22 May 2012

baby change

The first day or so after delivering Shepherd, I thought I was in for an easy ride because he was super mellow and hardly ever cried. He's almost six weeks old now, and he's kind of colicky and doesn't seem to sleep much. Actually, he's never been a champ sleeper. I get comments sometimes about how awake and alert he seems. I say a little too awake and alert, because "they" say babies shouldn't be up for six hours straight or something.

This picture is from a while ago and I can't believe how much he's grown already. Seriously, though, close your eyes!

Sometimes people ask me about him and I wonder what to say because I've never done this baby thing and don't know what they're like. I feel like I can't comment on his individualness because I have no baseline from which to compare. I assume everything he does is just a product of being a newborn. But then I hear other parents say that their baby doesn't scream every time they put him/her down (Shep wants to be held constantly, apparently), or that they only have to wake up once or twice during the night for feedings, and I think maybe this kid has quite his own little character. I really am looking forward to seeing what he's like as he grows. This blog post maybe sounds complainy, which I don't exactly intend, because I'm really loving this kid and being his mom. But I admit I feel that I should be able to do more when he's crying pretty constantly, as he sometimes does. Like right now.


Laurenkri said...

The hardest crying times are when you have met all their needs and they still cry.

I woke up with our little guy maybe 4 times a night -- he loves to eat, LOVES. And he did not like being put down either. Not to say that is not apart of their personality ... but just empathize with you. I did a lot of reading to get through those times, having a good book made getting up not as hard.

He is incredibly cute. Those eyes are big enough to fall into. But I can also relate with sometimes just wanting them to close.

The mom thing is certainly crazy territory. It's a good thing these little guys are so forgiving (or so oblivious ...)

Rachel said...

Oh boy, I so remember this. He really is such a cutie, and I'm sorry he's not sleeping very well. I always thought that was just the cherry on top of new mom exhaustion--you've just done the most physically taxing thing in your entire life by growing and giving birth to the little stinkers, and then they refuse to sleep to let you recover. He actually sounds quite a lot like newborn Forrest . . . he also really threw us for a loop when he slept through the night in the hospital (the nurses tried to wake him up every 2 hours all night to eat, and he refused to get up), then never slept again once we brought him home. And I don't know if the lack of sleep contributed to his insane colickiness or if he would have had that anyway . . . but all-around, it was a rough few weeks until he started sleeping more and getting happier when he was awake. Maybe it doesn't help much now to hear this, but maybe it'll give you a little hope for the future . . . it really does get easier as they get older--he'll be able to sleep longer, and entertain himself without being held constantly, and be happy when he's awake (for 6 hours . . . oh Shep, give mom a break!). For us, about 12 weeks was when things really started to improve in his mood. He still didn't sleep much, but he was at least happy and not screaming his brains out when he was awake. A lot of moms get bothered by this, but it worked wonders for us--we let him 'cry it out' at about 4 months (the book we based his sleep training on was Solving Your Child's Sleep Problems by Richard Ferber, I'd really recommend it), and after 2 nights of falling asleep on his own without our assistance, he was sleeping all night, and still does. It was nothing short of a miracle for my little guy who seemed to HATE sleeping. Maybe that will give you a light at the end of the tunnel to look forward to! He'll get there, and as he gets a little older, you can do a lot more to help him learn to sleep better. It's just so hard when they're brand new and you don't have a ton of options.

My only piece of advice, really, (even though you didn't ask for it, I'm giving it anyway) is that I hope you don't feel bad just letting him cry sometimes. I just know that with Forrest, I would hit a point where I knew all his needs were met--he was fed, clean, healthy, warm, we had cuddled, and I couldn't think of anything else that was making him cry other than just being a colicky newborn--and it would just make me crazy, so sometimes it was best to put him in his crib, shut the door, and walk away for a little while. I felt SO guilty about it at first, but sometimes you really just have to take a breather and come back in a few minutes to try again.

Okay, this is getting really long. But in conclusion: I'm not sure where exactly you live, but if you need a little break or even just some company during the day, I'd be more than happy to babysit for a few hours so you can take a nap, or bring you dinner, or just hang out during the day (I remember how lonely I was during those first weeks!). And this is partially a selfish request: he's so dang cute, I kind of just want to cuddle him. And see you. And see how Forrest acts around a newborn (Jeff has serious baby fever . . . ). Let me know.

Heather Burdsal said...

As someone who has no kids and never wants any, let me offer my expert advice:

Baby-dosages of sleeping pills.

Your little guy looks like he's gonna be a character. I'm excited for you to know his unique personality.

Luke and Andrea said...

Ha ha ha! Check out those eyes! Love it! You're such a good mom! Hang in there sister!

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