Don't be alarmed by the title of this post... It really takes place in the span of a couple of hours and is more of a humorous (now) story of a parenting oops.
The other day was a very busy day, as usual, for us. We drove all the way to our old stomping grounds, where my in-laws live, for the opening day of moose season. Its quite the event in Island Pond. I've written about it before and just because we don't live there anymore doesn't mean we were going to miss out.
After a long drive north, taking in the late foliage season scenery, we spent the day with friends and family we don't see too often. There were moose burgers, homemade pies, and tons of fun catching up. Of course we watched some moose be weighed and congratulations be paid. It was a great afternooon. I even had a few baby-free moments while my mother in-law cooed over her.
When we finally arrived home, late in the afternoon, I was exhausted., Emily was exhausted, and Shawn had to go to work. So, I was left with the baby and began the wind-down routine preparing for bed. Bath, bottle, burping, and snuggling. Everything was going just like normal, smoothly. Since the GERD was under control and we've switched to the bottle except for one feeding a day Emily has settled into a decent and marginally predictable bedtime routine. I expected nothing different that night.
Oh boy was I wrong.
After sucking down about half the bottle Emily suddenly became very fussy. I burped her successfully, but she was still fussy. I tried giving her the bottle again, which she sucked for a moment and then pushed it away screaming. Thinking her belly hurt her since she was a little gassy I rubbed her tummy and swayed her. She fell asleep in my arms a few minutes later. I happily took the little peanut, placed her in her crib, turned on the radio (which helps her sleep, oddly) and felt relieved.
Phew, tragedy averted.
Then five minutes later she was awake. And screaming.
What is wrong, little pumpkin? I exclaimed as I went in to whisk her out of her crib. She cried in my arms and I took her back out to the living room. She didn't stop when I cuddled her, thinking maybe she wanted to be close to me. Her diaper was dry. She didn't have to burp. Maybe she is still hungry, I thought. Earlier she had only eaten half a bottle compared to her normal full bottle so I tried to feed her, but was met with more screaming.
Eventually she fell asleep fitfully after trying everything all over again and again. So, I put her back in her crib hoping that she had exhausted herself and finally conked out for real this time. Alas, five minutes later she woke up again screaming. I was sad and frustrated when I went back in to see her wailing in her crib just like before.
The whole cycle began at 8pm. At nearly midnight I was still dealing with a screaming baby who could not be pacified for any reason. I was exhausted and had no idea what to do, but try everything all over again. Persistence and patience had seen me through before and I was hoping it would work again. This time I decided to make a new bottle. It had been a while since I prepared her last one that she kept refusing over and over. When I sat back down to try feeding her yet again, this time with a new bottle, something amazing happened.
She took the bottle and she ate.
It was a miracle.
Emily blissfully sucked down almost the entire bottle, burped, and cooed as she fell asleep in my arms. Seriously? What just happened? I was perplexed, but thankful as I gently placed her back in her crib where she soundly slept, at last. Once she was asleep I went back into the kitchen to inspect the other bottle she had been refusing where I discovered something that explained everything.
The nipple on the bottle was clogged.
That explained everything... A little tiny bit of formula didn't dissolve completely and clogged the nipple. Emily had been sucking on the bottle to her heart's desire, but not getting a drop out and that pissed her off beyond belief. I couldn't believe I missed her signals and assumed that she wasn't hungry or perhaps her stomach hurt. Worst of all I couldn't believe she indeed was hungry and I had been trying to give her a bottle that was completely ineffective.
Lesson learned... And poor Emily. She slept soundly after I figured it all out!