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Myths vs. Realities

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Myths vs. Realities

There are so many myths/old wives' tales associated with pregnancy and parenting, I'm still wading through it all in this little adventure called parenthood. At least, I'm praying this novena that is, like, supposed to help you figure out your life and such. So anyway, things like "the two week wait" symptoms, Chinese gender prediction charts, and natural induction methods, I'm convinced are myths. Epidural ruining your chance of breastfeeding. Myth. Special baby detergent is a total scam, I say. 

The whole wonder weeks thing - jury's still out. Will seems to do things at his own pace in his own time, whether or not his little baby head is in the stormy lightning part of the charts or the happy sunshine area.

Marches to the beat of his own drum, this one.

I was hoping the old "four month sleep regression," or what I like to call "bay bay go cray cray" (I don't really call it that), was also a myth, but in my experience, the struggle is real. So so real. 

It's great because his super baby brain is developing and he's becoming so much more interactive, showing off his little personality. He finally FINALLY rolled over. And it's becoming less like clumsily toppling over and more like actually intending to roll. (It was a long awaited milestone because my niece and my cousin's baby of the same age are practically baby gymnasts. Rolling around like a couple of circus performers. Show offs.) He can use his hands to grab toys and tries to claw my nose off. He gets excited when he sees his dogs and giggles and is even chattier than usual. 

But with his newfound skill set comes with it a new 'tude:

Stink eye to the max.

Oh, did you not get me in my crib within a 5 second window? SNAP!

Oh, did I grab my own pacifier out of my mouth when I really wanted to remain sucking on it? SNAP!

Oh, you didn't just walk away from me when I was trying to have a goooogooogoogoogoo conversation with you? SNAPPITY SNAP SNAP!

I mean, he's still a happy baby most of the time, but he has this new ability that I like to call raging.  When he threw his first tantrum like a week and a half ago, it caught me totally by surprise. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? I thought. Clearly he was in agonizing pain. Was he teething? Was he sick? Was he choking on something? Something in his eye? I even had Will stop for baby Tylenol AND baby Advil on his way home from work. (Fans of modern medicine right here. You can take away one of my crunchy cards.) 

Nope, none of the above. Just needed a nap apparently. . . . 

Got this mom thang down, ya'll!


Part I is the rage. Part II is the inability to stay asleep. You see the vicious cycle. The professionals call this wakefulness. This mom calls it an excuse to ingest twice her usual amount of coffee and refuse all physical activity. (And speak in the third person, naturally.)

Will was sleeping really well for like a month and a half. He woke once or twice a night. Any time he woke more than that was a rare "bad night." Well, shoot. Ever since we got back from Maryland, he's waking every couple of hours like a newborn again. Homey. Don't. Play. That. And naps? Naps are like whenever he darn well pleases, take your Baby Whispering self and go run and whisper that.

I mean, I hope no one sees this as me complaining - just keeping it real and seeking humor in the every day toil - because let's be clear, becoming a mom is one of the best things to ever happen to me in my entire life. Forever worth the sleepless nights. And years from now I will apparently have perspective and grow used to it and get better at it, but hey, coming to terms with sleeping in one to two hour increments for the indefinite future is hard. Sanctifying. Death to self and all. 

I know that "in the blink of an eye"/"before I know it"/"next thing I know" Will will be sleeping through the night and I will be sentimental about our cuddle time in the middle of the night and how I used to wake up to wipe his butt and gosh, he just grew up too fast! Because momnesia is a reality. 

That I can't find the humor and joy and good in even the funkiest, frustrating sleep regression? Myth.

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At June 3, 2014 at 4:17 PM , Blogger Ellen Johnson said...

Ugh, fourth month sleep regression is no joke, especially when it coincides (as it did with me) with the heaviest of postpartum hair shedding. Such a kick in the pants! Anyway, since you revealed yourself as a fellow non-crunch, I could let you know what we did to get over the hump... A word of warning, it's not AP or Dr. Sears approved, but it kept me from pulling my remaining hairs out and murdering my husband and baby so, worth it. Anyway, inquire at your own risk. ;)

At June 3, 2014 at 4:55 PM , Blogger Janine @ Home Joys said...

Four months old was so tough! Just when you think you know what you're doing you feel like a big ole idiot. Beer really helped me through it. I pray something does the same for you :)

At June 3, 2014 at 9:51 PM , Blogger Mary Helen said...

Oh honey. I'm there with you. so so so so with you. I don't know if you ever get used to the 1-2 hour sleep stretches at night. We've stuck Clare in the bed with us because we have literally tried all the other methods and she just laughs at our attempts (ok not so much laughing, more along that raging you were talking about) any time I put her down in her crib with her not being COMPLETELY passed out. We are at a loss and I wish she wasn't in the bed, but with the 3 year old to deal with all the next day, I cannot function at all on that little sleep. All I can say is it's a good thing she's so darn cute ;-)

At June 4, 2014 at 8:17 AM , Blogger Kate @ Daffodils said...

I just saw your comment on Mama Needs Coffee and had to jump over to say hi. My husband is deployed and I hate 3 littles and sometimes think I am going to lose my mind (or all our tax free incoming on wine) but we are making it. You really do gain confidence with each one and eventually just stop needing to sleep (but never stop needing wine and coffee). Good luck with your little sleeper though, it is so frustrating!

At June 4, 2014 at 2:45 PM , Blogger Erika said...

Ahhh he's so pudgy and adorable! Totally agree that natural induction methods are a myth (well, except for 'tylenol') and the epidural/breastfeeding thing too (I actually feel like I would have bonded better right away had I gotten an epidural...just way way too much pain the way I did it ha). Sorry about the four month sleep regression. Stephen keeps asking when our little guy is going to sleep longer which just makes me laugh because he is only 2 weeks old :)


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