Tag Archives: colic

Emmett’s First Days – 2

When using our hospital, after the baby is born, they give you a packet FULL of information. Some are things that they’ve given you in the Birthing Classes or Breastfeeding Class but some are new and definitely a good read. One such item in the folder was about how on (typically) the second or third night of a baby’s life (in the outside world) tends to be a restless night because the baby begins to cluster feed. Basically, they’ve run out of their excess calories that they had gotten from you in utero and need to start stocking up in the outside world.

Cluster feeding, also called bunch feeding, is when babies space feeding closer together at certain times of the day and go longer between feedings at other times. This is very common, and often occurs in the evenings. It’s often -but not always- followed by a longer sleep period than usual: baby may be “tanking up” before a long sleep. For example, your baby may nurse every hour (or even constantly) between 6 and 10 PM, then have a longish stretch of sleep at night – baby may even sleep all night.

Emmett’s cluster feeding began on his second night. They were still doing glucose testing on him so it was important to ensure he ate whenever he wanted it, even if he had JUST eaten, so that his blood sugar stayed above our target. This was taking a toll as it was because he was eating almost every hour and I was so so tired because I hadn’t really gotten any sleep. Once nighttime rolled around, they took Emmett to do another blood test and brought him back in a really awful mood. He was screaming and crying and nothing was calming him down. The nurse even tried taking him and shushing really loudly, it worked for a short period of time but he was right back at it within minutes of her leaving.

Being new parents we tried everything. We had read and were very familiar with the 5’s, swaddling, side/stomach position, shushing, swinging and sucking, we tried all of those and he kept on wailing. It was a real shocker because he had been so laid back up until now; we thought we had given birth to a sweet and silent baby. The only thing that calmed him was coming to my breast and nursing. This went on ALL NIGHT LONG! I’d get him latched, he’d eat for a short period of time and fall asleep, once asleep, I’d remove him and attempt to put him in his cradle but within moments of being laid down, he’d be up crying again. We repeated that same scenario umpteenth times; I was frustrated with the situation and didn’t know how to fix it.

Being a new mom I immediately jumped to my milk supply. I assumed I wasn’t producing enough, that he wasn’t eating enough and since he was starving couldn’t sleep, so he’d wail. I had a horrible awful time that night and if it weren’t for Seamus, Emmett would probably have been formula fed. There is absolutely nothing wrong with formula but it wasn’t what I wanted for Emmett.

I was crying and begging Seamus to allow me to feed Emmett formula. Saying that we’d know his tummy was full and that we’d then be able to rule out hunger as the reason for his sobbing. Seamus was loving and gently persistent, he reminded me how important breastfeeding was to me, that this was Emmett’s night of cluster feeding that they’d warned us about in our breastfeeding class, that it wouldn’t be like this forever, that I should ask for help from the lactation consultant if I was concerned with my milk supply. I was frustrated with him, he wasn’t allowing me to do what I so desperately wanted to do at that moment but I went along with it, I continued to nurse Emmett and eventually sometime in the very early hours of the morning he fell asleep latched to me and when I removed him he actually remained asleep, we were finally able to get some rest.

When I awoke several hours later, feeling more human than I had in 3 days, I realized that Seamus had been right. Breastfeeding was so very important to me; it was what I wanted to give to my son. I thanked him and told him what a wonderful and supportive husband (and now father) he was.

That night was probably the most difficult night of my life. You hear all the stories about babies not sleeping through the night and the stories of babies who have colic and cry incessantly but you never really think it’s going to be that bad or that it will happen to you but I want you to know that it CAN be that bad and that it CAN happen to you.

I loved Emmett through all of it. We had an impossibly arduous night but I loved him, I wouldn’t have gone through it if I didn’t. It is amazing what the love for someone can give you the strength to do.

I write all this, not to scare anyone away from having children, quite the contrary, I want everyone to have babies if they want them, it’s a beautiful, amazing, fulfilling thing but I want you to be prepared. I want you to know the truth of how demanding it can be because I wasn’t aware, it hadn’t been shared with me. Sure I’d heard the jokes but no one ever truly sat me down and shared what could happen. I don’t blame anyone, it’s no one’s job to educate me but I wish there were more “real” life stories out there that share what REALLY happens the first days of a baby’s life. I wish the hospital had given us that packet of paper during our childbirth class (a month earlier), rather than AFTER Emmett had been born. So I hope this helps, I hope someone reads this and is better prepared for those first few days of their gorgeous new baby’s life.

In case you missed it Part 1.

Dear Emmett,

You are two months old now and you have no idea how much this blows my mind. I can still hear your very first cry as if it were yesterday and it still brings happy tears to my eyes. I love you little boy, we’ve had quite the month!

We moved from month 1 into month 2 on a cranky, colicky note. You were often unhappy and we tried so many different things but nothing worked, you were just a fussy baby. The first thing I tried was to stop drinking coffee or any other caffeinated drink but your mood didn’t change. Then I gave up dairy for a couple weeks because some of your reactions were similar to those I’d read about when babies are allergic to dairy, but your mood remained the same. We finally came to the realization that you were just a fussy little guy.

I looked for some pictures of you fussing and crying but could only find one. I guess because, well, we just never thought to take pictures of you being cranky.

That’s your one month birthday picture, we plan on taking one every month on the 23rd. You’re leaning up against your measuring monkey that your Grammy and Grampy M gave you. I can’t wait to see how you grow!

So many people told your dad and I that the fussiness wouldn’t last, that by month 3 you’d be a happy guy. Well guess what!? Around week 5, you were just happy! You literally went from one day to the next as a completely different baby. It was exciting to experience and I was ecstatic that you were finally content. I’m sure you enjoyed not screaming! 🙂

You’ve become a pretty independent guy. You love laying under your Baby Einstein gym and looking at the dancing and singing sun and wiggling to the music. You’ve started to hold onto things that we put in your hand. You still don’t quite understand that they are YOUR hands but you’re getting closer!

We moved you into your own bedroom at the beginning of the second month, up until then you had been sleeping in your cradle at the side of our bed but after a month we thought it was a good idea to be in your own room. You didn’t seem to have any trouble adjusting to being alone but you definitely didn’t like sleeping in your crib, so we just moved your cradle into your bedroom and you’ve been sleeping in that. I have a feeling it is because of the incline of it. Hopefully you can adjust to your crib before you grow out of the cradle.

I remember one night that was particularly difficult. You had decided to wake up several different times and wanted to stay awake for quite awhile. Mommy was so tired and just wanted to sleep but you weren’t having it, instead you rewarded me with your first real smile! You made mommy so happy that night, well let’s be honest, you make me happy every minute that you’re alive.

You have become so talkative! You coo and gurgle all day long, you and I talk a lot and you seem to really enjoy it.

Another one of my favorite things that was new this month was your recognition of my voice when I come near you or enter a room. So many times in the past you would be freaking out and I’d walk in and say “I’m here Emmet” and you wouldn’t skip a beat, you’d go right on screaming but now, I walk in and say the same thing and you actually stop. You know you’re mommy’s there and going to comfort and take care of you. It warms my heart!

Well Doodah, we’ve had an amazing month and I am most certainly looking forward to seeing what the next one brings!

I love you baby boy!

Copyright © 2013 Baby Doodah // Designed By Bumble + Buzz Design