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Jamie is now just a little over three weeks old.
It’s kind of strange to think how this little person’s life is measured in days, hours. Me, on the other hand… sometimes I can’t remember how many YEARS old I am. For him, every day is a year, every hour is a week. All his experiences are new, scary, exciting, and he’s learning and growing so quickly. His eyes scan you or the room or focus on an object, and you can almost hear the synapses connecting in his little brain.
I’m tired. So tired. Doc is, too. This is to be expected, I guess. I estimate that I’m sleeping maybe four to five hours a day, total, but in bursts that are usually two hours or less. Feed Jamie, soothe him to sleep, wait to make sure he’s asleep, fall asleep myself, wake up to feed him a short time later. I know it’s going to get better, but it’s a really tough road to travel. I don’t have a choice at this point, though, so I shall endeavor to suck it up, sleep when I can, and not complain. Doc is trying his hardest to make it easier for me to sleep by just bringing Jamie to me to eat for the first part of the night, so I’m not kept awake by his fussing inbetween feedings. I know this is not the best way to develop a sleeping routine for any of us, but right now we’re just hanging on any way we can.
I am also having a really hard time napping during the day. I know I need to, I REALLY need to, but the logistics and timing are often tough to manage.
Tired as I am, I’m adapting to this crazy sleep schedule better than I thought I would. I just look forward to the day when I can get 4 hours in a row, or 5, or 6. I was hoping desperately that we’d end up with a kid who was a really good sleeper, and that may yet prove to be true, but it’s not at the moment. He’ll fall asleep sprawled across your chest like a spider monkey, but the minute you try to move him into his bassinet, he wakes up and starts fussing and then full-on crying. We can’t hold him the entire time he’s sleeping… so this is kind of a dilemma for us. Holding him when WE are so tired could prove to be dangerous… he could easily slide off a sleeping parent onto the floor, or onto the bed and be face-down and unable to breathe.
So yeah, we have a lot of questions and worries. I have to admit that I feel sort of alone in this because we don’t have any friends here who have kids. There’s no one we can get together with to talk about stuff, to reassure us, to give advice, to share a babysitter with for a night out. Nate and Yvonne, the one couple that we do know with a baby, moved to Austin earlier this year. There’s always the telephone but somehow it’s not the same.
He’s going through a growth spurt right now, too. He’s fussier and is eating more frequently (every hour and a half or so instead of his previous 2-1/2 to 3 hours) and that gets really tiring for me, since I am breastfeeding exclusively. I’m also beginning to pump milk inbetween feedings, so I feel like I’m either feeding or pumping more than 50% of the time. That’s probably an exaggeration, but that’s what it feels like.
Doc described it as having a lamprey attached to my chest. I think it’s a good metaphor. He just sucks and sucks and doesn’t give much in return. (Yet.)
It’s not all griping and complaining, though. There’s a lot of good things about having a new little person in the house. He’s begun to be able to track objects with his eyes. Last week we were showing him one of his four (!) stuffed lion toys, and he followed it across his field of vision when we moved it. He’s showing some interest in this little play mat thing (a colorful mat with toys dangling from crossbars above). His wakey wakey periods are getting longer. His eyes are opening wider. He’s started making vocalization noises — not cries or burps, but bordering on gurgles and coos. He’s got a bad case of baby acne… all across his cheeks, forehead, chin, and even his poor little ears. It ought to go away in a few weeks, I suspect. He likes getting his hair washed. Sometimes in the morning, after he’s eaten, we let him lie on his side in bed with us and he’s sound asleep and unbearably cute in the morning light and we just stare at him and stare at him and stroke his little head and whisper to him in his sleep.
Have I mentioned that he’s damn cute?
And speaking of damn cute, I feel I must state, for the record, that just because I’ve birthed my own child, I don’t suddenly think that all babies and kids are adorable now. I’m not comfortable around young kids. I have no idea how to talk to them. I don’t know how to talk “baby talk,” nor do I particularly want to. I’m sure I’ll figure out how to communicate with my own son, but I don’t inherently have these relating-to-babies skills that a lot of people seem to possess. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that I’m not pinging the “femininity” end of the sexuality scale very hard. Who knows. All I know is that my feelings on total strangers’ kids haven’t changed much. They’re lovely, I’m sure, but I’m likely not interested in interacting with them.
If I know you and your child, that’s a different story (Hi, Zoe! You’re still adorable and awesome!). I guess this is not that much different from how I relate to adults. If I know you, great! If I don’t, I’m probably not going to initiate a conversation with you. Nothing personal, I’m just introverted.