Growth Spurt

These last 24(ish) hours have been… challenging.

I remember the 6-weeks age with Graham – which really is saying something because his entire first year of life, especially infancy, have almost been wiped clean from memory. Even so? I remember that 6-week age being… challenging too.

There is supposedly a documented 6-week growth spurt for babies, and I believe Reid is deep in the throes of it.

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It started yesterday with a feeding frenzy. Instead of being full and happy after eating, Reid would arch his back and screech for more. And so the cluster feeding began. Eventually he’d pass out for some fitful sleep, but sleep would be short and, soon enough, he’d be back at the eating game again.

Even last night’s sleep wasn’t great. (But it is worth noting that it wasn’t terrible either.)

Today was more of the same. I couldn’t put Reid down while he was sleeping or he’d wake up crying in a matter of minutes. Essentially, my entire day has consisted of feeding, calming a crying baby or sitting with a sleeping baby in my lap.

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AND AS NICE AS THAT SEEMS…
it is.

Until Waking Hour #7.

And then you realize that you have been awake all day with an unhappy baby, sporting greasy unbrushed hair, wearing pajamas that you’ve had on for just shy of 24 hours, having barely moved off the couch – and STILL you cannot set the sleeping baby in his crib or he will wake up and cry for the 294,485,078th time.

Approximately speaking, of course.

It was about that time that I called Andy to whimper out my day’s grievances. He, of course, could do nothing from his desk down in Dallas, but just talking it out refreshed me to try for the 294,485,079th time. And wouldn’t you know it? Success.

And long enough to take a shower at that.

Now I’ve got Andy and Graham home and things are looking up. Reid is feeling satisfied after meals again, and he just had a 2-hour nap. Yippee!

Let’s Talk about the Last Two Days, Shall We?

I’m sitting here in a hotel room in Toronto, hoping that the follies of the last 48 hours haven’t followed me across the Canada border.  Because, YIKES okay?  Let’s review.

Monday morning was crazed.  Graham was up early, so we had a bit of a… time… getting out of the house.  It was raining, Graham was yelling about being in the car, the car complained unusually loudly about having to start, I had to get the trash cans out to the curb and the Netflix DVD in the mail.  Death by miniscule tasks, is what it was.

Fine.  As ALWAYS everything calmed down when we were on the road to work/school.  I got Graham situated in class at daycare, and he cried because I’d gotten there after the cutoff for a transition snack (long story).  About 10 minutes later, I finally got to my desk.  And then I realized I’d forgotten my tall mug of coffee back in the car.

These are called ‘first world problems,’ by the way.  When you live such an unebelievably priviledged life that you find a way to complain when the conveniences aren’t working out for you.  😛

My workday picked up after I replaced my coffee, I’m happy to report.  Later that afternoon, I got a shock when I was asked to go sit in on a meeting with our Chief Marketing Officer, along with my senior VP and his second-in-command.  Talk about stressful for a last-minute request, but I think I got out of there without sounding too stupid!

Finally, it was the end of the day.  Andy’s folks were almost to our house – ready to spend the week taking care of Graham while I’m traveling – and I had collected my boy from his class and had gotten him strapped in the hot car with a small snack of Goldfish.  What an awful time to find out that the car wouldn’t start.  All I got out of it was that sickening “click-click-click-click” of a dead battery.  No kidding.

So, I unstrapped Graham from the car, and toted him alllll the way back down a long corridor to the daycare, where they phoned for security.  We walked alllll the way back down to the car and sweated while security took their sweet time getting to the car.  I sound a little miffed because – not only did they take a long time to get to the car – they also made it very clear that they were being nice by giving me a jump since I didn’t work for that particular corporate headquarters.  I was angry.

To add insult to injury: their little battery pack didn’t have enough juice to get my car going.  So back Graham and I went, allll the way down the corridor to the daycare to call Andy and pass the 30 minutes it takes for him to get to school.

The car got started, we got home, ordered takeout for dinner, got Graham to bed and wouldn’t you know it?  Not an hour later, after Andy tried to sync my phone to the computer to put the new Chili Peppers album on it, my phone somehow got completely bamboozled, wouldn’t start up, and had to get reset back to the factory settings.

AND our Mac, being awesome as it is, was never able to recognize my stinking phone, so I couldn’t restore it back to all my custom presets.  I’m in Canada with a phone that works.  It has four apps and no phone numbers, photos or music stored in it.  Sigh.

Today was less eventful.  I got 20 minutes down the road en route to the airport before I realized that I’d forgotten my laptop charger.  I had to go back for it, there was no choice in the matter.  Then my flight was 45 minutes delayed and I had to wait in the longest customs line ever.

BUT, today is better by miles – no doubt about it.  Plus, I got to Skype with my little guy before he headed off to bed.  Nothing like seeing your son’s face light up and hearing him yell, “MOMMY!” when he sees you on the computer screen.  I swear I could go for months on that.  :)

Sorry about the length of this post.  I HAD to get all that out!  Bless you for listening.

Reflections on Week 2

Well, I’m happy to report that we’re all here, and we’re all still alive after 2-and-a-half weeks. Last week was unbelievably rough. Graham was going through what a lot of babies go through in their second week (source = Dr. Google): cluster feeding. Means baby wants to eat and eat and eat, gets fussy shortly after finishing a feeding session, and, anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes later, wants to eat again. As a new mom once told me, “… during these growth spurts, I just plop myself in front of the TV and switch sides all day long.”

