Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A New Phase Begins ...

Let me tell you what happened last night.

At 6:30 we gave Gwen a bath. This was the usual gong show of screaming and arcing her body and so on. After about three minutes of soaping and rinsing, we took her out of the infant tub and towelled her off. Then I got her diapered and in PJs, her dad swaddled her, and I nursed her.

Twenty minutes later she was fast asleep. She slept until 1am. (That's a full plix glowers.)

It gets better.

See, Chris and I had agreed that since the seminar is now over and I am pumping enough for 1-2 feedings a day, he would start giving her the first night feed, then I would take care of the rest of the night. I went to bed at 9pm, anticipating being up in a few hours. But instead, she only got up the once. At 1am, when Chris fed her a bottle, as agreed.

So I slept from 9pm to 6:30am.

I feel so ridiculously human today!

It's very complicated, trying to incorporate our new roles as parents into our relationship as husband and wife. I think every couple goes through this, and probably every couple needs to find their own solutions. We are just starting to get there. The first obstacle was my own cautiousness, not wanting to let anyone else have the baby for more than a few minutes, because that's how often she was needing to eat. The next obstacle was being able to get the milk supply established and pumping workingwell so that she could be fed by someone other than me. The next obstacle was Chris's martial arts commitments - because he wanted to grade this year, it was important that he go to class every week, twice a week, and that amounted to a huge chunk of time that he wasn't available to help.

The grading is over now. Things are going to change, and they are already changing, as evidenced by last night's sleep-a-thon (for me. Chris is exhausted. After one feed!). I think the next step will be for Chris to take Gwen for a stretch of time on Saturday mornings - whatever he's comfortable with, to start, but hopefully we will work our way up to four hours as that's how long a bottle should buy me if I feed her beforehand and immediately after. I don't even mind if we all stay in the house together, it will just be nice not to be so irrevocably "in charge".

That's what wears me down, ultimately. Chris will do pretty much anything that I ask him to, when it comes to Gwen. But really, I'd rather not have to ask. It's the asking that makes me feel like Gwen is "my" job, and that he's just helping. It would be great to feel like we were somehow equals, if not in time spent then at least in authority and decision-making (i.e., she's fussing and someone needs to decide how best to deal with it).

And like I say, we are getting there. Chris now calls me if he's going to be late from work. He lets me know if he's going to a grocery store on the way home, in case there's something I need. He is becoming more aware that little things like a trip to the grocery store are just not a little thing for me anymore, and that it's immensely helpful for him to (PROACTIVELY) pitch in on stuff like that.

PLUS I finally got my Mother's Day present yesterday. Sure, I had to tell him exactly what to get me, and then wait a month for it to appear, but I got it. It's a start.

3 comments:

Kat said...

I'm glad the pumping is working for you.

Let me know when it is okay for me to come and visit!!

Amberism said...

It does take some getting used to, even the second time around!

I agree, what I find the most tiring is that I have to always be the one "thinking" and then do the asking. Doing the thinking for three people is exhausting, nevermind adding in the actual doing. What drives me over the edge are the comments. One day soon I am leaving, for eight hours, just to prove a point :).

Sheila said...

I am very glad to hear of the change. It makes me happy that you are moving in this direction and that Chris is taking a more active and proactive role.

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