Archive for February, 2012

Solo parenting fail

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

My friend who was planning to help me tonight texted this morning to say she was sick. When the next three people I contacted didn’t work out, I resigned myself to try parenting solo again.

The girls fell asleep at 6:05 pm, just as our nanny, Claudia, left. I scarfed a quick peanut butter sandwich and a glass of milk and readied myself for a long evening.

Catie woke after just 40 minutes and seemed hungry, so I fed her and burped her. I then spent more than an hour trying to bounce her to sleep, but to no avail. Between reflux and recalcitrant burps, she was miserable and awake.

Time passed. She eventually convinced me that she was hungry again.

After nursing and a small bottle, I *finally* helped Catie fall sleep. But as I opened the door to put her in bed, I heard Sam wake and begin to wail, waking Cate.

Now both were awake. Rotten timing, dammit.

With two more hours until Daddy gets home, I paused to pee and regroup.

* * *

We tandem nursed, and Sam had a little formula. Exhausted Catie started to fuss. I put Sam in the swing, wrapped Catie up, and started bouncing her to sleep. Sam began to fuss in the next room, loud enough to distract Catie, but she finally fell asleep at 11:00 pm. She’d been awake 4:25, longer than she’d ever been awake. Not good.

I went to collect Sam from the swing and fathomed her fussing: the swing had died, and although the motor was still clicking, she wasn’t going anywhere.

I bundled her up and began bouncing her to sleep. With reflux and a little gas, she fought to stay awake for awhile. But at 11:20 pm, she succumbed.

Two overtired babies down, left me exhausted, thirsty, and hungry. Bill got home, but before I could greet him, reflux woke Sam again, just 25 minutes after she fell asleep. I fear for our sleep, but it’s midnight and we have to go try.

Speed blogging: fourth riddle

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

Q: Why can’t you marry a girl who gives her socks away?

A: Because she’ll get cold feet!

So… it’s a good thing that these girls keep losing their socks, because they’re WAY too young to marry!

Speed blogging: third riddle

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Q: What’s the difference between post-partum depression and chronic sleep deprivation?

A: I don’t know. If there were a difference, would it really matter?

Speed blogging: Burnout

Monday, February 20th, 2012

We fed babies around 6 pm and endeavored to put them to bed by 7:15 pm.

One went to sleep briefly, but did not stay. The other would not go. 90 minutes later she did, but by then the other was awake again.

20 minutes of wrapping, bouncing, rewrapping, and bouncing later, the first is asleep again, and the second is awake again and sucking on her fingers… and now beginning to wail.

Our five blocks of sleep last night didn’t add up to five hours. We’re exhausted and ready for bed, but we haven’t even tried to crawl in yet.

We love our babies, but we so aren’t loving this.

Speed blogging: another riddle

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Q: What do you get when you take a sleepy baby who hasn’t burped, and try all of your clever tricks to get her to burp?

A: An overtired, fussy baby who still hasn’t burped and now won’t sleep.

New formula, or not.

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Several of our friends have babies who suffered from acid reflux, and all of them reported that switching formulas to something “pre-digested” resulted in huge improvements. We called the pediatrician last week to assess symptoms and ask for solutions. After they heard that the girls are still waking us every hour or two at almost four months, they authorized us to switch the girls’ formula, and gave us a free can to get started.

Nutramigen AA is a hypoallergenic, amino acid-based formula, that’s designed for babies with severe food allergies. While there’s little to suggest that either of our girls have food allergies, Dr. W thought it might help them with reflux because it’s easier to digest and would go through their system quicker. Here’s what we found:

  • It smells and tastes awful, like a mix of Meow Mix cat food and potting soil. Enfamil’s marketing info calls it a “distinct odor and flavor” and asserts that infants lack a refined sense of taste, implying that they’ll eat it even though it tastes like @ss. I suppose if one’s baby got only formula, they’d get hungry enough to eat it out of desperation. But after our babies got have a feeding of breast milk, they would take 2-3 sips of Nutramigen and push out the bottle nipple as if to say, “No thanks, I’m good.”
  • Did Dr. W say it would go through their system quicker? Boy, howdy. During our two-day foray, the girls produced 4-5 watery poo diapers a day, and we were still getting explosive watery poo two days later. Cate even began to get her first diaper rash. When I expressed concern to Dr. W, she said watery stools are totally normal with this formula. Yuck!
  • The stuff is expensive. I didn’t think new formula could be more expensive than the night nannies we’re using to compensate for sleep deprivation, but I may have been wrong. Cans of powder are $1.70/ounce compared to $1.20/ounce for the Neosure the girls have been on since birth, or $24/can vs. $16. Sheesh!

