Wow, this parenting malarkey really is a rollercoaster, and I’m only ten weeks in. Goodness knows what I’m going to be like when the terrible twos hit! I seem to have spent a lot of time this last week googling ‘when do babies get easier?’ and other such questions. The consensus seems to be that they don’t get easier - there’s always another milestone coming along as soon as the last one seems to have stabilised - but parents get better at dealing with the challenging times. That and once they start sleeping for a longer period of time, things seem a little brighter.
Cassie and I are incredibly lucky to be surrounded by an incredible support network. In addition to Scott being a fantastic Dad and husband, home for bath, book and bed every night, both Nanny and Granny share their wisdom and encouragement readily (in exchange for photos and the odd, when legal, cuddle). We also have the most lovely health visitor, who has all the time in the world for my weekly panicked phone calls (She’s not pooed! She isn’t sleeping well! etc etc) as well as friends, NCT Mums and a local Mums and babies group.
The importance of this support network really hit home yesterday; Cassie, will, until she is about sixteen, go by the nickname ‘gassy Cassie’ for obvious reasons. Two nights ago, a 1am feed stretched for a full two hours due to her refusal to drink if she has the merest hint of wind (fair enough) and about an hour following the feed to get rid of it all….then she was up an hour later wanting more! I spent most of the morning in tears. My baby was so uncomfortable at each feed, it was heartbreaking and very scary - thoughts of bottle aversions crept in, ‘failure to thrive’ status and so on. Luckily, a few messages later, I had a number of reassuring phone calls, which culminated in the suggestion to start her on lactose drops and change her bottles. Following a much needed nap (for both of us) and a brisk, rainy walk to the shops, we had both. Wow. What a difference a simple change made, my girl fed and was happy. What a relief.
I chose to see yesterday as a success rather than a bad day - I learned something about Cassie, dealt with a tough situation, managed a shower, food and saw a really cute dog on the way back from the shop. We survived. Of course, there will be more tough times - we’ve got the four month sleep regression looming, then teething, weaning and the separation anxiety to boot, but each day we are getting to know each other more. Each day she is coming more out of her shell, smiling more and growing like a weed (guess who is in big girl nappies now!). On to the next challenge - we’ve got this!