February 9, 2010

Life With a Newborn Takes Teamwork

Jill’s crying. She needs to eat. No, she needs to be changed. No, no, she’s hungry. Actually, that’s her wimpering I’m-about-to-fall-asleep cry. We’re learning that now. The meaning of certain cries is not something you can read about. It’s in the books but it’s hard to explain until you actually hear it. And when you hear it on 3.5 hours of sleep – even if it’s for the 10th time – you still forget. You can still try to feed her, throw on a fresh diaper and try to feed her again. All the while she just wanted to fall asleep.

I’ve always prided myself on knowing where things are. It drives me nuts when Tony goes rummaging through drawers and cabinets looking for things when all he has to do is ask and most of the time I know where the tape measure, etc. is. Take this morning. Tony wanted to dress Jill in her pink and green watermelon sleeper for her doctor’s visit. I knew where it was! All he had to do was ask and I told him it was on the top of the clothes basket in front of the washer and dryer. It’s clean. It’s clean just like the rest of the mounds of clothes that have been thrown into Jill’s crib and haven’t been folded and put away yet. We’ve resorted to just wearing clothing out of the crib. Less to put away. So back to the watermelon sleeper. I was so proud of myself that I knew where it was on such little sleep. But then I thought, “She shouldn’t wear that sleeper. It doesn’t have feet and she’ll have to wear socks and shoes and I can’t deal with socks and shoes today.” So on went the pink fleece “adorable” kitty sleeper, with feet.

[Sidebar: This morning’s doctor’s visit was good practice for next Tuesday when I go back to work. Tony and I make a good team. I really don’t know how an unhappy marriage can survive a newborn. It doesn’t seem possible. Our morning went like this: Tony showered and got ready while I nursed Jill. She took about 40min (suck, suck, snooze…). I washed up and got dressed (good thing I showered last night) while Tony dressed Jill. I packed her diaper bag the night before. I ate breakfast while Tony fastened Jill into her car seat and went out to the driveway to warm up the truck. I’m not sure when Tony ate … It was teamwork like we’ve never done before! All that to get a family of three out the door on a schedule.]

Nursing or taking the bottle. How long does it take? Just drink 4oz, burp a few times and be done with it. No? Not exactly. Sip, sip, snooze. Suck, suck, fall asleep, slide off the assumed position and try to suck some more. And who would have thought it can take SO long for a newborn to burp. Sometimes it’s almost immediate and it’s loud. Other times it takes 10 minutes and it’s so quiet it almost escapes you. But don’t let the burping fool you. They need to burp. If they don’t, they will throw up on you.

Then there’s co-sleeping, bed sharing, throwing your kid in the crib in the other room. When are you supposed to make the jump? If I don’t hear Jill making noises from the other room, will I jolt out of bed and think she is dead?

We had a doctor’s appointment this morning. Jill weighed in at 9lbs, 7oz and was 22.5in long. She’s a tall peanut to translate the percentiles. Needs to put more meat on her bones like her Mommy. It may have been the cover-up under my eyes but the doc asked right away how Jill was sleeping. I thought Tony was going to laugh in her face. She had a schedule for about a week but that was about a month ago. Since then, she’s been falling asleep around midnight and sleeping until 5-6am. Last night she fell asleep at 11 (downstairs, in front of the TV lights with Tony rocking her chair in his sleep). He brought her upstairs to eat at 3am and then the little delight was wide awake until 5. So we went downstairs and let Dad do some sleeping. There isn’t much on at 3:30 in the morning. Sex in the City re-runs end at 2 and that awful crooked cop-turned taxi driver-but wants to be a good cop show Hack ends at 3. While Jill dozed, fussed and dozed again, I downloaded pictures and uploaded them to snapfish. I went on facebook. I wonder if people notice the time stamps on these emails and posts. I’m not just getting home from the club people. I’m the mother of a newborn. And I don’t sleep.

[Side note: Multi-tasking = blogging while pumping]


  1. Hmmmm......I tread lightly as the Mum in Law. We always found it hard to transfer the kids to the crib in their own room, but did and somehow had the parent radar in place to hear any strange noises from the nursery. And, we all slept better! Oh, and that was before the invention of monitors! There is no "right answer", as parents we do what seems right, and most comfortable to us at the time. We know (knew) our babies needs better than anyone!

  2. By the way, you two are awesome parents. Can't wait to see you all in a couple of weeks!

  3. Thanks, Kim! The transfer is soon. I think we'll start trying it out tomorrow. Not tonight since she had shots at her doctor's visit today and I want to keep an eye (or ear) on her. I think all will sleep better though. You're right! See you soon!

  4. We definetly all slept better once Jake was in his own room - and we transitioned at week 1 just because he was keeping US awake. But he was abnormally a good sleeper. And to each his own - we needed the breath alarm monitor to even be able to sleep and not worry. You might need something different. Whatever works for you is the right answer, really. NO one is an expert. Once she gets bigger, she'll sleep better. :)

  5. ohhhhhhh. I shake my head because like Auntie Kim I have been threw this three times! Why do I shake my head more even though I know what you are going through??? Because even though I have three kids I called my mom tonight to ask, "mommy at what point do I call the doc about Lilly's cough?" Shaking head again. I swear it does not end. Drew is almost 4 and i still touch his chest as he sleeps to make sure he is 'ALIVE' and I do it to Tyty who is 10! I just think....."welcome to motherhood!" And just think when they get older and have to go to college! ARGH