A.'s arrival into the world started a bit rough. After two weeks of back labor followed by PROM that caused an infection that spiked a fever of 105, pre-eclampsi, labor induced with pitocin that resulted in a three hour non-stop contraction followed closely by an epidural that worked only partially in spots, getting all the way there and pushing for 30 minutes to have it ended in a c-section due to my blood pressure. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being you have an orgasim during birth (serouisly, look that shit up) and 1 you don't get to take a baby home, it was a solid 5. The only part of that entire day that made any of that worth it was when I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.
Most people say healthy baby. But we didn't know if he was. While in utero, A. had kidneys that did not function because his kidneys were enlarged. It was first noted on the 20 week ultrasound and was followed closely every four weeks after that with level II ultrasounds. His kidneys gained and retained fluid at a very large rate, one that allowed me to have two OBs, a regular one who monitored me and a high risk one for A. and his kidneys. The kidneys, they assured us, if not functioning could be operated on and fixed but they could also just start working at birth for reasons they fully don't understand.
With NICU standing by at his birth, his whole birth was and is a blur. They didn't even allow us to see him until he had been cleaned up and checked out by a specialist and then only briefly. His APGAR scores were very well and he ended up being brought to the regular nursery. I was still drugged out of my mind due to the pre-eclampsia and had given strict, written in a word document, strict, guidance that absolutely no bottles or pacis were to be given to A.
Only, I hadn't considered that I wouldn't see my baby for nearly 2 1/2 hours and that because of his kidneys he would have to receive additional tests, one of which was an ultrasound of his kidneys. This is when he had his first paci, green paci. The Husband told me that he just wasn't sure what to do, A. wouldn't stop screaming as they pushed on his kidneys and when the nurse asked about a paci, he said sure. I wasn't and still am not mad about The Husband's decision; I would have made the same one.
His kidneys, by the way, to make a dramatic story end on a happy note, ended up being fine. They began functioning shortly after birth for reasons they still aren't sure why on. And here is my one corny moment... in that moment when they told us he was indeed healthy, I bawled. Bawled like I had never done before in my life. I felt like I truly, truly understood what a miracle it is to get a baby, a healthy baby, at the end. And moving on ;)
After that, his addiction was due to need, mine and his. He was a colicy baby. I needed him to have a paci as much as he did. I didn't leave the house without at least three in the diaper bag, one in the stroller, one clipped to him and one in the car.
But with all addictions, at some point they must, or should, come to an end. And for us, for A., it was this past weekend. Due to the holiday, I had a three day weekend and decided it was the best time. I had read in numerous books and magazines that a paci habit can be broken in only three days. I read that you should tell the child that the pacis are going somewhere else, do a trade and be matter of fact about it. And in three days, the crack like addiction would be gone.
We began the task by limiting his paci to only nap time and bedtime, down from car use and boo boos. Then we told him the pacis had to go to the new babies who needed him. He was less than agreeable to this until I promised him a light saber, the blue light saber, that he has been asking for, for at least six months now. Now he was interested. So with coupon in hand (seriously I rocked this deal, it was on TPC at Target for $29.99 down from $34.99 and with a $8 dollar off on-line Target coupon plus 5% off for using my Red Card plus a 5% Target pharmacy rewards I ended up scoring that sucker for $20!) we went to buy it Friday night. I also rocked a Darth Vader mask for $0.98 and he scored that too (they have a $5 off coupon off electronic Star Wars masks and they had marked down the old packaging from $19.99 to $5.98!).
And so we set off to put him to bed that first night. We expected it to go bad and actually, it only went mildly bad. He bawled for the the first five or 10 minutes. I tried to comfort him but he was having nothing to do with it. I felt horrible. I should have cut him off years ago. Mommy guilt began and in full force. Then the bawling turned into sobbing for the next thirty minutes and eventually he let me rock him and he calmed down.
The next day for nap he refused to take one without paci. He bawled and howled again. I told him he didn't have to nap but he still needed quiet time in his room. Much to my shock, he did just that.
The second night the same howling began. I offered to lay on his floor near his bed and he seemed fine with this. He eventually fell asleep but ended up in our bed later that night due to night terrors (unrelated to the pacis, he just seems to get them in runs, so did The Husband when he was little).
Naps and bedtime have since repeated like this ever since. We are heading into night four of bedtime without pacis and day three without a nap.
Quite honestly, it's a good thing I threw the pacis in the outside trash or else I would have caved already. But we're together trudging through and I think at the end we will all make it out okay. Right?