Our little chicken is just over 2 weeks old! It has been intense so far. There are so many new challenges in our lives. Both my husband and I are having to learn how to manage these changes personally and as a couple. There is no reading in the world that can prepare you for what happens once your baby is here.
Lack Of Sleep
I am the kind of person than can sleep anywhere and through anything. Or at least I was. The first two nights home we could not get baby to sleep in his cot. He just cried unless he was in our arms. By day 3 we managed to settle him in his Scotland’s Baby Box at night. Staying awake during night feeds is difficult. My little chicken wakes every 2 hours for a feed and as I am exclusively breastfeeding this task is all on me.
I think it is safe to say that breastfeeding is the most difficult challenge I have ever encountered. Successfully breastfeeding is mainly about position and latch. In order to get the right latch you have to put your nipple to baby’s nose so he opens his mouth as if yawning. You then have to bring baby to breast and not the other way around. When you have a crying baby and you are trying to get the right latch it is hard to be sitting comfortably. Feet must be on the floor, shoulders relaxed and baby’s body should be aligned with his head. Once you manage to do all these steps you should have a happily nursing baby and painless nipples. Giving up breastfeeding has been a reoccurring thought, but I really want to succeed. Have a read through these 7 amazing breastfeeding facts.
I have sat crying with my baby because I have not mastered the perfect latch and breastfeeding my baby hurts. It hurts a lot. After 2 weeks I think we are getting there and the pain seems to be receding, but we still have much to learn. I am looking for a breastfeeding support group in Edinburgh since the drop-in clinics have been closed.
We spend our days holding our baby to either feed or soothe him. This means we have only one hand free. I never realised how many things I need my left hand for until now! My husband managed to make a sandwich with one hand. I ate a burger with chips one-handed and managed to not spill any of it. This challenge proves especially difficult when baby is fussy and keeps throwing his head back. I am considering wearing my baby in his sling when I need to get things done around the house. That would leave me with both hands free. I am just concerned about my back as my not-so-little chicken already weighs just over 4 kilograms. Hot weather also will be a factor on being able to wear the sling or not.
Parenting Challenge Accepted
No one said having a baby was going to be easy. The key is to keep focused and to support each other when the other half feels like giving up. I am lucky to have a husband that works from home so I have that extra hand every day. When the lack of sleep is scrambling my brain, he takes baby into the next room with him so I can have an afternoon snooze. While I am breastfeeding, he makes sure I have a glass a water to hand and any pillows I might need to get comfortable. And he feeds me when I can’t manage to hold our baby and reach my dinner. All three of us will get better at this. Patience and perseverance.