Last night I asked my husband if he thought we should jump into the Moms on Call strategery (typo intended) or not. As is his way, he replied very casually that he already was, kind of/ mostly, and everything would be fine, was actually already pretty fine right now.
He does that thing often, damn him, calmly bringing me back to the land where people don’t freak the f*ck out over everything.
I’m not (yet?) okay with any kind of planned cry it out strategy for my one-month old son. Call me sentimental – or a sucker – but for now, my job is to get the kid what he needs within reason, whether that is food or help burping or soothing or a glorious day of cuddles and naps in my arms.
“Within reason” is italicized because that’s where my husband keeps us grounded. I forget the reason part, all caught up instead in wishing and should’ing and freaking the f*ck out, so he reminds me not to expect to be a superhero. He does this in fewer words, of course.
So we’re sticking to our general routine and modifying it in bits as we can without any grand plan or countdown. And as little crying as can manage, both for Javs and myself. And in addition to paying attention to what he’s trying to tell us, I’m also paying attention to my emotions and the signals they’re throwing out. Last night, for example, my late night tears were trying to tell me to back the f*ck off of the scheduling planning stresstravaganza and hold my son more. The swing, the swaddle, and the bouncer weren’t the problem; my feeling like I should be putting him down in them for our own good was.
I want to hold my son, damn it, and I will! (Until my back muscles stage a protest, that is. If you’re pregnant, do back/ neck muscle exercises! Ain’t no way to carry a baby around and not end up with knots for a little while.)
Here’s where we are for inquiring minds: At four weeks old, my son eats every 2 hours and 40 minutes (start to start) during the day, often more than the recommended three ounces every three hours, but we try not to starve newborns around here (especially those born in the five pound range) so we feed him when he asks… and then again when he insists he’s not finished!
We’re still experimenting with our night time routine, but for now my husband and I parent in shifts so that each of us gets at least one three-hour stretch of sleep. Or so we hope. Generally Joey goes to bed around 9 while JJ eats, gets a bath, a few diaper changes, and a swaddle. We’re supposed to sneak into the bedroom around midnight but we’ve been heading in as soon as Jav’s asleep. He’s sleeping in a swing for now, something I’ll probably phase out one night next week to see if it’s really making a difference or not.
He eats again around midnight, though we hope for later (1:30 am last night, woo, hoo), wakes again at 4:00 am, and then is generally up for good around 6.
At first I took the 4-ish feeding and all was well, but for the last two nights my husband and I have accidentally switched and I’ve done the (super easy) 1-ish feeding while he’s done the more difficult 4-ish feeding. Either way, we each one good chunk of sleep and life seems much better than before.
Javi sleeps in our room, but whomever wakes up with him spirits him away to the nursery once it’s confirmed he’s not just dreaming or messing with us with a faux wake-up. This allows the sleeping person to not have to hear every elephant grunt this kid throws out to lodge his annoyance at being changed/ undressed/ redressed/ wiped down/ burped/ re-swaddled.
In swaddle-related news, we are now on the “Happiest Baby on the Block” bandwagon, and so happily so. Don’t waste your time with the book, please; the DVD is far superior in terms of preparing you for what you’re up against. I laughed AND cried when they kept showing screaming babies being swaddled, because OH YEA, THAT’S WHAT IT’S LIKE AROUND HERE TOO! The book doesn’t convey the screaming-bloody-murder experience you go through during the swaddling process like the video does. We tried cheater swaddles (the velcro one by Summer is pretty good) but in the end just use the huge swaddle blankets I made (will link to the post at some point in the future, just search for swaddle and I’m sure you’ll find it).
To recap: my kid is actually sleeping pretty well since he’s doing a couple of long stretches mostly at night and I’m choosing not to try to schedule him otherwise since it feels like a battle I won’t win at this point. I totally get that somebody else COULD win the battle, but me? I’m a sucker right now a wimp choosing to save tears for both herself and her son by keeping on keeping on. My awesome husband is totally willing to continue splitting the wake-ups and avoid tears. Score.
New blogging strategy: just write, then just publish. While I wish I was still writing thoughtful, articulate essays about specific topics like in my engagement days, all I was really doing was stacking up draft posts – and guilt. Let the run-on sentences and lack of a coherent point begin! (er, continue)