Thursday, July 16, 2009

10 Weeks

At ten weeks, Elsie is smiling in response to faces and is babbling in that baby way, carrying on a "conversation" when talked to. She's also drooling all over the place. I can't believe how much change happens in so little time in these early days! I think she's also starting to look like a redhead. That may just be my wishful thinking, but one can hope! She's cute as pie and I want to eat her all up.

Last weekend I made the difficult decision to cut my trip to Texas short. I'm enjoying getting to see my family and spend time with old friends, but I'm still seeing way too much of the inside of Julie's room, where I'm staying. It used to be my room, so I've already gotten my fill of these walls, and yet, here I am...

I know she thinks she means well, but my Alzheimer's-stricken grandmother who lives with my parents has gotten to be unbearable and the situation has deteriorated as I've been here. At first, she would hear Elsie fuss or cry or make noise and she would come out of her room to investigate. She wanted to hold her and even tried to pick her up more than once while Elsie was still strapped into her swing. Then, one morning, right after Mom left for work, Elsie was fussing and Grandma just opened the door and came into my room. She wanted to take the baby and "bounce her." It took about 15 minutes for her to leave so that I could feed Elsie. That night, with Mom's supervision (it was making me so crazy I was either sitting on the edge of the couch or pacing in the kitchen), Grandma rocked Elsie, at first singing "Rock-a-bye, baby, all the day long" loudly in her ear, and then singing along to a CD of church hymns that Mom put on. It was sweet, and I know Grandma enjoyed the time, but she kept repositioning Elsie roughly and it took everything I had to keep from grabbing my baby and running away.

Well, Grandma didn't come near my room again, but I guess it was the weekend, because come Monday morning, Grandma just walked in (I had taken to locking the door, but has slacked off over the weeked when she wasn't interested) when we were sleeping. Before, Grandma had been responding to Elsie's noises, but this time she just had the baby on the brain because Elsie was fast asleep and Grandma just wanted to hold her, she said. I told her she needed to leave, but she just stood by the bassinet watching Elsie. I just wanted to scream but was able to persuade her to leave.

And then yesterday, Elsie had gas and we were trying to work it out, I heard Grandma try both doors to the bedroom (the other door is through the bathroom), and when she found they were locked, for the first time finally knocked. I essentially told her to go away, but in a nice granddaughterly fashion. A few minutes later she brushed the door with her hand and spoke to me through the door, letting me know that she was standing outside the door if I needed her. I told her thank you, but that we were doing okay.

Later that night, when Dad was home from work, and Elsie was all swaddled and ready for bed, a calm and content little burrito, Grandma wanted to hold her. I let her, but it didn't last long because she started singing loudly in Elsie's ear again, and then decided that Elsie's feet needed to be free, so she started tugging at the swaddling, which of course agitated the baby, but to Grandma, that was proof that the blanket was too tight. Then, when that didn't stop Elsie from crying, she started positioning roughly again. I shot Dad a look (because, to me, it was his fault I had let Grandma hold Elsie again--though I think I misunderstood) and thankfully, he rescued my baby and gave her back to me.

Just a minute ago, Elsie was fussing and Grandma came into the bathroom. I opened the bedroom door, said, "No," emptied my Chik-Fil-A cup into the sink, and came back into the bedroom and closed the door. Julie persuaded her to leave the bathroom.

Just recounting these events is stressing me out. I'm feeling dizzy, like I just may be getting sick and I just really want to be home in my own bed.

Anyway, all this to say that I'm flying home on Sunday, a week earlier than originally planned. The longer I stay here, the more money I'll spend while I'm trying to get out of the house so I don't feel claustrophobic. I've never flown with a baby before, so please pray for me.


Misty said...

I'm sorry it's been so frustrating with your grandma. And especially the generational gap, they do not understand what we are trying to accomplish with certain 'baby' things :). However, I hope in these last few days you try to cherish your grandma. I know it's hard sometimes, but you will miss her when she's gone!! Love ya!

stephanie said...

she'll be fine :)
just make sure she has a pacifier for the going up and the coming back down. i was next to a 2 year old on the way to nyc last time and mom pulled her old pacifier out of the bag and it worked like a charm. [for some reason, i end up next to babies or toddlers on just about every flight i've ever taken. i am the "nice lady with gum."]

Jen Barnes said...

As far as flying goes, people are usually VERY understanding and generous with a mom and a baby. I flew to Chicago with Lowell when he was 12 weeks old and was surprised at how smoothly and easily it went. The best advice, though, is to nurse on takeoff and landing (or paci) and to take more diapers (and wipes) than you think you'll need cuz it sucks to run out in an airport.

Cheryl said...

I love you and dearly appreciate your patience and strength in order to give us some time with you and Elsie these past two weeks. Grandma has been worse than I even imagined she could be. Yours and Elsie's visit has been a priceless gift. You are not cutting your visit short - you are doing the responsible thing by returning to your life, love and responsibilities in Alabama. And I love you.

Anonymous said...

oh how wonderful. i love your grandmother recap because i'm sure we've all been there before. not necessarily the exact same situation, but it's hard being the primary care giver to your 10 week old (not to mention the 9-10 months before that!) because you will do it better than anyone else. i love that she tried and that you actually managed to let her and not kill her ;) on a more serious note, i've learned that the baby will live with someone else doing a mediocre job, or even a piss-poor job, even though mother knows best! i hope i'm making some sense, although i'm sure it won't help because it's still our instinct to want to care for our child the best way possible. i have no advice on flights...i'm still terrified to embark on that adventure.

Kelly said...

Wow..girl what a recap. I know I'm sure she really did have good intentions it's just so hard like someone else care for this baby and know what she likes and doesn't. Sometimes you just want people to leave you alone. I agree be thankful for you grandma, but you probably made the right choice to head on home. You don't need any more stress. Thanks for sharing....I'm so glad the plane ride went well!