Thursday, August 9, 2012

Eating and Sleeping

Michael and I have noticed how much my mood is dictated by how my girls are doing/eating/feeling.

I first noticed this phenomenon with Ellie, way back when she was first born. Whenever she had a solid feeding I felt relieved and confident. If she had a weird feeding where she didn't latch well or didn't eat as much as usual, or if she was crying for an unexplained reason, I found myself stressed, frustrated, and distraught. This often led to tears for us both.

Now this scenario is on repeat with Hazel. I've had several feedings where Hazel is acting strangely-instead of a calm, "solid" feeding she might eat for less time (when an average feeding is only 5-7 minutes anything less makes me pause) or be extra gassy and therefore be frustrated, resulting in a shorter, stressful feeding.

The result of a poor feeding is that I feel frustrated. I start to over-analyze everything.
 Is she eating enough?
Is my milk supply going down? 
Is she gaining enough weight? 
Is she too gassy? 
What am I eating that's causing her to have tummy troubles? 
Should I move positions?
Should I pump?
What can I possibly do differently to solve this issue? 
Is this EVER going to get easier?

Recently a friend wrote to a few fellow moms on facebook because she was having nursing issues. She admitted to several tears during nursing, and I noticed several other moms concurred. 

Even though I'd say nursing is going night and day better than it did with Ellie, there are STILL moments when it's so frustrating I cry. I still went through an extremely painful patch where a less committed mom would have thrown in the towel. It's encouraging to know that almost every mom I know who has attempted to breastfeed has had moments of tears.

Today, I'm feeling good. Hazel has had several good feedings. I'm calm and relaxed. Even Ellie ate a great lunch. (My mood-connected to feedings didn't end with nursing...I still feel much better when Ellie eats well. Thankfully, I have a great eater most days).

I know I need to learn to relax and not let these things influence my mood. But it does and I just have to learn to be aware of when my poor mood is because of an off day with one or both of the girls.
 By naming it, I can learn to release it.
Happy One Month Hazel!
On another note, I have an amazing sleeper! 

I thought Ellie was a great sleeper, sleeping 4-5 hours at night by one month. 
Hazel decided to welcome her fifth week of life by sleeping for 7 hours straight. I woke her up at that point to feed her because I wanted to make sure she had enough feedings (see questions above).

Last night I decided to see how long Hazel would sleep without me waking her up, since I wake her up for almost every feeding. I fed her at 10:30PM, put her down to sleep by 11:00, and when I woke up at 7AM I decided I needed to wake her up and feed her. Yup. She went for 8 1/2 hours between feedings, skipping her middle of the night feeding, which recently has been 5 or 6AM. I just couldn't let her go any longer. Maybe tonight.

I thought I had it good with Ellie, but now I know I'm beyond lucky with Hazel. I have friends with babies several months or even years older than Hazel who are still waking up in the night to feed.

 I will count my blessings and appreciate my good night's sleep while it lasts. And I'll try not to worry if I have a weird feeding or two.

(I refer to a couple of good books that help me with an eating/sleeping/activity time routine. I credit at least some of my good eaters and sleepers to these. I'd be more than happy to share them if you're interested.)

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