It started around 2.5 weeks into D's life. He started being "fussy." Since this is the normal colicky period, we resigned ourselves to a couple months of nighttime fussiness. We tried working out his gas with leg bicycles and tummy massage. I cut out dairy (and then added it back in) in an attempt to remove potential allergens from my diet. I became diligent about his naps in an attempt to prevent him from getting overtired. We shushed and bounced and swayed the days away.
But then, the magic "it gets better" points came and went. His digestion did improve around 5 months, but the nighttime grouchiness continued. It morphed into daytime grouchiness. Some days he cried constantly. He was put on antacid medication by one pediatrician, then another said it does no good and "reflux" will resolve soon anyway.
In the midst of all this, I started googling "baby cries all the time" "baby never sleeps" "X weeks old and still colicky." I was directed to various sites and articles that seemed to fit D. They described a "high needs" baby. It fit him perfectly! Can't be put down, feeds all the time, doesn't sleep well. It was a relief to find out he's "normal" in his own way, but also frustrating because I didn't want to have a baby that was special, even if it meant he was totally developmentally normal, just tempermental. I didn't want to label my tiny little guy, but I wanted desperately to know I wasn't alone.
Thank goodness for Facebook. There are many groups for moms who have babies like D! And as I read their posts, they sounded so familiar. "My baby hates the car." "I can't take a shower without him screaming the whole time." "Why are his naps only 30 minutes long?" There is comfort in knowing there are others out there in your same difficult situation. The moms who'd been at it longer had pointers.
But it's still so hard, because the Internet is virtual, and D is real. My nights are still so, so hard. Every time I hang out with other moms with babies, I'm reminded how different he is. When I'm asked to leave storytime at the library (yes, that actually happened), I'm reminded how different he is. Every time I turn down an invitation because it might possibly interfere with his finely tuned nap schedule, I'm reminded. When he cries when anyone other than me or Nick holds him, I'm reminded. When I'm stuck standing outside the restaurant or party with a screaming baby, I'm reminded.
I know that this too shall pass, but right now things are still rough. I know "the days are long but the years are short," but these days are not getting any shorter. When I see a mom with a toddler, I am so hopeful for the future. We just have to make it there.
Could you be any cuter? I attest that you could not. Remember when you were this wee little guy?
I'm not crying. Who's crying? Definitely not me.
This month, you started laughing slightly more. We still have to work hard to get a laugh out of you. You like when we say the word "toot," which we say a lot because your gas is a big subject of discussion around here. Parenthood is like that. You also like your neck rolls nommed on and raspberries on your belly. Funny noises can easily get a smile out of you, but a laugh is something that requires a bit of effort. You're also rolling over from back to tummy now all the time! Then you scoot backward. Crawling is so frighteningly close. Plus, you're sitting up, mostly! And you found your feet! This month has been huge for development.
You also decided that Kiwi is the coolest. You want to pet her and be in her life at all times. It's precious, although Kiwi would probably beg to differ.
You stayed on antacid meds this month and wow, you are different. You seem overall happier, and you very rarely have "unsoothable" periods. That is huge. It's such an improvement that we've even ventured out to restaurants a couple times. Then we're quickly reminded why we don't go to restaurants. You're not a fan. Maybe someday...
You are still a voracious eater. I'll do another post about breastfeeding thoughts later, but in summary, we won't be stopping anytime soon. You'll start solids once we get the go ahead from your pediatrician this week.
You still have zero teeth! Everyone we've ever met says "teething, eh?" when they observe your grumpiness and penchant for finger chewing. If that is the case, these teeth have been emerging since you were about 6 weeks old. You're just drooly and like to chew things. Everyone needs a hobby.
Baby D, I have spent a lot of your life willing you to grow up, to grow out of whatever stage you're in because maybe things will get easier for us if you just got a bit older. This month, as you got a little brighter and laughed a little more, I starting wanting time to slow way, way down. You are a sweet, intense, loving little guy and I want you to stay this wee and precious forever. I can't believe half a year has passed since you entered our lives. It is a blur of smiles and tears. You have challenged us so much, and we love you for it.
Since becoming a mom (when will that no longer be weird to say?) I've made some life changes. My core personality has been rocked in many ways. Here are some of the trivial ones.
- I care what time things open
10am on a weekend? Come on. What am I supposed to do when I'm up at 6 and want coffee or breakfast? I called the pharmacy at 8am the other day and was irritated that they weren't open. Get on my level, businesses.
- Dancing in public is a thing I do now
Silly voices, sick dance moves, vigorous swaying. I'll do it all if it'll calm or entertain D. I no longer have shame.
-nursing in public? No big deal.
Speaking of no shame, I care a lot about breastfeeding and its normalization. I basically just feed D wherever and whenever. He doesn't eat on any sort of schedule, so while I don't plan on whipping out the boob in every store we go to, sometimes it just happens that way. I'm oddly not self conscious about it. Baby eats when he needs it.
