Tag Archives: baby sleeping through the night

Stress Dreams

18 Mar



My body has been telling me that I am stressed out. I didn’t think I was, but I went to the dentist recently, thinking I had my first cavity in about a decade, or possibly more, as several of my teeth were hurting. My dear dentist tried very hard to find a cavity but concluded that my teeth couldn’t look better (thank goodness). He then used a device to make them very cold (which was a super fun sensation), and determined that my nerves were upset, probably from stress, extra grinding, and lack of sleep due to the new baby. My bite has always been an issue because of my TMJ problems, so he adjusted one tooth and sent me on my way. I had to agree with him, thinking about how my jaw has been hurting more than normal, causing me to wear my nightly retainer occasionally during the day.

I was under the impression that I was getting great sleep. After the first couple mind-numbing weeks of trying to sleep while holding a baby (because sweet Rex wouldn’t sleep if he was put down), we have been slowly figuring out a system. This system evolved to what we do today, which is swaddle him tight and put him down around 11pm. He sleeps about 5-6 hours, I feed him once, put him back down, and he sleeps for another 4-5 hours. This is what I would call “winning”. But as both he and my husband can be somewhat noisy sleepers, and I am a light sleeper, and the baby is still in our room, I have taken to finishing out the night on our deliciously soft guest bed in the purple room, guaranteeing me a couple more hours in the wonderful land of nod.

However, and I’m not sure exactly why, but every night (well, really morning) for the last week, I have had intensely vivid stress dreams. Maybe because of the shortness and intensity of the sleep?

  1. I was trying to call 911 because a girl was choking. A firefighter was helping her, but 911 thought I was making a prank call, so they hung up on me. The girl died and the firefighter threw her roughly onto the floor. After a moment she got up again (but was still dead) and chased me around the room.
  2. I was at my childhood home hosting book club. I was trying to cook something and I couldn’t control the flames on the gas stove, so they rose too high and burned the cabinets. A small panda was apparently on top of the cabinets, getting burned as well. I handed him to a friend and his singed hair came off in clumps as I tried to clean him up.
  3. I was hosting my birthday party at a new house I purchased with an awesome basement. My realtor was there and he built a human sized sling shot which he wanted to use to catapult the baby across the room. Everyone was drunk and I was mostly sober, and when I went to the fridge to grab a beer, mine were gone, having been drunk by other people.
  4. I was at a hotel, smoked some wacky tobacky in the gardens, and then attempting to get back inside I realized I was in charge of the baby, had to pass by my in-laws to get to the baby, and some lady stopped me to tell me how strongly I smelled of the illegal substance.
  5. Walter had his first soccer match. Instead of attending, Dave and I dropped him off and went out to dinner (maybe book club) with our friends. We got the timing wrong, and I realized not only had we missed his entire match, but we were ten minutes late to go pick him up. Dave argued with me, saying we had more time to go get him, but I left anyway and tried running there, which I was having a hard time doing and at one point my wedding ring caught on something in my hurry and part of it ripped off. When I realized it was too far away to get there by foot, I tried calling an Uber, but I couldn’t use my phone correctly or get my credit card number entered or sign up again or all the things I needed to do to get to my son.
  6. I was trying to find my new coat to leave a very large school (everyone else had their coats but someone told me mine had been destroyed), and I realized I was dreaming. Once I realized I was dreaming, people started looking very crazy and I wanted to wake up, but I couldn’t figure out how to wake up. I realized if I could find my way out of the school into the parking lot, I might wake up in real life too — and that’s exactly what happened!
  7. I was in class and knew I had to take three different tests. Afterwards I was supposed to go directly to the symphony, but I realized I had worn my pajamas to class and milk was leaking all over my shirt. I didn’t have my car with me, so I figured I could Uber back home and make it back in town just in time to make it to the symphony. I tried to get the baby in the car seat, but the car seat was flopping around and I couldn’t figure it out. So I found another car seat that worked, but this time when I looked down the baby didn’t have any arms. Bypassing that issue, I wondered whether I should grab Walter from his class to take him home with me, but I couldn’t find the Kindergarten classroom, and none of the teachers I asked in the hallway could tell me where it was either.

I think maybe I need to take a Xanax before going back to bed.


Mama’s words of advice

17 Mar

Nine things I wish people had told me before I became pregnant/a mother. Not that I would have necessarily listened.
(NB: some graphic details included)

1. Pregnancy is a physical endurance test. And it takes your body a long time to get over being pregnant, especially if you are breastfeeding. I would say 3-4 months after Walt’s birth I felt really good again. Luckily heartburn goes away immediately, thank goodness.

2. Birth is a challenge of body & mind. (I definitely already knew this one but it was still a surprise given I had never experienced it before). I felt uplifted when I knew I had accomplished my goal of natural childbirth.

3. Pushing sucks. But it doesn’t last forever. A good midwife/doctor can make all the difference in the world.

4. The first 6 weeks of having a newborn are overwhelming. Even if you had tons of childcare practice; even with a fantastic partner by your side. It is lovely beyond anything you’ve ever experienced before, and scary too. Don’t be ashamed if you cry. A lot. Or never leave your house. Or see your friends anymore.

5. Breastfeeding does not come naturally/easy to everybody at first. It does get a lot easier after 12 weeks. The book The Nursing Mother’s Companion was a lifesaver. Also, buy a giant sized bra. You’ll need it.

6. Even if you nurse around the clock you can still get your period back very quickly. And that’s after you bleed forever after birth.

