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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Teenage Drama Prequel (Week 4)

Day 1 -7: 

Week four is similar to week three - I’m feeling more confident in my mothering abilites every day, and getting out of the house as much as possible in between feedings. The daily walks are doing my brain, and my post delivery body good, and the utter exhaustion that comes with a baby that wakes up every two hours round the clock settles into a more normal tired state.

I am grateful that at the two week pediatrician appointment, the doctor highlights two key things that will come into play this week:

1) Many babies will become much more fussy at 4-6 weeks of age, until they begin to have circadian sleep rhythms, and

2) Many babies will experience ‘baby acne’ at 4 - 8 weeks of age

It's important that we are aware of this information, because on the first day of her 4th week, both arrive like clockwork. All moms talk of a "witching hour" - a time of the day where their children transform from contented mini people to inconsolable balls of tears. This is mainly because their body's nervous system is developing, and is in the process of correctly "wiring" the baby to have the urge to sleep at night. Maddy seems fine all day, and at five o'clock, without fail, will begin to wail, and no amount of soothing, diaper changing or nursing will console her. As the doctors say this will last until she is six weeks, we begin counting down the days. The good news - supposedly after 6 weeks, babies will begin to have the urge to go to bed at night, and begin sleeping longer intervals at a time. Another important reason to begin counting down the days.

As far the acne, it too arrives like clockwork. One morning the smooth, perfect baby complexion is replaced with that of a teenager with a serious acne issue. This shouldn't seem like a big deal, however my worried mom brain goes into overdrive, and in my head I'm diving back in my teenage years, when I WAS that teenager with the serious acne issue. I didn't have the normal teenage acne - a few pimples here and there, embarrassing but manageable. I had the full fledged face encompassing acne that could not be controlled or hidden under any layer of makeup. The kind that caused cruel kids to have just the angle they needed for torment. I distinctly remember one such peer persuading a foreign exchange student to ask me if I had chicken pox as a prank. While the ridicule and torment I suffered helped me to develop a thick skin and taught me a valuable lesson in compassion, it wasn't a joy to endure at the time.

Seeing this baby acne on my beautiful little girl, I'm reminded (and worried) that like it or not, she may inherit some of my more undesirable genes, and have to suffer through some awkward teenage years. While I know it will build character, and she will stumble through it like all teenagers inevitably do, I pray the peers she has will be less cruel about whatever awkwardness befalls her.