, since it was time for him to nurse, and I’d read that breastmilk can help to neutralize the stomach acid. So I did, and my sweet boy was quietly sleeping on my breast in a football position (ah! Relief!), but then I struggled to find a comfortable semi-upright position for him to sleep in. Then, I remembered that I had rigged up his bassinet (aka blanket and toy storage bin) to be sorta on an incline, months ago. 

So friends, after almost 4 months of failed attempts at getting Dumplin’ to sleep in his bassinet, he finally does it- after the worst night of sleep we’ve had so far. And here I am, blogging about it instead of sleeping! Silly me!

Also, his pooping patterns have been different the past 24 hours. We went from pooping every other day since the beginning of January, to pooping 4 times yesterday! And these were full volume poops, approaching poopsplosion magnitude! So clearly, the dairy contaminated milk is not digested and absorbed as well, and is giving him the shits.

So now we wait for the dairy to leave my system. I am shocked by the strong reaction that he had to me reintroducing it. Honestly, we went from one reflux event per day to at least 12 over the past 24 hours. And his reflex events used to be less severe- he’d puke up usually already curdled milk, arch his back, and then smile, or he’d gag and swallow it, or he’d choke and look like he was drowning but then be fine. But this past day and night, he was refluxing large volumes of non-digested milk, arching his back and screaming in pain. He was not soothed by cuddles (he rarely is, actually), and refused the breast (which never happens). He was unhappy laying flat on his back, which normally doesn’t bother him too much.

So damn you dairy.

I’m hoping he returns to his cheery self soon. Otherwise, any tips on how to make his better, faster? We’re already burping him a lot and keeping him upright for as long as possible after a feed. I’m not loving the idea of medication, but after last night, I would be open to it if it makes a significant difference. Cutting out dairy seemed to make a big difference already though.

Dumplin’: 15 Weeks Old

Wow! Mom life is BUSY! It’s been 60 days since my last real update post. I’m so absorbed in this child that I actually am not on my phone much anymore, so less posts and less reading of blogs. 

Things have improved a lot over the past 2 months. Dumplin’ is sleeping better, he’s about a kazillion pounds heavier, he’s way more interactive…. I’ll touch on all of these things.

We’re still bedsharing, and Dumplin’s still falling asleep with a nipple in his mouth every night, but with this “method”, we get a somewhat decent amount of sleep. We usually go down at 9pm, and baby boy usually wakes up at 9am. If I have things I need to get done, I tip toe around the house a bit earlier than his wake-up time, which is nice. I’ve been going to the gym in the mornings too, which has been wonderful both for my sanity, but also for creating a bit of a routine for Dumplin’. He is a little charmer though, and when I check on him in the gym daycare, he’s usually got three hunnies fawning over him. 

Naps are tough though. He fights them so much, and when our schedule gets messed up, he is so fussy when I try to put him down. We’ve noticed that he will eventually fall asleep in his car seat though, so sometimes a quick transfer into the swing happens when we get home because he will nap in there sometimes if we have it on a moderate oscillation. Like right now, which is why I have my hands free to thumb type this!

Dumplin’ is such a sweet boy though. His personality is coming out more, and I’m watching him grow and learn so quickly these days. Over the course of this past month he has started sitting up steadily while leaning his back against us, grasping and holding things, appreciating textures with his hands, trying to babble along to songs he recognizes, babbling at other babies, and holding our hands. My favourite part of our days is when we nurse and he’s holding my shirt, staring at me lovingly, and then smiles or coos while my nipple is still in his mouth. It’s so sweet. 

I’ve been taking him to Infant Mother Goose singalong classes, which he LOVES. His favourite songs are: The Alphabet Song and Itsy Bitsy Spider. He is such a social guy. He loves being around other babies, and when I make silly gestures when singing to him. He coos really loudly at his own reflection in the mirror, which makes me happy because I think he’ll enjoy having a sibling around. 

Sir Dumplin’ is also still packing on some good poundage. Two weeks ago, at 3 months old, he was weighing in at over 18lbs. Yeah, that’s right. Over eighteen. Carrying and clicking in his car seat is very difficult. He’s a chunk. A super chunk. 

Let’s get you caught up:    

     
    

 

 
As for me, I’m feeling a little bit more human these days. I’m still sleep deprived, but my sense of humour has returned, and I’m enjoying our days together more. 

DW just hit 28 weeks, and is doing well. Her hips are bothering her a lot at night, so she isn’t sleeping very well anymore because she can’t get comfortable. Mochi is very active, and must be really metabolically demanding because DW is hungry all the time now! Her and I are both waking up at 3am for midnight snacks (that are more like meals actually). It’s really interesting going through these phases of our lives together. 

  
DW and Mochi working out at the gym.

Tomorrow we see Mochi again, to check on his/her placenta, which was about 1.5cm away from DW’s cervix. Maybe we’ll get some good pictures to post!