I spent all of mine trying to get a baby to get to sleep, with almost no success.
She's sleeping now, though. Randi and I went back to the books, and she re-read parts of a book titled "The No Cry Sleep Solution." I've also been reading "The Vaccine Book" by Dr. Robert Sears. It's alot to chew on, but it's possible that the vaccines screwed up our baby, but not for the reasons we feared. Maybe.
First, the bad news. We got our regularly schedule first round of shots. Well, depending on which brand of vaccines used they may have had a crapload of aluminum in them! Because many vaccines do. Harmless when taken in antacid form aluminum can cause neuroligical and mental development damage.
Here's some perspective. Full grown adults are told to not get more than 50 micrograms of aluminum in their blood. Combination baby vaccines can have as many as 1800 micrograms. Yes, you read that right, babies can be loaded up with 36 times more aluminum than is safely prescribed for full-grown adults.
How can that be? Well, the effects of this metal intake on healthy babies has never been studied, if you can believe it. On premies, yes, and the results were not good. But on typical babies? No.
So, that's fucking wonderful. Now we're onto a new train of thought which is that we still want Stella to get vaccinated, but we want the aluminum shots to be broken up, so that we don't overload her poor, precious system.
But the vaccine may not have caused the sleep issues, Randi says. What happened is that she went to sleep pretty much straight up the night of the shots. Then she had a fever, and was unhappy so Randi nursed her in the bed, often falling asleep. Randi now thinks it's possible this pattern got Stella hooked on the constant need for a boob in her face, and that's why she can't sleep without it. And why she wants it all the time.
Even with me. I hold her, and rock her to sleep, or try to, and she keeps nuzzling her face into my shirt, looking for a boob. Tonight, because it's hot I even rocked her shirtless and she tried it once or twice, and came away quite letdown. It was hairier than she thought it would be.
I still think the vaccines had something to do with it, because now she's really sensitive to noise, but I think Randi's behavior based analysis has a lot of merit.
So now we have a new plan of attack. Randi won't comfort nurse her, I will try to soothe her when she inevitably wakes up at night, and only as a last resort, if she's truly hungry will be give her the boob. This way it's actually based on her needs, not her addiction. And Randi and I won't talk at night in the bedroom, because EVERYTHING wakes her up. I'm amazed my typing hasn't woken her up, in fact.
Also, I have to go with what works. Tonight I magically got her to sleep twice, by simply talking to her in a low, gentle voice as I rocked her. She loved it. I can do that, and if it works, I will try anything. In fact she's asleep right now. But my back feels like I've been laying bricks. You try holding a Butterball turkey of a baby for two hours in a row. It burns!
But the weekend was kind of a bust. Yesterday we drove to Red Hook, Brooklyn, and walked around. Simply because we had to get out of the house. Stella inevitably got cranky and soon Randi didn't feel too good either, mainly because she's weaning herself off dairy. Headaches, tiredness, discombobulation, you name it my wife had it. So the visit was a short one.
Today it was rainy, and overcast all day. Mainly we tried to get Stella to sleep ... for six hours.
This period of life is challenging. I am needed at home, but I have started a new, busy busy job at work. I have had no time to play music, and this blog, sadly, is perhaps my only consistent, creative outlet. My new job, btw, is not a writing or an editing job, so I am nervous about it. I took the journalistic vow of poverty knowing I'd at least given up material goods for the life of a writer. Now I'm not even that. I have a family to support, but I hope I'm not selling out just to make a few (very few) more bucks. I will talk about it here as needs be, while still being vague enough to stay employed. I hope.
Randi is asleep right now too. Good god, does she need it. I don't need it as much. I am used to no sleep. I am used to no energy, it's how I live my life. If I have the time to read a book I'm basically satisfied, although I usually don't. Today that's what did, I read, did laundry, made a few calls, spoke to my Mom in fact, and tried to get a baby to sleep. It was exhausting.