Mommy Wants Vodka

…Or A Mail-Order Bride

The Aftermath


My daughter is teething, I think, but I’m not quite sure. I mean, I THINK she is, but I would have sworn on a stack of Bibles that Alex was, too. Turns out that, no, Alex was merely unpleasant, and popped his teeth after his first birthday without pomp or circumstance. He went from zero to Jaws-like in the matter of a couple of days.

Ben, like Alex, was so full of The Screaming that it was impossible to ascertain if he was teething, or just displeased by being born (the NERVE!). He too, just popped out a set of chompers in a few days, looking not only like he was wearing a toupee, but also had a set of dentures.

For the last couple of weeks, though, my daughter has been damn near impossible to handle. I find myself on edge almost constantly, because the slightest rustling of the wind through my orchids, or the air conditioner clicking on will catapult her from sleep to wake. Once she’s awake, there’s almost no getting her back down until her next scheduled nap time.

With two other children, two dogs, two cats, and a husband who is not home, I’m sort of at my wit’s end (one may argue that I never had wits about me anyway, an accusation that is neither here nor there.).

The phone dares to ring and I verbally rip the face off whomever is unfortunate enough to call.

The neighbor comes by to see if I need my lawn mowed, and I cry, because the commotion woke Amelia up, and I cannot fathom another swaddle, bounce, pat, binkie, bottle, binkie, thrashing, sweaty, restraining I-love-you-baby-but-fucking-go-to-sleep session.

Alex operates on top volume whenever he is awake and my dogs like nothing more than to bark at innocent caterpillars that crawl in our front yard, and I. am. spent. Exhausted.

Sometimes, I cry into Amelia’s head, her tears mingling with mine, as we’re both incredibly frustrated by the situation: she cannot settle and there is nothing either of us can do about it. Other times, I just grind my teeth, giving me such migraines that if I had the luxury, I’d be incapacitated, in bed with my eyes closed.

We’re stuck here in this holding pattern.

This, I think, this is the real ass-kicker about having had a child whose life was, at one time, in flux: how can you possibly be upset with someone who you worried so very much about losing? I imagine this happens to many parents-of-children-who-survive-a-massive-trauma.

Life isn’t fair, you know this as you weep over your child in the NICU, the monitors alarming, the staff flitting from one emergency to another, because if it were, no children would be sick. Ever.

And somehow, after all that anxious uncertainty, all that worrying, teeth-gnashing and terror, your child was the one who made it out alive. His neighbor in the hospital may not have been so lucky and you know it. You’re blessed to even have this child. It’s like chewing on a piece of aluminum wrapped candy: sweet and shockingly painful at times.

Because you’re human, too.

I know how lucky I am that Amelia made it and is normal. I know that most children with her diagnosis don’t come home alive and breathing. I’ve watched my friends mourn their lost children and cried with them. Because the world–it is most certainly not fair.

But she–my daughter–she is a child, a human child. And if I know anything about children, it’s that they can make you so crazy that you’re nearly sane again. I’ve been through two of the toughest children already, the sort who screamed, and cried, and nearly (in the case of Alex) drove me to the brink, and I know that this is what kids do.

She’s not like other kids, and yet she is, and it’s this that is making my head spin.

I feel guilt, such massive crushing guilt, whenever I am at the end of my rope, like today. Today she slept for maybe an hour total, which is far, far less than she needs. And yet there was nothing, not one single ever-loving thing that I could do about it.

There’s that niggling part of me in there, too, the part that wonders if maybe her head is hurting her. I mean, she was born with a malformed skull, she has an implant in her head to correct it, and her head is growing. I know this because her scar is stretching, nearly taking up most of the back of her head now.

Or maybe it’s a new symptom of something more sinister. No one was able to tell us much of anything about her diagnosis besides it’s name (encephalocele) and what it was (neural tube defect). We’re not-so-casually waiting to see what happens next because no one knows precisely how this will affect her.

She could be normal, she could be profoundly retarded, or somewhere in the middle. Her issues with sleeping deeply may resolve themselves in a couple of years, like Alex’s did, or maybe she’ll be a Lifetime Member of The Unisom Club like I am.

On days like today, when I worry that the nape of her neck is becoming disproportionally large by comparison, and that the top of her head has begun to point in a cone, I can’t seem to talk myself out of it. Telling someone who is genuinely afraid of something–logical or no–to not worry is like asking them to hold their breath for a year. Or a week.


I don’t sit around all day, every day crippled by grief and worry, and I try to live in the moment and not the might-be’s or the may-have-been’s because I know that they go nowhere.

And yet, this is who I am now, someone who hyperventilates in hospital parking lots and worries that every little stupid thing is the mark of something more sinister.

So I wait, and I watch, and I worry and I hope that some day we will all look back on these days and laugh.

And I hope.

I hope.

101 Comments to

“The Aftermath”

  1. On August 27th, 2009 at 10:25 am Merritt Says:

    While it’s not quite the same, I do know what you mean about the struggle with guilt. During my horrific pregnancy as well as while my born-too early twins were in the NICU, I cried, prayed, paced and swore I’d do anything if they’d be ok. They were, but it was so, so hard. I was a single mom at the time, and they just cried, and cried, and cried. Sometimes I felt like I was paying some kind of pennance for my sins. They cried, and I cried right along with them. Why couldn’t they just be quiet, just for 2 minutes!? The frustration and desperation is still so fresh in my mind, still so palpable. I always felt guilty for asking, “what did I do to deserve this?” when it was me who had begged and pleaded that they’d be ok, that they’d be normal. I won’t lie, it was the hardest, most gut-wrenching few months of my life. But it did get better. We’re only human, and even super moms have days when we’ve had all we can stand and then just get more shit piled on. Your guilt is normal…and hell, if it isn’t normal, at least in you’re in good company, if I do say so myself.

    I’m in excellent AND SEXY company. It’s amazing and kind of sick how much we expect of ourselves.

  2. On August 27th, 2009 at 10:10 am MK Says:

    Just have a drink. Or a vicodin. (insert sarcasm if needed)

    Why have OR when you can have AND?

  3. On August 27th, 2009 at 11:16 am SciFi Dad Says:

    I wrote about teething today as well… what’s that they say about great minds?

    My son doesn’t have Amelia’s history, so it isn’t fair to compare, but I still worry about highly improbable stuff too, like if he doesn’t wake up crying for milk within 3 hours of going to sleep I have to check in and see if he’s still breathing.

    Hang in there.


  4. On August 27th, 2009 at 11:18 am Kate Says:

    As the mom of many kids with neural tube defects (4), I vote for an MRI to calm your fears. Make sure she doesn’t have a chiari, make sure her ventricles look good, make sure everything on the inside is developing just fine & dandy, which will reassure you to a huge degree and allow you a measure of peace.

    Will you ever stop worrying that inconsolable crying could indicate head pain? Nope, not until Amelia is old enough to articulate what is hurting her. Same with watching for other symptoms. Don’t beat yourself up for doing it ~ I know you don’t spend every moment of every day stressing about it, but I also know (from experience) that once you notice something “different”, you keep an eye on it to see if it gets better, worse or doesn’t change. That’s just life & it’s easier to accept that it’s gonna happen than try to fight it.

    I also vote for drugging the wee babe with Tylenol/Motrin during the day and Benedryl at night. If she’s in pain, the meds will help, and the Benedryl will help her to sleep. A baby who isn’t sleeping gets into a vicious pattern of being OVERtired and therefore unable to stay asleep, which then makes them more tired and more cranky and on & on & on. Something has to be done to break the pattern. With my youngest, who admittedly had lots going on, medically-speaking, his doctor was the one who prescribed meds to try to help get him to sleep. The truth is, once they start sleeping better, everything else falls into place a bit easier. Sleep-deprivation is a huge mess for everyone (as you already know), so do what you have to do to get some sleep for you & Amelia.

