Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Zoë tales

I've been complaining about Zoë being colicky lately so my mom suggested we try a swing, to see if she likes that. I love holding babies...but there are a finite number of hours one can do that in a day. Add the screaming, screaming, screaming (screaming!) and it's a recipe for disaster. I would go to bed at one, two, three in the morning and my nerves would be completely shot. And then I'd wake up to feed Zoë whenever she woke up next. And then Benjamin would be like, "It's 7 AM!"

It was getting a little ridiculous.

But we didn't want to buy a swing and have her hate it, so I planned to send an email out to our ward to see if anyone had a baby swing sitting around gathering dust. I just hadn't done it yet.

On Sunday night, though, an email came through my neighbourhood listserv. A neighbour said she'd put out a baby swing in her front yard—it was in fine, working condition; they were just clearing out things they no longer used. It was the very same neighbour we'd snagged some baby stuff from earlier (stuff that was, in fact, in excellent condition) so I was willing to bet the swing would be, too, and immediately sent Andrew out to retrieve it.

Andrew went because Zoë was screaming and crying and as much as I can't handle it he can't handle it. I took a shower once (once—hahaha!) and when I got out he said, "You can't die, okay?"

I was like, "Deal."

Zoë had screamed the whole time for him and he was frantic.

Anyway, the swing was a big hit. She seemed to enjoy it and even let it lull her to sleep.

On Monday morning she was back to screaming full time again, but there were a few things she was willing to be distracted by. She's really starting to enjoy picture books, which is great, so we sat down for some reading time. She was gnawing her little gums on everything she could get her hands on—her hands, her clothes, toys we'd hand her. At one point she managed to grab my hand and I was surprised to be bitten by a brand-new razor-sharp baby tooth!

It's her very first one.

So perhaps she's not colicky after all? Maybe she's just a really, really bad teether, screaming day and night for months on end, all for one tiny, measly, little tooth.

That's not very reassuring. I'm sure it's colic. Which is also not very reassuring. Hmmmm...

Perhaps now's a good time to admit that I haven't been great about recording her milestones. I had a blog post all worked up in my head titled Rolie Polie Zoë (she's small and smart and round), but I didn't ever get around to writing it. Anyway, she rolled from her back to her front first, as all my kids have. She was doing that by the time she was three months old (easy, peasy) and then just a few weeks later she rolled from her stomach to her back.

We were at ukulele practice and I put her down on her back. She promptly flipped to her stomach and I lamented, "She hates being on her tummy. I wish she'd just learn to roll back onto her back." And—presto!—she did it. I think it was September 9, so, like, eons ago in baby time.

She's more calculating about her rolling these days. No longer does she flip suddenly from her back to her front (or front to back), surprising everyone in the room—including, and perhaps especially, herself. Instead she seems to think about where she wants to be. If I put her on her back she'll often stay there for a while until she decides to roll onto her front (though she sometimes still forgets that she can get back onto her back and will resign herself to crying into the carpet (just roll back over, baby—it's not the end of the world)). So she's getting pretty good at controlling her movements.

Pretty good, but not great.

Sometimes when I feed her she'll twitch as she falls asleep and I've always just written it off as normal and natural. We've all caught ourselves tripping on that last step or whatever, just as we're falling asleep, right? Everyone does it. No big deal.

Well, this afternoon while I was feeding her, she was dozing off and she suddenly started convulsing in my arms. Her head was jerking around (while she was nursing (always super comfortable)) and her arms were twitching and flopping around. I thought she was having a seizure or something and it scared me half to death.

I grabbed her arm and cried, "Zoë, what are you doing?!"

She stopped convulsing, stopped nursing, and opened her eyes to look at me before closing them again—fast asleep, as if nothing had happened. I'll probably be mentioning it to her paediatrician (because I'm a worrywart) but thanks to "teh internets" I know that my baby's not the first to have done this. In fact, it seems pretty common.

It was likely an episode of benign neonatal sleep myoclonus.

Myoclonus is an involuntary contracting of a group of muscles, which is something you've probably experienced lately if you've had the hiccups, for example. Another example is hypnagogic myoclonus, which is what it's called when your body jerks just as you're falling asleep. Neonatal sleep myoclonus is similar to that, except that babies don't have great muscle control anyway, so instead of tripping on the bottom step (as in the analogy above (because in my dreams I'm always tripping on stuff and waking up)), they trip on the top step and have to fall all the way down before they stop jerking.

Much less scary than epilepsy.

By the way, I put Zoë in the swing while I was making dinner (what a joke—we had PB&J for dinner (it's soccer night in Heissatopia) but that still takes preparation, okay?) and she started breathing excitedly as I strapped her in, and then she lunged forward a couple of times to try to make herself swing, not unlike this baby (though not quite as effectively/energetically either):


  1. I have high hopes for the swing! Weird about that jerking thing.

  2. I have Hancock lineage from Wales not linked to Solomon/Levi line. Merab Hancock married John Phillips (who sailed on the Brooklyn Ship).
    For the colic, my suggestion is to take out dairy for a time to see how that helps Zoe.
    I love watching your cute kidos grow and read the silly things they say!
    All my love and prayers! Shillene Hancock