Sunday, July 29, 2018

sleep training

i think like most moms, i LOVE watching him sleep

biting Bun Bunz

top 3 decisions of my life:

1. marrying Ted
2. birthing Cameron

no joke! sleep training has drastically changed our little family's lives!

but let's not get ahead of ourselves. all the moms know exactly what i'm talking about but for everybody else you probably have no clue what the hell i'm talking about. no worries. i had no idea anything like sleep training even existed or was necessary. i thought that when babies are sleepy they went the f*ck to sleep. news to me, that is not the case, my friends. when someone told us that buying a yoga ball to bounce our baby to sleep would be a godsend, we didn't understand what the hell he meant. i mean i knew babies used pacifiers but i thought that was used to stop them from annoyingly crying in the middle of a restaurant. and i'd heard that you never want to wake a sleeping baby but i didn't realize that sometimes it takes an hour to get them to sleep in the first place. i guess 'rockabye baby' was a literal instruction on how to get your baby to sleep. i didn't know you had to do that! people always said that all babies do is eat, sleep and poop. you would think that if they are only capable of three things in life, that those things would come naturally to them. but nope! how messed up is that? humans are so weird.

a lot of people spend hours and hours of the first couple years of their children's lives trying to get them to sleep. rocking, singing, pacifying, bouncing, driving, swinging, white noising, swaddling, holding, wearing and feeding them to sleep. or a combination of those things. sometimes it takes an hour to get them to sleep and then they wake up after twenty minutes and you have to start all over. and babies require a shit ton of sleep! so let's say your baby takes three naps a day and then goes down for bedtime sleep and it takes an hour to get them down each time, that's FOUR HOURS of your day. then plenty of babies wake up multiple times in the middle of the night and the parents have to rock, sing, swing, feed, blah blah yet again. everybody is wasting time trying to get some sleep and peace. because if a baby doesn't sleep, they are cranky as hell and are zero fun to be around.

that's what our problem was. Cam didn't really respond to rocking, singing, pacifying, bouncing, driving, swinging, white noising, swaddling, holding or feeding to sleep for naps. the only thing that would work was wearing him in the ergo and continuously walking for half an hour before he would even start to doze off. and if he didn't get naps (which for the first few months of his life, he didn't really at all) he was a crazy mess of a baby. he was always unhappy and crying, which would make me unhappy and crying (i'll delve into that more in another post). we were a couple of buzz kills at all times of the day. and at the end of the day he would cry his head off until we shoved a bottle into his mouth that he'd fall asleep to. Ted and i thought we had a broken baby and couldn't see an end to his crying. we had a baby who was overtired 100% of the time until we sleep trained.

oh..i realize i never really stated what sleep training actually is. it's getting your baby to sleep on their own with no crutches or soothing. no rocking. no pacifier. no driving. no swaddling. no singing. etc. i guess the process of getting yourself to sleep is a learned skill. there are plenty of methods to sleep training your baby and some methods involve weaning their crutches and 'no crying,' but those methods take longer and there's never no crying involved so it's all bullshit anyway.

SO. at exactly 20 weeks (4.5 months old), we decided to sleep train. we went with the cry-it-out method. the short of it all is that you do a bedtime routine (ours is bottle, lotion, clean diaper and pjs, book, song, lovey) put your baby in his/her crib, turn off the lights and leave the room. the kid will be like "uhh how come i'm not being soothed to sleep" and will for sure cry. and they will cry bloody murder. but you just let them. eventually they'll fall asleep. and if they wake in the middle of the night crying? you let them. you repeat this process every night until one night you put them down and they don't cry. they just go to sleep. each night following the first night should require less crying. i've heard that for some babies it took two hours on the first night and for some it took fifteen minutes. i've heard that for some babies it takes two weeks and for some it took three days. but just like everything else, each baby is different and will respond differently.

