Motherhood has been hard, my friends. I’m not gonna sugarcoat it- there have been moments when I have found myself in tears while holding an inconsolable baby, wondering why I wanted this so badly. Dumplin’ is a good baby, but boy is he fussy. I’m not sure if this is normal for most 2.5 month olds, but he still freaks out if he’s not being held, and more recently, even being held doesn’t console him. These days, he seems more irritable than before, despite being more social, smiling and babbling lots. It’s hard for me to write about it, because I keep hoping it will change. Writing about it also makes me sad because I’m really not enjoy our days together, and I am embarrassed about it. I used to have anxiety as bedtime approached, a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach in anticipation of desperation, sleeplessness, baby crying, sore nipples, and the smell of baby vomit. But recently, it’s anxiety about nighttime and daytime now too, since DW returns to work tomorrow and Dumplin’ has been extra fussy lately. Weeks 8-10 were better, as I just resigned myself to bedsharing and side-boob feeding him the entire night. We got more sleep this way. The boob seriously saved us, but then recently I’m finding him not dozing off as easily from our side-lying feedings. He’s fussier, requiring something more than being held or bounced on the exercise ball…. I just can’t figure it out. Plus, he’s puking up milk every time he gets upset, despite us being better with burping him more frequently.
It’s been a struggle. We tried sleep training him one night (to not need to nurse to fall asleep) after a couple of friends had cautioned us against nursing him to sleep, warning us that the habit would be much harder to break after 3 months. It went terribly. He cried incessantly any time we placed him down on our bed after 10-20 seconds. He ended up vomiting all over himself twice because of how hard he was crying. Picking him up after 10 seconds of fussing didn’t console him for long either. He was pissed at us for experimenting with his spirit. So after a handful of attempts at giving him a chance to self-soothe, we gave up. The crying was just too much, and we felt like bad moms for it. I’m back to comfort nursing him until he falls asleep, and allowing him to sleep for most of the night with my nipple in his mouth. It seems to be the only way right now.
He’s also super congested at night, so we have to give him Salinex drops and run a humidifier in our room. It makes me paranoid that he’s having such trouble breathing at night that I’m not sleeping fully even when I have the chance to. It’s awful.
Christmas came early for us, with my sister and BIL visiting us for a week. It was a great time, especially since they were super helpful with Dumplin’ and also with making meals for us. The next week, my mother flew in for the rest of the holidays, which was lovely too. We also hosted our first family Christmas dinner at our house! It was only a little crazy, but was made a lot easier since my in-laws took care of the turkey making, and brought extra Christmas placemats and chairs. Dumplin’ was spoiled with some homemade and thoughtful gifts too.
But the holidays are just about over, my mom has flown home, and DW returns to work tomorrow. I have some major anxiety about being the sole caregiver for Dumplin’ again. It was nice having all of these family members around- someone else to hold him so that I can eat or fold laundry, to rock him when he’s crying, to play with him and make funny faces at him so that he has more positive interactions…. Because I feel guilty that I am so sleep deprived and worn out that I can’t meet his glances with a smile, even though I love him so much. But on the bright side, maybe having less excitement will mean that he’s less overstimulated this week, so we can get back to our routine, and better sleep will follow.
This kid is huge though. A week ago (10 weeks old) he was already weighing 16lbs. He’s also up to size 3 diapers. It’s insane.
Anyways, not all is terrible. We have sweet morning snuggles in bed, and he is smiling and babbling more and more each day. Here are some pictures to make up for lost time: