Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Witching Hour

I've been sucked in. For the last seven weeks I've been living in some sort of newborn abyss and although I don't think I'm anywhere near coming out of it I may have made some progress. For the last two nights in a row my little G-Man "slept through the night." Why the quotes? Get this, "sleeping through the night" according to the experts, means five consecutive hours of sleep. Hahahahaha! When I initially heard this theory in my breastfeeding class back in June, I will admit I was a bit scared. In what world is five hours of sleep enough?? Now, after seven weeks of waking up every one to three hours, five whole hours sounds glorious, like sleeping on a fluffy cloud in heaven. The first night it happened, he fell asleep and I actually woke up to nurse him at the three hour mark, but he was still asleep. Shocked, I checked to make sure he was still breathing (yes, I'm paranoid) and went back to sleep. A couple of hours later he finally woke up. Sadly, after that he woke up every hour until it was time to get up. But last night, last night was a much needed miracle.

Every evening around 6:00pm, my little guy turns into a bit of a fuss-pants. Other than being nursed and/or bounced around the house vigorously, not much else works to console him. This fussy period, also known as "the witching hour" in the baby world, lasts until 9:00 or 10:00 (sometimes 11:00 on a bad night) until he finally passes out and I am allowed to crawl into bed next to the already sleeping Husband. Last night was one of our bad nights. It started off ok. Husband came home and quickly ate his dinner (he stood in the kitchen and inhaled it) before heading off to his monthly Deacon's meeting at church. G-Man was surprisingly calm after a quick evening walk and fell asleep in my arms. Thinking that I perhaps lucked out and we would be skipping our witching hour, I put him down in his swing, turned on a movie, and poured myself a (small) glass of chilled white wine. Ahhh, time to relax!

*Grunt* Uh oh, the monster is stirring, if I don't move maybe it will go back to sleep. *Grunt Grunt* Shhhhhh! *Ehhhhhhh!!* No! This can't be happening! You're ok, you're sleeping, just keep sleeping!! *WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!* Crap. I knew it was too good to be true. Quickly I retrieved the screaming maniac from his swing and attempted to console him. All attempts were futile, he wants knows what he wants and he won't stop until he gets it. Having just finished the worlds smallest glass of wine, I know that I should wait to feed him. What can I do to distract him? Bouncy chair? Nope. Swing? No! Tummy time? EPIC FAIL! Bath? Yes! The warm water calmed the insane crying for all of two seconds and then it was back. Hysterical screaming and flailing around. I am clearly the worst mommy in the world. If he could nominate someone, at that point in time, I am positive it would be me. After an hour of torture (for both of us) I finally gave in and gave him what he wanted, the boob. Sadly, at that point he was so worked up he couldn't fully enjoy his meal. I gently placed him on the Boppy (breastfeeding pillow for those that don't know baby lingo) and got ready to feed him. This action alone normally soothes his hysteria. Not this time. He was so intent on screaming that he didn't even notice the meal right in front of him. At seven weeks my little guy is quite the professional breasfeeder. I don't usually have to help him latch on anymore, he just does it himself. This time, I was forced to grab his little head and guide his mouth toward me. He continued to scream, but also started making his hungry piggy noises. He began rooting around so frantically that he couldn't find the target. Instead he got a good poke in the eye with my nipple. Good thing it's soft.

Eventually we made contact and his latch was secure. Slowly my body started to release the tension and I began to think all was well. Ha! Moments later, G-Man inexplicably pulled off and began screaming again, he proceeded to spit up all over himself and me. We're talking soaked. After a quick cleanup we started the latching process all over again. Success, he was back on. Then disaster struck. I felt a small tickle in my nose. It gradually built and built until I couldn't contain it anymore. AAAHHHHCHOOOOO! Now, I've sneezed while breastfeeding before and G hasn't really minded, so I didn't think this time would be any different. This time, however, you would have thought I slammed his hand in the door or something. Directly after the sneeze his little body completely froze, then, as if in slow motion, he pulled his head away and looked at me in shock, as if he couldn't believe I would do something like that. Clearly I had startled him on purpose! Then his whole face just melted. Tears welled up in his eyes and the sobbing began. Again, worst mommy ever.

