Thursday, September 04, 2008

Lest you think I have a perpetually contented baby...

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This is the face I get to look at a lot of the time. Somehow, captured on film, even that face is strangely beautiful, but let me assure you, when it is 3 a.m. and that face is accompanied by shrieking, it's less than idyllic.

I've been blessed with an incredible non-sleeping, un-burpable baby. And no, I don't want your advice. I have plenty of advice, some of which occasionally works, but ultimately, I have resigned myself to the fact that this is the baby I have, this is how she is, and this is how it will be for an unknown period of time. My life now revolves around feeding and burping my baby, which is one more axis than my life had 3 weeks ago, so I guess that's an improvement in some ways.

Of course, she is an angel in public, or when company is around. Everyone tells me I have such a good baby. And who am I to argue? Sometimes I even agree! But anyone who looks at my little one and waxes nostalgic about this period of their own child's life has some form of selective amnesia. Which, I suppose, is biologically necessary if people are going to have an average of two children per family and maintain the population. And I'm sure I will eventually develop that ailment as well, as Valerie grows out of this difficult stage and into her personality. Because there are oh so many amazing parts of being the mother of a newborn as well, and sometimes, I just sit staring at her with love in my eyes, or kiss her head repeatedly as she looks at me with her big, bright, slightly perplexed eyes. I'm sure it's not difficult for those amazing bits to ultimately grow to overshadow the dark bits. But, while I still have the memory of the screaming, let me just say: This gig is hard.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled, "Aw, isn't she cute?" programming. Which is ironic, since she stayed quiet through the typing of this entire post, right up until I got to this paragraph, at which point she promptly started screeching. My baby has a literary sense of humor. (More cute pictures on Flickr.)

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6 comments:

Heather said...

When Nat was new, I would frequently run into mothers with toddlers who looked at her wistfully and said things like, "I miss that stage." I can now say with complete sincerity, "I don't."

Excellent head lifting by the way! Nat couldn't do that until she was almost 3 months. Her comment on your pictures: "Bay-BEEEE." So there you have it.

Dan said...

Your baby sounds like my cat. Well-behaved with others, a little demon with me. And everyone's always telling me that I must be joking, because he was such a little angel for them.

I threaten him with a toy lightsaber. He hates that thing.

Marianne said...

1. It doesn't last forever.
2. Yes, there is defintiely some selective amnesia.
3. I'm offering burping advice anyway, because this advice from my mother in law was a godsend.
Sit your daughter upright in your lap. Cradle her chin with your right hand and support her head with that hand. Place your left hand along her back to your thumb is straight up and down (following her spine, thumb behind her neck) Wrap your fingers gently around her ribcage and with your ring finger, gently rub her bottom rib. She should burp pretty soon. If she doesn't rub just ever so slightly lower.

It works because the baby's stomache is positioned so that rubbing gently right at the bottom rib jiggles the stomache gently and releases the gas. It worked wonders for us, and after the first couple of times you learn better just how much pressure and exactly where to rub. My mother-in-law was taught this trick when her own daughter was in the NICU many years ago and I've since had it confirmed by some other infant nurses that it's the most reliable.

christianlady said...

Ahhh, the burp problem. I gave up a long time ago. I rarely burp them any longer. Of course, my sixth is now almost a year old, but really, I quit the burping pretty early. Need to burp, ah, whatever. However, I had the 3rd born that would throw up everything I fed him right after I finished, or maybe sometimes five minutes after just to catch me with a clean shirt.

Newborns (under 3 months) are very tiring little creatures. Even if they aren't screaming, we moms (at least I do) love to stare at them and hear them smack away and make their noises. Why, when we know we'll be feeding them in less than an hour again? I recall the feeding schedule was just frightening with the first.

Reflux, watch out for this. But I will say, my 3rd grew out of his throwing up (yes, they call it spitting up, but that's less than what he'd do...more like pouring an 8 oz glass of milk on my shirt). She will hopefully grow out of the painful gassy stage. I feel for you!

She is a cutie though...

christina said...

Love that giant mouth with the scream!

sarah said...

it's really a lovely picture. i think it's awesome.
and she's a lovely baby...such dark hair!

babies are hard. i feel your pain!