Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sick and Tired

Well, Addy's had a cold for almost a week now, plus she picked this convenient time to also begin cutting her first tooth (not one of the usual bottom center first teeth, either- no, an upper incisor for my girl, a much more painful tooth to cut!) It's been a bit of a culture shock, in a way, because Addy had never really been sick before, and she has always been a pretty good sleeper. It was literally as though, last Saturday, a baby snatcher removed our happy child and left in her place a screaming, miserable little bundle of drool and snot who refuses to eat or sleep, and who cries to be held, yet, when picked up, twists and squirms to be put down. There was one night this weekend when it literally took three hours of Jim and I taking turns rocking and walking her to put her to sleep.
Not to sound spoiled- I want to say that I know lots of people go through routines like this on a daily basis, and believe me, you have my sympathy. But it's just been a long couple of days and nights. Oh, and did I mention that for three days she went without taking a nap? Seriously, the child did not sleep at all unless we put her in the car and drove around- probably because with the angle of the car seat she could actually breathe. If you guys have been around nap-deprived babies for any time, you know how insane they get- Adelay would literally look delirious by the end of the day, eyelids drooping, crawling around in a crazy weave resembling a drunk person's stagger, but she would just be more determined than ever that sleep was not on the agenda.
Anyways... she's better now, mostly, just has a runny nose and is a little cranky and clingy still, but at least she's sleeping. It feels like we're emerging from a dark tunnel of awfulness, blinking into the sunlight, amazed that there still is such a thing. I have never before wished that I was not the one at home all day with the baby, but I have to admit to having a strong desire for exactly that a couple of times this weeks. That makes me feel terrible and unloving and unsympathetic- when my baby is sick, I should be feeling bad for her, not myself! And I did, I promise, and I still do. As I watched her fight sleep so desperately when it was what she needed most, believe me, I felt great compassion and tenderness for my poor baby. She sometimes seems like such a big girl already, but in those moments, she was as helpless and hysterical as a newborn, and I wanted nothing more than to make her feel comfortable and relaxed. Yet, what I needed desperately was also sleep. And I too longed to feel relaxed, but that's not in the cards for the mom of a sick cranky baby.
Sometimes, as adults, don't we just wish there was someone to take care of us? And there is, of course, our spouses and friends and support systems and all that. But I mean, literally, physically, take care, like, hold you and rock you and carry you around and tuck you into bed and fetch you drinks in the middle of the night? 'Cause, see, I myself was not feeling so hot last weekend either, for various reasons, and I found myself wishing to be little again, to have a caretaker, rather than be the caretaker.
But. Such is not the case. And this is what I signed on for when we decided to have a baby- the long, insane nights and the tired, hung-over feeling days. But there is also the feeling of being needed, and the knowledge that you are capable of giving comfort- these are not small things. And also there is the chance to feel gratitude towards my own mother!

1 comment:

Musings of a Mom said...

You deserve a break today! It is so exhausting to care for a fussy baby. And lonely, and discouraging, etc., etc.

This is a verse that always encourages me:

"If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest. Take the yoke I give you. Put it on your shoulders and learn from me. I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest." (Jesus speaking) Matthew 11:28-29

I've realized that He means what He says after pleading with Him to show me that it is true.