13.5 months. but who's counting.
after bina's week of crappy sleep during fourth of july week, we had five straight nights of her sleeping through the night. which hasn't happened since before we left austin. it's a miracle from god! of course last night she decided to wake twice and i fed her the second time. but she went right back to sleep and so i still count that a win.
before, bina had four teeth poking through and this week i noticed a fifth. understandably she's been extra fussy and extra picky about eating. we went to the pediatrician this past week at nap time for her 12 month checkup (at 13 months, earliest we could get into the pediatrician i wanted and at the time i made the appointment she was only doing morning naps, of course). as expected, we had a super fussy appointment. and then she got four shots. i held down her arms during the process and she gave that face and that cry like "you don't love me, why are you doing this to meeeee?" i had to keep reminding her and myself: we do this because we love you and we don't want you to die. on the bright side, she got four really fun neon bandaids that i would have taken a shot for. ha.
i was nervous about the pediatrician appointment because i was expecting to get reprimanded for her still waking in the night, me feeding her then, and for her not eating more table foods. i lied and said she breastfeeds 3x a day now. it had been more like 4-5, but since that appointment it really has cut down to 3x. so maybe i didn't lie after all. i feel rather self conscious about my parenting choices and don't like being told "you're spoiling her" or "you're making it hard on yourself and it's going to be really hard to sleep train now." my kid CAN sleep through the night, she has many times before. i also know she can scream for three hours if she wants to. i have a spirited one, and i don't think people understand what it's like unless they have their own spirited one. so i'll take the 10 minutes it takes for me to feed her on one side and put her back down rather than have her and i be awake for three hours in the night. because it would take three weeks of 10 minute wakings to make up for one night of her screaming for three hours. and if i'm ok with what we're doing and my kid is healthy, generally happy (except when tired and/or hungry, and then there's teething...), growing, and developing, who's to tell me what i'm doing is wrong? then it's not a health issue, it's a parenting decision. she's in about the 75th percentile for height, weight, and head size. so. clearly i'm not stunting her. we're doing fine. and that's what i want to hear from the pediatrician. ;)
sabina is now 13.5 months old and we are breastfeeding. poor babe has been struggling with these teeth coming in. she had been nursing more, especially in the afternoons, for comfort. earlier this week i went on a play date with a friend and we ended up in the ER because kids are adorable little suicidal monkeys. i was in the lobby with bina and just as we were about to leave, she decided to make a face dive into a granite coffee table. her upper teeth cut up her bottom lip and we had lots of tears. the first thing i thought was GOSH DARN IT NOW SHE'S NOT GOING TO NURSE. and that was my go-to soother. sure enough, when we got home and i tried to nurse her before nap she refused. i prayed that god would either let her fall asleep or give me the grace to deal with super fuss the rest of the day. to my great surprise, she slept for three hours. god must have known i needed that, haha.
that day bina went the longest she's gone without nursing since she was a newborn in the hospital and was given an extra bottle of formula in the nursery and went seven hours without feeding (and i almost died of stress). she nursed at about 7am and then not again until 8pm and then only on one side. i was concerned that would affect my supply and i wasn't sure how long her lip would continue to bother her, so i tried to pump after the evening feeding. no go. the pump is now useless. before bed i gave hand expressing a try, and that worked! i was kind of surprised by how much i got. i just expressed into the sink so i didn't measure it or anything. but it gave me confidence that my supply isn't dwindling. bina nursed as usual the next morning, so i didn't really have to worry beyond that. now we're down to nursing when she wakes, before nap, and before bed. and if she wants to nurse outside of those times, she climbs up on me and stuffs her hands down my shirt. because. that's how we roll.
this afternoon she was getting pretty fussy so we went for nap. she nursed on one side and fell asleep so i popped her off and was flipping her around to nurse the other side. as i did so she opened her mouth real wide as if rooting for the boob. it made me smile. my little chick. i don't know how long we will breastfeed. after doing some light research of my own, i would like to make it to two years for the health benefits for both her and myself. some days i would like to just quit. some days i think i don't know what i'd do if i didn't have the boob to soothe my crazy little monkey. so we just take it one day at a time. as a friend once wrote, "we are not STILL breastfeeding; we just are." i know not every mama is able to and not every mama who is able to wants to. but i was able and wanted to and i'm glad we've made it to where we are. it's been a long and sometimes really hard road, but a good one.
so i am 13.5 months into this motherhood thing and 2.5 months into being a stay at home mom. good news is, we're all still alive. we're in a routine of sorts. sometimes i have no idea what i'm doing. sometimes i just go down my list of possible remedies and nothing works. sometimes i hit the jackpot. like at the zoo yesterday. bina got super fussy about a half hour in. i figured she was hungry. but she didn't want to eat. didn't want to nurse. cried like someone was cutting off her arm as we strolled through the zoo. then i got the idea to put on the carrier. she did the sweet sad baby catching her breath after cry so hard sounds, and then fell asleep. YES. i got a few knowing smiles from other moms as they passed. yeah. we've all been there. and we're all doing the best we can. and that's all we can do sometimes.
sometimes they don't sleep and we don't know why. sometimes they don't eat. sometimes when they eat they sleep well, and sometimes they don't. sometimes when they don't eat well they sleep well, and sometimes they don't. sometimes we know exactly what we are doing. and sometimes we feel like we're back to square one on the first day of being a mother wondering "what the heck did i just do?" but we press on because we love these little monkeys oh so much. and they'll give you that sweet look and laugh and walk/crawl to you as fast as their little arms and legs can move. and you hold them. and it's all worth it.