it sounds really really harsh and inhumane to some people but upon houuuurrrrrrrssss of reading on sleep training and grilling friends about how they sleep trained, it seemed to be the best method for us. i read that letting your baby cry-it-out versus some other more 'gentle' approaches actually involves less overall crying. for example, another method called Pick Up Put Down is putting your baby down and letting them cry for a little. then you pick them up to soothe them and put them back down. they'll cry again and you repeat this until they finally fall asleep. but to me, that just seems like a lot of back and fourth and the baby might be like "yo, if i cry she picks me up so lemme just keep doing this." some parents will do the cry-it-out method but will check in on the baby every few minutes with increasing intervals of crying. each time they go in they just let the baby know they're there with a pat on the back or a "go to sleep. we love you." we decided that checking in on Cam would probably only rile him up more and we didn't want to restart his crying clock. so we decided we'd let him cry it out and no matter how long it took we'd bear it because then he'd learn to put himself to sleep. that would help him take naps during the day as well, which meant a happier baby, which then means a happier mommy.

so here's how it went down for us. but mostly i'm documenting this for myself because it was a huge decision to let our baby cry to sleep and i may want to look back at this one day for whatever reason. the day we decided to 'rip the bandaid' so to speak, we messed up. we were supposed to change to new pjs and diaper, feed him, read a book, sing a song, give him his lovey, put him down, leave the room and prepare for all the cries. but upon feeding him, he fell asleep and wouldn't wake up. so we decided to put him down and if he woke up crying, we'd start there and let him cry. this was also the first time he'd sleep at night without a swaddle too. we figured he needed to be able to access his hands to soothe himself as well as not rely on the swaddle to soothe him so we took that from him on the same night. after the first night we changed his routine to feed, lotion, change pjs/diaper, book, song, lovey.

friday- 7:15 pm asleep at the bottle
            7:50 pm woke up. realized he wasn't swaddled and didn't know what to do.
            7:50 pm crying
            8:15 pm asleep
            *25 minutes crying

saturday- 7:22 pm down but not crying. tossed and turned.
                7:35 pm started crying
                7:37 pm calm and still
                7:40 pm asleep
                *2 minutes crying

sunday- 7:12 pm down but not crying.
              7:20 pm asleep
              *zero crying

we are incredibly fortunate that Cam responded so well to the cry-it-out method of sleep training. he literally cried a total of 27 minutes over two days and since then he hasn't cried to sleep. those 25 minutes on the first day were brutal though. he got pretty hysterical but never got to the point where he would choke or throw up (i've read that some babies have done that during sleep training). now he'll occasionally fuss a little bit but that's it! every day we put him down wide awake, give him his lovey and leave. it takes him anywhere from 2-20 minutes to fall asleep. he usually takes his lovey (his bunny, we call Bun Bunz) and rubs it on his face or bites it, rubs his eyes with his hands, rocks back and forth or shakes his head until he's in a comfortable position and falls asleep. sometimes he'll wake up in the middle of the night but he puts himself back to sleep. occasionally he'll flip on to his tummy and we'll go in to flip him back because he hasn't learned to do that on his own. and when he's home or at my brother's house he puts himself to sleep for naps as well. not to say we never help him though. we'll give him the pacifier if we're in a foreign place (the park, beach or a friend's house) or for whatever reason he's having a particularly hard time getting to sleep and needs the extra push to get to dreamland.

seriously though, sleep training Cam has been one of theeeee best things we've ever done. a friggin miracle if there ever was one! i am back to my old self now that i know my kiddo isn't going to be a wreck every day from lack of sleep. my sanity has been restored and i am a much better mom now that i can focus on Cam outside of obsessing over his sleep. he is such a happy and easy baby now that he's getting the rest he needs.

