…after the bris everything seemed to be back to normal, but better. Instead of being forced to wake up to eat every three hours, Jakob had started waking up on his own. It was like clockwork- 9am, 12pm, 3pm, 6pm, 9pm, 12am, 6am, 9am, etc… every three hours we’d do the whole schedule.
The nurse Isabelle called on the following Monday (May 28) and when she heard how it was going, and heard him cry (more lusty and loud then his earlier, weaker cries) she said I could stop the routine and start feeding him on demand. That meant I could even stop pumping and supplementing, and see how it went just feeding when he wanted. I was so relieved! Even more so the next day when we went to the CLSC and he was up to 7lbs 9 oz, up 5 oz from his last weigh-in 5 days previous!
At that point things started going smoother, baby-wise. It was still demanding and tough, but now that I didn’t have the extra stuff to do, I could get some sleep in between his feedings. I was still feeling a lot of pressure about our impending move since we had a moving company coming on June 11th and that was only a week and a bit away and the house wasn’t packed yet, but my family really pitched in and helped out. I really owe the smoothness of the move to their help!
I don’t remember much about those next few weeks except a daily blur of repetition. Most days I’d get a lift over to my parents’ house (I wasn’t allowed to drive yet, had to wait 4 weeks after the c-section) because it had more light than sitting in my dark, box-filled living room. Plus there were people there to help me out most of the time, even if it was just because they wanted to hold him, it let me get a few minutes of rest with my arms free. (It didn’t last long LOL I’m typing this with him slung over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes!) I’d started off going there one afternoon when my house lost power and it was really dark, and it got to be a habit. I’d stay there until after supper then someone would drive us home and then each night various family members would come over and pack. Yannick wasn’t around at all because he’d work all day, then go to the new house and work on renovations all night. He’d come home around midnight or 1am, visit with us for a bit then go to bed himself.
During Jakob’s fifth week 2 great things happened. First of all, I was now able to start driving again. Our first trip out was on Wednesday, June 20. I took him to the bank to get his own account, then to my parents’ place, then finally to my friend Jackie’s house to visit. The first few minutes were scary because I felt this huge weight of responsibility, but by the time I reached the third corner it had passed and we’ve driven around ever since with ease.
The second great thing was that Jakob started his closest interpretation of sleeping through the night. The first time it happened, I fed him at 12am then put him down to sleep in between Yannick and I as usual. (Now that we’re in the new house we swapped our waterbed for a real bed and Jakob sleeps between us ‘cus it’s easier for the late-night feeds. Once he does a 7 hour stretch or longer through the night I’ll be putting him into his crib overnight). Anyways, I woke up at 5:30am, looked over at his sweet, sleeping face, then looked at the clock and freaked out. He’d only fallen asleep around 1:15am, but it was still the longest stretch of sleep we’ve had since the minute he’d been born. I fed him until 6:00 and then we slept again until 9am- it was amazing. I felt so well rested the next day! The following night it happened again, only he slept until 6am. I woke up at 6:00 on my own and looked at the clock before looking at him. This time I went into a panic- why didn’t he wake up? Is he ok? Is he breathing? Every story I’ve ever heard about SIDS went through my head. I looked over at him- looked so peaceful but I couldn’t resist putting my hand on his chest to make sure he was breathing.
Ever since that first night now on average he feeds between 11:30 and 12:30 (which can take up to 45 minutes) then sleeps until anywhere between 5:00 and 6:00 am. Then he feeds again and sleeps until anywhere from 8:30 to 9:30 am. On a good day we’ll go back to sleep again until noon-ish but that doesn’t usually happen.
I have to say to anyone who reads this and is about to be a parent or is a new parent and is freaking out about the sleep deprivation- you WILL feel human again! As soon as we started this new sleep routine I have actually been able to do stuff and have not napped a single time during the day. I feel so well rested now! I have actually had the energy to take him out almost every single day on errands and not crash and burn.