now and ever more

each journey begins with one step . . . a baby step

tell all tuesday . . . sleep July 16, 2013

Filed under: tell all tuesday — nowandevermore @ 1:29 PM
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Ok, so I have been wanting to blog about this for a long time.  I have been trying to think of what I was going to say.  This post has evolved in my head over time and I am finally ready to talk about it.

Our little guy has never been a great sleeper.  He was good for maybe the first couple of weeks, but then that stopped.  Maybe he felt like he would miss out on things if he slept, who knows?  But I think the past 5 days we have started to finally turn a corner.

When we had him I think my hubby and I were both on the same page.  We wanted to do whatever we could do to help him so that he did not cry.  This evolved into me nursing him to sleep at night and every time he woke up in the middle of the night, no matter how many times, I was there to nurse him back to sleep.  I also nursed him to naps.  I let him nap as long as he could, which was not very long at times and then we would try again a couple of hours after he woke up.  This was the way I handled things for months.

As you can imagine, I got very little sleep.  And the sleep I did get was not a good sleep.  Getting an hour at a time with 10-30 minutes in between was not allowing me to rest the way I needed to rest ( sometimes he would remain awake for 2 hours overnight).  I was fast approaching my breaking point.  All I wanted was junk food (comfort food).  I didn’t feel like doing anything because I was exhausted all day and this was not the type of mother I wanted to be.  If I worked outside of the home, I would have probably been fired by now. I just could not seem to function to get anything done around the house.  I knew we were going to have to try crying it out (CIO).

I never wanted to do this.  I thought I would be able to “train” him using gentler approaches.  I wanted to.  I felt I needed to, to be a good Mom.  If I let him cry I was failing him.  But in reality I was failing myself AND him by not doing what was best for our situation.  So we met with his pediatrician on July 5th for his 6 month checkup and again talked about sleep training.  We told him that we tried CIO with checks about 2 months ago and that it did not go well.  He cried for 3 hours and at that point we decided to go back to what we were doing, that maybe he just wasn’t ready.

I knew going into the appointment the doctor would tell us to try again.  This time I was ready.  Like I said, I was at my end.  I needed sleep and I needed it months ago.  I was even more convinced that our little guy would do better this time.  A week before our appointment he slept for almost 6 hours straight.  I knew he could do it.  AND, he managed to sleep through all of the 4th of July fireworks the night before.

We were going out-of-town, so the doctor told us to wait until we got back before we tried anything.  So we decided to try the night we got back.  Hubby was working and would not be home until after I put him down.  I dreaded this, but had to be strong.  I did his normal bedtime routine and made sure he was awake and not too groggy before putting him down.  I put him down at 8pm and immediately he started to cry.  I told him he was ok and walked out of the room and shut the door behind me (not closed all the way but just a small crack).  Of course I shed a few tears as well.  It was a LONG 10 minutes before hubby got home and he said “let’s go downstairs.”  I took the monitor with me, but did not turn it on, as we could still hear him.  We watched TV and to our amazement he stopped crying at 8:55pm.  We went up to check on him and yes he was asleep!  Less than an hour!  I was so happy, we both were.  He briefly woke up at 9:45pm, we let him settle himself and he was back out in 10 minutes.  Then he woke at 12:15am.  I fed him.  Then we heard him stir at 2am or so and once more at 3:55am.  This time I fed him again and I think he may have woken up once more after that, but I did not get him until morning time.  He was up maybe 5 or so times in total, but it was a success nonetheless, since prior nights he would get up anywhere between 5-10 times.

The next night, to bed at 7:55pm and asleep at 8:45pm.  One more night like this and then Sunday night he was asleep within 20 minutes!  He woke briefly at 9:05 and again at 11:15.  Both times we let him cry and within 10 minutes he was back out.  Then he did not wake until 5:45am!!!  My breasts felt a little full at this time, but I gladly fed him then and after that he slept for another 2+hours.  Last night he was asleep within 10 minutes.  He was up a few more times, but I only fed him twice.

It is a work in progress, but we have already see so much progress.  I know it will get better.

Now as far as naps. . .