**i'm not saying that sleep training is for everybody though. some moms love to rock their kids to sleep for that bonding time. Cam just wasn't one of those kids that liked to be rocked to sleep. he'd arch his back and roll around like an alligator. some can't bear to let their kid cry and let me tell you, you really feel like a piece of shit mom when you know you're deciding to let your kid cry. for some people a different method of sleep training works best. this was just the right decision for us. do whatever is best for you and your family.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

happy half birthday Cam Cam!

happy half birthday to Cam Cam!! i can't believe this kid is already six months old! he is far from the little blob that he used to be. he's so full of character and intrigue and it's been really fun watching him grow. speaking of grow, he is quite the colossal chunk nowadays. we haven't weighed him since he was four months old but we think he's coming up on, if not already at, 20 lbs. for reference on massivity (real word is 'massiveness' but i like the sound of 'massivity'), his lower limbs look like those turkey legs you get at Disneyland. we were on a shuttle the other day and when this stranger danger lady found out how old he was she said that "he's a beast!" true dat, lady, true dat.

look how massive my child is!

as you can see from the first picture, he's sitting up now. we often placed him in sitting position but he wasn't ever really able to stay upright for more than a few seconds. then one day recently we plopped him down and he just stayed that way for a while. now he can stay sitting for more than ten minutes without falling down onto the floor (timmmmbbbbeeeerrrrrr!!!), though we definitely still have to constantly watch when he's sitting just in case he face plants. 

we decided to start Cam Cam on solids around 4.5 months with the intention of going sort of slow. we started out by having him try rice cereal every so often and he did fairly well. my mom told Diana (his other caregiver and my sister-in-law's mom) that we thought solely drinking milk wasn't cutting it for him any longer and we were going to start him on solids. then Diana tells us "oh, i gave him some noodles last week." *insert wide eyed shocked face emoji* LOL or what? and then she said she gave him some peach and apple that she scraped with a fork too. here we are thinking we were starting to give Cam his first tastes of mush and he's over there eating like he's a pro at a buffet! then she sent me a video of him eating small pieces of noodles via chopsticks. even more HAHAHAs! now before anybody gets upset for us like how dare she feed him without our okay, Ted and i were prepared for the people we entrust him with to do things like this. see, within chinese culture there really isn't any 'i wish you'd do things this way or that way.' you have to go all in knowing his caregivers are going to do whatever they want and you have to trust that they have his best interest at heart. we were well aware that things like this would pop up and this is just the beginning. pretty sure one day someone is going to cut his hair in some hideous fashion and we're just going to have to shrug our shoulders and take plenty of pictures to laugh at later in life. anyway, since our little dude is already a carb lover and swallowed noodles with no problem, we decided to just start giving him all sorts of stuff. aside from pureed fruits and rice cereal, he's tasted noodles, diced cantaloupe, avocado and mango, rice and bread. it's been fun trying different things and seeing his reaction. and since we've started giving him one real serving of solids in the evening he hasn't been waking up to eat at all through the night. BUT the last couple of days, when we try to feed him his last bottle he's been refusing after a few ounces (he usually has 8-9 oz and the last couple of nights he's had 3-4 oz). but when i say he's refusing, i don't just mean he's not opening his mouth or pushing the bottle away. i mean he's crying and arching his back, so we're not really positive what's going on. we know he's not in pain because we'll put him down and whistle or do something ridiculous to distract him and he's fine. we're thinking we're giving him the bottle too soon after the solids and he's asserting his disapproval in the only way he knows how. we'll tweak some things and see what works out. 

i think this guy is going to start being mobile sooner than we thought. over the last week while on his tummy, he's been able to wiggle around enough or push with his arm so that he starts out facing one way and ends up 180 degrees the other way. and as of a couple of days ago he started to sort of push with his arms and scoot backwards. i think his intention is to move forward towards his toys but he ends up further away from them. poor fella. 

