Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hi, My Name is Molly and I'm an Addict

Addicted to THE LOG, that is.

It is like a security blanket. Or an accessory brain. Or crack.

I confess that I have an embarrassing number of sheets of paper detailing the Girl's every feeding, diaper and amount of sleep for a ridiculously long time.

It was critical to keep track of all of this for the first few days, weeks even, but months? I just keep doing it and I can't stop! I see those sideways glances from my husband, like "Still? You're doing it still?" He just chalks it up to a "mom thing" and avoids the conversation.

I'll blame the lactation consultant at the hospital. They sent me home with the form and innocently told me to keep track of her feedings. That piece of paper should have a disclaimer on the top: "Warning! Highly addictive!"

Some background may be helpful here ... I am the kind of person who likes to make lists just so I can cross things off. I re-copy grocery lists so they are easy to read and organized. I copy the same appointments into no less than 4 calendars just in case. Say it with me ... A-N-A-L! Give me a form to fill out and a good ink pen and I am a happy girl. You can imagine my delight at finding a form that needed to be filled out so many times a day!

It is kind of cute to look back at all of the sheets of paper. (Yes, I've kept them. I'm telling you - addicted.) The first day home from the hospital, the sheet was perfect. Perfect handwriting. Each notation in it's own slot. Military time! Within about 37 hours you can see that everything is just scribbled wherever it fits and military time is quite challenging to keep track of with no sleep, so forget that.

Initially I truly found it helpful to keep track of how long she fed and how much sleep we were getting and when I took my pain meds. Your doctor will ask about wet and dirty diapers and it is helpful to have a record. Fortunately, our Girl never had trouble growing, but it would be helpful for that, as well. (Also, it is helpful to have the phone number to your lactation consultant at the top of the sheet so you don't have to dig around trying to find it when you need to call them. And, call early in the morning and leave a message and they will often call you back before they start rounds for the day.)

I just kept going, though. It allowed me to put a tiny part of my brain on paper so I didn't have to remember, "Left or Right?" When we started Cry It Out, I made notes about how long she cried so I could see our progress. It is so easy to forget what happens just a few days prior. When we made schedule changes, I kept good notes about bottles and naps and total amounts of sleep so I could try to problem solve if needed. She only has dirty diapers every few days now, so I can look at the log and see when I might expect a blow out. You know, useful stuff!

I felt (a little) vindicated yesterday when the Chronicles of a Babywise Mom blog wrote about keeping a log in the "good times", not only when you are making a change (she advocates keeping a log when you are dropping feedings or changing naps - you can see why I love her). If you don't know the typical pattern, it is hard to problem solve.

So, we'll try to make the switch to the 4 hour schedule this weekend. You can bet I'll be using my log to keep track of every.little.thing.

After we accomplish that? Who knows ...


... said...

Four Magic Words:
This makes perfect sense!
Waste not, want not.
It could be worse.
This too will pass.

Carrie said...

OMG, please stop!

Marie Hooker said...

I, too, was a log addict. I think I kept track for about 5-6 months, mostly sleep patterns at the end. No judgement from me!!