Luckily, only half of our Thanksgiving was a massive fail. Actually, even less than half. But unfortunately it was the half that involved my family, with my sister who drove 7 hours from Philly and my dear wonderful cousins that I grew up with and my dad who is almost never in town anymore. Here's how it went down:
We wanted to go to the church service this morning and since we live 25 minutes from church and my mother in law lives 5 minutes (and the service started at 7AM) we spent the night at mother in law's. J slept great all night in the pack and play in his own little room, which means that mid-December when Mama and Daddy have an adult party to go to, J will be doing his first overnight with a grandparent! Big win there. Church was pretty good...he was fussy at first but it's a casual service so I didn't feel the least bit out of place standing at the back rocking him to naptime. He took a nearly 3 hour nap before we went to my husband's grandparents, so I figured that exhaustion would not be an issue. He did really well at the big family celebration. He got passed around and smiled and talked and lied on the floor and entertained everyone, and of course we were all so enamored with him. He was the epitome of what "bundle of joy" means.
He napped again from 2-3, and then in the car between houses, so I thought he was pretty well rested when we arrived at my cousin's house just before 6 for my family's Thanksgiving. I was really excited because it's the first time some of my extended family have met him. My sister made a beeline for him as soon as he stirred, and I knew he was getting hungry so I told her to bring him to me when he started to fuss.
I had eaten 3 pieces of cheese, 3 olives, and popped open the top to a Diet Mug Root Beer when the crying started. I settled on the couch with the pillow, burp cloth, and hooter hider and discreetly un-snapped my bra while my 4 year old cousin asked a million questions about what I was doing and why the baby ate from under my shirt. Sis set J down and He. Did. Not. Latch. O.K. That has never happened, in three months of having a perfect baby who goes easily between the breast and bottles of pumped milk (of which I had none). He screamed on my nipple like it was the worst thing I could have put in his mouth. I thought maybe he was hot, so I took his pants and socks off. No help. So I went upstairs to a room no one was using, took off his onesie, didn't put him under the cover. Nothing. Just screaming. I started crying while I was walking around the room with him. For nearly an hour I would get him calm, try the boob, back to more screaming. My sister took him into the nursery, put on soft music, soft lights, humidifier, rocked him, while I sat in the other room crying on my mom's shoulder. H finally got him calmed down enough that I went into the nursery. He was lying on the floor sucking on her finger. We tried nursing and voila! All was well. For about 7 minutes.
Then he went right back to screaming. My husband came in and we did everything we could to calm him but nothing worked for more than 3 minutes at a time. So finally, defeated and deflated and upset, we trudged back downstairs, packed him in his carseat, and left. Well, I left, barely able to even say goodbye to my family without erupting into a wailing mess. My hubby had to say goodbyes and answer everyone's questions. They mean well. They asked if I was ok, offered to take J so we could eat. He declined and explained that we really just think he's overwhelmed and needed to get home.
So, not he's asleep in his own crib. The little bugger started smiling as soon as I put him on the changing table. He nursed like a dream and went right to sleep.
Now mama is going downstairs to crack open a bottle of wine, clean my kitchen, and wait for my little sister to show up with dinner plates.
Let's hope we can handle the Christmas schedule with a little more grace.
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