After some more time and effort, my little monster was calmed down and he went back to nursing. That's when the cluster feeding started. We nursed for thirty minutes, burped, cuddled, nursed again for thirty more minutes, burped, more nursing for forty-five minutes, more burping, then more nursing until finally at 11:30 he was asleep. After swaddling G and placing him into the co-sleeper, I dragged my half-dead body into bed, pulled up the covers and prayed for at least two hours of consecutive sleep. We didn't wake up until 4:30. That's right! Five whole hours of sleep!! We slept through the night!! Still sleepy, I resigned myself to waking up every hour after that like the night before. I nursed him and we fell asleep in the bed together. Before I knew it, it was 8:00am. What? How can this be? He only woke up once to feed. It's like a miracle! After the night we had, that was just what we both needed.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Goodbye Dr. M.

*Note: This is being typed one-handed, please forgive the typos. I don't have much time these days to edit.

Today is an oddly sad day. I had my six week check-up with Dr. M. (one week early). Why would an appointment with my OBGYN be sad? Did something go wrong? Not at all. In fact, for once I had an uneventful appointment. After unsuccessfully trying to get G to sleep before leaving the house, I decided to leave a bit early to spend some time driving around downtown. Usually the gentle rocking of the car helps him drift off. After about twenty minutes I reluctantly pulled into the parking lot and gently took the car seat out of the car. G's eyes flickered open. Damn. Into the office we went. Usually if G is awake in his car seat and it isn't moving he protests, but this time he remained quiet as we sat and waited to be called back.

Eventually the little Russian nurse called me back to take my vitals. My weight is down, but not as much as I would like and my blood pressure is still all wonky (115/91). G slept through the vitals and we were ushered back to exam room number two. After asking a few question and being given a paper "gown" the little Russian nurse left G and me alone. I quickly disrobed from the waist down and sat on the exam table to wait. As if he could sense my vulnerable state G began to fuss. Quite the dilemma. Stay seated and possibly let G work himself into a hysterical fit or attempt to keep the nether regions covered while soothing the fussing baby. Obviously I went with option two. As carefully as possible I hopped off the table and bent down to rock G's seat and give him his pacifier. I carefully positioned myself so that the "gown" strategically covered the important parts.

Just as G started to calm down Dr. M. popped her head in. I'm sure it was quite the sight, a half naked woman covered in a paper sheet, squatting down on the floor and shooshing a baby. Oh well. G seemed quiet enough so I (discretely) hopped back on the exam table. For maybe the first time in three years I was able to tell Dr. M. that everything was fine. She did her exam and my stitches have all healed up. We discussed the dreaded birth control topic. She actually laughed and said "what do you think... should we try the mini-pill again?"

**For those that don't know, the last five years or so have been birth control hell. Because I have migraines with auras and occasionally high blood pressure I'm not allowed to take birth control with estrogen. That left me taking the mini-pill (progestin only) and because of my Endometriosis I had a lot of other issues (breakthrough bleeding, heavy and long periods, pain, blah blah blah).**

Ultimately we decided that would be the best way to go. She wrote me a prescription and told me congratulations and then that was it. We were done. I don't have to go back for another year. I have been seeing Dr M. for three years. For most women that would mean once a year plus the once a month appointments during pregnancy. I am not normal, we've established that right? Due to endometriosiis, a fibroid tumor and ovarian cysts I have spent a great deal of time with Dr. M over the last three years. I probably saw her every three months at least. Then with all my pregnancy complications I was seeing her almost every week. Now it's over. It's like a breakup with a good friend. Really, she's like a doctor version of Jennifer Garner. Friendly and funny, girl next door. everyone wants to be friends with her. What will I do with myself now that I'm normal?? Guess I'll just have to have another baby! ;)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Letter (Or A Day In The Life)

Dear G,

This morning (7:55am to be exact) was very different from the same time five weeks ago. Five weeks ago, with glaring overhead lights blazing down on us and nurses all around I held you in my arms for the first time. This morning, on your five week birthday, as you started making your morning grunting noises, I picked you up out of your co-sleeper and slipped you into bed with me. Husband (or Daddy as you like to call him) had already kissed us goodbye, the lights were off and we were both warm and sleepy. With your eyes still closed you suggested a morning snack and I complied. Together we drifted off on my new, soft, king size mattress. It was heavenly.

