Parenting without a second parent around

Chris left early yesterday morning for San Francisco, so when Kaia started crying at around 5:45am, I knew I had to get up and soothe her. The pacifier didn’t work, and she refused to go back to sleep. So I did what we normally do when she refuses to go back to sleep early in the morning: I took her to our bed. She played a bit but still seemed unhappy after, so I decided to feed her a bottle a little early. When the nanny arrived at 8am, I told her what had happened, and she suggested I take a nap in the afternoon. I knew that would be a bad idea for my rhythms, but also because I had a lot of meetings during the day, so it would be inconvenient. I’d just have to suck it up and get through the day.

By the time the nanny left, I’d finished my work day, plus my third pump, which meant I could spend quality time with Kaia and not have to worry about being restricted by an electric nipple sucker. Everything went well in the evening: we played, she crawled everywhere and even worked up a little sweat, we read books and sang songs. But by the time of her bottle feed, I realized her teething must have been bothering her because she kept rejecting her last bottle. She would drink about 10ml, then stop and push the bottle away. And after drinking about 180ml, she flat out started screaming and crying at the top of her lungs. In the end, it lasted only about 20 minutes, but it felt like an eternity. My poor baby was in so much pain, and nothing was calming her down. I finally got her to stop crying by offering some spoonfuls of cold water, plus I put her on top of the AC for some vibration and cold, and that worked. Her Australian baby Tylenol and syringe made her angry, and she kept refusing it until I finally forced it into her mouth. After some more cuddles and soothing, she was finally asleep by about 9pm, when I got ready to do my fourth and last pump of the day before going to bed.

Of course, all these issues in the grand scheme of things are tiny, and they could easily have been a lot worse with a more ill-tempered baby. But isn’t it just convenient that these issues happened on Chris’s first day away on his work trip?

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