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The Indefinite Article.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The Elusive Sleep

6 p.m. - I put baby Antonio in his sling, snuggled in close to my body where he can nurse and listen to my heartbeat. I hold his head up with my left arm so he doesn't fall down into the folds of the sling around my waist. We go to the kitchen and make dinner for Anthony, who has an illustration job due the next day and is busily working at his desk.

With my free hand, I pull out pots and pans and set about boiling water for spaghetti. I need Anthony's help to open the sauce. Suck-suck-suck. I look down at Antonio, who shows no sign of letting up anytime soon. I heat up some olive oil and fry some eggplant cutlets.

7 p.m. - Antonio is sleeping peacefully in his sling. Looking down at his sweet face, I feel my heart bursting with love for my little boy. I put the finishing touches on the photo album we've compiled of his first few weeks of life. He's gotten bigger already -- every moment of his metamorphosis is precious.

8 p.m. - Baby is still asleep. Looks like he may be down for the count. "I'm going to try and get some sleep," I tell Anthony, kissing him goodnight. I decide to try keeping baby in his sling and shifting him onto my chest to sleep, as he gets separation anxiety when we leave him in his crib for too long.

8:05 p.m. - WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!! Baby starts crying as soon as I lay down. I get up and go to the living room, turn on the TV and start to nurse him again.

9 p.m. - Baby is wide awake and now he's kicking and screaming to get out of the sling. I look at his bright red face in amazement. What happened to the angelic picture of innocence from just an hour earlier? Is this the same baby? His forehead is all scrunched up, his mouth open wide, he can't seem to get the screams out fast enough.

9:30 p.m. - Baby is still fussing. I've tried everything - rocking, burping, changing, swinging, nursing. He doesn't want any of it. I set him down for a moment to think about what to do next, and he unexpectedly stops crying. He starts to peer around, wide-eyed and sweetly curious about the world again.

10 p.m. - Baby is in his swing, rocking, he starts to drift off.

10:10 p.m. - WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!! I pick up baby and put him to my breast. He spits it out. Anthony stops working and comes to pick him up. He makes some formula so he can have a turn feeding baby and to give me a break. Antonio gulps down 4 oz. of formula and is still wide awake. I go to lay down but he keeps crying out in little fits so I go back to the living room and change him. His little belly is swollen up with gas. I burp and rock him awhile.

11 p.m. - Baby's still hungry so I nurse him. I fall asleep nursing him on the couch.

1 a.m. - WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!! I wake up and realize I was only dreaming that he was crying. He's sound asleep in my arms.

1:30 a.m. - WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!! Okay, this time it's for real. Baby is hungry again, so I put him on the opposite breast and we fall asleep again.

2:22 a.m. - BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ-BZZZZZZZZZ-BZZZZZZZZZZZ!! What the hell? A fly has gotten into the apartment and keeps buzzing past my head. It's dark and I'm too tired to turn on the lights to try to find the damn bug.

4 a.m. - WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!! Antonio is crying and when I pick him up to nurse him he's all wet. The diaper leaked onto his clothes and mine. I get us both changes of clothes and nurse him awhile.

5 a.m. - We fall asleep.

6 a.m. - Anthony comes out of the bedroom groggy-eyed and scoops up the baby. He feeds him and plays with him while I make breakfast. We gulp down our coffee and get ready for a big day. Anthony has to go in to Manhattan to drop off his job and then Grammy and Grandpa are coming over to see Antonio and give us a break. Maybe tonight we'll sleep.


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