Welcome to the blog of science fiction author Eileen Rhoadarmer--where science fiction and Mommyhood collide!

Monday, December 5, 2011

All He Wants for Christmas are his Two Front Teeth

My baby is unhappy.  My baby is in pain.  A few nights ago he only slept for about 90 minutes before waking up and screaming.  I'm not talking his normal "feed me" cry--he was shrieking fit to wake the dead.  I hadn't even made it to bed yet, although I'd been headed in that direction.  When I picked him up, he subsided to a pathetic-sounding whimper, obviously uncomfortable.
I tried to give him my fingers to chew on, but he didn't like that idea.  I offered a teether from the fridge, but he wanted none of that.  He wanted nothing to do with just rocking and lullabies either.  Eventually I fed him again, even though it was less than three hours since he'd last eaten.  That calmed him, although after every few sucks he would stop and whimper, so I knew it must hurt him just to suck.  Poor little guy.

He fell asleep nursing, so I tried to transfer him back to his crib.  Unfortunately, I still hadn't made it into my own bed before he was shrieking again.  I couldn't give him any tylenol because I'd given it to him right before bed and four hours hadn't passed yet--and drug overdoses are something you don't want to mess with in infants.  I couldn't pack him into his carseat and drive him around the block a few times because the temperature was in the teens and the roads were treacherous.  At that point I decided just to bring him into bed with me, which I haven't done in a few months.

But even that didn't help as much as I'd hoped.  I started out with us both on our sides, his back to my tummy, trying to cuddle him like a teddy bear.  He shrieked and wiggled.  I offered him a pacifier.  He screamed and arched his back.  I tried to latch him again (against my better judgment because I don't want him to associate food with comfort, but I was getting desperate) but he still wiggled and cried.  Hubby's only thought, apart from the options I'd already exhausted, was the old-wives rum-on-the-gums trick, but I wasn't comfortable with that one (see the above overdoses comment.)  Finally I just cuddled him, stroked his hair, and sang him lullabies.  He shrieked his way through the first, got a little quieter during the second, and finally fell into an exhausted sleep by the end of the third.

I hate to see my little guy in so much pain, especially when even my cuddles aren't enough comfort.  Fortunately, subsequent nights haven't been as bad, though the teeth have yet to emerge.  Kal'El may want his two (or four) front teeth for Christmas but for my part, if he doesn't get them sooner, I may not make it.

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