To quote Little Orphan Annie, “Yesterday was plain awful.”
Saturday night, Oliver went to bed at 7 pm. We woke him up at 10 pm to eat, and then went to bed. He proceeded to wake up at midnight, 2 am, 3:30 am, 4:30 am, 5:30 am, and 6:30 am. After the 6:30 am awakening and feeding, Vik got up with Oliver and took him for a long walk outside so I could get some sleep. They came back at 10 am because Oliver was getting hungry. Vik handed him to me to eat, and Oliver proceeded to arch his back and let out a never-ending series of shrieks, cries, and wails.
This continued ALL DAY LONG. He would fuss freak out at the breast and refuse to eat more than a few sips, and would sleep in fitful bursts. When he was awake, he was simply inconsolable. He cried, and cried, and cried — gut-wrenching, blood-curdling, ear-piercing cries, complete with real tears. We tried swaddling him, rocking him, walking with him, singing to him, burping him, massaging him, and so on. Nothing worked. It was awful.
Vik was a real trooper, working all of the Happiest Baby on the Block techniques in his arsenal until he could get Oliver calm enough to either nap or attempt to eat. I tried to be a trooper, but mostly I just cried. I was convinced that Oliver’s distress was due either to something I had eaten (which was in turn causing him intestinal distress) or my ridiculous over-supply and forceful let-down (both breastfeeding issues). I felt extremely guilty and, well, as strange as it sounds, hurt.
Towards the end of the day, we were able to get Oliver down for two long naps, and that really seemed to help matters. He had another not great night of sleep last night (up every two hours), but he ate well at each awakening and slept peacefully in the intervening stretches, which was a marked improvement over the night before. More importantly, he woke up happy(ish) this morning and played quietly for over an hour before going down for his first nap of the day.
For now, we are attributing yesterday’s behavior to over-tiredness resulting from over-stimulation and changes in routine. Today, we are trying to be more mindful of his sleepy cues and are providing calming and non-stimulating nap-time environments. Fingers and toes crossed that it does the trick!