Tuesday, September 12, 2006


My First Night With Baby Brynn

Weezie has been a bit sleep deprived looking after 19 month old Zoe and 2 month old Brynn. On several occasions she has asked me, "So when are you taking Brynn overnight?" I usually answered with a little chuckle and a "wellll....some day." Last week I decided that I would take Brynn and have her stay with The Squeeze and I on Friday night. I think that Weezie was a little surprised by my offer. Maybe she just thought how badly I might screw things up. Either way.

Even though I didn't get much sleep on Thursday night, I drove by and picked Brynn up on Friday night around 7:00. Weezie was somewhat reluctant to give her up. It was her first night away from the baby, and I guess it would be tough on a mother. I loaded up her basinette, her bouncy chair, her diaper bag, her little cooler bag of formula, another bag of clothes for me to keep at my house, and it was time to put Brynn, tightly snuggled in her car seat, into the car. At this point, Weezie was getting rather emotional. The tears were starting. She finally said, "Just take her" and she headed back into her house. I kind of felt like a heel taking her baby and making her get all emotional, but my intent was to let her get a much-deserved night of sleep. As it turned out she decided to go out with a friend of hers and wound up getting to bed late anyway, but the thought was there.

I was thinking of driving to Hooterville with her to visit my folks since they haven't seen their granddaughter in about seven weeks and she has changed so much, but there was no answer when I tried to call them. I decided to just drive home so we could snuggle and bond.

Around 8:30 Brynn started to get pretty fussy. Feeding time was fast approaching, so I heated up her bottle and fed her. I just LOVE holding her in my arms and watching her go to town on that bottle. It really is the cutest thing. I managed to get some burps out of her, changed her diaper and put her little pink sleeper on. Adorable!

A few minutes later all hell broke loose. The colic kicked in a little after 9:00 and she was inconsolable. The Squeeze got home around 9:30 and by that point I was already feeling like a useless father. I was not able to comfort my baby and I was crushed. The Squeeze took her while I ran to get her gripe water. I put a couple of squirts into a bottle nipple as directed and let her drink it. It didn't help. I was approaching panic mode. "Maybe we did this too soon. We should call Weezie and tell her we can't do it. We have to take her back."

I held Brynn while The Squeeze called Weezie to see what we need to do to comfort her. Apparently the gripe water takes about half an hour to kick in. She told The Squeeze that the only thing that seems to settle her down is to hold her upright against your shoulder while supporting the back of her head and slightly bounce while gently rocking yourself from left to right. After the call, The Squeeze took her and walked/rocked/bounced her for about 15 minutes and she finally started to calm down. I reluctantly took over for him when his back got sore, and I continued with the process until she settled right down and eventually fell asleep.

I'm not sure what time it was exactly (10:30?), but we finally took her up to bed and I put her in her basinette. Weezie said she normally wakes up around 1 or 1:30, but with the colic episode, she figured she would sleep a bit longer. Of course I was laying awake most of the night waiting for her to wake up wanting her bottle. Finally around 2:30 she was up and crying to be fed. I got that going no problem, but wasn't getting much in the line of burps from her. After changing her diaper, I held her and tried to burp her soft sleeping body until I finally gave up around 4:00 and took her back up to bed where I laid awake awaiting her next feeding.

Around 6:30 she was up again and ready for another bottle. She only drank about two ounces and then she fell asleep in my arms again. I sat up with her until she started crying for the remainder of the bottle around 7 or so. Honestly, it's all a blur!

The Squeeze had to leave around that time for an appointment, so I continued to feed and burp her. I was planning to head out around 9:30 to meet up with some friends who knew I had the baby that night, so I started to get myself organized while Brynn was entertained by the flashing lights and music of her bouncy chair. My folks called to tell me they were planning on stopping by for a visit in about an hour, but since I had these other plans I let them know we'd be going to their place in the afternoon. Then Weezie called to see how things are going. So far so good. I got her bag packed and as I put her in her car seat in the living room, she started to cry again. I realized that she was probably hungry again. After all, it was going on three hours since the last bottle. Sure enough, she inhaled the bottle I gave her, but I was having a heck of a time getting her to burp. And God knows that if she doesn't burp, things are just going to fall apart later.

I finally managed to get a couple of burps from her and I tried to get her in her car seat so we could go and meet up with my friends. A bit late, but what the hell. Nope, no dice. She was having none of it. The crying began again. Not quite as bad as the night before, but it was up there. I walked the floors of our house so much I feel like I wore a groove in the hardwood. I finally got her settled down and fell asleep, but I still wasn't able to put her down or she would start crying again. So I wound up sitting up with her in my arms while she slept. I caught myself drifting off once or twice myself but quickly snapped back to consciousness. Around 11:30 The Squeeze got home and I was a basketcase. I have had two sleepless nights in a row, I felt like I wasn't able to provide something my daughter desperately wanted or needed, I was feeling helpless, depressed, stressed, and my self-worth took a beating. Again, I was ready to pack it in and cancel the visit to my parents' place and admit defeat. This just brought up a wave of emotion in me and I just walked around the house like a zombie, silently sobbing while The Squeeze held Brynn. He fed her around 12:00 and got some burps out of her and we debated on trying to take her visiting.

One of the friends I was planning to meet earlier called me to see how things were going and I explained what was going on. She said, "just put her in that car seat and start swinging it". We tried it, and sure enough she started crying at first, but then calmed right down. I decided we would have to try this visit with my folks. While The Squeeze continued to rock the car seat, I began loading up the basinette, bouncy chair, etc. since we would be dropping Brynn off at Weezie's after the visit with my parents. As I was heading out with a load, I finally met my next door neighbour coming back from shopping. I had to apologize for all of the screaming. To my surprise, she said they didn't hear a thing.
"Remember," she said, "before you, there was a family with four screaming girls, and I mean screaming."
"Oh thank God! I even took her down in the rec room hoping that would be the best place for us so nobody could hear her."
"Nope, didn't hear a thing."

We loaded Brynn up, and drove nearly an hour to my parents' place and she slept all the way there. (Needless to say, The Squeeze was behind the wheel.) Brynn was good as gold the whole time there. All smiles. I got some great pictures of her with Grandma and Grandpa. They just adore her. I was so happy. My mother fed her around 3:00 but wasn't having any luck burping her. I took Brynn and tried my little sitting on my knee with my hand under her chin and patting on the back manoeuvre and got her to burp. Hey, maybe I am somewhat useful!

As we were pulling out of my parents' driveway, I realized I hadn't eaten since lunch on Friday. We pulled into KFC for a chicken sandwich and continued on our way, Brynn sleeping or silently entertained by the drive the whole way back to Weezie's.

Weezie was thrilled to see Brynn back home in one piece, and Zoe was happy to see her "sissy". We stayed for a short visit, then headed home and I had a nap on the couch before calling it a night and getting to bed.

When I went to Weezie's on Monday to visit Brynn, Weezie asked me when I want to take her again. I'm thinking it over.

I love babies, but I especially love being able to hand them off to their parents when they get cranky.

And honey, sleep when the baby sleeps. There's no reason to sit up all night waiting for her to want her bottle. Trust me, you'll hear her.
Ya, I was always the same way, but when you ARE the parent, who do you hand them off to?
As for sleeping, I wish I could just turn it on and off like that. I'm lousy when it comes to making myself sleep. The Squeeze, on the other hand, starts to snore before both feet are off the floor.
I have no doubt, however, that I would hear her. That girl has some powerful lungs!
Exactly why I'm not a parent! ;-)
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