Feeble Knees

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Maybe I'm Not a Wimp?

I was starting to think for a while there that I was a big doughy mess and so out of shape that it was no wonder motherhood was kicking my soft and saggy posterior. Now I'm not so sure.

I started to realize a couple weeks ago that what I'm experiencing physically goes a little beyond the average post-partum tiredness. It didn't seem normal to have pain shoot through the arches of my feet when I got out of bed after sleeping three or four hours. It didn't seem normal that my hair was clogging the drain every time I took a shower. And it didn't seem at all normal that several weeks ago I had to start wearing wrist braces because of the pain and weakness in my wrists.

The last straw came the night of the Superbowl, when I was trying to tidy up around the kitchen. I took some stale bread outside to toss it out on the grass for the birds. Just the slight, simple motion of tossing the bread sent sharp searing pain through both wrists. The pain subsided somewhat to an intense burning sensation. Ibuprofen did nothing to help, and I started having trouble lifting Bug.

Ok. Not normal.

Called my doctor the next morning and was lucky enough to be seen the same day. She ordered blood work. I'm due to see her again later this week. As it stands now, most of the results appear normal (rheumatoid factor, etc.) but my sed rate is "minimally high". This could be because I'm still just four months post-partum, or it could mean something else.

We shall see...

Friday, February 10, 2006

Confessions of a "High Need" Mom?

I'm not sure if Bug is high-need or not, nor am I sure that I buy into Dr. Sears' theory of high-need babies. Though it is a very tempting line of thinking....

I'm too tired and spaced to provide the hyperlink here, but if you Google "Dr. Sears" and "high need baby" you'll probably come across Sears' site and the page in question. I'm not 100% into the whole attachment parenting thing (I'm still learning what that term means) so I'm a little suspicious of the label "High Need". In fact I'm suspicious of any ready-made labels designed to put a name on a problem.

It just seems too easy. Label your kid high-needs and then give into the way things are for several months. Maybe I'm reading the information wrong, but that's how it sounds. Wear your kid around the clock, nurse on demand, co-sleep, etc. etc. The lifestyle Sears seems to be advocating seems pretty darn hard on the parent(s). Granted, Bug's been pretty hard on us and when awake pretty much commands undivided attention. And that's pretty frequently because he is still working on mastering the fine art of napping and sleeping at night. But a large part of me still refuses to give in to the notion that I must give in to Bug's every whim and fancy. Even if he is just four months old. Maybe that's part of my problem. Maybe I should stop fighting and give in, stop trying to get us on a regular schedule, stop trying to live in the same world as everyone else. But my instincts say that's just wrong, that if I give in and give up so easily now, I'm going to be positively steamrolled by this child at every turn as he gets older.

I said it before, I'll say it again: I never dreamed it would be so hard. I had an inkling, but never the full realization. I don't say that to scare people who haven't had kids, because there is so much that makes all the tough stuff so worth it. I say it out of pure surprise. And admiration for all those who've survived it and managed to raise good, law-abiding, well-adjusted kids in the process.

Today my only priority, my only full-time goal, is to get him to nap, whatever it takes. So far we've been successful in getting him to sleep from 9:30 to 10:30. It took a lot of work to get this kid to sleep. He just went down again at about 12:20 after a bit more work. I can't explain to you how proud and accomplished I feel, just for getting a four month old to sleep. As soon as he went down the second time, I just about started dancing for joy (in my socks of course, don't want to wake him up!)

"I can do this, I really CAN do this," I thought to myself. "I am much better at this than I give myself credit for!" I crowed. "I bet Britney Spears couldn't deal with what I've been dealing with, she can't even be bothered to put her kid in his car seat where he belongs!" By now I'm feeling pretty high on myself, pretty sure that I am heading for the Super Mom Hall of Fame someday.

And so it is, I suppose, the perfect moment to realize that my pants are on inside out.


Happy Friday everyone!

[Updated to fix several really stupid typos!]

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Irrational Exuberance?

This ain't no cautious optimism.

Former Federal Reserve Chief Alan Greenspan (happy trails to him!) coined this curious phrase to describe the forces that were driving up stock prices in the 90's. Today I use it to describe my state of mind upon getting Bug to go down for a nap - uncontested - for the second day in a row.

Yesterday Bug napped from 9:45 to twelve noon. NOON! I had to keep checking to see if he was dead. Seriously. I don't think he's napped that long since the day he was born. Last night he actually had one THREE HOUR stretch of sleep. Two hours, two hours and then THREE HOURS.

Permit me to pause a moment to thrust my arms into the air and yell a silent "YES!"

Looking at the news headlines this morning (what a novel concept! Reading news headlines!) I realized it was February 1, 2006. He is exactly four months old today. Could it be that Bug's Reign of Terror (as January 2006 shall henceforth be known) could really be subsiding? Could the worst be over?

It's so quiet. I should go check him.

10:27 a.m: Is still sleeping, is not dead.

Amazing. Is this how other people live? Is this what life with an infant CAN be like?

To borrow a line from a favorite movie: "Inconceivable!"

As I was pacing the floor this morning at 1:30, swaying and rocking Bug back to something that was almost but not entirely like sleep, I was plagued by a sudden attack of GilbertandSullivanitis:

You're a regular wreck,
with a crick in your neck,
and no wonder you snore,
for your head's on the floor,
and you've needles and pins
from your soles to your shins,
and your flesh is a-creep,
for your left leg's asleep,
and you've cramp in your toes,
and a fly on your nose, and some fluff in your lung,
and a feverish tongue,
and a thirst that's intense,
and a general sense
that you haven't been sleeping in clover

Iolanthe, Act II; Gilbert and Sullivan

An entirely spot-on description of my physical state. In rhyme. In an altogether maddening sing-song cadence, just perfect for driving myself absolutely slap-happy in the wee hours of the night. How wonderful.

10:42 a.m. Is still sleeping, is not dead. One hour. ONE HOUR!

[delirious laughter]

I think, I think maybe, I think maybe... I shouldn't say it. I just shouldn't say it. I'll just let this one play itself out. Maybe, just maybe...

But the darkness has passed,
and it's daylight at last,
and the night has been long--
ditto ditto my song--
and thank goodness they're both of them over!

Iolanthe, Act II; Gilbert and Sullivan