Gonna go ahead and jinx it

I know speaking of the Good Sleep will only jinx it and/or chase it away, but I have to write this down somewhere in case it never happens again:

Lady Jr went seven hours last night!

After two hours of crying, some of which broke my heart, she must have plum worn herself out. Seven hours is two past the official Sleeping Through the Night five hour criteria, so I guess we can say she’s done it. Of course, I didn’t sleep through the night, but I got several, individual hours of sleeping plus the three my wife made sure I got (by taking baby) and then I kept waking up and watching her wiggle and thinking is she going to wake up now??

Anyway. I accept the consequences of publicly mentioning her incredible number of hours slept. She will not do this again any time soon. But now I have hope that she can. There’s a light at the end of this tunnel after all.

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8 Weeks

8 Weeks

Lady Jr:

Good days, bad days. She screamed through the evenings half of this week, and was relatively calm the other half. We’ve given up on predicting these episodes and just go with the flow. So sometimes I get sleep and sometimes I don’t. Oh well.

She can hold her head up while I carry her around close to my chest and the last few walks she’s been awake and looking out/around for more than just a minute here and there. She’s tried to grab my arm and has started grabbing diaper liners at changing time. She smiles and babbles and turns her head this way and that. I think I caught the beginning of a laugh the other day. She looked up and saw the mobile on her bouncer this morning and watched it with no small amount of delight.

Sleep is improving in fits and starts. One night last week she went five hours and twenty minutes between feeds. I’d say five hours asleep, but she woke up in the middle with a wet diaper. By the time I’d changed it, she was already out like a light. Then these past two nights she’s been waking up every two and a half hours again. She still refuses to go to bed before 11pm, but at least she doesn’t wake up until after 7am.

When she wakes up, sometimes it’s with a few screams and sometimes she just opens her eyes and looks around. The latter seems to be happening more and more often.

Speck:

I am re-learning every song I’ve ever known as I try to sing this baby to sleep at night. Recently, I’ve memorized Mein Kleiner Gruener Kaktus. Next I’m aiming for 99 Luftballoons. Idk, maybe German songs will make her feel sleepy in the future?

I’m starting to feel fat. I haven’t lost any weight since that initial drop and the sleep dep and bad eating means that whatever calories I’m burning through breast feeding are being negated. I wish I could exercise more than just going for walks, but most days I can’t imagine going for a run, let alone lifting, because I’m so tired. And on the good days, I just don’t have a chance because I can’t really take baby running or lifting with me. She can at least go on walks.

I’ve graduated from simply trying to keep this little chub alive to thinking of her as a kind of super-needy pet to beginning to realize this is a tiny human and I am one of her moms. I can’t stand to hear her crying and it’s getting harder and harder for me to hand her off to grandma so I can sleep/write/pee. I feel super guilty whenever I’m not there with her, paying attention to her, etc etc even though I know at this age existing is enough stimulation for her.

I’ve also come face to face with almost every single one of my faults over the past two months. I thought becoming a mother was supposed to elevate you into an instantly self-less, caring individual, not lay bare all the ugliness you never knew was there. I’m much more controlling than I’d ever thought and just plain mean sometimes. I’m working on both but… I can see why marriages fall apart after a baby. You have to be really, really aware of what you’re doing and saying and why.

Dr Lady:

She’s still having a hard time with the work/baby/life balance. Evenings are a little bit easier for her now that baby is not always throwing a screaming fit and I’ve been staying up, but she’s worried about how little time she gets to spend with the baby.

Also that I’m less and less willing to relinquish the baby when she’s fussy. Because well, I’ve been with baby all day and know what’s up and can usually get her to calm down quickly. But then Dr Lady never gets a chance to figure out what’s up and feels even less connected with her daughter. So Lady Jr fusses and fusses and then I swoop in and she stops fussing and the end result is Dr Lady feels like a failure and I feel like I always have to soothe the baby.😦 It’s a hurdle I never anticipated, and any hints or tips would be greatly appreciated. And it’s not just Dr Lady – I keep swooping in on grandma, too. Aaggh.

Now that you’ve suffered through all that, have some pics!

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Being 8 weeks and nigh 2 months, I thought I’d look back at how much Lady Jr has grown and wow. Above are, from top left clockwise, 1 week, three weeks, six weeks, and 8. Those first few months when she was just a wee worm seem like so long ago now.

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Lady Jr and Dr Lady.

 

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Content floor time.

 

And bonus! first sticky snow this seasons. I’m excite. My more snow-experienced Minnesotan wife is less so.

SNOW!!

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Seven Weeks

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This last week has included the lowest lows and the highest highs so far. I think I’m suffering from whiplash.

We went from inconsolable screaming and the depths of sleep dep hell to a baby who smiles and babbles and is – for the most part – content during the day.

Nights are still another thing.

But I can see the light ahead and as long as I get a modicum of uninterrupted sleep, everything is okay.