oh! and we took him on his first little vacation. we went to Yosemite with a couple of other families with kids (all boys). i wasn't sure how he'd do on the long car ride (4-6 hours depending on stops), being out everyday for many hours each day exploring Yosemite, or sleeping in his pack n' play in a new environment (he's never slept overnight anywhere outside of our house). i'm happy to report back that he did so so sooooo good! he kicked ass at all of it. on the car rides to and from Yosemite, he slept half each ride and didn't really fuss at all. our days out in Yosemite could have been a disaster if he didn't get naps but he managed to take naps in his stroller or in the car, which is never a guarantee with him. we even managed to get him to take a nap outside while the other boys played around in the river, though that only lasted thirty minutes. he woke up because some a-hole sneezed like he had a fur ball in his nostril. oh and i dipped him into the cold river while he was naked. needless to say, he did not like that. he cried in .5 seconds. as far as sleep went, Cam did really well overall with that too. the first night he woke a few times early in the night, i think due to the new environment but after that he woke up once a night which was typical for him. he did start flipping over onto his tummy a lot in the middle of the night, which was sort of annoying because we had to flip him back (he still can't flip from tummy to back). throughout the whole trip in general, he was super chill and just went with the flow. Ted and i are really impressed with him.

seeing the sights

'sup ma. 

the first four months were really tough on me but as things have gotten better i find myself feeling lucky that i've got such a chill child. now that Cam can put himself to sleep at night and usually puts himself to sleep for naps unassisted (sometimes we still have to coax him along with a pacifier but that's often only when we're in a foreign place like near the river or at a park), he's such an easy kid. he's pretty mild mannered otherwise and we're loving every minute we get to spend with him. not to say things won't get hard or there won't be challenges but right now we've got it good.

that's bunny. we call him Bun Bunz and he helps Cam go to sleep. he likes to rub it against his face, suck or bite on his feet or ears and flop it around in his hands before he knocks out.

what a gem. sometimes Cam blows raspberries so damn hard that his face turns red and he looks extra chinese.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

5 months!

whoops! i missed writing the four month post! but to be completely honest, i didn't feel like a whole lot changed during Cam's fourth month of life outside the womb. he wasn't really doing anything that was too noticeably new aside from being able to withstand more tummy time. i guess somewhere in that fourth month he did start to laugh. it's super effing cute and all but not worth a whole blog post. 

now Cam's fifth month of life is different. it has been so fun! lots of little things have changed or developed that won't matter to most people. however, for a new mom it's fascinating to see your kindred evolve from a flesh doll to an actual person. he's constantly changing and we can't help but cheer him on with every new skill or sound. 

for a long time i'd place Cam down for tummy time and he'd lift his head a little higher or for longer periods but his arms would stiffly stay under him and he'd just look around. booooooorrrrriiiiing!! i mean i could stare in awe at him all day just because he's my son but seriously, it was like c'mon man...just do something! i know, i know! he's strengthening his neck muscles or whatever but how bout those arms? i decided he needed some intervening so i placed toys around him that lit up and/or made noises. he'd stare at them and i started pulling his hand out to touch the toys and "push" the buttons, which meant me smashing his hand down tiger mom style, trying to force him into learning. a couple days later he started to pull his arms out from under him to touch toys and now he reaches out to grasp them to bring them towards his mouth!  

i think in the last post i claimed that Cam was able to roll from his tummy to his back but that was a half lie. i thought he was capable and somewhat intentionally doing it because he did it like twelve times in a day and a few times over the few following days. then he stopped and never really did it again except for an occasional here and there. quite honestly i think he just pushed up with his arms and gravity along with the massiveness of his head took over. shrug. speaking of head size, he definitely got that from Ted. poor kid. every time we pull a onesie over his head it stretches out the neck and he's stuck exposing his baby cleavage all day long. i digress. at about 18 weeks old he turned from his back to his tummy and has been doing it constantly! he can still only turn towards his right and can't flip back over intentionally but it's fun to watch him roll around. i imagine the view of a ceiling can get boring quite quickly so i'm happy for his new ability to see the world as it was meant to be seen.

