Saturday, July 26, 2008

God Help Us

Everything is getting worse. All the problems I elucidated in the prior post? All worse. Now it's well over two weeks that Stella has barely slept. And when the baby doesn't sleep no one sleeps.

It's been hardest on Randi. Stella will sleep, at most, two hours in a row. That's it. And when she wakes up she wakes up screaming. Often she can't wait to get started and will wail and cry in her sleep, as she flops around, and dislodges herself, almost magically, from her swaddler. This has been non-stop for two weeks. When she wakes up like this I am rarely able to comfort her. Mostly, I have to admit, I've let Randi take the lead. Randi, in these situations, will nurse Stella.

As a result Stella is looking to nurse pretty much around the clock, every few hours, for several weeks at a time. She is a big, perhaps even unusually big, baby at this point, with the size of a baby several months older than she, and is outgrowing most of her clothes at a fiendishly fast pace.

But she's not happy. She is constantly exhausted, too. I tried to get her to sleep tonight, because Randi is so punished by all this she went to bed at 8:00 p.m. On a Saturday. At 9:00 p.m. Stella started to fuss and cry in her crib, and I picked her up, and rocked her endlessly, while singing to her, until she finally settled in.

Then I rocked her some more, for good measure, about two minutes extra, my tired arms screaming from oh-so-gently holding aloft my precious, invaluable daughter. Finally, I put her in the crib, walked out and closed the door. It was 9:33 p.m. I thought this, exactly: I should remember when I put her down. It'll be interesting to see when she waked up. I bet it'll be at least several hours.

She woke up 30 SECONDS later.

Screaming, crying, was inconsolable. I picked her up, I held her, I gently rocked her, I sang to her, I did everything I could. Finally, Randi said she would try it, and nursed her. Stella now is so accustomed to this that if Randi even moves once the nipple is in her mouth she wakes up and screams and cries.

Okay, something isn't right here. Something in our planning, or execution is wrong. We've read many books, we've tried many thing. All have failed. One month ago Randi had Stella so dialed in our baby barely even cried anymore, and she slept mostly through the night. It hasn't been the same since the first round of shots.

We told our pediatrician, that our child isn't the same baby. He asked us, "then which baby is she?" I know this sounds snarky as hell, but before then I had really liked this man. Now I wonder if he's not in CYA land, since we told him that her sleep patterns have all gone to hell since the shots. He denied, denied, denied and thought our request for fewer shots at once was pretty kooky, but they would do it. I guess now we have to consider whether to stay with them.

Stella still smiles, she still laughs, but mostly she's very tired, and cross, because she's so tired. She looks like she's constantly going through a combination of growing pains and a mind that can't shut down. Maybe our bedroom is haunted. I put a dream catcher over Stella's crib, so far it hasn't done much.

1 comment:

Lauren said...

I'm so sorry that you guys are having such a tough time, Dave. Please let me know if there's anything I can do.

We're going away in a few days, but once I get back, if it would help, I'd make the trip out to Kings County just so Randi could get in a nap. Seriously, I mean it.