Today is the final day in the series with the ½ marathon blog challenge with CMBA! We made it!!! Whew! =)
The last suggestion we wanted to share was borne out of our specific and unique experience. David and I became parents on October 1, 2011 to three babies – Makenna, Noah and Emma. There was just one slight problem…there were only the two of us. We actually brought all three of them home from the hospital a year ago this week! They were exactly one month old but between 4 lbs 13oz and 5ish-ish pounds each. We were blessed to not have any health issues or monitors or machines to bring home with them. But we were working around the clock to care for them. Even though they were on a three-hour schedule in the NICU, somehow that didn’t quite stick when they got home. They seemed to know they were in their own digs now and wanting to check it all out…at all hours of the day. And night. We would feed two babies at 8pm and the third at 8:30pm. We’d finally get everyone settled and everything set up for the midnight feeding and get in bed about 10pm. But more often than not, a baby woke early at 11:30pm. And then we would start all over again, get back in bed around 2am (because a different baby couldn’t fall asleep). And then another baby would wake back up around 3 or 3:30am for the 4am feeding. Then we’d fall asleep somewhere around 5:30 or 6am and David would have to get up at 7am for work. If you do the math, it means we ended up getting around 4.5 hours of sleep a night. And this was with both of us getting up and caring for them at the same time! So David was just as sleep-deprived and exhausted as I was.
We were so blessed to have my mom practically live with us during the week the first six weeks they were home! After the first couple mind-blowing exhausting weeks, we settled into a routine where my mom got up for both the night-time feedings and David got up at one of them with her and I for the other. So we could get about a four hour stretch of sleep! Mom slept some the next day and we sent her home on the weekends.
You’re probably saying, “Yeah, that’s crazy, but what’s the point.” The point is, David had to get up for the middle of the night feedings with me on the weekends. All the parenting resources I read during the pregnancy suggested husbands help their wives out by getting the baby from the nursery in the middle of the night for her to nurse. I’d like to take that a step further and suggest that, guys, you try staying up with her for a feeding or two on the weekends. Wait-wait-wait! Don’t leave yet – hear me out! =) We were absolutely exhausted. But we were exhausted together and we began to see those times as some fun new “family time” the Lord had provided us. Since I wasn’t breastfeeding yet, David had to feed a baby a bottle (or two, so I could feed one and then pump). While we fed, we watched a show. When we finished, we often had a snack while we finished watching the show. Some of my favorite (only? Ha!) memories of those early months are of these times David and I spent together. There’s nothing really spiritual about this suggestion. It simply provided us with a different kind of time together – in the quiet of the early morning hours. Those moments forged in us both the conviction that we could do this thing. We were tackling the ultra-tough moments together. …It also gave David a really great picture of just what it is like to nurse a baby – the sacrifice it entails. =) Ladies, I’m sure your husbands will have a new appreciation for you, too. If they’re already getting the baby from the nursery and taking her back, why not spend the next few minutes together, too? C’mon guys – give it a try. Your wives will be quite impressed!!! =)