Thursday, August 30, 2007

Of Mice And Men

The best laid plans for sleep-training and a clean house are waylaid by Baby's first cold.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

What a jerk. Updated

Sleep. Sigh.

Okay, here are my problems:

BB was just nursing to sleep, but that seems to be tapering off with the introduction of more solids. He will now walk to sleep or rock to sleep. I am working on the nirvana of getting him to fall asleep on his own in his crib, using The No-Cry Sleep Sol*ution. I don't know if I am getting anywhere. I am still on Phase 1 (of 6 or 7).

His naps are still brutally short (20-30 min.). If I catch him at just the right time, I can get him back to sleep, but then I have to hold him through a dream session or he wakes himself up in his crib. Essentially, I think the problem is that he wakes when he dreams. He doesn't seem to do this at night, though. So what's the difference? He can stay asleep for several hours at night but not during the day. The result is a baby that isn't getting enough daytime sleep = not enough total sleep.

He also has developed a problem with hypnic jer*ks. He falls asleep nicely, but as soon as I put him in his crib he starts jer*king awake, falling asleep, jerking awake, falling asleep - about every 30 seconds or so. He arms slam down on the bed and he gasps. After about 5 minutes of that, he doesn't fall back asleep. The only solution is for me to hold him. I can lay down with him on the futon in his room, holding him in the laying-down nursing position. He still jer*ks (I can feel him), but he doesn't wake. I don't know if this is a particularly safe way for him to sleep, though. Especially when I accidentally fall asleep with him. Oh, and swaddling doesn't help.

I know that time may be all that he needs to resolve the short-nap issue. Any interim solutions? Any ideas for the hypnic jer*king? I can't start a pattern of co-sleeping with him every time he needs to sleep; as much as I like the idea of getting 14-15 hours of sleep every day, I think that I may have to make a meal or shower occasionally. And the no-sleep-poop issue? I am grasping at straws to imagine that anyone might have a solution for that one.

Here's the real kicker. He doesn't get fussy or upset when he is tired. He yawns and rubs his eyes and stares and maybe whimpers a bit. When I try to get him to sleep, though, he cries and carries on. Does he just need less sleep than average? Hard for me to imagine. He is tired, he just isn't a fussy baby (I think).

I miss my 3 mon*th-old who napped so easily and slept 10 hours though the night. Stupid teething. Poor baby.

Update: I forgot to add that he also has mastered the art of rolling over and therefore must roll over at every opportunity. Which means that he does it in his sleep. And his sleepy brain thinks that someone is tossing him over on his tummy and then he wakes up and cries. Or sometimes he likes to sleep on his side, loses his balance and ends up on his tummy. On rare occasions, he will then sleep on his tummy for a while (thank god for my Angel Care monitor, or I would not be able to stomach it). Most of the time, he needs me to go in and help him fall back asleep.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Vigilance, thy name is "Mother"?

It took me a while to get my bearings this week - we came home on Saturday night. Early. It was my fault - I turned my back on BB and he fell off the bed in the RV and landed on his head. We took him to the ER (since it was after hours) and the doctor pronounced him "fine". Really, I knew that, but it seemed prudent to have an official verdict on his goose-egg.

I can't believe that I was so complacent to allow something like that to happen. It was like I was living in that "la la la bad stuff happens to other people" land. How many thousands of times has everyone said not to take your eyes off a baby when he is on an elevated surface? I saw him fall. It was horrifying. It still makes me feel sick when I think of it. Not because of the "what might have been" (which is terrifying, in and of itself), but because it was my fault that he fell. I wasn't being vigilant.

I have had to work through what my role was in C.'s death. Of course, this is hindsight, so what I see now is a different picture than what I saw that night. When I went into labour at midnight, I dug out my What To Expect book. Bloody show - check. Cramping - check. Stomach hard to the touch - check. OK, so I am in labour. What did I do? Sort of half-assed timed contractions and tried to sleep. Didn't wake my husband. I waited until his alarm went off and told him I thought that "today is the day". Sent him to work. Did laundry. Called my friend. Phoned in sick to work. Waited until 10:30 a.m. to call him home. Went into L&D. Was informed that my baby was dead.