Cam was pretty vocal early on with a lot of 'guh' and 'uh' sounds but now he's practicing more high pitched noises which is adorable. he was doing raspberries for a little bit but hasn't for a while now. and he's always playing with his tongue. he sticks it out all day long and often twists it around which also means a lot more drool. before Cam  came along i would cringe when a baby drooled on me and now i don't care. well...i don't think i care but i guess i haven't had another baby drool on me recently so i can't be certain. for all i know i still hate other baby's saliva. actually, i'm pretty positive i don't want other babies spitting on me. things don't change over night.

oh! and he found his feet! for the longest time i thought that he would never be able to reach his little piggies because surely his gigantic chubby tummy and short, fat legs would be no match for whatever little flexibility he was capable of. i thought that my baby wasn't a good representative yoga's happy baby pose. then one day he grabbed a toe and now he always grabs his feet! 

then there's the sleep training. let me tell you...that shit was a god send for me and my anxiety. my little man impressed me with how he handled it but i'll talk about all of that in the next post. 

overall Cam is a really happy baby. he's always smiling and intrigued with new things. just look at that freaking face! so effing cute! my favorite time of day is in the morning when we go into his room and he sees us and smiles. that's my daily dose of sunshine and heart melts.

Monday, April 23, 2018

3 months!

we're officially out of the newborn stage!! i can't believe that we have an actual human baby now and not just a crying thing with eyes. but tell you honestly (as i always do), it's sort of weird. the transition from 'newborn' to 'infant' makes me feel like i can't complain anymore. they say the newborn stage is hard and i obviously 150% agree with that but now i can't be like "i'm dealing with a newborn." it's shifted to me just sounding like an ungrateful asshole and being like "yeah, being a mom to a baby in general is not the business." as difficult as this has been for me, i'm actually grateful...but still an asshole.

as you know, motherhood for me thus far hasn't been the easiest thing. in fact it's been the hardest thing i've endured in my life. maybe i've been spoiled or have been granted a blessed life but so far things overall have come fairly easy for me. if i wanted a job, i did all i could to get it. when i wanted a specific house, i did all i could to secure it. and i somehow landed the perfect husband for me. you get the picture. but there is a lot of loss of control when you've got a baby and that's been the hardest thing for me. i spend a lot of time thinking about how in the hell am i ever going to get this child on a schedule? how the eff do i plot out naps throughout the day so that he's not overtired, under tired, past his 'awake times' for his age, yet have all of that make sense within the time he's awake during the day? you can never tell if a nap is going to last 20 minutes or 3 hours so how the eff am i supposed to work around that? TELL ME!! someone tell me!! the internet does a good job of telling me too much and i can't navigate all of that. but y'know what? i'm going back to work soon and i won't have time to dwell on all of the intricacies of baby sleep once he's being taken care of by someone else. my mom says i have too much time on my hands and am over analyzing everything. and you know mom's always right! can't argue that!

speaking of baby sleep, we decided to move the kid to his big boy room a whole flight of stairs away around 10 weeks old. we were tired of feeling like our room wasn't ours anymore. we'd tiptoe around trying our best not to wake the baby and it just got ridiculous. person A would be in the bathroom brushing our teeth and person B would tap, tap tap the door ever so lightly, signaling person A to turn the light off to let person B in. then, if person B was ready to go to bed but person A still needed to pee, person B would just wait out the pee session so that we didn't have to do the whole lights on/off dance over again (sorry hubs, if this was tmi for public knowledge). don't get me started on avoiding sneezing, coughing or adjusting positions. it was stupid and we felt like we were hostage to a potentially waking baby. so the kid moved to his crib way sooner than we thought we were going to move him. now we're hostage to a monitor that wakes us every time we hear him shuffle around. or i am at least. Ted can tune it out better than i can. lucky duck. my sleep has gone to shit as well. i used to be able to fall asleep within minutes and now i'm up writing a blog post because i can't fall asleep. and when i wake up because i hear him moving around or i wake up to feed him, it takes me 30 min-1.5 hours to fall back asleep. #newmomlife

also speaking of sleep, lately Cam has been sleeping from about 7:30pm, waking around 4am, and then sleeping again until 7am. that's pretty damn good if i do say so myself. not that this is permanent by any means but for now we'll take it! sometimes the kid will wake up and talk to himself and even sort of laugh and smile for a while before he starts to fuss. and because this is our first rodeo and we still don't know what the hell we're doing we're like "is dude hungry, or is he going back to sleep?" typically we end up feeding him because we're unsure and it's the surefire way to get him back to sleep. we're still learning.

