Monday, March 18, 2013

Week 4: Sleep No More

I've wanted to write about my experience on a daily basis, but it's been virtually impossible to sit in front of my computer for more than a few minutes at a time. Someone said newborns sleep a lot, so you should go out often in the first few months.... Well, apparently not my baby... She sleeps frequently, but not in any kind of long stretches. She's always eating tho, meaning she's always ON me, which makes it hard to type. This girl's very vocal about her wants/needs - she screams and/or starts crying (such a loud voice from such a little person!) if we don't respond promptly. My girl knows what she wants! I've been nonstop nursing, taking very short naps in between - no "real sleep" whatsoever. And I'm typing with one hand right now in a very awkward position with my hungry baby girl glued to my chest.

I was told newborns need time to establish a pattern and should be fed "on demand," which I have been doing. I was also told newborns usually feed every 2-4 hours (start of feeding to the next start is how you time this gap). For us, it's been mostly every hour, two if lucky. This in reality means I have about 10-30 minutes in between feedings, during which she always needs a diaper change. Fortunately, Dave is on fulltime diaper duty, so I actually get that 10-30 minute break. But still... That's not a very long time. After a few weeks of doing this, I thought maybe something is wrong. Fortunately (unfortunately in some ways...), when I asked our pediatrician the other day, she said some babies just do that. It could be gas discomfort, preventing her from eating more at a time, but nothing serious if she's pooping and peeing fine, which she is. I also asked about our baby's grunting, which she does whenever she tries to poo or pass gas. Apparently, she's just in the process of learning to do these things efficiently. Newborns are so underdeveloped and helpless. Pooping is such hard work for her!

Some mornings, I feel demoralized in my sleepless delirium. But I've been able to snap out of it after a nap, during which my husband feeds our girl with my pumped milk in a bottle. And every time I wake up - however short, I'm so happy to see my husband and my baby. She is just so damn cute. BTW, I'm now typing with two hands. I tried on my new K'tan wrap for the first time, and I think my baby likes it! And my hands are free!

Time is already going by really fast. My baby is more than 3 weeks old and 2+lbs heavier than when she was born. Her cheeks are getting chubbier every day. However cranky I get at times these days from not sleeping much - sorry husband - I am enjoying this sometimes dreadful initiation into parenthood. I say we're doing pretty well as newbie parents so far, even if every grunt, every small noise from my baby freaks me out, which I'm told is unnecessary. I will learn tho. Newborns make weird noises. I get it. But I can't help it yet that I respond to every little thing to make sure she's okay. Motherhood is definitely not easy, but it's more than worth all my time and effort, as every parent before me has told me. So I happily say (while I'm feeling relatively sane after a nap) goodbye to sleep - for a while anyway. See you later. It was nice knowing you.

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