I can’t even begin to tell you how grateful I am that Rex arrived so close to the summer holidays. The first 8 weeks have been extremely testing ones so, the fact that we don’t have to get up for an alarm, the fact that Ross is (loosely) working from home and that I am on maternity leave are all conspiring to make things a heck of a lot easier.
A family system
On Friday I asked for some advice over on my Facebook page as Rex had been diagnosed with reflux (more of that to follow in his two month update). Because of this, I have been getting little next to no sleep every night as I cannot put Rex down for more than 10 minutes without him crying.
Between us, Ross, Grace and I have all bases covered. I have to admit that there is some bickering which I find understandable given the fact that things can be a bit stressful. But, on the whole, we are there for each other and I find it very supportive.
The night time routine
The reflux situation means that I am currently sleeping with Rex in the spare room (I use the term ‘sleeping’ very loosely!). I give Rex an evening feed at about 7pm and then he sleeps on me (9 times out of 10), in the carrycot or in the baby carrier. At around 10.30pm, Ross starts to get Rex’s bottle ready (we are combination feeding) and then at 11pm we take him upstairs.
Ross changes Rex’s nappy and I get ready for bed. I usually get something ready to watch on my iPad as I know that, after his bottle, I will have to keep Rex upright for at least 30 minutes to help wind him. Then the night time is down to me. However, Ross ALWAYS says to me to come and get him if I need help. I try my best to leave him to get a full night’s sleep though.
The morning routine
At around 7am, depending on feed times, Ross takes Rex off downstairs with him and leaves me to get an hour or two of sleeping. That is not always easy when the rest of the world is getting up but I do my best to cut myself some slack and try not to feel guilty for being in bed. For some reason, ever since I was a teenager, I have not been able to lie in as I feel bad for letting the day get away from me and not achieving anything! I generally put the radio on as, for some reason, I find it helps.
When I get up, I take over with Rex – although Grace is there at the moment to support and help me. She fetches and carries, makes lunch and holds Rex where necessary. She helps me with bathing and changing his nappy – although she is still reluctant on the dirty ones! Ross is usually working.
The afternoon routine
This usually varies depending on how tired I am and how much sleep I have had in the morning. There are occasions when Ross can’t take over in the morning – mainly because he is working. Ross and Grace can sometimes take Rex in the afternoon whilst I go back upstairs to bed. This then means I am prepared for the night shift. If not, I usually push on through the day and add in a few extra cups of coffee!
At the moment Ross is cooking dinner as I generally tend to be feeding Rex. Grace fetches and carries and is there for both Ross and I. I usually eat dinner one-handed and then Rex falls asleep on me – after trying to fight it! Grace goes up to bed at around 8.45/9pm and then Ross and I watch one of our box set programmes.
And so it begins again!
I have to say that I do not know what I am going to do when school starts again but for now, I am counting my blessings on having a family which pulls together.