Thursday, August 30, 2012

The inconsolable babykins

"Here we go again, another round of blues."

I've been busy blog hopping and I'm still only halfway through the last reveal. There are so many imaginative bead jewelry designs to admire and comment upon. I'm determined to finish visiting all the blogs by the end of this coming holiday weekend. If I don't leave a comment, its either because I couldn't get the letters and numbers in the captcha right, or the blog was in another language and I couldn't figure out the instructions for comments.

In the meantime, I've been away visiting my baby grandson who is almost 12 weeks old. He's smiling now and is the most adorable little flirt, with his blond hair and big baby blues. Good thing he is such a cutie because he's also a little rascal.

I would say that I never had an "easy" baby. My oldest, Ryland's momma, was a busy bee. She took 30 minute naps and was happy all the time, as long as you interacted with her. She liked to be walked, to play peekaboo, to go for a ride in the stroller. She did not, as some of my friends' kids did, like to sit contentedly in her baby seat, watching the world around her. She could be counted on to fall asleep in the car or in her baby swing.

Ryland is completely unpredictable, and the first baby I've been utterly unable to console. When he's happy, he is a bundle of smiles and cute baby noises. The other 80 percent of the time he is fussing if not out and out bawling. He's awake every couple of hours during the night, which is not exactly my problem, but still a worry, because I love my daughter and she has to go back to work next week and I don't know how you do that when you're up and down with a baby all night.

I try very hard to practice what I preach. As my mom liked to say, I don't try to live other peoples' lives, I have enough trouble living my own. But it's hard when I think my daughter is making things harder on herself than they need to be. She is dead set on giving Ryland nothing but breast milk and unwilling to consider the possibility that he might be less miserable on something like soy formula. Or that he might sleep longer at night with one formula feeding at bedtime.

I went with her this morning to her weekly breast feeding support group, and I had to wonder what kind of koop-aid these women were drinking. The lactation consultant talked about studies showing that breastfed babies tested higher in intelligence at 6 months. I sat there getting madder and madder. I breastfed my girls at first but despite my efforts to build up my milk supply I had to supplement with formula early on. My girls spit up a lot, and soy formula agreed with them better than milk formula. I pumped for a while after going back to work, but my meager supply dwindled further and continuing to breastfeed seemed more trouble than it was worth.

But I resented the implication that I had shortchanged my children by bottle feeding, and at the same time I disagreed with the premise. My girls are plenty smart and you have to consider all the variables. Such as the probability that the same moms who are hell bent on breast feeding are also more likely to be providing stimulation of all types to their kids, probably reading to them more and spending more time catering to their baby intellectual development.

Whatever. The bottom line though is that it isn't my decision. If I truly believe, and I do, that what other people think about me is none of my business, it stands to reason that what I think about my daughter is none of her business. And that includes the sleep issue. The one where my daughter rocks the baby to sleep each and every time, when I would bite the bullet and let him learn to fall asleep on his own

Both my girls slept through the night by the age of two months. Whether or not it was because cows have 4 stomachs so cows milk formula takes 4 times as long to digest, at least according to the lactation consultant, who can say. Whether or not it was because we learned from our mistakes with Baby One, who had to learn how to fall asleep on her own at 15 months, and put Baby Two in her crib, wide awake, much sooner, is anyone's guess.

This morning my daughter woke me at 7:30 and asked me to take the baby, so she could go back to bed for 2 hours. I said, sure, just let me brush my teeth and put on some coffee. Ryland was a joy for about 5 minutes and then the wailing started. I walked him. I rocked him. I put him on his tummy and patted his back. I repeatedly offered him his pacifier, which bought me 30 seconds of peace at a time. I took him into his room and shut the door so his mom wouldn't hear him and think I was beating her child.

Nothing worked. Ryland cried. He didn't pull up his legs as if he had tummyache, he didn't have gas. He wasn't wet or hot or cold or in any obvious physical pain. He was throwing a baby tantrum. And the funniest part was that every so often he would stop crying, smile at me, and then immediately resume crying. When he did finally cry himself down, I put him in his crib, covered him with a light blanket and left the room. Five minutes later, yes, you guessed right, he was ready for another round of blues.

At 9:30 I gave him back to his mom. I felt defeated. I had some belated insight into her postpartum depression that I had largely chalked up to hormones and the aftermath of anesthesia and childbirth itself. Add to that the experience with the breast feeding group and top it off with a 5 hour drive home. I feel so done.

But it didn't rain. And I was able to appreciate the beauty of the late summer countryside once I escaped the evil traffic that relentlessly blankets Fort Worth. Best of all, I'm home. I sleep in my own bed tonight. In my book, heaven is in the details.

"Here we go again, another round of blues
Several miles ago I set down my angel shoes ...

"So wherever you go, you better take care of me
This time, if you're gonna go, remember me and all this time"
Shawn Colvin

1 comment:

Riki Schumacher said...

Poor baby, hopefully he got some rest, and you too! Thanks for swinging by, appreciate it. Your beads are beautiful. Take care, Riki

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Thanks for your comment! I will post it as soon as I receive it. Liz