A Wonderful World



I never saw the light at the end of the tunnel coming. All of a sudden I found myself in blinding sunlight, wondering if the struggle was really, truly over, or if the tunnel just had an absurdly large skylight.

My little bundle of anything-but-joy ordinarily has a very established overnight sleep pattern: not two hours together. I can usually handle this up to about 3am. After then, my brain starts slowly dying.

Last night, his usual tradition of getting me up six to eight times a night was drastically reduced…to one. He slept for a 6.5 hour block. Even more surprisingly, the cry that woke me was a soft ‘Okay-I’m-ready-to-dine-now’ cry, not a raucous ‘Help-me-I’m-starving-to-death’ cry.

This amazing development tastes like a Nigerian scam. It’s too good to be true, surely. Can this be real? Will I actually know restful nights again?

His notorious colic has already been much appeased by my dairy-free diet. (My loving sacrifice of forgoing Whittaker’s peanut slabs is something I’ll make him well aware of when he’s old enough to understand.) He’s a much happier baby, as a result. The comparative peace in the house has felt akin to winning the lottery. I’m told a lot of babies have a milk protein allergy when they’re very young, then they grow out of it. (I take this to mean I don’t have to wait until he’s weaned before I can have a peanut slab again.)

The thing is, if a Lotto winner won a second jackpot prize two weeks later, it would be suspicious. At the first win, you’re lucky. If there’s a second hot on its heels, you’re clearly dabbling in the occult. It’s Faustian luck.

If Timmy continues this new overnight behaviour, I’ve had a second lottery win. (Although I know I haven’t dabbled in the occult, I’d then have to wonder if other mums-of-colicky-babies would believe me.)

As much improved as he is at home now, I’ve been pondering some other factors that may have exacerbated (or perhaps just coincided with) a reversion to unsettled behaviour — it seems to me they can all be summarised by Foreign Environment. He was diabolical when in hospital, but as this had been happening at home prior (necessitating his hospital visit in the first place), I didn’t consider that a connection — I just thought it odd that his first night home would be so much better.

But then last Monday, he spent the night with my mum. He’s done this before quite happily, but in those instances Mum and I had done a house-swap, so she was taking care of him in his own space. Monday was the first time he slept at her place. Poor Gamma. He was absolutely diabolical. Her description of the night mirrored my recollections of his ‘normal’ behaviour when he was still in the violent grip of unshakeable colic.

When I discussed this with a Child Development worker a couple of days later, she was unsurprised — it was all unfamiliar to him, she said. This wasn’t comforting. I don’t want a baby who’s incapable of going anywhere without me. That would be disadvantageous to both of us. But Child Development Lady suspected Timmy would be much improved in an unfamiliar cot, away from me, if he keeps something next to him that’s comfortably familiar. He’s too young to be interested in cuddly toys, so I didn’t know how I could achieve this.

Unless that fateful Monday night scarred my mother for life, he’ll be staying with her again. In preparation for this, Child Development Lady suggested I keep a soft piece of fabric on my person during the day, and put it in Timmy’s cradle at night. That way it will have our respective smells on it. (This sounds distasteful to me. When I said so, she just counselled me to not keep it in my armpits.) Then whenever Timmy sleeps in a strange place, and/or away from me, he’ll be comforted by that piece of fabric.

So right now, I have his ‘fluffy’ stuffed down my top — a soft piece of material with owl print on it.

I hope for my mother’s sake this works…



(6) Comments

  • Rachel
    21 Jun 2012

    What a gorgeous photo. Yes, you have proof that it smiles. Luffly. Now then…. can I make a suggestion based on experience (no looking at this aunties). When you choose something for him to attach to, make sure you have a gazzillion of them. You do not want to run out of your last 24 fluffies, a slew of stuffed beavers, or even half a dozen Sad Sam dogs. I highly recommend you choose something which can be easily transported, and is also easily duplicatable, like a cute little wrap (which you have 20 of). Tee hee.

  • Leanne
    21 Jun 2012

    Congratulations on your sanity!

    Hope it lasts.

  • Glenys Michael on Facebook
    21 Jun 2012

    Glad to hear things are improving, you are in our prayers

  • Courtney
    22 Jun 2012

    Isn’t great when things start to come together and make sense! Glad yr getting sleep!!!What a gorgeous smile:)

  • Andrea Latoa
    22 Jun 2012

    So pleased that you’ve had that good night… “they” say it can take 6 weeks to establish breastfeeding and you’ve had more than your share of challenges, so let’s hope things get smoother from now on.
    All the very best – lots of love 🙂

  • Emma Ubels on Facebook
    23 Jun 2012

    ditto 🙂

Leave a reply so Eve's not talking to herself...