Lady Jr:

Smiles, coos, laughs. Made eye contact for the first time. Likes to sit in my lap and look around. Also likes to sit in the high chair my brother got us and watch us cook. Also loooves to be in the carrier, looking around. We had a family photo session while my brother and sis-in-law were in town and I was hoping Lady Jr would just sleep through it instead of crying, but she surprised us all by not only being awake, but being content.

Still having gas troubles. It subsided for a few days, but came back again. It doesn’t seem as bad, but the poor thing just seems to be made of farts sometimes.

Still having trouble getting her to sleep in the evenings. I suspect we’re just going about it all wrong. One time last week she went down at 7.30 and stayed down, but of course I can’t remember what we did differently that day. Last night she screamed and fussed until 11. I don’t mind waking up with her every 3 hours throughout the night at this point – I just want to figure out how we can avoid a four hour fussathon.

She is better about sleep, slowly. She needs the bouncer to be on to fall asleep, but once asleep she’ll stay stay that way even when it turns off – but only at night. A few times she’s even fallen asleep on her own in the bouncer if we put her in sleepy, which is awesome. Now we’re working on transitioning her to her box and – eventually – her crib. Just now I got her to fall asleep in her box, even though she didn’t stay asleep long. But it’s all progress.

Speck:

From the depths of sleep dep hell I have ascended to… normalcy. Or what passes as normalcy these days. Still frustrated when I can’t get anything else done except sleep and take care of the baby. Still anxious about this big project due at the end of January. Still wish I could just sleep for three hours straight.

But I’m doing better and as long as I take a deep breath and put Lady Jr in her carrier and get something – anything done – I feel okay.

Physically, I’m still walking 3+ miles most days and my OB cleared me for all activity last week, so I’ve thrown in a lifting session or two for mental health. They’re light and slow and still I feel like I’ve lost a lot of strength. I’m going to keep it at 2 or less sessions per week until three months and avoid going too heavy. This is just to get back to doing something that makes me happy, not to lose weight or rebuild strength.

Speaking of weight, I feel like I dropped a lot in the first two weeks and then just stopped. I hadn’t been thinking about it – it’s not a priority when you’re too exhausted to move – but I’ve become increasingly self conscious about my lingering pudge and round face. Only a few of my loosest skirts fit and most of my shirts are super tight – although that’s probably because of these giant boobs, honestly. Nothing to do for it yet, except try not to let it bother me.

Dr Lady:

Watching her struggle with work/baby/life balance has made me nervous to go back to work myself, even part time. There are just not enough hours in the day. The long weekend helped a lot, letting her bond with baby again, but she’s had a rough time feeling like an equal part of the team. It doesn’t help that the time she gets home in the evening is generally when Lady Jr is gearing up for a fussathon.

We thought that letting her have Lady Jr while I slept in the evenings would be best, but then a) I don’t really see my wife and b) my wife, tired from working all day, gets the exquisite joy of calming an inconsolable baby by herself. Not exactly fair. So we’re tag-teaming again.

Her science is going, when it can. It’s hard to get much done when she’s only there for five or six hours, but she’s starting to be able to be there longer some days.

I’m sure we’ll find balance eventually. Sleep first.

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Better

(oh god don’t jinx it)

Last week was rough. We started off failing miserably by trying to change our routine right when Lady Jr decided it was time to change things up and it just went down hill from there. She started screaming in the evenings again, which meant I needed to stay up and help by letting her comfort nurse. Which also meant I forewent my guaranteed 3-4 hours of sleep. Which meant I didn’t get any sleep. Which meant by Monday/Tuesday, I was a bit of a wreck.

And then Dr Lady got sick. In my efforts to make sure she got sleep and got better asap, I had the Night From Hell. After five days of really bad sleep and increasing insomnia, Lady Jr decided it was time to scream for four hours. Straight. When she finally went down for the night at 12am, I couldn’t sleep. All I could do was lie on the couch and anxiously wait for her to wake up. For five hours.

I saw the abyss, you guys.

I cried until my eyes hurt. I thought all the dark, awful thoughts I could possibly think. I completely, 100% understood why some women snap and hurt their babies/themselves. I didn’t blame Lady Jr but I felt nothing for her. She smiled – I sobbed.

I never, ever, ever want to do that again. That wasn’t just exhaustion. That was something beyond exhaustion. It was a dark, awful place.

Also please remind me that if a new mom tells me she’s exhausted I should never tell her “well my child is still waking once a night at 9 months!”

Anyway.

Bless my mother for being here and helping out. I was able to hand off the baby and get a few hours of sleep the next day, so I didn’t break. But it wasn’t until I caved and took a benadryl that I was able to fall asleep again. Lady Jr was better the next night – some crying, but soothable – and then the following night Dr Lady was better.

And now last night I got six hours of sleep. Not altogether, of course. But holy shit.

And Lady Jr has been smiling and sleeping and babbling and oh god, I hope we’re on the downhill now.

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It’s 5am. I’ve had 1 hour of sleep. please send positive vibes. or sleep.

