Feeling: A little worse for wear, but happy because every moment is for you 🙂
As of late, my life has been all about feeding, sleeping, burping and changing the baby. And while we are getting better and better at managing our schedules now, I’m starting to feel the fatigue.
Since we’re actually feeding the bub on demand, we still wake up 2-3 times every night to give his little tummy a little top up while he’s subconscious.
How it works is that I sleep for perhaps about an hour or two or three if I’m lucky, then I have to get up and shove food in baby’s mouth then try to go back to sleep.
I can’t begin to tell you what it probably feels like for the hubs when he sleeps with us and gets woken up by the crying bub AND he has to get up at 5am every morning to get to work. It’s gotten to the point where I chase him out of the room to sleep in the guest bedroom so he can feel sort of refreshed for work on some days.
There was a point in time where I was a little bit concerned that the bubby might have a bit of a day and night confusion thing going on. Like he would be wide awake when it’s dark and tired as heck and sleepy when normal people are up and about.
And the reason I was concerned was because it goes without saying that if it’s difficult enough to get the bub to sleep in the middle of the night, imagine what it’s like trying to keep a sleepy baby awake in the day so that he can self-regulate. And sleepy, fussy baby means tired and grumpy baby, means sleeping at the wrong times and taking cat naps and not resting when he’s supposed to and schedule getting worse.
It’s a huge catch 22 situation. Kinda like a chicken and egg thing? A vicious cycle indeed.
I’m reminded about how things were in the days when we were teenagers and we were able to sleep for 12 hours straight (on weekends) and now, we have to live on the scant 4 or 5 to get through the day.
Heck, when we were young, I could go to sleep at 2am in the morning and wake up for school at 6am and be able to survive the day. Don’t even talk about the mad weekends when we would go out clubbing and get drunk and still be able to function the next day.
We are OLD and the body just can’t catch up!
So let me just state here for the record that I’m seriously jealous of the baby because he’s got things good for the next few years especially since right now, he’s averaging roughly 17 hours of sleep a day – that’s not going to change much even when he starts going to school…
In any case, how often SHOULD a baby be feeding in the wee hours of the morning anyway?
The internet is seriously quite chock full of answers on the different things to expect from a newborn baby and their so-called expected sleeping and waking times, and did you know that you could even get sample timetables online?
Baby center has pretty good info and a number of sample schedules to look at that I’ve been trying to read through to get an idea on how to plan my day. They’ve been in most part quite helpful, but at times I get confused thinking about whether I should be so anal about controlling sleeping and eating times for the bub at all.
There’s a lot of hooha in the parenting advice channels of the day about how things should be more baby-led rather than parent-led and I seriously think that I’m up to my ears with how things need to happen already 😦
There’s only so many hours in the day to try different things before the moment passes and the bub grows out of the problem and you have to deal with a whole other issue, so why not just wing it as things come instead of reading what people are telling you to do on the internet?
And to be absolutely honest, things have actually improved quite a fair bit and we’ve come a long way already as it is. From the mad 1 to 2 hour wakings to feed and change diapers and burp the baby, we’ve learnt short cuts and more efficient ways of getting things done so we slowly steal back the minutes in the night to get back a little bit more rest.
For example, we’ve learnt that the baby sleeps relatively soundly enough for us to skip night diaper changes (as long as we rub preventative diaper rash cream on his hiney) and I’ve (sort of) got the hang of feeding the bub while lying on my side (side-lying) so that I don’t have to be entirely upright and awake while I’m giving him his nourishment. (Obviously sitting up stark straight is going to be more difficult for you to maintain a sleep cycle as compared to when you’re in a prone position.)
But trust me when I tell you that you still feel like a freaking zombie the next day when you’re still waking up through the night, regardless of how many times. Sometimes when my mummies group gathers and there are mum’s feeding, we all sport the same blank-eyed stare into thin air when our babies are latched on to the boob.
There is NO replacement from a full night’s uninterrupted sleep.
Anyway like I said, things are changing so it’s not like things aren’t improving . But even as baby changes day by day and starts to get better at staying awake in the day and sleeping through the night, we long for the days where we used to be able to go down for the count knowing that the next time we’ll have to get up, the sun would be up too.
I’m not looking forward to bub’s growth spurt times either because the fussiness is supposed to get worse then too.
Because the bub is growing, he needs to feed himself more often to fuel his growth, so the boob has to be on call for him so that he can keep the nutrients and energy and SUPPLIES for all that growing in his body. Not to mention the fact that he learns how to be more efficient at eating and digesting at the same time.
We were actually pretty lucky that we didn’t suffer much with a growth spurt at week 6. I don’t quite recall him waking up to feed any more often than he already was. But that could be because the bub knows that I normally use the boob as a last resort when we can’t figure out how to get him to (for lack of a better word) shut up.
It literally shuts him up
Ugh, I should feel like a horrible mum about now…
So as I was talking in my last post, we’re trying to get things a little bit more regulated so we can try and schedule little naps in between the day to match him and get some work done if we can too.
Not to mention that the doctor has given me the go ahead at my very last c section review to start exercising again. And with that. here’s hoping that whatever they say about breastfeeding helping you to lose weight and get back to your pre-birth size without having to diet or exercise is true because where the hell am I going to find the time to squeeze that in my hectic schedule!
And AGAIN, heaven forbid that I need to go squeeze time to start doing work again. The travelling and paperwork and administration….
I’mma gonna be fat forever *bawls*
However in order to move on, consistency is the key and there’s no better thing to do to improve your situation then actually doing something so to get things kicked off it looks like even our weekend schedules are going to start with waking up early now because we need to “keep to the schedule” in order to get his little body regulated.
We’re going to be doing early mornings for a VERY, VERY long time more to come.
All that being said, I have to admit that I know I shouldn’t want to rush things ahead when every minute that’s passing now is so precious. Although I long for the days when my time will be indeed MY time again, I know that the moments that I spend with the little bub now are moments that I can never get back again if I squander them.
As it is, I look at his chubby little face and try to memorise his little features, down to the folds on his double chin and the little cowlicks that appear on his head when I brush his hair off his forehead.
Hell, he had these 2 little spot on his chin when he was born that rested on the tip of his chin and although I knew they would disappear when his skin had acclimatised to the big outside world, I still felt a twinge of wistfulness when they finally went away.
And that’s why I need to say it here, that it’s selfish of me to think only of myself and my sleep and my rest when I need to focus on my bub and his experiences in this so easily-influenced period of the little man’s life.
So to hell with a full night’s rest and being able to poop without listening out for bubby’s cries. It’s all about him right now 🙂
My bub is my world,