Sadly, I have a bit of a cold on your five week birthday. Last week your "Grammy from Miami" visited us and brought some airplane germs with her. Since I don't sleep anymore I suspect my immune system was lowered and now I have the sniffles. Don't worry though, we're not letting that get us down, at least not too much. After we woke up at 9:00am, I gave you a much needed diaper change and then you graciously let me go to the bathroom, eat cereal and make coffee (sometimes you have a hard time being away from Mama long enough to let her do those things). While I took care of my business you swung happily in your Little Lamb swing and gazed out the window. Just as my coffee finished brewing you began to fuss and like that we were back together again.

After your breakfast you decided to take a little nap in my arms. Sometimes I like to just hold you and feel you breathing. You are so small and soft. Sometimes when you sleep you smile and let out a little laugh. I wonder about your dreams... happily breastfeeding, maybe that silly glow worm we both love so much, or maybe it's Daddy making silly faces. While I love to watch you smile, sometime you frown and occasionally you even cry. Your little lower lip starts to pout and quiver, your face turns red and tears squeeze out of the corner of your eyes. Heartbreaking. My five week old having nightmares. Then there are the silent moments, you softly breathing in and out as I sit and take it all in. Sweetness.

After your milk induced nap, I decided to change your diaper. I carried you into your room and placed you on the changing table. Daddy forgot to put a new cover on the changing pad so the cold vinyl made your sleepy eyes pop wide open. Your diaper was oddly clean, but as I was changing you you spit up all over your outfit. In that moment, I turned my head away, leaving you diaper free, to search through the dresser drawers for a new outfit. It was a cold day so I wanted to make sure to get you something warm and cozy. Just as I turned my head back I saw it. A tall stream of pee. Like a fountain shooting up to the sky. With lightning speed my hand shot out, shielding your precious face from the downpour. You continued to stare up at me with your wide innocent eyes, completely unphased by the puddle of pee now underneath you. Bath time.

I stripped you down and brought you into the bathroom. Quickly, before we could have anymore accidents, I filled your little baby tub and plopped you into the warm water. You sat, content, as I soaped you up and scrubbed the pee out of your hair. After you were nice and clean I picked your little slippery self out of the tub and wrapped you up in your favorite duck towel. It has a little hood with a duck face on it. Adorable. Carrying you back to your room, once again I placed you on the (cleaned off) changing table. I quickly got you a new diaper and helped you into a warm little jumpsuit. We were ready for our midmorning snack.

You spent the rest of the day alternating between snacking and napping. Normally you wake up for at least an hour hear and there. We play with your rattle or we roll around on the floor while you practice lifting your head (it's hard work!). Today you seemed kind of tired though. Several times I held you in my arms and you just sat there with your eyes struggling to stay open. I hope you're not getting my cold. :( At one point you did start to get a little fussy so I carried you into your room. We sat on that comfy glider and as we rocked I sang you songs. Not full songs, just bits and pieces of whatever random song popped into my head. Fever, Summertime, I Want To Break Free, Capri, Kokomo. I really need to learns some lullabys. You didn't seem to mind though, you drifted off with a little smile on your face.

Now here we are. It's night time again. You are making little grunting noises as you sleep over in your swing. Daddy is finally home, but is doing work and I'm considering sneaking a shower in before you decide to have a late night snack. Tonight we will cuddle together, you will drift off to sleep and I will gently place your little swaddled self back in to the co-sleeper. We will do it all again tomorrow. I love you.