Little Bun was six weeks last Friday. I won’t say I can’t believe where the time has gone – I can account for every minute (!) – but the immediacy of giving birth and being in the hospital is fading fast.
Here are some random, completely disorganised thoughts on the First Six Weeks.
Breastfeeding is Hard
I knew this. I was acutely aware of how hard it could be. Equally, it was the one ‘thing’ I was adamant I wanted to do. Everything else fell under my parenting ‘strategy’ (ha ha) of Whatever Works*. Yet breastfeeding was different. I attended classes and read books and once Little Bun was born, I shelved any pride and made sure I buzzed a midwife before literally every feed – just to make sure I was getting my latch right.
But it still didn’t work.
If anyone’s interested I may dedicate a separate post to what happened and how I dealt with it. However I found that if you are struggling the following is true: unless you have amazing support (I had a brilliant lactation consultant that we hired privately), a fair kick of tenacity (we hired said Consultant after three weeks, as many separate clinics and hospital consultations, and it took five weeks for me to start b’feeding exclusively) and time (at the beginning I was expressing 6-8 times a day so we could feed Little Bun EBM via the bottle for every feed) then you’re in for a challenge.
(Update: booby post here)
‘Sleep When They Sleep’ Is Really Good Advice
When I was pregnant I heard this over and over and thought it was a bit of a cop-out, not to mention a waste of precious time.
Nuh-uh. It makes SUCH a difference. Bar a (very grumpy) day here and there, for six weeks I have grabbed a nap every day. In the crazy, routineless early weeks, I took it when I could which sometimes meant dinnertime, or really just after I’d showered and dressed.
Now, she’s in some semblance of a routine and I know I can get some shuteye somewhere between 3pm and 6pm. Yes, napping is boring. It’s time consuming. It means you can’t do other stuff (be those chores, errands, or even something nice like reading a mag with a cuppa) – but you’ll thank yourself as you swing your legs out of bed, into the 3am cold.
I absolutely, hands-down owe my relatively relaxed, happy brain to these daily naps. Hey, Whatever Works, right?
See The Planet There? Let’s Just Stomp In Its Face A Few Times!
While I’m no hemp-wearing hippy chick drinking recycled wee, I’d like to think Mr Bun and I are pretty environmentally friendly people. We sort our rubbish properly and shit. WELL DOUSE ME IN OIL AND CALL ME LADY EXXON. Having a baby is the most environmentally unfriendly thing I’ve ever done.
The laundry is what gets me the most. The incessant, neverending cycles of washing. And drying**. And loads of dishes. And cranking the heating up over 19 degrees**. Living at home, existing in these walls all day is also bumping up the general house filth, not to mention the bills. For all of my life I’ve had a nice warm school/uni/office to take care of me five days a week – tea, coffee, heating, dishes, loo paper … now it’s happening on my own turf I realise just how messy and expensive us humans actually are. I’m shocked at the absolute blatant consumption of it all.
Summer will be better. Line-dried clothes, no heating, and Little Bun and I will crack out our hemp bikinis …
OK. Naptime! More to come …
(Update: part 2 here)
* ie. don’t set yourself up for failure by declaring ‘I’ll never’ or ‘We will always’ … you just don’t know how you’ll go.
** before you go Greenpeace on me, it’s the middle of the coldest Winter in 20 years here, and if you think I’m going to be air-drying clothes you’re sorely mistaken. I don’t have the climate, let alone the time. Also, we live in the coldest house north of Antarctica.