Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Night of the Hellmonster

I thought I would have big sister Rachel guestblog her experience babysitting Will after bedtime when Dad and I attended the U2 concert in Norman and had to be gone till 1 a.m.

Well, I arrived at 5:00 and Gina and Will answered the door. He was unenthusiastically eating a snack before his mommy left. He stopped paying any attention to Gina when I got there, and she hurried off to get ready as I watched him and made myself some dinner. They left about 5:30 and my adventure began.

Will was fine as I ate dinner. He talked and smiled and generally amused himself. Soon he was sleepy and I decided that some Enya music videos would be a good way to put him down. He fell asleep while watching Orinocco Flow on Youtube at about 6:15.

He slept for about an hour and woke up pleasantly. We played and read for a little while before I gave him his dinner of peaches and oatmeal. He ate about half of his food before he started spitting it out, at which point I decided he was done. He played for another ten minutes, before we started getting ready for bed.

I gave him a bath and he relaxed. When he got out of the bath it was time to seriously think about putting him down for the night. Gina always nurses him down, and I had had good luck with giving him a bottle before putting him in his cradle swing, so I grabbed a packet of frozen milk out of the freezer and started to dethaw it. This is where the horrible, awful, no-good, bad night begins.

I couldn't find a bottle. Usually, there's at least one that has been recently washed and is sitting on the counter, but not this night. I looked in every single cabinet and every single drawer and every single room for at least a dirty bottle. All I found was one without a nipple or a lid. At this point, Will had been crawling around on the living room floor for a half hour and the soothing aspect of the bath was no longer in effect - he was very awake. I had to give him some (now warm) milk if I wanted him to go to sleep anytime soon, so I put it in a sippy cup.

The first cup I put the milk in, Will apparently doesn't know how to use. He chewed on the nipple, but he didn't get any milk and became angry. I switched the milk over to a non-spill-proof sippy cup and let him drink from that. He drank two ounces of milk in about three minutes. I have no idea why he didn't spit up.

So after he drank I went ahead and put him in his swing and prayed he would fall asleep quickly. He didn't. After ten minutes he was crying loudly, so I grabbed him and walked him up and down the hallway. He cried and cried and cried until he fell asleep. I tried to put him down, but the second I did he woke right back up. I walked him up and down the hallway again, but this time, when he fell asleep I sat down in the rocking chair until he was in deep sleep, at which point I put him back in his swing. It was 9:30.

At this point I was already stressed out. Will had cried for about 45 minutes straight - something he had never done when I was alone with him. I was tired and needed some comfort food, so I called my mom and asked her to pick me up a milkshake and some french fries. She complied, and arrived at 10:15. She stayed with me while I ate (I wanted some company), but not two minutes after I finished eating the baby monitor came on: Will was awake again.

I left him for a few minutes to see if he would go back to sleep, but his awake noises quickly turned into crying. I got him out of the swing and tried to walk with him, but that didn't work. I went to the nursery and tried to rock him down, but that didn't work, either. Now it was 10:30 and I had dealt with an entire hour of inconsolable crying baby. I handed him off to my mom to rock him. We turned the TV on and gave him a baby book to play with. He calmed down.

Unfortunately, the calmness didn't last long. It was getting late and Will was getting more and more tired. I decided that it was time to start trying to get him to sleep again and I turned off the TV and made my mom leave the room. He quickly became mad and started not just crying this time, but downright screaming. It was 11:00. I couldn't find anything wrong. There was no way he was actually hungry, and he had only had his super stuffed night diaper on for a few hours - there was no way that was bothering him. I rocked and walked and talked and patted and did it all over and over and over again.

