Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I'll always be true

Congestion. Previously this word conjured images of traffic gridlock. Now the first thing I think of is baby breathing, specifically Jacob's breathing. He is sleepless tonight and has been most of this week, and I think much of it stems from his congestion which no amount of suctioning seems to be addressing. It's long past his bedtime and past mine, for that matter, but here he sits in his bouncy chair, utterly awake and breathing strangely. He's eaten and been changed but to no avail, he's still unhappily whining to himself as he bounces.

It's been a hard day all around for us, actually. He was a napping champ during the early part of the day, but a disastrous outing to a children's consignment shop ruined everything. He screamed himself into convulsions on the way home, causing me to pull over and nurse him into some semblance of calm in a parking lot as soon as we got onto the island, because I was concerned he would start to throw up if he kept going. He detests his carrier, and his hatred is reaching epic proportions, as is his ability to express said hatred.

And now he won't sleep, on or off me. And I think the problem, as I mentioned, is breathing. But it could be anything, really. Babies are ultimately mysterious creatures, for all people have theories about what they are thinking or why they are behaving in a certain way. Donna Haraway, who theorizes about cyborgs, writes that the biological sciences are biased because our tendency to attribute our sexist view of the human world onto the animal world. Such as "these monkeys are doing such and so because the male monkeys want to be dominant and the female monkeys want to keep house"...or not! I think our theories about babies are similar. "He wants to do such and so" or "she likes this or that"...much of it is either us putting our own feelings into the mix or just guessing. The longer I am around my own infant person, the more I see how much we struggle to give meaning to all that they do...and how much of our successes are really just shell games.

In the meantime, since I started this post (though blogger will backdate it for me), we've been to the doctor who told us, helpfully, he's got a cold and is congested and should sleep upright (check) and use baby saline drops (check) while we just wait it out (check). He seems better today, Friday, after a night of upright sleeping (which wasn't as bad for me as I was anticipating), though he has no appetite, which is newly worrisome. If it's not one's a baby!

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