gawd! all that me, me, me talk.

so Cameron is a hefty 14 lbs 10 oz or so if you couldn't tell by those thunder thighs. we're going to move him into size 2 diapers already because of all that chunk. he's chugging anywhere from 4-7 oz of formula every four hours or so, though lately he's so aware now that he gets distracted while eating. like, are you a toddler already or what? he loves to talk and hold "conversations." it's friggin adorable y'all!! when he's well rested, he's the shit! he's so smiley and fun. i love seeing his different expressions. he's actually slowly becoming a real person! i used to find balls of smelly milky lint in his fists but now his hands are open more and there is less of that gunk. he's starting to grasp things a little better and he's starting to put things into his mouth. speaking of mouth, this guy is already sprouting teeth! WHAT. THE. HELL!! his two bottom front teeth (i know i'm an x-ray tech and i should probably use the scientific name for it but i'm not 100% about what that is at this moment and i'm too lazy to google. incisors?? who cares) are starting to poke out already! thank god i never really gave breastfeeding a real chance. could you imagine at this rate he'd be gnawing me raw by 5 months! his skin has been going all sorts of bonkers lately. we're not sure if it's just seborrheic dermatitis (similar to cradle cap, which he also has a strong case of) that's flared up or if he's potentially got eczema, but it's starting to go onto his shoulders and upper back. obviously i hope he doesn't have eczema but it's not the worst thing. i just feel bad for the little man because it looks so uncomfortable for him.

overall Cam is really healthy, plays by himself well and is so cute to me that i can't help but smother him in kisses. i even kiss his feet and i hate feet. not his though. at least not now. when he's like 2 and they're stinky boy feet, i will definitely not be kissing them. forreal, as an x-ray tech, one of the worst smells for me is boy feet.

and on that awkward note, i'm headed to bed! hopefully i can fall asleep!



get me out of this thing.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

it DOES get better!

so my 'always' fussy baby is less fussy nowadays. it really is crazy how quickly they change. every week he's evolving into something better than before.

i'm pretty positive that i was correct that Cam taking really shitty naps or no naps at all was what caused him to be a cranky mess all the time. as i continued in my struggle to find a way to get the kid to nap (bounced on a yoga ball for nearly an hour and a half only for him to wake up over and over again) my friend Marjie came over and all nonchalant was like "lemme try." mind you, we've had plenty of friends try for an hour or so with no real luck. he'd doze and the moment they put him down he'd wake right back up. i had little faith that she'd have some magic touch.

so Marjie swaddled him, hovered over his bassinet with her hand on his chest and rocked the bassinet while shushing him. for nearly ten minutes he cried and fussed and then BAM he just fell asleep. GASP!!! whaaaaat just happened???? she said that he definitely fights sleep and would rather be up and alert which is why he cries but he's actually tired so he's also willing go to sleep if coaxed. of course he didn't actually fall asleep for very long the first time. he woke himself up and started to cry. but she told me to wait it out for a minute and if he continued to actually cry for a solid 60 seconds, then i could go in and help him fall back asleep. but if within the 60 seconds he calms down at any point then start the count to 60 seconds over again. if he keeps calming himself down then that means he's trying to self settle or self soothe. to be honest, when i heard babies cry prior to having one of my own, it never really bothered me but that first day of letting him try to self settle was fairly brutal for a new mom like me. hearing your baby wail like that raises your blood pressure and just hits you in your heartstrings. BUT as i saw that he was able to settle himself and fall back asleep, i realized that he's learning. i tried to remind myself that babies his age (9 weeks) can only really communicate by crying. Marj said that every day it would get better and better. he would be able to self soothe/settle easier and he would sleep longer because he'd be able to help himself.

