Ranger Training

Programing Note: Going forward I will be posting one blog a week, hopefully every Sunday.

The following is my account of my first night alone with Noah at the age of one month. Due to the lack of sleep the picture is fuzzy and the details are ill-sorted.

The United States Army has the following opening sentence when describing trianing for the Special Forces (Ranger).

As a member of the Army’s Special Forces you will find strength you never knew you had. The road to get there has a number of unique challenges.

My wife went back to work this past Friday night. With-in her medical group the partners switch shifts around as if they were trading deserts at lunch, only backwards. That is to say Erin took a partners night shift and he took a handful of her day shifts. So I prepared myself for a night with Noah, just the boys hanging out. How hard could it be? For the last month he had been sleeping at least a few hours in a row and falling right back to sleep when he was done eating. No problem.

Erin’s Pager went off at 1800 (6PM) and off she went to the Hospital. Noah was snoring away so I perched myself in front of the TV for some fantastic Friday night TV. It was sheer relaxation for a couple of hours and then all hell broke loose.

2030 (8:30) – Noah finishes feeding and starts screaming, after about twenty minutes he settles down and I put him back in his crib.

2230 (10:30) – Noah lets me know he is awake by screaming at the top of his lungs. I try to comfort him while getting the bottle ready. He stops screaming only when the bottle is in his mouth.

2330( 11:30) – Asleep at last, I place him in his crib.

2345 – I climb into bed

045 (12:45) – Screams reach through the baby monitor and rocket me awake. I change the diaper, and prepare the milk. Noah screams. I yell, it does no good. The bottle helps for a moment then back to screaming. Eventually he falls asleep.

0145 – Will the screaming every stop? This is not normal for him. Will I run out of milk? There is no comforting him as I prepare the bottle.

0150 – Screaming commences I put him in his crib and go lay back in bed. The cat is hiding under the couch and the dog is looking at me as if to ask. “How do you expect me to sleep with that racket going on?” I yell some more.

0152 – Walking around the house bouncing and try to comfort. Singing silly songs, cursing, yelling, trying to burp (Noah not me).

0155 – I really could run out of milk, and I do not have the plumbing to make more? I need to hold off feeding a bit longer. About four hours until Erin gets home.

0230 – Quiet. Only because the bottle is in his mouth.
0231 – Screaming while burping
0232 – Quiet
0233 – Screaming

0300 – Asleep and in the crib

0315 – Screaming
0316 – Comforting
0317 – Quiet
0330 – Asleep in the crib

0345 – Screaming
0346 – Repeat the last forty-five minutes until 0530.

0545 – The last bottle and the realization that my God this really is like Ranger training my brother was right.

Epilogue:

Erin arrived home shortly after 0600, I did not run out of milk and the cat came our from under the couch. The dog and Noah spent Saturday sleeping. I am now better prepared for a night alone and think the description of Army Ranger training was written by a father. Also I am pretty sure even some Rangers would have washed out after this ordeal. I am only stronger because of it.

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