Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Caffeinated Baby in the Land of No Sleep

    I can easily forgive Baby Blueberry for not reading the numerous studies on all the baby websites that say a warm caffeinated breast milk latte isn't going to keep her up at night. After all she can't read yet, so she's not aware of the facts that say she can't consume enough caffeine via my breast milk to get a buzz.
    She should be able to enjoy coffee before bed and expect a nice, restful night of sleep, right? Supposedly, the rumor is, that not enough caffeine enters my breast milk to effect Baby Blueberry, so drink a few cups. After all, I'm a new Mom and up all night long, so I'm going to need the coffee in the morning to survive.

    Alright researchers, this is an easy one. We're going to play a game. Have a dozen Moms drink a few grande latte Starbucks coffee drinks in the afternoon and then nurse their babies before bed. We'll put you in charge of the night time care of caffeinated babies and see if your research shows a little bit more insight.
     Because I have problems with research that report:  Moms who heavily drink caffeinated beverages report frequent night time wakings of their little babies. But than you super smart researchers say something stupid like, 'this wasn't statistically significant. So we can't say if the caffeine was the culprit.'
    Are the coffee shops funding your research?

    I love the one research guy who said, 'the caffeine is just disturbing Mom's sleep patterns, that's why she's waking up so many times at night, it's not disturbing the infant.'
     Really? The coffee is waking me up? Does the coffee cry in the middle of the night until I'm dragged from the little bit of REM sleep I have managed to find in the last two weeks and demand to be fed? Does the coffee stay up, bouncing and jumping and grinning because they're wired?
   Does the coffee wake up every hour with a sad scrunched up face and needs to be cuddled? (That or she's after more caffeine and it's a ploy.)

   In my twenties, when I had Bean and Abu, I wasn't a coffee drinker. So I didn't worry about the effects of caffeine. But this time; in my thirties and with more demands on me; I have fallen in love with a cup (or four cups) in the morning.
   When I was put on modified bed rest with Baby Blueberry, I cut out the coffee. I know that caffeine did not tear my placenta but in my worried, panicked state of mind; I decided I better just stay away from it.
   After her birth, I decided I could follow the advice of doctors and have a cup or two of coffee in the mornings. Since I was so extremely tired most mornings from the demands of my newborn; this was considered a necessity. Almost more important than a shower, but not quite.

      (Little Baby you can play on the bathroom floor and enjoy the white noise of the shower running while I remember what it feels like to have clean hair. )

    The problem though, is that I drink my coffee very slowly. Hero Hottie will drink his in about half an hour and start eyeing my cup if I don't clearly claim my territory.
     (To set the scene:We did have a coffee pot. Saved us money and trips to the coffee shop. Then one sad morning, while Hero Hottie was cleaning it; it broke leaving us to make coffee with hot water and a strainer. This arduous method lasted one cup before we decided to buy another pot. Which is actually a funny story and I'll have to share it later this week...But in the mean time we have been stalking the coffee shop in search of heavy doses of caffeine.)
      After finishing his  20 ounce coffee, he picks up my measly 12 ounce cup and shakes it.
      "You still have half a cup left. You going to finish it?" He asks, quite casually as if he doesn't care either way. But he's licking his lips and he has that gleam in his eye.
        "Hey, you had your coffee. Leave mine alone." I say, as I grip the coffee shop cup in both hands, baring my teeth and ready to fight.
         He holds up his hands, "Hey, I was just asking. Since you're not done yet."
         I glare at him and continue sipping on my coffee as he he makes another run to the coffee shop.

         And this is where the trouble starts. Right on into the afternoon I'm still sipping on my coffee. I try to finish it earlier but I can't gulp coffee. By evening, just after I have the children in bed and the baby finally to sleep; I quickly crawl into bed and an hour later I'm awoken by small baby wanted to play or practice her crawling.
        Nurse her, convince her it's bedtime and try to sleep.
        Wham. An hour later. She's awake again. Happy and content but AWAKE.
        Of course, it doesn't help that I'm feeding her more coffee with each feeding.
        It's vicious cycle. I drink coffee, albeit not even that much; but I drink it too late into the day. By the time it must reach her milk; it's time for bed. Except now, that little bit of caffeine doesn't seem so statistically insignificant because neither one of us get much sleep that night.
        And in the morning that coffee shop looks like an oasis in the desert. But I must resist; it's only a mirage. Coffee will keep small child up, thereby keeping Mom up; thereby causing Mom to appear to be a zombie, stumbling and muttering around the house without any coffee to make her human again.

     Moral of the story: No matter how happily hyper Baby Blueberry gets after her caffeinated breast milk lattes; she does not need it.

    Now I just have to convince Blueberry's Mom that tired, exhausted Mom doesn't need coffee either. Wish me luck. :-)

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