18 December, 2012

Holy Growth Spurt

So, remember that post where I talked about our recent breastfeeding struggles? Apparently, it was caused (at least in part) by the awesomeness that is Wonder Week 37...also known as a growth spurt. 

I wish I'd known this going in... I really should've started reading The Wonder Weeks earlier. Truth be told, I haven't even read all of it. Just about the current growth spurt we're experiencing. I picked it up just a few days after I posted about our struggles. No lie, one of the first things I read went something like this:

Most mothers report problems with breastfeeding. Babies are distracted and don't nurse very long. One mother reports that her son refused to nurse for 3 days. It is very common for women to give up breastfeeding during this Wonder Week because of the difficulties.

Holy. Crap. That right there was enough to make me continue to push through our problems. It's like God was telling me, "Hey, mama. I know it's tough, but it's normal. Everyone goes through this. It'll be rough, but I'll get you through it." And, yeah, it has been tough. But I devised a plan to help us get back on track. 

First, I started nursing her in my bed. We're both more comfortable and relaxed in there (who wouldn't be?) and for some unknown reason, she's more likely to come back to nursing if she gets distracted. I can keep our room much darker than hers, so that helps with distractions too. One of the main reasons I went with this was for my sake. I was stressing like crazy about my milk not letting down and her not staying on long enough. I knew that if I laid down and snuggled with her it would help.

Second, I cut her solids back. I know this may sound a little...off to some people, but it helped a ton. Unlike most people, I have a small baby. Small babies have small tummies. Somehow, I'd forgotten this. Since she's not an average baby, I can't feed her the average amounts that all the books suggest, even though she'd very happily scarf down that yummy solid food. At 8 months old, she still gets most of her calories from milk - my milk. So that has to be the priority. At first I felt bad about cutting her back, but once she started nursing well again, I knew I'd made the right decision. 

By day 3, she was back to nursing normally. My milk was still taking for-ev-er to let down for her, but hey, progress! 

I'm also taking fenugreek to help with supply, and I can definitely tell an improvement. It's been about 2 weeks since I started having wacky problems. I feel like my supply is better and my milk is letting down more quickly for her now. Sometimes it still takes a few minutes, but that's okay. 

Other things that have helped? Praying a lot. {Especially while I'm nursing.} Singing a worship song or two. A phone call to my SIL (who's also the mama of small kiddos) texts with my bestie,

Please forgive her poor texting skills. She's awesome even without them. ;-)

awesome reader comments,

lots more praying, and flowers from my sweet hubby who knew how upset I was. 

Husband of the year award? I think yes. ;-)

This growth spurt has really been pretty awful. I think it's the hardest one so far. She's started crawling (yay!) and pulling up (not so yay), and she's become a 5-alarm-clinger. Serious clingy-ness. Sometimes it's sweet...but when you're trying to eat breakfast/lunch/dinner and your baby is crying and clawing you to death....it's not. She's also having trouble napping. No surprise there. Growth spurts always screw with her sleep. I've been rocking her to sleep for naps for the past week. {And given the events of the past week....I'm perfectly happy rocking my sweet baby and holding her close.}

She cried 2 seconds after I took this. Seriously. Growth spurts suck.

All in all.... Yeah, it's been rough. Not unbearable (except for that one day she only took one out of 3 naps...that was torture), but still pretty rough. I think it goes without saying that I'm ready for this one to be over with ASAP. Here's hoping it'll disappear while we're in NC for the holidays. 

Wishful thinking? Yeah, probably so. Oh well.


wHiT | Black Little Button blog said...

awe definitely deserves husband of the year! :)

Chantal said...

Oh we've been there! Thankfully I don't have to nurse her lying down anymore, but I did for nearly two months there.

Jen said...

She is so cute! :)

Marcella{The Life of a Military Family} said...

Glad you are getting some answers and peace!!

Katy said...

So glad to see things are improving bit by bit :) Something my parents are always reminding me more as a joke shared as parenting advise.."Just when you think you know your kid they change." Always helps me to remember that my kids are all constantly growing and with growth comes change. Have a great time in North Carolina!

Kim said...

Happy things are getting better!