Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mommys are Awesome

I feel like we turned a corner over the past 48 hours. After what can only be described as a total meltdown on Sunday, things are looking up. First off, I took a trip on Monday to the "Mommy and Me Boutique" at a local hospital. It's a pretty awesome store with tons of breastfeeding-related products. I bought tubing for my breast pump, a Lansinoh Latch Assist nipple everter, and two more Soothie pacifiers. The best part of the visit was that the store has a newborn scale and was able to weigh James -- he was 8 lbs 7.5 oz, meaning that he met the target of surpassing his birthweight by two weeks of age. He'd been weighed the previous Monday at the pediatrician's office and was 7 lbs 10 oz, so he gained about 13 ounces last week. It was a mental load off to know that he was gaining weight.

Starting Monday night, I decided to really focus on weaning him from the nipple shield because I was worried the shield might impact my supply. I was planning to gradually move away from the shield, but I'm pleased to report that James is a bit of a superstar and, with a little more work each BFing session, was able to move away from the shield completely. We more or less stopped cold turkey and haven't used the shield since 7 pm Monday night.

The other great development is that I've started being more diligent about making sure he gets fed every two to three hours, as opposed to just feeding on cue. Until now, I've been reluctant to wake him for feedings during the day, but I think that's contributed to his poor sleep over night. If he sleeps enough that it's been 2.5 hours from the previous feeding, I'll change his diaper, which is usually enough to wake him up to nurse. As a result, he's stopped marathon/cluster feeding at night, which gives mommy some extra sleep.

The last and best news is that my mom is here and it helps so much! She seems to have the special touch and helped us over night last night. Under her magic powers, she found a pretty sure-fire way to get him back to sleep after feedings -- we double swaddle him, rock him for 10 minutes, then lay him in his crib with a hand on his belly for a couple minutes longer. With this system in place, I was able to get a decent night's sleep! His longest sleep stretch was still just under three hours, but since I can nurse him and get him back to sleep faster, I ended up with more sleep.

In other news, I've started pumping once a day around 7 pm in an attempt to have a few ounces of breast milk stored in our freezer in case I need to be away for more than a couple hours. We were going to go out for a nice dinner with my brother and sister-in-law and leave the baby with my mom, but there's a terrible winter storm coming, so they decided to leave early for their out-of-town Christmas plans. Brett and I's five-year wedding anniversary is New Year's Day and my mom is coming up to watch James, so hopefully we'll have enough frozen breast milk for Brett and I to have a night out in celebration.

One other thing that was too cute not to mention -- my mom and I took James to my grandma's nursing home today. She has the beginnings of dementia, among multiple health issues, but she's just obsessed with this kid! We dressed him in a Santa outfit and he looked so cute. My grandma was so proud and wanted us to wheel her around the nursing home so she could show him off. She hardly ever leaves her room, so the fact that she was so excited to wheel around the nursing home was surprising. She kept saying, "What do you think of my little Santa? Isn't he the cutest thing ever?" I haven't seen her that happy and animated in a really long time.

That's all the ramblings for now. I'm looking forward to our low-key Christmas. We're having a Christmas Eve Happy Hour tomorrow night for our extended family members and then my mom, dad, and brother are spending Christmas day at our place. My mom's doing all the cooking, so it should be a very mellow day.

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