Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ugh...

That's all I could muster for a title after a conversation I had with one of my many co-workers with a new baby. As you may recall, there were four of us pregnant at once, plus one guy whose wife was pregnant. Jacob was born on June 20, and the rest were born within the next six weeks or so, with the exception of the one who's still pregnant. She just told me she feels "like a cow" and has 29 days to go...and is feeling crappy enough today that she's now off to the doctor. Earlier I spoke with the guy whose baby was born August 8th, and he asked me how Jacob was sleeping. I probably should have been a little less boisterous in my response, but when I respond to that question with most people they're more than ready to celebrate with me, and let's face it, I'm pretty darn psyched that Jacob has figured this whole thing out (for now--no guarantees from everything I read). However, this guy hasn't been so lucky, with either of his kids. The first one took six months to sleep through, and this one isn't much better so far. He admitted that he slept with his older son last night just to get some peace and quiet. He was detailing all of the frustrations they went through with their older son, the crying fits and how he wold never settle down for bed no matter how long you sat with him. I felt so bad for him.

Despite how things may have seemed in the midst of it (lack of sleep makes things so much worse), I know now that Jacob was practically an angel. I try to put those wide-awake-at-2am nights and twice-a-night feedings out of my head these days, but in reality I know that they didn't last nearly as long or happen nearly as often as they could have. While the two to three month period seems to be when babies are physically able to sleep through the night, I know it doesn't always happen that way. We were pleasantly surprised when Jacob started right on target (10 weeks on the dot), and are even more pleased that he's kept it up. These days he seems to have a coughing fit around 5am, but he never cries so I don't know if he basically sleeps through it, or if he's content enough laying there awake for however long the fit lasts. It kills me to hear that, but there isn't much we can do. And if he falls back to sleep on his own, no sense going in to sit him upright and potentially waking him up more. If it starts sounding extra bad, sure, I'll get up and go in. But so far it hasn't been necessary. When we've been in the same room (hotel or at my parents'), I have gotten him up and put him in the boppy next to me, for both of our sanities...it is a strange setting, after all, so I don't mind helping him out a bit. But anyway...his consistency so far is awesome. I just keep hoping it doesn't disappear down the road, during growth spurts or when he's old enough to know better. On the bright side, at least I'll have all these weeks of good sleeping under my belt and won't just be piling exhaustion on top of already existing exhaustion.

It definitely makes me wonder, though...why us? Why is Jacob sleeping through the night and other babies don't? Are we just lucky? Is there some technique that we don't even realize we're doing? Was it that week in the special care nursery that desensitized him to noise, or did the white noise from the humidifier teach him to sleep? Is he just that stinkin' happy that he doesn't mind waking up alone in the middle of the night? My co-worker thinks his baby has colic, and that is so hard. I honestly don't know how those parents do it...Jacob was fussy most of the evening last night (though smiley and happy when I put him in bed), and we were going a little nuts passing him back and forth. But as gassy as he is, we're lucky it mostly manages to come out because I can only imagine how miserable he'd be if it didn't. I will say that I'm relieved that we put him in the crib from night #1, because I think that helped...no battle about that to worry about later on! Still, I can't help but wonder how baby #2 will be down the road. We've been very lucky with Jacob, to the point that it can almost only go downhill from here. My hope is that I will be that much more experienced as a parent by then and know how to deal with issues that pop up...so even if our next baby isn't quite as lovely as Jacob, I'll have some methods ready to compensate for the added stress. Who knows. But yeah, this whole conversation today reminded me how lucky we are to have such an amazing little boy. He's the best.

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