Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What is normal?

I. Am. Exhausted. BBZ was up a lot last night. He has completely stopped sucking his thumb. While I realize that this is probably a good thing, I don't understand why he chose now to stop. He can no longer sooth himself AT ALL. He cries at the drop of a hat for what seems like no reason, and if you know BBZ, you know he is literally the happiest baby many people have ever seen. He clings very tightly to me and is only soothed by nursing. I feel like he is a newborn and we have started all over again.
Last night he woke up at 3am. I was tired, but ok with getting up. He had peed through his diaper so I changed him and threw a waterproof liner on the top of his sheets so I didn't have to change them again (N and I changed him and the sheets once already at around 10:30pm). He ate and went back to sleep. He was up until about 3:45 and woke again at 4 or so. I tried to see if he would settle himself down and gave him about 10 minutes. N went in to see if he could calm him down, but no, all he wants is me. I went it and tried for a very long time to get him back to sleep. Finally he did. He woke up around 6:30am and I brought him into bed with me, but we didn't go back to sleep.
Nap time is even worse. It has taken at least 30-45 minutes to get him to sleep at each nap. I nurse him and he starts to drift off, but as soon as I go to lay him down he wakes and seems like he is ready to party. I know he needs to suck his thumb, but he just won't. It's like I have taken a pacifier away from a baby who NEEDS his pacifier to sleep. But I didn't take it away, his thumb is right there! I don't want him to suck his thumb forever, but I do want him to as long as he needs it!
So after his 9am nap this morning I kind of broke down. I didn't understand why he had changed so much. I realize that he had surgery, but the surgeon said he can go back to daycare whenever he is ready...shouldn't that mean he will be ready soon? They also took him off of the every 4-hour Tylenol, so does that mean he shouldn't need it anymore? Is he relying on me because he is recovering or should I be encouraging him to self-sooth? I talked to my mom about it and decided to call his pediatrician. The surgeons at the hospital did very little to prepare me for what his recovery would be like. When I asked his doctor when I should expect him to be back to *normal*, she said it would likely be about 6 weeks. This completely surprised me! I realize that it was major surgery, but I have nothing to compare it to, I have never done this before! She also said that he will likely need Tylenol off and on for the next 2 weeks. I know this could be different as all kids are, but it is so great to have some expectations!
One good thing that came from my breakdown is a little shopping spree! I had to get out of the house. I had not left the house other than going to a doctor or a hospital in over a week. I also had not been away from BBZ for more than a shower the entire time. I desperately needed some *me* time. So I went to Kohl's and bought some super cute clothes. I have lost weight since I had BBZ and very few of my clothes actually fit. I found jeans that I don't have to wear a belt with, 2 tops and a really cute Simply Vera Wang jacket! I also picked out some really cute red shoes for my mama. It was some serious shopping therapy that I was well overdue for.
So I guess his waking throughout the night is his normal for now. His nursing to sleep at naps is necessary and I will just have to get used to it. MckMama talked about her new normal when she brought little Stellan home from the hospital. How her life had to adjust to their new normal. I was grieving our old healthy, never crying, thumb sucking, non-scar having, independent sleeping, non-medicine taking, always happy baby boy. He is still in there, and I hope he will continue to get better and be back to his old self, but I do not expect least not for at least 6 weeks. I plan to nurse him on demand, try to convince him to love his blanky as much as he loved his thumb, expect bedtime to take up to an hour, and know when to take a break. I guess this is our new normal, at least for now.
You would never guess this carrot-covered baby had surgery 6 days ago, would you???