TO SUM UP: SLEEP DEPRIVATION AND AN INDOOR PICNIC!
So…. sleep. Sleep is…. important. I now realise why sleep deprivation has been known to be utilised as a form of torture. Apparently, we sleep so that our bodies can effectively heal after the exertions of a day, restoring cells in the brain and processing events that have been seen and actions that have been made. Basically, it’s like we shut down and reboot.
Having a newborn means you can’t shut down and reboot as normal. It’s more like hitting the ‘restart’ option really, where you get a brief bit of down time before being called up to action again. I’ve had so many people say ‘Isn’t it amazing how little sleep you can function on?!’.
Wellll….I wouldn’t call it ‘amazing’. More like ‘surprising’ really. And/or ‘necessary’. You don’t really have an option, to be honest. You have a responsibility to a little person who depends on you for everything, and that is that. You love them, you would do anything for them, and they come first above all else.
Even when its 3 am, your eyes are burning, you have one boob being latched onto vigorously by said little being, with the other boob leaking on you, all the while juggling a baby’s fragile neck in one hand to maintain the ‘correct feeding position’ and easing a muslin cloth onto your shoulder with the other to catch the inevitable reflux that will happen when little being gets winded… even then, when all you want to do is close the burning eyes and sleep forever. You keep going. You may cry, rant, swear and curse. But you don’t shut down.
I haven’t been finding the majority of the demands difficult. I am content to potter about at home, managing chores and errands and I have been really enjoying having Baby Bear cuddles whilst eating biscuits in front of the telly. We’ve also managed to piece in a few visits from some friends and family, which has been really lovely!
The past weekend was fab as my group of best girlfriends were finally all back together again following one of them being away travelling for the past year. Another was celebrating her 30th birthday as well, so I organised an indoor picnic for us all on Saturday that lasted well into the evening. We had a great time catching up, Teddy was spoilt on the cuddle front and we even managed a birthday cake with candles for my friend too. Call it ridiculous, but to be able to manage a newborn and still host a get together complete with gifts and a cake (albeit a shop bought cake!) for my friends as well as have enough energy to soak up their company, well, I was proud. The smallest things take the biggest effort at the moment, but of course it was well and truly worth it.
|A Teddy Bear’s INDOOR picnic!
Eating out with a baby is a great way to get out of the cabin fever slump though, so we all met up on the Sunday as well and went for lunch down in Brighton Marina. Some people prefer to stay home for the first month or whatever, but I know that the more I stay in the less I shall want to get out…. and that doesn’t sound healthy to me. So, going for a bite to eat with friends was perfect for a change of scene. We had changing facilities in case baby needed one of the countless nappy runs of the day, we weren’t exposed to the elements (weather has been so changeable this week, hence the indoor picnic!) and having friends around meant help was always at hand.
For example, upon Baby Bear waking up for a feed around the time dessert arrived, I was able to tackle the undo-bra-and-expose-boob-in-public-without-being-obvious saga and successfully feed Teddy, whilst my loving friend read my mind and cut up my cinnamon waffle into bite size pieces so I could eat with one hand. What are true friends for if not to make cinnamon waffles possible during lactation in public? That is ever lasting love right there!
In other news, we did need to go to the Gp for Teddy this week. For a few nights he really suffered from reflux, just the same as adults do with heartburn and discomfort, plus he was bringing up a bit of milk after every feed. It wasn’t nice to witness, especially when he was obviously in pain…. not to mention, the crying was on another level!
A screaming baby is programmed to be stressful really isn’t it? Every instinct urges you to ‘STOP THE SCREAMING’. You change nappies, feed them, wind them, rock them, sing to them and then do the hug and roll manoeuvre into the Moses basket in a hope they won’t notice. Well, the reflux crying made ME want to cry to be honest. But I didn’t, I just dozed on the sofa through the night whilst checking on him regularly, elevated his mattress slightly and fed on demand every 1.5hrs in small doses. Paulibear and I managed a tag team routine, where he took over watching him in the morning whilst I slept in bed properly, only waking up to feed Baby Bear when he needed it. See…. you can understand why I have been on ‘restart’ mode!
Reflux is very common, especially in premature babies, and is caused by the valve (that shuts the oesophagus off from the stomach) being too weak so tummy acid and contents comes back up. We’ve been given some infant Gaviscon and so far it has helped a treat! It comes in a powder sachet, which does mean having to put expressed breast milk into a bottle with the powder mixed in. I was quite daunted about giving him a bottle feed, due to confusing Baby Bear, but needs must and if he does seem confused we can always try re learning breast feeding through skin to skin contact and patience, and worst comes to worst I shall just express as much as I can and use the bottle to feed him instead. Aside from settling his tummy, it was a great chance for Paulibear to give him a feed and have some poppa bear bonding time, and I sat next to them and expressed so as not to upset my milk supply.
Ha! And there you were thinking the bottle feed meant time off for my mammaries?! Not a chance!
Additional information and findings from this week:
– Netflix is invaluable for helping pass the sleepless nights. And the Jeremy Kyle show helps make you feel better about things during the day. No matter how sleep deprived your body, no matter how milked your ‘udders’ are…. you are nowhere near as dire looking as the greasy haired, toothless, decaying creature in ill fitting clothes being put through a lie detector for allegedly cheating 6 times!
– The store Aldi is a great place for stocking up on Baby supplies!
– Babies have a sixth sense when it comes to being within a 2 foot radius of a Moses Basket.
– They also have a sixth sense of when you have found the optimum position in bed before they shriek/cough/gasp and/or fart/puke.
– Being comfortable makes it all the harder to get up and function. Am considering a bed of nails so that I actually want to get up and breastfeed at 3 am.
– Upon Baby Bear signalling he is ready for feeding/puking/changing…. Paulibear and myself resemble meerkats, emerging over the quilt in a mixture of trepidation and curiosity. Oddly enough, the cats (who are meant to be curious??) don’t bat an eye and snooze through everything.
– Said cats have accepted Baby Bear’s presence. Fred preferred him in bump form but has recently sat on my lap during a feed…. more for my comfort than for Teddy’s. And Winnie resembles Nanna the dog from Peter Pan, checking on Baby Bear and ourselves at regular intervals and always being just a few feet away. Keep expecting her to walk through the living room door in a maid’s cap and apron, brandishing milk bottles on a tray. Oh, if only… at the very least it would give my boobs a rest!
|Snug as a bug!