Saturday, February 21, 2009

I made it

I think I made it through the growth spurt. Grace seems more satisfied at night. I'm not sure if it's the disgusting tea I've been drinking or increased supply due to my extreme night time feedings, but something is working. Just in case, I'm going to keep drinking the tea!

I'm glad I didn't opt for the formula. Who knows what'll happen down the road, but I read that the first 3 months are the most important for building up baby's immune system. So now I'm just left with one more task... Trying to find some kind of routine that works for us. I scrapped the other one when the growth spurt came on. It was impossible to stick to given her demands. But now that things are becoming normal again, I have to find a realistic schedule for us to stick to (loosely of course). I should also take note of how her behavior has changed. I noticed that today she was awake and alert more than usual, so I can't expect her to nap as often as she did a couple of weeks ago.
One thing that I have found challenging that I really didn't expect is keeping her occupied and entertained. I mean, how much can you do with a 6-week-old? She's not interested in toys, although I see her eyeing them once in a while and she likes the rattle on her play mat. Toys don't last long. I sometimes read her books, but that really depends on her mood. Sometimes she'll glance at the pictures, but sometimes no response while she stares at the wall. Right now she seems to be interested in my face, which is great, but that interest lasts around 5 minutes until she remembers I'm the one who feeds her. Then she'll do the tongue thing, even if she's not hungry. Strangely, Sejin seems to be a good soother and entertainer because she doesn't equate him with food. Anyway, this isn't really a huge problem, just something I've noticed. I'm sure as the days go by it will get easier as she wants to interact with me and her surroundings more.
One thing she's been doing a lot of lately is smiling, which is fantastic.... let's me know I'm doing something right...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I can totally understand why a woman would choose to switch over to formula after giving breastfeeding a go. There are so many things that can affect whether it is successful or not. And there are so many definitions of successful. And when is it successful or not?

I'm going through a bit of a rough spot now. Overall, it appears that things are going well. Grace is thriving. I can almost see her growing before my eyes and she's very happy and content in general. It's evenings/nights that are wearing me down. For the last week, she has not wanted to go to bed before nursing at least 5 hours or so straight. That's no exaggeration. There have been 4 am bedtimes, despite all my attempts at establishing a routine. I can't satisfy her at night and that means I don't sleep. It's 1:35 am now and she's still up (thankfully Sejin took her for a while, although she's fussy, wanting to eat).

So, now that I have some experience with this, I would never judge a woman for changing to formula. All I want to do now is give her a bottle to fill her up and then get some sleep. The only thing stopping me from doing that is a call from a friend today who went through this exact same ordeal. Giving her baby a bottle every night resulted in him eventually preferring the bottle and her milk supply decreasing. Her advice was to keep on trucking and avoid the bottle. I appreciated her call and I'm going to take her advice for one week. If things don't improve, I will consider supplementing with a bottle every evening. Even if Grace is gaining weight and doing well, I want to feel decent every day so I can be a good mom.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

6 weeks

I think Grace is going through the 6 week growth spurt I've heard so much about. She can't seem to eat enough. During the day she's fine, but at night time she wants to eat constantly and literally cannot be satisfied. This has made for some very, very long nights. I'm really hoping this is just a result of the growth spurt... It's getting tough. I ordered some still tea that is supposed to boost milk production, so I cannot wait 'til it gets here. I've (well, husband) had to give her a bottle of expressed milk for the last two nights, but this is not something I want to keep doing because she will probably start to prefer the bottle. Oh, so stressful.

Also stressful is husband's job situation. He can't seem to find anything. He's had offers, but only something he'd take as an absolute last resort. He's not giving up though. ... Strangely, I've had three different offers over the last two days. Book series. I'm thinking I'm going to have to start working instead of husband. I can write these books from home, so I may have to lock myself in the computer room for a few hours a day only emerging to feed Grace while husband plays Mr. Mom. Not something I was planning on, but it is much easier for me to make money in this country than a Korean... Big decisions...

Monday, February 2, 2009

So far...

I guess it went OK with the first night of the routine.

Grace slept from 7-10, 12-3:30, 4:30-7. Then we took a morning nap from 9-10:30. She's been taking little mini naps since then, which is good because it's giving me a chance to get ready to take her to the hospital. I've found that with a baby to get ready as well, I can no longer get ready and leave the house so easily. It takes me hours to get myself organized, get her fed, changed, bundled up, and out the door on time!

Must run. Hopefully this is the last blood test she'll have to endure for a while...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

On the road to a routine

Grace is almost four weeks old and so far I've been winging it as far as bedtime goes. She's been going to bed when I feel like it -- so selfish on my part! It's been hard because sometimes she's ready to sleep when I am, but often she is not. She's sometimes wide awake!

Finally I can see that I need a bedtime routine to get her sleeping comfortably at a good time. It will be good for me, too, so I can get to know her signals better, and also so I can have a bit of free time. This is what I'm trying out now:

5:30pm - Keep Grace awake and active; give her a small feed if necessary

6:00pm - Bathtime (every other day)

6:30 - Feed

7:00 - Bedtime

after 7:00 - Sarah's time to eat/do other stuff

10:00 - diaper check/change; feed; Sarah's bedtime

Tonight is the first night for this routine. We didn't do too bad. She was sleeping by 7:10. She woke up crying once 15 minutes later and I went in and put my hand on her without talking or eye contact. She's sleeping now, so I hope this is working. I think it'll take a couple of weeks to get us both used to this, or else we'll have to alter it or try a different sort of routine.