- I can fall asleep in 0.2 seconds
I used to lay in bed and toss and turn for hours. Not anymore! My nights are a blur of being in and out of bed, nursing and bouncing on the ball. I barely wake up all the way before I get back to sleep. In some ways, being overtired is preferable to insomnia, but then the other night I got off the ball and couldn't figure out where I was. Seriously. Lost in my own bedroom. That was weird. I'm so tired.
One part of our running club's grand Prix is running a timed mile at one of the summer track meets. They hold them weekly and it's a really good time. it's fun to see people of all ages and abilities competing in a relaxed atmosphere.
We attended the first meet and I was so nervous. Run a single timed mile? Yeah, ok, that's something I haven't done in 13 years. Nick and I warmed up then hung out and watched the little kid events. I wasn't sure which mile heat I should sign up for. They were split into < or > 7:30, and the fast heat had some really fast people, like local high school kids who run sub-5:00. I went with the fast folks in hopes I wouldn't look super silly.
Who's got 2 thumbs and is in denial about her ability to wear pre-pregnancy shorts? Yeah.
I ended up running a 6:42! Yay me. The best part was running almost the whole race with the same guy, and kicking it to the end with him. The fast finish and chance to "race" was great.
This is me and my racing friend. Posting even though my pelvis is eating my shorts because this photo shows how fun it was to race this guy. Also, so in sync! So heel strike-y!
I had hoped to go to another one of the meets and race again (see: above photo. I was clearly not in a pain place... I wanted to race again and get to that place), but D wasn't having it. He gets grouchy at that time of day and the stimulating environment, muggy weather, and bright setting sun were not ideal for a baby. Next summer he'll be able to participate in the kid races so hopefully we'll get to go more.
The other night, Nick was out of town for work so it was just me, D, and Kiwi at home. And then I got food poisoning. Great timing. As I puked for the second time while my screaming baby clawed at my neck, I thought "This. This is what I wish I'd known about motherhood."
It seems so obvious now, and maybe everyone else knows it already, but you are a mom every day. All the days! Even if you have a headache, or you're puking, or you didn't sleep well (spoiler: you'll never sleep well again). This little person needs you, and those needs don't scale according to the amount of energy you have.
That's been one of the hardest things for me, and I remember when the gravity of it first hit me. D was tiny, just a couple days old. My milk hadn't come in, but in his perfect little mammal way, he was nursing constantly in anticipation. I felt like I wasn't giving him what he needed, and for the first time I realized that I was the one keeping him alive (plus Nick, of course, but I've got the boobs). Keeping him ALIVE. Holy shit. That's a lot of responsibility.
There's no vacation. No day off. No TGIF, because Saturday is interchangeable with Tuesday as far as the baby's concerned. No going to your favorite bathroom stall, the one with the burnt out light so it's nice and dark, to close your eyes, cry or relax. That bathroom stall sanctuary ceased to exist when the baby came out. Now when you need a moment, you just.... You don't get one. Moments to regroup are no longer a thing.
There are single moms out there who do everything, every day, and I'm in awe. My pregnant friend is going to be without her deployed husband for the first 3 months of their baby's life. I honestly couldn't handle that, and I know I am so fortunate to have the support system I have.
I should end on an "omg, he's sooooo worth it " note, and of course he is, but being worth it doesn't change the fact that parenthood is like Groundhog Day plus poop and screaming (and minus Sonny and Cher, because who still has a clock radio?). Tomorrow is another day. That is amazing-more smiles! more wee baby snuggles!- but it is also another day, just like today.
Let's get meta up in here. Blogging about blogging.
It's been quiet around here. I have ideas, but they all seem really mundane. I mean, I stare at the same (amazing, adorable) face all day, every day, I feel like I'm boring to the outside world. But I'm not boring to myself! My life is super interesting. To me. And hopefully Nick.
Blogging is weird. I started this blog to chronicle training for my first full marathon in 2011. It has been with me through 4 marathons, an engagement, a marriage, and a baby. This blog is my longest relationship. That's not a depressing thought at all.
It's a little sad that the most-searched phrase that leads people to this blog is "baby turkeys." I once posted a picture of baby turkeys. Apparently the internet loves that. Baby turkeys baby turkeys baby turkeys. #pageviews.
This totally flows, I swear.
Other search terms? "Flo Rida biatch" and "happy birthday job." People are weird. Or maybe I'm weird because, well, those searches are leading them here.
Blog stats are like a focus group about your blog.
I'm going to keep blogging when I feel inspired, but it'll definitely continue to be sporadic. I mean, I can try to type 500 words every day about my treadmill run, but... no one wants to read that. Instead, I'll pop in when something important happens, like D turning a month older. Those updates will still happen, as will infrequent race reports. Don't miss me too much.