Thursday, January 10, 2008

The longest night...

Apparently for all first time parents the first night at home is the hardest. The hospital, anywhere in the world, is a nice safe place to be with people to advise and help you and someone to care about you and baby. You worry less about whether she is breathing, sleeping, crying, because there are people on hand to look after you.

However, when the Boy, Eve and I went to bed last night I was feeling pretty confident that we would not be like that. She had fed well (off the breast) for the afternoon and evening feeds. We had the cutest time bathing her (she seems to like water, thank goodness, if we had a baby who didn't then the Boy would have been distraught), and then she was down and asleep by midnight so we pottered to bed.

She slept, to use a phrase hopelessly inaccurate, like a baby for the first 4 hours. I, however, didn't sleep as I woke up at every gurgle, cough and gasp. She is still a bit wheezy from the c section so makes a variety of odd noises. Unfortunately, after going purple and stopping breathing when we were in the hospital, the Boy and I are a bit sensitive to it at the moment so I barely slept a wink.

Then, at about 3.30, all hell broke loose. I had no idea than one tiny thing can make so much noise. Initially it started well, she woke up, I fed her for 20 mins until she fell asleep as she always does, the Boy changed her nappy to wake her up a bit, and she fed for another 20 mins. Nice and sleepy we put her down in her cot. Where she remained for about 30 mins before turning into a banshee and screaming for the next 3 hours.

She seemed to still be hungry, but wouldn't feed, we changed her, rocked her. Pretty much all but offering to sell our souls to any higher, or lower, power who was willing to take them. She would sometimes calm down and sleep for 10 mins, but then be up again screaming at us.

You see, the problems with babies is that they only need about 3 or 4 things - food, cuddles, nappy change, sleep. But they can't tell you which one and how much they want. And I was screwed if I knew what the hell she was after.

The Boy went off to work at 7.30am muttering something about an urgent document and his laptop not working at home (hmmm, a cunning plan I think). So, having tried everything I gave Eve to H, her nanny. "She's hungry" H said. She couldn't possibly be, I'd been trying to feed her for the past 4 hours! However, willing to bend to the greater experience of H we heated up a bottle of formula and gave it to Eve.

The little madam drank 75ml (more than a baby her size should be able to take) and promptly fell asleep in H's arms.

It would appear that I had run out of milk during the night, it not being fully "on tap" as yet, so she was hungry still after the feed.

In the spirit of least effort, we are now resolved to mix formula and breast feed, using formula at night, so all three of us can get some sleep.

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