“Maternal exhaustion is a very real thing,” our pediatrician said, after inquiring about Jesse’s sleeping habits. “It can lead to stress, depression, and all kinds of bad things.” I hadn’t even told him that in addition to Jesse waking up 4x per night to eat, Matthew has been getting up 2-3x per night, fussy with teething and another ear infection. I hadn’t told him that I was nearing my breaking point, unsure whether I was just simply exhausted or if I might have a touch of postpartum depression. It was good to hear that the exhaustion alone can explain a lot of what I’ve been feeling lately.
“You can’t get all of your sleep in 2-3 hour segments,” he continued. “You never enter REM sleep, and your brain never has a chance to repair itself.”
Well, that explains a LOT!
His recommendation was to get Jesse to take a bottle (no luck so far), and “tank him up” at bedtime to see if it would help him sleep for a longer stretch. If he will take a bottle, Aaron can even give him a “relief” bottle during the night to let me sleep a little more. “You have to take care of yourself,” he reassured me. “You’ve had a lot going on, and have 3 high-needs kids, with an especially high-needs 2-year-old!” He had some good suggestions for introducing a bottle, and we’re working on it.
He also suggested getting some hired help. Can I get a prescription for that, please?!
The good news is that Jesse is healthy – his foot looks great, and at 4-months-old, he is weighing in at over 16 pounds, which puts him in the 80th percentile for weight, and the 90th percentile for height! He’s active, alert, and full of smiles for anyone who will talk to him. He is an unusually happy baby most of the time … as long as he is being held!
I realize that I neglected to post anything about our last trip to Shriner’s, but things went very well. His foot still looks pretty good, although the doctor is still a little unsure of his bone alignment. We got permission to give him a little longer “breaks” from his brace during the day, which is very nice. We all enjoy the time off, and Jesse is much happier to play/kick on the floor when he doesn’t have to wear his brace. As long as he is wearing it 20-22 hours per day, we’re o.k. He is outgrowing his current “shoes,” though, and we have new larger ones ordered. The good news is that we don’t have to go back to Shriner’s for 3 months, so our next appointment will be in March. It will be nice to not have to travel too much during winter weather. We also learned that Shriner’s might reimburse us for some of our travel expenses – they want all of the care to be “free,” including transportation. Wow.
*Thanks to my friend, Theresa Bettale, for the baby portraits of Jesse. If you are near Hood River, OR, check out Bettale Photography.