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Three Months October 20, 2008

Filed under: Schmooper — booksunread @ 12:57 pm

So three months is when babies turn the corner and stop acting all pissed off for no reason and get closer to sleeping through the night. Right? Right? PLEASE?

Friday, as the end of day approached, I was just overcome with a wave of fatigue and dread.  Just so freaking tired and staring down the barrel of a long 48 hours plus at home with squidge, stressing about his eating and sleeping and not sleeping much myself.

And then when I got to the sitters and found that he’d been fussy and not taken full feedings there, I just felt completely hopeless.  All week, she’d been able to get him to take his full 4 oz the two feedings he was there, so that was at least two good feedings I could count on, regardless of what happened with the rest of them.

I knew this was going to be hard. I knew not sleeping was going to suck. I knew there would be times when we’d have a baby screaming at us for no discernable reason.  I knew it would mean not getting out and doing a lot during these first few months.  But I don’t think anyone can prepare you for the reality of just how hard it is.  You just can’t imagine it.  There are times when I can’t believe he is only three months.  It feels like I have been doing this forever.

I had such grand plans before squidgy got here…about breastfeeding: that squidgy would take to it with ease; that if he didn’t I wouldn’t make myself crazy over it; that I’d be able to pump and dump and bottle feed if I wanted to have a few drinks (ha ha ha ha on that one; like I’ve felt remotely like going out and tying one on especially knowing that I have an infant to take care of the next day)…about parenting style: that I wasn’t going to pick him up the second he started squawking; that I wasn’t going to carry him around in a sling 24-7 just to keep him quiet; that he’d learn to self soothe and I’d let him cry it out if necessary; that I’d put him on a schedule and he’d follow it, sleeping through the night by 10-12 weeks; that I wasn’t going to let him watch tv until he was much older…

And as I lay in bed Friday night, after going back in to reinsert his binky for the tenth time, I cataloged all the ways in which I’ve failed to date.

Breastfeeding: FAIL Quit at 3 months instead of my 6 month goal.
Freaking out RE: Breastfeeding: FAIL Freaked out at the beginning, freaked out about stopping. Maybe if I hadn’t tried so hard to get him to do it in the beginning, we could have avoided a lot of the shit in the middle with the 3 weeks of hellish nursing and eventual continuing struggle with the formula.
Being able to flit off and do stuff while someone else gave him a bottle: FAIL With all his feeding issues, I’m having a hard time unclenching and leaving the feeding to Miguel, even though he has offered.
Letting him learn to self soothe: FAIL As evidenced by the humongous dent in the couch where my ass is parked nightly and the repetitive stress injury I’ve developed from patting his butt all evening long.  And the giving in to the binky dance and going back in there like a total sucker 5 or 6 times to reinsert it.
Sleeping through the night: FAIL  Getting there, but because of the feeding thing, still giving him a bottle at 3 or 4 to give him another chance to get his ounces in.
TV watching: FAIL My parents introduced him to some shit on Noggin while they were here and Miguel has started using it to hold squidge off in the mornings as he gets dressed and out the door after I’m gone to work.  Since I know he is going to park him in front of the tv once I go, I broke down and bought a baby Einstein dvd Friday.  And like a total hypocrite, let him watch it to keep him occupied while I was eating dinner.

It wouldn’t be so bad if there was one thing I could point to and say: SUCCESS!  I can’t even get my child to eat enough-one of his most basic needs. 

This weekend was about average on the difficulty scale.  Miguel took him Saturday morning so I could go back to bed for a while, but I just dozed off and on, straining to hear what was going on.  As Saturday wore on and squidge hadn’t pooped, he was clearly uncomfortable and very fussy.  However, he did sleep well, only waking up for his 11 and a 4:00 feeding. 

Sunday, I gave him a little help in the poop department (don’t ask), then he napped a lot and appeared to have a caught a bit of a cold (sweet-only took 1 week at the sitter to contaminate him, and also, thanks, all the awesome immunities I supposedly gave him by breastfeeding).  By Sunday night he was extremely fussy and irritable. I just couldn’t get him settled down at all.  It was one of those nights where I’d get him soothed and his eyes would drift closed, but a few minutes later, his little face would scrunch up and he’d scream like his hair was on fire. 

This started about 6:30, I took him up and gave him his bedtime feeding at 7:30 (which he took, thank god), and then the screaming continued on past 8:00.  At that point, I gave up putting him down anytime soon and reclaimed my spot on the couch to watch tv while we rode it out.  He finally passed out at about 8:45 and I gave him another hour while I watched Amazing Race.  Fortunately, he stayed down through me dropping him in his sleep sack and putting him in his crib and stayed down until the 11:30 feeding. 

He didn’t wake up again until 5, skipping that middle of the night time feeding (Yay!), but being very insistent about being up at 5 (Boo!).  He was seriously cranky with Miguel while I showered and got ready and then fussed in the middle of his feeding a bit.  After some more intervention on the poop front, he settled down for a while to play in his bouncy seat but by 6:30 he was done (no surprise-he’d been up since 5), but wouldn’t let Miguel soothe him back to sleep. He pretty much kept up the crank until Miguel dropped him at the sitter.

And through all this, I’ve been telling myself that we should be turning this magical mythical 3 month corner soon where all is sunshine and lollypops (well, okay I know it’s still hard, it’s just supposed to suck LESS).  And then I get to work and read Sundry’s post about her 6 month old and I died just a little bit inside.  Her description of knowing that cry it out was a viable option on paper, but being unable to follow through is DEAD ON.  Especially because when squidgy gets going, his cries are so frantic and gut-wrenching that you would swear someone is squeezing his nuts in a vice and SOMETHING has to be wrong to be causing it.  He also does not give up easily; the few times we’ve let him cry it out, he’s gone AN HOUR.  On one longish car ride back from a doctor’s appointment, he cried so hard and long that he made himself throw up.

So that was my weekend.  Bet I just made everyone double check that they’d taken their birth control.

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2 Responses to “Three Months”

  1. TwinMommy Says:

    Ok, now multiply that by two.

    My mother said that I might have more children if I forget the first 3 months….she’s right. The twins are now 7.5 months and they are (for the most part) delightful. The first 3-4 months are hell…the “witching hour” with the twins was ~ 1 hour straight of screaming every night. It was about 6pm I think, so just when my dh got home from work so he was especially thrilled to come home from work. We learned to stick them in their swings and go out on the porch and close the door because the truth is we couldn’t do a damn thing and being with them was making us mentally and physically stressed and sick.

    I can’t tell you when it stopped and when they turned the corner because I honestly don’t remember. In fact as I was reading your post my stomach started to turn and the voice in my head was saying “stop reading, close browser, retreat! RETREAT!” because that is a time I’ve already mostly forgotten. Once you turn the corner, don’t look back….you won’t remember to look back because you’ll be too excited that you’re sleeping through the night (with only 1-5 pacifier replacements per night) with a feeding at 630pm and the next at 7am.

    When I was in your shoes I felt exactly the same way- who the hell said having babies was fun!?!?! But, now that I’m where I am with two 7.5 month olds, I get it. Next week when teething is worse than it is today I’ll be singing a different tune.

  2. booksunread Says:

    No Kidding. I still don’t know how anybody does it with multiples or decides that they’d like another. Forget people having children because they forget the pain of labor-it must be because the forget the first few months. I’d go through labor 10 more times before living through the last three months again.


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