and guess f*cking WHAT!?! it's been almost a week of this and when he wakes himself up, he's able to fall back asleep on his own pretty easily for the most part. i watch him on the monitor and sometimes he'll wake, cry a few moments or make a frowny face and then go back to sleep. or sometimes he'll wake and look around for a little bit and then fall back asleep. occasionally he'll wake, cry for a while and i'll have to rescue him (as i call it) but he falls back asleep. sometimes he'll wake, stare, even smile and sort of giggle and then fall back asleep. what a freaking weirdo, amiright? true, his naps aren't knock-out-for-two-hour naps but maybe as he's able to self soothe they'll get longer and easier. i know some people might think that letting your baby cry at this age for sleep is cruel but i don't view it that way. it's not like i allow him to cry for even ten minutes straight. and the dude is learning! he's totally capable.

and you know what? because he's actually getting daytime sleep in, he's a happier baby when he's awake and it's been life changing for the both of us! i like my baby! when he's awake, cooing, smiling and playing, i am so in love with him! all he needed was more rest and i'm finally able to give it to him. as he's learning and practicing and as i'm letting the reigns go a little bit, he's been napping way better than ever before. on two occasions today, i didn't even rock him in the bassinet at all. all i did was watch for his sleepy signals, swaddle him and shush him until he fell asleep. it was amaaaaaazing! not that every day will be the same or that i'm never going to have to rock him in the bassinet to help him get to sleep, but hopefully as the days go on we'll figure it out and we'll be able to be on the way to real sleep training through the night. we're already starting the path to that. woohoo!

i have to give so so SO much credit to Marjie. she seriously is a baby whisperer. i am mesmerized with her magic. she's provided me with some groundwork to a happier baby, which means a happier me. i feel far less anxious than i did just a week ago and we're on the road to it DOES get better!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

just a note and a few pics

i know a lot of my posts have been about the hardships of motherhood and/or the struggles i've had with it. as a result i've actually had a lot of people reach out, which has been nice to see that people care. i'm assuming most people have felt the same way i do but they didn't have a blog to whine about it. for everybody who has reached out, thank you! i appreciate it!

y'know sometimes i don't think of Cam as a little human yet. because he doesn't actually do much as of now, i sort of view him as a real life Tamagachi. and when things don't work on him like they're supposed to i have to remind myself that he's not a little robot.

i assure you though that as days go on and he does show more signs of being an actual human being, i feel more and more like a mom. and i love him more and more. and i wonder what he's going to grow up to be and what his temperament will be like. he got his first shots the other day and caught a fever from it. his crazy loud cries turned into weak little whimpers and it made me just want to hold him and cuddle the shit out of him. anyway, what i'm saying is that i don't completely hate being a mom. i mean, the newborn phase doesn't seem like it's going to be my favorite but if it means one day we'll snuggle up on the couch and he'll run up to me and hug me here and there, it'll be worth it all.

anyhow here's more of the little man...

brought him to meet some coworkers and he was a sweetheart for them (for the most part)

bath time!

 lol, any mom will tell you that at some point you have to keep your hand on their chest for x amount of time so that they feel secure. one day i decided to fill a sandwich bag full of rice to mimic the weight of my hand in hopes that he'd sleep longer during a nap. this lasted 20 minutes before his eyes popped right back open. could you imagine if the bag were to bust open? #momfail

 fam photo

ugh, that little smile!

if i dress like a dog, maybe he'll accept me.

