Keeping Track

I dream in math and babies.

I don’t know if other new moms have experienced this phenomenon, but for the past week, my infrequent sleep has been plagued with fuzzy calculations that never quite seem to work out:  How many hours since the last feeding? How long has Sam been sleeping? How many days until the cord stub falls off? How many minutes was he nursing on the right? Or was it the left? How many diapers? Math is a nightmare for me anyway (half of my college decision was based on the fact that I wouldn’t be required to take any college-level math classes), but isn’t it enough to deal with it when I’m awake?

One of the reasons that numbers have figured so prominently in the care of my newborn is that he’s had some minor health problems that have required overnight monitoring of his blood oxygen saturation level. Long story short: it’s an altitude thing. Little Sam is hooked up to an oxygen tank all night and for much of the day. Our goal is to get him 90% or more saturated for 88% or more of the time. It makes for a lot of numbers to consider and considering them intelligently in the stupor of late-night feedings has proven difficult.

So in hopes of clearing my head of fuzzy math for the day, here’s a numerical breakdown of life with a baby:

11: Days of Sam’s young life.

7: Days of Sam’s young life that have included time in the hospital or trips to the doctor’s office

27: Minutes it took us to go from being against pacifier usage to coaxing one into Sam’s wimpering mouth

2.5: Hours is the longest that Sam has slept in one stretch in the night

13: Average number of diapers Sam goes through in a day.

5: Different phone numbers we have for the medical supply company that brings the oxygen and monitors

15: Approximate number of meals my wonderful mother left in our freezer.

3: Times I was peed on before I learned to factor in a wait time for diaper changing.

132: Hours spent marveling at Sam’s every squeak and yawn

1: Hand used to type all this while holding Sam in the other.




Filed under Domesticity, Mothering

4 responses to “Keeping Track

  1. Cayla

    I’m smiling because all of the math was so mind-boggling for us that we made spreadsheets, clocking the time he was asleep and eating. All to prove to the pediatrician that the baby just didn’t sleep! Only to have him refer us to a sleep specialist who, upon attempting to make the appointment told us that they don’t see any infants under 4 months of age “because their sleep cycles are so unpredictable.” (really?)
    You’ll get to the point where it doesn’t matter how long he nurses on each side. You’ll just be able to tell a difference in how your breast feels. And when he falls asleep or comes off on his own, then he’s done!
    Hang in there…your math skills will improve with motherhood! 😉

    (I know you don’t know me, but your mom sent me your link some time back and I’ve been lurking occasionally! 😉

  2. Abby Schamp

    This totally bring me back. But I can’t imagine adding managing oxygen to the list of things you’re trying to keep track of already! You are amazing. I made a little log book for keeping track of all meals, diapers, and sleep and it was handy for the 6 weeks that we bothered to keep track of all the details like that. It’s kinda fun to look back at it now and read the hilarious sleep-deprived “notes” that Andy wrote in (like at a 1:00 am feeding: mommy’s gonna ‘splode! gotta feed!)

  3. Janet Schamp

    We had a great time being with you for the first 9 days of Sam’s life, despite the rocky spots. We were glad we were there to help. It was an experience I won’t soon forget. I miss him (and you too) already.

    Cayla, I hope you’re ready to do it all over again. But of course baby number two will be nothing like Maurice! Just as wonderful, but different. And hopefully a good sleeper, without the swing.

  4. Stefanie Ravenhill

    Hilarious! And so true. You capture the early days of motherhood so well!

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