I need to nurse him more often because he's not getting enough food--no, I'm nursing too much and he's gained too much weight and now he'll be obese for life. Maybe I should just switch to bottles? But then I'm a quitter, and what would the nurses at the hospital say if they knew??
The goal is motionless sleep, so says Dr. Weissbluth, but I'll be darned if he doesn't sleep better in the swing. Plus, it plugs into the wall and therefore never stops. When I put him in his crib he wakes up two minutes later, but at least he is having motionless sleep, right? I mean, what is the priority? I exist in a constant state of questioning every move I make. He's finally asleep! Now where the dickens am I going to put him? Do I risk the crib, or do I succumb to laziness and the need to survive and put him in the swing?
I also exist in constant state of guilt: guilt for being mildly to extremely annoyed with my other children on a daily basis and for no legitimate reason, guilt for using the swing and over feeding and doing all these things that I know will create waking problems and bad habits. Guilt for not having time to devote to my spouse, or an interested ear for the latest news in the world of dog sledding. And especially guilt for "not enjoying every minute." Thankfully, someone just addressed that very issue quite nicely. Still, I get those comments all the time from well-meaning people who haven't had a newborn in decades, and it does make me feel guilty.
I see these young, new mothers at church. They have their lives so together! Their babies sleep at night! Their babies eat every three hours! They do baby massage! They just can't believe how wonderful and easy it is to have kids! I can't even last through one church meeting without having to get up and leave with my fidgety, grunty, groany, rashy, thrashy, hungry, angry, gassy, refluxy baby. I am bouncing up and down the halls while these young moms sit quietly in Sunday School with their babies swaddled perfectly, sucking on their pacifiers, angelically asleep. "Sister B's baby is so easy-going," someone whispers to me. Well, bully for her!
At night I think about all the people in the world who are just going about their business, brushing their teeth, putting on their pjs, doing their nightly bedtime ritual with a sense of surety that they will, indeed, get into their beds and stay there for six to eight hours. I envy these people. I sort of hate them, too. I want to say "ha! Look at you, getting ready for bed as if you have hope in a peaceful night! Just who do you think you are, exactly?" I see my husband flossing and it sends me into a spiral of depression: "what do you think you are doing? This day isn't over!"
Is Wells adorable, sweet, a blessing from heaven? Of course. Squishy, kissy, smiley, and happy? Yes. Wells is a delight and a half. He's the tops and all, but it's also just really hard, okay?