Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Not quite easy, but something like it

So, in my previous post I may have used some phrases like "quite easy" and "went wonderfully." I have been thinking about my wording and realized that the real experience might not have been accurately expressed. It's just that compared to my worries, and compared to daily life with a baby, it wasn't bad.

Everything in life is relative, and life with a baby changes constantly because your baby is constantly changing. When sweet pea was maybe 6-8 weeks old, and slept for 6 hours straight for the first time in her life, that seemed like the easiest night ever! Then she slept for 8 hours, then 10 at around 4 months, and I was like "hey this parenting thing is a breeze! We're sleeping!" Then she started waking up at night again, and even though I am getting more total sleep than during the 6 hours straight time, it feels a little harder.

To be honest and fair, here are some of the hard times that we had on our trip:

  • On the drive back from a day of sightseeing, with about an hour left to go in the car, sweet pea started fussing. I was sitting next to her in the back seat, and started making noises to entertain her. She was happy as long as I was excitedly interacting with her. So, for the next 30 minutes or so, I played peek-a-boo, made fart noises, tickled toes, and shook my head around in ever-increasing intensity until I was loopy and tired. Every time I stopped for an instant, she would make a fussy, unhappy noise. I thought, maybe she's tired and I'm just keeping her awake with all this playing, and she'll fall asleep if I sing or whisper to her instead. Wrong. We had to stop the car and get her out twice because the crying got so bad. She was happy out of the car, crying once back in her car seat. Ouch.

  • The first night she woke up crying and I picked her up in total darkness, and (I think) tried to latch her on to nurse with her head and body facing away from me. She just screamed. I set her back down and turned the light on and it took maybe an hour of myself and Average comforting her before she fell back asleep. The room was darker than our bedroom at home, and she'd had a long day of traveling, and then I picked her up weird, are my theories about why.

  • Then of course there was the crying jag on the airplane home.

As someone who is used to life with a baby, with occasional crying part of normal existence, these didn't really stand out to me until I stepped back and tried to view the trip with a more objective, not-a-parent-to-an-infant viewpoint.

I had had fears that the flight over would be one non-stop scream-fest, that sweet pea wouldn't be happy letting my relatives hold her, that she would wake up every hour at night, that we would get poop on my relatives' furniture, that we would be dropping things while running through the airport late for our flight and forget/lose some important baby care items, that I would get asked to leave the plane for breastfeeding in public (I read about this happening to someone!), or that basically it would be stressful and uncomfortable to be toting a baby along on a cross-country trip and to a family reunion and tourist attractions. None of these fears came true, and life seemed about as easy as normal, but maybe even easier because there were more people to hold and play with her. So, like I said, everything is relative. I hope this clarifies what I meant by "quite easy." Flying with a baby was harder than flying without a baby, but not any harder than the rest of my life with a baby.

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