Fuss-o-Tron 5000

My tranquil baby boy has shown a new side: Fuss-o-Tron 5000.

All mothers know about Fuss-o-Tron. It’s the monster that reveals itself when nothing will satisfy baby. He’s fed (probably overfed with his insane appetite – have I mentioned he’s more than 12 pounds and only six weeks old?!), dry, warm, and cuddled. And he still does nothing but whimper and moan and cry. Then there are the times that I know he’s hungry, but refuses to latch on my boob and wails about it.

During these episodes, I feel like the worst mother that ever lived. How is it possible that NOTHING I do works?! Doesn’t Charlie know that I’m trying as hard as I can?! How terrible am I at breastfeeding that my baby rejects me?!

The other night, he fussed for four hours straight. FOUR HOURS, PEOPLE. That’s half a workday! Charles and I tried everything to calm him down, and every hour that ticked felt like a giant weight crushing our frustrated skulls. When he finally calmed down and fell asleep, Charles and I clutched each other in celebration and exhaustion. I felt like we had made it through some kind of Incredible Challenge.

Charlie had another Fuss-o-Tron 5000 episode today during which he was awake for eight hours. Even non-parents know that seems impossible for an infant.

Today was a rough day to begin with emotionally because of lame-ass PPD issues that I’m still dealing with, so I was feeling particularly vulnerable and dejected. On top of that, I was hosting a lunch party/playdate with a few friends, their babies, and my mama. Insane, I know.

Of course, he was inconsolable for two hours before they arrived. Yet, as soon as someone else got a hold of him, he completely calmed down. W. T. F. Way to make me feel like an ineffective failure of a mom! The calmness was short-lived, however. In about an hour Fuss-o-Tron resurfaced like woah. He finally fell asleep and has been conked out for a few blissful hours.

Logically, I know that I’m not to blame, that Charlie is not to blame. I’m a new mom; he’s a new baby. We all have bad days. And we always get through it. But when I’m in the throes of it, when several hours have gone by and nothing is working, I want to throw up my hands and go cry in a corner.

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4 Responses to Fuss-o-Tron 5000

  1. Matt FitzGerald says:

    Days like this suck.

    Two things to try: Find your local La Leche League and go to the meetings. Its a good way to keep your head in the right place for all this parenting stuff.

    Second, remember that sometimes he needs someone other than mom to calm him. At this early stage especially he associates you (your smell, your sound, etc.) with certain things. Mostly milk. So sometimes when you try to console him or get him down for a nap, your presence will only rev him up (think about trying to take a nap in a bakery or a great restaurant, you’ll be too distracted to actually sleep).

    Finally (I know I said two, deal with it), try not to be upset when he calms down when you pass him off. Just be happy to have a calm baby. You’ll learn over time that he’ll go back and forth with who can console him. (Trust me, it gets worse, Lucy is starting the “favorite parent” thing and it is wearing on Emily. (She’ll be the first to tell you that being the favorite parent is rougher than you’d think.)

    • Anna says:

      I’m sorry – the imagery of taking a nap in a bakery was too much… I want to go do that right now. Think of the wonderful dreams you would have!

  2. Jessica says:

    Those are great suggestions. I never really thought that he might rev up when he smells/hears me. Makes sense though.

  3. Pingback: Woah Sleep | Hour 23

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