The last two weeks have been a blur. A blur of baby feedings, toddler tantrums and strange sleep behaviors.
First, the feedings.
We were off to a rocky start from Finn’s first hours. Because NICU procedure demands that infants be bottle-fed, Finn swiftly became dependent upon the quick and easy flow of formula from a rubber nipple. When he came back to me half a day later, he wasn’t too interested in working hard (did you know breastfeeding works 40 different baby muscles?) to come away with a tiny bit of colostrum. Luckily, my lactation consultant knew how to rectify the situation. She rigged up the Medela Supplemental Nursing System for me so Finn could receive filling formula while growing accustomed to breastfeeding. This system was totally new to me, but very clever, I thought, and it really did the trick. When my milk came in a few days later, baby switched to breast milk full-time.
Unfortunately, it hasn’t been all smooth sailing since then. My big baby has a large appetite, but he constantly falls asleep while eating, so my milk supply is going down even though he’s still looking for more food. It’s a bit frustrating, and I’m hoping I can set things right by making his schedule more consistent and pumping to increase my supply. Breastfeeding seems to take up about 80 percent of my time these days.
Next, the tantrums.
At the end of the day, Charlotte really is a sweetheart, and excited about her new brother, but it’s hard to lose the spotlight after more than three years as an only child! She gets bored when I spend my time taking care of Finn rather than taking her places, and she’s become more clingy and demanding with me to try to win back my time. I try to split my attention, but the fact is that a newborn simply needs a lot of care, and that can’t be helped. Poor Char thought she was being given the shaft when Mama and Daddy spent that first night “playing with Finn” (as she put it) into the wee hours while she was confined to her bed.
And finally, the sleep, or lack of.
I find myself sleeping at the strangest times—and in some unusual places—as I try to catch up on the winks I’m losing at night. Finn has a distinct penchant for cuddling, to the point that he will rarely sleep when he’s not being held by someone. This someone is usually me, so my own slumber is seriously disturbed. We are working on it, and hoping maybe the phase will pass! Cuddling a wee one is wonderful, but life is hard on no sleep, I say.