Week in Review – mostly sleep stuff

Our donor family is due with their second child in March, so I’ve been doing shopping for a baby shower gift – so fun to be shopping for baby stuff again!! And my wife has been busy making them a felt mobile kind of like the one she made for Avery. While shopping for them we also took Avery to babies-r-us and picked out her first drinking cup. Since Avery still won’t drink from a bottle, we’re going to try milk in the cup soon to see if this will be a way for my wife to be more hands on.

Swimming class went well again this week, but in the last 5 minutes she had had enough and started whimpering into my neck. She woke up for the day at 5am and the best nap I could get her before we had to leave the house at 8:30 was a half hour cat nap in my arms. So she was tired by the time we got to the pool. She was a great sport for the first 25 minutes though, and practically dozed on my shoulder while she floated around. She also instinctively did some doggy-paddling while chasing a toy boat around in the water.

Sleep

I’ve been working hard on sleep this week, but to add to the challenges, my wife and I aren’t seeing quite eye to eye. Basically, my intuition for how to deal with Avery’s sleep is in line with The Gentle Sleep Book, and my wife’s intuition is a little less “attachment” parenting. I think it’s because attachment in our case means attachment to me and to breastfeeding. While I am completely happy holding and nursing Avery to sleep day and night and having her in our bed, it alienates my wife. Tough situation. And it adds a lot of stress to the already stressful time of the 4 month sleep regression. Nonetheless, I bed shared all night last night without trying to move her to the crib and we both slept through the night. Like from 8pm-6am. Its a miracle cure for Avery and I, but a jagged little pill for my wife and I.

So this week I’ve been implementing a strict naptime and bedtime routine, and I’m already seeing a difference after 7 days. We went from an hour or more of fighting to get her to nap, to 15 minutes and no fight (with a few exceptions). And now that she is welcome back in our bed, bedtime has changed from 3 hours of fighting and crying to 20 minutes of cuddling in bed together. Its a no-brainer to me, but the fact that it’s a temporary solution for the sake of my marriage is dimming my enjoyment of the win a bit…

Its been a rough week. A rough month, really. I want to end this post with a list of the good:

  • Sleep good: Avery has fallen asleep twice this week NOT nursing. Nursing is the last part of our new strict routine, usually resulting in sleeping on the boob. This is part of what’s so alienating for my wife, who can’t have any role in putting her to sleep while we’re using this routine. But twice this week she finished eating, placed her head on the breast, stared lovingly at me for a few seconds with those big blue eyes, held my hand, smiled, and dozed off. Most beautiful thing in the world. This strengthens my belief in gentle sleep methods – if I give her the comfort she is asking for, rather than making a needier baby it seems to be making a baby who is secure enough to fall asleep without worry.
  • Work good: I am so used to faculty having problems with the way I mark. Depending on what discipline I’m TAing (humanities or social sciences), I either mark too easy or too hard. I once had to remark 100 student papers TWICE so the prof saw the bell-curved grade she was looking for. After submitting student feedback for this week, the prof emailed me and I thought “oh boy, here we go. How much am I going to have to remark this time…” But his email was all positive – “thanks for giving the students great feedback. This will be very helpful to them”. Finally! I mean, I’ve TAed something like 15 courses now. I know I know how to grade and give constructive feedback. But this is the first time a prof has acknowledged it.
  • Health good: I tested out goat cheese in my cow’s milk and soy protein-free diet and Avery had NO REACTION! So I finished off the entire log of fig goat cheese in about 5 minutes. I’ve been on the strict elimination diet for a full 6 weeks, so I’m starting to add things back in. Next I’ll try cow’s dairy. If she’s not allergic to cow’s milk proteins, I have a whole bag of chocolate in the freezer that I got in my christmas stocking this year that I’m itching to binge on. 

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