Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ups and Downs

Well, Jacob turns three weeks old tomorrow. Amazing how time flies and yet it feels like he's been here forever. It reminds me of my first week of college...that week took forever, but by the end of it we felt completely at home and things pretty much fast-forwarded from there. I know that looking back on all of this I'll wonder where the time went and wish he was a sweet little baby again.

Being a parent has definitely had its ups and downs. It's exhausting but it has its little rewards along the way. Lately it's been easy to get frustrated, because Jacob seems to be having some major issues with gas and he cries a lot. His sleeping patterns are even getting screwed up a bit, and his frequent bouts with hiccups are turning into major spit-up episodes. It's hard, because I'm simultaneously frustrated and annoyed by the crying and fussiness, while completely pitying him because I know he's uncomfortable and there's nothing he can do about it. You can't reason with babies to get them to calm down or go to sleep, and that becomes extra difficult when you're so tired you can hardly function as a parent. Last night he was up for at least a couple hours. I tried feeding him twice, rocking him, swaddling him, and nothing was working. Eventually I pretty much gave up and Craig sat up with him for a while. I felt bad about that because Craig has a long day ahead of him--a big meeting at work and a trip to Batavia to play in a golf tournament with his brother and dad--on top of an extra long day yesterday (Why he decided to put together a series of wing-eating player appearances this summer, I have no idea...other than that he's very dedicated to his job and wanted to do something different). We'll have to split the duties more when I go back to work in a few weeks, but for now I have been handling the overnights pretty much solo...until I can't take it anymore, like last night.

Still, the little smiles here and there--even if they are gas or weird reflexes when he's falling asleep--melt your heart. When he's wide awake and content, he's fun to play with, even if he's not really interactive yet. When he cuddles up to you or quiets the moment you pick him up, it's nice to know he feels secure with you. I always laugh because he gets this funny little happy face right before a feeding, like he knows exactly what he's doing. Even some of his monumental man-farts and man-burps have been a source of humor in the midst of the exhaustion, even if their results aren't always pleasant.

Going into all this I knew we'd never really be ready for parenthood until it happened, and I've definitely found that to be true...though sometimes I'm still not convinced we're ready for it all even though he's already here. That's a scary thought, but I know all new parents go through some of that at some point. Maybe us more than others (or maybe not), but there are times when I'm impressed that I didn't freak out when something happened, or the freakout was minimal, which makes me think that some maternal instinct has filtered in somewhere along the way. I know we both still have a long way to go, but we're learning.

Jacob's awake and screaming, so it's time for me to go...happy Thursday!

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