Tuesday, October 26, 2010


According to our iPad application, Baby Connect, William's been sleeping for 2 hours, 45 minutes (and counting). It's 11:06pm. So, rather than try and go to sleep for 1/2 hour or so, I'm waiting for him to wake up so I can feed him and then we both can go back to bed. My goal will be to try and feed him lots to see if he'll sleep longer. My data from Baby Connect indicates I can expect anywhere from 3-4 hours of sleep from him once we all go down. I keep crossing my fingers for 5, but I'm not sure how long that will take to achieve.

I can not say enough about Baby Connect. It tracks everything! Colour of poos, activities, growth charts, graphs--in a word, awesome. We've raved about it to Amanda and Warren and recently they came across what I can only refer to as their "manual" charting created when Rhys was born (as we all know, you need to keep track of this shit--literally). These applications simply have the advantage with today's technology (plus it's ideal for Type A mothers, which I've been told I am). We've even taken it to the doctor's office to record height, weight, etc--so handy. Though the percentiles the doctor tells us do disagree with the iPad percentages, so good thing I don't have to just take the doctor's word for it. ; )

You may be asking yourself (because you follow this blog so closely), didn't she say the next blog was going to be on what she enjoyed about motherhood? Exactly, dear reader(s). Not only do I enjoy tracking all this stuff, but I enjoy analyzing it to manipulate behavior and influence results. Which is why I also enjoy the Baby Whisperer so much--the cause and effect relationship is fascinating to me. Don't get me wrong, I'm not in a lab coat spending hours pouring over the data, I'm just looking for trends and seeing where I can tweak things.

Though, I did read and re-read sections of the Baby Whisperer quite a bit to try and soak in the information to get us on a routine once William was born. Of course, if I didn't see results I'd have trashed the whole thing, but because of how well we're all adjusting, I'd say it's been well worth my effort. And I haven't been so crazed when things don't go according to plan, or go way off routine, that we can't adjust, but I'd say because we've had such a good routine we're all much more flexible when unavoidable things happen (and they do happen).

Case in point, our gas scare of last week. Situation: hot water pilot light went out early am (noticed when Mummy tried to warm a cloth to wipe William's red, teary eye which was beginning to look puffy, after a particularly challenging breastfeeding session). No hot water. Mummy starts to get agitated and calls Daddy (while William is starting to fuss). The clock is ticking down on home health care arriving, and I still have yet to make my own saline solution (rather than continue to buy it at $7.00 a bottle, only to thrown 3/4's away after 3 days because that's when it's "no good"--something I have yet to understand, but am unwilling to test on my gaping abdominal wound).

After calling Daddy, I then call my close friend who I know has had many hot water heating issues, and he tells me I'd be best to get someone in to relight it. Then I call my brother who asks me if I smell gas, at which point I go downstairs and declare, "YES, YES I DO."

"You've got to get out of the house!"

Now, in checking the ATCO gas website after the fact, it advises the same thing. However, Rob shows up just in that moment and I'm running up the stairs shouting to him, "I can smell gas! I can smell gas!" I grab the baby, a blanket, a coat and leave the house (still in my pajamas, of course). Meanwhile Rob is on the phone with ATCO, who is calmly telling him to simply ventilate the area. Mmmmm... Website says--don't use the phone, call from a neighbour's, and don't switch on any lights (among other things).

Rob tries to call me back down to the house as I'm sitting on a neighbour's stoop, cradling the baby (okay, and crying), and I will not budge. Home health care count down is less than 10 minutes ETA, which I have completely forgotten at this point, as I have images of the house blowing up with Rob in it.

He finally comes over to me and coaxes me back telling me all should be alright (based on ATCO call) just as the home health care woman shows up (I swear she must think Rob beats me). I can laugh about this now, but it's taken me a week to openly talk about it beyond that day.

ANYWAY, my point was supposed to be that William just took it all in stride. He was calm in my arms, though I had forgotten the soother "just in case", and when Rob took him back from me so I could get the incision treated, William just went back to sleep. No big deal. And the only thing worse than all of that (at the time), would have been if William would have been crying his head off during, or after, said "situation". But no, we've got a good little guy.

Is it the routine? His personality? Maybe a bit of both.

Either way, thank God there was no real issue (ATCO guy showed up with his gas sensing equipment and couldn't find a trace--aka hysterical new mother).

Where was I going with all of this? Mmmm...was supposed to be writing extensively on what I enjoyed about motherhood.

Well, there's plenty of time for that.

Here's a favourite baby pic! : D

And just like that William is stirring (really). At the 3 and a 1/2 hour sleep mark, no less.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Baby Whisperer

I've read the book; I've got it tabbed and highlighted with things I reference constantly (such as as the crying grid of what the typical cries mean); I think Baby Whispering is working. Take today for example: normally we put William down to sleep and there isn't a lot of ritual. We swaddle him, we give him a soother, I tell him he's going down for a sleep and how well he's going to feel when he wakes up, and that's about it. The book suggests spending a bit more time helping him "transition" to the sleep stage (recommended if he's fussing a fair bit when you put him down, which he has been). So, today I tried giving him more time for "transition". This included a bit more time on Mummy's shoulder as I waited for his breathing to even out, and when I put him down, I patted him a little longer. Both times of doing this resulted in no fussing when he did fall asleep. Score yet another one for the Whisperer (which is now me).

Amen, post over. : D

What else is working? Well, we do have him on EASY (a routine of Eat, Activity, Sleep, You--as in Mummy). That's going well in terms of being able to predict what happens next for William at any given moment (both from his perspective and mine). For example, after he eats we give him some short activity, watch for tired cues, and when he fusses--because he's on this routine--we know he's then ready for sleep. Even though he looks wide awake, which often confuses Rob (and sometimes William's grandparents), when he goes down he falls asleep (because that's what William needs, which we both now know).

The other thing working well is the notion of "starting as you mean to go on". Don't start something now you won't be willing to still be doing 3 months from now (ie: rocking him to sleep). Thus the importance of putting William in his crib BEFORE he falls asleep. He gets used to putting himself to sleep (once we help him transition to a sleepy state) and doesn't require Mummy or Daddy's constant interference to stay asleep. Sooooo working well. When William periodically wakes up, he self sooths and is adept at getting back to sleep.

Not to confuse this with not meeting his needs. When he cries, we go in and see what he needs, meet the need and then leave. We don't overstay our welcome, and we don't rush in too quickly--thus giving us time to take note of what his cry might mean, and giving William a voice to tell us what he needs. Sounds easy in theory, but we do the best we can to meet his needs, making sure we're not just silencing him with a soother thus forcing all his cries to become the same (another theory from the book I think makes sense).

By all means, everything doesn't simply go according to these routines or the book, but for the most part it's helping keep us all balanced and I think has made recovering from a c-section easier, not to mention easing us into the shock of becoming new parents. If shock is even the best word. I think shock implies you have time to analyze and recover from an event. Whereas with being a new parent, there is little time for analysis (I've noticed my internal "filter" has disintegrated almost entirely), and who knows when I'll feel like this role of motherhood is the new norm.

Having said all of that, I've had this post in the "can" for so long waiting to finish that I'll just end here and continue with the next post on everything I enjoy about motherhood and my little William. : )

I must also add when I feel frustrated, it's alleviated pretty quickly by looking at photos of our lovely little boy. : )