Monday, 13 August 2012

Time, and Happy Birthday

Six weeks and two days ago our daughter Elizabeth was born. I have since discovered just how much of one's time a newborn consumes. So this is something of an apology of sorts, an apology for the time taken between posts. Having said that I in no way begrudge her the time, I wouldn't have it any other way. Be warned, however, that it is likely that service here will be a tad infrequent and irregular, at least for a few weeks more.

As it turns out caring for a newborn, while being a pretty miraculous thing, does descend into a repeating pattern of feeding, burping, jiggling, cleaning poo, and catching what rest you can between the above. It's a kind of Groundhog Day of fatigue. Luckily we're able to do it together. I have a new found respect for solo parents and parents in multiple-birth families. Even acting as a team as we are it is bloody exhausting, and we're only wrangling one baby between us.

So here's a quick summary of the first six weeks of parenting. Baby was great for the first few days, she slept for quite long periods of time between feeds, and aside from her exports being a bit sticky nappy changing wasn't especially unpleasant. By the end of the first week sleep was becoming a more precious commodity, with unsettled nights causing substantial disruption, particularly for Julie. Luckily I was able to sleep more throughout the night, and while she was caring for Elizabeth I was caring for her. Then I had to go back to work. Suffice it to say that I've had a couple of days off since then, mainly to recover from sleepless nights and accumulated sleep debt. Thanks very much to my employer for being so understanding, not only for allowing the occasional daddy day, but also for putting up with my reduced efficiency while at work.

After the first week pooing became much more frequent and a good deal more runny. We have only had one really major poo explosion, where the nappy provided insufficient cover and absorption, and that required an entire clothing change, and a new blanket to boot. I have no idea where it all came from. Luckily this has settled down after six weeks, and she's now no longer needing a change after every feed. Thank goodness.

Elizabeth is eating like a trooper, and growing very nicely. She's put on 1.2 kg and is apparently tall for her age. Whether that is a predictor of future height remains to be seem, but we're relieved she is happy, healthy and well-fed. She's also a very good wee babe, doesn't really cry unless she actually needs feeding or burping, and has settled into a pretty good routine. She had her first inoculations on Friday and, while she cried a bit when she was jabbed with the needle, after a minute or two of daddy cuddles she calmed right down and went back to sleep. Needless to say we are relieved that she is such a relaxed and trouble free little girl. Long may it continue.

So happy six week birthday Elizabeth. One day when you read this know that your Mum and Dad love you very much, and we are doing everything in our power to make sure you are well cared for and well loved.

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