Stressful experience 1: Ikea
God knows why we went to Ikea on a Saturday afternoon in London. What the hell were we thinking? If there was some kind of parenting continuum which listed beginner to advanced parenting activities, going to Ikea would safely top the advanced end of the scale. I did however successfully complete out of home changing and feeding so at least the experience left me with both those boxes ticked.
Before we left I was well aware that at some point during the shop he’d wake for a feed. ‘I can handle it’ I thought to myself, ‘I’m going to get through this’. Somewhere in between light fixtures and bathroom accessories it happened. Waaaaaaa = instant panic. My first reaction was to drop whatever I was holding (a breakable lamp) and run straight to the parent changing room so I could lock myself away and calm both of us down. There was a small queue outside and while we waited the screaming got worse. A woman behind me with her child said ‘ahhhh look Rosie, that baby’s upset’…this did not help. I’m really not good with public crying yet, I’m sure I’ll get used to it but I get so embarrassed. Eventually we got in there and I started feeding. I suddenly realised that I shouldn’t really be doing it in the change room as it would take ages, but by now he was well and truly latched on and gulping down much-needed fluids, I wondered how the hell I was going to I was going to get out before everyone in the queue hammered down the door. I gave him enough of a hit to make it out, avoiding eye contact with everyone in the queue that was now snaking around into the mirror section and set off to try to locate a feeding area. Phew, there actually was one. I was impressed, it’s not something I’ve looked out for before but they really do exist and I instantly forgave Ikea for all the missing bits they failed to include in a lifetime of flat pack purchases. After the feed Phoenix happily looked around the store and we stocked up on treats for his room…not that he can even see in colour yet. But still, we made it home alive. Ikea with baby – done. The experience in Ben’s words? ‘This is what war must be like’.
Stressful experience 2: night from hell
Phoenix is now three weeks old which is notoriously a time when babies can ‘turn’ and get extra grizzly, particularly in the evenings. I think it’s because they’re having a big growth spurt and can be susceptible to more tummy aches etc. Some people call this type of behaviour colic. I’m not sure what colic really is, or if it even exists as it seems to be a banded around term used to describe generic lengthy crying. Despite me not really knowing anything about colic, last night I found myself muttering ‘it’s colic…he’s colic’ and my personal favourite – ‘Oh god, he’s caught the colic!’ spoken like some kind of deranged mad woman during the plauge.
To put into context these three-week grizzles I have concluded that at around 6pm someone sneaks into my flat, takes away my beautiful, angelic day baby and replaces him with an actual night gremlin. I can’t seem to catch them in the act but when I do there’ll be hell to pay. This particular hellish night started from about 6pm where his feed seemed to go on and on forever. He wouldn’t settle afterwards and constantly wanted a ‘top-up’. So far he’s been really easy to settle after a feed and although he has been having regular feeds spread out through the day I have been feeding him on demand when he’s needed more. This process however does not apply to gremlin baby as I’ve worked out that his cries are not hunger cries despite the fact he behaves likes he wants more food. So unsurprisingly the inevitable happened – I totally overfed him. I was told in one of the antenatal classes that it’s impossible to completely overfed a baby by breastfeeding as they will stop at a certain point, but he definitely gave it a bloody good go. By midnight he was a pooing and puking monster, and I was horrified that I’d over milked our child! And yet still he was rooting around for more food acting like he hadn’t been fed all day! I was like ‘dude your puking and pooing at the same time, your face is literally covered in milk, please chill out!’
We tried everything – singing, massage, bath, rocking, leaving him to cry it out (painful) but all to no avail. Eventually he wore himself and fell into a very grumpy sleep with angry snores which made him sound like an irritable donkey. Ben and I looked at each other and wondered if we’d ever not be tired again. I’m still not sure.
The sound of a baby’s cry is so painful to listen to. When it’s someone else’s baby like on a plane or something it’s just really irritating, but when it’s your own baby it’s really upsetting especially when you can’t fix it. As I mentioned, I’m not handling the crying too well, I actually just want to cry myself when he breaks out, which I’m sure probably won’t help! He hasn’t really cried that much since birth so I’m still getting used to it. Babies cry, I must get over this inevitable fact! Come on woman!
So here I am fully initiated into ‘club mum’ with no option of revoking the membership during these stressful times! At least he’s good in the day time, it makes up for it and I can’t resist his little face 🙂 I hope that this night-time performance will pass soon…although what will take its place could be even worse! Every week is so different, you think you’ve cracked one thing and then they grow and change and make new demands! What’s coming next???!
Snoozy Ems xxx