Friday, January 8th, 2010 • 5 Comments on Bought the Ticket. Taking the Ride.
Pardon the bad picture, it was taken with my phone yesterday evening. I’m pretty sure it was Patrick’s first real smile and I wanted to capture it, especially since he hasn’t had much to smile about since. This will be a good reminder for those nights (tonight?) when he’s been fussing for hours and I’m at the end of my rope. Patrick has been smiling off and on for weeks, but it was those little random baby smiles that appear out of nowhere (sometimes when he’s sleeping) and disappear just as quickly. This time, he actually smiled in response to something I did and it lasted for a good minute or two. Until I tried to take a picture of him, of course.
It’s been a rough few days of little sleep (for me) and a lot of crying (for him, though I feel like I could cry). Monday and Tuesday were lovely, but it’s been downhill since then—some bad nights with short periods of sleep and a lot of fussiness and crying and seemingly endless hunger and parts of the day that aren’t so great, either. He seems to have gas after he eats, but I’ve done every trick in the book to help him with that and still he cries. Another growth spurt? He’s gaining weight at a pretty good clip, but I just don’t know. He still wanted to eat last night even after he ate three times in less than 6 hours. He sucked on his fingers, but kept losing them in his flailing, so I gave him my finger and he sucked on it for nearly an hour before falling asleep. Maybe he needs a pacifier? I’m afraid to even say the scary word colic because if this goes on for weeks or months I will lose my mind. More than one person has told me that babies cry more in the 3 to 6 week period (or 4 to 8 week period, the anecdotes seem to vary), but no one said why. Just that it does get better. I’m a fix-it girl and I don’t know the fix for this except to wait it out, I guess.
Strangely enough, after fussing and crying for over 5 hours last night, he slept from 1:30 until almost 8:30. That’s almost seven hours after two nights of not sleeping longer than two hours and never having slept longer than four and a half. I didn’t sleep anywhere near that long, of course. It took me at least an hour to unwind (listening to a baby cry is stressful and I have a low tolerance for noise), then the dog woke me up at 6 and then I was freaked out that Patrick hadn’t woken up, so I had to check on him. He was fine, so I went back to bed and did get about another hour of sleep before he started making wake up noises (and I honestly think he would soothed himself back to sleep if I hadn’t gone in to get him). There’s a part of me that wonders if he did wake up in the middle of the night and I was just too exhausted to hear him and that makes me feel impossibly guilty. How would I know? He didn’t seem any more hungry than usual this morning. I figured he was just worn out from the past couple of bad nights.
When you have a baby, his bad days are your bad days, so I’m a bit of an incoherent zombie today. I did get a bunch of stuff done around the house yesterday because his late morning and afternoon naps were peaceful (if short). I was running on some magical reserve tank of energy that I don’t want to examine too closely for fear it will fail me when I need it. Despite the previous bad night’s sleep, I felt pretty good and positive about the day until around 6 PM when the cycle of fussing, feeding, crying, soothing, fussing started again. (Which was, coincidentally enough, about 20 minutes after the above picture was taken.) I guess that’s something, though. A few good hours in the midst of the chaos. And, despite how tired I feel now, I did actually get about five hours of sleep last night followed by another good hour, so that’s about twice as much as I’ve been averaging. I suspect it’s depression and not fatigue that’s making me feel tired today, since I don’t know how the rest of the day and night are going to go. I’ll rally, though. I always do.
I’m looking forward to that mysterious time frame known as “it will get better.” Hopefully sooner, rather than later. I was spoiled for those two weeks when Jay was home and I was getting a stretch of sleep every night. I even got used to the 2-3 hours between feedings of the past couple of weeks (punctuated by a couple of very bad nights). Can’t I have those back, at least? (Yes, I’m whining.)
I’m not complaining, truly. Okay, I am, but I don’t mean to. I’d love to write about something else and as soon as my brain isn’t foggy and I can think of something else, I will write about it. I know it could be worse (that dreaded colic—I’ve heard anecdotes of it lasting nearly around the clock for weeks) and I’m grateful for these little stretches during the day where I do get a few things done and manage to feel somewhat human, if an incoherent human. And I have that little smile above to remind me that it isn’t all crying and fussing, even if it seems like it sometimes.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering about my blog post title, Alison has a post today titled “Buy the ticket. Take the ride.” It has nothing to do with babies and sleep, but it seems to fit my situation. I signed up for this and I even knew what I was in for (minus the absent spouse, the Cesarean section recovery and the inability to resolve every bout of crying), so I can’t complain now. Buy the ticket. Take the ride. Yeah.
It’s a hell of a ride, I’ll tell you that.