Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Adventures in Parenting #3: Two Month Edition

We made it to the 2 month mark!
"Mommy & Daddy haven't killed me yet!  Yay!"

People love to tell you how hard the first 3 months will be..."but then it gets easier".  At the 2 month mark, we're really looking forward to getting out of this trench.  I feel bad about wanting to go back to work--I know I'll miss these days once I'm back there.  I can look at his newborn photos and see how much he's changed just in the last 2 months, and I'm in awe when I think about how many more developmental changes he'll undergo over the next year--I mean, a year from now, he'll be walking, talking (sort of), only taking one nap during the day, sleeping through the night, eating real food---LIKE A REAL HUMAN.  But right now, in this moment...it feels like we'll never get out of this rut.
I'd like to say he's sleeping...but no, this was just a brief moment the photographer captured in between wails.

1. Sleep patterns:  Be careful about telling people how your baby is a great night sleeper, as he will invariably decide to screw with you.  Oh, sure, he's still a great night sleeper--once you can GET him to fall asleep.  He had been going down at 10pm pretty easy.  Then one night, he randomly fought sleep like he thought he'd never wake up if he passed out.  It kept us up until midnight taking turns trying to get him to go down.  So the next night, I thought "hey, let's put him down at 9pm, so that even if he fights sleep for an hour or so, it's not keeping US up so late."  WRONG.  So instead of fighting with him for 2 hours, he fought us for 3, and still didn't pass out until midnight.  Now I have horrible anxiety every time I walk out of that room, not knowing if he'll start wailing in a few minutes.  It happens at least a couple times a week--like bedtime baby roulette.

Now, we're trying to be really good at just watching for his sleep cues, rather than paying attention to any specific time.  Sometimes, it's 8:30p, sometimes it's 10p.  I've also taken up the habit of saying my nightly prayers while I rock him--including a "please let him sleep well and go down the first time we lay him down" request to the Big Guy Upstairs.

2. Ghost cries:  When your child fights sleep for 2-3 hours, once he DOES finally fall asleep, your brain has gotten so used to hearing crying it will take every noise in the house and trick you into thinking that noise is coming from the baby.  Including your husband's breathing.  Preventing you from falling asleep for at least half an hour, just waiting for the giant "I'M AWAKE & TICKED OFF" wail to burst forth from your baby's tiny yet powerful lungs. And then you'll finally drift off, praying to God that he's REALLY ASLEEP this time.  And you'll wake up at 1:11am, look at the clock, realize you're safe, then drift off again, wondering what time he'll wake you for his middle of the night feeding (answer: 3:48am).

3.  Parent Time:  Since I'm still on maternity leave, but the Hubs isn't, I could technically sleep in until the baby wakes up (usually around 8-8:30am).  But the Hubs has to get up at 7am to get ready for work.  So there's this debate in my head--do I stay in bed, to "sleep when the baby sleeps", or do I get up to spend some quality time with the man I married? Inevitably, having this debate in my head wakes me up enough that I get up after he finishes getting ready in the bathroom.  Because I love my husband, and while the baby is cute & well loved, I also miss having "just us" time with the love of my life.  It's truly scarce these days, until we can find a local babysitter. 

It's tough, going from being a childless couple for 4.5 years to suddenly having your world and schedule and ability to do ANYTHING revolve around this tiny crying, pooping being that still only smiles at you like 4 times a day--and you probably only get that many because it has realized that if it doesn't give you SOMETHING it's going to end up on a church doorstep.   Want to plan a getaway?  Gotta decide whether to take the baby--and then you realize that at this age it's unfortunately easier to TAKE the baby than leave it (because you're nursing, and pumping that much would be a giant hassle).  Need to go to the grocery store?  Gotta take the baby's feeding schedule into account--or hopefully your spouse can watch him while you run to the store (alone time, yay!).  Want to watch a TV show together?  It's almost a guarantee he'll start giving his sleep cues in the middle of it, meaning you have to stop, start his bedtime routine/feeding, and then, when you emerge from the nursery 45 minutes later, you're both in super ninja stealth "don't wake the baby" mode....so you'll probably end up finishing that show some time tomorrow.

4. The "Someday's":  I try to spend a lot of time talking to our little man--since I generally have no one else to talk to if the Hubs is at work.  I noticed that I use the word "someday" a lot.  "This is the kitchen--this is where Mommy cooks for her & Daddy, and someday for you too."  "That is the BBQ grill--that's where Daddy grills for him & Mommy, and someday you'll be able to eat grilled food too."  "That's the outside, it's big and someday you'll be able to explore all of it."  "That's a cruise ship--someday we might be able to go on one again."

- Someday he'll be able to support his own head & I can carry him on my hip or set him in the Bumbo seat.
- Someday he'll be able to sit at the dinner table with us in his high chair (so we don't have to hold him if he's being fussy while we're trying to eat).
- Someday he'll be able to tell us what he wants instead of just crying.
- Someday he'll sleep through the night.
- Someday he'll be a good napper (or at least need fewer naps).
- Someday he'll be eating formula & real food & Dad will be able to help with feedings more (I pump right now, but 99% of it gets stockpiled in the freezer for when I go back to work.  I only leave some in the fridge if I'm going to be away from him for more than 2-3 hours.)

