Five Weeks: More Challenging Times

The past week has been the most challenging time we had with Robert so far. The crying spells and fussiness has increased, while naps are becoming shorter.

The day starts quite early at around four, and feeding time stretches until daybreak. This didn’t pose a problem when Robert went back to sleep immediately after feeding, because I still managed to sleep in late with him. Now as his early naps become rather rare, I am left to struggle with morning grogginess, and by the time Robert gets his first nap of the day it is too late for me to go back to sleep.
At about six I normally bring Robert to our bedroom, where I can at least nod off in bed while he continues his feeding ritual, and Ron can help with a little entertaining or burping. We tried several strategies for feeding baby in bed. Lying down is obviously my favourite but it has the most disastrous consequences in terms of spit up in the middle of our sheets. Now I mostly prop him up on a pillow, while sitting up or semi reclining, and it works for both of us.

Later in the morning we go for a walk with baby, combining it sometimes with a shopping stop. Last Saturday for example we went for quite a long walk on Main Road, and it was fun to look at the shops while baby slept soundly in the carrier. The rest of the day passes peacefully, because both Ron and I help each other with entertaining the baby, changing his nappies and bathing him. The real fun however starts at around 5 pm, which has been termed ‘suicide hour’ by a friend of mine, more seasoned in the arts of motherhood. At this critical time between day and night, Robert gets completely out of sorts. Dealing with these latter hours of the day consumes all my remaining energy, and I stumble to bed almost as soon as Robert is put down. Ron and I rarely eat our dinner together these days, sometimes he actually feeds me a few bites to keep me going while I continue the protracted evening feeding session. I get my own meal eventually, but then it is either taken in great haste, or eaten just before bedtime.

All fussiness and occasional crabbiness aside, Robert is thriving and growing every day. The visible improvement, however, does not extend to his hair which is in rapid recession. When I spoke with my parents on Skype last weekend, my mother commented on how much he changed in ten days. I know this is true, because a few days ago I was in a rush and took him out in the baby carrier without putting the cushion of folded cloth under him. I noticed then that the top of his head is now higher than the the top edge of the carrier, and he doesn’t need the additional cushioning anymore.

Yes, the little one manages to exhaust the combined energy of both his parents, but we forget everything whenever he smiles and swear he is the cutest little guy. And of course when he sleeps he is positively an angel.