    As for the guilt you feel, I think you have to give yourself permission to treat Amelia as a regular kid, which includes allowing yourself to get irritated with her without feeling guilty. ALL kids annoy the snot out of their parents from time to time. Even extremely ill children. That doesn’t mean you don’t love them or recognize that it’s a gift that they’re alive. They’re human, which means they’re going to chafe others at times. You’re human, which means you’re going to respond to being chafed with irritation and frustration. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent. Give yourself permission to stop feeling guilty. It’s unproductive (as I am sure you already know). ((((hugs))))

    I needed to hear this. Thank you. Also? Benedryl is awesome. Isn’t she too young for it, though?

  5. On August 27th, 2009 at 10:19 am Kerrie Says:

    It’s times like this – that maybe you and I should not sit down and talk – because I’m a worrier as well….Afraid you and I would freak the hell out of each other and lock all the children in the attic and never let them out again.

    Wait, you’re NOT supposed to lock them in the attic? SHIT. I better let mine out.

  6. On August 27th, 2009 at 10:27 am Pagan Says:

    As a parent of a premie who dodged more bullets than she deserved…

    Everything is gonna be okay. *pat, pat*

    Until then…I’m all for vodka and vicodin!

    Pass it my way!

  7. On August 27th, 2009 at 10:27 am sky Says:

    Certainly I have had similar feelings. I loooooonged for a baby. Cried and grieved over my seemingly inability to have one. Now I’ve got 2 and whenever I feel resentful or have misgivings, it comes along with guilt. Thank You Infertility!!

    How old is Amelia exactly? I’m going through sleep issues with Jboy as well. The nights are sucking huge.

    Mimi is 7 months old now. Maybe she and JBoy are having some midnight fun together. Ooooh. That sounded naughtier than I meant it to.

    And I can only imagine how infertility would make parenthood hard. I’m sorry, for what it’s worth.

  8. On August 27th, 2009 at 10:28 am melanie Kerton Says:

    hugs to you….. when something is wrong with your baby, i feel like we just sort of survive the first year especially. I have said it before, my situation was /is minor by comparison, but the fear, the lack of sleep, the tendency for anxiety on a good day (at least in my situation) all mingled together to make those first months a darker time than they ever should have been.

    I am voting that its teething… because my girl has given me a run for my money with teeth, my son hardly ever noticed when he got a tooth…but Allie well, girlfriend lets me know!

    You’re spot on. The first year is all about surviving.

  9. On August 27th, 2009 at 11:31 am Lucy Cooper Says:

    Wow- I was already to chime in and cluck on with the “me, too” on the teething and the inability of baby to nap due to the dumb-ass dog barking, or my son’s need to slam the door when he’s finished in the bathroom. But the NICU experience, wow. I’m amazed.

    And to a point, I can understand the guilt. After my first two pregnancies ended in miscarriage, I swore I’d do anything, God, just give me a baby. Fast forward to me screaming into my hands when he was four months old out of sheer sleep deprivation and frustration,scaring the shit out of both of us. Then, same kid did not talk(at all) til age two and a half, and I had myself convinced he was autistic. I prayed for him to talk, daily, until the magical week when he went from silence to sentences. Now I pray for just a break, Lord, just a five minute break from all the words streaming non-stop from his beloved little piehole.
    You have survived a huge ordeal Aunt Becky, and I wish it were easier. You know all your friends here in your hard drive love you and send all kinds of keystroke lovin’ your way, every day.

    Thank you. Just. Thank you.

  10. On August 27th, 2009 at 11:33 am Anjali Says:

    I so, so get you.

    The Baby cried from 11 months to 15 months straight. During that time I was so damn frustrated, and tried to remind myself that I could have miscarried this baby, too.

    But the truth is, exhaustion is a good enough reason to lose it. No matter how lucky we are to have them to begin with.


    Thank you.

  11. On August 27th, 2009 at 11:34 am Lucy Cooper Says:

    Oh, almost forgot, I know this probably was not what you’re after, but we went to Sears and got the whooshing-est air purifier we could find. It’s in the hallway, right outside his door. It really does make some great white noise, and helps with all the nasty seasonal allergies our whole family suffers from.

    She loves white noise, too! Also? Helter Skelter. We listen to that when she’s not sleeping and sometimes it gets her to stop for a second.

  12. On August 27th, 2009 at 10:46 am MK Says:

    So – re: the Surviving the first year – any time I’m invited to a One Year Old’s birthday party – I get something lil for the child, but a major gift for the parents! Like wine (if they drink) or a gift cert to for a dinner out. It’s damn hard that first year and also a good thing we have selective memories at times…

    I am totally doing this from now on. Thanks, yo. Awesome idea.

  13. On August 27th, 2009 at 11:47 am Badass Geek Says:

    Speaking of crying babies, my niece is downstairs and is screaming like a banshee.

    It’s charming.

    It’s always good birth control, isn’t it?

  14. On August 27th, 2009 at 10:48 am Pagan Says:

    Kinda makes me glad I stopped at one…

    The guilt is KILLER.

    Much respect for parents of more than one kid!

    I think those of us with a bunch of kids are gluttons for punishment.

  15. On August 27th, 2009 at 10:52 am Daniel Says:

    lady, i should send you a bottle of valium.


  16. On August 27th, 2009 at 11:01 am DG at Diaryofamadbathroom Says:

    Guilt! I hate guilt. Even in our calmest and most rational moments, all parents succumb to it. I think it’s installed at conception, like a piece of software. And DAMNED if we can’t move it to the trash bin.

    Hang in there, the sleep stuff will probably resolve when you least expect it and before you know it, you’ll be wrestling with the fact that she wants booty shorts like all the other girls in the 7th grade. It never gets easy, it just gets different.

    Guilt is such a pointless emotion.

  17. On August 27th, 2009 at 11:03 am C @ Kid Things Says:

    All mothers have a sense of guilt. When their child cries for no apparent reason and all you want them to do is just be quiet, for the love of God. 2 seconds later, you’re slapping yourself for being so cold to their needs. It’s just a reality of motherhood, and sleep deprivation.

  18. On August 27th, 2009 at 11:06 am Nel Says:

    Oh man, that just broke my heart. I am so sorry you are going through this. You will get through it though. In a year, you will look back at this and only remember the good times. Try to be patient! And have a glass of wine on me. Blogger’s orders.

    Thank you.

  19. On August 27th, 2009 at 11:08 am Ashley Says:

    If it makes you feel any better, I vehemently championed both yourself and Stef on the Pursuit of Harpyness. 🙂 I’ll email it to you in case they moderate it out.

    Those people are nuts. Most self-indulgent tripe I’ve read in years. Seriously.

  20. On August 27th, 2009 at 11:09 am Inna Says:

    I’m sending you many hugs and some vodka.

  21. On August 27th, 2009 at 11:14 am Bluebird Says:

    Sucks, Aunt Becky. Sounds absolutely miserable.

    Hoping you all wake up one morning and realize it was all just a bad dream.

    Me too. Me too.

  22. On August 27th, 2009 at 11:14 am amy d Says:

    Don’t feel guilty about feeling frustrated and at your wit’s end with Amelia because of her health issues. Don’t feel guilty…not about this. You would not be human if you didn’t feel overwhelmed nearly 200 times a day with all that you have going on.

    I so wish I lived near you so I could watch the adorable Alex and insomniac Mimi for a few hours for you. Because I TOTALLY would. Everyone has a breaking point and needs to regroup now and then.

    Hoping those “what if” thoughts are not consuming you. I can’t fathom how difficult that must be. Hang in there, love.

    I wish that you lived closer so that we could hang!

  23. On August 27th, 2009 at 11:22 am Cathy Says:

    I had the “I worked so hard for these kids, and look! this one is not well! I can’t let him cry, what if he’s in pain!” guilt. I had it for so long that until 9 months of age I held BOTH children for EVERY nap and spent 3/4 of my nights on the couch with one, the other, or both.

    2 weeks after brain surgery? I couldn’t do it anymore. I had to SLEEP in a bad bad way. We put them both in their cribs, shut the door, walked away, and hid from the screaming that ensued. Every nap. Every bed. Until the screaming, one day, stopped. And now? Generally speaking they can sleep through ANYTHING – cars, dogs, toilets flushing, feeding pumps alarming.

    Now we’re in the thick of CIO again (5th time, 20 months old) because Daniel is flipped the hell out by this new tube set up and has abandonment fears because every waking hour one of us is no more than 2 feet away. And we question .. does he needs us? Does he hurt? Is this ok to do?

