Perchance to sleep?

I love having a graphics card with a video/TV out.  We downloaded
episodes 1-11 of Farscape season four, went and found an SVCD and video cable,
then hooked the computer up to the television and watched them full
screen.  We had a marathon of five episodes. It was awesome.  30%
through the next, and final 11 episodes.  Sniffle.  I want more.

Tempest had a terrible day today. At around noon I went to put her down for
her second nap of the day and she started flipping out. I took her back out in
case she wasn’t ready to sleep, but she made the ‘sleepy’ sign over and over
again, whined at me and would fuss and pull off my breast as though she wasn’t
comfortable. She does all these things when she’s sleepy, but every time we lay
down she’d start screaming.  Hoping that she’d eventually realize how tired
she was, I went and lay down with her anyway… She howled like she was
possessed. I offered her the breast, and she bit me so hard I started to
bleed.  The last two weeks she’s begun biting me every time we nurse. My
nipples are so sore and callused that I wince every time she latches on.  I
feel tempted to pump a few meals a day for her, but that’s not fair of me to
do.  I know this stage will pass, I just need to grit my teeth and bear
through it.  We’ve been through worse pain. 

The last few days she’s been biting much more often, and much harder. 
She has no teeth, and yet can break skin. I think her teeth must be very close
to the surface of her gums – I can’t think of any other rational explaination
for being able to break skin with only skin…

Anyway… I offered her the breast and she howled, turning away. The soother
was the same reaction. When I tried to hold her, she kicked and shoved and beat
her fists. I put her down on her stomach and it seemed to quell her a little. I
followed her lead, and lay next to her, patting her back and stroking her
hair.  She cried and cried and cried.  She wouldn’t nurse, wouldn’t
suck, wouldn’t play, wouldn’t calm down at all.  After ten minutes of
hysterical screaming she started vomiting with such force that she choked on
it.  Not just gagging, she actually started to turn colours.  I picked
her up and performed the infant heimlich maneuver and screamed for Curtis to
come in. Just as he ran in she spat the last of it out onto the bed and
took a deep breath.  She wailed like she was being tortured, and the colour
in her face went back to normal.  I passed her to Curtis and she very
slowly began to settle. She was taking sharp, sudden deep breaths every few
seconds from her hysteria. It took her a half an hour to stop hiccuping. 
As we rocked her, all I could think about was how terrible it is that some
‘parenting experts’ advocate making your child scream hysterically until they
vomit, and then merely doing a superficial clean and walking away.  She was
so terrified of what had happened to her that she clung tight enough to leave
red marks on our skin.

I took her temperature, and saw she was running a very low grade fever. It’s
not high enough for her to be sick, I think she may be teething again. This time
the symptoms seem to be bothering her much more.  It would also explain why
she’s biting me so hard.  I took her temperature twice more in the next few
hours to be sure; it fluctuated between normal and low-grade.

While Curtis was holding her, she started chewing frantically on his
shoulder, his hands, his wrist, his jaw. She cried when he moved her away. 
I took out a frozen washcloth and she chewed and sucked until it started to
melt, then shrieked and threw it away.  I had no more prepared.  I
gave her some Tylenol because I can’t find her teething tablets.  We went
for a walk, and she fell asleep just in the last five minutes. She was so tired
that she even stayed out while the stroller bumped and bouced it’s way up the
stairs and in the house. Fearing her wrath (and for her sanity) we left her in
the stroller, in the entry while we sat on the couch (3ft away) and watched some
Farscape. Almost an hour and a half later she finally woke up. We didn’t even
notice until she made a little sigh. She just started watching TV right along
with us and didn’t even make a noise to let us know she’d awakened.

She had a similar explosion this evening when I tried to put her down to
bed. I haven’t swaddled her the last few nights because she hasn’t been
comfortable with it, but this evening she wouldn’t calm down until I did. Even
then she continued shrieking, just at slightly less volume. The blanket was a
tiny bit moist from not being completely dry (we’d washed it earlier that day)
but that seemed to help her. She’d gotten her body flushed from screaming, and
she calmed some when I wiped her with a damp cloth. At that point, she had no
fever, she was just screaming for the sake of screaming. Once again she wouldn’t
be consoled with breast, soother, toys or bouncing. I lay her on her side and
patted her back. Very gently she drifted off.  I patted in an exact
one-second-per-pat rythm for almost an hour straight. My arm hurt so badly by
the end. If I patted too quickly, too slowly or out of rythm she’d wiggle and
fuss – it had to be exact. I longed for a back-patting equivalent of one of
those dipping/drinking birds that people were so fond of a decade ago.

Eventually she fell asleep.  She’s awakened every hour since. Very
briefly, at least. She shrieks herself awake as though something has pinched
her, and then will only drift back off if I nurse her. 

Boo to the studies that claim ‘teething symptoms’ don’t exist.

So until my nerves settle, I sit on the floor of the livingroom in front of
the computer (hooked to the television) drinking chamomile tea and abusing the
Lansinoh I hoped I’d never need again. I hope she feels better soon.

— Babs



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