But, I also know:
- Someday I will be back at work, and I will miss snuggling with him (and not having to think about work).
- Someday he will be mobile, and we'll finally have to babyproof.
- Someday he will be grown, and I will miss him being tiny.
- Someday I will look up & he'll be 9 years old, and I will wonder what happened to the last 9 years--wasn't he just 12 pounds yesterday?
- Someday I will be able to go to the gym again (whether I WILL or not is an entirely different situation).

5.  Caffeine:  So. Essential.  Though sometimes I wonder if I'll ever again get to finish a cup of coffee before it gets cold.

6.  Fringe:  This is what I'm currently watching on Amazon Prime.  Yes, I already watched the entire series while it was in prime time, but hey--Joshua Jackson was my childhood crush.  I'm glad he continued to have an adult career (unlike my other childhood crush, the kid from Free Willy).

7. Hanging out with a baby:  Sometimes I wonder when I'll stop feeling anxious about being alone with the baby.  It's not like I don't know what to DO...I mean, he's pretty easy.  He eats, he sleeps (sometimes not enough), he messes his diapers.  It's trying to fill the rest of the time--the 1 to 3 hours that he's awake between naps throughout the day.  You just get stir-crazy after a while.  There's tummy time, there's reading,  there's staring at each other while he sits in my lap, there's wandering around the house...but he's not interested in toys and even overhead gyms/hanging toys only hold his interest for about 15-20 minutes before he's bored & wants to do something else.  I have a friend who's home with her kiddos on Tuesdays & Thursdays, so we can go over there to kill a couple hours...but with the cold weather coming on, we can't really go for walks or play outside (and the lack of sunshine sometimes really gets to Mommy).  This leads to some pretty interesting outings, just so Mommy can get out of the house:  a few weeks ago, I needed some SpaceBags to store my warm weather clothes, and Harbor Freight had them on sale...so we drove the 18 miles into town, Mommy got a coffee, then stopped by the International Wine Cellar, and THEN we got SpaceBags (and Lil' Man slept pretty much the entire trip).
He's worthless when it comes to helping me choose beers.

8.  Post-preggo body:  I have no idea what to say when people tell me "you look great!"  I'm within 4 lbs of my pre-preggo weight right now, and back in all my regular clothes (aside from needing to be able to nurse, which influences the tops that I wear).  I'm happy about that, but seriously, what do you say other than "thanks!"  I don't want to necessarily be feaux-humble, since I am really happy to have lost most of the baby weight just through nursing--I'm not even tracking my calories at this point.  I don't want to launch into an explanation--I only put on 35 lbs during my pregnancy, basically I just logged all my food during my 1st and 2nd trimesters and tried to eat well, and then did pretty much whatever I wanted during the 3rd trimester (because when you're miserable and making a miracle, you deserve the occasional Sonic Slush or Krispy Kreme donut).  More than likely, I was just really lucky.  But I feel like anything I say beyond "thank you" comes across braggish.  What else do you say?  "Thanks--you too!"

9. Diapers:  We received a wide variety of diapers as gifts, so we've been able to figure out what works best for our little man.  We seem to like Target's Up & Up brand the best--they have great absorbency and they're really soft.  CVS diapers?  Total crap (literally)--he had 4 blowouts in 48 hours (2 that leaked on me, and two that leaked on Daddy).  Also underperforming:  Earth's Best.  While I'm sure they're great for the environment, they fit really small and hold less, so you'd better be changing them every couple hours--he managed to go through about 8 outfits over Thanksgiving weekend because these things were leaking so much.
Earth's Best Compared to Up & Up - both Size 1.

10.  The Holidays: Got invited to a holiday party?  With no local sitter, you can only go if you bring the baby. Need to travel to visit family?  Now you have a whole extra person to plan & pack for.  All that "eat/wake/sleep" routine you've been working so hard on?  Yeah...that's probably gonna go out the window for a few days.

Thanksgiving was our first road trip with the kiddo...we'll talk about that adventure in a separate post.

11.  2 Month Checkup:  Shots suck, for parents and baby.  Our little man hates being naked, so appointments are already traumatic.  Add in three needles and both mom & baby cry.  He only cried a bit at the doc's, and then napped for a few hours (probably thanks to the Tylenol they gave him)...but once he woke up...MAN.  It's really hard to find a good way to hold a baby who has two sore legs. The doc suggested "a nice warm bath in the evening" to help soothe him.  Hah...sure...maybe for babies that don't think real baths are akin to medieval torture.
Post-vaccination tears... many more to follow.

He started to perk up a bit that evening, and then miraculously slept through the night (well, a 7 hour chunk anyway)...the next day he was still a little tired but in much better spirits.  Not looking forward to going through that again in 2 months.
Previous Adventures:
Birth Story
3 Weeks
Month 1
6 Weeks
Mom Guilt Edition
Working Mom Edition
Things That Suck
Traveling For The Holidays
Living In The Moment

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