6 weeks of Mum and baby stuffs

8 Jun

Our little Quin is 6 weeks old already(!). I still can’t quite comprehend she is ours – yet at the same time it’s hard to believe she hasn’t always been here in my arms. This afternoon Quin and I were returning from our daily walk, I had a coffee in my hand, the sun was out, the ocean was glittery blue, Quin was cosy in her baby bjorn and I couldn’t help but reflect on how freakin’ lucky I am. Quite simply, life is wonderful right now. Needless to say, Zanne and I are enjoying parenthood very much.

The past 6 weeks haven’t been without their challenges though:

Sleep

As a person who adores sleep and is not a morning person I knew all along that having little sleep would be the biggest challenge for me as a new parent. I’ve coped better than I expected to be honest. I put this down to having an incredibly gorgeous daughter and also being able to remind myself in moments of anxiety that lack of sleep magnifies emotions/situations (I know this won’t always work but it has so far). Plus Quin sleeps awesomely – when in her mothers’ arms.

One magical, flukey night she slept in her crib for 2 hours but most often the moment we put her down her eyes open and they won’t be closed again until she is back with Mummy or Mama – and then they close pretty immediately! After 2 weeks of trying to get her to sleep in her crib, which meant I was up every half hour some nights, I decided I’d sleep on the couch with her. The difference is amazing – she sleeps soundly for hours! Pre-baby we’d never given co-sleeping a thought, but I’m now convinced that, at the moment, it is what Quin needs. This weekend we’re picking up a co-sleeping aid to make the arrangement more safe and comfortable for both of us. I can’t wait to be back in my comfy bed with my wife!

We’ve had many conversations with friends who assure us that Quin’s sleeping habits are very common for newborns and we should simply do whatever it takes, and whatever we’re comfortable with, to make sleep happen. My family is a bit different though, I hear judgement in their silence/changes of subject/suggestions – youre creating a rod for your own back, youre spoiling her. Actually the “spoiling her” comment was not implied so much us literally muttered multiple times by my grandparents. It is my opinion that responding to my baby’s needs is not spoiling her, nor does it make us weak parents. And further, I don’t believe a 6 week old baby has the capacity to manipulate, an idea which seems connected with this “spoiling” business.

So. While Quin sleeps better with us, co-sleeping is where we’re at. No apologies.

PS. Having Quin sleep in my arms, on my chest etc, reminds me of this Ani Di Franco lyric: her bones have been my bed frame and her flesh has been my pillow. I’m such a lesbian.

Breastfeeding

My breastfeeding experience so far can be summed up in four words: holy sore nipples Batman! Two weeks in and my nipples were raw and bleeding – I curled my toes and held back tears at every feed. I contemplated giving up but my GP and the child health nurse both promised sore nipples were normal and they would get better and I was encouraged to persevere a little longer. Four weeks on and thankfully things have improved – I’m no longer in pain however my nipples still look damaged. Hopefully they return to normal at some point (please!).

Other than that, Quin’s latch is good and my supply is, well, awesome really. Seriously, when I’m bra-less there is milk dripping all over the place. The human body is both weird and amazing, fo shiz.

I intend to breastfeed for as long as possible. Not only is it great for Quin’s health of course, it’s so convenient! I just have to work on feeding discretely in public. I have no troubles with flashing family and friends (which surprised me to be honest, I’m quite private usually) but complete strangers are a different story, you know?

Wind

Wind is our family nemesis at the moment (did someone say Infants’ Friend?). We’ve never in our lives encouraged burping and farting but here we are applauding Quin for doing both. The weekend before last I was sitting with my cousin’s 4 year old daughter when Quin let one rip. I happily commented to Mackenzie that Quin had done “a big fart” to which she replied that her Mum didn’t like that word. I apologised to her for saying the f-word and noted that I wasn’t allowed to say it when I was a kid either – as it turns out, neither was Zanne. Apparently Zanne’s family used “froggie” as an alternative word – not surprisingly Zanne was ridiculed at school for this. Zanne has wondered whether we should have an alternative word that we use in our family, but her adorable childhood story causes me think it makes sense to just use the standard “fart”. How funny that some words are deemed “adult” to some. How funny that I’ve just written a paragraph about farts.

You see, I’m from a family who went one step further than the alternative word: we had no word at all. Farts were a private matter, not something to talk or joke about. If an accident were to happen we all just politely ignored it. Ok I know this makes my family sound uptight, au contraire my friends. My brothers, in the words of Zanne, are beer-swilling bogans. They are the picture of whatever the opposite of uptight is, and to look at them you would be forgiven for thinking they would enjoy a good fart joke. But nope. We’re all demented re farts. Thanks Mum.

Anyways, Quin gets wind and it is heartbreaking to have her screaming and squirming in our arms therefore, right now, farts (and burps) are not only acknowledged but highly praised.

Over and out.

 

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One Response to “6 weeks of Mum and baby stuffs”

  1. tattoomummy June 22, 2012 at 9:37 am #

    Dex and Lola both got bad wind – tummy time helped 🙂

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