Thursday, June 17, 2010

Save the biting for some Texas steak!

Again with the highs and lows of motherhood. Today we had our home visitor again. It was only three weeks between visits because she is going on vacation. It really is amazing how far Natalie has come in those three weeks. Since I am list obsessed ...
  • move to sitting position from tummy
  • pull up to stand using all sorts of furniture, side of bath tub, a mirror, and parts of Mommy and Daddy
  • crawl - very fast now and all over the living room
  • cruise along furniture, including moving between touching pieces of furniture
  • clap her hands (sort of - palm of one hand to the back of the other)
  • say "mum" once and something very close to "kitty" several times a day in correct context
  • feed self a cracker
  • chase after Ellie kitty :) and beginning to follow Mommy out of a room
  • turn pages in a book on purpose
  • knock over block towers on purpose as a game

It was a good visit. Natalie was getting fussy, but mostly she was laying her head against my chest and sucking her thumb. This is a new behavior for her. Its like she is learning how to hug! It feels so good to have her head resting on me, but it is a little sad because I know she's doing it because she needs comfort.

The lows of mothering today were a small disipline run-in involving Natalie and the AC cord, but that really takes the back seat to a new potentially large issue of biting. Not just normal biting, which would be bad enough, but biting while nursing. It really started yesterday as a pinching pressure, but I didn't want to overreact. But during her second session today, it was very clear she was biting me. Lucky for me (if there is anything lucky about having teeth pinching your nipple), she didn't just clamp down in a sudden chomp. Instead, she increased the pressure slowly. This allowed me to not react in a way that Natalie might want to see again. Instead, I said "stop" a few times while prying her mouth open, then I looked her in the eye and said "no biting." I then ended our session. I burped her on my lap and she just babbled away as if nothing had happened, then she spit up on me. Talk about literally adding insult to injury. When I started our bed time nursing session, she was giving me that pinching pressure again, but it never developed into a painful bite. It had me on edge the whole session though. I don't want my tension to affect our nursing. I want to be ready to swoop in and end the bite, but I don't want nursing to become negative for either of us. On a more selfish note, if I'm waiting ready to stop the bite, I can read while she nurses, which is going to make nursing more boring and tedious for me. I mean, I love Natalie and love looking at her, but that doesn't mean I want to watch her nurse the whole time every session. Also, babies bite usually when the are done eating and are sucking for the joy of sucking. Natalie does this a lot, especially at bed time to get ready to sleep. She often drifts all the way off to sleep. She also does this for some naps, but not as many as she used to. This closeness is also when we get our snuggles in, since Natalie is not much for snuggling when she could be playing and squirming. I don't want to move her off the breast early to prevent biting because it will cut down on this closeness. But, I also don't want to end every session with biting and discipline. Tonight, she was fussy while nursing. Maybe she could sense my tension. We put her into the crib all the way awake rather than keep nursing and chance her biting me. She cried when I put her down, but once Mike moved her over a little, she settled in on her tummy with her thumb and went right to sleep. So, I guess she will be okay as far as sleeping is concerned, but I do worry about her missing our close snuggle time. I'm actually wondering if the biting and the hugging might both have something to with our cutting of the four nursing session. Either way, my hope is that it will either be just an occasional annoyance that goes with the territory, or she will just go through a phase and we'll get through it. I just keep telling myself that with us down to three sessions a day, that really means that really she should only bite me three times a day, unless we cut a session short and need to restart again and I get bite again, but I don't see that happening. She can drain a breast in 5-10 minutes, so I'm not expecting much biting before that mark. And, it was painful, but not as bad as I thought it would be. I'm sure that she could bite harder and more suddenly, but if it stays like this for the most part, I can work through it.

The talk about biting lead to Mike and I also had a discussing about our Texas trip again. It started with me saying that if the biting keeps up, it might be hard to nurse her to sleep on the plane. What I like about these discussions is that when I say something that I need his support on, almost every time he has been like, "Well, yeah, obviously." I like that we are in agreement because one of biggest worries is that I will feel we need to do certain things for Natalie and he will not agree with me causing us to bicker in front of our hosts. As reassuring as this is, Mike did make me see how rough our day of travel is going to be. Actually, it looks rather nightmarish:

5am Get up and get myself ready, finish packing, feed cats, etc.
between 6 - 630am Natalie will get up, diaper change, nurse, get dressed
7 get in the car for two hour trip down to my parents
9 arrive at my parents
930 leave for Logan Express shuttle, which is a 45 minute drive to airport
11 check bags and security at airport
130 pm flight leaves
four hour flight
430 TX time (530 our time) arrive at airport, get bags, etc
hour drive to Chris's house
Probably arrive at his house around 6 (7 our time)

We discussed how it is very possible that Natalie will fall asleep in the car ride from the airport to the house, which is potentially problematic. She might miss her last nursing, which could cause her to wake up in the middle of the night hungry. She won't get her diaper change or pjs (or night lotion, which would be a first), which could also affect her ability to stay asleep. And, she might wake up when we try to move her to the pack'n'play and be disagreeable to being in a new place in a bed that's not her's. There are a few things we could do to avoid these problems I guess. While Mike is getting the baggage, I could change Natalie's diaper and put her in pjs. Then, I've seen pictures of it being possible to nurse in the car, so we could try that. Then we would just be left with her waking up.

I hadn't realized just how rough the whole day is going to be. As far as her basic care is concerned, it will be hardest getting in diaper changes for Natalie, but if she is her normal self, she probably won't poop. She tends not to poop away from home (inherited this fine trait from her mommy). Spoon feeding her shouldn't be too hard, and she can eat her other food out of our hands. Of course, the overall hardest thing will be keeping her happy and entertained. With her new mobility, I am worried about her being confined in cars and laps so much. I kind of hope she gets up on the earlier side so that we can get a few minutes of play in before we leave in the morning and maybe a few minutes to move around at my parents. The airport before the flight will be her biggest play session.

Sigh. I don't want to get too stressed about it now. Mike is already saying that talking about it is making him feel sick. Stress does a number on his stomach. In fact, he had the worst problems last time he went to TX. In hind sight, he's pretty much determined that it was stress from the baby coming (not just the baby herself but the add responsibility of being the sole bread winner). He said that he felt the worse in TX, which was the only time he was away from me during the pregnancy, and that he felt better when he got back. However, he is still worried that it could have been something else about TX that doesn't agree with him. I total him tonight that I demand he isn't sick down there again. :) The last thing we need is him feeling like he is going to throw up all the time and not eating. He says that he will still be helping me with Natalie just as much, but I would have a hard time asking him to help me so much when he feels sick. I mean, his sickness kind of out shadowed my pregnancy. If there is a time when a woman gets to gripe about every ache and pain, its late pregnancy in a summer heat wave, and I felt bad about doing so because he was sick.

Anyway, what is really rather scary is that we have to go through everything to get down there. Then we have the whole trip. THEN, we have to get back home. That means that no matter how rough the trip down and how rocky the stay in TX, we have to make the return trip back!

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