Sunday, October 23, 2005

It's absolutely official

Nate's been congested for a few days, and scared me in the middle of the night by seeming to choke a few times. Luckily my pediatricians are fabulous, and never make you feel stupid for calling, and never rush you off the phone, so I put in a call. They gave some good advice, and asked me to take a rectal temperature just to make sure he wasn't running a fever.

I was ready for this. I had my new thermometer, and even some neato covers for when I had to use it rectally (which I hadn't yet done). I had vaseline, and an able-bodied husband to help out. Stewart held him on his back, I did the probing. All was well, and I was actually feeling fairly smug. Then he pooped all over my hand. Serves me right.

Anyway, his temperate was fine and he got through last night with no choking incidents. I had him sleep in his bouncy seat so he wasn't flat on his back, and I think that helped.

It occurs to me that I talk a lot about being "officially" a Mom/parent, and it's one of those "dost protest too much" situations, I think. There's this baby, and he's wonderful. I have more patience with him than I've ever had for anyone, and I'm really tuned in to him. He stays with me all day and night, and I'm responsible for him and I take care of him. But the truth is that I just don't feel like anybody's parent, and I'm not sure when I'm going to. I love him, but I don't feel like I'm a Mom. I feel more like the caretaker, in a way. It's not that I'm waiting for his real Mom to come pick him up, but it's something like that. Has anyone else felt this way? Even 6 weeks in?

The last few nights he's had these long periods of wakefulness in the middle of the night, and I'm sure hoping that it was just a temporary blip in his sleeping patterns. Last night he woke at 4:15 for a feeding, and then fell in love with the world, staring around in wonder. I tried to put him down several times, but he just wasn't having it. At 6:30, I finally woke Stewart. He sprang to his feet, got an update on where things were, and headed downstairs with Nate. At some point, I remember him coming back in and telling me that Nate was asleep downstairs, and that I was a good Mom. Then I remember him waking me at 11 a.m. It was fabulous.

We're not doing well on the bottle front. He took one from Stewart this morning, but other than that he screams his way through the whole attempt. Tonight he drank about an ounce and half, but that just doesn't cut it as a feeding. I'm determined to stick with it, and just hope that he comes around. I just can't leave him with people, knowing that he's going to have a problem when it's time to eat. Maybe with my Mom, but nobody else. It's not fair to them, and it stinks for Nate.

Tonight he's sleeping in his crib for the first time. I think I'll just feed him sitting on the floor of his nursery (there's no room for a chair, for those of you who haven't seen the tiny room yet). Then a change, and back to sleep. Fingers crossed. I'm pulling out all the stops, trying to get him to be an even better sleeper. Tonight started the new schedule: bath at 10, then a feed, then a cuddle, and off to bed. I swaddled him, put him down with a pacifier, and turned on the fan in his room. So far it's been 30 minutes, and he looks to be out like a light. The pacifier even just fell out of his mouth, and he's mostly still asleep. I have the video monitor actually inside his crib, so I can basically watch his nose-hairs move in and out. It reassures me. If that's not a parent thing, I don't know what is!

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