Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Coming up for air

It's been a rocky few days around here, but last night was an improvement, thank God! We made it through those first few nights of "nurse briefly, put the baby down awake," and then moved on to the "pick up and comfort the baby, but don't nurse." We were so exhausted by that point that we slowly worked up to doing the "no nursing" for seven hours over a few days. And then we hit the time change. And then Mr. X went out of town.

Mr. X left on his business trip on Sunday. On Sunday night, we had cheese ravioli for dinner. Nick loooves cheese ravioli. He kept asking for more, and since I had taken the kids for a loooong walk before dinner (because it was fun, and also in hopes that the exercise would help them sleep) I thought he had just worked up a really good appetite. I had the kids in bed and asleep by 8:30. Sarah woke up at 10:30 and I got to bed myself around 11:00. I had a really hard time falling asleep, as I always do when Mr. X is gone--I just feel so "on" and worried about taking care of both kids overnight. But I fell asleep, and woke up to Nick crying really hard just before 1:00. I went in the room, and he had thrown up all that cheese ravioli. He wanted out of the crib (no kidding!), and then seemed fine. I asked him if he felt OK, and he said "OK." Evidently, he just ate too much. It took about an hour to get him cleaned up and the sheets changed and room aired and settle him back in to sleep. Thank God, Sarah didn't wake up! But then she woke up at 3:30 and 4:30 and 6:00. On Monday night, I got the kids to bed pretty early, but there were many wakeups, I stayed up late working till after midnight, and they woke up for good at 6:30. So I took them to daily mass with friends, which was great, and then I planned on napping with them in the afternoon. But they didn't nap. I just about lost it! But I got them up and they were good as gold while I finished up the work I had to get done. Then our babysitter came, I went to my spiritual formation class, and she had them asleep by 7:30. And Sarah slept for eight hours! And Nick slept all night! And they both woke up at 7:30 this morning! So life is looking pretty great right now. Just two more nights till Mr. X gets home!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Night Weaning: The Saga Continues

Oh, the drama! So, we've got two nights of night weaning behind us now. It's going OK. I'm so relieved that Sarah seems her usual happy self, so I don't think she's scarred for life yet! The system we're using has three stages. In Stage 1 (the first three nights), when the baby wakes up, you nurse briefly, then put the baby down awake and comfort her till she's asleep. You only do this for a seven-hour block, and outside of those seven hours, you can nurse or do whatever. So, we're working on night weaning from 10:30 to 5:30. Here's how night 1 went:

12:28 Sarah woke up. I nursed her for a couple of minutes, unlatched her, talked to and cuddled her while she cried for--honestly--one minute and then fell asleep. Score! Put her in the crib next to the bed and went back to sleep.
12:40 Sarah woke up. I nursed her for a minute, told her "we nurse in the daytime, we sleep in the nighttime" and that we'd cuddle and sleep. She fell asleep without crying. Yay! Put her in the crib.
12:52 Sarah woke up. Hmm. She said "nurse." I said we'll nurse for a minute and she said "minute" in a sad little voice. After a minute, I said "all done," and she stopped nursing, cried for a minute, and went to sleep.

She woke up four more times before 2am. She never cried for more than a minute, and she talked to me a lot like this:

Sarah: Nurse!
Me: OK, sweetheart, we'll nurse for a minute. [Nursing.] OK, sweetheart, all done, time to cuddle and sleep.
Sarah: Nurse!
Me: No, sweetheart, it's nighttime. It's time to cuddle and sleep. Do you want to cuddle with Daddy?
Sarah: No.
Me: Do you want to cuddle with Mama?
Sarah: No. Yes.

At 2:00, I got up to go to the bathroom and Mr. X walked her around. While I was in the bathroom Nick woke up and started crying. I went back to the bedroom, Mr. X handed Sarah to me, and she quickly fell asleep while he went in to Nick. I put Sarah down in the crib. Mr. X then was in and out of Nick's room for about an hour and a half while he cried. At 4:30, Sarah woke up again, nursed for a minute, then slept, and I put her in the crib. She woke up again at 5:50 and I brought her into bed, and she nursed and slept till the babysitter rang the doorbell at 8:45.

Last night, Mr. X and I were both totally exhausted. Sarah woke up once at about 1:30, we nursed for a minute, she fell asleep, and I put her in the crib. She woke up again about 15 minutes later. I nursed her, then thought it might be good if Mr. X tried cuddling her so she'll get more used to him comforting her at night. I nudged him and asked him if he would cuddle her. Still mostly asleep, he said, "No, I'll do it tomorrow." Huh. I said, "You'll do it tomorrow?" He said, "Later tonight. Later tonight." I debated saying: "Let me rephrase that: Your turn!" but by that point, she was almost asleep, and I figured I'd let him take the next turn 10 minutes later. He said, "It's really hot in here, isn't it?" (We have a terrible time regulating temperature in our house.) He got up and opened the window.

We all fell asleep. Next thing I knew, I woke up at 4:00, with my legs (which were uncovered) freezing and Sarah nursing! I could have sworn I had buttoned my nightgown, but the top couple of buttons were unbuttoned. She definitely didn't make any noise when she woke up, and I have no idea if she had been nursing for 2 minutes or an hour. I unlatched her, she stayed asleep, and I put her in the crib. Mr. X got up and closed the window. Sarah didn't wake up again until 5:44.

So, Mr. X and I are both working at home today, and we've been cracking up at his "I'll do it tomorrow" line (he didn't remember doing it until I reminded him, at which point he apologized profusely and promised to be on duty tonight) and at Sarah's stealth nursing. Maybe she's learning "If I wake mom up, she'll nurse me for a minute, but if I don't wake her up, I can nurse all I want!"

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