Dirquar's 6th Week Birthday
This parent's reflections:
On Smiles: Dirquar has been smiling on purpose for over a week now. That's exciting. I don't believe in the wind theory of the very early smiles, of which men are so fond. In fact, Dirquar started smiling around Day 5, which I thought was strange. And admittedly it was after a feed, but it was also after a burp. His eyes were closed, the visitors were gone, and I believe he was trying out this new facial expression everybody had. I don't think he understood why we smile, I think he was just practising. It has taken him four weeks to realise we smile because we are happy - and now he smiles on purpose when someone (especially his Mum or Papa) talks to him, or he makes the rattle work, or he's just done a really satisfying poo. Of course, he has to be in a good mood to smile.
On pooping and nappies: We're looking forward to him pooping once a day only. But when all said and done, processed breastmilk is no big deal. Certainly not compared to the goo that comes out of a woman when she's pregnant.
To quote Kaz Cooke, no one can argue that cloth nappies or disposable nappies or having babies is environmentally friendly. Ack! We have cloth nappies, and we use them as cloths - we have disposable nappies for convenience, and they really are.
On feeding: Three hours is a remarkably short time, if you need to be doing something every three hours, 24/7 for 6 weeks. Especially, as you really can't get someone to fill in for you. I'm just beginning to feel confident enough to express so that Papa can do some feeding, but they will be few and far between. And they won't save me from waking up in the middle of every night at least once for a feed.
When we were in the hospital, little Dirquar lost around 10% of his birth weight and became jaundiced. The major treatment for both these conditions was feeding. But Dirquar wasn't so good at feeding back then, and I wasn't so good at producing milk. So he would take what he could from the breast and then we would express what we could. And Papa got to feed him from a cup. That was a good chance for him to bond with food, which he mostly does not get the opportunity to do.
And finally, problems with breastfeeding take as long to fix as they did to occur. For instance, if you let a problem (like mastitis) continue for days, it will take days to resolve. Get the smallest of problems sorted as soon as possible.
On vaccination: No way. Ideologically, I'm not a fan of vaccination. But at a practical level, you should really look into what are the known side affects, the suspected side affects, where the vaccine comes from and what else is in the vaccine. There is a lot of misinformation on both sides of this debate.
On crying: Life is good when the baby doesn't cry. Life is better, when the baby cries and you can meet his needs.
On sleep: Sleep is good.
All babies should come with a Snooze button.
Dirquar does spy sleeping, also called wizard sleeping by his aunt. He closes his eyes mostly, and will even snore in this position. But if you try to put him to bed - he wakes up!
Two words: baby massage.
On time: Time is relative. Relatives take up time.
On experts: There are a lot of people out there who think for various reasons they are experts. I have found it is worthwhile listening to them all - and going with your own gut feelings.
On being a newborn: Honestly, I think it must suck. Forget the you get to eat and sleep and suck booby whenever you want to, the problem is that you can't always get people to know what you want to do. I'm hoping it won't be too long before Dirquar can at least pull things towards him that he wants, and push away those things that he doesn't. Just that simple sort of communication eludes him.
On having a newborn: To quote John Lennon, I can hardly wait to see (him) come of age, but I guess we'll both just have to be patient. This little boy is the light of my life, and I am looking forward to hearing what he has to say.
If you find this writeup scattered, hard-to-follow and a little bit changeable, then that's the other impact I am finding of living with a newborn. And I love him dearly.
Happy Birthday Dirquar!!
I have to go feed, but I will be back