May 21, 2012

Our day starts early, at 1:30 a.m. Despite the middle-of-the-night wakeup, we’re thrilled because Will slept for four hours! This is still rare for him but it’s becoming a bit more common. Will and I sit in the darkened nursery and I browse tanks and crops at Lululemon while I nurse him. Will drops back off to sleep at two, and once he’s settled I bring him back into our bedroom. He doesn’t even stir. Victory!

5:30 a.m. — up again! Again, we’re thrilled to discover he slept an additional 3.5 hours. Maybe his night sleeping really will get longer now that he’s approaching six weeks old. Will eats, but shows no signs of being ready to go back to sleep. He is wide eyed and happy! I take him out of his swaddle blanket and change his diaper, and we head downstairs to see if he’ll go back to sleep in his swing. He does, eventually, but he’s up again at 7:15. We’re getting an early start on our day, it seems!

Once he wakes up, it’s time to eat again. This boy likes to eat, but our nursing sessions don’t take all that long. I think he is an efficient baby because we are usually in and out within ten to fifteen minutes. He is also slowly lengthening the amount of time between feedings, and he eats closer to every three hours now instead of every two. After he eats, I dress him (and myself) and we head back downstairs. Normally we would be getting ready for a walk, but a) it’s raining, and b) I have big plans for us to go to Whole Foods, so instead we take it easy at home.

Mornings are generally a happy time for Will, and he hangs out on his Boppy lounger pillow while I eat peanut butter cheerios and then feed the cats. My plan is to go to Whole Foods while it’s still early (our first trip to a grocery store together!) but time gets away from us and just as I’m about to put Will into his car seat, he yawns. I am really trying to get him to sleep when he needs to — and within a one-to-two-hour period of wakefulness — so I put off our trip until later. Will goes in the swing, but apparently the swing’s not doing it for him. He loves his pacifier, but every time it falls out he fusses, and soon his fussing’s turned to crying. Upstairs we go! I change his diaper again and feed him a little, and he drops off to sleep at 9:00. At 9:20, thinking maybe he’s in a deep sleep by now, I bring him back downstairs and get him settled in his swing, hoping he’ll stay asleep.

No dice! He cries. We go back upstairs.

Now that he’s all of almost six weeks old, Will hasn’t been sleeping on my lap like this quite as much, but it seems to be what he needs today! He passes out at 10:15 and sleeps here for an hour and a half. I amuse myself by talking to Steve on the phone, checking my email, catching up on blogs, and reading my new Kindle book (In Defense of Food). I know at some point I’ll have to transition him into taking his naps in his crib, but for right now, this is okay.

I have a whole entertainment station set up in the nursery.

He wakes up just before noon and is ravenous (so am I!). I feed him, change him, and get him ready to go to Whole Foods. He’s in a good mood now and watches while I make myself a pb&j to take on the road. Off we go!

Sadly, it’s only upon our arrival at Whole Foods that I realize I left my wallet at home. Heh. I drive back home, but fortunately Will sleeps in the car, which surprises me because he just woke up from a nap. I feel really lucky that he (usually) does so well in the car. While we drive, I call Steve to tell him how dumb and forgetful I’ve become since having a baby.

Half an hour later we’re back at Whole Foods, and Will is still sleeping. I decide to throw caution to the wind and take him out of his car seat and settle him in our new Ergo carrier (which I LOVE) rather than lugging his car seat into a grocery cart. To my great relief, he does wonderfully in Whole Foods — dozing on and off and being a very chill baby. He gets a few compliments from strangers too! While I’m there, I pick up a few brownies from the bakery. Today isn’t just any ordinary Monday — it’s also Steve’s birthday! While I would have preferred to either make him a cheesecake, buy him an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen, or even just buy him a cheesecake from Whole Foods, I go the sensible route and pick up a few brownies.

Back in the car and on the road home. Will wakes up just as we arrive back home, and we head to the nursery to get a new diaper and eat. We sit together for a while after that, enjoying each other’s company and listening to music on Pandora.

