Monday, September 27, 2010

On Babies and Crying

Days like today are what I expected when I first learned I would be a father.  The upside is that they've happened FAR less often than I expected, and I'm so very glad for that.

The suckiest thing I've had to deal with so far about having a baby is that when there's something wrong they can't tell you what it is, because they only have about four or five responses to stimuli, and really only varying degrees of one response to negative stimuli.

When they're happy they'll smile and laugh and play with things.  When they're content they'll be calm and look around and observe things.  When they're tired they'll rub their eyes.

But when they cry, sometimes there's not much you can do to figure out what's wrong, because they cry whenever anything is wrong, and my baby is no different.

When she's too tired and fighting sleep, she cries.  When she's hungry, she cries.  When she's constipated or gassy, she cries.  When she gets her foot caught in the rails of her crib, she cries.  When she has a headache, she cries.  When she has an ear infection, she cries.  When she has a fever, she cries.  When her gums or teeth hurt because she's teething, she cries.

Sure, some of those we can usually figure out - we can check her temperature, we know when she's being fed an how much, we can watch her on the monitor and see that she's in the middle of her crib.  But at her age, since she's started teething, it's kind of a roll of the dice trying to figure out what is causing her to fuss if we've ruled out the obvious.

Getting back to today... I had about 3-4 hours of sleep last night.  The largest uninterrupted period was around two to two and a half hours.  She woke up and fussed and fussed for about an hour until we got her settled enough to go back to sleep, then she slept for that two-ish hours and woke up again and refused to go back to sleep without laying on Mom or Dad's chest to prop her up a little bit.

All because of a little ear infection.

So I'm at work for the afternoon, but I'm only tackling easy stuff because I can barely concentrate enough to do anything worthwhile.  This post is about the most coherent thing I can muster.

Thankfully, she usually sleeps through the night and this is only the second time she's been sick.  I can count on one hand the number of times since she turned 6 weeks old she's not slept through the night.  But that doesn't help me feel any better today.

To all the parents out there who love and care for their children, I salute you for your effort and hope that the days like today has been for me are few and far between for you...

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to the club! It can be a trying and frustrating time when all you hear is the crying. ;)

    My second daughter when she returned home from the hospital refused to sleep through the night. Power naps were MADE for her. 20 mins nap, awake for an hour. For two years....

    Now Dad here, being a light sleeper, tended to be the 'alert' parent and after some trial and error found that laying her down on my chest to sleep worked slightly better than anything else.
    It became part of the ritual of night time....nap for 20, awake (or desperately fighting exhaustion) for an hour or so.

    But, it passed. She got over her routine. She slept through the night. Stick with it. It's so worth it in the end :)

    But now, as she approaches her 16th birthday....there's a whole new set of things to worry about :P

    Have fun and enjoy being Dad :D