Saturday, January 2, 2016

Farm Mom Diaries: Adaptation

  Little Travis is now three weeks old. I'm still trying to figure out how we've gotten this far already, while simultaneously despairing at the long road ahead. I have to agree with everyone who meets him that he really is an easy going, sweet, smiley baby. He eats every 2 - 3 hours, *usually* only wakes up once in the night, and is generally content to sleep throughout the day. Now, this isn't every day routine by any means, but more often than not it is.

  And yet, despite how easy and sweet he is, I still find myself struggling to settle into all of this. I was never a very "motherly" person; growing up, I eyed other people's babies from across the room, but never desired to get very close. Babies always made me uncomfortable in the way they would randomly cry without ceasing, and seemed to have such staunch nocturnal habits. I've always been more comfortable with calves and goat kids; they're easy to care for and to understand. 

  Nevertheless, I'm giving this whole "mothering thing" the best shot I've got. I love this little fellow, but it's still a huge learning curve to handle. For the first week and a half I was constantly in frustrated tears because he would hardly sleep and would always cry as if in pain. Eventually I found out that he takes after his mother and is sensitive to cow milk, which was giving him bad stomach pain. Sigh... I tried going completely off of all forms of dairy, but it was pointless in the end, as my milk supply dried up. So yes, you guessed it; my son is now on Similac soy-based formula. Hoorah. But at least now he's back to being his happy little self, most of the time... I promise folks, he's still an average baby, and I have spent many a night on the couch, trying to get him to go to sleep. 

  As we've come to each new problem, we've managed to solve it in one way or another. Except for one thing: Sleeping at night. Yes, I did say that he usually only wakes up once at night, but it's certainly not always, and it's still a wonky schedule. He stays awake until 1am to 2am, sleeps till 3 or 4am which is feeding time, and then takes a cat nap until 6am. So we're averaging 4 - 5 hours of sleep each night. And for the record, I require 8 - 10 hours of sleep to be any good to anyone. See the problem here? The Caity needs at least 8 hours, and is only getting 5. Big. Problem.

By the time we hit the 2.5 week mark, I was a wreck. Tired, depressed, grumpy, and not feeling very motherly at all. Thank heavens for an amazing midwife though; she concocted a beautiful plan, and now once or twice a week Travis spends the night with his grandma and grandpa (who are pretty sure that he hung the moon), so hubby and I can have a whole night to ourselves. We tried this for the first time on New Year's Eve, and wow... A full night's sleep makes such a huge difference!! So this has at least solved part of the problem. Now we just have to work on fixing his sleeping schedule...

  I'm sure as we go along things will get easier, and I'll adapt to this new role in life. It's just the here and now that's difficult. Everything's new and challenging, and I'm always TIRED! 

 So there you have it. We're still alive; resembling zombies perhaps, but alive. If Travis and I can just figure out a good nighttime pattern, then I do believe we'll be good to go. 

 For now though, I make sure that I have stout tea and coffee at hand at all times. 


Tina said...

Ohhh, I remember those days. I have no advice for you, but I hope encouragement that you and the wee babe will figure it eventually. In the meantime, know that you are not alone.

Prairie Kari said...

Sounds like he is not only sweet but smart too – eating/drinking and sleeping are a few of my ALL time favorite things to this very day and he picked right up on those – what a genius haha! Crying is normal for lung and vocal chord dvlpmt but it very hard on moms though so glad to hear your in-laws are helping out – what a godsend a good night’s sleep can be!

You know how with animals they can totally pick up on your emotions and frustration and totally react to it? I think babies are the same so try not to let it get to you. To add some humor to the random no reason for ceaseless crying that can be so very frustrating, try to make a game of it you can laugh at. Each time it happens say “What are you crying for – just wait till I …. and use your imagination to change the ending every time ie wait till I ask you to go muck stalls, go clean your room, take you to the dentist, pull off your Band-Aid real slow, accidentally get shampoo water in your eye, make you eat your peas before you leave the table, etc. I am sure you can come up with some good ones and have a sleep deprived wicked laugh about it instead! Keep Calm and Zombie On!

Davi Parker said...

You are so fortunate to have in-laws willing to help out like that. What a blessing! I envy you in that department. I found the book "Mom's on Call Guide to Basic Baby Care" A LIFE SAVER! It has a great schedule plan inside that had my little monsters sleeping through the night (8 hours or so) by the time they were 7 weeks old. We didn't even have to do the "cry it out" thing, the babies just figured it out.
You will survive! Hang in there. :)