Monday, January 11, 2016

Longer on the Outside

Jack is nine months old. He's officially been on the outside longer than he was on the inside. I suppose it's time for me to update about him, even if no one reads this anymore. I might like to remember this someday.

He is now 20 pounds, 10 ounces and 29 inches long. His weight really slowed in the last few months because he is so freaking active. He started crawling a week before he turned 7 months. A few days later, he was pulling to stand. On Everything. Now he can easily cruise around the room holding on to furniture/toys/walls/people's legs. He has a perpetual bruise on the middle of his forehead from letting go and attempting to walk.

He is still breastfed - barely. He is so distracted, I feel like the only full feedings he gets are the early morning one and the bottle of pumped milk before bed. Then he snacks for a few minutes at a time throughout the day. He eats a ton of solids though. We're working on using a sippy cup because at one year I am done nursing. It's been a good experience; I'm glad I'm doing it; it's beautiful; we've saved a boatload of money on formula; yadda, yadda, yadda; but I'm ready to be done. I'm ready to have my body back. I'm ready to be free from the pump. I have a whole post drafted in my head about the whole breastfeeding experience. Maybe someday I'll get it written.

Sleep. I guess I can talk about sleep now. It was rough there for awhile. I actually have a post drafted that I wrote at a really low point in our sleep deprivation nightmare that lasted about 4 months. A post that would get me kicked out of the infertility community permanently. I was not in a good place. I hadn't slept for more than 2 straight hours in months. I had a constant migraine. My vision was fuzzy. I was afraid to drive anywhere because I knew I would fall asleep at the wheel. I laid down during most of Jack's naps, but they only lasted 30 minutes, so it didn't help much. Many days I would lie on the couch while Jack played on the floor and just try to keep my eyes open. And in my really low moments, I admitted that this was why I was infertile. I never should have messed with nature. I wasn't cut out to handle this. I wished I wasn't a mom.

Things were not getting better. Jack was waking up at least every 2 hours during the night, often more. I was in an ugly pit of depression. Bobby was doing everything he could to help, but he works 9 hour days. He'd take vacation when he could and let me sleep, but it hardly made a dent in my exhaustion.

So we did it. We started sleep training. We tried no cry methods and baby whispering. It'd work for a few days, but nothing substantial. Same with Ferber checks. On Christmas Day, we bit the bullet. We let Jack cry himself to sleep for as long as it took, with no intervention from us.

1 hour, 14 minutes. Since Bobby was off the next day, he agreed to take the full night, and I would sleep. Jack woke again at 12:30 and cried for 10 minutes. Again at 2:30 a.m. for an hour and a half. Slept til 7:30 a.m.

The next night he cried 44 minutes at bedtime, 29 minutes at 1 a.m., a quick feed at 4 a.m. and slept til 7 a.m.

Night 3, he cried 46 minutes at bed time, 8 minutes at 1:30, up for the day at 7 a.m.

He had one 40 minute relapse on Night 6 an hour after bedtime, but I think I messed up his schedule and he went to bed too early. Other than that, he goes to bed awake with zero crying, one feed after 4 a.m. and generally goes back to sleep until 6:30 or 7 a.m. Occasionally he'll wake up and fuss for a few minutes in the middle of the night, but he puts himself back to sleep in less than 5 minutes.

So...we're those parents. We did full extinction Cry It Out. We're terrible people who must hate our kid. Judge all you want. I'm well rested enough to take any criticism these days.

Jack's a good kid, and I'm a better mom now. We do much more playing and activities. We take a weekly Baby and Me class. We go on adventures. He loves going to Cabela's to look at the animals, especially the fish. My mom got us a family pass to the Minnesota Zoo for Christmas, so I'm excited to start going there whenever we can.

Other things...Bobby's brother moved in with us at the beginning of December. He's got a mountain of student loan debt (and didn't not a lot of job prospects either...), plus credit card debt. He was crashing at a friend's house since he doesn't have enough money for an apartment, but they finally booted him after six months. His car doesn't run and he had no where to go. It hasn't been the best situation for me, home all day with a baby - plus breastfeeding, pumping, etc - not things I want to do in front of my brother-in-law. We're managing, but I'm seriously hoping he can find a place soon.

I'm also working two mornings a week for a few hours. It's been pretty perfect. I'm tutoring at the high school in an elective class. It's good for me to get out, and good for Jack to have a few hours without me. He's having some rough separation anxiety right now. I am at a loss for what to do about it, so advice is certainly welcome.

Last Friday, we had 20ish* weather, so it was perfect for building a snowman. Jack had fun playing in the snow as long as one of us was holding him. When we set him down, well...this might be my new favorite picture of him.

Plus here's a bonus picture from Christmas Eve:

As always, I will try to update more often, but in any down time, I'm mostly trying to dig myself out from the pile of laundry, dishes, and Cheerios from under the high chair. If you're still following - thank you. I need this place much more than any of you, but I do appreciate you coming along for the ride.