I don’t know where Michael gets his patience from, but I’m at the end of my rope with this colic thing. That’s not good either, because colic tends to last a couple of months and we’re only in the first few weeks.
Last night I was prepared. I nursed Sam to sleep and set her gently in her basinet with the back positioner all set up to keep her on her side. She’d taken a couple of comfortable naps in it during the day, so I was confident she’d be fine there at night. That turned out not to be the case. As soon as I set her down, she started fussing again. I tried stroking her arms and legs to soothe her. That worked a little, but then when I headed off to get my shower, she started howling. I decided to let her fuss it out for a while. After all, I really needed a shower. As soon as I was out and dry though, I fought back my natural instincts to let Sam continue screaming and I went and picked her up.
That’s right. My natural instinct is to let the kid scream. See how evil I really am? Any normal woman would have rushed right in to pick up her child and soothe the poor thing. I’m like, “Go ahead, scream your tiny lungs out.” At least until I’m ready to sleep that is.
I picked Sam up and she immediately tried to latch on through my t-shirt. Sooooooo, I climbed into bed with her and let her nurse for a while. Now she’d already nursed for half an hour at 9 PM. This was 10 PM and she was screaming for it again. I’m supposed to let Sam go three hours between feedings. Yesterday she only went an hour or two between feedings. It might be that four week growth spurt, but I really don’t know. What I do know is that Sam had already stripped all the skin off my nipples the night before and I was in no shape to let her nurse all night again. Plus I was back to being bitchy and frustrated, so after fifteen minutes, I pulled Sam off and tried to get her to sleep.
She started fussing instead, and then started screaming. She passed some gas, hit me with her tiny fists and started kicking me in the stomach. I propped her up on my thighs and tried bouncing her. No good. I draped her over my stomach and tried patting her back. Even worse. I started swearing and tried putting her back in the basinet to cry it out. After fifteen minutes, Michael got up and tried calming Sam. He held her to his chest and rocked from side to side until she settled down a bit. Then he took her downstairs to give me some sleep time. While he was down there, he managed to soothe her into slumber land, something I couldn’t do.
The fact that he can get her to nod off and I can’t really pisses me off. I her MOM for god’s sake, I’m supposed to be the kind, nurturing, caring one. I’m supposed to be the one with all the patience, the one with the magic milk-producing boobies, the one who’s best at soothing little babies.
Quit laughing at me, damn it. This isn’t funny.
I fell asleep for a few hours. I woke up four hours later and panicked because I couldn’t find Sam. I forgot that Michael had taken her downstairs. I thought that she was still in bed with me and I’d somehow lost her under the covers. Then my brain turned back on and I remembered where she was. After reassembling the bed, I headed downstairs and found Michael and Sam side by side, sleeping peacefully on the floor. It was 2 AM. He’d had her for four hours.
I woke Michael and got them both back upstairs. We put Sam in bed with me and she woke just enough to latch on and feed. She nursed for maybe fifteen minutes before pulling herself off and going back to sleep. The rest of the night went pretty peacefully, with Sam only waking twice more to briefly nurse. I got up at 6 AM, feeling well rested but resentful because I can’t do what Michael can do.
Michael told me it took half an hour for him to calm Sam. I spent over an hour trying to soothe her but all she wanted from me was to nurse which I couldn’t let her do without risking her gorging herself and making matters worse. Why the hell Michael’s able to get suffer through 30 minutes of rocking and back-patting and finally succeeding to get a screaming monster calmed down is beyond me. All I can say is I’m just not cut out for this kind of work.