Today our beautiful little squishy is 3 months old! 3 months…
2184 hours of which I’ve slept about 10.
I remember being told while I was pregnant that the first 3 months after baby’s born are going to be the hardest and it was the only thing that kept me going for the first few weeks. ‘If I can make it through the first 3 months I’ll survive’, I remember thinking on the week that followed Violets arrival, but this was followed quickly by the thought that I was DEFINITELY GOING TO DIE because the thought of another 11 weeks of that pure hell was too much and made me decide that Jack would definitely be having the next child because I certainly wasn’t doing any of this again.
However what new mums won’t realise, like I didn’t, is that it’s not just the same routine day in day out, It constantly changes. The sleep time between feeds gets longer and longer, you learn what different noises mean so you can actually stop the crying instead of just screaming at each other ‘I don’t know what she wants?!!’ until you both end up in tears yourselves, you become a nappy changing pro and your baby actually starts to develop past the squishy lump phase into a beautiful babbling lump who giggles and smiles whenever she sees you and it makes you forget you haven’t had more than 3 hours of consecutive sleep since she graced you with her presence.
The best thing we ever did to help with the sleepless nights was buy her a giant Elephant teddy that’s three times her size. She gets plonked in it whenever she’s restless or I decide I’m too tired so it’s bedtime and she instantly chills out. I wish there was a teddy I could buy that was three times the size of me, I would never get up again. For anyone whose baby doesn’t like being laid flat like Violet didn’t, I recommend the Elephant. They are great for tricking babies into thinking that “Yes, it’s play time” and when they inevitably give in to the comfort and fall asleep, we just whip it out from under her, like a table cloth during a party trick and bam, baby sleeping in a position that won’t get you reprimanded by the health visitor.
If you’re a breastfeeding mum you may feeling like a human vending machine with a baby hanging off you every half and hour. I felt like I was having the life literally sucked out of me by a teeny tiny toothless vampire or I was left feeling like one Imhoteps victims after he’d drained them of their life source in his attempt to return from the dead, just laying in bed motionless, starved of life . It felt impossible to replenish myself, like a conveyer belt of food, in my mouth and straight out into baby’s mouth. I read that breastfeeding has the same affect on a woman’s body as walking 7 miles a day, and that’s before you’ve actually done anything else. No wonder we feel so bloody exhausted, gentlemen you just don’t understand. When Jack first uttered the words ‘but you’ve just been in bed all day’ in response to me saying how drained I felt, I nearly stabbed him with the fork that was practically glued to my hand in the first few weeks so I didn’t miss an opportunity to scran any food that passed me by. A sleep deprived Mother with the most serious case of ‘Hanger’ you’ve ever seen. Safe to say he hasn’t made that mistake again.
I have no clue how Mothers who are bottle feeding their babies manage to get up and make a bottle throughout the night, I found it enough of a struggle just sitting up to feed her and I don’t even have to leave my bed. Most of the time I feed her with only one eye open in some feeble attempt to at least rest half of my brain, I’ve seen ducks do it, maybe it works for humans too?
Despite all of this though, it really does start to get easier. I never believed it would and it has done so without me even noticing and what I now realise is that Violet is actually a brilliant baby. Ive started to get just enough sleep to actually enjoy spending my days with her. Even though it’s not quite fully formed, her giggle is so infectious, I find myself doing all kinds of stupid things just to try and hear it again. I’ll hear her squirming around during the night while I lay there wondering what’s wrong with her now, only for her to let out the loudest fart known to man and go straight back to sleep, I’ll hear Jack mutter “That’s my girl” while I try and stifle a giggle because apparently I’m two and I find farts funny. I don’t mind sleeping stuck in the same position just so she can hold my hand while she sleeps, because the idea that I provide that much comfort to her just by being there is an incredible feeling. The same feeling I get when she cries and I’m the only one who can comfort her. As frustrating as this must be for Jack, for me it validates my sleepless existence and means that I’ve been doing something right. Jack has no patience and doesn’t understand that he will get there, he forgets that it’s my beautiful face (laughs out loud in between broken sobs) that she’s stuck with all day while he’s at work, so when she’s cries and he can’t comfort her it’s not that she hates him as he so dramatically exclaims, she just has to get used to his ugly mug.
All in all, I’m quite enjoying being the mother to a beautiful baby girl, I definitely like her more than the dog.
Love from the dog, the baby and a very tired me.