All I have to say is UGGGGHHHH. Graham and I did this for an entire 5 days in a row. When your baby is eating all the time, it means he’s barely sleeping. When he’s barely sleeping, you have no time to eat, shower or sleep yourself. So many times I had to put him down in his crib to cry it out while I went to the bathroom. Eventually, it starts to wear on a girl.

In fact, I reached my breaking point on Thursday, when I was pumping with one hand (per the Consultant’s orders), eating a PBJ sandwich with the other, and bouncing Graham in his bouncer with one foot to keep him from crying. I called Andy in desperation to relay what my day had been like to that point. I always feel marginally bad doing this, because he sounds like he feels so helpless over the phone. There’s really nothing he can do in those situations to help me. That afternoon, though, he said, “Tell ya what. I’m taking the day off tomorrow to help you.” Now, normally I’ll brush those offers off, opting to be a strong independent woman, but that day I was thanking my lucky stars and blubbering “thank you” over the phone in 0.5 seconds flat.

Craig, Susan and Michael came for a visit this last weekend, arriving Friday, leaving Sunday. I was personally terrified that Graham was going to keep these marathon feeds up through the weekend and that I’d have family – who’d come specifically to see the baby – sitting downstairs in my living room, while I holed myself up in the nursery with Graham to let him eat. Sure, it’s nothing I can control, but I still wanted to make it a great visit, and I was terrified that history would continue to repeat itself.

Saturday morning, after we were certain that Graham had eaten his fill, he still showed signs of wanting to eat. IMPOSSIBLE. And my nightmare was coming true. Andy said the magic words, “Give him the pacifier.”

We’ve been withholding use of a pacifier until Graham got nursing under control. Apparently babies can get pacifiers confused with the real thing. I totally thought that was bunk, but we introduced a paci in Graham’s first week and it totally screwed the feeding thing up. Now we had another week under our belts, and… well… we were desperate to get Graham in a mood conducive to socializing.

It worked. Turns out this kid just has an overdeveloped desire to suckle. Fine. Now he gets to soothe himself to his heart’s content and I get to keep my shirt on. Win-win.

This week, we actually saw a break in the cluster feeding cycle on Monday. Graham would eat, then sleep, wake, and repeat. Eating about every two hours. I, in turn, got time to sleep, eat, and take care of myself. It was magical. Today, I haven’t been as lucky, but I guess that’s the take home message isn’t it? There’ll be good days and bad. The good days save your sanity, and – well – for the bad days, there’s always wine!

Nothing Left to Say

Apparently, unless it’s about our impending baby, I have nothing interesting to write about! Nobody ever told me what a self-absorbed time this last month of pregnancy would be. I go to work to spin off my projects, and I continue an awkward dance with the people taking over my projects because – heck – if I handed them over completely I’d be left with nothing to do all day! (And don’t suggest I start my maternity leave, because I get 12 weeks period – baby or no – I’d rather spend time with a two-month old than sit around the house watching Full House reruns all day. No, really.)

At home, after a 10-hour work day, my brain is willing to do something proactive and constructive to help pass these last baby-free days, but the body is exhausted. So I sit, watch TV, and can’t help but concentrate and lament about how pregnant I still am. I’ve been a handful for Andy, I know, but he has been awesome. Perhaps it’s because he knows this behavior has a terminus. That’s what’s keeping me sane, too.

I’ll keep this entry brief. That’s about where we stand. Doctor tells me I’m not going into labor tomorrow, so I continue to go to work, come home, “sleep” and repeat the process the next day! We’ll keep you posted if anything else happens!

When “Sleep” Begins to Require Quotation Marks

Family, you’re going to have to help me with this one. My great-grandpa Carsten once wrote, in a letter to my folks, about the difficulties old age introduces to a night of sleep. He said something to the effect of, “In your thirties, you wake up refreshed. In your fifties, you wake up rested. In your eighties, you wake up exhausted.” I’ll let my fact-checkers correct that on in the comments, but you get the gist.

Carsten didn’t know it, but this applies to pregnancy too. At some point in the morning, instead of waking for the first time, realizing it’s time to start the day, I just watch the clock and – when it’s a reasonable hour – decide to put an end to the misery that is trying to find a comfortable position.

I’m really starting to loathe bedtime. Call it naivete, but I seriously NEVER thought I’d be one of those women who suffered through a night of “sleep” in late pregnancy. I’ve always been a champion sleeper. Now I am either woken up by my own snoring, by throbbing hip joints that indicate that one of my femurs is threatening cessation from the union, by an impossibly urgent bladder, or by any combination of swollen sinuses, hands that have fallen asleep, sore tailbone, crazy wicked charlie horses, and a myriad of widespread zings and pangs from nerves that have been pressed in the wrong way.

All this means one thing: I’m tired. I’m tired, and I’m cranky. If I’m not cranky, I’m otherwise emotionally unstable. In fact, people at work who point out that I look tired often tell me I need to ‘stock up on sleep now’ because I won’t get any after the baby comes. Not to be trite, but thanks for what could be considered the world’s worst and most torturous advice, because this is not some idiotic choice that I’m making – to stay up and party hearty until the wee small hours of the morning while I’m still baby-free. I would LOVE to sleep and can’t. Nevermind that you can’t bank hours of sleep.

See what I mean about the cranky? :)

God grants me some reprieve every now and then. I have so many awful nights of sleep in a row that I end up getting so exhausted that I’ll sleep 8 hours straight through. Those are, truly, the most glorious of days. For the most part though, I’m awake. I’m awake until I get to finally give this guy his eviction notice and tell him to sleep in his own bed!