Thursday, August 17, 2006

A Fish Called Blunder!

OK - perhaps I am being a little hard on myself, but the long and short of it is that it looks as though Barnaby will not be going to his nursery fun day as a fish. After a month of planning, gathering materials etc and a couple of nights of cutting the pattern, the moment of truth arrived this evening, when I attempted to sew the foam. Essentially, the foam is just too thick for my sewing machine, which is a modern one. My mother thinks that her sewing machine, an old Singer, could probably cope with it, but that's obviously no help for Saturday's fun day. Luckily, I had a back-up plan; I had, with some foresight, bought Barnaby a second-hand, generic dragon/dinosaur costume on ebay for a couple of pounds, on the basis that if the worst came to the worst he could always go as a 'sea monster'! Since the worst does appear to have come to the worst, it looks like he will be going as a sea monster. He'll probably be just as happy. I am, of course, rather disappointed. But, the big question is, what should I do with all the costume bits now?

I am also a little upset this evening. Amelia is awake and wailing upstairs. With Sheep. I am sitting down here, having been, gently but firmly, ordered downstairs by Sheep ("Go and write your blog"). Amelia is in a difficult mood in which she wants to go to sleep with my nipple in her mouth (fair enough, in many respects, for a breastfed baby). But, everytime I withdraw my nipple she goes into a paroxysm of outraged indignation, even if I judge her to be asleep when I remove myself. Somehow or other she senses this and wakes up, howling. After an hour of this my nipples are as sore as hell and my nerves utterly jangled. It's a choice between sore nipples and a screaming baby or extremely sore nipples and momentary peace. In Elizabeth Pantley's book, she talks about the "Pantley pull-off" manoeuvre whereby you keep inserting and removing your nipple/dummy/bottle/whatever until the baby gets the message. However, it doesn't say what to do if your nipples feel like they've been put through the mangle.

This is what Pantley has to say, "It may take two to five (or even more) attempts, but eventually your baby will fall asleep without the pacifier or nipple in her mouth. When she has done this a number of times over a period of days, you will notice the removals are much easier, and her awakenings are less frequent." Two to five times? Hah. Clearly, Amelia hasn't read her book.

Hmmm. I've just read a load of emails on which suggests that I am not the only one to have this happen to them. Here are some of their comments, all from different mothers (I've made them anonymous):

I had the same problem. No advice because after working herself into such a "tizzy" 4 nights in a row I decided now wasn't the time for us to change this sleep association.

The Pantly pull-off came in handy for me when my daughter would nurse in her sleep for hours straight. It only worked when she was sound asleep though.

I always use the Pantley pull-off, and no, it is not nightweaning. It means that I don't want to lie on my side with my nipple in his mouth all night long... You can nurse the baby on demand all night and still take your nipple out of his/her mouth. Or are we supposed to be such martyrs that we need to sleep on one side all night and not move?

I've done PPO since birth (mostly while she slept on me in the Boppy) and all I can say is: sometimes the magic works; sometimes it doesn't! Don't sweat it. Try again. Try again. Try again. I usually have to try 10x or more. Just when I think she'll never stop rooting, she stops.

There are some days (and sometimes weeks) when he nurses all night and I can't unlatch him at all. This typically happens when he's sick, or having a growth spurt. Is it possible that your son is just having a growth spurt, or cutting teeth, and that is creating a (temporary) need to nurse all night?

So, at least it's just not me. My nipples still feel on fire though. The wailing seems to have subsided upstairs, after all that blogging. I suppose I should go and investigate what's been happening.

What an evening. And to think I forewent a night out 'with the girls' (the book group watching 'Pride and Prejudice') in order to flunk a fish costume and get my nipples mangled. Bah.


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