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Archive for October, 2009

my sleep

Or the lack thereof, actually.

You’ll notice if you look at my post entitled “back again” I made no promises this time.  I did not promise to write every day, or even every other day.  I knew I would never be able to keep these promises for one primary reason: my inconsistent sleep.

There are days, even weeks at times, when I get a solid 8-9 hours nightly.  C exhibits no troubles.  No tummy aches, no growing pains, no teething.  And then there are weeks like this one.  There are weeks when I am lucky to get four hours in a row, when REM sleep seems like a crazy dream, when I look like I’ve had my nose broken my dark circles are so deep.  During these weeks I am lucky to eat three times a day and make sure my little man has enough clean clothes, let alone try to finish my course work or housework.

But what is most frustrating about these types of weeks is how much pain little C seems to be in.  This is one of the most frustrating and heart breaking things about motherhood, something no one warned me about, something I’m not sure anyone could properly explain unless you’ve lived it.  Watching C suffer is the greatest frustration of all.  He cannot speak and yet he suffers so greatly.  I wish he could just point to the problem so I could fix it!

Perhaps this is why infants don’t develop memories, so they won’t have to remember the pain.  Perhaps this is God’s way of teaching parents what it is like to let children go later on, for we’ll have little control then either.  I feel like there must be a lesson in here somewhere, but for now I’m too tired to figure it out.

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Try to put a baby on a schedule.

Seriously! This will drive anyone crazy.  All the books (and several annoying moms) tell anyone who will listen how important it is to get your baby on a schedule, as soon as possible.  My question is why? Why does my baby need a strict schedule? Do they have a job to get to?  Is someone counting on them to show up on time to something? No! All they need to do is get bigger.  That is their job!  And as far as I know, there is no schedule for that.

The books, and moms, told me that putting my son on a schedule will guarantee a happy childhood for C, and therefore a happy mommyhood for me.  Feeling pressured I have attempted to put C on a schedule, everyday, for the last 6 months.  So far here is the schedule we have: 8:00-8:30pm bath, 8:30-9:00pm get ready for bed, 9:00pm bottle.  That’s it.  That’s the only part of the schedule we can actually stick to.  Well, most of the time.  There are some days when even that doesn’t happen, because really, spending some extra quality time with Nanna is worth more to me than making sure C get’s his bottle at exactly 9:00pm.

All this isn’t meant to imply that we don’t have a feeding schedule.  We DEFINITELY do! In fact, our entire day revolves around making sure C eats every 3 hours.  But sometimes the day starts at 7am, sometimes at 9am.  And I, for one, am not going to force him awake at 7am.  I am going to sleep!!  Once we are awake though, we are rigid about our eating.  Our entire day revolves around this!

I wish our day could revolve around nap time.  Maybe this is a fantasy, but it’s a nice fantasy.  I’ve heard some mothers say how their baby goes down for naps like clockwork everyday at 11am and 3pm, and bed promptly at 8.  I do not live in that world.  I don’t think I’m even in the same universe.

C fights sleep from the second he starts yawning.  It takes everything I have to get him to lie down and sleep for 20 minutes by himself.  Sometimes this process takes only 5 minutes, other times it will take nearly an hour to get him asleep.  This does not work well with any kind of nap schedule.  The only sleep I can count on is when he gets that last bottle of the day.  By the time the last drop leaves the nipple, C is asleep.  Sometimes I will just hold him awhile to make sure, paranoid about any sudden movement or unnecessary noise.  And when at last he goes down, I try to follow shortly after, because if I’m lucky he won’t wake until 7am, if I’m not he’ll (and by that I mean we’ll all) be up at 4.

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Did I really just write that?  A new me?  Well, I guess I do think of myself in a new way, as a new me.

I am essentially the same person as I was over a year ago, before pregnancy.  I still love the same movies, I love my library school, I am still completely nerdy for things like historical fiction and vampire movies/tv shows.  And while my tastes in things helped to define me (and my group of friends) for most of my life, suddenly things are different.

Motherhood now seems to define me.  You may object, “what? no! don’t let motherhood be the only thing that defines you! be an individual! go out and indulge in your hobbies and interests.”  excellent advice, stranger.  And once my son is regularly sleeping through the night, or maybe not until he goes to pre-school, I fully plan on reclaiming my independence (well at least in part).

Until my son is more of an individual, I think individuality will be extremely difficult for me to attain.  My interests will be my sons interests, or more to the point, my interests will mainly be my son!  At this stage in his life C is completely dependent on me for nearly every aspect of survival.  I’m finding it difficult to focus on anything other than helping him thrive.  I do enjoy my moments of quiet independence here and there.  About once a week, I’ll draw myself a bubble bath and read a good book (I have no time to waste on bad books).  Sometimes, at night, when C is asleep, before I drift off, I roam Etsy or research resort vacations and indulge in my fantasy life.  These moments are rare, typically squeezed into tight minutes that better spent in more productive pursuits.  And, also typically, they are often interrupted.  Most of the time I am happy to rush to my son, but I must admit, there are moments when I’ll sink lower in the warm bath water, waiting just a few seconds longer for the heavy husband footsteps to cross to the crib.

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back again

At the urging of a friend, I am back….again….Sigh….

I don’t know why I can’t keep up with my blog, but I’ll try again.  So here’s the update: C is now 6 and 1/2 months old, 16 lbs, and nearly 28 inches.  That is quite a change! He was only 6 lbs 12 oz and 19 inches at birth.  I really can’t believe how much he’s grown.

I joined a Mom’s group and today was my first attendance.  Several of the moms had babies younger than my C.  Looking at these 3 month olds I found myself wondering how C was ever that small!  Now this is probably just my mommy bias, but C always seemed so alert and focused.  He started having good eye contact right off the bat, as well as tracking.  So seeing these babies as their eyes roamed, heads lolling, I wondered if C was ever like that or was I just biased? Was I deluding myself into thinking he was an alert little baby?  What exactly would be the point of such a delusion? Hmmm….

Plus so many of these babies were little rolly pollies! They’re adorable with their chubby cheeks and fat little hands.  My poor little C is a scarecrow in comparison.  While technically not under-weight, he’s always been on the skinny side, which seems to have caused him to skip his appearance of infancy.  C has always looked like a little boy, rather than an androgynous baby.  Even the other mommies commented on how C looked older than his mere 6 months.  “So serious” they said, smiling.  “He takes in everything, doesn’t he?”

He does indeed, my little man.  Maybe I’m not so deluded after all.

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