At 2:45, I figure it’s time to get out of the house for a bit for some fresh air. However, at this point Will’s been up for a while (almost an hour), and I don’t want him falling asleep in his stroller, because he tends to wake up if the stroller stops moving or I try and move him. So it’s a quick walk, and we’re back home 20 minutes later. Still, it’s better than nothing. I pop him back in his swing for a few minutes to see if he’ll fall asleep, while I have a snack of cottage cheese and pineapples. But the swing fails again! Moby it is.

Like a lot of babies this age, Will struggles during the late afternoon and evening hours, and right now I’m just trying to go with it. Today he seems to need to be close to me. So for the next two hours I rock and sway while he sleeps fitfully, waking often to whine and cry. I replace his pacifier more times than I can count! My back starts to really hurt, and I think longingly of the yoga practice I have planned for later this evening. I wonder if there’s a flow to counteract the aches and pains caused by carrying-a-crying-11-pound-baby-in-a-wrap syndrome.

At 3:45 there’s a knock on the door: dinner’s here! We have been so fortunate to have dinner delivered three times a week since Will was a week old, by different friends and members of our church. Tonight’s meal is marinated chicken, quiche, bread and salad. Yum. We only have one more dinner delivery next week, and then we’ll be fending for ourselves. I hope Steve is OK with lots of scrambled eggs.

4:20 p.m. — diaper situation, and Will is NOT happy. We head upstairs to de-Moby, re-diaper, and re-Moby. Thankfully, he relaxes after that.

To occupy myself during my rock-and-sway marathon, I set my computer up on top of the secretary desk in what used to be our dining room.

It took me a few weeks to figure this solution out, and I’m not sure why. It works wonderfully and gives me something to do when Will won’t let me sit down!

at 5:30 he finally lets me sit, so I relax on the sofa reading Yoga Journal and watching the local news while drinking diet root beer and watching the clock, waiting for Steve to get home. At 5:45 he arrives and we spend a few minutes catching each other up on the details of our days, discussing our upcoming trip, figuring out when to have dinner and the logistics of what to do for Will before I practice yoga. At this point he’s been in the Moby for 3 hours, and it is time to eat!

So at 6:10 we head upstairs to eat, and Will wakes up. I hand him off to Steve and unroll my yoga mat. Bliss! I do a new flow that focuses a lot on deep twists, which I love. It’s a challenging practice that leaves me feeling relaxed — my back feels so much better! I don’t want to get up from savasana, but it’s 7:30 and past time for dinner. Steve has the chicken in the oven, and when I come downstairs he’s on the phone with his brother. I take Will and set him in his Boppy lounger while I feed the cats and check on dinner. Thankfully, Will is in a good mood again (he napped a bit) and the next half hour or so is nice and peaceful.

But not for long! Soon enough Will’s fussiness manifests through a desire to only be held. No swings, Boppy cushions, or buzzy seats will do. I oblige and eat dinner one-handed, sitting with him on on the sofa. Part of me dreams about the days when we will be able to put him to bed for the night and have him sleep on his own, but the other part of me knows these days are so short and I’ll miss him being so small.

By 8:30 he’s starting to fall asleep again. Back upstairs to feed and swaddle him and get him ready for bed! It’s during this time when I realize I haven’t gotten to shower yet. Oops. Steve sits with Will while I take a quick shower, and Will falls asleep at 9. When I return, I sit with him and realize Steve and I never got to have our birthday brownies. Sigh.

At 10 p.m. Will is (thankfully!!) still in a deep sleep, so Steve and I make the brave transition into the pack n play and head to bed ourselves, fingers crossed that he’ll sleep for a few more hours …

So as you can see, our days are kind of hour-by-hour — sometimes even minute-by-minute! At this point it’s too soon in our lives together to get much of a routine going, but I try. This week I’ve been trying really hard to get him to sleep within a one-to-two hour window of wakefulness, which is helpful but really puts a limit on my trips outside of the house. In addition to that, he’s in the middle of such a fussy phase that it’s hard for me to want to take him anywhere, since I feel instead like I’m traveling with a ticking time bomb. It’s a challenge to me to be so un-routined, but I know this is temporary. And honestly, the routines, the longer sleep stretches, and the increasing awareness are all going to come so soon! So I wanted to take a few minutes to detail an average day in our lives right now, so one day in the future I can look back and remember what it was like to have an (almost) six-week-old infant around. As much as I look forward to his future, I know I will miss this tiny baby someday.