Mar 7, 2014

OCD Records No More

The very night I gave birth to Tripp and Davy, a nurse came in to my room with a breast pump. She also brought a recording page for me to write down my output. I pumped 5 mL of colostrum that first night and I was so very proud to write it down!
As a mom to preemies, I learned the importance of detailed records in the NICU. Feeds were tracked to the mL and the difference between 35mL and 40mL was huge. Every diaper was also tracked to ensure the babies were getting adequate nutrition. Records in the NICU are detailed, meticulous, and VERY important.
By the time the boys came home from the NICU, I was no longer tracking everything on paper, but I still tracked. And I tracked everything!
I did it using a pretty amazing iPhone/iPad app called Total Baby. This app was absolutely essential to me and I highly recommend it to every new mom.
The app allows you track pumping times and amounts, keep track of your fridge and freezer supplies, track diapers, track nursing times and sides, record notes and growth records from pediatrician appointments, and even create graphs of sleep times so you can start recognizing schedule patterns.
Here is a pretty week in review from when Tripp was 3 months. This when the transition from exclusively pumping and bottling to nursing finally happened! It's also when the boys started sleeping 6-7 hours at night. Happy times!
And here is Davy right around the boys first birthday. You can see that he went through a growth spurt and needed milk in the middle of the night a few times. You can also see the last few times I ever nursed the boys (the very last was the morning after their first birthday).
Pretty neat to look back and see how much they nursed, slept, etc. And for those of you out there with newborns you can see that sleep gets better!
I can also look back in awe and see that in the 12 months I pumped, I pumped 25,6032 ounces or approximately 68 gallons! That's a lot of milk! Especially combined with the 386 hours I nursed from April (when the boys first began being strong enough for nutritive nursing) until January. That's over 16 days of nursing!! (Although much of that time is double counted because I typically tandem nursed for the second half of our nursing relationship.)
In the first 12 months of their lives (minus the three weeks in the NICU when the nurses kept the records not me) we changed 3,707 diapers. That's a lot of diapers folks! (Although lower than many other families. We stopped the middle of the night change fairly early because it caused problems for us and the boys weren't overnight poopers. We also average 6ish changes a day. In the newborn stage I know many families do more like 8-10 but we stuck to the NICU schedule of a change at every feeding time (so as feeding spaced out to four hours so too did diapers) and it worked for us.)
I'm presenting this data as just fun to look back on, but it's also really important. At every pediatrician and specialist appointment we went to we were asked these same questions: "How much does he eat at each feeding? How many times a day? How many wet diapers a day? How many bowel movements a day?" At the GIs office we were also asked about changes in the number of bowel movements and type of BMs. I learned pretty quickly that "enough" was not the right answer to how much they ate and "a lot" didn't suffice for the number of diapers. I have no idea how a mom (let alone a mom of multiples) could keep track of this without recording it all!
So I recorded.
And recorded.
And recorded.
It got a bit OCD and I would get annoyed when people watched the kids for us (parents, babysitter, nanny, nursery workers) and didn't keep track of these vital statistics.
Well as of March, I have cold turkey stopped tracking. Everything. I no longer start and stop a timer during each nap. I no longer meticulously write down how much almond milk and water each boy consumes each day. I no longer record each diaper and choose a descriptive adjective from a drop down box to describe each BM. I am now tracking nothing.
And it upsets me.

My boys are big enough that I don't need to track and record every aspect of their lives anymore. They are growing up!

Honestly, I expected to feel some sort of weight lifted when I had one less thing to do each day. A sense of freedom. And I don't.
Oh well.
It's still probably a good thing I'm letting go of this OCD tendency!
Successfully one week into my recovery....

1 comment:

  1. Maybe it was your way of merging your research enthusiasm with a different, higher love for your boys. So, freeing these loves to take different forms, each will be the richer for it? Maybe.