3 and a half weeks! I truly wish I could blog more, but I also wish I could brush my teeth before noon and that’s not going to happen, either. So better make this one count.
Forever ago I wrote about my dad wanting Elisabeth to call him “Boss”. I responded with a loud rejection of this moniker, noting that I’m the only boss in my household. To which E. has since responded, “You think you’re the boss? I’ll show you who’s the boss!”
When E. was first born, she was silent. For days, she barely uttered a peep. Which totally freaked me out. Why wasn’t my baby crying!? Babies are supposed to cry! Something must be terribly wrong! Everyone told me I’m lucky, just relax, enjoy it.
So I did. I had the perfect baby. And not just in temperament; I’d like to note she also had a perfectly round head at birth. A non cone-head, non crying infant! With amazing neck strength to boot! And so alert! AND a champion eater (her mother’s daughter, indeed). Doctors want to see babies regain their birth weight by 2 weeks old. At 11 days, E. had not only regained to her original 8lbs 1oz – she had far surpassed it: 8lbs 8.9oz. The Doc told me they want babies to be gaining 15-30 grams a day; E. was gaining 43.
Good news all around: E. had a healthy appetite, and because she was gaining so quickly, I was given permission to extend the length of time between her nighttime feedings to 5 hours instead of 3. Woohoo! Sleep was in my future!
My vision of blissful days and restful nights were quickly dashed.
Whereas until then she had been sleeping so deeply she had been difficult to wake to feed as required, she began waking herself every 2-3 hours demanding chow. Eat MORE? How is that possible?! 43 grams a day and she isn’t satisfied?!
She also began discovering her lungs right around this time. While still not really crying, she began fussing a bit. Then a little crying here and there. OK, fine. That was tolerable. Then a little more crying. Just as her silence had, her cries freaked me out. Why was my baby crying?! She didn’t cry before! Something must be terribly wrong! She waited until my mom returned to California and my husband was at work to bring out the big guns: She woke up from a nap screaming like I had never heard her scream, prompting me to drop the sandwich I was making and sprint up the stairs, slippers flying behind me. to save her from whatever was tormenting her so.
She was fine. Just testing me. And so the power shift began.
It’s 3PM and you’re sitting down to eat lunch? I think I’ll wake up from my nap now.
That vibrating chair used to calm me, but now you must hold me.
I’m going to sleep all day; You just try to wake me. A bath? Amateur. I can sleep through a bath. Yucky Vitamin D? Doesn’t phase me. You see, I’d really prefer to play at 2AM.
“Diana, schedules take a long time to establish with babies,” my mother, while still visiting, would say. “But the book says to start a routine now!” I would cry in frustration, convinced my inability to keep her awake after daytime feedings was permanently stunting her growth and setting her up for a lifetime of insomnia.
You want to put me on a schedule, Mom? I laugh at your schedule!
E. had lulled me into a false sense of peace those first serene days, only to snatch it away when I thought things couldn’t get any better.
Well-played, Elisabeth, well-played. It’s a good thing your 43-grams-a-day cheeks are so cute.