7. Pumping output is not necessarily the same as nursing output. Don’t stress out if you can’t pump as much as that mythological mother who pumps 25 ounces first thing in the morning. I can imagine that comparison would be similar to guys in a locker room.

8. You don’t have to stuff your baby full of food/milk to get them to sleep better. Walt actually slept better once I was nursing full-time again and not giving him lots of pumped milk. Go figure.

9. Your life will never be the same!

walter's february 2013 visit 001 (7)
My love for this boy is more than I ever imagined.

The six month mark

19 Feb

My dream last night:

I was riding on a train in Paris to get to the airport to come home. It was crowded and somehow David wasn’t on the train with me and Walt, but he did get on partway there. I started playing bridge with an older lesbian couple and their son, who was trying to teach me the rules. I was paying so much attention than when I looked up, the train was empty including David, who had gotten off at the correct stop for our particular flight home. I asked the attendants if I could hop on another train to get back to my stop, and they told me there was only one train going one way, so I’d have to go the entire route again if I wanted to get to my stop. I started freaking out and telling them that I needed to catch the noon flight home; I already had my ticket! My husband was boarding that plane! They said, how are you still on this train, it’s already 2pm in the afternoon!

I searched through my bags to find my cell phone to send a text to David to wait for me. I began pulling out phone after phone, none of which was mine. I would grab a phone that looked like mine but then was another brand. When I finally got to my phone I kept messing up typing in the words. Before I could get a text message written (I frequently have trouble texting and taking pictures in dreams), Dave got back on the train. I flew over to him and hugged him and said, how did you know? And he told me he wouldn’t have gotten on the plane without me.

I woke up, not really in a panic because that wasn’t a nightmare, but I turned over and hugged the real David before falling back asleep.

Baby has let us get some normal sleep again. Oh, the joys of regular sleep! I am consistently getting 6-8 hours in a row of delicious, amazing shut eye. It started when we decided to put him down to sleep later in the evening. I’m not really sure what prompted the change, but somehow it has really worked out to put him to bed between 7 and 9pm, rather than 5:30-6:30. We sometimes take a late afternoon nap in order to make this possible. But this makes things really flexible around here.

For instance, we are able to go out to eat again. That is nice because we have both sets of grandparents in town and now they don’t always have to come over to eat dinner at our house. So far we’ve gone to Jalisco’s, Johnny’s Pizza, and Holy Taco. Walt isn’t ready for Bones yet, but since we love going to family places anyway, it works for us. I feel like this is prep for all the vacations we’re taking this year. It’s good to know that Walt can manage something besides a rigid routine.

I feel like I’m finally getting in the parenting groove here. Sleep, venturing out of the house… what more can you want out of life?

Also, we are using cloth diapers! The very wonderful owner of Green Mountain Diapers sent me a lengthy response to my cloth diaper query, and I believe from her suggestions that Walt was having sensitivities to the high pH levels of Charlie’s Soap. A little bit of vinegar in the washing machine and problem solved! He can’t be in them all day every day, but I’m just so happy about using cloth it doesn’t matter.

I’d say everything is working out perfectly around here, but on the way home from dinner last night three black cats ran in front of our car within a mile of each other. We were wary of crossing intersections by the time we saw the third one. Was the world sending us an ominous message? I’ll be watching out, world.

Johnny's Pizza
Taking over the world one pizza joint at a time.

What a swell weekend looks like

28 Jan

This weekend has been a stellar weekend. For instance, I was able to take a shower Friday and Saturday! Right now my husband sits in front of our fire eating ice pops. Only slightly contradictory.

Friday night we finished season 1 of Homeland, which we got from Netflix. We’ve been obsessed this week, waiting for the mail each day so we could continue on Carrie’s quest. And when she got shock therapy at the end of the last episode, the idea that we had to wait 8 more months to find out if she’d remember about Brody and Isa was shocking. So of course today we ordered Showtime just so we can watch season 2 then cancel it!

Walt then slept 13 hours straight, for his first real full night’s sleep since birth. I woke up before him, checked on him to make sure he was OK, then couldn’t go back to bed. I must have new mother’s syndrome.

Saturday we enjoyed a lazy morning, then went to lunch at my in-laws where a family friend joined us. My mother-in-law got a crib for us a couple months ago so nap time at their house would be easier (so sweet!). It was nice to be able to spend some time there, dressing Walt in David’s old baby clothes. He looked like a baby straight out of the early 80’s.

We got home and my mother came over to babysit while we went to serve dinner at Clifton Sanctuary Ministries (I feel very lucky to have parents who want to babysit my little boy!). David and I are the Morningside shepherds for this great shelter, organizing dinners there once every other month. This month we had lots of helpers, which is frankly a welcome change, and then the new young adult minister and his wife joined us for dinner out at Taqueria del Sol after. We hadn’t been to Taqueria in a couple years and those enchiladas sure hit the spot.

We got home at 8:30pm, released my mother, and were asleep by 10:30. It was fantastic. Not like our party days in times past, but I don’t mind the change.

At church today we were only 20 minutes late, and Walt stayed awake and happy through the entire rest of the service. That means we got to hear the whole sermon! And I swear our son reads the hymnal as we’re singing the songs.

I’ve been tired this afternoon and my weekly chores start tomorrow, but I look forward every day to teaching my son about life and enjoying it with him. Knowing this boy has made me more blessed than I ever thought I deserved.