    And I don’t have all the answers, but I do know that we all slept through the night last night. And he still loves me today.

    Crying it out sucks a fat one, but I’m so happy you got to sleep through the night. YOU need it.

    (Oh and also? I have a friend that swears by a vibrating music playing sound/motion activated crib soother – baby stirs, it starts vibrating like crazy to soothe back to sleep. Worth .. a .. try? I think they sell it at Target and Walmart and such places.)

  24. On August 27th, 2009 at 11:22 am Sam Says:

    To add to the comments of parents suggesting pharmaceutical help – let me add that I think ‘experimenting’ in high school is wasted time. No kids, no crushing credit card debt, no asshole spouses…..shiiiiiit, what are you doing drugs FOR then kiddies? Hand ’em over to people who NEED them!
    (said with only a minor amount of kidding.)

    I will hope for your girly right along with you. One kid with severe colic, one surprise baby with my (bad asthmatic) lungs, and I know about fear, hope, anger and guilt swirling around in the old noggin’ when you are low on reserves, sleep and anything else.

    Keep your chin up! If you need me, I’ll be looking for my blender and my rum, and not necessarily in that order…

    ooooh! blended rum. oooh!

  25. On August 27th, 2009 at 11:23 am Kori Says:

    I wish I had anything at all meaningful to say. I could tell you that my Sam was born two months early and I, too prayed so much for him to be okay and normal and he is, but sometimes he sucks the air right out of the room and I feel like I will pop his head like a zit if he uses that screechy voice one more fucking time, and then a day later he is wheezing and his lips are blue because he has this huge problem with asthma and kids DIE from asthma and I realize how fucking lucky I am-but you don’t need to hear that because everyone here has their story too…

    So I will just say to stay away from WebMD/Dr. Google while you are feeling like this and try to keep breathing. See, told you, I got nothing.

    No, I DO need to hear it. It helps. Thank you.

  26. On August 27th, 2009 at 12:27 pm Erin Says:

    I read “popped out a set of chompers” as “pooped out a set of chompers” and wondered how he had managed to swallow someone’s dentures.

    That aside…

    Actually, there’s not much aside other than hopes for sleep for Amelia and some downtime for you to enjoy the drink and vicodin.

    I read it that way last night when I was editing this! Bwahahaha! Great minds and all that.

  27. On August 27th, 2009 at 12:37 pm Notesfromthegrove Says:

    I would love nothing more than to just come over and help you. Help you with the boys, help you clean, cook you dinner, have a little happy hour cocktail, chat, and just be. I really wish I could do that.

    But for now, we’ll have to settle for love and cyber-hugs.

    Works for me!

  28. On August 27th, 2009 at 12:38 pm Meg Says:

    I’m sending you a hug. I have no advice, none of mine sleep well at all. And Velcro never lets me out of her sight for longer than 2 seconds without a complete meltdown. I haven’t slept without meds in…oh…about 6 years now, and I plan to continue that until they are all 30 and moved out then I shall move in to thier homes and do the same things they did to me. Wake them up at all hours of the night asking for annoying things (the boys), or screaming out in pain and fear multiple times so I loose count, (Leigha).

    If I knew what form Vicodin was in Canada i’d fedex it to you;) I don’t think we even have anything close to it:( But it should be a tonne of fun!!

    YES! MIMI IS STARTING THAT TOO! The moment I walk out of the room, it’s huge wails! Which, I mean, I’m awesome, but not THAT awesome.

  29. On August 27th, 2009 at 11:38 am Tina Says:

    Meh. Ju does the exact same thing and MoD did too around the same age. It’s all I can do most days not to kill her. If it’s not teeth, it’s developmental something, or shots, or a gnat farted outside. Ju naps maybe a total of an hour a day.

  30. On August 27th, 2009 at 11:42 am Alyssa Says:

    I’m a worrier, too. I can’t decide which is worse: being worried about something, then it comes true OR something bad happening and catching you totally off-guard.

    My vote is for the things that catch you off guard.

  31. On August 27th, 2009 at 12:44 pm Kristina Says:

    Oh Becky…I so wish I had some words for you that could help. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. Sending as many positive thoughts your way as I can.

    Thank you. Just. Thank you.

  32. On August 27th, 2009 at 11:48 am LaurenL Says:

    Here are the things I don’t know/have:
    *I don’t have kids.
    *I don’t have my sleep interrupted unless I agree to it or decide it to be so.
    *I have never spent day and night worrying about if my child was going to be ok and have never had to ‘wait and see’ how a child develops. I can’t even fathom.

    Here are the things I do know/have:
    *I have a dog. I know it doesn’t NEARLY compare in terms of worry level, but we did have one iffy night where I kept her on top of me to make sure she kept breathing. I’m sure I would need to magnify that by a million to even get close to how you feel worrying about Amelia.
    *It’s ok to cry. It took me a long time to learn that because my mother brought me up to be tough. Now I cry and it beats the hell out of a migraine.
    *It’s ok to laugh too. Even now, while you’re so tired and so worn out and so concerned and things are so uncertain. You say such funny things in your posts and you do a great job mixing the humor/levity into the sometimes terrifyingly serious. Let yourself laugh about what you can laugh about.
    *Guilt neither helps the situation or makes you feel better. It just sucks. See laughing comment above.
    *Did you hear about the scientist who genetically engineered a mix of a dog and a canteloupe? Everything was just fine, but the dog was always depressed. The scientist brought the dog to a pet psychiatrist who said he was very sorry, but the depression wasn’t going to go away. This animal was just always going to be (a) melon collie.

    Now THAT is a mighty fine joke!

  33. On August 27th, 2009 at 11:51 am Tori Says:


    It sounds like teething. Ho old is she?
    When my little one started teething she also developed colic.
    *sigh* She would only sleep on my stomach and would wake up screaming bloody murder then go back to sleep.
    I remember my mom coming to visit.
    I just sat there and bawled. Me & the baby. lol

    My mom strapped her in her car seat. Used bungee cords to secure the seat to washer. Gave her a frozen waffle and for 2 hrs kept the damn spin cycle going.


    It worked though. She calmed down and had her first restful nights sleep in over 3 days.

    My mom then looked at me and said that things might get overwhelming and out of control…but it will get better and you will survive.

    My baby is 8 now and a joy.

    Amelia is 7 months old, so she’s RIGHT in that teething bracket. Let’s hope this is just teething. And I laughed my ASS off at your mom’s solution. It’s BRILLIANT.

  34. On August 27th, 2009 at 11:52 am The Mommy Says:

    Physical AND emotional exhaution can wear anyone down – even someone who I believe to be superhuman – like you! It could be teething. It’s always POSSIBLE that it’s something more sinister. Hoping for the best is absolutely the bestest thing for you and your sweet Amelia.

    And I am all about the white noise. Baby Girl has been sleeping through A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G since I bought one. WOOT! I am actually using an older version for Little One now (although she still can’t sleep through the damn washing machine). I dread teething (and all of the other stuff that changes sleep patterns), too. Good luck.

    Having no spouse available this week isn’t helping matters. I know that after this project ends, things will improve a lot.

    We actually do have 2 box fans going–which create white noise–and they are necessary, but don’t help. She’s really restless.

  35. On August 27th, 2009 at 11:53 am Allie Says:

    Why must mom’s assume guilt? We are not really super heroes and we certainly didn’t ask for anything to be wrong with our children. We are only human and we get frustrated because hey parenting is hard work! We shouldn’t feel guilty when we have to put our children in the crib to scream and take a Mommy time out. But we do.
    So don’t. Don’t feel guilty. You are only human, not super human.
    (not that I always listen to my own advice or anything)

    You’re absolutely right: we need to give ourselves AND EACH OTHER a break. PERIOD.

  36. On August 27th, 2009 at 11:53 am a Says:

    I hope little Mimi can get some sleep soon. I’m not sure why you’d be surprised at reluctance to sleep, though – combine an insomniac and a Type A/workaholic and what do you think you’ll come up with? Some kind of docile, quiet child? Not so likely. Besides, she’ll more than make up for it when she’s a teenager. Do you think you can hold on to your sanity that long? Good luck. Oh, and don’t forget to share your vodka and vicodin with the children. Think of the children, for God’s sake!