Monday, March 12, 2018

2 months and sleep issues

two months in and tell you honestly, i'm not sure if i know my baby more or less than i did before. "it gets better" is what i hear. is it easier now? the sleep deprivation is a little better, mainly because i go to sleep when the baby goes to sleep, which means around 7pm everyday and i think i'm getting used to waking up in the middle of the night.

but no, it's not easier. my baby is difficult. he seems to be crying or fussing all the time. we went through what all new parents do. is it reflux? is it gas? is it colic? whatever 'colic' is anyway. seems like such a generic term for fussy-without-reason-and-potentially-gets-better-around-3-months-but-nobody-knows-why. it's been rough, seriously. i know babies cry but this one seems to have a red, angry, pouty face often and it makes me sad. sad because this is the period where you're supposed to 'cherish the moments' and also interact with them a lot with tummy time, play mats, talking, singing, etc. but when he's just a fussypants, how am i supposed to do that exactly?

i think i know what's happening but i don't know how to fix it. i don't think it's reflux or anything actually medically wrong. he's gaining weight (he's well over 11lbs already and seems healthy overall) and peeing and pooping appropriately. the morning when he's woken up, he seems okay. he smiles, coos and seems to be in great spirits. this is our saving grace. it seems this is the only time that he's truly chill. as the early part of the day goes on he seems okay. engaged and observant. then he starts yawning and i know that he's tired. he can't show me other signs like rubbing his eyes or tugging his ear yet because this kid has zero dexterity. they say that a newborn at around Cam's age shouldn't be awake for longer than 2 hours maximum at a time. he should be taking like four naps a day. this means that when he wakes at around 6am, he should be asleep again by 8am at the maximum and it's my duty to get him to nap before that window closes or else he becomes overtired and overstimulated. but this kid is nearly impossible to put to sleep for naps. i feel like i spend my whole day trying to get him to sleep.

i've done everything from:
-spend hours bouncing on a yoga ball with white noise sounds on in the dark
-driving to Half Moon Bay to get him to sleep in the car
-walk around with him in an ergo
-walk around in a stroller
-buy a swing in hopes that this will make him nap
-play lullabies
-let him cry for 15 minutes
-feed him swaddled
-walking around Target with him in a stroller

sometimes while bouncing on the ball he'll nod off for a moment and then wake right back up. this has happened 8 times in a sitting before i give up. then i put him in the ergo and do lunges to make him sleep. sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. i'm pretty sure the reason why he's fussy throughout the day is because he doesn't get enough sleep in the form of naps. all of the sites say 'put your baby down to sleep drowsy but awake.' uhhhh....he shows no signs of being drowsy until he's already yawning and fussy. and we've tried to put him down before but he's so hard to get down then he gets cranky and cries.

and honestly, i can't see a way out. i don't see how this is ever going to change until we are able to sleep train him. but even then who knows. when his circadian rhythm develops and he's more neurologically developed, will he sleep better? i don't know. it breaks my heart that all he wants to do is sleep and i can't get it to him. some days he's so fussy and crying that we just can't wait to put him to bed at nighttime so that he can reset himself and we can get a break. i feel terribly about that but it's sort of true.

month 1, i think i had the baby blues for sure. with the hormones and everything, i was crying all the time. month 2, i think i have found my way to anxiety. there've been a few nights where i'm obviously tired but unable to go to sleep and i can feel my blood pressure rising. every day i wake up thinking "oh shit how am i going to get him to nap today and be chill."  and at night we're tiptoeing around our room so as not to wake him because if we do that means bouncing on a yoga ball for who knows how long again. all i want is for my kid to be able to get his naps in but in a sustainable way for myself too. i can't walk him in an ergo for hours and hours, can i? is there something i'm missing or something i'm not doing correctly? does everybody have this hard a time putting their baby down for naps? how naive i was. before having a baby i thought that when people are sleepy they sleep and that babies were no different. nope. i'm able to write this post because i walked him around in an ergo for an hour and now he's still in that ergo as i type.

does it get better? when? when he's 3 years old and chatting with me?

this is rare