The Swaddle Hokey-Pokey

I have fond memories of the hokey-pokey as a child, only performed in the center of the hallowed darkened roller rink with heavy rented skates on each leg being jangled about to the music.  The bootie-wiggling and hand shaking at the end was always such a feel good experience.  It was hokey, but I did so love the dance.

My son has inherited my love of the hokey-pokey.  His version, though, is done at the most inopportune time – at swaddle for sleepy-sleep time.  Through our trial and error and his karate-chopping legs, he’s graduated to the Woombie Lil’ Houdini swaddle because he is (duh, duh) a Houdini-like escape artist from all other non-zippered swaddles.  I cannot begin to tell you how many nights I have gone into the nursery to find various appendages wiggling and sticking out of the pathetic half-escaped swaddle and Rex squwaking because he’s (duh, duh) cold! and awake!  Since mommy and daddy do not sleep well Rex does not sleep well if he’s not swaddled, I have no qualms about putting him in the sleep three-point restraint (as my father calls all swaddles).

The Woombie is essentially a pea pod for babies.  All you have to do is place said child in middle of Woombie, stuff legs and arms into Woombie and zip.  Easy as 1-2-3, but for us more like 1-3-2-1 again-3 then -2 and back to -3 because this child loves to play the Swaddle Hokey Pokey.  No sooner does one leg go in, does it come out again.  Then, one leg goes in and a second and the first comes out again.  And, the legs are in constant 360 degrees of motion. Kick up, kick side, kick down, kick other side. Repeat.  I can also tell, from the faint light coming from the closet, that the little stinker is smiling.  It makes me chuckle just to think about it.  You know he’s having a fabulous time playing keep-away with mommy.  Mr. X has reported similar nocturnal games when trying to wrestle Rex into the Woombie.

For now, I’m still able to gently but firmly coax those little wiggling limbs into the Woombie.  There will come a day, not to soon in the future, I fear, where my two hands are no match for his four limbs in constant motion to elude being constrained in favor of sleep.  The smile, though, will probably be what does me in.

image: FredoAlvarez

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If Looks Could Kill

As much as one can have a routine with an infant, we have one at dinner/night time for Rex.  Mr. X gives Rex his bottle, gets him swaddled for nighty-night time and then hands him off to me for the final deliverance to Mr. Sandman (basically, rocking with a little binkie action, if so required).

For the past two nights, Mr. X has followed this routine and handed off to me a swaddled, full and seemingly content infant who would appear to be sleep putty in my gentle, maternal hands.  On both nights, within thirty seconds of this handoff, Rex has started his wind up to scream – the brow furrows, then the mouth puckers, the binkie is forcibly ejected and air is sucked in for maximum shriekage.  And, then he lets loose requiring me to use extraordinary measures to not only calm him but get him to sleep.

In these situations, I know the exact culprit for this drama.  My baby has gas.  Bad, bad gas.

Now, Mr. X is getting really good at this baby thing.  But, the burping is still an elusive success.  He scales the burps he gets from Rex from small to really big.  At the handoff, he informed me that he got a ‘medium’ burp out of the babe but I wasn’t too concerned because said child looked to be extremely peaceful and content, two things he is most certainly not if he has bothersome gas.  If there is one thing that this child appears to love, however, it is proving me wrong.  Within what felt like seconds of me settling into the rocker with him in my arms, he started screeching.  I sat him up, which was not easy considering that he was swaddled like a little baby mummy, and did the pat, rub, pat routine on his back.  I got nothing except continued crying.

It was also about this time that my only view of Mr. X was his back as he headed out of the nursery to what I was sure was greener (and quieter) pastures.  I wasn’t feeling particularly magnanimous towards my husband at that moment.  In fact, I was pretty convinced that he had deliberately done a poor job feeding Rex and belching him leaving me to deal with the aftermath. Intellectually, I knew that this wasn’t true.  I knew that he did his best, but dammit, I was still left holding the bag screeching infant.  If looks could kill, the one I gave his back would have been a mortal wound.

I finally managed to calm the beast into a fitful slumber.  But, when he woke up (very uncharacteristically) 45 minutes later, it was Mr. X who came to the rescue and got Rex calmed down and back to sleep.  It was a good thing that looks can’t kill after all.

Photo Friday: Afternoon Delight

I love our back porch. It’s one of the features that sold me on the house simply because it would be so hard to recreate it elsewhere. Sure the bathrooms had godawful wall paper and the kitchen was outdated. But, the outdoor space was perfect.

Mr. X’s mother was here this week and sat with Rex on the backporch.  I got this wonderful picture of his hand grasping her finger.  I love those little untested miniature fingers holding on to a finger that has had many life experiences.  It’s saying, “Stick with me kid, and I’ll show you the world!”

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The Root of My Evil

Dear Pfizer:

I am the poster child for better living through chemistry.  My OCD is controlled with Prozac, my child was conceived with the use of multiple injectible drugs, my pregnancy with him was made easier with Zantac and Flonase and he was delivered quite comfortably once I had a fabulous epidural.  So, I obviously have no problem with drugs.

What I do have a problem with, however, is your drug, Zoloft, which I went on because I was breastfeeding. Only now, after finishing up my course of it and switching back to my beloved Prozac do I realize just what a wretched drug Zoloft is for me.  Let me tell you what happened.

Four weeks post-partum, I began having stomach issues.  Constant, uncomfortable and rather embarrassing stomach issues.  They didn’t go away.

My head was surrounded by a giant fog that refused to lift. I’d sit down to read a book and wouldn’t be able to concentrate.

Also starting around the four week mark, there was not a day that went by that I didn’t think about suicide.  I envied dead people. I would think about what a release from the grind of it all it would be.  I would be able to sleep.  Finally and consistently sleep.  I wouldn’t have the anxiety and uncertainty of anticipating the needs of a newborn.  I fought it, though. I fought it hard. I reminded myself that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.  I would look at my son and will myself to hold on for another day on the promise that it would get better.  I reminded myself what a terrible impact it would have on him. I thought about how Mr. X would be alone and how much I would miss him.  I thought about how angry everyone would be with me for being selfish and taking the easy way out.  But, the thoughts were still there.

I finished the pills a week and a half ago.  Within days, the stomach issues improved, the thoughts began to go away and the fog lifted.  I began to feel like myself again.

The only conclusion that I can reach is that your drug screwed up my digestive system, put me in a fog and made me want to kill myself. Way to go.


Mrs. X.

image: K’vitsh