Monday, March 8, 2010

Surviving On My Own

This title sounds drastic. Oh well. My husband went out of town for a long bachelor party weekend. That means I was on my own to take care of Jack. Of course, I have help in the form of my mother-in-law and girlfriends. They can't obviously take the 2:00 am feedings, but they can give me a break during the day if I needed it. Here is how the long weekend went:

Thursday afternoon: Jason leaves town around 1:00 and my cable and internet promptly go out. No biggie. I have company coming anyways. I don't need cable or internet. Lynn (my mother-in-law) and Aunt Sherry come over for a visit. While they are at the house, I take advantage of getting a few things done. Recently, Jack is napping less which means my house is less clean and things are not getting done around Pachey-land. I run to the grocery store to pick up a couple of essential items. By 7:00, my mother-in-law is convinced enough (with numerous promises that I am fine) to leave my on my own. Jack and I hang out (eat, poop, sleep, repeat) until he goes down to sleep at around 10:00.

The boy sleeps for two hours and I hardly get any sleep. I had the baby monitor on and I can hear every peep, baby noise and coo until he finally cries. I came to the conclusion very quickly that the monitor is more bad then good. After Jack eats, I pass out on the couch with him in my arms. I am holding out that I WILL NOT sleep with him in bed. I have a fear that with Jason gone, sleeping with him will end badly. I don't want sleep deprivation leading to me rolling over on him.

By Friday morning, I have had about 4 hours of sleep. Really, it's not that terrible. I have had a lot of time to realize that this weekend was coming and that I would somehow survive.

Friday, we wake up early, play, eat, sleep, poop, repeat. I have two visitors to keep me busy. I head over to my girlfriend's house on Friday for a "girl's night" plus one (the baby, duh!). Pizza and chit chat await me. It would have been a great day if Jack hadn't been fussy. Lately, he has a period during the evening where he is very cranky and gassy and uncomfortable. This period is very frustrating and Friday was no different. From about 6:00 to 8:00, he cried, ate, cried, farted, cried, burped, cried and then screamed. He screamed in extreme pain for about 30 seconds while I paniced. He has never ever screamed like that. After a very robust burp, he was fine. Of course, my nerves were shot and I kept apologizing to my friends. Having girl's night just isn't the same when you can't include yourself in the conversation because you are either giving a baby your boob or trying to calm him down.

My life has changed for sure.

I left my friend's at 9:00 and when we arrived home, Jack was asleep. I took advantage of a few minutes of sleeping baby to do dishes, get my coffee ready for the morning and fold a load of laundry. Jack woke up but then went down to bed at 10:00.

Friday night was rough. He woke up every two hours to eat, which is fine in itself. However, add that to the previous night of four hours. I was seriously hurting on Saturday. SERIOUSLY.

I had a headache all day on Saturday, barely ate and was so sleep deprived I could barely function. My mother-in-law invited us over and I took her up on it. I figured she would give me a little bit of a break. I stayed for dinner and once again, Jack was fussy between 6:00 and 8:00 which if you figure it out, is right during dinner. Instead of eating, I took care of the baby. I won't rehash my feeding issue/struggle with my wonderful MIL because it's over and done with and I love her.

I made it home on Saturday night very defeated. I figured I was in for a very long, painful night again. Jack was asleep at 9:00 and swaddled in his crib. He doesn't like the swaddle, but I tried it thinking he might sleep a little better. I crashed on the couch with the monitor. I have never slept so soundly in my life. I woke up at 1:00 to a crying baby.

Hold the phone. 9:00 to 1:00. FOUR HOURS! That has never happened before. I nursed Jack, rocked him back to sleep, reswaddled him and fell asleep on the couch with him. He slept another 2 hours and then the process repeated. At 4:00, I pumped and then took the baby to bed with me. I broke my own rule but whatever.

Sunday morning, I woke up close to 7:30 and Jack was stirring as well. I had managed to get about 8 hours of sleep. Halleluah! I felt like a new woman.

My sister and I went to a wonderful breakfast and I enjoyed my first real meal in days. A bowl of cereal or two bites of an apple just don't count as a meal. Jack was a perfect angel at the restaurant and I was renewed. I could do this alone thing again if I really needed to.

Jason came home around 5:30 and we were so so so glad to see him! I had already prearranged with him that at 8:00, Mommy was off duty and Daddy was taking over.

Sunday night, I drew a bath, brought a beer and some magazines in with me and had a long, luxurious soak in the tub. I went to bed early and enjoyed a good night of sleep (with two pumping sessions).

This long, drawn out post has a few morals to the story:

1. Single mothers are amazing. I don't know how in the world they can do it. Having Jason gone for just a weekend was difficult. I can't imagine doing it full time.

2. Having a baby changes everything. This might seem like stating the obvious, but everything is different. Girl's night is no longer easy. Jumping in the car and going to the store is no longer easy. Nothing is easy.

3. I can survive a weekend alone. Not that I want to, but if I had to, I could do it.

I am extremely lucky to have a husband that does so much of the work. Seriously, I thank God for him every day. Now I shall chain him permanently to the bed so he can never leave again. Tee hee.

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