Monday, October 24, 2011

Diary of a New 4am (aka The Witching Hour)

It's 4:20 am and my husband has not yet come up to the bedroom to tap me it's my turn. I better get up anyway and see what's happening at baby headquarters. I'm surprised to hear nothing as I sneak down to the basement. Husband's eyes are half open watching some terrible action movie, while two babies sleep soundly. He mumbles something about them just being fed. I feel a tiny surge of excitement that all may be calm as I shoo husband upstairs and quickly get settled on the couch, ready to put my head down and continue sleeping. Could this really be happening? Could I be so lucky?

It's now 4:25 and #2 stirs. I open one eye, but I don't move, I don't breath. I say a little "god please" prayer in my head as I lay in wait. I hear "eh. eh. eh." I continue to be still...not making a sound. The struggle continues, but there is nothing too alarming...nothing that warrants lifting my head off the pillow. I close my eye and feel myself falling softly into a deep sleep.

It's 4:26. The house must be on fire because there is an alarming scream coming from the basinet. I bolt off the couch which makes my head hurt. I approach the basinet and first try Binky, but this just makes #2 madder. In an effort to make amends, I pick him up. Silence. Hm... Annoying. We rock for a few minutes, his eyes fighting to stay open, but he is weak. He is 2 weeks old. I win, smile, and carefully and fluidly place him back in the bassinet. I quickly walk away with a smirk on my face - pat on back for being Mother of the Year. I quickly situate myself on the couch, ready for a few more hours of much needed sleep.

It's now 4:32. It's not like there's anything but liquid poo in there...what on EARTH is he trying to squeeze out with such vigor? A watermelon? I wait patiently for the fruit to pass, but the pushing and squeezing and grunting is getting louder and his frustration growing. One quick screech I'm sure dogs throughout the neighborhood hear, and I get up. I pick up, sooth and bounce again. Silence. Again, annoying. Mummy needs her sleep too. Why does the pushing, squeezing and grunting become silenced when I am there? We have a cuddle on the couch, a sure thing to calm him down, but not this time and the grunting turns into full on crying. We're now up again...walking and pacing, soothing and stroking. Calm... Calm... zzzzzz He's out. Wait...don't push your luck. Keep walking for a few more minutes. Still calm. Attempt to put down in one inch/sec increments. Success! Race back to couch, jump in and throw blanket over body in one quick motion.

It's 4:45 and the grunting begins. Maybe he hates being swaddled!?? Maybe grunting isn't about pushing a watermelon, but about freeing arms. Yes! That must be it! Jump up and help free arms from swaddle... aaaah, bingo! Silence... calm.

It's 4:46 and apparently freeing limbs is not the issue. I get up much more slowly, feeling more and more resigned, grunting as I stand. I approach #2. Sigh. Pick him up and sooth... hear a big fart and realize that nappy might be wet. I do a diaper change and as suspected it's squash soup down there. Figure this has to be the reason for such fussiness...I mean who wants to sit in their own sh*t? Feel patience and mother earth-ness slipping away...shake it off and return to soft calming mummy. I fly upstairs to get his new sleep sack. It's time to try it because swaddling might be frustrating. He's dry, he's comfy cozy...I try a change of venue and place him into his bouncy chair which is the equivalent of a huge fuzzy papasan. THAT goes down like a lead balloon. Up we get. We go upstairs together where I prepare a bottle from frozen with one hand. It's warm, it's nutritious, it's delicious, but he's not interested. He screams. Again, we pace...back and forth...back and forth. All is once again calm.

It's now 5:15 and he's dead asleep in my arms. I cannot feel my hands, and my neck muscles are completely fried. I hear a quick high pitched squeak from basinet #1 and I whisper snap, "don't you even THINK about it!" She goes back to sleep. I am grateful. I turn my attention back to #2 and ever so carefully lie him down in his basinet. The transfer appears to be a success. I veeeery sloooooowly tip toooooooe awaaaaay...throw myself back onto the couch, curl up and pray.

It's now 6am and after repeating steps 1 through 6, I decide to give in and just get up. I prop #2 up in the boppy pillow, turn on the TV, brew a pot of coffee, I have some cereal.

I come downstairs and what do I find? This.

And as long as it's taken me to write this post...he hasn't stirred an inch.


ks said...

Lol! I hear you! This happened to me many nights and I only had 1! I spent approx 3 weeks on the couch as Miss Lola refused to sleep in anything but her bassinet! For easier gas passing look at picking up BioBia probiotic drops! 5 drops in one bottle everyday made a huge difference in the fussiness associated with gas. It took me 4 weeks to figure this one out!

izzy said...

I shouldn't be laughing, but that post is hilarious. Been there, done that, is what will come to every mother's mind. Hang in there, it's for such a short time, and soon they will be off to school, and off to college, and off to be married and off to far places of the earth. Enjoy every minute while they are in your arms, (even though sleep deprivation seems like torture at the time!)

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