Saturday, 1 September 2012

Parenthood: day eleven

After nine days, I felt like things were going fine. Oliver was fussy, but I figured we just don't know what we're doing yet, right? But after one more day, my patience was nearing a plateau.

One day—about day five or six—he slept. It rained all day, and he slept all day. Then he slept fine in the night, too. I thought that was incredible. That was before I knew that newborns are supposed to sleep as much as cats.

From that day to yesterday, Oliver did not sleep during the day. Instead, he demanded the breast and cried whenever we put him down or changed him—especially when we changed him. He was clearly tired, but couldn't or wouldn't sleep, probably due in part to inappropriate (as opposed to excessive) stimulation and poor training—already! We swaddled, held, rocked, and bounced him; we sshed him and talked to him, and sometimes these things worked for a while, but never really long enough to feel confident they would work again.

Still, yesterday had some bright moments. I nursed him from a bottle, and he accepted that just fine. This was a lovely brief moment, even though he was a bit frantic. He napped in the morning, which we hoped was a good sign. (It meant nothing!) He is clearly growing well, and his lungs are developing nicely.

But by the evening, we were frazzled. He was fussy and cranky whenever he wasn't nursing, and we had no idea what to do about it. I was worried that he was becoming dependent on the breast to sleep. (Indeed, I think he is, but I'm not so worried about it today.) I was also worried that we were feeding him to soothe him whenever he was upset, and soon we would be unable to tell the difference between his various cries. (This is a less rational fear, I think.)

Save us baby whisperer!

Alas, as helpful as she can be, the whisperer's first book simply doesn't offer the type of immediate relief we needed.

Luckily, we have many new parent friends, and one suggested we look at The Happiest Baby on the Block, a calming method by pediatrician to the stars Harvey Karp. They even offered to bring over the DVD right away, which in our state was a very tempting offer. But I found it quickly online, and we watched it right away. We hadn't even finished watching before I applied four of Dr. Karp's "Five S's" to Oliver, and he was quiet and calm in a minute. In another couple of minutes, he fell asleep in my lap. That was about 8:30 last night. It's 9:30 in the morning now, and he woke for only about an hour and a half between then and now.


I almost feel guilty, like I'm cheating. But mercy it was sweet relief.


Dining together has been an increasingly rare treat. We have, however, managed to watch Corrie a couple of times this week.

I've managed to get a decent kink in my lower back.

We took Oliver on a brief stroll around Perth Park the other day, which went well, although the ride was bumpy. We'll try again today I think.

Our first big outing will happen Tuesday when we take him to the midwives' clinic downtown. Then we'll see how much he's grown and how well he behaves out.

Things are looking bright again. The day holds great promise.

More later!

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