Monday, March 30, 2015

Weird Parenting: Days Four and Five

"Are You Sleeping?"

<scroll below to skip to the real reason you are here - the pictures>

The baby sleeps (and eats) FINE, it's us parents that are the problem.  WE can't get any rest.  We respond to every twitch, every startle, every coo, every yawn, every cry.  Sometimes it is conscious - a premature diaper change when a fart is mistaken for another apocalyptic diaper blast, another overreaction to something that in the grand scheme is innocuous.

Keep in mind we are also fighting a war on two fronts.  Something subconscious is running behind the scenes.  Our brains are wired to get stimulated by any new experience.  In the rare event we get a break, we are re-processing: filing away information for future use.  This is why it is silly to ask a new parent if they are getting any rest - even the best sleeping baby in the world with an extra set of hands, like a grandmother willing to take the graveyard 3 AM to 6 AM shift can't undo eons of parental programming.

No one thing is complicated in itself, each task is fairly basic - but the accumulation of a great many measurements, time intervals, and small things to track (meds, changes, feedings, pumping, questions to ask another parent or a lactation consultant) is what makes the entire "project" overwhelming for the Type A parent.  Technology is a curse sometimes (see Dr. Google, who may tell you that you will never have sex again and or your baby's limbs may fall off) - but sometimes it is our friend - an app like Sprout to log diaper changes and feedings seemed "Megan-level" anal-retentive before Owen was born (no pun intended...) but MAN does it make it easier to predict and prevent a future meltdown.  Now I'm the one reminding her to log whether the last stool was yellow and how much milk came out of the last pump.  WTF.

And again, any meltdown is harmless, but in our copacetic twenty-first century life, we don't have the callouses that generations before us or our compadres in developing countries accumulated through witnessing war, famine, and poverty on a daily basis.  We hate to witness struggle.  Let's face it: being a parent in 2015 is pretty posh for the American suburbanite, but biology is a bitch and sends us back to the caves.

Fact:  Owen sleeps about two-thirds to three-fourths of the day - just not in a sequential or convenient way.  

He is a lazy ass during the day and he parties hard at night, throwing down shots of breast milk like a ravenous animal, and raving at 4 in the morning like he's at a beach party in Mykonos - fifteen minutes at a time - before letting out a few ursine growls and passing out drunk sprawled across your shoulders like a frat guy.

So if I could go back in time to my twenty-three year old self when I asked an older coworker/new parent if they were getting any rest: 

I'd punch him in the face.  Asshat.

Ok, so... how about some Owen nicknames...

Montrezl - nicknamed after the beastly Louisville player, yeah we've been watching lots of March Madness...

Owen meanwhile is working on his "aim"
he has yet to hit dad with a urine stream while freeballing

Fuzzle - dude has hair on his ears like a hobbit, I assume this falls off at some point or he's gonna have a tough time down the road on Tinder (or whatever app is big at the time)

Bitey - see last post

Ozzy - we still slip into the in-utero nickname from time to time.  I probably took another year off my poor mother's life convincing her we actually were going to name her first grandson after the bat-devouring Black Sabbath lead.  Ozzy, however, was a mythical person - he was whatever was kicking and wobbling under that lump in Megan's belly for forty weeks.  Ozzy loved listening to LCD Soundsystem.  He grew excited hearing my voice before dinner.  He loved dessert.  He seemed like a figment of our imagination, the wild beast that was about to invade our lives and add an hour onto every simple car trip. 

For all I know Owen hates LCD Soundsystem, never wants to be a Brooklyn hipster, and was kicking telling us to shut-the-F up.  I'll tell you though, as soon as I saw those giant curious blue eyes and soft tufts of hair, he was Owen and I can't imagine him being anyone else.  I guess most new parents experience this feeling of thinking their kid is the cutest thing in the whole world at times, but I seriously don't know how Megan and I assembled this adorable little guy (ok, Megan did all the assembling.)

This explains why after five days we haven't eaten him.

What are the things Megan may want you to know that she hasn't had time, energy, or focus to tell you:

Feeding has been a roller coaster, it's a step forward, a step back, two steps forward, two steps back, etc...

Of any of the "TMI" I put in the last post, including "Frankenvagina" (her words, not mine...) - the one thing she felt insecure about was the part about supplementing.  I never understood the shame or insecurity amongst the "sisterhood" about the whole "not being able to feed thing."

For the haters:  We are still committed to breastfeeding.

He is at risk of jaundice because Megan is O+ and Owen is A+... and we were able to stave this off with formula without messing with the "latch"

So far, I liken parenting to one of those "choose your own adventure books" - we make choices, sometimes in moments of panic and distress.  There are tradeoffs between having short term tactics that work and having a "long game" ... (MBA not required, just patience.)  There are no perfect answers.

Now, a coworker of Megan's came through huge with some donor milk.  I had to meet her in a back alley in Durham with a trench coat, unmarked bills, and my left kidney on dry ice but that stuff is liquid gold. I already agreed to name our second child after her regardless of gender, and the fact that I'm entertaining that thought is a good sign (note the use of "I" in that sentence.)

Also proud to report that as of 9:30 AM on Day Six, Owen and Megan have the Latch down.

So as you can tell from the pics below Owen is happy and healthy (knock on every piece of wood in the forest...)

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