Thirty seven weeks today.
Thirty seven whole weeks since this little madam arrived.
Thirty seven whole weeks of love.
Remember not that long ago, I wrote a blog post explaining how much I was enjoying this stage, in comparison to the challenging, sleep deprived, newborn phase…..?
Well, I maybe should have given it a few weeks before coming away with such a risky statement. This week, Liv decided she’d quite like to give me a little reminder of what it was like to have a newborn. JUST incase I’d forgotten. In the whole 5months it’s been…. ‘Thanks hun, but we’re JUST out of that fog. Maybe couldve waited a little while longer, or you know, not at all?’
If I had to estimate, I’d say I’ve had no more than three solid hours of sleep a night since last weekend…. Yep that’s right, remember me? I’m the smug mum that has written on several occasions, how good a sleeper her baby is. Damn well serves me right now, doesn’t it?!
I could easily put it down to ‘teething’ as a lot of behaviour and symptoms do suggest that it might be (crankiness, excessive saliva, rosy cheeks, biting anything and anyONE….) but I’m just not convinced. For a start, there isn’t even a glimpse of white at her gums. And I’d probably go as far as to say that’s number one hint at a tooth away to cut.
It’s not even as if when she wakes, she’s always crying. She sometimes wakes me with her beautiful chatting or rhythmic leg banging (SO loud!) and all that’s needed is to nip next door and pop the dummy back in. Which is another thing – she’d been doing so well without a dummy at night lately, but this week, she has taken to it again and needing it to settle off back to sleep.
Her favourite trick by far though (and the thing that wakes me the most) is wriggling to the top corner of the cot, getting stuck and crying until I come through and move her back to the bottom – just to repeat the process again an hour later. It’s HILARIOUS.
To add to the mix, she’s in the middle of a development leap (leap 6 to be exact) which is always amazingly fun. And of course, to really stick the boot in, I’ve learnt there’s an 8month sleep regression….
Why?! Why is there ANOTHER sleep regression?! Is it just constant until they’re about 15??
Whatever the reason, i PRAY that it’s over soon.
At this rate, my marriage will be over sooner than that bloody regression.
Speaking of which, does anyone else suffer REALLY badly with lack of sleep? Obviously I know that most (if not all) people don’t do well on limited sleep but I find my mood is directly linked to how much sleep I get. I’m irritable, impatient and more prone to emotional outbursts at any given opportunity, which is really not enjoyable. Even daily tasks like the washing or walking the dog seem monumental and I just find myself not doing as much. Unless its eating chocolate biscuits. Thats never too much of a task. But it really is, just a huge vicious cycle, because the less you do, the less you want to do.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I take my hat off to those that are functioning on little sleep long term. It’s REALLY hard, and I really feel there should be a reward system in place for those that make it through….. As beautiful and rewarding as it is seeing your baby grow up, it would do no harm if we got rewarded a cheeky bottle of wine for every week we made it through the depths of sleep deprivation hell?!
In other news this week, we had Olivias 8 month check up with the health visitor on Thursday. Liv had all the usual development checks and is reaching all the targets she should be at this stage, even for a term baby, which is amazing. BUT best of all, she’s jumped up a centile to the 50th for her weight! She’s now on the same line for length, weight and (almost) head circumference. I was never in any doubt she was putting on weight (you only have to look at her chubby cheeks and double chin to see that) but it’s always amazing getting some reassurance, especially as Liv spent 12 long weeks lingering on the bottom line of the 0.4 centile…..
Shes nailing this weight gain thing now.
It’s also reassuring me that we’re doing ok with the weaning and bottle reducing situation. Liv is still eating three meals a day and some tiny snacks in between but it’s difficult to know portion size as sometimes she WOLFS her meals and leaves me thinking she should have more, and yet other times, she’ll eat less than half. I guess that she’s telling me herself. The health visitor advised me to use less blended food for her and to just mash with my fork so that liv gets used to lumpier food. She does really well with solid food when I do the BLW so hopefully she’ll take to the lumps ok too. She also advised me to try and cut out another bottle by 9months – taking her down to one bottle in the morning and one in the evening. Although she isn’t always interested in her afternoon bottle, we’ve JUST cut out her lunchtime bottle so I feel like it’s maybe a bit too soon to cut out another bottle so quickly?! If anyone has any advice on when they cut down to two bottles, let me know. I don’t know whether it’s a classic case of the HV worrying me over something I wouldn’t have necessarily thought of or if she has a point….?
I had some friends round this week for cocktails (my reward to myself for getting through the sleep deprivation 😉) which was really good fun. With two of them also being mums, we got speaking about honest motherhood and how people are almost scared to admit when they’re struggling or finding things tough. We’re all guilty of sugarcoating things when people ask how you’re doing or how you’re finding motherhood. It’s far too easy to respond with ‘it’s brilliant’ than to admit you’re finding things pretty tough just now. Maybe partly down to the fact we feel like we may be failing as a mum if we admit that? Or maybe down to fear of being judged by others. Either way, if everyone was a bit more honest about it all, then it would make it a LOT easier for people to talk things through without fear and go a long way towards beating the stigma.
I’m VERY lucky in the friends I have and the mums I’ve come to know – both in real life and through social media. We discuss the hard, crappy parts of motherhood and never sugarcoat it when we’re having a tough time. It’s allowed us to have an amazing support network which is so bloody important. So to anyone out there who is struggling – next time someone asks how you’re doing. Try and answer honestly. I bet the person has felt exactly the same at one point in their life and talking it through will hopefully help towards making you feel less alone.