The other night, after waking up for a second time to nurse Frida, I was Googling any number of questions I’ve had recently–“When to start sleep routine with baby?” “How long after birth does your body take to heal?” “Sore, burning nipples?” “What’s the meaning of life?” etc–when I realized that there really should be a word for what I was doing.
I know other moms and dads are doing the same thing across the country. You can’t help it. You’re there. It’s 2 a.m. and you’re feeding a baby. Maybe your baby is colicky and you want to find a solution to that. Maybe your baby wakes too much or too little and you want to know what the internet says about that. Maybe you had no freaking idea that your body would be such a mess after giving birth and you hope someone can advise you in that area. And so you multi-task: you feed your baby and you look ask the internet for help.
What is this thing we are all doing? Boobling? Polling an all-nighter? Momvestigating? Readers, help me out here. I’m too sleep deprived to think of a good one.
In my own case, I’ve had a lot of reasons to Booble/momvestigate. Though having Frida has been a joy overall, there have also been challenges–to say the least.
The first was breastfeeding itself, which, in case you’ve never tried it, is not all that easy (at least for many of us). Within the first week my nipples were cracked and bleeding from Frida’s “improper latch” as they say in breastfeeding circles. So I spent many a late nights feeding her while also watching YouTube videos on how to get your baby to latch correctly (it turns out you have to treat your child’s head like a football and gently but firmly and–most importantly–swiftly steer it onto the goal post that is your nipple).
After things in the nipple department got a little better, I developed a bladder infection, which required antibiotics, which affected Frida (or at least I decided they affected her). For the first three weeks of life, Frida was the most docile, sleepy, lovely baby ever. I thought that maybe we were going to have one of “those babies,” i.e. the ones that slightly smug parents smile about and say, “She’s just always been SO easy.”
But then I got on antibiotics and suddenly Frida started to have gas issues. And when you’re a baby with gas, your best way of handling it is to scream and cry. So suddenly we had still-sweet baby, but one who occasionally took to screaming and crying (and sleeping less).
So of course, I started Googling, “How to help with gassy baby” and “Do antibiotics affect baby?” The internet helped a little bit there, mostly in reminded me what techniques we used for Nico when she was gassy. And after seven days my antibiotics regimen ended. I thought we were on the up and up.
Then, I kid you not, that same night I woke up with a high fever and a killer pain in one of my breasts. I mean killer. So as I fed Frida with the other breast, I Googled, “high fever and painful breast.” Every site that came back told me I had mastitis, which, if you don’t know, is a painful bacterial infection of the milk ducts. So, the next day I called my OB and described the symptoms to a nurse over the phone and she confirmed that I had mastitis and called in ANOTHER antibiotics prescription.
The antibiotics worked quickly and soon my fever was gone and my breast started to feel better. But by the next day, Frida was suddenly much worse, gas-wise. We had two nights in a row in which she just screamed for an hour or two without stopping. So, of course, those nights I Googled, “Does my baby have colic?” and “Signs of a colicky baby” and “When will this all stop??”
The internet was inconclusive on this front (apparently colic is only diagnosed if a baby cries for three straight hours, at least three days a week, starting around three weeks of age, which seems somewhat unscientific to me), but it did help me find one page that discussed antibiotics and infants and recommended that both Frida and I start taking probiotics. So we did that (Gerbers probiotics drops for her and a stronger one for me). And, so far, they’ve seemed to help. I’m still on antibiotics, but Frida’s gas is getting better. And my stomach (which was a little achy from the back-to-back doses of antibiotics) also feels better.
This is not to say that we won’t have more issues to come. But last night, at least, Frida fell asleep at 7:30 and woke up only to feed and then fell promptly back to sleep. I still have some pain when I’m feeding her, but it’s starting to feel a lot better. I’ve even downloaded a book to start listening to during my late-night feedings (H is for Hawk–it’s great!). So there is hope. Maybe I won’t need a word for that late night Googling after all…