This first-time newborn parenting thing is not for the faint of heart, my friends. Last week was tough. I'd cry, but even my tear ducts are exhausted. Countless people advised that the first two weeks are the most difficult, but "it will get better!" Now I'm not one to point fingers, but those people a) lied straight to my face, b) were under the influence of illegal substances when speaking to me, or c) have never lived under the same roof as an infant. Lies, I tell you. The third week of parenting robbed me of my sanity under the cloak of night.
I started breastfeeding Presley when she was about ten minutes old, and she's been a nursing champ ever since. I exclusively breastfeed her. Since I nurse on demand and she's a growing bitty one, there really is no routine or schedule. (Plus, routines can't effectively be implemented until about three or four months old anyway.) Whenever she starts getting fussy, we check her diaper. If that's not the problem, I see if she's ready to be fed. If that's not it, we assume it's gas and apply all techniques we've learned: belly massage, move her legs in bicycle movements, and tummy time. Despite those things, she has been inconsolable some nights, and I really mean inconsolable. We've been able to calm her, but just when we think she's ready to go down for sleep, she goes from zero to sixty in 2.2 seconds.
On Saturday night we were up with her from 12:20 AM to 3:15 AM trying everything we could to keep her from screaming her sweet little vocal chords out. She finally slept for about three hours, and then bing! She was upset again at 6:30 AM. I took her into the guest room to try to nurse and rock her to sleep so that S could sleep. I suspected I'd need to do the hand-off with him later in the morning so I could get some shut-eye. When S woke up at 9:30 AM, I couldn't even muster a greeting. "Help me. I don't know what else to do for her. This must be so frustrating for her!"
We spent the morning searching the internet for advice about fussiness, digestive issues, and colic. Also, I'm a member of a two Facebook mom groups (one for breastfeeding, one for general parenting) which are great for crowd-sourcing. (Both groups were extremely helpful throughout pregnancy as well!) Presley has never taken a pacifier, so I asked for recommendations for newborns. My hope is that a pacifier might help her self-soothe.
Following discussion with my sister and Darby, I decided two things. First, we would start Presley on probiotic drops which helped my nephew early on. Second, I'll cut dairy, spicy foods, chocolate, and caffeine from my diet -- the only big change being chocolate, although I did have frozen custard twice last week. It will take one week for those things to clear from my breast milk, but I'm hopeful that this will help Presley's digestive issues. Do you hear me? I'm cutting out chocolate. Oh, the things I do for this child!
I made a quick run to the store to buy MAM pacifiers, Mommy's Bliss gripe water, and BioGaia probiotic drops.
I'm down to my last week of true maternity leave. After this week, I'll be working from home for two weeks to transition back to the office. I hope I can sleep for more than three hours a night by then. Lord, help me. I feel like I've lost my mind. Pardon me while I go look for my glasses.
Never mind. They're right where I left them.
On my face.
** In all seriousness, we are so grateful for this child, and we knew that days/nights like this would come. This too shall pass! This stage is helping us to grow into the best parents we can be for her.