The Newborn Chronicles

Can I still call him a newborn? I mean, he’s five weeks old today. Meh, I’m still gonna call him a newborn.

Last week was fun (ish? esque?). Little Dumpling went through a cognitive leap and was extra cranky and clingy and fussy which was perfect timing because my mom and Luffy were around to help keep me sane. My mom went home Saturday, but Luffy helped a ton over the weekend as well (Luffy can wrap him up in our Moby wrap and get a three or four hour nap out of him!). I think we’re starting to come out of the Wonder Week, although he still seems to be rather tired (and a touch cranky today). But he’s been good.

I, on the other hand, had a bit of a meltdown last night. For some reason, the monotony and responsibility of being the one to help the dumpling get to sleep each. and. every. time. he goes to sleep got to me. I was nursing him before bed, which is when he usually conks out. However, the past two nights, nursing alone hadn’t worked. I desperately wanted some time with Luffy and here was this wide-awake infant who was supposed to be going to sleep. I got frustrated. I passed him off to Luffy who (wonderfully! graciously!) accepted the challenge of getting him to sleep and told me to go to bed. Which wasn’t really what I wanted, but I took him up on the offer. What I really wanted was a day to myself again, where I’m not solely responsible for this tiny human. Where I’m not needed to nurse or change a diaper or get him to sleep (this is the biggest, most challenging and frustrating aspect). What I really wanted was a day with just Luffy and me again, to do as we please. My days are not my own right now and it’s getting to me.

By 9PM, I went to check on Luffy and the dumpling – both were still awake. I pumped, giving Luffy enough milk to make the dumpling a bottle and went back to bed. Luffy brought the dumpling into our room (where his bassinet is) and tried to lull him to sleep with a pacifier. It didn’t work, but by that time I had collected myself enough to go help. The dumpling wanted to nurse, so we did, as Luffy sat beside me, listening to me describe what I was feeling. The dumpling did manage to go to sleep after nursing but woke up soon after we transferred him to his bassinet (he had a dirty diaper). By this point in the night, it was late, so I sent Luffy to our bed and the dumpling and I cuddled* up in the guest bed. He slept an astounding four and a half hour stretch before waking to nurse again. Then we dozed and nursed until 7am.

Luffy and I talked more this morning. I miss our old life, when it was just the two of us. When we could relax in the evenings, without the question mark that is getting an infant down to sleep. When I could focus on taking care of Luffy (or myself for that matter!). I miss work and I miss my exercise classes. I laughed at myself because, in all that time we spent trying to get pregnant and in the nine months that I was actually pregnant, I never really thought about the newborn phase. I never once thought about how hard it would be to take care of an infant. When I thought about our hypothetical child, it was always the older infant (maybe 9 months?) or the adorable toddler. It’s probably a defense mechanism of sorts. Too late now!

To be brutally honest (and why not – it should be talked about), there are times when I look down at the dumpling and I wonder if he’s worth it. I wonder if we didn’t make a huge mistake. I resent the intrusion he is in our (Luffy’s and mine) wonderful life. I mean, I know he will be worth it and I know we didn’t make a mistake, it just feels like it sometimes (also known as when the dumpling is howling bloody murder for no apparent reason or is suddenly wide awake when he’s supposed to be sleeping). Now don’t call CPS on me – we’re all good. I feel like it’s probably a thought a lot of mothers have (especially those that aren’t really into the baby phase – some women are, more power to you).

I know that these days will go by, whether he cries for hours or sleeps like a champ or goes on a nursing strike. These days will roll by and suddenly, Luffy and I will look down at our dumpling and he will no longer be a newborn. He’ll be an infant and then a toddler and then a child and we’ll wonder why we ever questioned ourselves. I know that day will come, so I’ll just try to get through these days as best I can.

*Hardcore bedsharers always talk about cuddling their newborn, but I’d like to call BS on this, at least with my particular newborn. Bedsharing with him is like sharing a bed with someone who thinks he’s sleeping alone. I’m cradled around him to keep him safe and clear of pillows or blankets. I’m hyper aware of his little body, trying to lay as still as possible. Meanwhile, he grunts and kicks and coos in his sleep as I just try to stay out of the way. Plus, the word “cuddling” sort of implies a little give and take, maybe some snuggling, some happy baby chirping or a smile. Nope. Nopity nope nope. My little guy wakes up and is just like, where ma boob be at??? And would it kill you to change my diaper?

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