Friday 4 March 2005

dummies for babies

After another sleepless night filled with inconsolable shrieking (on all of our parts), we decided to haul out the big guns and used a dummy (pacifier) last night. Whenever Jack went into "I'm going to scream my lungs out and I have no idea why, but I can keep it up for at least three hours - go ahead and try to stop me" mode, we placed the dummy in his mouth. Instantly, the crying stopped and our son turned into the male version of Maggie Simpson until he happily fell back asleep and let the dummy fall out of his mouth. He woke up at midnight, 4am, and 8am with his tiny little crying voice and promptly fell back asleep again after a feed and/or nappy change. That's right, we had four hours of continuous sleep throughout the night. Oh yes.

Another great discovery yesterday was my breast pump. After a week and a half of feeding the Milk Monster, let's just say that mealtimes were becoming rather painful and tense. I got the bright idea to give myself a rest and express some milk for every other feed until my wounds healed. After fumbling around with various fiddly bits (assembling a breast pump is worse than putting together Ikea furniture, and the instructions are just as useless), I read through the instructions carefully. They stated that it could take several attempts for the milk to begin flowing, and not to worry because most women find that they need quite a few tries before it works. After a few squeezes, streams of milk came shooting out, which was both interesting and slightly alarming at the same time. I had no idea it came out like that; I imagined a slow dribble like tapping sap from a maple tree. Equally interesting/scary was the fact that my milk looks just like cow's milk, which led Paul to start calling me "Ermintrude". I did Jack's next feed au naturel, but the following one was given to him by his daddy using a bottle of my expressed milk. We both thought it was very cool that Paul could now share in this ritual, and I am very pleased to have a bit of a break to heal.

We woke up feeling drugged and a bit hungover after finally getting a decent night's sleep. A couple of hours later and I feel like a million bucks. How lovely to wake up a few times in the night without the frustration and stress - it's heartbreaking when your child is crying uncontrollably and there's not a damn thing you can do about it. It gives us the chance to simply enjoy being with Jack without the chaos of trying to comfort his frantic sobbing. Here's hoping we have another night like last night.

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