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Six Weeks Old

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Well. Six weeks and a day, now.

We’ve hit peak fuss. By god, I hope it’s peak fuss. I don’t know if I can do it if it gets much worse than this.

I couldn’t update on Tuesday because I was breaking down from exhaustion. Lady Jr and I both had shitty sleep for the weekend and Monday and I guess only four hours a night on top of weeks of too-little sleep was just too much. It got the point where I was anxious and hysterical and unable to sleep, which is never a good place to be. But after trying to go to sleep for five(!) hours, a benadryl, ear plugs, white noise, a beer, some magnesium, and being reassured that I wouldn’t be woken up, I was finally able to fall asleep.

For two hours. Then I woke up and rushed out because Lady Jr was crying and I thought Dr Lady needed help. She didn’t. She pushed me back to bed where I slept. For another three hours. And then I woke up again to Lady Jr crying and rushed out and well, that was still more and better sleep than I’d gotten in a week so.

Anyway.

Lady Jr had her six week check-up. She’s all of nine and a half pounds, which is right in line with gaining .5 pounds a week. I’m still flabbergasted she can be so tiny, considering all of the women I’ve known who gave birth to 9+ pound babies. But Lady Jr is just long and skinny, and is it weird I worry about her being chubby enough? But the doctor says she’s fine so I’ll believe it.

Well… fine-ish. She’s been spitting up and gassy and inconsolably screaming, so the doc thinks she might have reflux and/or be colicky.😦 We’ve been giving her gas drops occasionally, but now we’re giving her drops after every feeding as well as probiotic drops. I was very gassy myself for a while after eating a batch of almond butter brownies my mom had made, so I am hoping that now those are gone, we’ll both feel better. I don’t know what else it could be – I’m not eating anything else regularly enough that could be problematic – except just an immature gastrointestinal tract. Which is tied into peak fuss.

Anyway.

I’m tired but I don’t have time to be tired because I have work to do but I don’t have time to do that work because I’m tired and trying to keep everything together because I’m a virgo and I can’t not be a virgo, apparently. Why do I need to have clean clothes and a clean kitchen and a vacuum’ed floor?? Why do things have to be picked up and put away and organized?? I see the mold that needs to be scrubbed away in the shower that I haven’t had a chance to get to and it brings physical pain. I don’t know how to not care about those kinds of things, though. I thought the not giving a fig about chores and messes would come with the hormones or something, but I still care. I care about the dust on the shelves and the cat’s untrimmed claws and the hair on the floor in the bathroom and the dirty windowsills and the clutter on the counters and the dirt tracked in by muddy shoes and this basket of laundry that needs to be put away –

And I wear Lady Jr and get some of it done but there’s four (five??) people in this house and it’s so hard to keep up with it all and I’m so tired…

It gets better. It has to get better. Peak fuss. That means we’re on a downhill now, right?

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Six Week Sleep Regression, or Why We Have Bad Timing

You guys.

Lady Jr had been doing SO WELL. Ever since 3 weeks, she’s been consistently sleeping longer and better during the second half of the night. In the past week, she started showing signs that she was ready to sleep better a little earlier in the night, too. She just had to get her fuss out and then from 9/10pm until 7/8am she’d wake and eat and go back to sleep with no fanfare or tears.

We thought – okay. She’s been consistent. We’ve seen this behavior for several weeks and days now. Let’s try consolidating the sleep shifts and just trying to share the room with her, all one big family. Worst case scenario, she goes back to her regularly scheduled fussing for the first half of the night, but we still get sleep the second half. That we could rely on.

Ahahahahaah.

So I eschewed  my usual 7-11 sleep and we both stayed up until 10ish and we had a lovely evening watching a movie together. Then I fed Lady Jr and it was time for sleep! Lots and lots of sleep!

Except, for the first time in easily three weeks, Lady Jr decided that she was going to scream and cry and refuse to sleep during the second half of the night. I got up with her at 1.30 when she fussed and wouldn’t settle after her 12am feed and finally handed her off to Dr Lady at 3 when she absolutely wouldn’t go back to sleep. She was behaving exactly like she did during her evening fuss – one way of holding/soothing would work for 5 or 10 min before she started screaming again and occasionally it would look like she had fallen asleep, but the second you try to put her down, those eyes were wide open and the fussing began again.

Omg.

It’s true that once you get used to not being sleep deprived, it’s a whole lot more difficult to be exhausted and dealing with this. I cried. She cried. It sucked.

Dr Lady came to the rescue and let me get some desperately needed sleep. When I got up again a few hours later, I googled six weeks growth spurt. Dr Lady had likewise googled, and we both arrived at the same realization: it was time for another growth spurt. And, apparently, a sleep regression.

Of course this just happened to coincide exactly with our attempts to get more/better sleep.

Such is life.

But at least now I know it wasn’t because Lady Jr hates us. It’s just really, really bad timing on our part. So back to the staggered sleep schedule we go and maybe I’ll see my wife again next month.😦

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