Saturday, May 6, 2017

Charity ~ The First 5 Weeks

Here is another post I found waiting in my drafts folder today, May 6, 2017.  This was originally written probably about the same time 3 years ago.  Charity is now 3 years old. :)

I am not sure when I blinked and two whole months have passed without a single post about Charity!! I have memories that I don't ever want to forget that I must get written down or I will forget them.

Let's see...

We brought our sweet girl home from the hospital on Wednesday (she was born on Monday), and because her biliruben levels had been up a little bit (low teens) we had to take her for a check on Thursday. She left the hospital weighing 8 lbs, 12 oz. and the next day weighed 9 lbs. even! I wasn't sure my milk had even come in yet but she must've been getting something! I was pleasantly surprised. :)

The first week and then into the second week I got into the "feed every 3 hours, round the clock, even in the middle of the night" routine. I set my phone alarm when it was night so I would be sure to wake up since I, of course, was dead tired. I stopped setting my alarm after she turned 2 weeks old.

She was a pretty good eater (feedings took 45 minutes, sometimes an hour) but I did have to work to keep her awake to eat. That part is always so, so hard to do! She was not a good sleeper. The first week, so many of my sleeping times ended up with my sleeping either in the rocking chair holding her, or lying in bed with her on my chest. If I put her down either in her bed or even in our bed beside me, she would just fuss and fuss and fuss.  At first we thought she was just getting used to life outside the womb. By the time the second week started and this was still the case, I asked Daniel if she seemed to be fussier than our first two babies or had I forgotten? He confirmed that she was fussier. At that point I just about came unglued many times, not knowing how I was going to "get through life" with a baby who most days would fuss her entire naptime at least once, and other naptimes weren't so great, either.

I made sure I wasn't eating gassy or spicy foods and she still fussed. It wasn't at any certain time of the day or night; there was no consistency or regularity to it at all, which made survival with the two big girls HARD. I well remember Daniel's first loooong work day after Charity was born. I didn't get the big girls supper until about 7:30, Charity was crying and crying and crying the entire time I was trying to get their food on the table, both Susannah and Sylvia were very out of sorts and very uncooperative, I finally was able to get Charity and hold her and she continued to cry. Susannah wanted something her way (which was just not possible at the time) and had a major, MAJOR meltdown, Sylvia wasn't eating her food, and Daniel wasn't going to be home until after 9pm. Charity FINALLY fell asleep (it was getting close to 3 hours that she had been awake; way, way too long for someone her age to be awake - in my book!) and I wasn't about to put her down for fear that she would start crying all over again. Susannah was still having her melt-down and I finally decided the big girls were going to bed. That was it. I didn't care that it wasn't bedtime yet, that they should have baths, teeth brushed or even pajamas on. I managed to change Sylvia's diaper while holding Charity and both crying big girls were put in bed with promises that Daddy would kiss them when he got home.

Then I went and had my own cry, deciding that I couldn't handle having a fussy baby and not knowing how on earth I was going to survive if this was how it was going to be for a long time. I prayed so many of those "I am so tired I don't even know what to pray" prayers.

Charity was a really good baby... except when it came to naptimes. Sometimes. It just didn't make any sense to me, at all, and I wasn't ready to just chalk it up to her being a fussy baby. Something just seemed wrong. She didn't spit up, she didn't have excessive gas, she didn't scream or act like she was in horrible pain, she ate, peed and pooped like a normal baby, but my gut feeling was that there was a reason she wasn't sleeping well a lot of the time. She would have better days and worse days, seemingly unrelated to ANYTHING (going to church, noise levels in the house, etc.).

And then we ran out of ice cream. I had been surviving on ice cream, eating some almost every day. And fruit and yogurt, and chocolate milk. It was protein, it was fast, it was easy, it was filling and I didn't have to cook it, make it, heat it up or anything. I could get a spoon and just EAT.  A few days went past and we did our first grocery shopping since she had been born because we desperately needed some groceries. I bought yogurt and ice cream. That night I had a banana split. The following evening Charity was the most fussy that she had been in a few days. Following my stress-eater instincts and because I was hungry at 10pm, I ate yogurt and fruit. While eating the yogurt I went over each and every single detail of the previous several days to try and make a connection to ANYTHING and her fussing.

Dairy. I hadn't eaten ice cream or yogurt, then I did eat ice cream and exactly 24 hours later she started fussing again. What? Dairy?! I put the idea out in Facebookland. Several people replied that yes, dairy can certainly make for fussy babies. The next day was Friday and I ate pizza for supper. The pizza had cheese on it and I gazed upon that cheese and relished it to the last morsel. I was giving up all things dairy to see if it made a difference.

It made a difference. By the time 36 hours had passed since I'd eaten the pizza, we had a sleeping Charity at naptimes. Which meant a sleeping MAMA, too!!  She slept better, which meant she woke up better, which meant she ate better... which meant life was better for all of us.