Monday, April 16, 2007

Thoughts in the Early Morning

So, it's just past 6 am.

Everyone warns you about the sleepless nights. However, it's hard to fully wrap your brain around the fact that it doesn't matter how badly YOU need something, because now there is something else that needs something MORE. (Or, in some cases, doesn't need anything, but will still make Tyrannosaurus noises at 3 am nonetheless.)

It's funny that things that seem cute and endearing during daylight hours take on a sinister angle once it gets dark. You can't help but think, "You're doing this on purpose, aren't you?" Of course, my daughter hasn't yet developed the cognitive capacity to thwart my authority, but after the 15th time she's kicked the covers off her feet, woken herself up and started grizzling, I get a sinking feeling regarding her potential for evil during toddler and teenage years.

Mr. DD shares nighttime duties. (Although this week, he's trying to get as much sleep as possible due to the fact that he's running the London Marathon next Sunday. I'll be surprised if he wakes up in his hotel room on time to make it to the start line.) Due to my obviously black heart and inadequate breast milk supply we supplement with formula, making it easy for him to join in the feeding fun. He, however, escapes moo-cow duties with the super sucker, which I believe is rapidly giving me a bad case of RSI. ( I do have an electric pump as well, but at night, the noise is too jarring.) Pumping is a drag, but when you have a baby who is as contrary when it comes to breastfeeding as the Prawn, it's the only way to go. After a few weeks of her gleefully destroying my nipples at every opportunity, I gave up and started expressing, which I found easier at any rate, because I could be sure that a) my supply was adequate and b) how much she was eating in one sitting. (125 ml. Little oinker.) Supplementing was something that made me feel guilty for about 15 minutes, but after her last health visit when we discovered she'd put on 2 pounds, the guilt rapidly diminished. She's still getting the good stuff 3 or 4 times a day and she's not yelling any more just due to her being hungry. I can't feel guilty for feeding my child.

It's hard to believe that she's been with us for nearly a month now. Although I feel my brain leaking out of my ears as I speak, I know our experience with her so far could have been much worse. She DOES sleep, although not when we want her to just yet. She's not overly fretful. She travels well. (One of my big fears was being cooped up in the house for months on end, but she happily sleeps in her buggy or car seat while we take advantage of the brilliant weather and have lunch al fresco in a pub garden or visit friends.) And she smiles. (No, it's totally not just wind.) All in all, not to bad. But I certainly have a huge amount of respect for SAHMs who's partners AREN'T home during the day. How you ladies get anything accomplished is beyond me.

The Prawn is draped over me on the living room couch at the moment. Come 7.30, I may wake Marathon Man so that I can have a quick snooze before the day begins in earnest.


Mr Devil Duck said...

It should be noted that 'Marathon Man' was Prawn-sitting between the hours of 2am and 3:30am, after the Prawnosaurus started both hiccuping and farting ... and then grizzling about the injustice of it all. Furthermore, at 8am, he spent an hour performing a rectal exorcism on the changing table in order to vanquish some particularly stubborn "flatus". After the unprecedented success of the "invisible bike" technique, I can now confirm that the walls of the nursery are indeed wipe-clean.

Meanwhile, the love of my life enjoys a well-earned snore in the other room. :) The Prawn and I will be shortly be attempting to make mummy and daddy a cup of tea, one-handed.

Mr D.D.

SaraS-P said...

Thanks for reminding me that it is indeed hard work! Though completely worth according to all parents I know. Good luck with raising the Prawn and running the marathon!

Thalia said...

I have a suggestion for you: baby sleeping bags. That way she doesn't get cold feet. All my family swear by them.

tiennie said...

Oh my. Your post brings my back to the fog of babydays. I also remember with my first 3, pumping, pumping, pumping at least for 1 year for all of them. By the time the 3rd one came - I could produce 100+ oz/day - MOOOO!! I ended up donating most of it since my little one only needed around 30 oz/day. The fourth one took to breastfeeding like nothing else and I was too tired to always be pumping. My whole point?! You can do it! Cheering you on and if you want any advice on upping milk production, I'd be glad to help.

Comment by Mr. DD above? - Too funny.

lisalou said...

I love reading your posts on new motherhood. It sounds wicked hard but I just bet that your awesome at it! One of my biggest fears is the whole crying/no sleep issue. I feel like I wont be able to deal when my time comes...Argh! So much to learn.

rockmama said...

Yeah, totally worth it. :)

Neither of us thought that we'd be able to hack the no sleep/crying thing (a baby doing their best impression of a nuclear powered car alarm in your ear when you've not had any sleep is certainly trying) but when you HAVE to do something, it's amazing how you can cope, even if you think you can't. We knew NOTHING about babies to begin with. It's been a VERY steep 1 month learning curve.

The pumping IS pretty tedious. I've just about reached my first goal (I set small ones, so they were managable) of 1 month, so now I set my sights on 3 months. Then 6. After that, we'll have to see. Baby steps.