Archive for May, 2012

May 19 2012

Sleep training.

Published by under Parenting,The Boy,The Man

Since The Boy has decided to start waking up as soon as we lay him down, and also because he has discovered thumb/finger sucking (self-soothing), we have decided to try sleep training. IT’S SO FUN I CAN’T EVEN STAND IT. It would be more complicated if he woke more than once a night, but he seems to have regulated himself down to one feeding, in addition to all of the other cool things he’s been doing lately (like rolling over a lot). We also had to stop swaddling because of said rolling over skill, so all in all, it’s been a hoot around here at bedtime for the past few nights. What’s even stranger is that he only has a problem getting to sleep at bedtime. After his one feeding, he fusses for approximately 30 seconds and then it’s all good. But at bedtime…hoo, doggie. He does not want to sleep.

He is kind of young for sleep training, being only 3 months old. Most books/websites I’ve read don’t recommend starting until at least 4 months, but…what else are we supposed to do? Like I said, he starts crying as soon as we lay him down anymore, no matter how long we hold him and how deep of a sleep we put him in. One night I rocked him for a solid hour, and he was the floppiest baby that ever flopped, but as soon as I laid him in his bed, BAM! The eyes were open, and so was the scream-hole. On about the third night of that business, The Man finally said, “I gotta let him cry for a minute. I need a break.” While we were taking that break, The Boy started to noisily suck his fingers (it seriously is like SLURP SLURP SLURP) and within about three minutes he was asleep. The next night, it was similar. It didn’t matter what we did; he only went to sleep when he slurped himself there.

Tonight, it’s not going so well. He still wakes up as soon as we lay him down. He also has decided to not even try sucking his fingers. It’s almost as though he’s determined to be unhappy. I’m sitting downstairs listening to him on the monitor and trying not to cry right along with him. It’s times like this where I feel like I would be OK with holding my baby all night long for the next month if that’s what he needs me to do, but that’s not realistic. I can’t be there for him all night and all day. It doesn’t make this any easier, but it’s the cold hard fact.

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May 15 2012

Things I am so grateful for.

Published by under The Fam

  • One last Easter
  • One last Mother’s Day
  • That she got to meet Asher
  • That we chose to start visiting every week and consequently spent a lot more time with her over the past few years than we otherwise would have
  • That she never had to be in a nursing home, and that she never lost her independence
  • That she was my Grandma

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May 14 2012

First Mother’s Day

Published by under Holiday Magic,The Boy,The Fam,The Man

My first Mother’s Day was great. We woke up to get ready for church and The Man gave me an extremely lovely card and my present from “my boys”.

Church was nice, even though The Boy was trying to break his perfect behavior record. He took a lot of “daddy dancing” to keep him happy. I was on altar guild duty afterwards, so I booked through that so we could get on the road to Grandma’s.

We had a cookout at Grandma’s. Mom, Stepdad, J-bird, and Brother-in-law were there, and we went next door for a bit to see my uncle and his family (uncle was out on a pass from his physical rehab center, so everyone was anxious to spend a little time with him). The Boy was good for an hour or so but then things started going wrong for him. He could not get a nap, and he wasn’t really eating well. Fussy, fussy. Plus, very farty. Poor baby was gassy to the max.

And…that’s pretty much how it went. He cried a lot. Sometimes, he cat napped for a half hour or so. We went to The Man’s parents’ house, and he cried a lot there. And farted. Lucky for me, they were putting a new layer of stonecrete on the driveway, so I took him outside to watch the tractor and the kids raking the driveway with the 4-wheeler. That fascinated him. We sat on the porch and watched the work until they were done, and he forgot about being gassy. But then…they finished. And he remembered that he didn’t feel good. At that point, The Man and I decided to pack it in and take him home.

At home, he pooped in his bathtub and screamed through his diaper and PJ change. But then I sat him down on the couch with a blankie and an elephant toy, and he snuggled in with me. The Man came and sat with us and we sang him songs and kissed his head until bedtime.

So yeah. All in all, not a bad day at all.

The end of the day.

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May 11 2012

The thing no one talks about.

