I’ve never much liked that phrase, hump day, but barring anything more creative coming to mind, that’s what today’s post is.
First, thank you for the concern for my health, both here and privately. I had a lengthy conversation with my OB/GYN on Monday and by then the bleeding had slowed considerably. She said that it was unlikely anything structural going on as the blood vessels usually responsible for this type of post partum bleeding (where the placenta was attached to the uterine wall) close on their own by 8 weeks (and I am 16 weeks post partum today). She said that the bleeding, while significant seeming, was not the same as actually losing blood volume and that it was likely hormonal in nature and probably caused by an anovulatory cycle. We agreed that I would see how things progress between now (bleeding completely stopped 48 hrs ago) and my next cycle and that if the bleeding is that heavy again, I’ll start on a high dose BCP, continuously, for 3 months, then switch to a lower dose. If not, I can begin the lower dose BCP (for birth control purposes (ha!)) whenever I like.
I try to be as honest as I can here without ever wanting to complain or sound ungrateful. I realize that the strains of motherhood, especially new motherhood again, come with the territory and are high class problems to have. It is never far from my mind how many of my infertile sisters are still in the fight to have their first child let alone reap the abundant blessing of having their second. What follows is baby related so feel free to skip.
For the most part, Baby G is a happy, thriving, growing, predictable light of a 17# baby. His personality is emerging more each week and he is smiley, engaging, and funny. I marvel at his very existence.
While he naps well during the day, taking a long 3-4 hour morning nap (which is really a continuation of overnight sleep I’ve learned), one 1 hr – 90 min afternoon nap and a 30 minute early evening catnap, our biggest issues still surround overnight sleep (I should also say that he has two speeds, rested and not, and he can go from cooing and smiling to screaming and red-faced crying in a blink, as just happened now). He is ready to go down between 6:30/7 and sleeps until he wakes for a feeding around midnight. Then he goes right back down and sleeps until his next feeding at 4:30. We’ve begun to dial back the volume of those two feedings (3.5 oz each now) so that eventually they won’t be worth waking for.
However, even though he technically ‘sleeps’ in those two blocks, that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t need tending to. A lot. Whether it’s because he has wiggled an arm/hand out of his swaddle and up by his face, or because he wants his pacifier, we are in his room almost hourly. The swaddle has become the absolute bane of my existence. He is such a big baby, strong and willful, that even in his sleep he will struggle to break free. However, once he has, he so doesn’t know what to do with himself that he unravels into helpless cries. Sometimes, if I am not asleep or if I catch it quickly enough, I can re-swaddle him before he really wakes up. Other times, like those over the last two nights, he is hysterically crying which only a bottle can soothe.
I have poured over every swaddle product and technique available and finally came upon the swaddle strap. It literally arrived today and not a moment too soon (as we had an awful stretch from 2AM-6AM this morning and I vowed that something had to change).
I don’t know if it’s just my age or that I require more sleep than I did with our first son or if I’d just grown accustomed to uninterrupted sleep, but it has been killing me (and also because I’m not able to nap during the day when he does). I DREAD the nighttime. It’s not just that I must go to sleep by 9 at the latest (because g-d forbid I have to wake at 2, at least I will have gotten one block of sleep), it’s that once the odyssey of breaking out of the swaddle or needing his paci or him wiggling himself awake begins, it is a long, long night. And, I don’t readily fall back to sleep. I either never do or it takes me an hour or more. But, since I anticipate him waking, sometimes it’s literally impossible for me to go back to sleep.
Because my first son didn’t require either swaddling or a pacifier, I was caught totally off guard by the need for both and just how much parental involvement they require. And, even though we moved him into his crib a couple of weeks ago (and he naps in his swing, also in his room), I think that maybe we were premature given how often we need to tend to him and that, in fact, he (and I) do better when he sleeps with me. We have a CA King bed, my husband has taken to sleeping on the couch in the family room (since he takes the first shift and he doesn’t go to bed until midnight anyway) so there is a lot of real estate on daddy’s side of the bed, especially for a swaddled infant that isn’t capable of moving around that much.
We’ll see how the swaddle strap goes (as of this typing he is taking his second afternoon nap with it, but those tend to go well, anyway, in the swing) and I will decide whether to move him to our bed, if even for the second shift so that I can get some sleep. Maybe I had unrealistic expectations, maybe I just need more uninterrupted sleep, but I will never forget just how hard this stage of his life has been in the sleep department.
In birth mother news, a friend has offered to go this weekend to the local library, drive by her home, and stop at the park where the bench was placed to honor my maternal grandfather. The library has the yearbooks from when she might have been a senior (if she even attended the public high school) and I found two captions to photos in the local paper (but the on-line source doesn’t have the photos) that are also good leads. Stay tuned…