I was complacent. I assumed that everything was okay. I didn't know to pay attention to his movements. I honestly don't know if I felt him move while I was in labour. I might have. I just don't know. Might things have turned out differently if I had gone to L&D the moment I suspected I was in labour? Maybe. I will never know.

But I thought that I had learned the hard way that complacency and motherhood could not exist safely together. That it was dangerous to allow arrogance to creep in. He's fine, nothing can hurt him.

My mother was from the school of hard knocks (don't cry, that didn't hurt, you're okay), so I know that my parenting style is borne of that model. I know that I am much more cautious by nature than my mother. But, I don't feel like I have been vigilant enough.

This may seem self-indulgent, and it is a little. After all, little boys will fall and bump their heads. They will skin their knees and break bones. They will get hurt and cry dirty tears. And, usually, they will get right back out there - back to the business of being little boys - as soon as their tears are dried.

But for now, while he is so small, and still such a baby, it is my responsibility to keep him safe. I didn't do that on Saturday. I'm sorry, Baby.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Another Holiday

We are gone to the lake for the next week. Sunshine and swimming (let's hope the weather complies).

'Till then, be well.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Just About Bedtime

So.... The exam went very well. The funny thing about these sorts of things is that you never really know if you are prepared or not. I said my fair share of prayers that I studied the right stuff. I did.

Which brings up something that I have been giving a lot of thought. I feel like I am a real novice at prayer. That statement is more complicated than I can really explain right now. To sum up; I think that my prayers are more like wishes than prayers. And the whole dead-baby thing kind of blew up my whole belief system (currently attempting to rebuild).

Nonetheless my prayers/wishes have been granted recently. Stupid, little, unimportant prayers like asking for good weather when I am having a backyard BBQ. See how that is more like a wish than a prayer? But I asked, and it happened.

Is it all just a whole lot of coincidence that these little "prayers" of mine have been answered (I am still uncomfortable referring to them that way)? Or is it a little olive branch being offered, like "see? I can be there when you ask me to be, you just have to ask for the right things..."

The prayers that I prayed when I was trying to get pregnant were body, mind, and soul. I begged and cried. Yet, for 13 cycles, nothing happened. Then, last week, I ask for sunshine and it comes my way. It's confusing.

I guess I sort of feel like I didn't get my Prayer for Dummies manual. I need rules. This what you do, this is what you say, and then (if you have followed the rules) you get what you want. Obviously that is not how prayer works. But so many people make it seem that way. It is hard to believe in something that you don't understand and that you don't feel like you are doing "right". What are the rules????

And yet, I still pray. In my juvenile "God bless Mommy and Daddy and Kitty, and please let Janie be my friend" kind of way. Perhaps I need to see my priest about some prayer lessons.

Maybe I am too concerned about doing it "right".

OK. Enough for tonight.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Ungrateful???

This is me complaining that I have the privilege to write an exam on Friday that will earn me a degree purely because I love the subject. This will not relate to my job. It will not earn me an increase in pay. It will not make our lives easier in any way. A vanity degree, of sorts.

Studying is hard. Whinge, whinge, whinge. Sob, sob, woe is me. Doesn't everyone feel sorry for little old me?

I will, however, get to put a new set of initials behind my name. And I do love the subject matter, even though I don't like memorizing it.

Friday. I think I know enough to pass.

P.S. The Daddy has been really super at helping BB sleep - with a little mid-nap rocking, he will sometimes nap for 1.5 hours. It seems he wakes himself up when he starts dreaming...

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Update

The studying is going relatively well. The passing grade is 60%. That's what I am aiming for, folks. I bought packages of practice exams that I will likely not use. Hopefully, I can sell them to someone I know who is doing this in the fall.

Soooo... nursing to sleep. Real problem in our house. An overtired baby who only sleeps 30 min. at a time is also a problem. I am dying to get this exam over and help get the sleep thing back on track. Everything went to pot when those teeth arrived.

I have been mulling over this sensation that I have that BB isn't here to stay. Like when I think of future plans, I almost have to remind myself that he will still be here. I will explore this further. Apr├Ęs l'examen.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Quickly, quickly

Still here. Just saw new Harry Potter movie. Loved it. Must study.

No time for nouns/long sentences.