It seems weird to think that as we celebrate "Independence" Day, Rhiannon and I are dealing with one of the most dependent humans we've ever been around. Yes, we have family around to help out, and there have been times when it seems like at the end of the week, they will pack her up and take her with them, but at the end of the day, Brooklynn is in our room and we get up with her in the middle of the night. I've it hard to describe the feeling of getting up in the middle of the night, and it's something I wasn't quite prepared for. In the hospital, a nurse would bring Brooklynn in from the nursery when it was feeding time, and the first 24 hours were kind of rough. I guess babies need a little time to learn and mom's milk isn't there right away. Since she was a little on the larger side, the staff suggested that we think about supplementing with some formula to make sure she was getting enough to eat.
Luckily, this suggestion came at 3 am on morning when she wouldn't go to sleep after nursing. I decided that if anyone was going to feed her besides Rhiannon, it should be me, at least the first opportunity I had. This was going to be my moment to actually be the one to calm her down for once and I really didn't care what time it was.
That's part of the change I didn't expect. I have always liked my sleep, but it didn't matter. I went down, fed her some of the formula, and was rewarded with a wide-eyed, contented baby who was satisfied just to lay in my arms and look around at the new world.
The nursery at the hospital was full; I counted at least 18 babies in there, and when one would start to cry, it would often set of a chain of half the other ones. And I knew the point of us being in the hospital was to leave the babies in the nursery and get some sleep, but I couldn't do it. I couldn't leave her in a room with other screaming children, especially when she was awake, and go back to sleep myself.
About an hour later, Rhiannon came down to see what was going on. She walked in the middle of a diaper change (something else I never experienced), and a screaming child. My intention had been to let her sleep, but she had just been in the room wondering what was so wrong that I didn't come back.
We figured at this point, Brooklynn was going back to sleep, so would take her down to our room until she had to eat again. And we got back. And she cried.
Not so much cried, as CRIED AND SCREAMED AND WAS GENERALLY PISSED OFF, AND THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT. We gave her to a nurse 45 minutes after that, or tthree hours after she was first brought in to the room. And I still didn't want to let her go. Because she was ours, and it tore my heart out that we couldn't give her what she needed. She was completely dependent on us to make things better, and we weren't able to do it.
And even though the nurses told us it's fine and sometimes babies just cry, it didn't help. We did go back to sleep, but I didn't sleep well. I don't think I've slept as well since she's been born, and I wake up a little more often and easily (although I did sleep through the cell phone alarm twice the first two nights), and I don't sleep as much. And I don't care.
Although, both Rhiannon and I have swore we could hear her crying in the next room when she was sleeping soundly. I don't know if this is just subliminal echoes or more a case of slight insanity, but we'll take it. Because we are totally and completely devoted to the little one.
Happy Independence Day.