Monday, February 09, 2009

Um, Nobody Told Me That!

I had no idea 3 week old babies threw tantrums... And that their little sin-nature could start that early. Seriously. I hate, hate, hate that!!! My true joy in these first few weeks was that it was all about loving and bonding with our baby... About meeting her needs. There was no place yet for scheduling, letting the baby cry it out, disciplining, or anything but LOVE.... I was sooooo happy and basking in that uniqueness. I knew that in too quick a time, we would be dealing with all that anyway... So imagine my surprise and dismay with today's discovery.

Ok, before I share I will say that last Thursday Jonathan & I were having some "us" time snuggling together, and put Elyana in her bouncy seat. She looked at us and began mad-crying. (Yes, mothers really can tell what their baby is crying for! I know her hungry, gassy, mad, hurt, uncomfortable, bored, and loney cries!) She did not like being left out! It was almost funny, because it was so obvious what she was doing. It took her only 5 minutes or less of crying and she quieted down. Of course then, lesson learned, we immediately picked her up and smothered her with love and kisses and snuggles!

But that was so quick and small and innocent.

Today? Well, we had some of Jonathan's family down the last 3 days. We had a wonderful time! They were enamored with their first grandbaby/niece, and appropriately so! But as it was, she was held so much that I think the only time at all she wasn't was her night-time sleep (9 hours with a nursing in-between). Please know, though, that this little girl gets held for hours by Jonathan and me anyway. Especially in the morning, when she gets up for the day, after my shower, I'll grab some coffee and a nutri-grain bar, and she usually is ready to nurse again. So I'll nurse her while reading my Bible, and then just hold her, sing to her, play with her, and cuddle pretty much the entire morning. It's not usually until lunch that I even bother trying to put her down. I adore her so much and am cherishing all the newborn time and maternity leave from my job! And in the evenings Jonathan will hold her to his chest for hours, humming or singing, playing too. But after this weekend, this morning she would not let me put her down at all (I had a stomach bug and had to). She did the mad-cry, even if I was next to her, talking to her, and touching her. *sighs* So I tried to let her cry and soothe herself and learn that she cannot always be held anymore. She did ok, but only once I swaddled her and put her in her carseat because I was going to meet Jonathan at base for lunch. (I swaddle her at night, but not during the day, so that she learns to use those hands/arms/legs.) After lunch, I nursed her, gave her a bath, and then cuddled/nursed skin-to-skin, so she got held all until Jonathan got home at 4. Then after he held her, we put her down, and she threw a fit! Once picked up, she stopped immediately, and looked into our faces happily. *sighs* This was a battle of wills! I cried, I was so unhappy hearing my baby fuss! But Jonathan and I knew we shouldn't give in. Seriously, I think she cried for 20 minutes (it felt that way anyway, maybe it was just 15). We watched on the video monitor, my heart breaking! She doesn't know how to soothe herself, so after that long, I asked Jonathan if I could go in and swaddle her because that would comfort her. He said yes, and within 3 minutes she stopped crying and calmed herself. She is now sleeping peacefully. My sweet Angel baby.

I hated every minute of that, and believe me she'll be held a lot this evening so she feels loved by us and cared for and content. But it really was a little battle-of-wills. I cannot believe it happens this early. Hopefully this is our last experience with this for a few weeks (months?) at least!!

(I don't know all my readers' positions on child training, but I am trying to be honest about our new journey into parenthood.)


Susannah Forshey said...

Denise, I admire your honesty...and you should definitely be ready to face a world full of people's opinions---including mine! :D (I hope you don't mind, but I'll probably keep offering tips to you in the spirit of pure excitement and delight in seeing you experience all this with your own precious one)

Keep in mind as you try different things that God gave Elyana to YOU GUYS as parents, and she is uniquely yours. No "method" can perfectly parent her, it must be you, her parents, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

I did learn a few things, of course....and what stood out to me the most clearly was Consistency. It helps SOO much to be consistent, to really dedicate yourself to whatever you're doing with her. Babies learn from repetition, and I found that it didn't seem to matter what I was teaching Violet or what age she was---if I could keep it up consistently for about 5 days, she'd catch on. Credit goes to Ben for all of that, because my nature was to quit whatever we were doing if it didn't show me immediate results! "It's just not working." I'd say, and try something else. This served to confuse her more than anything, and results were further away than ever.

But, that's my little Two Cents. :) I am loving hearing every tiny detail about y'all's new stage of life. Keep the stories coming! :D

Susannah Forshey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Herb of Grace said...

Dittoes to Sue on the consistency thing. And remember, whenever you can, to submit to Jonathan's wisdom when the baby's crying. God made you biologically wired to respond with "whatever it takes" when your little one cries. So sometimes (often!) you'll struggle so much to be consistent "in the moment" just because of that hormonal instinct, and he'll be the one to be able to rationally observe the situation and decide what's best.

It is soooo hard to hear them cry, isn't it?

Oh, and something else people may have never told you about? When she's about four months old, all your hair will fall out. Not joking. Look it up! It's creepy if your not expecting it.

Edith said...

I have been anonymously enjoying your blog for a while but then I felt like a stalker so I thought I'd go public!
Congrats on the little one: I hope she brings you both much joy.
One thing I noticed on your previous entries was your section on Oxford. I was an undergrad at Oxford in my "youth"! I loved the whole experience (well, maybe not the exams). What church did you go to? I was a St Ebbe's girl (slightly shocking revelation for a reformed Presbyterian!). BRILLIANT teaching and discipling and pretty much all my university friends are from church.

Lindsey said...

I LOVE it that you are completely honest! And I love all the details about the swaddling and such...I think you are an amazing momma!