Monday, November 22, 2010

The Nanny, A Night Out, and Nonna

Our pediatrician said the fussing would get worse before it got better. Uh-huh. We're at the tail-end of a massive growth spurt and the nighttime fussing, crying, raging, and general disdain is at fever-pitch. A few nights, I think Jackson and I have unknowingly held a competition for sob volume. He always wins.

I got a call from the hospital where we delivered last week, from a nurse who serves as a detective on the Depression Squad. When I told her that Jackson only sleeps for about 2-3 hours at a time day or night, and sometimes wants to eat every hour for 2-3 hours (also day or night), she thought that was remarkable. Aren't these the same assholes who drilled the Breastfeeding Only Or Else message into my brain? What did they expect? I told her all was fine and spared her the details of days that are less than fine, lest the Postpartum Police come knocking on my door. Her offering if I need support? Come to meetings. So, pack up a baby who may or may not get fussy and require a million feedings and changes and lug him to the hospital, filthiest of places, and commiserate with other sleep-deprived people. Sure. Maybe not.

My friend-of-a-friend-who's-a-nanny started last week and is every kind of awesome. She's here Mondays and Wednesdays for just a few hours, but I can get SO MUCH done in that time, including pumping more and working out. Hallefuckinglujah. It's a small price to pay for a huge break, and is helping me and the bebe prepare for his transition into daycare.

My sister came to visit this weekend and babysat on Saturday night so we could play grown-up for a couple of hours with some friends. These friends also have kids, including a 3-month-old, so guess what we spent most of the night talking about? It sort of consumes your life, but in a good way. Jackson was a champ for my sister, who is really digging being an auntie. I am so, so happy that she is, and that our relationship is growing stronger, either because of or coincident with Jackson being born. She and I only have each other, since the rest of our family is batshit nuts and totally unreliable. I'm glad Jackson has her, too. The night out wasn't as nerve-wracking as I thought it would be, although I checked my phone every 5 minutes for messages. My sister was kind (and funny) enough to text me every time she gave him a bottle, or he burped, or she changed a diaper to let me know the play-by-play.

And then KB's mom came over Sunday. She and I get along just ducky, but my patience for the persistent assvice is wearing thin. Again, I was told:
  • You can't hold him all the time or he'll come to expect it. Whut?
  • You should let him cry instead of picking him up, so he can learn -- learn whuuuut? that his mother doesn't love him enough to pick him up when he needs it?
  • He is clearly not getting enough milk from breastfeeding if he has to be fed every 2-3 hours, since she only had to give her kids whopping amounts of formula (she thinks he should be taking 6 oz each feeding) and her kids slept for hours and hours and hours, on their stomachs, with piles of blankets, from day one. Thus, one may infer that formula is superior to breastmilk and I am clearly starving my baby and also a terrible mother who deprives her child of peaceful sleep.
  • We shouldn't be using white noise or bedtime music to put him to sleep because he'll rely on it for the rest of his life -- I can envision packing up his Sleep Sheep for college.
She also asked me ninety-seven more times why we can't give him water, and when we can start giving him rice cereal. And she reminded me, after telling me I must not be feeding him enough from the breast, that I shouldn't be afraid to give him formula. *sigh* And then she asked when she can babysit him. Um, when he learns on his own (via whatever method we deem appropriate) to self-soothe and is sleeping on a regular daytime nap and nighttime schedule and is taking solid foods, I'll consider it. Overnights are highly unlikely at this point. I'm not even okay with a brief daytime gig yet, since it's clear that she'll do what she thinks is best from her vague recollection of over 40 years ago, even if it's opposite what I want, because she's convinced I am misguided and she is right. So, no babysitting. Sorry. I feel awful for KB, because he's with me on this but still feels bad that his mom can't get on board to "earn" this privilege we'd love to grant her. He's going to quietly talk to his sister this week to find out how she handled it, as we think there were similar issues with our niece. But until I change my mind (?) she can visit with him while we are home and daycare, the nanny, my sister, and other select babysitters will handle the rest. The end.


bunny said...

I'm so glad you've got a plan to deal with the mother in law, 'cause YIKES. That sounds genuinely frustrating and like a bit of a bummer. As if it's not hard enough to feel competent without someone basically telling you you're not. I hope the sister has some good advice.

The endless fussing and feeding cycle also sounds really tough. Like unromantic, hard core tough. Brava for getting some help and having a night out.

Kelly said...

This sounds really hard, babe, and I don't envy the sleep deprivation and constant feeding. It will pass, though. Eventually!

I'm also sorry your mother-in-law is a know-it-all regarding the rearing of your kid. Hope the sister can give you some insight.