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Katie's Parenting Journal

Entry 3 - September 26, 2008
Five Weeks Old - The Only Schedule is No Schedule

The start of this week found us at the pediatrician's office again. This time was for a more happy occasion instead of another jaundice check - Will's one month appointment! He is "perfect," according to the doctor, and the little buddha has gained a lot of weight. He tipped the scales at 10 lbs., 11 oz! Funny how it went so fast from not gaining enough to "Holy Cow, this kid can EAT!"

I managed to pull my act together enough to blow dry my hair, apply makeup, and wear a coordinating outfit complete with matching shoes. This was no small feat, but I wanted to give the impression of a mother who was on top of her game. Apparently, I accomplished this, as Dr. S commented on my shoes and even said, "Wow, pretty impressive for one month!"

I just smiled and said that it wasn't that hard - and was lying through my teeth. This is really hard to admit after everything we went through to get and stay pregnant, but this parenting thing has really knocked me upside the head. Allow me to make it perfectly clear that I adore my son and I wouldn't trade my new life as a mother for anything in this world. However, it is just a lot more challenging that I had anticipated.

So, when Dr. S told me that she felt that the second month would be harder and that babies typically cry more at six weeks than they do at any other time, I wanted to start crying right then and there in the office. But I managed to keep my "kept together" image until I got to my car. Then, I bawled. It gets harder?

When I told my husband this information, he chose to look on the bright side. "Well, maybe it won't happen with Will," he said.

For the next couple of days, he seemed to be doing okay. Then Thursday hit. And what I like to call the gas monster moved into our son's little tummy. The poor little guy would be sleeping peacefully and you could see the pain move over his face, then the crying would start. And keep going. I did some research online and saw that taking all dairy out of my own diet might be helpful. I was a milk-aholic during my pregnancy, due to my constant heartburn and also just this insatiable desire for it. I have never been much of a milk drinker, but when I was pregnant, it was like heaven. Well, from my research, it seems that women who drink a lot of milk in pregnancy sometimes find that their newborns are sensitive to it. I wish that I had known this earlier! So far, I have noticed that the gas seems to be a bit better. Not all the way better, we are still using gripe water and Mylicon, but I am noticing that he doesn't seem to be in as much pain. I really am missing dairy and it's hard to find things to eat without milk or cheese in them, but anything to help Will feel better.

Just as I was noticing that the gas seemed to be getting better, the next challenge hit us. Will has never been a great sleeper in that he has always preferred eating to sleeping. We never had to wake him for a feed in the early days. He was always raring to go for his food, usually at a two-hour interval. I don't believe that I have had more than four hours of consecutive sleep since he was born and that was a rarity. He was on a every-three-hour wake schedule at night, and I thought that was a challenge and was looking forward to those getting spaced out a bit.

Until he decided to switch it up to an every hour to hour and a half waking schedule. We would put him down at the usual time, only to have him wake two hours later, and then more frequently after that. He is still doing this and I am exhausted and wondering why he isn't sleeping better. Is it a growth spurt? Or is it that we have spoiled him by holding him too much throughout the day? That is why this parenting thing is so tough. There are no answers. It could be a million things. But I immediately assume that it is my fault.

Each day is a battle against myself. I know that Will is only barely six weeks old, but I want each decision that I make to be a good one. And there is no way to really know if it is. Sometimes, things work, sometimes, they don't.

When things finally started to get better is when I forced myself to relax. I realized that I have to stop seeing each feeding or nap as a monumental life decision and simply just a feeding or a nap. The rest will take care of itself. Or it won't, but we can deal with that down the road. But I need to focus on the fact that, right now, my baby is healthy and seemingly happy. Like all newborns, he has his fussy times, but he is usually pretty easily soothed. When all else fails, he will never turn down a good breastfeeding and that makes him happy during even the unhappiest of times. So, even though I feel as if I am doing a lot of second guessing probably taking a lot of missteps, I am trying to take a deep breath and not get so overwhelmed.

~ Katie

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