Monday, May 4, 2009

on food and eating

leon and sophie at 10 weeks



wishing he could have fried clams, too...

some hopelessly optimistic part of me thought that by 2 1/2 months leon's feeding schedule would be less time-consuming. sometimes he'll sleep for 4 hours, once in awhile there's a 3 hour nap, but in general, i'm still feeding at least every 2 hours. the hardest part is that his super quick feeding sessions (4-6 minutes) are now dragging on for 15-20 minutes. it think it's often used as a soothing method because he definitely could stay latched on for an hour while sleeping. as my la lech league leaders like to say, he's moved on to non-nutritive sucking.

at what point am i going to stop obsessively writing down every feeding session and dirty diaper?
here's my day so far:
7.58--8 minutes
breakfast
10.18--15 minutes, pee, poo
lunch no.1
11.39--7 minutes, pee, poo
12.07--15 minutes
walk to post office
2.09--7 minutes, pee, poo
lunch no.2
3.30--10 minutes
4.36--10 minutes, pee, poo
wait anxiously for matthew to come home so i can get back to my chapter. i managed to write a page yesterday during a particularly long (1 hour) nap.

if you think about it, when i'm feeding him every 2 hours (this is optimistic), 10-15 minutes are spent nursing. another 10 minutes will be used up with diaper changes, burping, etc. as i am typing this, leon is staring at me, whining every time i look away. i have now mastered typing and interacting with him without looking at the keyboard.

every 2 hours means i might have 70-80 minutes to get work done. unfortunately, there's at least a 4-6 hour block every day when he's feeding once an hour. this equals 30-40 minutes to eat, use the restroom, check my email, and write. when he's screaming and flailing about, all i do is soothe him until the next feeding session.

oh dear, there he goes again....

12 comments:

romaine said...

Hang in there!!! You are doing great. I have never used one, or seen one, and know little about them if they even exist, but are there computer devices that convert spoken word to type? I thought I heard of something like that and maybe something like that could help crank out the chapters or does your work involve much more than text?

At least he is easy on the eye!

Just saw the pic with the dix - lookin nice!

pam said...

My goodness -- never have I regretted having celiac as much as I did when I saw that tray of fried clams. Good. Grief. I am so hungry now.

Oh, and back to the subject at hand, I agree with Romaine...he is definitely easy on the eye!! You know, things might get better when you're able to feed him some solid food. Teeth are on the way -- probably by August.

romaine said...

pam, you have celiac! me too! I have only met 3 people in my life that they knew they had it and shared that with me and one is my brother! Are you the same pam on totokaelo?

sorry erica for hogging your blog comment section for non-leon things. Did I mention that he is one of the cutest kids on earth and you have an great blog about him! One of my favorite NPR shows- To the Best of Our Knowledge had a series called Future Perfect: dreamers, schemers and visionaries - reminded me of you guys! My kids would probably love if I could do something similar celebrating their lives.

Catherine said...

Maybe it's your writing, maybe it's the brandy I had (yes, call me a square, I do love a brandy), but I did laugh reading this post. Probably because I am going through the same thing. I did manage to sew a top for me this morning. I don't know how I did it, except for a lot of (under the breath) cussing, to and fro-ing to Audrey who has been unsettled ALL day, and manic sewing. I was wishing the motor could go superspeed. SO I totally identify with what you are going through, for I am going through it too (and probably millions of other mothers). It sounds like we both deserve an easy day sometime very soon.

erica said...

my dad called me the other day about canceling our trip to LA next week (swine flu worries). i am super bummed but don't want to upset my parents by risking it even though i'm not too concerned.

a change of scenery would be great, especially when i awake to a dark and rainy morning. catherine, i'm so amazed that you managed to sew! i am hoping things will get better once he starts on solid food. then matthew will be able to help out some with the feeding. i suspect that i'm the one who soothes Leon the best because 1) i'm the food person and 2) i'm with him constantly. i love it, but it doesn't stop me from feeling frustrated.

pam said...

Hey Romaine! Yes, I am the same Pam from totokaelo -- I am also the gal you bought the APC striped shirt from on ebay! Imagine that -- what a small world.

You must have Irish heritage like me since celiac runs rampant in those with ancestors from the little green Isle. My younger daughter has celiac and so does my dad. My teen daughter hasn't presented with symptoms yet, and she is happy about that.

How's that VB Athe skirt working out?

pam said...

Erica,
Did you end up cancelling the SoCal trip? I hope not. You have to take Leon to the Magic Kingdom and do the whole Haunted Mansion thing -- and Dumbo! I am also certain he would want a turkey leg and sugary churro. Poor baby needs some teeth :)

Catherine said...

I have just come from Audrey's room, settling her in her overtired state. Thelast month or so I've been using the Harvey Karp method (worth a look on YouTube), but this time rolled her on her side (awway from me), put my hand on her shoulder or back of the head and rubbed her back. Within seconds she was out to it. I am amazed. Perhaps Leon is just waking up between sleep cycles (usually 45 minutes long) and just needs to be lulled to sleep? I've managed to get another hour or two sometimes (not all the time) by doing this. I've read if your baby wakes up grumpy then they probably haven't finished their sleep. I check Audrey's expression when she wakes - if she smiles I get her up, and if she persists crying then I try to soothe her again.

And yes, I am the chief settler in our house too. Like you (and most mothers), I spend the most amount of time with her. Though sometimes when I am at my wits end, Brendan steps in and soothes her quickly. She must pick up on my frazzled state.

MrsEm said...

I think you might be anti-bottle...but friends of mine are doing well with pumping and having the husband take on some of the feedings at night. Might help so you could sleep.

erica said...

catherine-
i tried the wrapping-shooshing-jiggling method with Leon the other day, and he glared at me! seriously, this child is too funny. the more i shooshed, the more he flinched and frowned. am i doing it incorrectly?

emily-
i'm not necessarily anti-bottle, eventually we'll introduce one. night-feeding isn't too bad, just once or twice a night, but it's the rest of the day when matthew is working or at school that's rough.

i've been reading up on breastfeeding on kellymom.com, and it appears that cluster feeding and fussing is pretty common. i can't tell, but he might not be getting enough high-fat milk because he has watery frequent diapers. but it's hard to know because he also feeds very well for at least 10 minutes. my la leche league leaders seemed to think everything was fine. i'll have to ask them again this month.

julia said...

all I can say is... this is what it means to be exhausted!
my boy was calling for food every 2 hours, too... day and night!
it´s getting better, believe me!
your body is also doing extra work producing milk, having only very little sleep... well, it´s just normal, try not to focus on work or what you think you HAVE to do... it just frustrates you even more cause you have to realise, lifeƟs turning you upside down!
try to enjoy it a little...

Catherine said...

Oh dear, can I laugh? Your description was funny, at least. All I know with babies, is that things can change quickly, which makes it impossible to be one step ahead. The last week I've been putting Audrey down, telling her it's time for a sleep, giving her a peck and walking out allowing the door to make a small audible click. She tells me just for a few seconds she's not thrilled but goes to sleep. I'm so glad she is doing this now, but who knows for how long.

As for feeding, Audrey usually now sleeps from 5.30pm through to anywhere between 12.30am-2am, then after that either wakes up 2 hourly, or once more before 6am. Last night she woke three times between 5pm and 6am, damn! I really, really hope it's just a growth spurt and she'll be back to one feed between bedtime and morning. I really can handle that, although sleeping right through would be sheer bliss.

I keep reminding myself in the small dark hours that I cannot possibly be the only mother experiencing this.

BTW, breastfed baby poohs are watery. Like thin soup. Nice. It sounds like you are feeding him very well.