When Love Hurts

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I love my nine-month-old baby. Like all mothers I feel that my baby is the most gorgeous baby I have ever seen. I mean look at her! She is breathtaking!  I love to hold her, rock her, and play with her.

I love nursing my baby. I get all ga ga when she smiles up at me while nursing. My heart melts when she rubs my chest until she slips in to dreamland. Our moments spent nursing will forever be some of my most cherished memories.

Yes, I am totally in love with this beautiful baby.

However, I do not love being bitten, pinched, kicked, slapped, and squeezed! No, these things are not fun. Yet, every nursing session is now filled with any number of combinations of those very things. 

As I sit staring in my nursling’s eyes I am filled with shock as a leg comes flying up and kicks me in the nose! Before the sting of the kick wears off I feel a hard pinch on my not so firm arm (you know the flabby part that made an appearance a short time after you got out of your twenties).

The biting was one thing. I looked it up and realized that this was probably a phase, and most likely had something to do with teething. I did a few times of taking her off the breast, following a bite, and refusing her the breast for about fifteen minutes. All of the sudden the biting stopped. I honestly doubt that my efforts to “train” her had anything to do with it. Her bottom, front teeth broke through, and the biting phase was over. Yay!

That was easy.  After the biting stopped my confidence was renewed! I knew we could tackle her behaviour, and get back to peaceful nursing sessions. So as not to confuse my sweet baby I decided I would approach her lack of nursing etiquette one issue at a time.

Okay, no matter what I try the only thing she doesn’t do while nursing is bite me.  I am covered in scabs on the back of my arm and my chest and neck! I even tried putting socks on her hands for her feeding. Ha! Have you ever tried to get a baby to nurse after you put new “toys” on her hands? Not going to happen! I had to take the socks off so she would eat!

As usual, I consulted http://www.kellymom.com, and as suspected there is a section devoted to unruly babies and their terrible booby manners! Okay, that is not the title of the section, but maybe it should be! Anyway, many of the recommendations are centered around distracting the baby. That makes sense. If she is busy playing with something then she can be attacking my exposed skin.

So, I have decided that I will start looking in to nursing necklaces. Many are quite cute so if it doesn’t stop her from hurting me at least I will have a cute new necklace.

No matter how this sounds I still love nursing my baby.  I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. Like any other stage in a child”s life, there are challenges associated with nursing a baby as they transition in to toddlerhood.  No longer do I worry about my milk supply, or if the baby is latching on correctly. No, now I worry if I can get the baby to sit still long enough to get her required calories. Luckily, we cosleep so she makes up for the shortened nursing sessions at night.

I’m going to do some shopping around, and try to find a nursing necklace that fits my tight budget, and that will hopefully get us through this new phase in my baby’s life.

I will let you all know how it goes!

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Will I Ever Sleep Again?

This is my sweet Lady Bug at a couple of weeks old sitting in my most prized baby holder, the swing.

 

Isn’t she cute?  It took exactly the same amount of time that it took my camera’s flash to go off for her to start screaming in that thing.  Day or night. Awake or sound asleep.  That swing did nothing to help her sleep.

This is baby number 5! I really thought I knew the game plan when it came to babies.  Baby is born. Baby is kind of hard for the few week or so, but then magic happens and baby starts sleeping in the swing or the play pen. WRONG.

 Lady Bug came out of my womb knowing exactly where she wanted to be and it’s in momma’s arms.

I have always shared my room with my babies.  Some were in the room longer than others but they all started out close to my bed.  Queen Sas was in my bed from age 1 to about age 6!  She was a different story though because of her terrible night terrors.  I thought I learned a lesson after her, however.  First, don’t do the “ten minute rule,” which is a nasty program that allows baby to CIO for ten minutes.  Second, don’t ever let them get in your bed!

Of course, those rules changed with my Wee Man.  After his hospitalization with RSV at 9 months old, severe reflux, and asthma Big Daddy and I were always sleeping with him.  He was so sick that we spent a lot of nights on the couch with him.  Note the on the couch part.  Not in the bed!

So, I thought I knew the road I was about to travel down.  Apparently not.  Lady Bug came in to this world peacefully.  After her birth Big Daddy held her and visited with grandparents while I napped, and that was the last bit of uninterrupted sleep I got!  She was colicky for the first 2 months. from 7pm to 4 am she cried.  This happened every night.  I slept on the couch with her during that stressful time period.  When the colic passed I was still on the couch with her because she wouldn’t let me put her down.  She didn’t let me put her down EVER!  Day and night she was in my arms, a sling, or a carrier. 

Everything changed one night when we went to sleep on the couch and I was ripped from my slumber by her screams coming from the floor!  My ming was racing as I jumped up and grabbed her.  She looked fine, and her screams lasted about a minute before she was nursing contentedly.  I woke up Big Daddy.  I was seriously panicking, and I was pretty sure that she was hurt.  She was fine.  But I knew that sleeping on the couch was not safe and this proved it.

So what am I doing now?  Bed sharing.  We side-carred her crib to our bed so we wouldn’t have to worry about her falling out, and to allow extra room since Wee Man ends up in our bed every night now.  I spend my nights waking every hour or so with Lady Bug.  She doesn’t wake up completely, mind you.  We usually switch sides and she latches to the other boob and we drift back in to dream land.  It is not so bad.  I know she is safe in my arms. She obviously knows she is safe in my arms since she has never slept a night not in them. 

 

I am just so tired.  Even a partial waking every hour or so seems to be enough to drain me.  Oh well, at least I am not having to get up and mix formula.