I had coffee with a pregnant friend Monday morning to catch up and share what little I’ve learned about the mechanics of early motherhood. I was surprised how much talking about the first few weeks already felt like looking in the rear view mirror. Emmett was feeling less and less like an alien creature with a few recognizable settings and growing into a member of the household who has his own quirks and personality. I’d already packed away most of his 3-6 month outfits (our guy is a tall drink of water at nearly 4 months) and he’d been sleeping through the night for weeks. (I take no credit for this good fortune. Cluster feeding then swaddling the bejesus out of the boy seemed to do the trick, because wild arms were the thing keeping him awake, but every baby is different. Also maybe he sensed I’m much more fun if I’ve had solid rest?)
Later that night, I was reading blogs in bed (so many new babies!) and high-fived Joe for his part in getting through the first few harrowing months of parenting a newborn.
The self-congratulatory moment lasted about three hours, broken by piercing howls in the middle of the night. At first, I chalked Emmett’s fussiness up to the dreaded four month sleep regression I had read about. I changed a diaper and did the swaying soothe-back-to-sleep dance, only to have E wake again with even more intense screams. It was 3 a.m.. Joe and I flailed around, taking his temperature (no fever) and redialing the nurse hotline. As Miss Clavel would say: something was not right!