    *wrings hands*

  37. On August 27th, 2009 at 11:53 am Amanda Says:

    I would say you are being silly, that Amelia will be *F*I*N*E* but as much as the head knows that the heart…well, the heart still worries.

    Might I suggest a nice mood stabilizer? Something in a ‘don’t make me fat’ category which, upon secondary reflection if it works then I guess you won’t really *care* if your fat because you will be fat…..and happy.

    Seriously though.
    I second that white noise cause it WORKS! Although I will warn you that, if you co sleep like I do you too will become dependent on it.


    Much like Diet Coke, I am addicted to my white noise.

  38. On August 27th, 2009 at 11:56 am Kristin Says:

    Oh hon, those were the days I would sweetly threaten in that singsongy voice that babies love that I was going to call 1-800-GypsiesRUs and pay someone to take the kids away.

    On a serious note, have you thought about getting her a white noise machine? It might help.

    Gypsies-r-Us! BRILLIANCE! I’ll remind Ben of this, the next time he’s snotty to me. Which will be the next time he opens his mouth.

  39. On August 27th, 2009 at 12:16 pm leanne Says:

    Hoping right along with you.

    I was also going to email you a variation on what Kate said. If you are concerned about Amelia’s neck, do consider taking her to the doctor. It may be nothing (and you know I hope it is nothing), but better to have an answer. And if the doc thinks you’re crazy or overprotective, so be it. A visit ot the doc may give you some of the peace of mind you need and deserve.

    Wishing there was more I could say or do…

    You do more than anyone else combined. Thank you.

  40. On August 27th, 2009 at 12:35 pm Tara Says:

    :hugs: I’m so sorry you are having a rough day, week, month. I hope it is just teething so it passes soon for both of you.

    Thank you. I hope the same.

  41. On August 27th, 2009 at 12:38 pm Kelly Says:

    When I was a child and had my first child (18) (gasp), my friend that also was young and had a child the same age as my Mack, would often ask me if it was too late for adoption when they were acting up. Just jokes, just jokes, but the other day when Mea was acting up, I was thinking of when Jen used to say this and we would laugh. Not quite as funny now, since Mea is adopted.

    It did make me smile, and remember that this too shall pass. (And it is too late for adoption.)

    It’s WAY too late for adoption now 😉

  42. On August 27th, 2009 at 12:38 pm Mrs Soup Says:

    That’s why it’s such a good thing they are cute.

    I’m hoping for good sleeping days to come and peace in your mind and heart.

    You know how to reach me for the crazy switch! <3


    It’s a REALLY good thing that they’re cute.

  43. On August 27th, 2009 at 12:44 pm Mwa Says:

    Hugs! Love!

    You probably have, but you should go and ask a medical professional about every single thing you’re worried about. Sometimes there’s something that you don’t think they can do, and they can. Also – I’m sure you’ve tried extra heavy special sleeping milk?

    Actually, all I got is Hugs! Love!

    I think if she’s still restless come next week, I’m going to call the doctor. Which is HUGE for me. I hate going to the doctor.

  44. On August 27th, 2009 at 12:49 pm I might be "MomofJake" but I'm my own person too! Says:

    After reading this, I just wanted to send you a hug, but then I read all the comments, and I realized there was nothing I could say that hadn’t already been said, more articulately, by your other readers. I love you, drugs, hugs, vodka, sleep, letting her cry in her bed while you relax downstairs, whatever, it’s been said.

    My son in 10 months old, and I’ve been through some of this guilt. I was lucky enough to find a group of 7 women in my neighborhood who have helped me (in person and online) get through the rough times. I could not have survived those terrible first 6 weeks without emailing a few going “What is this? What does it mean? Is this a rash?”. They’re not my *best* friends, but they’re my Mommy friends, and we do what we can to help each other out. And we go drinking every other Friday night.

    I was going to suggest a similar support network to you, until I rethought my comment and realized that you have that already. I mean, look here on this comment page! You have a wonderful support network of people who anxiously wait to hear from you EVERY DAY (You have your own tab in my Firefox!), and then comment with their own advice, support and love. And the simple fact that you make such an effort to reply to these comments shows that you take comfort from them, and you value our friendship. However Internet-ty it may be.

    You are so very lucky to be so popular and loved, Becky. We’re all rooting for you, and look forward to hearing all about your next Adventure in Parenting. Best of luck with the crying baby. It WILL get better (at least, that’s what Mom tells me…)

    🙂 Rachel

    I have the best support group I could ever want right here. Seriously.

  45. On August 27th, 2009 at 12:52 pm Rachel Montoya Says:

    What is that crazy paranoia that comes along with the first year of parenting? Checking if they are breathing, checking they’re pulse, suscpiciously eyeing every car within 10 feet as though it’s about to veer out of control and hit you, reading up on every weird possible rare disease that a slight fever may indicate. Are we high or something? I mean of course we aren’t (think of the children) we are simply parents and being freakishly worried about highly unlikely disasters I guess just goes with the territory.

    Of course considering wee Mimi’s medical history you have more license to worry. I would say take her to the pediatrician. Mine tends to talk me down and help convince me that a slight fever is not going to rapidly progress into ebola…. in fact it’s a good thing it’s building his immunity. thanks doc, now can i have a valium?

    There is nothing like that first year of parenting. Seriously. I look back on that (with the other two) and am shocked that we’re all still alive. I’m guessing this is how I will feel about Mimi, too.

  46. On August 27th, 2009 at 1:07 pm ZDub Says:

    I’m sorry, dude, I really am.

    I wish I lived next door to you so I could come over and well, I’m not sure. I can barely take care of my two kids, but I know where you are coming from, I do.

    My Zoe would only sleep if I was next to her. And would wake up if a doorbell rang three houses down. It made me crazy.

    Much hope for you. Hope, hope, hope.

    Without hope, we have nothing. And I wish you lived next door so that we could hang, with or without our crotch parasites.

  47. On August 27th, 2009 at 1:08 pm Krissa Says:

    Bless your heart. I will pray for you and your baby.

    Thank you. Thank you so much.

  48. On August 27th, 2009 at 1:27 pm mumma boo Says:

    Oh, Becks, I wish there was something I could do to help. You need a break, girl. (Could I have stated anything more obvious? Duh!)

    We tried the white noise, fans, etc., with Cenzo when he was driving us crazy with his baby insomnia fits and those things didn’t work. Out of sheer desperation one evening, (and because we were off the rails exhausted), we put on Van Halen instead of his lullabies. We figured if we were going to be up anyway, we might as well listen to something we liked. He was asleep in minutes. I’m thinking Mimi might just need to rock out to something harder to mask the rest of the noise in the house. Seriously, a thumping bass line or drum rhythm might distract her out of her crying fit enough to let her calm down and sleep.

    Good luck, babe. I’m hoping for ya, too!

    I think “Helter Skelter” will be making a comeback to the evenings.

  49. On August 27th, 2009 at 2:38 pm heather Says:

    I will be willing to fly to Chi-town and lay the smack on the grands in this case (as the grandmothers of your children sound horrifically like the grandmothers of my children, a beating is surely necessary to ensure they step up). Someone needs to come to your place, tell you to haul your buns out of there, and take care of business so you can breathe. I get in a frenzy when my husband works that one late night; you deserve a lifetime membership in the Vodka/Vicodin of the Month Club (and if you’re offered a complimentary membership for a friend – hello? I’m just saying.)

    I would SO pay to join the Vicodin of the Month Club!

  50. On August 27th, 2009 at 2:00 pm Suzy Voices Says:

    God, motherhood is so awesome and so fucking terrible too. The guilt, the anxiety, the what-ifs. I’m not gonna tell you not to worry, because worrying is what we do best. My worry and anxiety got so bad that I got some medicine for it. I’m much better now.

    But my kids are at a relatively manageable age now, 12 and 7. That baby shit is just HARD.

    Love you!!!

    The first year is a write off. Easier remembered later on, but true.

