Disclaimer: All of the gifts we/Jude have received are lovely and we appreciate each one. Any comments stating otherwise are for comedy value only. Please don’t be offended. Ta;)
After weeks of visitors and tonnes of beautiful gifts (and some not so!) I finally managed to put the cards up and keep them on display without them getting in the way of life (i.e. not on the dining table). I don’t want to put them away, I’m just not ready! It’s along the same lines as when we took Jude to be registered. I got really worked up and cried en route to and whilst at the registry office as it was ‘too soon’. I wanted to keep him as ‘our little secret’ for as long as possible (although, as Steve pointed out, we had already announced his birth on social media), and I had convinced myself that if we didn’t register him, he didn’t officially exist! I fully admit these ideas and emotions may well have been to do with hormones, but still.
Therefore putting his cards away will be admitting that he’s going to grow up.. And my, it is happening so fast! He’s 4 weeks old today. We have managed to keep him alive for 4 weeks!
We have been PARENTS for 4 weeks. Wow.
….So of course, we took photos of him with the obligatory ‘4 weeks today’ card (one of the better gifts) and put him in the same outfit that he wore home from hospital so that we could compare how much he has grown. Just to highlight the fact that he’s growing.. Getting older.. Changing every day.. And we’ll never get these days back.
Weirdly, we want him to grow, get bigger, gain weight (which he is doing VERY successfully), because that shows we’re doing a good parenting job and he’s doing a good growing job. But the more he does this, the more our brand new, little, tiny baby moves away from being our brand new, little, tiny baby… How terribly sad.
So, I have come to learn that breastfeeding is possibly the most stressful and difficult thing to do in the world. And I mean worse than giving birth. I am in touch with many other women in my situation through antenatal classes and the like, and it seems to me that breastfeeding is the one thing that new mummies really struggle with. But it was, after my stressful labour during which I lost all control of what I wanted, the one thing left on my natural plan that I could continue to do after Jude arrived. So I have to stick at it.
My motto is as long as he’s still producing enough dirty, wet nappies (queue EXCELLENTLY timed fart to my right hand side), and gaining weight, then we’re doing alright.
But it doesn’t stop at whether we can actually feed now, today. Every day I seem to be finding a fresh, new worry about breastfeeding. Why isn’t he latching properly? Why are my nipples so sore? Why is he sick after feeding? What have I eaten to make him so windy? Am I producing enough milk? What if my milk runs out?! I must express more! Maybe I should express less? Surely expressing helps with milk production? Can my milk run out? It seems to be ‘drying up’!
You get the idea.
However, on a daily basis, I feel the overwhelming joy and happiness of watching him suckle. It’s an amazing feeling. Like, nothing will EVER live up to it. And then every now and again it’s toe-curlingly painful (ever heard of ‘clamping’??). But my god it makes me feel like I’m doing something amazing. And, provided my milk doesn’t dry up (don’t even know if this can happen), I will continue to do so until he has so many teeth that ‘clamping’ could become dangerous. (Ouch).
We have Einstein on our hands.
I’m sure everyone thinks this about their baby, but this time it’s definitely true. Jude is the most intelligent baby I’ve ever met (although I’ve not met many). But honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was walking by September! (I jest). Let me explain myself…
We’ve been very lucky in that Jude (touch wood) is a very laid back baby. Since we brought him home from hospital he has been pretty good throughout the night. There hasn’t been one night where we have been up ALL NIGHT with him. I know we’ve been very lucky. Good job too as BJ (Before Jude), I was an ‘at least 8 hours’ kind-a-gal. So Jude’s arrival has been a bit of a shock to the system. I love my sleep. So earlier this week when he had 2 poor nights on the bounce, I was beginning to fret and think this was ‘the next stage’ and he was going to be grizzly for the next few weeks at least. ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARE. So yesterday was spent in a foul mood, thinking that my sleepless nights had started already and were going to continue for the next 18 years (at least). To add to the tiredness, Jude was clearly also tired and therefore there were more Tears of Despair. From both of us. Not good.
So it seems that Jude can be likened to a dog. He has a sixth sense. Those of you that know me will know that I often refer to children as being ‘like dogs’. Being a teacher means I know that children can sniff out stress. Like an animal. And Jude appears to have learned this skill at an extremely young age.
So he pushed and he pushed and there were Tears of Despair (as mentioned).. Until last night.
Last night he slept from 11.30pm until 4am when I fed him for half an hour. Then he slept from 4.45am until 7.30am. WHAT A BEAUTY.
It’s like he pushed me to the end of my tether. I was basically at breaking point. Then he let me recharge for a night! Last night he was great!
I post these blogs on Sundays so you’ll have to wait until next week to find out whether it was for one night only……. Fingers crossed it wasn’t!
I think it’s safe to say that not one person with a newborn can tell you they know what their baby is going to do within 4 weeks of them being in their lives… I certainly don’t expect to any time soon. But we are learning.. And (thanks to last night’s sleep) we will persevere and learn about each other more and more as he grows up… Can’t wait! (But I can wait. Ifyouknowwhatimean.)