Ups and Downs

This week has had it’s ups and downs but it is almost over and we made it through. Unfortunately with all that has been going on here we have not had a chance to post but don’t worry we will be back at it next week. Until then I leave you with this:

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i miss sleeping.

Over the past week there has been a huge change in Edie’s sleeping and it is hitting us hard over here.  Edith has been pretty consistent with her sleeping patterns since day one.  Around 80% of the time we spend 30-90 minutes getting her to sleep and then she sleeps 4-5 hours, nurses, sleeps 1.5-3 hours, nurses, 1.5-2.5 hours, nurses, lounges and sleeps 30 minutes -1.5 hours.  Don’t get me wrong we have had a few cluster feeding nights and a few lucky nights of 7-7.5 hours of straight sleeping but in the past week our routine has completely shifted.

Edith is still taking 30-90 minutes to get to sleep but now she is sleeping 2-4 hours then waking up and nursing but not going right back to sleep for 30-90 minutes and then sleeps 1.5-2 hours (if we’re lucky) and then is up for  1-2 hours and then sleeps for 1-3 hours and then is up again for the day with maybe a nap in the morning if I’m lucky.  On top of not sleeping as well she is having fussy, crying, screaming fits when she is awake during the night.  I nurse her, change her diaper, and burp her but nothing seems to help except a little bouncing or back patting and of course just when I think she has settled down and is back to sleep as soon as I put her down she is fussing and eventually wailing.

I know that she is still so young that sleeping is pretty unpredictable but during the first 9.5 weeks of her life  she has been pretty predictable and consistent.  Neil and I are the most exhausted that we have ever been with him working crazy hours and then being woken by a screaming baby just hours after going to bed and lately as soon as I go to bed (which is like 9:30) Edie is waking up and doesn’t want to go back to sleep.  Last night I went in to bed at 9:30 and spent an hour trying to nurse and sooth her back to sleep but eventually gave up and put her out in her swing in the living room where Neil was working  so that I could get a few hours of sleep since I didn’t get any when Neil was away this past weekend.

I spent the morning googling what might be going on and for the most part the responses I have found are:

Until babies are closer to four months their sleep schedules are unpredictable.

Could be sleep regression due to developmental changes. This could be a possibility however the generally timeline for developmental phases at this point is at 8 weeks and 12 weeks so she is right in the middle however from what I have learned babies don’t always fit the standard timelines.

Could be that she is not feeling well. This is very possible has she has been stuffy and we have been watching her temperature because it’s been between hovering around the high 98’s to low 99’s (doctor is to be called at 100.4F).

After a hectic weekend alone (which I’ll blog about soon) while Neil was away at a work conference this whole not sleeping thing is really exhausting me to the point where I have developed a bit of a cold and so has Neil.

Any suggestions or words of wisdom on how we can get back to a better sleeping situation? We are headed out of town for Neil’s 1/2 Marathon this weekend and I am really hoping that maybe Edie will sleep better before then because Neil is exhausted and now worried that he won’t do well at the race.

Our Weekend in Numbers

I’m currently trying to recover from a single parenting weekend so here is a highlight of Edith and my weekend in numbers:

Naps: 6 <—crazy!
Hours of sleep: 14 (My sleep between Friday, Saturday & Sunday)
Cups of coffee: 4
Showers: 3 (Friday, Saturday AND Sunday)
Baths Given: 1
Workouts: 2
Break downs (mine): 3
Diapers changed: 40 (or so)
Hours nursing: too many to count
Episodes of Gilmore Girls: 20
Photos Taken: 380

Creating A Pregnancy Book

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to document my entire pregnancy with photos and weekly blog posts.  I started to take photos around week twelve and write weekly blog posts around week 14 and by week 30 I decided I really wanted to create a pregnancy photobook.

At first I was just going to create my own and get the pages printed up but then I saw that Shutterfly had a pregnancy photobook template and because Shutterfly is always having some sort of deal I knew that I could create it now, finish after our baby arrived and buy it when it was on sale.

Here is a peak of a few pages of my book:

Creating a pregnancy book is a great way to document your pregnancy and is a wonderful keepsake.  I can’t wait to show Edie the book when she is older and share what it was like being pregnant with her and how we prepared.

Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post all thoughts and opinions are my own. I purchased this book.