  51. On August 27th, 2009 at 2:26 pm Coco Says:

    Oh, Becks.

    Don’t you feel one single second of guilt at how you feel. You are an amazing mother, and Amelia is a normal, human baby – sometimes she can drive you up the bloody wall, regardless of the giant eyes and the longest lashes ever and the gummy smiles and those munchy cheeks. She’s a kid. She’s going to drive you nuts sometimes. It’s her job, and regardless of the early terror and the unbearable NICU and gratitude that you feel that she not only survived but had thrived…there’s not a damn thing wrong with wishing you had a weekend at a spa.

    All by yourself, with only Dom Perignon and Paolo the cabana boy to talk to.

    Also, I wish like hell I was close by so I could give you the nap, at least, if not the cabana boy.


    Coco, I’ve been petitioning you to move her for ages. PLEASE move here.

  52. On August 27th, 2009 at 2:28 pm birdpress Says:

    Scary shit. I can’t imagine how stressed you must get. 🙁

    I just love you.

  53. On August 27th, 2009 at 2:31 pm Manda Says:

    Oh man.

    What is it with everyone and the horror stories lately??

    My girlfriends are all on this kick of telling me about the awful things their children do. And when I turn to you, Aunt Becky, for a giggle, what do you have for me?? Horror stories!!!

    You’re freaking me out, people!

    I’m kidding. Well, sort of. Bottom line; if I were there, I’d babysit your screaming kid for a few hours so you could go somewhere else. Hang in.

    This is where having a single baby helps. You’re not juggling the needs of the other ones.

  54. On August 27th, 2009 at 2:41 pm Vinomom Says:

    You really do need a good support network! I haven’t been reading you long but I hope you have good friends and maybe some family (?) to help you out sometimes.

    Guilt comes with the territory of parenting. My daughter was just telling me a story and she slipped in “what the hell” like regular as breathing, and I just thought I failed I failed I failed, my trucker mouth has finally caught up with me. Then I asked her if she ever said the F Word. And she admitted she did. And I made her pinky swear not to say the F word anymore.

    If that doesn’t make you feel like a better parent, I don’t know what will!!

    Ha! Loves it.

  55. On August 27th, 2009 at 2:52 pm Kelly Says:

    Oh, Aunt Becky! You’re such a good momma, and after all you’ve been through, it’s obviously hard! Do you have help so you don’t have to go through that alone during the day? What about those people that annoyingly call and wake up Amelia, tell them to just “drop by” instead of call, and sucker ’em into lending a helping hand, haha! Gosh darnit, I live in The Windy City, I’ll even help!

    Come on out! My mom does come and help me in the mornings, so I sort of have some time then.

  56. On August 27th, 2009 at 4:01 pm Ms. Moon Says:

    I’m sure someone else has suggested this but take her to the pediatrician to see if she’s got a low-grade ear infection or something and ASK about your worries. It’s probably absolutely nothing. One of my kids was so sensitive to pain that EVERY little twinge of anything drove her insane.

    This is exactly what I’m going to do.

  57. On August 27th, 2009 at 3:50 pm Sherry Says:

    As the mother of two adult children, let me raise my hands to the heavens and shout a big ol’ thank you to all dieties who aren’t annoyed with me today. My son was a darling. I can’t emphasize that enough. I had two miscarriages before he was born and another after. Then along came my daughter. Oh, she was a cutie and in the beginning she was every bit as sweet and quiet as her brother until one morning for some reason known only to her and invisible baby fairies she woke up screaming like a banshee. She was three months old. She screamed solidly until she was 9 months old. It got to the point that I would put her in her crib while my son (2 1/2 yrs) and I would go outside to sit. The screaming had us both so upset we’d look at each other and burst into tears. I swear, if I hadn’t been breastfeeding I can’t honestly say I’d ever have held her. I worried and fretted and took her to the doctor who ran tests and told me he couldn’t find a thing wrong with her. Every couple of weeks I’d take her back to the doctor and he’d tell me the same thing. He was a kind, gentle man and the day I broke down into tears and told him I didn’t know how much longer I could take the screaming he wrote a prescription for phenobarbitol. He told me the dosage and said I could give it every other day. He put his arm around me and said that no matter how much I wanted to give her I was to follow his instructions to the letter. I did. Every other day my daughter slept for four hours exactly. My son and I would cuddle up in the rocking chair and sit in absolute silence until she woke up and the chaos started again. And then one day it stopped. I remember that day like it was yesterday and it was nearly three decades ago. My son and I would creep to the door and look in while my daughter laughed and played in her crib. I even called my husband at work and said “She’s not crying. No, really… I swear to God she’s quiet as a mouse… Do you think I should call the doctor???” As quickly as it started it was over. I now babysit my great neices, 3 and 1. The youngest is a screecher. You’d think after 30 years I’d have forgotten how that sound can wrench your guts into tiny bulging knots but NOOOOOO!!!!! The least that could happen to someone of my generation is a drug flashback but my ass gets slapped with recurring baby screeches. I’m all about the ‘alone time’… mine and hers… and if things get too rowdy, Benadryl. I’m a firm believer it’s better than going off your rocker.

    I laugh because I remember when that same switch flicked on with both Ben and Alex. Like….wait…you don’t….hate life? Wait, but you ALWAYS scream? What’s going ON now? Too funny.

  58. On August 27th, 2009 at 4:01 pm Emma Says:

    I’m newish on here and have been Reading some of your older posts and there was one you wrote about all the guilt you felt with ben as a baby (and people who didn’t help your feelings) and how later you knew you weren’t responsible. You can’t stop what children throw at you and you sure as fuck can stop the way it makes you feel. Don’t feel guilty if sometimes when she’s been screaming nonestop for twenty minutes you want to feed her to the dog-feel guilty if you actually do it.
    Yes, with a baby in amelias situation you were lucky, but with all healthy babies that are born each day you were unlucky… Whatim trying to say I think is she had a tough begining, but for now she’s a normal baby who is doing normal (see how far I can push mummy til she cracks) things. I could go on and give you some shite about how evil my children are but I’m guessing that’s not what you need.
    Take care of yourself, really, it’s important

    Thank you. I needed the laugh at the visual of feeding her to my dog. I think she’s too cranky for even them to be interested.

  59. On August 27th, 2009 at 4:02 pm Emma Says:

    Fuck, long arse post again-sorry!

  60. On August 27th, 2009 at 4:03 pm rebekah Says:

    Babe, it’s le pooh. And it may be all stink no flush for a while yet. Do you like your pediatric neurologist at all?? Enough to get a rational list of “this should freak you out, but don’t worry about THIS so much”?

    Does such a thing exist for encephalocele? Because this is the crazy-making horrors of horrible: Is she suffering? Or just a normal baby practicing normal baby non-stop-screaming-torture on her family? Gas? Or emergency?

    Seriously. Le Pooh.

    Love and a hope for sanity, that’s all I’ve got for you.

    And that is all that I needed. Thank you.

  61. On August 27th, 2009 at 4:24 pm Becca Says:

    I would say I know what you are going through, but obviously with Mimi’s special situation I don’t. But, what I can say is that at 5 and 14 (the ages of my youngest and oldest) I still freak way-on-out every time they get sick and/or their asthma starts acting up.

    Chris and I have both been through the terror of asthma for years now, and while it is definitely not the same, I would have to say it is scary as hell. As my mama would say you never stop worrying, you just worry about different things.

    ((hugs)), you are in my thoughts!

    Asthma is completely freaky, dude. I would be worrying terribly too. I’m sorry you have to deal with it.

  62. On August 27th, 2009 at 5:38 pm Sarah Lindahl Says:

    “You’re blessed to even have this child. It’s like chewing on a piece of aluminum wrapped candy: sweet and shockingly painful at times.”

    Perfect sentiment for what having sick children is like. Perfect! Your writing is beautiful even when you’re at your wit’s end and exhausted.

    When is the last time you went to the doc? I went crazy after my daughter was born a preemie. I mean literally crazy. It was post partum that was made worse by worry and exhaustion. I went on Prozac and in a couple weeks I felt so much better and I think I was a better mother too. I could handle things and prioritize things better. Not that you aren’t handling things well, because believe me Sister, you are, but you have a lot on your mommy plate right now and have to take care of yourself too!

