It’s been a while since I’ve written about the two biggest issues to plague me since becoming a mom: breastfeeding and sleep. I thought maybe it was time for an update.
The last time I wrote about breastfeeding, I had thrush, tooth marks on one nipple, C was nursing every hour (at least) 24/7, and I was about 30 seconds away from a nervous breakdown. Here’s how it all went down:
First off, the magic cure for my two month battle with thrush ended up being a combination of monistat and lotrimin creams. I also made sure I was always wearing a freshly laundered nursing tank or bra and that all pump parts, bottle nipples and pacifiers were sanitized every 2 days. I almost quit nursing because of thrush. That’s how painful it was. I’m so glad I won that battle.
The tooth marks mysteriously disappeared at the same time as the thrush. I’m not sure what that was all about, but whatever the cause, I’m grateful it’s no longer an issue.
My lactation consultant suggested that we start solids two weeks before C was 6 months old to try to alleviate some of the constant nursing. It worked. I don’t have to spend my entire weekend sitting on the couch nursing C. We can now usually go totally respectable intervals without nursing. Although Catch did have to give her a bottle while I was out at the grocery store for 45 minutes a few weeks ago, so it’s not totally foolproof. Still, it’s miles better than it was.
For the first time since Charlotte was born, I am not stressing about breastfeeding. I pump at work. I nurse at home. She gets a bit of formula every day to make up for the shortcomings in my supply. I still take the max dose of Dom along with a few other supplements. It’s all become very routine and peaceful. I can’t help feeling proud that I’m still going.
As I started to write about sleep, I got a text message from Catch that Charlotte doesn’t want to take her afternoon nap. That’s after our nanny posted a joke on Facebook this morning about Charlotte refusing to take her morning nap.
When we left off on sleep, we were in the midst of sleep training via the methods in The Happy Sleeper. I was once again on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Charlotte had been waking up 8-12 times a night. I was so sleep deprived that I was barely functioning.
While naps have started to become a struggle all of a sudden, bedtime is finally working. Most nights, she wakes up 2-3 times, but they’re all in the early hours of the morning. She usually gives us a solid 6 hours on the front end, and then she’s choppy on the back end. Whatever. It is SO MUCH BETTER THAN BEFORE. OMG. I am getting some rest. It’s not perfect, but it’s still AMAZING compared to two months ago.
On Sunday night, she slept for NINE AND A HALF HOURS straight. I didn’t even know that was possible. Seriously.
I have mixed feelings about her sleeping in her room. On one hand, it’s so nice to be able to move around in our bedroom without worrying about making noise or turning on lights. On the other hand, it feels like she’s so far away and I really miss her at night. When I get up to nurse her in the night, I often find myself snuggling her for just a few extra minutes just because. Of course, if I think back two months ago to how I used to cry out of frustration when she would wake (every 45 minutes) to nurse, missing her is actually sort of refreshing. It’s pretty amazing when you can be happy to see your kid at 2 am.
The Happy Sleeper changed my life. I’m not even exaggerating. As hard as it was and as much as I fought with myself about it, it was worth it in the end. I feel like I’m able to be a better mom now, and you can’t put a price on that.
Charlotte is 7 months old now, but I feel like 6 months was a major turning point for us. Having both parents working full time jobs outside the home is no joke. That’s enough hard all on its own without adding in bonus challenges. Things are so much easier right now, and boy did we need the break.
I don’t think I ever shared her 7 month picture on the blog. Can you believe how she’s grown? I can’t even wrap my head around it.