Took our child to DH’s workplace today. I wanted them to see what he’s missing all day. It doesn’t hurt to give them some perspective. Oh, this is why he doesn’t really want to be here. They gathered round our little angel and ooohed and aaahed over her, just as I knew they would. I’m not going to lie, it feels so good to hear how pretty your baby is. I get a chance to brag about how wonderful and sweet she is, about how it’s all worth it and imply that everyone should get one of these. Why do parents do this? So we’re all in the same club? No one wants to talk about the shitty parts. I didn’t share the shitty parts either. Because I have this blog. I will tell you, readers, all about the shitty parts. Aren’t you lucky?
My hair has started falling out. I thought maybe, just maybe, that would be one side effect of having a child that I wouldn’t get (along with hemmoroids – thank God I didn’t get those. I have a friend with severe hemmies before and after the birth of her child, and she might need surgery. I’m horrified for her.) Everyone thinks that being pregnant gives you great thick hair. That’s a myth. What all those hormones do is keep your hair from falling out like it normally does, which makes your hair feel thicker and more lustrous. Along with thin hair, before I was with child, I had hair that fell out a lot. I’d comb my hair after a shower and throw away a giant clump. My DH would find my hair everywhere – in the dust bunnies, on the bottom of his socks and in the shower drain – and would almost delightfully pick them off my upper back. Well, when I got pregnant, it stopped. I won’t say I had great hair, but it was nice to run my fingers through it and not come back with a hairball the size of Texas. Well, almost 3 months post birth, it has started. Great globs of hair. I got a respectable mommy haircut (chin length) hoping that would slow it down, but it didn’t. When I comb my hair, it’s a little alarming. I mean, how many days before I’m bald? It’s not enough that I’m throwing away big hairballs, but I find my stray hairs on my baby: wrapped around her toe, in her mouth, on her bottle’s nipple. What the fuck?
Chalk that up to another topic no one really talks about. Along with what happens to your boobs. (Badum-bum! You know I can’t post without talking my boobs!)
I’m lopsided. And it’s all my fault. Because I inadverantly favored my left breast (because milk comes out of it sooner and more plentiful), it got more use. Which means it makes more milk and is quite a bit larger than the right one. I’m trying to now put my baby on the right one more often to even it out, but it doesn’t feel right. And she agrees – she often cries in frustration before the milk starts flowing on that side. I know she’s not getting as much, so I always flip her over to the left one. I can’t help it. So I guess I’ll just be lopsided, along with all the other unsightly blemishes that have become my boobs. Thankfully, it’ll soon be fall weather and I can wear scarves to distract the eyes from the chest deformity. Do they make bras that are padded on just one side?
In other news, my baby won’t sleep. I mean, it’s one thing babies are born with – the ability to eat, sleep and poop, right? But it appears little C is going to be a light sleeper like her mom. I cannot get her to nap for very long. And again, it’s probably my fault. I liked having her sleep on me. It’s what I did in the early weeks. I kept hearing how skin to skin contact was so good, so I put her on my chest, and we napped together. So now, she sleeps best when she’s on me. I’ll breastfeed her for 5 minutes, and she’s out. And if I don’t move, she can sleep for over an hour on my lap. But given that she’s soon about to spend her days with a nanny, I thought I’d try to train her to sleep off of me. It’s not working. IF I can set her down when she falls asleep on me, and IF she doesn’t wake up, she’ll sleep for maybe 20 to 30 minutes on average. And that’s it. So I spend my day trying to get her to go back to sleep. And then before I know it, it’s time to get her to bed for the night, and I have to start over, only with crying because she’s so overtired by then that she’s turned into a demon baby.
The experts say a baby’s sleep cycle isn’t complete after 30 minutes, so that means she’s not getting enough restful sleep. Which probably explains why getting her to sleep at night is such a struggle. An overtired baby is not fun.(And I feel so awful about this! Worrying about the amount she sleeps is second only to worrying about the amount she eats.) I’m trying to put her down sleepy, not asleep, so she learns to comfort herself and fall asleep on her own. Also not working. She cries. I’m sorry, but I can’t listen to my child cry. I try to just show her I’m there, rub her belly, maybe pick her up and rock her for a minute before setting her down again, and it has worked a few times (when she was so tired she was delirious.) But most of the time, I pick her up and try everything again: feed her, change her, rock her, play music, try the swing, and finally breastfeed her, which knocks her out after 5 minutes, and then I let her sleep on me, afraid to move. Sigh…
Recently, I spent 2 and a half hours trying to get her to nap. She finally crashed in the swing after 20 minutes. Success! (Even though there’s something about the swing that makes me feel guilty. Like I’m cheating or somehing.) And then DH came home and accidentally woke her up after 20 minutes. #$%^&*@! So, after I gave the unhappy baby to him and cried in the shower for a bit, I breastfed her and let her sleep on my lap – for 30 minutes.
Then we went for a walk around the neighborhood, which C seemed OK with. We got home, fed her some formula and then I started the bedtime routine. You would’ve thought I was inserting needles under her fingernails. She cried and screamed so hard, she started choking.
You know that yucky feeling when you hear a baby screaming? That “oh god, how annoying, someone please shut that kid up” feeling? Now multiply it by 100 and add a knife shoved into your heart. That’s what it feels like when your own baby is crying that hard. It physically hurts my heart to hear her cry like that. Ouch. That sucks for both of us. And I know that all she needs is 5 minutes on the boob and she’ll be out, but she’s so upset, she won’t clamp down on it. After 15 minutes of ear-piercing crying, she finally accepted my breast and knocked herself out. I set her down and swaddled her, which woke her up briefly, but then she turned her head to the side, let out a giant sigh and was out. Whew.
That shit is horrible. And if you’re a soon-to-be parent, I will leave you with this bit of advice, courtesy of the Baby Whisperer: Start as you mean to go on. Don’t want your child to not be able to sleep off of you? Don’t let her get used to sleeping on you. Want your baby to have a regular routine of eating, sleeping and playing so you can have some time to yourself? Then put her on one as soon as you can. Don’t know anything about babies but think you’ll just “figure it out” when yours is here? Do yourself a favor: Get a book about babies and start reading now. Better yet, take a parenting class. This stuff is hard. And she’s not even a teenager yet. Lord, help me…
Today, we were asked to dress you in a Derby Dolls onesie and model for some photos for their website. We took a photo of you just as you spit up all over your father. We both laughed so hard, we were crying. “That’s pretty rock n roll,” I said. I don’t mind holding onto this family memory. Good stuff.