    I wish so much that I could come over and watch your kids for four hours (in a row) so you could take a nap. I haven’t patted and rocked and binked a baby in a long time so I’d be a fresh reserve! It gets easier and easier the older they get. This is the hardest part. Keep your head above water!

    Okay okay, my encouragement is starting to delve off into cliches. I better sign off.

    Walk it off!

    (Oo, sorry, one more slipped in.)

    Bwahahahaha! I love you! When life gives you lemons, throw them at the nearest target! We should delve into the greeting card business immediately.

  63. On August 27th, 2009 at 5:43 pm Kelly Says:

    My 8 month old recently went through a month long event of the no sleep shit. Every small sound would wake him up during his “naps”. He would wake up once an hour at night (just enough time for me to get back to sleep). This went on for his ENTIRE 7th month. Then he cut 2 teeth and now all is right with world.If you’re really worried, though maybe you could make an appt with her doc. Good luck I know it’s trying.

    SO glad that your son is back to normal. This gives me some shreds of hope to cling to.

  64. On August 27th, 2009 at 4:47 pm Totally deranged Says:

    Aunt Beccy, can I say thank you for posting this? First and foremost my heart goes out to you massively, and I totally understand every millimetre of your worry over Amelia. I have been through medical hell so many times, and I worry too it’s natural. Sorry, I am scattered today. I opened up and said what I really felt about some of my past medical hell to my doc the other day, and I have been kicking myself ever since thinking I said to much, or it could have been offensive. You’ve just given me a massive reality check that what I said was OK to say. It was the truth, and never be ashamed of that.

    Sending you hugs, much love and many good thoughts. I wish I could do more for you.

    Your comment has done wonders for me. Thank you. And never, EVER feel badly about speaking your mind. It’s your truth.

  65. On August 27th, 2009 at 4:52 pm Wishing4One Says:

    So sorry this is a crazy time for you. But i bet blogging about it already made it better? Hope so love. xoxoxoxox

  66. On August 27th, 2009 at 4:54 pm Sara Says:

    I have to agree that maybe taking her to have a “once over” is a good idea. It could be something little causing poor Mimi to freak the fuck out. Which in turn may cause YOU to freak the fuck out.

    Maybe it is a growing pain, and the docs can figure out how to deal with that as well.

    Tell the Daver you have to come visit me to save your sanity. We can make fun of the locals and eat all the schnitzel we want! Best therapy in the world!

    I have yet to have schnitzel, but I believe it involves encased meats. Which, SIGN ME UP.

  67. On August 27th, 2009 at 4:58 pm baseballmom Says:

    Dude, you are sooooo right on. I worry constantly that T is going to start having seizures again, and that I am a shitty mom for just COUNTING THE DAYS until school starts, and how I should be grateful for his being normal for the last four years, but GOD. The teenager attitude, coupled with the eight year old fighting with him is KILLING ME and making me want an ativan s’more or something…


  68. On August 27th, 2009 at 5:02 pm Rebecca Says:

    Oh goodness, Aunt Becky, I feel your pain. My son has been in the operating room so many times I’ve about lost count….I think it’s been around five or maybe six.

    I’ve screamed and cried because if I would voluntarily not feed my newborn for 12 straight hours (sometimes more), I sure would have family services called on me, but I did just that to my child when he was just a few weeks old, a little over a month old and again when he was about 3 months old. I was so sick with worry, I was calling up every friend who worked in doctors offices (one doctor/podiatrist, one worked as a dental assistant/one’s mom is a nurse) at wee hours of the night because something the doctor said didn’t set quite right with me. I was crazy worried. Why, when I did all I could to have a healthy baby, did my baby have so many problems.

    My son, like your child, was angry about being born too. Sometimes I feel, even though he’s two, he’s still angry about being born and I get angry because he’s such a cry baby! But then in the height of my frustration, I worry. I wonder if his leg is hurting, I wonder if his neck is hurting, I worry if there is an eye problem developing on his optic nerve, I worry when he bumps into something if he’s loosing his vision, I worry his leg will never heal and we’ll have to have it amputated, I worry we’ll have to have surgery on his neck again and I worry that nothing will ever work for his neck. I worry if the kids when he goes to school will accept him because he has to wear a full leg brace on his leg ‘until he reaches bone maturity’. I worry because of the VERY large birthmark that goes from the back of his neck around to the side of his neck and wraps all the way around to the front of his cheek and up to his cheekbone. Will the kids see the 7 inch scar that goes from the nape of his neck and up around his left ear? Will kids make fun of him, will kids hate him, will teachers treat him differently?

    Then I’m frustrated because I feel shallow. My son his healthy and though he’s behind developmentally, his therapists say he’s catching up and doing great and by the time he gets into school he should be just fine. I’m frustrated because some kids aren’t just fine when they get to school. Some kids lose their lives due to their problems they are born with. Some kids spend a great amount of time in NICU and thankfully we never had to go. Though, we did spend a good amount of time in the pediatric unit which is just as depressing; only because I was there.

    I feel selfish because I’m always wanting more from him. I want him to be able to say his alphabet like his sister did. I want him to be able to count to 20 just like his sister did. I want him to know his shapes and colors just like his sister did……I worry because he’s not even close to doing any of that. But he’s been though so much it’s a wonder he’s walking. It’s truly a miracle he’s walking and still has his wee little leg. It’s a wonder he can tell a knock knock joke (though he doesn’t really talk!), It’s a wonder he has such a sunny disposition (despite he still cries about 14 hours a day!). It’s a wonder he is so friendly with every single stranger we meet every place we go.

    Oh Rebecca, I’m sorry. I’m really, really sorry. I understand and I’m sorry.

  69. On August 27th, 2009 at 5:05 pm Ginger Magnolia Says:

    I’m hoping for you, too. Frustration and more frustration is difficult to deal with, but I’m sure you’re doing a good job.

  70. On August 27th, 2009 at 5:11 pm kalakly Says:

    Ugh, no sleep SUCKS! If it helps with the decision making, the docs had Cason on benedryl @ 4 months after his ‘adverse reaction’ and he stayed on it for a month. 1/2 tsp every 4-6 hours, so Mimi should be fine if you have to go that route.
    Otherwise just medicate self and give yourself room to be frustrated, it doesn’t mean you don’t love her just that you love sleep a little more sometimes:)

    Thanks, love. I just adore you and you know it.

  71. On August 27th, 2009 at 6:19 pm Julie Says:

    You know what drives me crazy? Hearing people worrying about nothing. People who have no real reason to think that they’ll actually have a problem, no special circumstance to indicate even a slightly elevated risk of trouble — just raising the specter of loss in their own heads for, what? the spooky little frisson of it?

    You, you have a reason to worry. That doesn’t make enduring it any easier, but at least…uh, at least…well, at least you’re not borrowing trouble just because you’re curious about what real drama feels like.

    It’s not much, I suppose, but I validate because I love.

    Also, this:

    This, I think, this is the real ass-kicker about having had a child whose life was, at one time, in flux: how can you possibly be upset with someone who you worried so very much about losing?

    …sums up in a few sentences everything I spent two solid years trying to articulate.

    Hang in, nice lady.

  72. On August 27th, 2009 at 5:34 pm andria Says:

    Been there, done that. Well, except the whole brain surgery thing.

    Jacob was eight weeks early and I made all kinds of deals with God when I was laying there unsure of what was about to play out during my emergency c-section that I would just do anything, ANYTHING, if he would survive that. And he did. But he came home just in time for the colic to set in and he remained that way until he was walking. There were days I just wanted to swaddle him up and leave him on someone’s doorstep because I could take NO MORE, I mean, he cried 20 hours a day easily. I cried about that much as well. And I only had ONE kid then. I can’t imagine how it is with two more to care for, keep quiet, etc.

    Give her some infant motrin and see if she’s better. If it keeps up, follow your gut and ask for some tests to ease your mind. I think you’re entitled to them.

    Ben = Jacob! And Alex = Jacob! I really wonder how I thought to have more kids.

  73. On August 27th, 2009 at 7:16 pm eden Says:

    Mate. MATE.

