If the pediatrician or lactation consultant we spoke to is reading this, I’m sorry, but we are already using a pacifier. If said healthcare professionals have a problem with that, they get to come and bounce him to sleep.
The pacifier is seriously like a drug. One or two hits on it, and his eyes start rolling back in his head, his whole body goes limp, and he is buzzing like a champ. We discovered this after what we will affectionately call the “feeding marathon of 2008” a few nights ago. Jacqueline fed him for basically 4 straight hours, from 3ish to around 7 AM. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s generally a time that most humans are asleep. I took over at 7, and since I am running woefully short on breastmilk these days, I reached for the pacifier, to give Jacqueline a much needed nap.
Yesterday was the family visit day. All six of the nieces from Jacqueline’s side of the family made it through at different times of the day, and my (Ben Sr.’s) uncle Joe and aunt Petra dropped off my mom for the “changing of the guard,” as Brenda headed home for a much needed break from taking care of us.
We have great news. Little ben is beginning to sleep at night. Jacqueline got about 6 hours combined last night. The best part of the story was that he was completely un-fussy last night. He didn’t even cry when we changed his diaper. It was like some sort of parallel universe.
We are so excited about all that has gone on the past few days. Baby Ben slept 4 straight hours last night, thanks to the absolutely unquantifiable help of Brenda, Jacq’s mom. We are doing great, though, relaxing when Ben relaxes, and bouncing him back to relaxation (both the old-fashioned way as well as with the HD-BS.)
Our dog Loretta (as in Loretta Lynn, but in no way insinuating that Loretta Lynn is in any way similar to our dog. At least I hope Loretta Lynn doesn’t ever pee on my couch… but if she did I could probably get something for it on Ebay… I digress) has had a great time getting to know little Ben. From time to time ‘Retta will come over and sniff little Ben, and decide to take a nap nearby.
The other animal in our life these days is the kangaroo. Not literally, so much, as that would smell up the house and cost a lot of money that we don’t have. We have figurative kangaroos all over the place, in the form of “kangaroo care.” Kangaroo Care is laying skin to skin with the baby (don’t forget the diaper for him, or you end up with kangaroo droppings on you…).
Kangaroo care is the greatest thing since sliced bread, if you ask a certain segment of the population. Portions of this segment of the population also contend for things like militant recycling, bio-diesel only, and making your own clothes out of hemp only, so we have to sort out carefully what we will and will not take away from this particular kangaroo. But it is a great way to take a nap when holding a napping child. And it supposedly has some great health benefits both for mom and baby. So we are doing it as often as possible.
There are some ideas that are absolutely brilliant. Sliced bread, automatic dishwashers, phones with mac software on them, and my new favorite, the baby swing. I actually don’t call it a swing. I call it the “heavenly daddy-back saver.” (or HD-BS) It is truly the most amazing machine I have ever encountered. Here’s how a typical usage goes:
I hear Ben Jr starting to “pre-fuss” (a maneuver involving loud coos, a few grunts, and his face wrinkling up like it’s beginning to melt). I grab up the baby bundle, and bounce across the room. Baby Ben is not content with small bounces, either. The big, 2 foot, exaggerated bounces are the only ones that will do. I generally can get him to stop fussing (or prevent him from starting) in about three bounces. But then I have to continue until he falls asleep.
Enter the HD-BS
I place him in (which was rather nerve-wracking the first time… “where do you think this strap goes, and what’s that squeaking?”) and bundle the blanket all around him. One twist of the knob starts him swinging. He initially protests, and starts to melt his face again. I stay within ear-shot and give him a standard “shh-shh-shh” The nurse at our childbirth class said that sound mimics mom’s heartbeat from the womb, explaining it’s cathartic effect. The combo of the shh-shh and the HD-BS lulls him back into contentment.
Then, my back muscles kick up their feet, break open an adult beverage, put some Jack Johnson on their iPods, and relax.
Thanks, Josh and Stacy, for the HD-BS. Your reward will be in heaven, and worth at least a million bucks.