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September 9, 2013 / ginavoskov2013

Regression.

Edith is going to be 15 weeks old on Thursday, just about two weeks shy of the dreaded “four month sleep regression” that I keep seeing pop up when I google “14 weeks infant why am I in hell”. Last night may have been a preview of that regression, a little amuse bouche if you will, that had me texting Dennis in the middle of the night, “I can’t do this shit, come get me,” or something to that effect. We decided this weekend that I would stay in Connecticut at his parents’ house for a few nights while he went back to NYC for work. The weather was supposed to be good this week and I had nothing planned in the city. So why not, right?

So wrong. So fucking wrong. Edith knew something was up almost as soon as Dennis pulled out of the driveway. And she was like, “Either you bring my father back to me right now or I will murder your nipples with my gums and smile while I’m doing it.” She did the latter. For like twelve hours. All through the night, every two hours. For the record, she hasn’t done the every two hour thing since she was about three weeks old. So I have had a deliciously wonderful time getting used to sleeping in chunks of four to seven hours. So this two-hour thing is bullshit. If I’d have been a cartoon, at 4:12am my eyes would have been those black and white hypnotic spinny things that Daffy Duck used to get sometimes.

All this makes me think Edie’s experiencing that 4-month sleep regression. That just means she has more trouble sleeping, is having a huge growth spurt, and will come through on the other side with some new talent. I’m hoping that new talent includes the ability to tell time and to empathize with others regarding the need to sleep but I’m not getting my hopes up.

I started thinking about all the things that would make this growth spurt easier for me. For babies, it’s easy. All they say to do is hold and feed. “Take the baby to bed,” they say. That just means stay in one spot and let her suck you dry. I welcome any of you to try that out. It works for about eleven minutes and then you’re stuck in bed with a baby. A kicking, whining, irrationally hungry baby who stares–and I mean STARES–at your nipples with more intensity than a 12-year old boy with access to the Internet and a realization that he can google “nipples” from the quiet and safety of his own bedroom. It is scary. Scary mainly because I’m not sure if my body will produce all the food she needs. Listen, she’s just drained my boobs twice in forty minutes. How can I possibly have time to refill so she can do it all over again? But anyway, that’s all she needs. Lots of holding and lots of food.

Turns out my needs aren’t that much different. Here’s what I came up with last night to make Edie’s growth spurts easier for me to handle:

1) A bed shaped like an egg and filled with down pillows and comforters. The bed also must be on wheels and able to be moved upstairs and through doors to the outside.

2) An endless water supply, and a selection of other beverages from which to choose once I get sick of water. Those beverages, in an ideal world, would be: lattes, blood orange Pellegrino, chocolate milkshakes, the occasional Mexican beer, and iced tea.

3) A catheter. But it would have to be the imaginary kind that you couldn’t feel go in or come out. No need to add insult to injury. Well, better yet, I’d like a bottomless bladder.

4) All the movies Tom Hanks has ever made.

5) The book I started 5 weeks ago for the second time (

    A Prayer for Owen Meany

. I’m on page 180. Out of, like, seven thousand.)

6) My phone and computer. And their chargers within reach. Maybe built into the bed frame of the egg shaped bed.

7) YOUR nipples. Obviously to take the place of mine when Edith chomps down and squishes them between her lips. That’s a new trick that I can’t possibly be more excited about.

8) Quesadillas or nachos.

I think that’s all I require. But, really, I’d give them all up if I could just have Dennis here. He has this incredible ability to just sit down and soothe her. She just has a sense that he’s around and that sense alone is enough to balance her out. This morning I got the idea that maybe, after Edie was born, maybe she imprinted on him instead of me. (Or is it that he imprints on her? That must be it.) So I’m just the food source and he’s the real soother. That’s one of those terrible thoughts that comes to me when I haven’t gotten sleep and makes me feel even worse than I already do. But whatever. I don’t care if she imprinted on a postage stamp if he could just be here and help us through the stress. As he pulled out of the driveway yesterday, I started crying. At the time I had no idea Edie would have such a bad night, otherwise I would have run after the car and pulled it back into the driveway by my teeth. I cried because last night was the first night we were away from each other since Edie was born. Like away, away. Not just away because of work. And I miss him. I miss our tiny family and being in the same room.
I guess there’s a first time for everything, and last night was a first that I’m glad is over. And I know that when this growth spurt is over Edie Bear will be able to do new things and it will mean she’s growing up and developing and all that. I also know we will get through it together, like we did with all the others. There will be good days and bad, sunny days and sour. I know all of this. It’s just very hard to remember it when the little baby I created is crying in my arms and, for what seems like the thousandth time that hour, to give her my entire body, my whole self, everything I’m made of.

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3 Comments

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  1. meeshie / Sep 9 2013 3:57 pm

    It gets better. Our regression (he’s 5 months now) lasted about a week and then we were pretty much sleeping all night. Have faith 😉

    • ginavoskov2013 / Sep 9 2013 4:26 pm

      Thank you. Trying to have faith but it’s so hard to when there’s no way of knowing how long this is going to last!!

      • meeshie / Sep 9 2013 6:04 pm

        It was something like a week. I remember that I wanted to die by about day three. By day five I wanted to kill my husband for not being the one that could breastfeed. I’m pretty sure I was insane. LOL

        Every two hours or so I fed him for 20 minutes and then he went back to sleep and I… tried to sleep. By the time I was deeply asleep he was crying again.

        He’s five months and one week now. He sleeps from around 8:30pm to 4am consistently. Feeds for 20 minutes and then doesn’t wake me until 7:30am or so. (I can hear him playing in his crib most mornings)

        It gets better. Really. I promise. Soon you will see sleep again. Meanwhile, nap if you can? Just like when you had a newborn?

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