Every thing I have read, from books, to blogs, to babycenter tells you if you are going to sleep train, do either bedtime OR naps, not both.  I had every intention of doing this.  After all the doctor told us to only work on the going to bed part.  He told me I could do what I always did when he woke up during the night.  So I was already ahead of the game by not doing that each time he woke up.  I wanted to try naps to see how he would do.  If he cried for an hour with his nap, I would not continue to do the CIO for naps.

So Friday I tried it.  Within 25 minutes he was asleep.  YAY!  He slept for 30 minutes.  The next nap that day he was asleep after 5 minutes.  Again he slept for 30 minutes.  I was so happy!  But of course now I was starting to see a pattern I did not like.  30 minutes was not a great nap, especially when it was only 2 a day.  (Sometimes I could get 3).  This continued through yesterday.  Like clockwork, his naps were 30 minutes.  I posted a question on Babycenter and got some responses.

What I had been doing is keeping his awake times to 2 hours.  So by the time he was asleep with his first nap he had been awake for almost 2.5 hours.  I thought this was ok at his age.  But it was suggested to try a shorter awake time.

So today I decided to put him down after an hour and a half of being awake.  He was asleep within 10 minutes and slept for . . . drum-roll please . . . 1.5 hours!!!!!!

I could not believe it!  I actually got a lot done, including this post.  I am actually just feeding him now after he woke up.

So like I said, I feel like we have turned a corner with his sleep.  He isn’t sleeping through the night yet, but I have hope that this will happen soon.  I already feel more rested than I have felt for the last almost 7 months.  And now if I can get his naps like the one he had this morning, I will finally feel like I can accomplish more and more each day and finally work on getting the last of the baby weight and beyond off.

Choosing to do the CIO was NOT an easy decision.  It still is hard to hear him cry at night.  I have had hubby put him to bed when he is home, so that our little guy gets used to both of us doing it.  I know there are a lot of people who are against it and all forms of it.  All I ask is that I hope that you don’t judge.  I know topics like sleep training and breast-feeding can elicit a LOT of debate and hurt feelings.  Ultimately we do what is best for our own child.  That is what matters.

I know what we are doing is best for us.  I know that because when I get him out of bed in the morning I am greeted with the largest, toothless smile I have ever seen and it melts my heart and give me peace.

Thanks for reading.


tell all tuesday – survivors guilt June 18, 2013

Filed under: tell all tuesday — nowandevermore @ 2:35 PM
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You would think that life would be great!  After a long 3-year struggle we got pregnant and then we had our beautiful baby boy.

Life IS great!  Don’t get me wrong.  But I will always be an infertile.   I know the heartache of a miscarriage.  I know the pain in seeing those around me get pregnant while I try to manage through yet another failed cycle.  Being poked and prodded.  Having surgery to “explore” what could be wrong.  Feeling less of a woman because you can’t do something that is inherent to being a woman.  So I know what it is like to be on the “other side.”  I have friends who are still trying to get pregnant.  I read blogs of those who are trying to decide when enough trying is enough.  I read those blogs or chat with my friends and I feel the pangs of what I and others in the infertile community have called survivors guilt.

I want to share anything and everything about our little boy.  The funny face he made when he tried sweet potatoes for the first time, the diaper blowouts, the sleepless nights, you name it.  But whenever I do this, I can’t help but put myself in the shoes of those still trying to attain their miracle.  How would they feel constantly being bombarded by baby news, while they feel the void of something they have yet to experience?  Before I got pregnant with our little guy, I would still read the blogs and follow those going through their own miracle pregnancy.  I felt a lot of envy.  I was not proud of that feeling.  And yes, I could have stopped reading the blogs, but I think it helped me to see that there was still hope out there.  Hope that if it happened for them, surely it would happen for me.  And I also wanted to “stay with them” on their journey.  They were still infertile, they didn’t all of a sudden become someone who did not struggle to get pregnant.  So why would I just abandon them completely.  But I also know, if I had, they would have understood.  (That is what is different about women who struggle to get pregnant and those who don’t.  It is a special group of women who would gladly tear up their membership card if they could.  But unless you have gone through it, you just can’t fully understand.)

