Saturday, September 27, 2014

Baby dreams

Some random memories

When we were in the hospital after Tad was born, he got examined periodically by nurses and pediatricians and so on, as you'd expect. He hated this and every time he'd scream until his whole body turned beet red. (His skin was practically transparent back in those days.)

Scott, being a tenderhearted sort of person, would always hover over the baby during these torture sessions, holding his hands and speaking soothingly and so on. (I was usually sitting in bed on the other side of the room.)

The nurse we had on our first night apparently found this annoying or something, because at one point she said, "You have to let him cry sometimes, you know" in an exasperated tone, and elaborated later that it was good for his lungs. We ignored her. Seriously, on what planet do 12-hour-old babies need to be left to cry?

(I am not saying that you can't ever use the bathroom or whatever if it means your newborn will cry, but there's no need to feel like you're damaging him by comforting him if that's what you prefer. Incidentally, people are always saying that AP proponents make new parents feel guilty, but all the guilt trips I've ever gotten have been from people trying to tell me that I'm being a martyr and I should put him down, let him cry, give him a bottle of formula, whatever.)

***

In the following weeks, Tad slept a lot and Scott and I did not. (This was before we discovered cosleeping.) Every now and then, Tad would stir and whimper in his sleep as if he was having a nightmare, and we'd try to figure out what a tiny baby could possibly be having nightmares about. Eventually we decided he was dreaming about nurses with cold hands, and that became a running joke we pull out anytime anybody is sleeping restlessly--"Must be dreaming of nurses with cold hands."

***

I quickly discovered that I could get Tad to settle down and sleep more deeply if I stroked him and whispered soothing things. I really liked the idea that I had the power to affect his dreams like that--I imagined that he was dreaming of scary things and then all of the sudden dreamed that his mama came and saved him from all the cold-handed nurses or whatever.

Because mamas are basically superheroes.

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