I’m just really sleep-deprived. That is all. Everything is good. I am blessed. I have heat, gas and electricity (unlike some people I know), but Theo’s sleeping was at it’s all-time worst this past week. He has a runny nose – so that might be it. Or it may be he’s teething. Or it may be separation anxiety. Or maybe it’s that he’s about to crawl? Or daylight savings? I don’t know what it is, but this week he reverted back to waking up four and five times a night again. The other morning he woke up at four a.m. and never went back to sleep. Then add to that his little twenty-five and thirty-minute naps and you get one mama on the edge.
The other night he woke up at ten-thirty (right as we were going to bed). So I got up and nursed him. Fine. When he was good and boob-drunk, I went to put him back down to sleep and he started crying the second he hit the crib. So I picked him back up and nursed him a bit more. He was practically asleep. Then I put him back down and crept away and when I was just getting under the covers, he started crying again. This is when the resentment creeps in. He was fed, dry, tired and it was late. He needed to sleep. We needed to sleep. So we decided to let him cry. And he cried. And he cried. And not just a whimpery wussy cry… we’re talking full-scale power cry. That is how he rolls. I made Adam go to him twice and try to calm him down. It did not work. It just exacerbated things. All he wanted was me… or really – my boob. It felt unfair. I already nursed him twice in a row. I hit the point people have been telling me about, where you just feel ready to say no. So I did not go to him. I said no. After about thirty-five minutes, he just stopped crying and went to sleep. I was worried. I wanted to go check on him. I felt uneasy, guilty, sad. But I went to sleep, hoping maybe he’d sleep better for the rest of the night. He woke up three hours later and I nursed him. Then he woke up at five am. But since that night, things have improved. His naps have gotten longer, he has woken up with less frequency (two times last night, which I hear is somewhat common for a breast-feeding baby his age).
I think this is going to the be one of the most challenging parts of parenthood. There are going to be so many questions about how to handle things. How to discipline, how to vaccinate, how to start solids, when to let him watch TV, how much to expose him to other babies and their germs, when to stop breast-feeding, etc. There are no “right” answers. There are very strong and differing opinions on everything. And you just have to take it all in and do the best you can do. And the stakes are high! You are creating a person. It’s a little daunting.
Meanwhile, I can be having the crappiest week ever and then a moment like this rolls around. I have a crystal hanging in our window and the other morning the sun was coming through and it made little rainbows all over the apartment. I started spinning it around and the rainbows were whirling around like we had a disco ball. Theo was in awe. He just smiled and stared and looked around and around in complete wonder. And all the exhaustion and confusion melted away and all I felt was joy and love and excitement for all the wonderful things I’ll be able to expose him to in his lifetime.