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Saturday, September 05, 2009

Reverse Cycling

I am sorry I haven’t gotten a chance to write in a while. I did so well that one week with scheduled posts. My trouble is I write so much in my studies that I find it hard to write without citing sources almost as if I am writing a perpetual research paper. I think it is just because I appreciate resources so much I think others need that in their life as well.

Reverse cycling. What a blessing to our little family! When Lorelei was born I was concerned about breastfeeding because frankly I had heard so many horror stories. The very first time I held her I put her to nurse. She has never looked back since. It has been some of our dearest times. I would say the thing I wasn’t prepared for at the beginning was the amount of breastfeeding she would do the first couple of weeks. This was, of course, during the time of our lives, when I was not as comfortable as I am now with breastfeeding. Now you might see me breastfeeding anywhere. Hopefully you won’t see anything but dangling feet. Although I am not as good at it as Michelle Duggar! Congrats to her, btw on her 19th!

I knew before Lorelei was born I would have to go back to work. For insurance. Of course I would love to have been able to stay with her! The Lord worked a wonderful arrangement with my hubby and his work schedule as I have previously written about. (He did end up staying on midnights-so Babysitter Rachel comes over Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday mornings from 6:30-8 am until Lorelei’s Daddy gets home.) We love Babysitter Rachel! She is so sweet and patient with our dear one!

Since I knew Lorelei would need to take a bottle when I went back to work we worked on it since she was a month old. I have written about that before as well. While we did have limited success with the Barbie bottle, she has since decided to be a diehard reverse cycler breast-feeding supporter. I love that girl! What is reverse cycling you ask? Well, I am getting to it. Really, I am.

Knowing I would be returning to work and wanted to continue breastfeeding, I read the book Working Mother, Nursing Mother. Didn’t know that Lorelei would be taking the option of a choice away from me, ha! I bought the book because I found myself consistently on the internet trying to figure out what to do for my non bottle drinking baby. I kept seeing the term reverse cycling and it always seemed to be in connection with the book. I bought the book and read it very quickly. It was good, and dealt with what I wanted to do, work while breastfeeding. It is not a new concept. What is “new” is having to leave your baby while going to work.

The book said reverse cycling was one of the highest compliments a nursing baby could pay their mother. I decided I would start praying for Lorelei to do this. What it involves is your baby drinking about 8 ounces the whole time you are at work and drinking the majority through the night. They are reversing their eating from the daytime to the nighttime. Because if you stop and think about it, if your child is sleeping for 8 or nine hours at night without waking up to eat they can go the same amount of time you are at work without food. The extremist that Lorelei is she drinks 0 ounces the whole day while I am at work. When I walk in the door she immediately starts signing milk and saying, “Mom, mom, mom, mom!” Meanwhile I get ready as fast as I can. Lorelei is offered milk and sometimes will take it. Only when she signs for it will she take it, and then it seems she only wants enough to take the edge off.

Now the other side of reverse cycling=cosleeping. Nothing I ever thought I would be interested in. Frankly I think I judged cosleeping families. That is, until I became one. Lorelei goes to sleep in her own crib and sleeps there for a few hours. Then when she wakes up (or when I am ready to go to bed) I get her and put her in our bed. (Remember it is mostly my bed…Chris only gets to sleep during the nighttime twice a week) She goes on top of the blankets while I am underneath. She is not near any pillows. And she nurses. All. Night. Long. And she sleeps. All. Night. Long. And I sleep. All. Night. Long. And Chris (when he is there) sleeps. All. Night. Long.

I get seven or eight extra hours of closeness. Remember she is used to being close. She was carried close to my heart for almost ten months. Chris was the one that convinced me that cosleeping was ok. He would have done it from the very beginning. In fact, I didn’t get to put her in her pack and play until Chris started back to work almost two weeks after she was born. She had already begun to sleep through the night at that point. She made the transition easily. I do wonder though if it was because of the closeness. I was a nervous wreck at the beginning of cosleeping. Once I read about the correct way to do things and decided to embrace what I didn’t expect I would ever do in parenting. I have slept well. We all have. There is nothing better than waking up to a little voice saying, “Mom, Mom, Mom.” Or when Chris is home, “Dad, Dad, Dad.”

Sweet dreams to you all.

1 comment:

Paige said...

I've been scouring the web for another mother that encouraged reverse cycling! You often find "how to stop it" posts. I'm making a post of reverse cycle resources and I'd like to include you.