Sunday, August 21, 2011

Scaling the mountain

The one thing you lack with a newborn is time. He eats 8 times or so a day and you should be changing his diapers about that many times. He spits up on himself and so you're changing is clothes a few times a day (not with every spit up, mind you, or you'd be doing it every 20 minutes). He needs to be bathed every couple days. There's umbilical cord care, circumcision care, time on his tummy to develop motor skills .... and that says nothing of just time to enjoy holding him, interacting with him, and reading to him.

No wonder we're sleep deprived. This stuff adds up. There's a reason they say the first 6-8 weeks are rough.

Though I think we've held up OK for the most part, we've had some hard moments. I think we're turning a bit of a corner. Friday's meltdown made us go to bottle feeding sooner than we wanted. The classes told us to avoid bottles for 30 days so they don't confuse rubber nipples on the bottle with the real thing, but he had to eat and needed it fast. The good news is the milk is flowing better, so we're less shy about using the bottle; he gets the benefits and mom gets a break.

But the bottle feedings are letting us be a bit more flexible too. My wife got to sleep more than 3 hours in a row for the first time since he was born. And the set up and take down of feeding isn't as bad as it was early going. There are some nice benefits to no bottle, but right now it's working for us.

And as a result, I had a little more time today. I finally installed his nursery door, broke down the mountain of cardboard in our garage in time for the recycling truck, and organized the nursery closet to reflect an actual baby and not the idea of a baby. These are little things, stuff I didn't have to schedule pre-baby but now it feels good to knock them out.

I feel like I'm starting to catch up on neglected tasks around here. My email inbox is starting to thin out. I'm feeling more human than I did during the Epic Meltdown.

This isn't the end, of course. He still requires nearly round-the-clock care. And I'm terrified of the first time he gets sick. And he's still, well, a baby. But today was my first "wow we just might survive this" moment.

(knocks vigorously on wood)

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Post #67 in my 90-in-90 blog challenge. Blog with us and join the fun. I'll be blogging both here and on my professional blog for the challenge. For more about the 90/90 challenge, read about my call for participants. The blogs participating are on the list at the right, or follow us on the #LUBlogTribe hashtag on Twitter

4 comments:

  1. I just wanted to say it's really amazing to get to read about this exciting journey you're on as it's happening. I feel like you're going to love looking at back at these posts a little further down the line!

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  2. So I figured out one of your problems... Diapers don't have to be changed 8 times a day. Haven't you ever heard Jeff Foxworthy? "When it says 8-10lbs on the box they ain't kidding. That's all them suckers will hold." ; )

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  3. Oh good I'm glad things are working out! PS DO BOTTLE FEEDING - some of us still haven't had more than 3-4 hours of sleep in a row since our stupid APRIL babies showed up because they won't take a bottle. Ughhh.... In other good news, sleep deprivation eventually does become normal, and you move on with life :)

    If you are doing recycles and cleaning, you are well on your way to normalcy! Keep your spirits up!

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  4. Agreed. Bottle feeding will be fine. It will not kill bonding. My twins, as preemies, couldn't breastfeed and I pumped like a mad woman (is your wife staying really really well hydrated? That will help.) and they drank supplemented breastmilk via bottle in the first month or two until we could cut out the Neosure. And I also think that nipple confusion is hooey. My very old-school (in all the good ways) pediatrician looked at me like "what?" when I mentioned something about it, asking if it was legit. Be kind to yourself; don't judge yourself too harshly. He will be great; if you follow your instincts you will likely be fine. Try not to rely too much on what books say. Parenting is 90 percent on the fly--no, nearly 100 percent on the fly--decision making.

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