It was really hard when my Mum left. It was just so helpful having her around for that week, especially since it ended up involving so many medical appointments. And she was ALWAYS willing to hold E., which meant I could get a real break (although not any more sleep during the day- I still seem incapable of managing that, which is frustrating, but it is what it is). She also weeded our garden, saving Q. multiple hours of work that he really doesn’t have the time for right now. And it was just nice to have her around to chat with- when we visit it is usually for a weekend and things are always so hectic. I know she was driving Q. crazy by the end, but I was really sorry to see her go.
But, we’re managing ok thus far. I feel like Q. and I are starting to know our baby a bit better. Last night he would not go down, and I knew it wasn’t gas or hunger, so I suggested Q. give him his finger to suck on for a moment or so. It worked- he conked right out (and then slept from 9.30 until 2- which he hasn’t done in ages). This morning, when I put him back in the crib after feeding (up at 5.30, back in crib at 6:10), he was grizzling and getting agitated, and Q. wondered if he should go and pick him up. I wondered that too, but suggested we wait just another minute or so as he wasn’t yet actually crying. And eventually E. went back to sleep. Mind you, earlier in the evening I’d run his bath and made it too cold and poor Q. ended up having to do some skin-to-skin as when he toweled E. off he was shivering, so it’s not like we’ve got this parenting thing figured out. But I feel like we’re making progress.
I think we have been keeping him awake too long during the day and getting him overstimulated, especially in the late afternoons. So this afternoon I was more proactive about putting him in the crib after his 3:00 feed- I had him swaddled at 4:15- he started to yawn as I put on the swaddle, and by 4:35 or so, he was conked out (and is currently still sleeping). I also think I’ve made things worse by not wanting to put him in the crib all the time, because I worry he will feel abandoned. He always gets at least one nap on my chest during the day, and one in the stroller, but I need to be careful that we continue to have a clear routine. He strikes me as a baby that will respond to routine and predictability, and it will certainly make his Daddy and me happier, given we are rather hide-bound.
So I do think there is progress being made in the Turia household, and I’m starting to feel like I can enjoy my son rather than just view him as really hard work. I actually really like the late night feedings- it’s just the broken sleep that hurts later. But in the middle of the night, when Q. is sound asleep, and the streets are quiet, and E.’s hot little breath is against my neck as I cuddle him before putting him back in his crib, I feel so very lucky to have him.
I am still having problems with my left breast (which has the duct that caused all the excitement last week). I cannot for the life of me figure out what is different about E.’s latch on that side, but it still hurts whereas the right one is absolutely fine. And he sometimes clicks when nursing on that side, which I know is a latch issue, so I move him around and pull on his chin to make sure the lip is out. Weird, no?
We’re back in cloth diapers again, and thus far (knock wood), there’s no sign of a diaper rash resurgence. We’re mainly using prefolds (with a stay-dry microfleece liner), but we do have some bamboo fitteds sent to us by a friend that we use as well (although they’re not as absorbant). E. still hates having his diaper changed- it is about the only time that he really cries (that and when he’s overtired and fighting going to sleep).
E. is three weeks old today. We’re halfway to the six week mark. My mum (among others) has told me that hitting the 10 pound mark made a huge difference with her babies and how they slept. If E. keeps gaining as he’s been doing, he’s on target to hit that by next weekend. I am getting a fair amount of sleep, but the prospect of getting a longer stretch is just delightful. The best news is that E. has consistently now been stretching the time between his two night feeds to three and a half hours, which means I can nab almost three hours of sleep if he feeds efficiently and goes right back down again. Funny how you start to measure things even in fifteen minute increments.
I do remember our former life. I started making plans this week that Q. and I should go out to a bar to watch the hockey finals…and then I remembered that we won’t be doing that for a long time. But we might stream the game on the laptop and order some pizza. And that will be ok too.