On the other hand…

So to expand on this post from yesterday, I did think of some things well-meaning folks have said to me the most. Two things, actually.

“It gets better!” 

and

“This too shall pass.”

Regarding the latter, I’m so sick of that phrase that it’s about replaced “it is what it is” and “here’s the thing” in my Lexicon of Most Annoying Obvious Phrases Popular in Current American Culture. Although presumably if it’s related to Buddhism or mindfulness or whatever (I have no earthly idea if that’s true), it’s been around — and popular — a lot longer than current pop culture, or America.

So I am aware and informed that Baby E’s fussiness will get either better or pass, like a screaming and miserable red-faced kidney stone. I await this lovely passing with bated breath. I do believe it’s coming, too. The other night we gave him his first real bath, in his blue baby tub, instead of a sponge bath. (We were doing the sponge baths on the advice of the NICU nurses, because he seemed to dislike bathtime so much, and would scream and cry throughout. Although once we got him home, he screamed and cried throughout the sponge baths, too, poor little guy. We got very quick at doing them.)

We put the baby tub into the regular bathroom tub, A. held him and I knelt down to guide him in and wash him. We put his toes in first, and oh! The look on his little face! Normally Baby E has greeted any new or unfamiliar sensation with a Beaker mouth and crying. But the warm water on his feet must’ve felt great, because he opened his eyes wide (curiously, not glazed/staring, and it’s sad that we know the difference, isn’t it?) and then he relaxed immediately. He let us pour warm water over him and bathe him gently and coo over him. He only cried at the end, when we took him out. I think it was one of the first times I felt like we did something properly as parents. Then he slept for a blessed five and a half hours, followed by a nursing session, followed by four more hours. Though that may have been due to his general lack of sleeping the day before, where he went down and up and nursed every hour all morning and part of the afternoon.

It IS getting better, I think.

In other news, I believe I’m learning better not to piss away time. Things I’m currently working on while the baby sleeps:

– short story

– editing

– crockpot chicken with dumplings, recipe from the great Budget Bytes

One of these is not like the other. One of these is also done.

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7 thoughts on “On the other hand…

  1. Aww, I’m glad he liked his bath. How old is Baby E now? My own Baby E is easy-going most of the day, but has a regular fussy period every night where, despite our best efforts, she often works herself up to inconsolable crying. I’ve read that nighttime fussiness is a developmental stage a lot of babies go through and that it disappears around three months. I am patiently awaiting that day.

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    1. He’s now 7 weeks (adjusted) so he should be right on the cusp of calming, I think? I was just reading about “The Period of Purple Crying” AGAIN this morning, in an effort to self-comfort! I also take comfort in your Baby E having some inconsolability — it’s so easy to pretend that this crying isn’t normal, that it’s only our baby doing it and that A. and I are Failures. So thanks for sharing that. It makes me feel much better. (The lack of sleep may have smooshed my ability to imagine things outside the house-cave, although I have gone back to work part-time.)

      One thing that I’ve thought repeatedly throughout this process is how amazing single parents are. I feel so lucky that I have someone to pass the babe off to when I need it.

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      1. Yes! When I have been nursing for three hours and she keeps rooting around frantically but refuses to latch on and instead just screams and bangs her tiny fists at my breast, it is so good to be able to pass her off to someone who doesn’t smell like milk.

        So yeah you are not the only one with a sometimes-inconsolable baby, and it is intensely frustrating/heartbreaking not to be able to comfort her.

        Although right now she is sleeping slumped against my chest, which, even after being up half the night and then some marathon nursing this morning, is pretty sweet.

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  2. Also, I am impressed by your ability to work on writing stuff while the baby sleeps. While my baby sleeps, I mostly:
    -sleep
    -wash diapers
    -make coffee

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    1. Heh. To be real, my “writing” usually results in about a paragraph of usable new stuff. The editing is easier, though. I have relaxed a bit about getting stuff done while baby sleeps, though. How are you liking cloth diapers? We’re doing them as well, and I like the process of it a lot more than I expected to. I haven’t yet found a can liner that doesn’t leak, but that might be because I’m washing them too frequently and wearing holes in the seams.

      Hmm. Will accordingly seize the moment (baby sleeping, obviously) and make tea.

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      1. I am really liking cloth diapers, especially considering that she will often decide to pee/poop again on the changing table right after we get the fresh diaper on. (Her record is dirtying four diapers in a “single” diaper change.) For collecting dirty diapers, we use Planet Wise wet bags that we just have hanging from a door knob, and they seem to be holding up well so far.

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