With each post during my pregnancy and now after the birth, I am constantly aware of how others reading this might be feeling.  I certainly don’t want to be the cause of any pain or envy.  I thank God every day that we were blessed with a child.  The harsh reality is that not every dealing with infertility will be.  And this breaks my heart.  I feel guilty for having succeeded where others have failed.  Why me and not them?  And I can tell you that as someone who has been on the other side of things, I would be the first to tell that person who succeeded, “please don’t feel guilty.  I am happy for you and you have given me hope.”

I have said those things.  It was tough, I won’t lie.  But at the same time I was thrilled for their success.  And it did give me hope!

I don’t like feeling guilty for being successful.  But that is my own cross to bear and something that I need to deal with.  No one is making me feel guilty.  It is hard not to question, why did it work for me and not for her.  But these are questions we will never know the answer to.

But know that I understand.  I hope and pray everyday that those still trying to get pregnant, will.

Thanks for reading.


tell all tuesday – time June 11, 2013

Filed under: tell all tuesday — nowandevermore @ 5:24 PM

It started around the middle of the 2nd trimester of my pregnancy.  Time started moving fast.  There have been times in my life when it has happened, but the “phenomenon” never lasted that long.  However, it has continued to move at a speed faster than I am comfortable.

When you think about being pregnant for 9 months, it seems so long.  Three fourths of a year!  The first trimester and half way into the 2nd, time seemed like it was moving along in slow motion.  Between the morning sickness, the bleeding and the exhaustion, I was ready for the pregnancy to be at its end.  But then after I got through the worst of the morning sickness and the bleeding stopped, I was ready to enjoy the rest of the pregnancy before our lives would be forever changed.  But time seemed to kick into high gear.  I had these grand plans of getting things in order in the house.  Cleaning this, cleaning that.  I was going to have everything organized so that I had nothing to do after the baby came except spend time with him.

What a joke!  I started not sleeping that great because I was uncomfortable, then I just would not have the energy to do much.  Before I knew it, Thanksgiving was here.  I was down to 6 weeks left to go.  Then 2 and a half weeks before my due date, our lives changed.  I was out of time!  I was not ready.  Physically I was, mentally I was not.  But we had no more time.

My time in the hospital was short as well.  The nurses wanted the floor closed for Christmas, and honestly I was ready to go home.  But I could have used more time in the hospital.

After being home and recovering from the c-section, time was moving along at an ok rate.  At least that is what I thought.  Now that our little guy will be 6 months old NEXT WEEK, that is obviously not the case.  Time has flown by.  Not just looking at the last 6 months as a whole, but each day feels like it passes in about half the time.

I get up in the morning and change  him, dress him, give him his medicine and feed him.  Then I get something to eat.  Then it is time to put him down for his 1st nap.  This can take 10-25 minutes depending on him.   Then he sleeps.  I never know how long and I typically spend this time going through my emails and catching up on some news and FB posts.  Then he is up and I spend time with him.  Tummy time, play time, feed him, change him, I eat some lunch and then the next thing I know it is time for him to go down for another nap.  10-25 minutes to get him to sleep.  During this time I try to get some things done such as dishes, a load of laundry started, or paperwork that seems to pile up on my desk.  Of course, as it never fails, the baby doesn’t nap that long and he is up again.  Change him, more play time, perhaps some alone time in his crib, feed and try to put down for another nap depending on what time it is.  The next thing I know it is 6:30pm and I will soon start the process to get him to go to bed.  Change him, massage with lotion, dress into PJs, story time with Daddy then formula and nurse to sleep.  The bedtime routine takes about 45 minutes and then nursing to sleep could take 10-25 minutes.  Sometimes more, sometimes less.  Typically he is good for an hour then he wakes up.  I nurse back down and we are lucky if he sleeps for a 3 hour stretch.  We are usually up during that stretch relaxing, eating dinner or maybe catching up on some work.  We head to bed between 11pm-12am.  He typically gets up shortly after and then  he is up 3-8 times after that.  I nurse back to sleep each time and then start my day over again around 7:30-8:30am.

So each day that passes feels like it passes WAY too fast!  There really aren’t enough hours in a day.

I understand why people say “cherish the time you have with your baby for they won’t be a baby for too long.”  At this rate he will be walking in a blink of an eye.  So if I don’t get to that last load of laundry until the next day or the day after that, it is ok.  Time is fleeting and we must make the most of it.  I do just wish it would slow down a bit for now.

Thanks for reading!