I know I have been a little cryptic in my tweets and posts lately about my woes with Ollie. Fact is…he is a baby and shit is always changing. I know this. I repeat this to myself. Sleep is rough. It causes stress, which causes other issues. It’s a big messy pile of ugh. The “fixer” in me keeps reading blogs and articles to try and find the magic answer all the while my brain KNOWS he is just a baby and we have to get over it. It is hard to let go.
Through all the mess there is one issue that is really weighing on me. It started 2 weeks ago. We were having another rough night of Ollie waking 3 hours after going to bed. We were both stressed and exhausted. I finally was going in to just feed him to get him to sleep and something happened…or didn’t. My milk wouldn’t let down. Strange…and frustrating. I choked it up to stress and gave him a bottle and he passed out. Saturday night rolled around and BAM happened again and it has happened every night since (maybe once it worked). That following Monday morning, we got to daycare and it happened again. I sat in that nursing room in tears telling him I was sorry…I didn’t know what was wrong. He wasn’t terribly upset. He had gotten the “stuff of the top” at least so he wasn’t completely melting down. I gave him a bottle and called healthcare for a lactation appointment. I went to my office and pumped 6 oz. Strange.
At lunch time I grabbed Ollie and walked up to the appointment (yes…yes…I am sooooo fucking lucky…I even wrote a letter to my CEO about this day). She looked at us both and couldn’t see anything and said she thought it was a nursing strike due to all the changes lately (going back to routine, solids, usual babyness). I nursed him there in the office (it let down…no worries). Well, it is still not happening at night. I have no clue. All I can come up with is he really doesn’t need it and isn’t “activating it”. Also I think my supply is adjusting to the solids-loving-boy and hormones are all wacky causing slow let down. SO MUCH CHANGE. I accepted it and moved on.
Also with this, we started him on a little formula. I knew this would come. I knew there would be a moment it would help calm me down. Seeing the slippery slope of night bottles coming, I introduced him to some with his cereal during the weekend. He seemed to do fine with it so I started giving him some in a small bottle. Did well with that and we just ran with it. Right now he is getting maybe 4oz overnight mixed with breastmilk. I also have sent in little bottles of it for cereal at school. It was nice not having to use up my liquid gold for the wallpaper paste. I think I can soon stop using it but that is the problem with formula. I have to use the container within the month. Blarg. I add this for the few people who have asked me about this specifically. I know it is hard to deicide to do. It was WAY easier this time. I struggled with it with Landon but realized how much breathing room it gave me. It’s OK to use formula! Plenty of healthy babies have formula all the time. Using a little to make up a bottle to help your sanity is not a reflection on your worth as a mother. You are awesome…
So back to the story…we started giving him a small bottle when he waked and he would pass out. Sometimes that was twice a night. Then mid week last week, he was waking within 2 hours of going down (clearly not hunger) and rendering us cranky zombie parents. That next morning at daycare? No more let down. Stress is now in the mix and making it worse. The stress/sleep deprivation was making K and I have no appetite and just generally yucky feeling. At my OBGYN appointment, I weighed in smaller than I have in years….and it wasn’t a YAY moment…more of a WHOA moment. This wasn’t healthy and definitely not going to help the milk situation. Something had to be done.
So we looked at what we could change. We had tried gently soothing at night but it got us no where. He would calm down in your arms and freak his shit being put back down. Rinse and repeat. Milk seemed to be his kryptonite even if he didn’t really need it. We moved the bedtime bottle before bath, put the boombox in the hall to buffer his brother and set out for night one of CIO. I don’t want to go into all that yet because it is still a work in progress but we are doing better. He is only being fed once a night and we are getting a bit more sleep. I’ll chronicle all that later on. Baby steps.
As for me, I chatted at my lady dr. appointment this week and have a test out for my thyroid to rule out anything there. I have no other real symptoms but I have read some women had slow let down due to thyroid changes. Worth a shot. We shall see. We have had a few nights of decent sleep and I can already see colors better. My appetite even came roaring back to make me eat 3 breakfasts Saturday.
So there ya go. Babies be hard.