So the last few days have gotten somewhat better. With each day that passes, I feel like my daughter drops us a few more breadcrumbs about who she is and what she wants.
….and then we still have nights like last night when she wailed for two hours and pulled so hard on my nipple while I was breastfeeding her that I thought she was going tear part of it off, and she furiously shook her head and scratched at her face and my chest despite the fact that I did everything I could think of to soothe her. Then she promptly fell asleep at 1:30 am and slept until 6am. A gift, perhaps, for the terror she subjected us to the night before?
Those nights are impossible when I am living them and I get so frustrated and I verbalize how frustrated I am with her (I dont yell, but I definitely talk in an angry voice). Then afterward when the dust settles I feel so guilty for being upset in the moment and just want to love and cuddle her and help her to understand that I was never mad…just frustrated, tired, and afraid that it would never end – or worse: that something was wrong with her.
Part of the reason why she slept so long last night was that my wife and I invested in a soothing baby bassinet called a “Snoo”. Its way overpriced (though I suppose that is subjective), and we used my wife’s accrued credit card reward points plus as gift that her Godmother gave us to cover 3/4 of the cost. The bassinet senses when baby is fussing and adjusts its white noise and rocking to calm the baby down (and it’s all controlled by an app). She slept well last night, took a 2 hour nap in it earlier today, and has been asleep now since 9 pm or so (it’s currently 10:30 pm). While I thought I’d feel elation after last night’s pre-bed debacle, I just feel guilty that shes sleeping. I’m not soothing her or feeding her – in fact, she slept through a feeding last night (and I did too since I was so tired) and I just feel bad that I’m not holding and feeding her now (when I typically would be).
Things that I also feel guilt for:
-My poor breastmilk supply (I’ve been pumping an ounce or so every 2 hours which hasn’t been nearly enough to accommodate what she wants to eat)
-The fact that we bottle feed her the breastmilk often (which started when she was in the hospital as that was the only option initially in the NICU, and then they wanted me to monitor her intake in order to help reduce her jaundice. They encouraged us to syringe or bottle feed my colostrum along with donor breastmilk – which we chose over formula – so we knew how much she was eating. We continued that at home to help us better understand her weight gain, and just got into that habit).
-Her naps (I feel like I should be holding and cuddling her, but enjoy napping and/or preparing dinner or catching up on chores when she falls asleep and I can rest her in the Rock N Play or now the Snoo).
-The fact that she is already growing and changing and I WISHED FOR IT, because I desperately want to understand her…but at the same time, I want her to be little forever. I feel like I dont spend nearly enough time just staring at her and cementing her sweet little coos and expressions in my heart before she stops doing them.
I don’t know, I suppose that some of this guilt is just sadness that time is already passing and my tiny newborn is already going to be a month old and I should have enjoyed it all so much more.
In the meantime, I’m going to resolve to try to capitalize on every moment that I can, and try not to get frustrated as easily and just love on this sweet little babe for as long as I can before she becomes a bigger crawling babe, then a walking and talking babe…
No matter what, time will pass exactly the same way so I might as well enjoy this ride. 😊💜