    You’re allowed to feel whatever it is you feel. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to always have the constant worry about her head, in the back of YOUR head.

    One hours sleep, in one day, at her age? SO FUCKING HARD.

    I couldn’t even blog about how much I detested the hard, big screamy times with Rocco. I wanted to throw him out the motherfucking window … for starters.

    You are doing good, sweetheart. Really good. XOX

    Thank you. So are you.

  74. On August 27th, 2009 at 8:24 pm lola Says:

    And here I am feeling sorry for myself because I’m exhausted from working three days in a row. I’m such an asshole.

    I remember when my son was crying around the clock and I’d leave him on one end of the house and sit in the middle of the floor balling my head off at the other end of the house. Thankfully, he stopped at four months, but it was hell on earth. There were no good days, and I can’t believe we made it through. I wonder what it would have been like if I had a blog back then. Might have helped.

    I do think, however, that Mimi appears to be following in her brothers’ footsteps. That has to be a good sign, right? Totally fucking annoying getting no sleep, but a good sign nonetheless 😉 I wish I was there, because even though my baby appeared to hate me, most babies really love me and find me quite fascinating. Hard to believe, I know..

    Bitch, I find YOU fascinating. I have no doubt that babies would like you.

  75. On August 27th, 2009 at 7:26 pm Evil Twin's Wife Says:

    My son was a 2lb, 5oz 28 week preemie. He was also my fifth pregnancy and an infertility baby. I spent every moment of his first 18 months completely overwhelmed about autism, cerebral palsy…waiting for the other shoe to drop. I suffered from such anxiety, I couldn’t even leave the house (not good for someone with a preemie baby who had lots and lots of doctors appointments…). I’ve been on anti-anxiety medication for over 10 years now. My son is now 11.5 and the first year I didn’t cry on his birthday was when he turned 10. I totally sympathize with your frustrations. {{{Hugs}}}

    Most days, I like to at least PRETEND that I have my shit together, and I think that I mostly do. I haven’t figured out the logistics of getting 2 small ones out and about together (nor, let’s be honest, am I brave enough to try it yet), but I’m getting there.

    After Mimi was born, I was crippled whenever I thought about leaving the house. It took me months to work up the courage to go out alone, and now? Well, I jump at the opportunity. Thank you for your words. I needed to hear that I wasn’t alone.

  76. On August 27th, 2009 at 8:24 pm Katy Says:

    Have you tried a white noise machine with her? Seriously, that was the ONLY thing that gave us relief from WG’s constant screaming. ((hugs))

    She sleeps (ha.ha.ha.) with a white noise machine on and I think it helps. But I can’t be sure.

  77. On August 27th, 2009 at 9:17 pm Lisa Says:

    If you were a med student/resident/intern, and you spent the majority of your time studying/rounding/not sleeping, would you feel guilty about complaining? Heck no! Why is motherhood different?

    Motherhood is (ESPECIALLY THE FIRST FOUR YEARS) the most self-sacrificing undertaking there is (no slight meant to fatherhood). You are the primary source of unconditional love for three human beings, and are on duty 24/7. Add in sleep deprivation, and it is the perfect storm. Here is (unfortunately) the only long distance life preserver I can throw you : NO GUILT ALLOWED!!!!!!!!

    My son suffered from fluid in his ears, but since it was never infected, the pediatrician kept saying all was fine. When laying down this “ear glue” (as his ENT specialist called it) would build up pressure, and he cried, did not sleep, cried, shampoo rinse repeat… It took us FOUR LONG MONTHS to diagnose this, and all it took was a simple painless test!

    Have them do a tympanogram (painless bouncing of sound waves off eardrum) on her in office. Takes 5 seconds tops. If you get a bell curve, eardrum is not fluid filled. If it flatlines, you have fluid.

    Good luck to a wonderful mother!

    Thank you. It’s amazing what doctor’s DO write off. I remember vividly when my OB wouldn’t increase my dosage of SSRI’s after Mimi was born and how awful it was to be reminded that I was nothing to them. Nothing.

  78. On August 27th, 2009 at 9:21 pm Jenn Says:

    Part of me wants to say that it’s always best to go with your instinct. If you think it’s teeth…it probably is. But when you’ve had a kid on the brink..hanging onto life…you distrust yourself. You know what you want to be true but, if you believe it, then *surely* you must be in denial.

    I don’t have any real words of wisdom. Just that I hear ya.

    Why is it that you can put into words what I’ve been thinking but unable to throw down?

  79. On August 27th, 2009 at 10:45 pm Sarah Says:

    You’ve been through SO MUCH – you’re so strong and you repeatedly choose to laugh shit off that would leave the rest of us in a closet crying like the 4 year old I personally still am on the inside. Give yourself a break? Not literally, as in a broken bone or time off – we both know that’s damned unlikely – just in the sense of OF COURSE YOU FEEL THIS WAY, and you have every right and reason to do so.

    I’m totally with Kate – call the doc, hopefully you have one somewhere who listens, get Amelia checked out so you can know that technically nothing is wrong, absolutely try some pain meds, see if that chills her out, helps her sleep, whatever. I don’t know anything about Benadryl except that it keeps MY kids awake for hours, so I don’t allow it in my home – unless we’re having an allergic reaction, then I drive like a bat out of hell to the drug store – but I know all about that nasty overtired baby, overtired mommy, up freaking 23 hours of the day BS. You were strong enough to reach out for help for yourself before… so do it again. You and Amelia need some help, and you both deserve it. If only for the breaking the non-sleeping cycle, you know?

    And you rock, you know. For posting this. You know you’ve helped someone by admitting that your brilliant rockstar blogging ass struggles with mommyhood too, don’t you?

  80. On August 27th, 2009 at 9:58 pm Venti Vixen Says:

    Where do I sign my kid up for the Uni Som club? Maybe you and I could hang out at 3 am as I don’t sleep either.

  81. On August 27th, 2009 at 11:17 pm kshdglkh Says:

    Hylands teething tablets.
    They will make her feel better and that will make YOU feel better!

  82. On August 27th, 2009 at 11:20 pm kshdglkh Says:
    They really do dissolve almost instantly.
    They look like this:
    and cost $5ish at Walmart

  83. On August 27th, 2009 at 11:21 pm Leadia Jarvis Says:

    I hear ya. Larissa’s first three months of life were senseless and endless crying and it was all I could do not to put her into a basket and float her down the river like Moses….and it sucked because all I could think was. “Here you are – almost NOT-born – and totally healthy despite the defect that was supposed to doom you – and I am cursing your very existence. WTF????” And now that she’s outgrown that phase of her life, every other cotton picking thing she does that is remotely teeth-gnashing
    (for me, not her) immediately makes me wonder if this is THE OTHER SHOE DROPPING and finally – here’s the doom and gloom that the weird in-utero cyst always promised.
    Does Mimi like the car? Larissa LOATHES the very word “car” and cries like a psycho if she senses that you are even *thinking* about doing something crazy and abusive like making her ride in one. Otherwise, I’d drive to your house and we could cry in our beers together.

    She DOES hate the car, although less so than she used to. Which was awesome. Maybe I can come over THERE.

  84. On August 28th, 2009 at 12:17 am GingerB Says:

    We use preemptive Motrin to get through the night when we suspect teething because there has to be some fucking sleep. And then I guilt out if I take a sleeping pill because if I don’t feed my daughter she will die, so if I sleep through her cries of desperation I will cause . . . ARGH I forgot to be guilty about cerebral palsy! And then I will hold her all night in the rocking chair or until I trash my fused neck and give up and slip her into bed once the Motrin works, and oh my god isn’t she beautiful? I love her! I love her so, so, so much! I will do anything to make her well. And then the cycle begins anew. You are as nutty as the rest of us, with good reason Aunt Becks. Take the meds, give her stuff for pain. My ped had us on Motrin by four months because it really is that much better.

  85. On August 28th, 2009 at 2:18 am Two Wishes Says:

    Our daughter is hitting 6 months, and we’re going through the exact same thing with the (no) sleep and the crying. I’m sure your situation is so much harder, with the not knowing about the pain. But for what it’s worth, it could be totally normal.