Finally, I asked my mom to see if she could find a bottle. She, of course, found one in less than five minutes, and we warmed up some milk. I gave him the bottle and he accepted about an ounce. I thought that maybe he would calm down then, but after the first ounce he tore away from the nipple and wouldn't accept it anymore. I had completely given up on getting him to go to sleep, and was only focused on stopping the screaming. I decided that maybe what he needed was just to not have anything to do: I put him in his cradle swing and let him sit there for seven minutes. I told myself I was going to give him ten, but I felt too bad. I went and got him again and I sat down with him on the floor and patted his back. Then he started screaming bloody murder and frantically looking between the kitchen and the hallway. At that point I knew exactly why he was crying: he wanted his mommy and she was not coming.

At this point I was seeing the midnight hour slip away and imagining how sleepy I was going to be the next day at school. My mom took him as I layed on the couch. It was 12:30. She bounced him slightly and to both of our amazements he calmed down. And, of course, after he stopped screaming, he passed out from exhaustion. It was 12:40.

Gina said he slept very, very well that night. I was not surprised.

On the Move

Will is officially mobile. Ok, he's been able to get around for a while now, but now it's different..... you know what I mean. Several weeks ago I had that experience of coming into the room and thinking to myself, "Um, where did the baby go?" since he wasn't where I left him. But, his movement in the past few weeks has mostly consisted of rolling with a bit of backwards crawling (and I don't mean purposeful backward crawling, so that was a lot of going the opposite direction he wanted to go), so although he could get himself where he wanted to go, it was slow, arduous, and often accompanied by crying. In the last week, he just started crawling forward as if he'd been doing it his whole life. He can also sit up by himself once he's crawling (can't pull himself to a sit from laying down, though). I definitely can't leave him laying on the changing table anymore (yes, I'm a bad mom, I do occasionally leave him while I grab clothes from his dresser a couple steps away).

As of two days ago, he's also sprouted teeth! No more chewing on Mommy's nose and chin (and she fears deeply for her boobs!). He's determined not to let us see them, though, so we'll have to wait to get pictures till they are tall enough to see above his lip.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Rachel just sent me to a blog-column about a woman whose newborn suffered from reflux/colic. Reading "The Never-Ending Scream" definitely brought back memories of the first four hellish months. Reading this will give you a pretty good idea of what we went through except it wasn't screaming for the most part, just never-ending crying. And Will's was mostly during the day. All day. Every day. He actually slept better at night then than he does now, but I think it was just because he was so exhausted from all the NEVER sleeping during the day!

However, just as the writer points out, it does end, and on the other side we have a wonderful baby who just seems to get better and better and more fun each day.

For baby record-keeping purposes, though, at 6.5 months, Will's reflux is still as bad as ever. He still spits up after pretty much every meal--sometimes what appears to be everything he just ate. Solids are not guaranteed to stay down any better than breastmilk, unfortunately (because upchucked pears are even more disgusting than milk). Thankfully, he's now mostly a "happy spitter" thanks to the medications.

6 Months and a Day

Well, this time 6 months ago, Will was almost 24 hours old! It is ever so cliche, and yet ever so true, how quickly time flies. Or at least, it goes by in a blur. While some individual days in the first few months seemed to be years in themselves, it seems like just a few weeks ago we were bringing Will home. He is a very different baby than the one who came home, though.

Baby Will
  1. Slept much better during the night. Never napped.
  2. Ate constantly (breastmilk only). Cried almost constantly.
  3. Was very alert but couldn't do a lot with it.
Big 6-month Will
  1. Naps almost every day, 2-3 hours. Is awake from every 20 minutes to every 2 hours during the night.
  2. Keeps his eating sessions to a reasonable 10-15 minutes and only every 2-3 hours. And eats oatmeal, rice, pears, and avocado. Cries only when he is exhausted or hungry (or hurt). Pretty happy baby otherwise.
  3. Still very alert, but now motors himself around--by lurching forward on all fours or rolling.

What hasn't changed
  1. Maintains an angelic "public face."
  2. Is Loud (he suffers from voice immodulation like his mom).
  3. Never misses anything.
  4. Always hits his milestones early (people always say, "He doesn't seem old enough to be XYZing!")
  5. Loves his peeps!