Friday, 14 September 2012

Parenthood: day twenty-four

It's one thing getting used to interrupted sleep. Sometimes I get a chunk of six hours, followed by another two or three (oh sweet nights). Sometimes I get four hours, then three, then two. Sometimes, I get two, two, two, and two. I'm dealing with this better than Danijela, I think. I generally function okay on limited sleep; it's really only the nights with several interruptions that really set up bad days for me. Of course, Danijela is actually getting less sleep than me, since while Oliver might wake us both in the night, she's the one who has to stay up to nurse him.

It's a whole other thing handling Oliver's interrupted daytime sleeping. When he naps regularly during the day, he's terrific; when he doesn't, he's trouble. He gets overtired and doesn't know what he wants; anything might set him off; he's never really comfortable, often inconsolable. And we're all miserable. Yesterday was one of those days. Nothing seems to go right; we feel trapped because he's demanding our attention; we can hardly eat or visit the bathroom; we certainly can't take naps ourselves! I didn't brush my teeth until four in the afternoon yesterday. (Usually I get to it by at least two.) We can't wait for those days to be over, and hope for the next one to be more calm.

(I've spoken too soon though. Today, he's been pretty good—he even had a good hour or so of grandma time—yet by four o'clock, I still hadn't brushed my teeth, to my recollection. I did, however, cook lunch and put all of his diapers in the wash. Big accomplishments!)

Looking back, besides general confusion, lack of sleep (on all fronts) pretty much defined the first two weeks of this little boy's life! It was hard to feel good about anything, even looking at his sweet face. But things have definitely improved—his sleep and ours. The difference is really amazing. When Oliver is rested, he takes things in stride. He won't kick and scream when we're changing his diaper; he'll wait longer to nurse; he won't complain about a few minutes of tummy-time; he's less likely to cry for no apparent reason; he's generally an agreeable little boy.

Still, getting him to sleep is almost always a challenge! Even when it's clear he's tired, he seems to want to keep his eyes open and look at things, or when he does fall asleep and we put him down, he wakes himself up with his flailing limbs. Sometimes, he'll pass out after (or while) eating, but he seldom gets so full that he's out for the long haul. Right now, it's my shoulder and continuous motion (walking, specifically) that do the trick, but even that is not a sure bet. The swing works, too, but still not consistently. Oof, just now, at nine-thirty, I'm doing all I can to get him to close his eyes.

Anyway, I think I'm repeating myself here. No notes today, I've got to get this kid to sleep. Hopefully tomorrow!

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