What We Learned from Couple’s Yoga for Labor and Birth

Couple’s Yoga for Labor and Birth, with Susan Cline Lucey

This one-time workshop is a great way for you to bond as a couple in preparation for sharing the birth experience together. We will cover yoga poses, breath work, relaxation and meditation techniques helpful in labor and birth. A strong focus will be placed on labor support techniques and ways to build confidence in your ability to birth without intervention. This workshop is a must for first time parents, as well as for those second/third time parents who are not planning on taking a birth class but would like a class to connect around the baby and a refresher on labor support techniques. (source)

Back in June Neil and I took a Couple’s Yoga For Labor and Birth Workshop at my yoga studio along with eight other couples.  We started out the class by first setting our intention for the class and for birth. We then wrote down an affirmation to help us focus in on the birth; mine was “I trust my body to birth this baby” and Neil’s was “I know Lindsay’s strength and confidence will guide her through the birth and I am here to support her.”

Much of the class was focused around learning relaxation techniques to help during labor and birth. We discussed breathing techniques (which I ended up using throughout my birth):

  • breathing–> relaxing the jaw = relaxed pelvic floor; tried goddess pose with focus on breathing through it just like breathing through a contraction
  • groans, moans and screams–> focus on low moans and groans b/c it keeps the pelvic floor open versus high pitched screams/shrieks which tense up the body –> go ahead try it! shriek and see how your body reacts, feel the tension in your abs, your chest, your pelvis? now do a low moan or groan- can you feel the difference?

Along with the breathing techniques we also tried a variety poses for laboring in such as a supported squat.  We used this a little during labor as well as the massage that we discussed but the biggest thing I took away from the class was the breathing and the loan moans and groans.

We both loved this class it was very intimate. I really wish that it had been a series and not just one night! Although I learned a lot from our private birth class it was great to be in a room with others practicing the techniques, especially since a few of the moms-to-be were familiar to me from prenatal yoga.

Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Breastfeeding Class & My Experience So Far

We briefly covered breastfeeding as part of our Natural Baby Care Class and actually we learned quit a bit from our Doula(Sarah), however she suggested that we also sign up for a breastfeeding education class. So I registered us for a 2.5 hour breastfeeding education class.

We arrived at the class to find eight other couples and our instructor. The first thing we learned from the class is that we were so glad we took private childbirth and natural baby care classes because you never know who you are going to end up with in a group class. Unfortunately, we ended up in a class with a number of couples who thought that the sight of breasts in breastfeeding videos were funny among other things that we don’t need to get into here. But, let me tell you, they made my jaw drop.

Anyways, on to the good things that we learned from our amazing instructor who is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and the breastfeeding coordinator for the Vermont Department of Health, among other things.

Things we covered in the class:

  • Hospital practices that support breastfeeding
  • Who to call for lactation support
  • Breastfeeding Basics
    • Positioning and Latching
    • How milk is made
  • Breastfeeding Videos
  • Challenges and Solutions
    • The first week
    • Perceived low milk supply
  • Separated from Your Baby
    • Expressing milk and breast pumps
    • Storing breast milk
    • Introducing a bottle- paced bottle feeding
    • Considerations for your day care provider

Honestly I am writing this nearly 2 months after having taken the class (I had the best intentions of writing this earlier) and now I don’t completely remember the details of what we learned.  Overall I felt like the class really covered what you needed to know about breastfeeding and how to actually breastfeed from positions to latching and we watched a few videos that provided good examples of positioning and proper latching.  We also covered a number of challenges and how to overcome them and where/who to turn to if you find yourself struggling. Lastly, we covered breast pumps, storage and what to do when someone else is taking care of your baby.

What I have learned from breastfeeding:

We are going on almost 4 weeks of breastfeeding now and let me tell you it really does get easier. Don’t get me wrong, we still have some challenges, but it does get easier.  Although Edie did pretty well at latching right off the first few days of breastfeeding were the most challenging and I ended up with sore, bruised nipples.  I also struggled with finding a hold that worked for both Edie and me.  When I left the birth center I felt pretty comfortable with breastfeeding but when I arrived home I started to have a few doubts so I watched a few videos online to help me.  I soothed my sore nipples by expressing a little breast milk onto my nipples (oh and my milk came in within 72 hours of Edie’s arrival) and I changed my hold from the cradle to the football hold and found it made all the difference.  A few days later we had an appointment at our pediatrician with the family nurse practitioner(who is also a certified lactation consultant) and she observed me breastfeeding and was impressed but made one suggestion that has been a game changer- bring the baby to the boob NOT the boob to the baby.

Since making these changes I have had almost no more nipple soreness and breastfeeding is going really well.  The only challenge that I have had since making these changes is cluster feeding which is exhausting and at times frustrating.  I ended up having one huge breakdown during our first week home after a particularly exhausting evening/night of cluster feeding that lasted around 7 hours.  Today I still find it challenging at times to sit and have back to back nursing sessions especially when we want to try and get out of the house or when I am exhausted and want to sleep but overall things are going well and I am loving breastfeeding.

Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post all thoughts and opinions are my own.