Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Growth Spurt


I just found this post as a draft from when E was 6 weeks old (9/18/09). It's so effin' funny to me. Maybe not to you. But I remember being psycho bat-shit crazy new-mom and killing the people who told me stuff like "this too shall pass" and "that's how it is for everyone". Seriously. And then I hid their bodies.



Oh wow, no posts in a week or so.
I was on vacation, finishing a novel, rendered useless by a continually non-sleeping infant.

It amazes me that I actually beat my Penn State record of how many nights I can stay up and still function the next day. Gosh, I think maybe four? Five? And I easily topped that with seven straight days of no sleep.

Unless you count the 45 minute power naps where I chanted in my head "Gotta go to sleep, gotta go to sleep, gotta go to sleep" (ugh stress-induced-insomnia!) until Lizzie cried herself awake and a little part of me died. Or my 20 minute liquid-magma showers where I tilted the shower head sideways, leaned against the wall, and half cried / half dozed into the spray. Or the hour long nursing sessions where I would teeter as close as I could to dream world without losing muscle control and dropping the Milk Monster. So yeah...

What was all the fuss about?

Growth Spurt.

That's all. Just a growth spurt. Some babies get through them in a day or two. Not Lizzie. She enters into her week long metamorphosis with feeding frenzies. She will nurse for 30 minutes to an hour, sleep for 30 minutes to an hour, repeat until your boobs fall off. No breaks at night. So don't ask. The breastfeeding literature calls it cluster feeding. I call it cruel and unusual punishment. It's kind of humorous in that exhausted sort of way. I look like hammered dog shit. Maybe even smell like it too.

It's funny when you look back at how fast a lack of sleep can turn you into a downward spiral. You collapse into a black hole, devoid of all intelligence, relying on instinct alone. You stuff whatever sustenance you can down your throat and try to remember you are housebroken. Things like dishes and laundry become so complex, so unbelievably impossible to even fathom, that the mere thought of resolving them causes you to go glassy eyed and fall heavily to the couch. And 2am shrieks for boobie milk? Well, sandwiched between midnight shrieks for boobie milk and 4 am shrieks for boobie milk, they are psychosis inducing. The moment I hear her little bottom lip quiver in the pitch dark room, my mind snaps. It takes every sensible, logical, civilized fiber of my being just to prevent the Hulk from coming out as I reach down to pick up her frail, tightly bundled body. My mouth is sweetly whispering "Aw, you need some milkies, huh Mommy's sweetheart?" but my exhausted mind is frantically trying to recall if I'm supposed to shake the baby or not shake the baby.

It's when you get to the 6 week growth spurt... It finally makes sense... It's already the second one... you're so tired... Angel baby has traded her halo in for a pitchfork and horns... All the time the crying, the screaming... you wonder how people survive this... how the government hasn't investigated this insanity and used it as an interrogation tactic... how the human race has propagated this long... the devastating noises this spawn of yours is making... No other child in the history of newborns has ever caused a parent this much pain... this is not acceptable... I just fed you... I can't take it anymore... with scowling face you cross the room and unfurl your white clenched fists as you reach for the baby... Time slows down... You are just as close to sobbing as you are to screaming... your very next action is undecided as your brain grapples with logic... you flash back to the hospital when they were born... some boring ass lecture about some incredibly common sense knowledge... WTF... why do they waste our time... everyone knows not to shake your baby... I do not require a class to "refresh" my coping skills with stress... I KNOW not to shake my baby... a moron would understand that... what soup sandwhich needs this knowledge... "when you feel overwhelmed, stop, count to ten, take a breathe, don't shake the baby"... and then you get it...

That's why you take that damn class. When the shit hits the fan, and it will, it's so hard to imagine what it will feel like and how you will react. Newborns will suck the very life and soul from your bones and spit it back at you, mixed with sour milk and evil. No shit. I was there. Got the goshdamn tee-shirt. Autographed.

I don't know where I'm going with this. But this sucks.

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