Saturday, June 6, 2009

La Botella Primera

Eli came home from work on Friday, and since I hadn't been out of the house all day, I bargained for a solo trip out of the house to go pick up some kazoos and other flotsam to send in a care package to my friend who is a camp counselor this summer. Yes, kazoos. But that's neither here nor there. Elsie was fed and burped and changed, and I was fed, too, so I made a run for it.

I went to Party City, where I found some fun stuff to send, and then on to Target to raid the dollar bins and get some other stuff that we needed at home. Before I headed over to Books-A-Millions to pick up some dollar MadLibs from the sale bin, I checked my phone, thinking, it's been an hour and a half and (miracle?) Eli hasn't called...perhaps I have time to run to BAM. Unfortunately, I had a text message that I had missed from 40 minutes earlier--"Coming home soon?" Sent only 40 minutes after I left.

Anyway, Elsie evidently started screaming when I left and wouldn't stop. Eli used everything in his arsenal of baby calming techniques, but she would not settle, so he decided to feed her. He took one of my three frozen bags of milk, thawed it, put it in a bottle, and gave it to her. She was asleep when I called. Everything was under control.

He did the right thing, of course. That's why I have a few bags of frozen milk, a stash which I hope to increase before I go back to work in the fall. But I still felt 1) guilty that I wasn't there to feed my baby, and 2) momentarily appalled and saddened that she was given her first bottle in an unmomentous fashion. Stupid, I know. Elsie had her first bottle. Oh, well. On the bright side, that did give me time to run into the bookstore and strike gold, finding camp-related MadLibs to send to my favorite counselor!

I've found that Elsie's cries are like white noise to me. I can be in the same room with her screaming and not be affected. But her little quiet noises catch my attention. Is she choking on something? Can she breathe? It's strange that I'm hyper-aware of the quietude. I tell you this because I've been making an effort to not retrieve Elsie from Eli whenever she's crying (if I even notice) because I know I'm not the expert, and he needs to figure it out for himself. I'm going to go crazy if/when Elsie goes through the phase where she won't let anyone else hold her but me. I mean, she started crying the minute I left the house the other night! That's too much pressure! I want Eli to be able to do his daddy thing without getting an inferiority complex, if for no other reason than to help me keep my sanity. Plus, I think it's already hard on him since she's in what I read somewhere referred to the "slug" stage of babyhood--eat, sleep, poop, stare at the Kandinsky painting on the wall and at the bright lights. He is already at work most of the time and doesn't get a whole lot of time when she's not feeding/crying/burping/sleeping. It will get better as she gets older, I'm sure. You know, when she moves on to the "snail" stage.

Anyway, I wanted to take a minute to acknowledge your comments. I haven't been in a habit of replying to them, but I read them all and am grateful for the feedback and encouragement, especially as I am entering these personally unchartered waters of mommyhood/parenthood. Thank you for taking the time to respond and offer your opinions.

Tomorrow Elsie is 1 month old. Topics to be covered may include:

1. Our planned first Braves game on Dave Ramsey night.
2. Elsie in the Moby wrap.
3. The latest cord stump update (still attached).
4. Solicitation for information about your experiences with giving babies rice cereal, the latest hot topic at my house (and by "hot topic" I mean ground for possible marital conflict--haha).



Cheryl said...

Unless someone can come up with a nutritional, healthy reasonhe, I am against giving rice cereal or anything else to a baby. In my experience, it isn't for her as much as it is for the people who don't get that breast milk is ALL the baby needs for at least the first 6 months and for parents of babies who don't seem to get full and the rice cereal is a "filler" - no nutritional value - comes out pretty much as it goes in because they can't digest it. Do you get the hint that I have had this discussion before? (with my in-laws after each baby) But you are well read and thorough, you will make the right decision - whatever that is.

Stacey L King said...

Her digestive system isn't equipped to handle anything but momma-milk (or a reasonable substitute, which rice cereal is NOT). When she can eat from a spoon, her digestive system will have matured enough to handle rice cereal (among other things). And be aware that solid in means solid out.