Saturday, February 26, 2011

the three Ls

Lopsided, lumpy, and leaking.

Weaning has gone very well. Charlotte really doesn't seem to have noticed that her milk now comes from sippy cups. We stopped using bottles after I realized that letting an almost-toddler hold her own glass bottle wasn't my most brilliant idea. She was only using a bottle twice each day, first-thing in the morning and at bedtime, and never indicated a preference for them. I'm not a big fan of the sippies we have, though, which resemble bottles more than cups, so I am still looking for something better to bridge the gap between bottle and big-girl cup. With a finite supply of breast milk available, I'm not willing to deal with the spills from a big girl cup or the not-even-close-to-emptying of her straw cup. We have some hard spouted sippies, but she didn't like them when first introduced. We'll try them again.

Production-wise, my breasts seem to have received the message loud and clear. No engorgement here. Although there are some hard, lumpy areas that are quite tender. My left, the better performer during the latter half of our breastfeeding days, is noticeably larger and lumpier than my right. Leftie is also leaking just a bit, especially when I lean forward or carry Charlotte on my left side. That's funny, since there was no leaking at all until now.

I have reason to suspect that I ovulated yesterday. If true, and my body resumes its pre-baby schedule, I should see AF some time around 3/12. I have an appointment with my RE on 3/10. My hope is that she'll let me launch right into active TTC... lupron would begin on CD22, roughly 4/3. AF would re-appear about 4/11. An ER on CD12 like last time would put our ET on 4/26. I could potentially be certifiably pregnant by Mothers Day. But I know better than to make any plans. For now it's enough to know that our donor is still available so Charlotte will have a full sibling if this works.

In other news, I have a job interview. They're hard to come by, and this one was kind of a surprise. A position opened up in the same office that laid me off 3 months ago. I tossed my resume into the ring, without a cover letter and with a salary requirement 25% above my previous pay. These people are heartless (who else would lay people off, without warning, in between Thanksgiving and Christmas?), so I know it isn't a sympathy-interview. And they don't waste their precious time interviewing people they're not seriously interested in. I've loved staying home with Charlotte, but if offered the position at the salary that I requested, I'll take it. The added income would help us pay for the insurance that will cover Project Sibling, and I can send Charlotte to any daycare that has an opening (we could afford the pricey ones!). She LOVES going to the daycare at our gym, and now that we're not BFing she doesn't care who feeds her. I'd miss her terribly, but this would boost my career and cover the cost of Project Sibling. Then, I could afford to be a SAHM intentionally after #2 arrives.

Eleven-month post coming soon. It deserves its own space.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

the in between *updated

Charlotte is "napping" now, at 5:15 pm. This is unusual for her, but she was sooo sleepy that she couldn't stop rubbing her eyes and yawning so I put her in her crib. Now, she's standing up, sitting down, standing up, babbling, tossing her caterpillar out of the crib, rearranging the blankets, lying down as though to test the position, then standing up and babbling again. If she does fall asleep, she's not likely to wake up until the wee hours of the morning. It's too early to go to bed for the night, but too late for a nap and she hasn't had dinner or her bedtime bottle yet.

What do you do with this in between time when your little one is exhausted?

I let her sleep for nearly two hours. Then, I woke her up, changed her into jammies and gave her 4oz of expressed breast milk- all while the dimmest light in the room was on. She dozed off in my lap while we cuddled and went back to bed without any protest. And, best of all, she slept through the night. I think she might be returning to her "dream child" self. As of 2/24, she has slept through the night three nights in a row. She still wakes 2 or 3 times at night and fusses (to an untrained ear, it sounds like crying), but then eases herself back to sleep. I suspect her recent daytime sleepiness is the result of her interrupted nights, and I hope her cold clears up soon so she can return to normal.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

one day down; a lifetime to go

We made it. I have not nursed my daughter since Tuesday's breakfast. I did have to pump this evening. I was uncomfortably full, but managed to control myself and pumped only enough to be comfortable again... about 3 ounces. Charlotte didn't appear to notice anything unusual- wasn't any more clingy or fussy than normal. She is coming down with a cold though, generously shared by a toddler who coughed and sneezed all through yesterday's music class. I think this is the first cold since leaving daycare nearly 2 months ago, so I'm not complaining... yet. As long as it's just a somewhat stuffy nose that allows Charlotte to eat, breathe, and sleep normally, a cold isn't so bad. I just hope she's healthy enough to enjoy waterbabies on Saturday. My girl LOVES the water. And I hope this cold doesn't sidetrack our weaning efforts.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

the big W, day one

Yesterday was supposed to be my final day of breastfeeding. Over the last month or so, Charlotte has demonstrated less and less interest in my breasts and we were down to one serious nursing session per day, usually first-thing in the morning. She'd sign "milk" several other times a day, but then nurse for just a minute or two (literally) before squirming out of my lap to play or chase the cats. She's been taking breast milk (I may refer to it as simply milk... at her age, the only milk she gets is breast milk) from a sippy cup for a couple of months and hasn't indicated a preference for bottle, breast or sippy so I thought we were ready for the final step. She woke up at 10:30 last night, signed "milk," and nursed for what I believed was the last time.

Then, this morning, I sabotaged my efforts and put only 4oz in her morning bottle. What was I thinking? After she polished it off, she looked at me with a sad face, pulled on my shirt, signed "milk," and buried her face in my chest. She was otherwise still very sleepy, so I nursed rather than prepare another bottle. Her restlessness disappeared. The sad face turned into a contented one. And she went back to bed for a little more sleep before truly beginning the day.

We've already mastered day-time weaning. Wide awake, Charlotte is too busy playing and exploring to linger at the breast for a full feeding. Milk in a sippy along with her solid meals is all she wants, and sometimes she'd rather have water (she tells me this by shoving the milk-sippy off her tray then emphatically signing "drink").

I visited the breast-feeding support group for (probably) the last time yesterday and asked the host-nurse how much milk Charlotte should consume in a day. I can't say for sure how much she's been getting, since there's no gauge on my nipples, but I would estimate about 16-20oz (8oz nursed in the morning, 2oz with each of 2 solid meals, then maybe 4oz nursed before bed), plus a brief middle-o'the-night feeding that popped into her routine about 5 weeks ago. The nurse suggested aiming for 18-24oz per day. I've been feeding Charlotte solids and putting the milk-sippy on her tray to take whenever she feels like it, but I will start offering milk first to encourage her to drnk more. Especially at dinner time, I am hoping this will get her to take more milk and maybe resume sleeping through the night. Up until a nasty fever (quick-moving virus that got her up to 104* and disappeared within 72 hours) plus teething made for one miserable weekend, Charlotte had been sleeping 10-12 hours each night, straight-through without interruption, since she was 5 months old. I'm still waiting for her to return to that routine.

In other news, Charlotte took her first step! It was only one, and it hasn't been repeated, but she did it! She's also picked up some new signs AND spoken words. We joined a gym that includes babysitting in their membership, and Charlotte absolutely loves playing with their toys and the other children. Yesterday, she spied a purple soccer ball on a shelf and kept pointing to it, saying, "BA!" while I was trying to feed her a snack. She shakes her head "no," and nods "yes." She signs "hat" and "sleep," among other things.
Tomorrow morning's bottle is ready to be heated. Eight ounces this time, from last June's vintage. And a middle-of-the-night 4oz emergency bottle is waiting too, just in case she needs it. She's working on some more teeth (I can see something on her upper left gum, she's been drooling like a leaky faucet, and her fingers are in her mouth so much they're pruned), which may be to blame for her recent sleep interruptions. We'll see how Day One, take 2, goes tomorrow.