Postpartum Diaries: 8 Weeks

baby sleep
image by Lily Sophia

Let’s talk about sleep. Baby sleep to be exact.  When Lily was a newborn I admittedly had no clue what I was doing. No. Clue.  After she was born she would always fall asleep nursing so I just figured she only needed to nap after she fed.  Big mistake. On top of whatever tummy troubles she had she was EXHAUSTED.  If you’re a mom you know how horrible having an overtired baby is.  This time around I was more committed to making sure Mav was napping but it certainly isn’t as easy as I thought.  Our night nurse is a pediatric researcher and baby sleep expert. She really helps me to follow Maverick’s natural circadian rhythm.  We are thrilled that he sleeps so well at night the majority of the time. Unfortunately, getting him down for naps or nighttime is BRUTAL.  At his age he should nap about every hour during the day but goodness it is not easy to figure out when he’s tired.  Usually babies have cues.  Sometimes they are subtle but the goal is to start putting baby down as soon as you see those cues and before he is yawning or starting to cry.  It just isn’t that easy with Mav.

I don’t know what I am missing but I swear this little boy goes from zero to sixty every time and once he’s there he will not calm down.  Whether he’s in my arms or I’m trying to put him down he is more or less crying himself to sleep every time.  I have to pull out all the stops to get him to be calm enough to put down.  I believe in creating good baby sleep habits but sometimes I just want to rock him until he’s totally passed out to save me the trouble of hearing the cries.  Just tonight I felt like I was going to burst into tears myself after spending a half hour desperately trying to get him to sleep.  I’ve even started trying to put him down less than an hour between naps to see if I can get to the ideal sleep space where he’s drowsy and will peacefully fall asleep on his own.  No luck. It doesn’t matter how long after his last nap I try to put him down he ALWAYS cries.  The only time he doesn’t scream before sleep is if he falls asleep nursing which is occasionally once a day and overnight.  It’s so strange that he’s such a rough napper but sleeps so well at night.  Anyway, maybe the key is just letting go a little bit.  I don’t know but I have to change something.  I’m sure a lot of it has to do with what is going on with his tummy so hopefully it will get better once we fix it! 

All the stress in the house is really taking a toll.  I finally got the chance to leave Mav at home to spend some time with Lily this weekend. I was only gone for two hours and when I got back Andy said to me “I’m just not cut out for this”.  I could tell how frazzled he was.  He told me he tried everything but Mav just wouldn’t stop crying. Honestly, I’m not going to lie, hearing him say that made me a little angry.  I mean, after all, I parented Lily mostly on my own for her first year and a half and I spend 95% of my day with Maverick.  With that being said, I challenge myself to remember that we all handle stress differently.  He isn’t used to this so it’s a big change for him and I have to be understanding. We made a point to sit down and talk about what is going on.  We shared our frustrations and came up with a plan going forward.  The most important things are communication and grace.  We need to allow ourselves to get frustrated and to communicate what we need but be respectful and understanding when we do. It’s also critical for us to remember this will NOT last forever.  We’ve weathered through the newborn phase before and we know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  We’re really lucky to have each other.  As tense as it can get when both of our kids are losing their minds, at the end of the day we regroup and remember that before them, it was us.

I hope if any of you out there reading this are soon-to-be moms that you aren’t discouraged.  Being a mother is difficult, no doubt, but not all mothers go through having such tough babies.  The majority of mothers I know say their babies only cry when they need to be changed or fed (I seriously can’t even IMAGINE).  If it’s any consolation, I still feel like I want another one.  But that’s a wholeee other conversation.  See ya next week!


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