Worst, the girls continued to have reflux. After two days of incomplete feedings and poo-splosions, we switched back to Neosure. I’m not sure, but Cate and Sam seemed relieved. And with their diaper business back to normal, I am, too.


Friday, February 17th, 2012

Sam and Cate had their four-month pediatric visit on Tuesday and Dr. W said they’re doing great. She seems unconcerned by their reflux and is confident they’ll grow out of it. The girls also got their four-month vaccinations: two shots and something oral.

The downside of shots is that your babies wail for two minutes after they get shot, until they figure out it’s over and they’re okay. Or, they wail a little longer if, like Sam, they figure out what’s coming at the alcohol swab stage and start wailing sooner.

The main upside of shots is that our babies are gaining immunity to a host of infectious childhood diseases, like polio and rotavirus, without experiencing illness. That’s cool.

A further upside is that babies who just had shots like to sleep it off. When we got home from the doctor’s office, we gave them each some Tylenol to minimize soreness at the injection sites and possible fever, then nursed them, and put them to bed. They each slept almost 3 hours, woke up to nurse/eat again, and promptly went back to bed for another 4 hours. Needless to say, I took the opportunity to do some sleeping, too. It’s no solution to sleep deprivation, but I appreciated it.

Damned brain.

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Last night, the middle-of-the-night feeding came late. I finished nursing babies and helping Sheila get them back to bed around 2:30 pm, then crawled onto the futon in the living room to sleep until 6 pm.

But instead, I woke up half an hour later having a vivid, frustrating nightmare. I dreamed that our night nurse had called all of her nanny friends and they had showed up at our house in the middle of the night, and brought all of their unruly charges with them. I kept trying to explain that our girls and I were trying to sleep and I needed them all to leave, but they wouldn’t go. Somewhere in there, I realized that I was dreaming and tried to wake up, but I was so tired that it took what felt like a long time to get out of it and shake it off.

The sleep book says that sleep of 30 minutes or less is almost meaningless.

Damned brain.

Four months

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Saturday marked four months since Sam and Cate joined us outside. They’re 12 weeks past their due date and busy developing all kinds of new skills, like trying to sit up on their own (in Boppies), trying to stand (with adult assistance), using their hands to manipulate fabric, and occasionally holding on to a boob or bottle. Cate has even figured out how to tuck her elbow and fall/roll from her tummy onto her back during Tummy Time. Sam appears to watch Cate do it and want to do it, too, but hasn’t quite got the hang of it yet. They’re both super-talkative, too. I can’t wait to hear what they have to say!

Cate is up to 12 lbs 7 oz, and Sam is up to 13 lbs 9 oz. They sleep approximately 13 hours out of 24, but acid reflux is still fragmenting the heck out of it, which in turn keeps us parents from getting the sleep we need. So all four of us are tired all the time. But everyone says we’re going to figure out sleep eventually, and we keep trying.

In the meantime, their smiles, cuddles, and antics bring us immense joy and we’re glad they’re here.

Sam at four months

Cate at four months

Bill and Sam

Bob and Cate

Happy birthday, Cate and Sam!

Speed blogging: a riddle

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

Q: What has three heartbeats, two feet on the ground, and one head full of desperate optimism?

A: Mama Bob sitting in the cushy chair under fussy babies, hot-swapping a binky (because the other one got lost in tbe dark just now and my arms are caught under the babies), while Bill races to Walgreens to procure the liquid Maalox that the pediatrician thinks — in conjunction with Prevacid, bouncy chairs, and exorbitant new formula — will finally beat acid reflux and let these babies sleep like they want to.