Failure

Those who know me know that I despise failure. I lament against my own and am disgusted when someone else – usually my students – chooses to allow himself to fail. You know, that defeatist position that is so often easier to take on than is the one of hope. So here I am after a night when I accepted defeat.

Yadon woke up somewhere in the 4-5 a.m. time frame with a few whimpers. This is the usual “ahhh” cry he uses to notify me that it’s time to eat. As I am the food source (thanks to my insistence on breast feeding), the whines put me on duty while Marques gets a few precious minutes more of sleep. So I whipped one out – there really is no delicate way to say that – and attempted to help Ya latch like the illustrated “how to” breast feed guide says I’m supposed to do.

Ordinarily this is no big deal, seeing as how we’ve been at it almost a month now. He usually shakes his head left and right with his mouth gaped open, lets out what can only be described as a growl, and then clamps his jaws down hard on his nipple. Sometimes he even lets out this relief sigh as he begins to eat. It’d be a comical sight to share if I weren’t trying to preserve some modesty.

Last night, though, Ya latched and let go… latched and let go. And in between his latching, he’d claw at me with his fingers, writhe his body and arch his back as if being attacked, and cry loud and uncontrolled sobs.

Surely this meant a gas bubble, so I tried to burp him. He stopped crying long enough to acknowledge his new positioning on my shoulder and then resumed his “tantrum.” After 15 or so more minutes of this fruitless battle to feed him, my frustration set in and I found myself setting him down beside me and saying “Just go ahead and cry then.”

Thankfully Marq took my cue and rescued Ya from himself, as Marq began an interchanging routine of bouncing, rocking, kissing, talking, changing and walking Ya around the house. It worked… for a few minutes… and then as Ya would begin to calm and allow his eyes to drift shut, he’d remember whatever ailment he was suffering from and would begin his tantrum again.

By 6 a.m. I had managed to wipe away the steady stream of tears that followed my giving up and decided to relieve Marq of his efforts to satisfy Ya. Again we started the attempts at feeding and I was slightly more successful… except I couldn’t stop crying. So picture Ya reasonably content and eating, and Mommy assuming the melancholy mood– body shaking with sobs and tears flowing. Now Marq couldn’t simply go back to sleep for a few precious moments before waking for work. Nope, Daddy now had to figure out how to soothe a hopelessly hormonal Mommy.

Sometime after that all three of us had drifted off to sleep. I woke with a start at 7:18 realizing that Marq needed to be up for work and Chi needed to prepare for school.

[Had Chi been awake during our dawn ordeal, she’d have likely saved the day. Somehow her high pitched “Goodnight and sleep tight my baby brud-der-er” renditions stop Ya from crying. He doesn’t even mind that she smells of “hanitizer” because she never forgets to disinfect before coming near her baby.]

This morning, Ya began a repeat performance of yesterday and last night. He’s sleep now – thankfully – but I know there’ll be more when he awakens. When will my son be happy again?

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