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Newborn

All through the night

All through the night
I’ll be awake, and I’ll be with you
All through the night
This precious time, when time is new
Oh, all through the night today
Knowing that we feel the same without saying

We have no past, we won’t reach back
Keep with me forward all through the night
And once we start, the meter clicks
And it goes running all through the night
Until it ends, there is no end

Original lyrics by Jules Shear. Song by Cyndi Lauper. My favorite remake by Sleeping At Last

This is the song that plays through my head, and sometimes reaches my lips, as I spend nights with Alden.

I had memorized the lyrics before I birthed Slone, thinking that I’d be spending large parts of the nights awake. I did, with Slone, but not because he didn’t sleep well. Slone was easy to nurse while side laying and co-sleeping, making falling back to sleep relatively easy (until my postpartum anxiety kicked in and turned into insomnia). Slone often gave me three hour stretches between feedings, and from 10-12 hours in bed I could get a good 8 hours of sleep.

Not so with Alden.

He’s only two weeks old, so I understand that he has no circadian rhythm yet. I know it will come. I know this is a phase (or at least this is what I tell myself next to the song lyrics), but fuck, it’s a challenging one.

Alden likes to cluster feed a couple times a day, and often right when I try to settle in for the night. Last night, I was in bed at 8:30pm, but we didn’t settle in for sleep until 11. He had a feed, fuss, feed, fuss phase. He’s a bit of a gassy fellow, and has very stingy burps that I have to tease out with a combination of expert burping, magic and a Hail Mary.

Alden doesn’t side-lay nurse well, partially due to a suspected broken clavicle that was found shortly after birth. Poor guy. I can’t lay him on his right side, and have to be pretty careful moving him around, so it’s all sitting up to feed for us. I can’t fall asleep sitting up (I mean, I could–I’m just that talented), but I don’t want to drop and smother him, so I stay awake.

He doesn’t seem troubled by the broken bone, except for a couple of times when I held him clumsily, but it makes feeding a bit more of a fiasco.

So we do the cluster feed fuss-fest at least once a night. Last night, it was twice. I think I got four hours of sleep in two, two-hour chunks. All through the night, I’ll be awake, and I’ll be with you . . .

It’s a good thing they make them so cute, and for the hormones.

He’s eating like a champ, especially ever since we got his tongue tie fixed last week. Slone had an undiagnosed tongue tie, so we were sure to get Alden checked. Well, that, and the fact that he made my nipples bleed in the first few days led me to suspect that had a bit of a tie happening. Yes, indeed, and now he’s re-learning how to use his tongue. He’s taking in less air with his feedings, but he still seems to get air trapped in cozy little interior pockets that don’t want to let go.

So I’m also eliminating dairy from my diet, just in case it’s those damn milk proteins.

And let me tell you — I am unimpressed with the non-dairy creamers on the market these days. They don’t turn my coffee the proper shade of creaminess, and that one happy cup I have to look forward to is soiled. Also, cheese.

Also, ice cream.

I’m so lucky and grateful that my mom is here. She’s the great nap granter. I can hear her in the living room, talking to Alden, who’s now ready to feed again and has a full diaper, so I better go.

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