Eleven Weeks: Christmas Comes Early

We are only a couple of weeks away from the magic number… three months. Many things are promised then: The end of colic, better head control and hands moving to their target quicker. We are definitely seeing some improvement in these areas, and our hands can now find our mouth after only a few tries.

Ron and I take it for granted that little Robert will be right-handed; it is interesting to note though, that so far he still favours his LEFT fist for the comfort of sucking.

We now have a fixed evening schedule leading to bed time. I start to calm Robert down from around six, then depending on his general state, I either feed him while watching the afternoon soap, or in front of the computer while reading my mail. A little bit of rest after feeding and then he gets dunked in the bath after seven, where he winds down and tires himself out. Finally he will nod off to sleep as I give him a little night cap. Once or twice so far he was calm enough to fall asleep by himself but these are still isolated incidents, and I don’t think they are part of the routine, not yet anyway. Night feedings are now down to only one, after which he promptly falls back to sleep. In short, the nights have become routine, but the days are still far from sorted.

Robert’s quick growth is a constant reminder of the passage of time. In a few weeks’ time I should be back at work, and I still can’t figure out how to solve the problem of breastfeeding. I do enjoy this special bond I have with my son, and I consider my ability to give him nourishment and help him grow, not a mere duty, but a privilege. If it was up to me, I would continue to breastfeed exclusively for the recommended six months, I would try pumping, working less hours, anything. But the best case scenario of course, is to stay at home for two more months. I am not sure that my management at work would go for it though.

Ron is not keen on the idea of using a breast pump, he thinks it is too much of a hassle, and does not trust me to have the dedication required for the cleaning and sterilizing routines. The complications increase exponentially when we start thinking about the procedures for storing and freezing breast milk. My sister-in-law, who is a strong believer in nursing, surprisingly vouched for formula. She had to start using formula early for her youngest son, and it turned out well. Her testimony convinced Ron, but not me. I would love to continue breastfeeding exclusively for six months.

To explore the possibility of using a breast pump, I tried to speak to women who had previously used one. Ron’s advice was to look at “For Sale” ads on the internet for breast pumps in the last few months. I only managed to get hold of one mother, who was of little help since she only used the breast pump once. I was left with my usual weapon of last resort: Ask Britt, and as it turned out she was forthcoming, and then some.

She came in on Saturday with her older girl, carrying bagfuls of stuff. There was a play-gym, baby soaps, bubble bath, and a small headrest for little Robert, in addition to a special baby chair ‘bumbo’ which is made of soft plastic and designed to mould around baby’s bum, back and upper thighs. It was one of the products on our to-buy list for Robert. Britt also brought along a manual breast pump for me to try, and answered all my questions about its use.

On Saturday, Robert opened another generous present, this one from Auntie Carla in Canada. The package contained colourful musical mobile, educational books, a shirt, a baby bathing suit, and a soft sleeping bag. I think Ron and I were as excited as Robert about the beautiful things ( possibly even more about some of them). It took us some time to figure out how to attach the mobile to Robert’s crib. When we finally mounted it there he was captivated, and we could tell that it is going to be his favourite.

He wakes up in the morning to look at it, and then starts talking and cooing to the animals hanging overhead, it is quite funny to watch.