Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Fine Art of Sleep

Ahhh sleep...something that doesn't occur too often in this household. Before The Barracuda was born, I read a couple of different books regarding sleep. Many of the books had principles that sounded so easy to apply. And then The Barracuda was born and all of that great advice goes flying out the window. Like don't co-sleep. Ok, guess what? If I've only slept 3 hours, do you think it's safe for me to try and drowsily take a flight of stairs with a newborn who's head control is sketchy at best? Or is the safer option to keep her next to me in bed?

Now after The Barracuda arrived, I can see what some of these books are actually talking about. I read Babywise (don't be a hater) and while I certainly do not believe in crying it out or denying my child food b/c it's not "time yet." I do think there are some good things about this keeping your kiddo up after they eat during the day. It's not advisable for adults to eat a large meal and then lay down on the couch. Although, I think we can all admit that it feels pretty freakin' awesome to do it.

When I finally got around to The Happiest Baby on the Block, I found that we were already applying almost all of those principles (courtesy of my mom) except for the side sleeping. We are huge fans of the swaddle and the miracle blanket was probably one of the best gifts ever. I also think there is really something to be said about this whole "4th trimester" stuff and how underdeveloped a baby's nervous system can be. Hello Moro Reflex!

I knew this was going to be difficult, but I had no idea it would be THIS difficult. As much as I love my little girl and cherish all of her smiles and coos (even if most of these are reserved for her boyfriend, the ceiling fan), I am still challenged by her. Sleep being the most challenging part of our life right now. I am just so perplexed. First off, The Barracuda comes from a long line of sleepy people. Seriously. Her Lolo has been known to start snoring mid sentence. Secondly, if I'm tired; I LAY DOWN AND GO TO SLEEP. I DO NOT start screaming my head off until my face is purple and wait for someone to wrap me up tightly, start shushing in my ear while swinging and jiggling me around all over the freakin' room. And yet, somehow this is how she will fall asleep in the evening. I swaddle her, start swinging her around, sometimes she takes her Nuk, and then about 5 to 10 minutes later her eyes start rolling back in her head. The minute I sit down or try to lay her down, her eyes will pop open. We try again. Lather, rinse, repeat. We have been trying to lay her down while she's drowsy so she will learn the art of putting herself back to sleep. But I have to be honest, after the fifth time of doing this, I will hold her until she's sound asleep so I can give my aching feet and back a break.

The past week, the night time sleep routine has gotten better. We put her down sometime between 6 and 8 PM depending on what's going on. She sleeps until about midnight, but as late as 2AM, wakes up, eats decently, and then goes back to bed. Then she wakes up again, usually at 4AM, but once she woke up at 6AM-hurray! I'm hoping that we can improve on napping during the day, which she does not like to do. And I strongly believe that her poor napping skills are contributing to her many MANY meltdowns that occur when we try to leave our house and actually do normal adult things like run errands, visit the grandparents, go to church or lunch with friends.

Ok, that's all I have to say about this topic. You should hear what I have to say about breastfeeding (her nickname is The Barracuda, after all). I am still BF and she seems to be gaining weight appropriately, even if she is a little small. But BF was a challenge. I will save that post for another day and after a post where all I talk about is her awesome-ness...because I fear this post is a titch negative...and I truly love my amazing daughter.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Where have you been?

Well, birthing and parenting! It's been quite some time. What can I say, giving birth was exhausting and my recovery was slow.

Here's what happened:
-I was due December 26, 2010. I was over due and was induced January 1, 2011.

-Most people thought I was having a boy, GASP! I give birth to a beautiful girl, and I let The Bear come up with her first name. Her middle name is her gma's middle name-one of the most awesome ladies I know.

-Induction is uber painful, I only lasted 5 hours before I begged for my epidural.

-My epidural was fabulous. So fabulous that I couldn't lift my leg 2 hours after my baby girl was born. Thank goodness because I needed an hour of repair work.

Here's what I wasn't prepped for:
-How freakin' sore I would be! Not just my bottom, my back, my arms, etc.

-How hormonal I would be. The crying for no reason. The feeling like I was going to be permanently stuck in that emotional state.

-How difficult breastfeeding would be. And guess what, it's still not easy!

Here's what I love:
-The million names that I have come up with for this little one, including; peepers, gremlin, kitten, Lady Jane, sweet pea, and Muffin

-The smiles and grins, even if they are in her sleep or at the ceiling fan. Every once in a great while, she makes eye contact and smiles.

-How intently she listens to me when we have our chats on the changing table.

-Staring at her face after her eyes have closed during a late night feeding. The way her eyelashes fall against her cheek and the smooth skin that is the exact same shade as mine.

There are so many more things I love about this sweet girl, I can't even begin to capture them all here. I hope to keep was a journey for us to get here and I know we will keep having adventures with this little individual.