Published by under Parenting,The Boy,The Fam,The Man

It seems like there’s a gag order surrounding the first couple weeks of being home with a newborn. New parents don’t want to discuss it, even with their partners. It’s only when you’re past it, when you’ve come through the other side, that sometimes you will open up to others. And to your astonishment, you find out: It wasn’t just you. You weren’t alone. There were other people, right there with you, afraid to speak up because they didn’t want to sound like absolute shitheels. Well, my friends, allow me to break the silence and say what everyone thinks and no one wants to admit to.

For the first few days, or weeks, or maybe even the first month or so of your new baby’s life, you will be thinking that you have made a horrible mistake. You will think that you have ruined your life. You will wonder if there is any way to take that baby right back to the hospital and leave it at Labor and Delivery for the nurses to ship home with someone, anyone else. You will think something along the lines of “Our lives were so good before. Why did we do this? Why did we ruin it? Why couldn’t we just have been HAPPY WITH WHAT WE HAD?”

I felt all this. It wasn’t that I hated my baby. On the contrary, I loved him. It was just SO HARD. It was SO DIFFERENT. It was so physically and emotionally draining. I wasn’t up to it. I wasn’t strong enough. It wasn’t like anyone had told me it would be. Oh sure, people tell you it will be hard. They will talk to you about not sleeping, or not being able to take a shower, or not having time to yourself. But no one tells you that you will think seriously about quietly packing a bag and taking off, or leaving your baby with his grandparents (who certainly don’t seem to mind when he cries all the time), or grabbing your husband and heading down to change your names and flee to Canada. No one tells you that you will sit there with your baby when he’s crying and he won’t sleep, and you will feel such crushing guilt, because you waited so long and tried so hard to bring this person into your life, and now that he’s here, all you can think about it somehow hitting CTRL-Z and undoing this terrible, terrible lapse of judgment.

You will look on the internet for others who feel the way you do, because you want to know if it’s just you. Is it just you who feels this way? Who loves your baby but feels like that love is not enough to justify ruining your life the way you have? The internet will give you some weak-ass pages talking in muted language how it’s normal to “have trouble bonding” and how you may not “feel exactly as you think you should”. The internet will tell you that “it’s OK” and “not all mothers feel that instant rush of love”. The internet means well, but it makes you feel worse, because the internet is talking like “having trouble bonding” is the worst thing you should be feeling, and you are feeling so much worse than that.

The Man and I were taking a walk right about the time that The Boy stopped acting like a raging hellbeast and started settling in to being an actual baby. He was maybe 3 weeks or a month old. Somehow, we got on the topic of how terrible the last few weeks had been. The Man said, somewhat hesitantly, “I really thought we had made the worst mistake of our lives. I was thinking ‘What have we done? We were so happy!’” And for me, that was when the clouds parted and I was able to stop feeling like it was just me, that I was the lowest form of suckage on the planet.

This week, I was in Babies R Us and I ran into a woman who had been in two of our classes – the childbirth class and the breastfeeding class. She was really nice and I’d enjoyed talking to her in class. She had her little girl with her; I had The Boy with me. I asked how she was doing and she said, “Coming out of the fog. You know…this is one of the first days we’ve been out of the house. It was just…” and I interrupted and said, “You felt like you’d made a big mistake?” Her eyes lit up, and she said “Yes! And I felt so guilty, because of all the infertility treatments we’d done, and how much we’d wanted a baby, it was like I didn’t have a right to feel so bad about it.” And then, I knew it wasn’t just us, and she knew it wasn’t just her and her husband, and we looked at each other with complete understanding.

And the whole reason I’m writing this is for that person who is sitting at home with a big hollow feeling in their heart, with a baby tucked in next to them, or upstairs sleeping for a blessed 20 minutes, or maybe for the person whose baby never sleeps at all, or the one with the baby who won’t breastfeed, or the one with the baby who does everything ‘right’ and yet is still having a hard time getting used to this new normal. What I have to tell you is: I understand. I’ve been there. And, it DOES get better. Don’t feel bad for feeling like you made a mistake. I’m pretty sure that EVERYONE goes through this, it’s just that no one talks about it…because it DOES end. And once it’s over, all you want to do is forget, not just because it was such a dark time, but because you did not like the person you were during that time, and all you want to do is move on. And that’s fine, once you’re out of it. But I’m not writing for the people who are out of it. I’m writing for the person who’s still in the trenches.

It gets better. Hang on. HANG ON.

4 responses so far


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