Monday, January 9, 2012

A Week in Hell

I have decided that we can immediately cease torturing terrorists and prisoners of war with traditional methods like water boarding. Instead, we can employ them to sleep train infants using the Cry It Out (CIO) method.

Prior to having children, I felt that CIO was inhumane. One week into the process, I still feel that way. Except, I don't know if it is worse on Lincoln or myself. He and I could easily get into a pissing match over who is suffering more! But then, I also feel conflicted....

I have suffered from chronic insomnia since I was 10 years old. It would be nightmarish for me to envision passing along bad sleep habits to my son. Sleep is vitally crucial to not only physical health, but mental health as well. Mom after mom after mom has told me that CIO is vital to teaching a baby to self soothe and become a strong sleeper. My pediatrician also recommends it.

On the other hand, I was reading a study on trauma and it said that even though you don't have memories from infancy, any time something traumatic happens (such as being left to cry with little to no interaction, especially if you're scared) the information is stored in your middle brain (amygdala.) This is important because scientists believe the information stored in the amygdala is what forms your personality. I don't think CIO will turn Lincoln into a future serial killer but I want him to feel safe, secure and loved.

I will be the first to admit, I have a mess on my hands. My mom seems to think I created the nightmare myself, but that is because she is a conspiracy theorist who doesn't believe in Lincoln's diagnosis of reflux disease (even as someone who suffers from it herself...but that's a whole 'nother Oprah!) Let me explain....

Lincoln never screamed his head off in pain from having reflux. We discovered he had it because he would barf and barf and barf some more. We're not talking a little but at a time, either. He has needing to eat constantly because he couldn't hold down enough food. We have tried various medicines and dosages, but part of the alternative treatment plan is that he needs to be burped for a minimum of twenty minutes and he has to sleep elevated.

The elevated sleeping is where we have encountered trouble. For the past couple of months he has slept in a bassinet that essentially leaves him in a sitting position. He has been an excellent sleeper since 6 weeks but started reverting to early infant cycles, waking every 1.5-2 hours. At first I thought it was a growth spurt but then I determined he was not able to sleep comfortably in his special bassinet. Additionally, babies need to sleep in cribs so they can wriggle and move as part of their motor development, something that can't happen when you're being squished to sleep.

Also, we are travelling later this month and I don't want to torture our lovely hosts with a baby who won't sleep because he doesn't have his bassinet, etc. I decided to transition him to a pack 'n' play for nighttime and his crib during the day. Thus far, he has decided his crib is entirely off limits. He cried for close to 70 minutes one day, which lead me to caving and picking him up so my neighbor wouldn't call CPS. There also seems to be a problem with the ducting going into his room so it is exceptionally cold. I need to have the landlord send someone to fix it but I haven't been too worried since sleeping in the pack 'n' play is priority for our trip.

I am torn about whether we have made any progress. I started with a wedge under him for elevation, but he would wind up sideways or upside down, which is not helpful. I took the wedge out but now he seems to cough on bile almost every night and sometimes it wakes him up. While he will sleep in there, he absolutely will NOT nap in there. And the longest he will sleep is four hours. So much for sleeping through the night at 6 months! I am not sure if the fact that he is breastfed is part of the problem, since he burns off the milk fast. I don't feel I am producing enough but formula is out. Rice cereal before bed hasn't helped. His frequent wakings have led me to put him in his swing at about 4 a.m. so I can get a solid two hour stretch of rest before conquering my day. This is a bad habit made worse by the fact that he is outgrowing the swing.

When we return from California he will be 6 months old and he will be sleeping in his crib, come hell or high water. The time is now. I do not want to "ruin" him and I need some more sleep for myself, even if it means a long trek to the nursery for frequent feedings.

I'm very frustrated. Please send encouragement.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

5 Months Post-Partum

So, here I am a little more than 5 months after birthing Mr. Lincoln. I had a doctor's appointment today to follow up with an issue I am having following his delivery. I need to see a specialist, which sucks donkey balls, but my doctor said she feels it is very unlikely I have cancer, despite my brother's history. Cancer is what I was fearing so I am glad for that.

The good news is, I am 22 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight. I started off a fatty so I won't go too far and say I am rockin' a hot bod or anything, but I am pleased nonetheless. Thank you, breastfeeding! So, with the 17 pounds from pregnancy and the extra 22, I would say it is nice to have a few more options in the wardrobe department. I can fit into a 14, which is nice. I can also wear size Large and wear a few things from the juniors department, which hasn't seen me in many years. I still have a small ton of weight to lose, but I am one of those people with a sensitive milk supply so I have to be careful on going too hard for the sake of feeding Lincoln.

Before I had Lincoln, I didn't get what women meant when they said pregnancy changed their shape. Of course, I thought I did, but until that baby has exited your body, you never truly know what you're in for. My shape is very different. I still have too much "back fat." And to quote Caroline Manzo, I feel like "Eight pounds of sausage in a five pound casing." I can't really blame my c-section for my "mother's apron" because as I stated, I was a fatty beforehand.

Maybe I will have Rob photograph me when he gets home so I can document the transformation I am undergoing?!? I love to see people post those types of things but I don't want to come across as obnoxious. What do you guys think?

Most important of all, since Lincoln is starting foods, Rob and I need to set a good example for eating healthfully. We aren't buying junk food anymore. I will still bake, as it is a personal passion and I still feel treats have their place. It's just that my self control (or lack thereof) and willpower are pretty weak, and dessert doesn't belong with every meal (sob). We owe it to Lincoln to start him off on the right track. if he decides as an adult to eat poorly, at least I will know we did our part.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Flirty Thirty

On December 17th I celebrated my thirtieth birthday! Contrary to what I expected, I didn't agonize over the looming milestone, I didn't turn introspective and if I am being honest, I barely thought about it other than casually in passing over the days leading up to it. I truly thought I would be a hot mess about it but I wasn't. If I may say, I was proud of myself for holding it together! Ha!

I think it all boils down to being grateful. I have been blessed with everything I ever longed for, truly. There was a time in my life when I never thought marriage and a family would be a reality for me. But now, I have both.

Rob threw me a surprise birthday party with some of my Texas friends at my favorite local restaurant, a small French patisserie. It was very glamorous and I was so thankful! He organized a tasting menu with assorted gourmet pizzas, crudites, calamari, etc. He also arranged for a variety of cupcakes, all of which were delicious.

This is going to sound braggadocios but I also received several amazing gifts! My parents got me some fabulous earrings and Rob gifted me with a 5 carat light amethyst. The ring is seriously insane. I can't seem to take a picture that does it justice but for the sake of sharing my extreme glee, here is a picture:

On my actual birthday we hosted a benefit for a family we adopted through our bible study at our house. No better way to celebrate life than by giving back to others, right? Here are some shots from my birthday celebrations: