Monday, December 8, 2008

Finally Asleep

Today was one long, tough day.

Actually, this day I'm about to describe began about 7 last night, when Nathaniel began crying. Michelle fed him, and when he had finished about 8, he began crying again. She fed him a bottle, and when he had finished, he began crying again. That was about 10, as far as I can recall, because it was at that time that I went to bed. (Michelle is really good about letting me sleep when I have work the next day.)

Since I was asleep, my recollection of the rest of the night is a little fuzzy, pieced together by blurred memories and Michelle's retelling me what happened over a baby's piercing screams. Michelle fed Nathaniel another bottle of formula, and when he had finished, he began crying again. Then I think he fell asleep around midnight, and, contrary to his normal sleeping routine, he awoke around 3 a.m. and began crying. 

Michelle fed him good and long this time, and when Nathaniel had finished sometime after 4 a.m., he began crying. For two hours straight. Finally, he went to sleep but only for about 40 minutes. And he was crying again. 

He was crying when I got up to go to work.
He was crying as I brushed my teeth.
He was crying as I got dressed.
He cried as I let Hviezda out to perform her morning ritual of relief.
He cried as I got my lunch to take to work.

Before I went downstairs and out the door to work, I thought about cracking a joke to Michelle. But she looked so bedraggled, a long, drawn look on her face, that I thought the better of it, gave her a quick kiss, and scooted out.

When I arrived home around 6:30 that evening, Nathaniel was crying. He was in his swing in the kitchen, normally a spot he enjoys, and the Roomba was running, normally a noise (or motion) that caresses him to slumber. But it didn't this time.

Michelle told me baby N. had slept all of one hour all day. He cried the rest.

She looked beaten. And, I must say it, pissed off.

Who can blame her?

So, I took him. And he kept crying.

He did subside on the sobs for a flicker of time, but then we gave him a bath, which really pissed him off, especially when a dollop of water rushed down his throat the moment he was to give a war whoop.

By about 10 p.m. and no end to the crying in sight (there were feedings in between, to no avail), I had to take a shower. Michelle was slumped on the sofa, dead to it all. I put Nathaniel in his bucket seat and hauled him upstairs with me and into the bathroom.

Miraculously, he stopped crying. I rushed into the shower. As I finished, as if on cue, he began crying again. Out of options in the bathroom, I rocked his bucket seat, and his cries subsided. He looked around, not satisfied but at least mildly content. However, the moment I stopped rocking the seat, he'd start that cough, cough! that signaled a spate of tears was coming. I rocked the seat again and that look, the eyes wide and the brow furrowed, as if he were trying to figure out whether this was at all acceptable, would return. Every time I stopped, even for a couple of beats, and he would get all worked up. So, I put my left foot in the bucket seat and balancing myself with my right foot, rocked the seat as I brushed my teeth, shaved and put some lotion on some painfully dry skin. 

It wasn't pretty, but it was effective. Every now and then, my foot would slip off and the seat would stop rocking, and baby N's  would contort with dismay. But I recovered quickly – mostly – and lulled him back.

When I had finished, I took my foot off the bucket seat and steeled myself for the next round of sobs. But ... nothing. He just lay there, his head cocked a little to the left, one arm held aloft as if suspended, asleep. Asleep.

I carried him downstairs, gently. And put him under the Christmas tree. Gently.

And he's still sleeping. Finally.

1 comment:

Leeann said...

Aw, my heart goes out to you guys, especially Michelle. Those are days I remember clearly and they were awful. Kate (and many firstborns especially) seem to have days like that.

Give her my love and let her know that six weeks is the peak for the infant crying so you guys are almost there. Soon you'll be on the downward slide of crying and things will be So. Much. Better.