Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Annoying things people say when you've had a baby: 'It gets easier'

Any minute now, it will get easier...or not.
I almost feel bad listing this one. People are really trying to help when they say this. To make you feel like there's light at the end of the tunnel.

The problem with it is that for some people, it does get easier, but really, really, slowly.

The first milestone I was told about is 12 weeks. Apparently at this stage something magical happens to the little blighters. They've been through some major growth spurts, and for whatever reason, they start to settle better and magically they SLEEP.

Oh really?

I approached the day after Baby Britney's 12 week birthday with cautious optimism. Like Dubai's bid for Expo2020 I was confident, I was positive. Things would be DIFFERENT! She would EAT! She would SLEEP! She would NAP! She would stop screaming all the time! I would be able to get dressed before 6 pm!

Nothing changed.

If anything, I found it got harder rather than easier. At the outset you have so much adrenalin coursing through you that you seem to have more strength (mental and physical) than you thought you would. I also expected it to be tiring at the newborn phase. But by 7 or 8 weeks, you are ground down. 2 hours sleep a night has taken its toll and you feel like death. When you reach 15 weeks and it's still no better not only do you feel like death, but you feel cheated, and a little like a failure. Perhaps it's something that you are doing wrong, otherwise surely the tiny tyrant would be sleeping by now?

The fact is, if you have a baby that sleeps (like winning the lottery, in fact, I would prefer it to winning the lottery) I am sure it does get easier, much more quickly. If you don't, well, there's no easy way to say this: it is going to be very tough for a very long time.

Take any help you can get. If a friend offers to walk the baby round the block, say yes. If a neighbour offers to hold the baby whilst you have a shower, say yes. Hell, if Mussolini had offered, I would have said yes. 

We are now at 19 weeks and baby Britney (BB) has JUST started doing some daytime sleeping. We're now up to 45 minutes, twice a day! This is a far cry from what other mums/books/experts will tell you - they should be cracking out two hour stretches at least, apparently.

But hey, I'm grateful for small mercies....

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