Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Two Stages

Yesterday, my friends, was a rough one.  Despite what the lovely Danielle told me in the hospital (she's the lactation consultant who I wanted to become real friends with, despite her references to my "equipment"), it seems that what I eat does have an effect on baby girl.  I'm guessing the culprit was pineapple, although it could have been the caffeine I had for the first time, or the Easter candy I've been downing by the fistful... either way, all three things are currently on the banned foods list, because there is no price to steep to avoid another yesterday.

Clearly, girlfriend hasn't been put off from eating all together...

So many tears.  And baby girl doesn't have functioning tear ducts yet, so... yeah, it was me.  The sound of your baby's pain, sadness, or whatever she was trying to tell me... totally undid me.  Like, totally.  In a "woe is me, I am undone" sort of way.  With crying.

But today, today is a better day.  Today, girlfriend has got her nap on, she chilled in her bouncy seat some, and I'm pretty sure I saw a smile, all before 9.  This new baby business, it's full of highs & lows.  Part of my dysfunction has been imagining that one day's events totally dictates the next 100 days.  If she doesn't sleep today during what I've dubbed her "nap time" then she's never going to sleep again.  If she does sleep, and puts herself on a tight little 4-hour schedule like clockwork, I get my hopes up that we'll be doing that until she's grown enough to sleep longer.  Basically, I'm nutso.



In my nutso-ness, however, I've discovered this: there are two stages to bringing a new baby home.  I know, it's an exclusionary statement, and also based on limited experience.  However, I believe it's true, and you're here to hang out with me, so, you're stuck with what you get.  The two stages can be determined by how you answer a simple question: "If you have to choose between food and sleep, which do you pick?"  Because in these early days, you do have to choose.  In the first stage, the earlier stage, you pick sleep.  Every time.  Think of it as a diet plan, if you must, but it's really just survival.

The worst part about new baby sleep, again, in my limited opinion, is that you never know when it's going to occur.  You don't know if you're going to get to nap after the morning feeding.  You don't know if you're going to get that nice solid 3 hours you got twice last night.  In our house, we call it the Riley-factor, the not-knowing-ness.  But anyhow, when you're in the first stage, you answer "sleep" to the question Every. Single. Time.

I'm sure it's obvious, but when you hit the second stage, you'll know it because you might answer "eat".  You might not.  But you actually think about it rather than just hear the words as your head sinks into your pillow.  It's not a fight within yourself to have breakfast before noon.  You don't have to bribe yourself, saying, "If you just stay up and eat this dinner, you can brush your teeth and then after you feed her at 6:30, you can go to sleep for the night."  Not that I told myself that... more than twice...

Now, I'm eating.  Napping less, mostly thanks to that blessed MIL of mine who rocks my baby to sleep at night after I feed her, so that I can snag an extra 46 minutes.  She's leaving tomorrow morning, and I know there's a chance that I'll head back into the dark days of the first stage, when sleep at any time of day is a necessity.  But maybe, just maybe, I'll stay in the second stage.  A girl can dream.
<3 M.

8 comments:

  1. Those ROLLS! Girl, you are doing something right there. Chunky babies are the best kind of babies!

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    1. I do love how roly-poly she is!

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  2. She is gorgeous!

    Sometimes I'm amazed that we all survive new motherhood, because really, no-one should have to function on so little sleep. Without caffeine and chocolate! It's a shame.

    Hope you have lots of good days and manage to catch a few extra zzzz's.
    ~FringeGirl

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    1. Thank you. Extra zzz's, the stuff dreams are made of. Is it normal to dream of sleep? :)

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  3. OHMYGOSH. Those cute little baby rolls! I'm dying over here! She is just too cute! Hope you gt to stay in stage 2... I'm not sure I wanna know if there's a stage three. I can't prepare myself for that!

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    1. I've chosen food twice today! That's a win :) Maybe at stage 3, you don't worry about food or sleep, just expect to get it?? We can hope, right?

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  4. I cannot even handle her glorious chubbiness. I just want to squish her. I hope that's not weird. But GAH so cute!

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    1. She inspires the squishy feeling in pretty much everyone! Can't wait for your bambino to get here!!

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