Six weeks old

Our little boy is six weeks old tomorrow. He’s grown from 7lb 9oz to 9lb 8oz, whoa Mama! He’s also adorable, I know we’re biased as parents, but he is. You’ll just have to take my word for it.

Being a c-section baby, he didn’t have a misshapen, squished head to sort out. His jaundice has gone, and the baby acne spots he developed are also slowly clearing up. His eyes are changing colour, they are getting lighter and instead of blue are more grey. He’s also started grinning at us, so we’re now spending ages trying to get smiles out of him. He’s pushed through his first growth spurt and come out the other side, sleeping more and is placid, fat and happy.

On Monday he had his six-week check-up, which he passed with flying colours, just as well as I’m not taking him back to see that paediatrician again. In the middle of our consult, he picked his pants out his bum. Nice! My friend and I looked at each other in amazement. He was also gave me yet more conflicting information on how I should be breastfeeding. He wants me to feed every four hours, starting now! It’s what I’m aiming for, but have you tried entertaining a hungry baby? Peanut is already stretching out his feeds, he’ll go 4-5 hours between 8pm till 1am, he also has a longer sleep in the afternoon, so he’s working on it. But in the morning, he’s ravenous! I’m sorry, for the sake of Peanut’s cortisol levels, my sanity and the neighbours, if he wants a boob, he’s getting one.

Today, I had my six-week check-up, which I passed with flying colours. I’ve not had any problems with my scar, no weeping, tightness or soreness. I’m amazed at how well I’ve healed, I had more pain after my appendix was taken out, and my Peanut-Mark is easily 3 times longer than my appendectomy scar. I’m now able to drive again, and have already started doing some of the heavier housework round the house. I can now vacuum and mop, iron standing up instead of sitting down and am quite happy pottering about, usually with the boy in his Moby sling asleep next to me. One thing that surprised both myself and my driver for the morning, my sister-in-law, was that when Dr Najjar spoke, Peanut woke up straight away and looked at him. Seeing him so often obviously registered Haider’s voice with him when he was inside me.

I’ve learnt alot in the past six weeks. Babies don’t come with instruction manuals, and all the reading you can do (which for me, was a lot) doesn’t help when your child is given to you and you’re on your own trying to work out what button to press to mute him. Our boy needs to be held upright when he’s fed, because he doesn’t burp easily, if we lay him down too early, he’ll give us a posset as a present. When he wakes up and starts stirring, he’ll stretch his legs out and fart, but until he waves his arms around, he’s not ready to be picked up. When he’s having a cuddle, he loves sleeping on his tummy, but curled up in a ball, head lolling to one side. After he’s had a massage, when he’s lying on his tummy, he’ll stretch his legs out, head to one side and sigh deeply.

Playing similar music while he was inside me also stood me in good stead, and something I recommend to other Mamas-to-be. I love The Big Chill, it’s one of my favourite films, and the soundtrack was an album I listened to over and over in the car on the drive to work. The last couple of days when Peanut has been grumpy and not settling in the mornings, I’ve put the CD on, laid him along my arm, face down and bopped around the living room with him. Within a couple of minutes, he’s relaxed and dozing off. Leonard Cohen and k.d. lang also work well too.

Watching Hubs play with him, dote on him and also learn what Peanut likes and doesn’t like is both funny and lovingly touching. I’m trying not to dictate what Peanut likes and doesn’t like, needs and doesn’t need, Hubs needs to learn how to settle him on his own as much as I do. I’ll pass on what I’ve learnt during the day, from Peanut, but also from the girls in the forum. From our two-week due date catchment window which grouped us together initially, two thirds of the babies were born earlier that our due dates, with the last one arriving 2 weeks late, a range of 7 weeks in total. I’m also the only first time Mama in the group, so the information they’ve been giving me is invaluable. They’ve also been cheering me on when I’ve had a little wobble, or doubted myself. The amount of chatter during the wee hours as we feed our babies is quite impressive!

My friends who have been to visit also have been very supportive, telling me I’m a natural, relaxed Mama. I think that it is because at 36 years old, I was finally ready to have a child. Any earlier, I wouldn’t have had the sense, patience or rational thought and intelligence to fully understand this is the ride of my life. Some days are going to be bumpier than others. Peanut is my little Zen Master, he keeps me fully aware of what I need to do now, this moment. I can’t bend his will, but I can attend to his needs, which to be done successfully, I have to concentrate on him.

The past six weeks I’ve felt a bit like a rabbit down a burrow, I’ve just had to keep on digging to keep going, but now I can see light at the end of the tunnel again as we’re all coming up for air.

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