From the “Proof it really does get better” Dept….

Sara had a very tumultuous, sleepless night last night. It was not fun, and it reminded me of the first two or so weeks of having her home. Pure.Exhaustion coupled with Sheer.Frustration. I’d almost forgotten what those two pure emotions/sensations felt like, since we have been on a much saner sleep and feeding “schedule” (driven by Sara, not us) for at least a month, now. Having that taken away from me, if but for just a day, reminded me of how far we have come in such a short period of time. I don’t miss the middle of the night “I feel like I’m starving her…” self-doubt or the dialogue that starts, “I have plenty of milk, girl, if you’d just calm down and do your part, here!”

I was starting to wonder if some baby demon had taken over my normally mild-mannered, happy child. She wanted to nurse constantly, which in and of itself is not abnormal. However, she wanted to nurse constantly yet wasn’t working for it at all and was expending so much energy flailing around, fussing, crying and generally driving me over the edge.

She does this sometimes when she has gas and/or needs to be burped, so I tried burping her a lot more frequently. No dice. She also does this when she’s experiencing a growth spurt and really wants the milk in a hurry (like a bottle offers), and is too impatient to deal with the requirement to suckle and deal with the naturally slower flow from breastfeeding.

In the past, we have “caved” and offered her a bottle when she’s like this, but it’s been almost 3 weeks since she’s had any formula and, unlike some previous experiences, I knew my body had plenty of milk for her. I could have offered her some expressed (pumped) breastmilk, but when you’re slowly trying to build a reserve of that so you can actually be away from your little one for 45 minutes, that’s not much of an option, either. So, we kept toughing it out all night. It was really a battle of wills… her fighting and flailing, and me trying to remain calm because getting worked up prevents the milk from flowing freely and basically complicates breastfeeding further. It’s times like these that Justin reminds me she is indeed our child — she has my stubbornness and his propensity to get his feelings hurt; needless to say, even in a 2-month-old, that’s a powerfully wicked combination! (Just wait ’til she turns two, I hear you say!)

Anyway, we survived the night and I tried to keep us in bed a good while this morning so we/I could catch up on “lost” (it’s not lost… I never had it, to begin with!) sleep. She’s continued to be fussier than usual today, which makes me fussier than usual as well, but we’re surviving.

She doesn’t have a fever any longer from the vaccinations, but I’m wondering if her fussiness isn’t still a result of the three vaccination shots and oral vaccine she received on Tuesday.

That, or she’s just having a bad day.

Either way, it makes me appreciate the saner days and weeks we have enjoyed up until now and how manic those first couple weeks were!

In the corporate world, having a bad day on Friday would elicit “TGIF!” or “At least it’s Friday” comments, but with a little one the days are all kind of the same. Justin is pretty busy on weekends with cycling and portrait photography clients, among other things, so it’s not like I have full-time backup on weekends. And until I can build a reserve of pumped breastmilk for him (or anyone else) to watch her while I go galavanting around somewhere, it’s just me and the Sprout attached at (above) the hip.




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