The bad is I was a holy terror as a child who only mellowed out when I was overtaken by extreme shyness. At 12.
Infants traditionally have three tasks:
1. EatNot necessarily in that order, either. Or sometimes they manage the trifecta and accomplish all three at once, which is something no one outside of new parents should ever bear witness to.
A fourth dictum is conveniently left unspoken, lest skittish folks decide children are not for them:
4. Scream/cry like crazyThis last one manifested itself quicker than we suspected and continued through the holiday week while the in-laws camped out at Casa de Skim. Every night starting at about 8 p.m. and going through midnight, Max 0.05 would scream holy hell with only a slight respite occurring upon feeding. He would exhaust himself, we’d stressfully rock him and work to comfort him and it was all for naught. Frustrating doesn’t begin to convey the anxiety a new parent feels anyway, so when you add screaming fits as a capper, you find yourself frazzled beyond belief. During the day he was a gem, an affable baby boy with the biggest and most alert eyes you’ve ever seen. At night, he’d morph into Holy Screaming Fury™.
When you come to dread the sun going down, you’re either in a horror film or living with a newborn.
We worried we were overfeeding him at first. A newborn’s stomach is about the size of a small marble and he was packing a mean amount of acid reflux. Turns out this is entirely normal and goes away on it’s own after two weeks. Again, this is information that might have been useful AHEAD OF TIME. So we tried over-feeding him to see if that calmed him down.
8 p.m. came and went with no screaming. Ditto 9 p.m. Ditto 10 p.m. Then 11 p.m. and he started fussing, so we fed him again.
It was like someone flipped a light switch off and he sacked out until his next feeding at 2 a.m. It was the first night in literally two weeks that My Fair Lady and I got a solid amount of sleep. We actually felt human the next day.
In short it’s been incredibly stressful but surprisingly enough we’ve enjoyed it. Max 0.05 is a gem when he’s not crying. He has the biggest eyes and is so alert it’s scary. He knows both of us by now, or at least enjoys listening to our voices. He’s already developing a personality quirk that’s hilarious. When he stretches out and yawns, he goes all out. He has his arms down at his sides, he stretches his legs out, then he stretches his neck out and yawns as wide as his mouth will allow. It’ll be wild to see if he still does that later in life.
When we threw our list of questions at our pediatrician, she offered some sage advice about the first month – survive it. Doesn’t matter what you do, just survive it. After that, it all gets better.
We’ll see what happens.
P.S. For the last two nights, he’s been up and at ‘em every 15 or 20 minutes. I took the first shift last night and rocked him in a pouch until 2 a.m.-ish. My Fair Lady took over at that point and is, I believe, close to collapse. She’s a trooper but believe me when I say that watching a newborn would exhaust Patton’s 3rd Army. We’re almost through the first month and we are watching that calendar like a pair of hawks.