Monday, August 17, 2015

routinely unpredictable

the learning curve for parenting is pretty damned steep, let me tell you. there's not much like the joy and relief of holding your son's relaxed little body against your chest after hours of drama. just as there's not much like that moment where you're holding your child and a bottle at just the wrong angle and he begins choking, or the one where he's been screaming for a while and you haven't yet put together your little checklist of things that he could be screaming about. there're twelve of them, apparently.

i've been through some difficult moments in my life, but holding my son's tiny hands during the performance of his brit milah was absolutely the toughest. we're proud and pleased and relieved that it's done, and that the doctor who did it was professional, and i now strongly believe that the trauma resulting from the aftercare of a circumcision is more on the side of the parents than the child. on a related note, i'm very glad that the reform movement recognizes paternal lineage in determining my son's status as a jew.

tuesday:

highly informative nurse visit, beginning to tidy but getting sidetracked by an emergency shave as gd's friend arrived for a ten minute visit, trying to sort out my mother's email (mtn, your website security negligence is criminal), cleaning and bathing with sore backs, becoming very stressed about our landlord and neighbours, a walk to the pharmacy, distinctly not napping as planned, half eaten microwave dinners and feedings and changings and short sleepings and then waking up in a sweat with no baby laundry for more changings and feedings and changings

wednesday:

a horrible, horrible night, hours failing to feed, finally falling asleep and waking up quite late feeling pretty good, some positive bureaucratic experiences and a pharmacy mission with my mom that included a surprisingly decent vegan red velvet alternative
a chilled afternoon involving some more Getting Stuff Done (including a fair amount of paperwork filing)

meeting the landlord and negotiating badly

breastfeeding is really, really hard. gd was lucky enough to begin milk production quickly, but latching is still a painful issue and so we're still supplementing with formula. formula is dairy and so not good at all. gd's also exhausted and in pain, but until she's been feeding for a while her production won't increase sufficiently and the pain won't die down. to make matters worse, worrying that she's not feeding him enough also decreases production. thoroughly encouraging :/

learning late about tongue tied babies and the simple procedure available that could've been diagnosed and explained at the hospital. [although we've been informed since that it should only be performed if necessary]

we've taken to calling our son "mr smear" because he's developed the amusing habit of dribbling formula and rubbing it all over himself before we can stop him... cup feeding has become practically impossible as he has developed a habit of gripping and flipping anything close to his mouth.

thursday:

2am getting up and trying to wake and feed him and panicking because i thought he was experiencing breathing difficulties; after struggling for a while gd woke up to his cries to point out that he was in need of a diaper change :$

waking everyone from a good sleep for two hours of struggle and dirty diapers and emergency laundry, all for twenty minutes of feeding and for mr smear to refuse the formula when we got desperate (another whole bottle of similac literally tossed down the drain. i abhor the stuff, and it would only be the next day when we would learn that we'd been given inaccurate (wasteful) information about it at the hospital). this is a shout-out to new parents everywhere, especially women recovering from c-section who need to deal with severe discomfort and scary wounds at the same time.

overall, a better night. waking up to mr smear catching us with a poop surprise while we were already changing him (this has become somewhat of a theme, it's certainly preferable to him relieving himself right after we've put on a new diaper)

not enough sleep, but quality sleep nonetheless. a pleasant wakeup, leaving mr smear with my mom to go to the clsc to get gd's staples removed, learning while there that we'd gone to the wrong place.

passing out just before the nurse arrived, then wasting another formula bottle trying to calm the incessant screaming before simply holding him skin to skin. finally, to our surprise and relief, being informed that he's putting on weight at a good pace. the nurse tried to assist gd with latching but unfortunately made things worse, followed up with some calming advice and then sent me off to pick up a nipple shield.

a rather rough afternoon requiring mom's assistance during which both gd and i broke down in various degrees; it has been made quite clear to me that my aspie "features" have rendered me intolerable. i've been wearing myself out in an effort to support gd both emotionally and practically over the course of the past nine months and i was feeling decidedly misunderstood and unappreciated [though things are feeling considerably better after the past couple of days]

being impressed by outlook.com's features almost as much as by windows 10 having rescued my laptop.

preparing mentally for my son's circumcision in the morning.

friday:

having it all out - calmly and quietly - at 2am after almost an hour of feeding prep; nipple shield success after an age of trying to wake him (we just had to turn the main lights on), then a small formula victory followed by a big breast pump / nipple simulator bottle. technology. every woman planning on breastfeeding should be handed a medela nipple shield and their harmony kit. our post-feed pre-sleep snack felt like a celebration.

up early, dressing nicely, arriving on time in a crowded clinic filled with old equipment and a wide range of humanity, emotional prayers catching in my throat, suppressing the "you're not the doctor i was expecting" fear because he was professional and efficient

coming back home to a slip for a failed delivery* and awesome pizza and a nap to celebrate

* the reason we wanted the item delivered was because the store is too far away. we were informed that the delivery would be during the next week, and when they missed us they asked us to retrieve it from a station that was just as far away as the original store. i called them seething in anger and disbelief, and fortunately the service agent i spoke to saw his way to scheduling the item to be delivered again.

a couple of shopping runs and then an evening and morning of serious difficulties. our first candle lighting as a family.

yesterday:

the first twenty four hours after the circumcision were a nightmare of inconsolable discomfort and insatiable hunger, only we're not sure what the source of the discomfort actually was and suspect that it might have been the over-protective swaddling. after an emotional explosion when gd was unable to easily remove the gauze from his penis in the third attempt, we all jumped into a taxi and headed to the clinic's significantly posher rooms at decarie square where they reassured us that their services were worth paying for. we headed straight back home (well, there was a long and uncomfortable wait for the taxi), then an evening of preparing to complete the parental insurance documentation that got sidelined by dinner and feeding and burping. gd and i, over the changing table while our son sprayed crap on her and soaked my hand in urine, had an important conversation about my parental incompetence and the impracticality of ocd and perfectionism in new parents. taking care of a feeding and everyone getting a solid five hours' sleep which was exquisite.

today:

a remarkably relaxed day, although mr smear was furiously hungrier than anyone expected. my mom and i enjoyed a pleasant shopping outing and she let gd and me sleep a solid couple of hours before taking her leave. we had some difficulty afterwards with feeding and changing, but i've had him by my side since giving him his last bottle of formula a couple of hours ago and he's been pretty calm while i've been working on my project. i suspect i should be going to bed now, it's getting towards 3am on a monday morning and i have some serious business to attend to...

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