He slept for 6 hours.
He slept for 6 hours! In a row! In fact, I woke him for a feed as I was worried he might starve!
To those of you that read last weeks blog, I said I’d update you on whether or not Jude slept as well the next night as he had had such a good night previously. Well, he did! He had a great night! In fact, every night since has been amaz… Wait, no, that’s not right. Unfortunately he hasn’t fallen into an amazing pattern of sleeping through. We’re still putting him down each night and crossing our fingers he’ll have a good one. Well, I am anyway… Steve tends to sleep. Don’t get me wrong, he does his fair share of helping; he even stays up later so I can go and have a few hours before Jude comes up, and he gets up in the mornings with him to let me lie in. Good man! But the nights are still sucky. Especially if you’re breastfeeding as only one of you can do it (pun intended). I think that’s the general thing when you sign up to having a baby; you also sign up to a rather large reduction in sleep.
So, I’ve decided to follow my ‘98% of the time the glass is half full’ philosophy, and enjoy the night feeds. After all, it’s extra cwtching time with my darling boy, why wouldn’t I like it?? I was taking Jude into his room and nursing him in the chair in there to stay awake. But I was still finding that the night feeds had a ‘quick, let’s get it over with’ vibe to them, which made me feel a little guilty. I was also really struggling to wake up when he cried, trying to get him back off to sleep by leaning into the Moses basket from bed and shoving a dummy in his mouth or viciously rocking him in it for at least half an hour, before admitting defeat and getting up. So the latest in my ‘positive approach’ means that I take Jude downstairs as soon after he first cries as possible, pop on an episode of Gossip Girl (I’ll explain later), and spend some nice, positive feeding time with my baby, before winding him, cuddling him to sleep and taking him back up to bed to sleep the rest of the night out in a satisfied and loved way. Joy joy joy, happy happy happy! (It is actually like this, I promise!!)
Before I move on: the Gossip Girl thing is simply so I have a series to watch that Steve won’t want to, whilst doing night feeds and generally being stuck in the house with a feeding baby for hours on end. And before you judge, I’ve already watched OITNB. Any suggestions for series’ good for this purpose much apprieciated.
So this week I’ve felt a little like I’ve done some of the things that I used to do BJ (before Jude). We went on a date to Wagamamas.. He slept the entire time and I got to be waited on and fed whilst sitting and reading a magazine. Glorious! I’ve also started painting again. I painted whilst I was pregnant and loved it. I did a bit of art in school and painting was always something I enjoyed even though I wasn’t very good at it! But Jude now has a painting of a lion in his room and I thought I’d have a go at doing some more children’s animals. Great fun!
The key is to time the activities right. As long as you can trust that they will sleep for the majority of the time, you can do what you like! When in public, make sure you have a method of instant soothing on hand and you’ll be fine! (we were using the sling as much as possible as ‘instant soothing’ but now he gets more irate before he calms down and people look at me like I’m torturing him, so now it’s usually a dummy. He tends to spit it out as soon as he’s calmed down anyway.) The other piece of advice I would say is to do a practice run with someone else before going it alone. That way, you can uncover any potential problems before doing it on your own. Eg do they have a lift? Will I need to take the car seat instead of the buggy? How do I put the rain cover on? Can I do it one handed? And if worst comes to worst, make sure you’ve got some snappy one-liners for the people that will inevitably comment when your baby is screaming the place down and you’re frantically trying to calm them down, whilst smiling sweetly and telling people that “they’re never usually like this”, or “they were fine when we were outside a minute ago”.
Oh yes, and don’t get too irritated by them when they throw up on their clean clothes SECONDS after you’ve dressed them, then throw up on your cleans clothes SECONDS after you’ve dressed yourself, then poo so much it goes through the nappy and 2 layers of clothes and you have to change them again SECONDS before leaving the house. Literally, he was sitting in the car seat. Yes, this happened.
On a lighter note, we also took Jude to the beach this week. I didn’t do it alone (and probably never will as it’s HARD WORK), but it was lovely, and he behaved impeccably (once he stopped screaming).
But this week has been a turning point in the ‘life goes on’ context I guess…. Things could, possibly, maybe, slightly, be getting easier………?
For some reason which I can’t explain, Jude has started latching incorrectly. It’s probably my fault, and he may well have been doing it wrong from the beginning, but all of a sudden breastfeeding is unbelievably painful. Like, shooting pains at random times of day and night when he’s nowhere near my boobs. And I (as you do), Googled it, and now I’m really concerned that my milk will run out (again) and that he’s not getting enough. So now feeding can be much more stressful because I have to take him off every time the pain gets too bad, and try and reattach him in the correct way (which is much more difficult than you would imagine). I’m gutted. We were doing so well!
So I’ll probably try and pop along to a drop in session this week. I still really want to continue… I’ll just have to prepare myself to be manhandled by strangers….. Yep, the realities and joys of breastfeeding!
On a lighter note…
He smiles!! Our swollen, wrinkly, wriggly, squirmy baby boy is growing into his skin, having facial expressions, ‘talking’ to us (you know, those little noises they make in return when you talk to them) and SMILING. And it’s not wind! It’s amazing…… And scary how fast it’s all happening! But he’s doing an amazing job of being in this world so far:)