    Also, I don’t have the first clue how to do a trackback, but I mentioned this post on my own blog today. Reading all the comments from other parents who have been in this tough spot before … well, it gave me a lot of comfort and one very good cry.

    I’m really, really glad that they helped. I have the best commentors on the planet.

  86. On August 28th, 2009 at 8:21 am Karyn Says:

    If you’re still nursing her… One of the things my mother recommended to help my baby sleep was to drink a beer right before nursing. Not much actually gets TO the kid, but enough that he would sleep til the next feeding, so I could get some sleep!

    *lots of hugs* I got no idea what you must be going through, but sympathy and good thoughts are with you.

    Thank you very much. They always help.

  87. On August 28th, 2009 at 8:25 am Nessy Says:

    My lil Becca is def. teething. Her first two bottom teeth are peeking out. She’s so fussy and if we are not spending every freaking second with her amusing her, she puts up a ruckus!

  88. On August 28th, 2009 at 8:27 am tryingin2007 Says:

    oh I hear YA! I too get frustrated with my $40,000 IVF baby and I feel terribly guilty about it. but teething sucks BAD for all babies and ALL moms.

    5 pm is only a few hours away. poor yourself a big glass of pinot noir and try to enjoy it. you’re doing great! really! 3 kids AND a husband — you’re my hero.


  89. On August 28th, 2009 at 12:26 pm baseballmom Says:

    Dude, I want some schnitzel too. I forgot-when Alex was getting 6 TEETH AT ONCE, all he would eat is white rice mixed with applesauce. Whatever.

    *shudders!* EW. Poor kid.

    MY Alex is currently eating BBQ sauce and calling it ice cream. Yum.

    Now excuse me while I go vomit.

  90. On August 28th, 2009 at 1:46 pm Heather Says:

    {{Hugs}} from Iowa…. Home of the butter cow!! 🙂

  91. On August 28th, 2009 at 1:42 pm Caron Says:

    Aunt Becky,
    I don’t know if this will help. It may help tomorrow, but not today. It may not help at all. Some people seem in awe of this information and some people don’t seem to grasp it. Now, you may not know the exact number, so I will tell you first that I am 44 years old. *shudders*

    I was terminally ill at 6 weeks and my parents didn’t know if I would survive until given the all-clear when I was six. What does that mean? I don’t know. Does it help? I don’t know.

    But here I am and my parents managed and they didn’t suffocate me with their fear and worry. And fear and worry they had in abundance. You aren’t alone, I guess. Amelia will be Amelia.

    I was at the birth of a friend’s child this morning (photo on my blog) and he went straight to NICU and even though it was all under control and we knew he would go to NICU and I hadn’t given birth to him, it made me nervous and weepy myself to see him there so tiny and vulnerable.

    Hang tough when it’s tough, baby.

  92. On August 28th, 2009 at 5:10 pm Kendra Says:

    I’m so sorry. I realize that I’m so blessed never to have had this kind of worry for my kids, but we’ve had pretty run-of-the-mill scares (my middle one fell down the basements stairs at 11 months old; that was an awful one), and I know what they did to me. As the parent of a child who started her life worrying for her, I can’t imagine how hard it is. And at the same time, the resentment. There are moments where I think, no matter their age or developmental stage or the problem they’re going through, “Just grow up! We all have problems! Learn to live with… teething pain, your brother called you a baby, you didn’t get to play your video game,” whatever it is. And I feel like an awful person for not being consumed by their pain, however valid or ridiculous it is.

    When Ezra was born, he was really colicky and cranky. He was our second child, and I’d never tried to balance the needs of siblings before, aside from the fact that my oldest had been a really easy baby, nothing like this little screaming machine. So when he was really being difficult and my 2-year-old was having trouble understanding why this baby was in our house making everyone’s life so hard, sometimes we would announce, “That’s it! This baby is too loud and cranky. We’re going to have to take him back to the baby store and get a new one.” And then we would all be able, just for a moment, to laugh. It helped to remember, no matter how upsetting he was, that we still wouldn’t trade him. I still think that to myself sometimes: That’s it, we’re taking this one back to the baby store. And it still helps.

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  94. On August 30th, 2009 at 10:29 am fiddle1 Says:

    I HEAR you. I UNDERSTAND. So totally understand. I’m sorry for this rough day and all the future ones when you’ll not only be frustrated with Mimi, but roaring pissed at her, and then all the guilt comes crashing down on you. I love you. You are normal. This is normal. THANK YOU for being honest about this. Thanks for no rainbows and butteflies. Thanks for telling it like it is. I hope for some refreshing sleep for you…and for Amelia.

    I wonder if we could somehow all remove the guilt. Like it was a tumor or something.

    Thank you. Thank you for listening.

  95. On August 30th, 2009 at 12:12 pm Alicia Says:

    Hugs to you, Aunt Becky. Babies are mean. I think they’ve evolved to be as cute as they are so we don’t leave them on the doorstop of the fire department.

    You’re absolutely right. Puppies too.

  96. On August 31st, 2009 at 7:39 pm Jenn Says:

    I remember the guilt with Boo. I didn’t even have the double-guilt situation but it was still hard. I would come and hold her for you if I could so that you could get a break, some sleep. Being a mom is sucktastic sometimes.

    Oh, I remember the Boo/Alex debacle. It was really, really hard.

  97. On September 1st, 2009 at 8:45 am Jennifer Says:

    Oh, Becky, I’m so sorry. I kind of, but not really, know what you’re dealing with. I tried to hard to keep a pregnancy, that when I had Jocelyn, it was like a freaking miracle. Months later, when you’re tired and you’re miracle baby is acting like a regular whiny kid, you forget the struggle and just wish for peace in a “trying not to scream at you because you are a tiny helpless baby but please why do are you doing this to me” way. And then the guilt. Because you’re losing it and you’re the one who was begging for this baby only a short time before.

    I get it. In my way. But I couldn’t fathom having thoughts that there was something actually wrong with my child and have them be realistic. That was wordy, but you see where I’m going with this. You are unbelievably strong. A trooper, even.

    So are you, my love. So are you.

  98. On September 2nd, 2009 at 4:05 am Claire Gregory Says:

    I’ve got my own NICU, brain trouble at birth miracle baby who does not sleep at all unless attached to my boob- last night she woke up every 45 minutes from 10pm to 10am. In between that and my husband snoring like a chainsaw I got to sleep (for my first 45 minutes) at 5:30am. And I’m already on zombie mode. The next lawnmower dude who knocks on my door during naptime, invited or not, is going to have his testicles removed with a baby spoon.

    I’m SO familiar with the guilt, though. When Sophie was in the NICU she was in a coma for five days and woke up making no more noise than little whimpers- I used to stand next to her and beg her to cry. Ahh, hindsight. I can’t bring myself to cry it out with her because of everything we went through- but then again I’m rapidly running out of other ideas now she’s 9 months old and waking up more than ever.

    You’re not alone!

    Do you ever kind of want to stab those smugly superior people who just KNOW that the reason that THEIR child slept through the night was because of their PARENTING skills? GAH.

  99. On September 2nd, 2009 at 4:21 am Claire Gregory Says:

    Got caught up wallowing in my own self-pity and forgot to say- one book has really helped me when Sophie hits her pissed-at-the-world stages- it’s called Wonder Weeks.

    Basically babies go through neurological growth spurts the same way they do physical growth spurts. When they hit a period of brain growth they become angry little sleepless monsters for a few weeks. It’s been accurate to the day for us- it’s like these people are hiding in my roof space.

    I am about to put that on my Amazon account. Thank you.

  100. On July 26th, 2010 at 4:38 pm Günstige Ersatzteile Says:

    As a parent of a premie who dodged more bullets than she deserved…

    Everything is gonna be okay. *pat, pat*

    Until then…I’m all for vodka and vicodin!

  101. On January 29th, 2011 at 4:12 pm If Babies are Narcotics, I’ve Taken an Overdose | Two Wishes Says:

    […] now on, no more “baby narcotic” articles for me. I’ll be reading things like the comments to this post — gaining strength from other mothers who adore their children but acknowledge that sometimes […]

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