My son is amazing. My life is 100% better because he's in it, just as it is because I have Rory.
My son is not an easy baby. I'm going to be honest. It doesn't change my amount of love for him one iota, mostly because I know it's just a fleeting moment in time. I'm going to blink and he'll be sitting at the table, coloring and eating yogurt without needing any help at all. (That's exactly what Rory is doing at this moment.) Trace is, for all intents and purposes, a completely different baby that Rory. Rory was easy. EASY. Ate on schedule, slept like a champ, not the best napper but we made do.
Trace is hard.
He doesn't eat the same amount consistently, which makes him cranky. His stomach hurts a LOT, that makes him cranky. He hates napping. He has super bad dry skin (dare I call it eczema?) and a rash on the back of his head. He hates bathes but needs it for his skin. Until about two weeks ago, it was a battle to get him to poop. He doesn't have any major medical issues, thank the Lord, but he has plenty of small ones that add up to one not happy baby.
He cries. A lot. He's crying right now, whimpering in his cradle beside me. Why? I have no idea. I was holding him, but it wasn't doing anything so I put him down. Strapped him in, gave him some toys and am just going to let him fuss at me for a while. Have you ever experienced the frustration that comes with daily, time after time, not being able to calm your own baby down? There are moments where I just can't do it anymore. Then I look at that little face, with the bright blue eyes, pleading for me and I melt. I pick him up and start the process all over again.
Stand and bounce. Bounce until my hips ache. SHHHH him, swaddle him, side rock him, all the S's I can remember. Rock him in the chair, lay him on his mat, massage his belly, sing endless rounds of Jesus Loves Me. I do it all. I try so hard. Some days are great, minimal crying and fussing. Some days...aren't.
Last night, he was up 5 times in the night crying. I resisted the urge every time to go in and get him, because I knew he was fine. I did creep to the door a few times and make sure he hadn't wiggle an arm or leg out the crib slats, but he hadn't. I let him fuss in the day time a little while, trying to teach him to self soothe. I've read articles, books. Asked for advice, asked for help. But there's not much to be done for a baby who cries but is not sick. He's just...tough.
My heart aches for Trace. I worry that something else is going on and that I'm missing the clues that he is really sick. I get frustrated when people don't want to be around him because he's fussy. I get infuriated when certain people "can't handle the screaming" anymore and claim it "tears at their ears." I am far from the perfect mother, but I pray every day that I will be given the wisdom to help my son and the peace of mind to deal with the fits when the occur. That's all I can do.
Right now, as I type this, Trace finally found his Mickey lovie and is rubbing it on his nose. He has stopped crying for the moment. He actually seems content. Oh! A smile! See. Good moments among a long day of fussiness.
At the end of the day, when I him in his crib, all cozy and warm in his jammies and smelling like baby lotion, I am thankful for the day. Tough, awful, great or just okay, it was a day I got to be his mommy. And that's more than enough for me.