Parenting a Newborn is like Backpacking...

Years ago when Brad was in university he spent a summer in Europe backpacking from country to country. He's shared some unbelievable stories with me from that summer, some horrendous (being forced to sleep in a sleeping bag on a dew-y night outside because there weren't any hostels available) and some amazing (hotel upgrades, delicious foods, unimaginable sights).

It was on this trip that he and his buddy Tim created the ultimate backpacking motto:
"It's never too good, or too bad, for too long"

In the last two weeks of knowing the lovable Lily we've taken the backpacking motto to be our life-with-Lily-slogan. It's never too good, or too bad, for too long.

Let me explain. Lily has stolen our hearts, but we're still human.
Babies are adorable, but not easy.
They can win you with a glance or a cuddle, but hurt you with three-hour eating binges and crying fests. This is Lily. Just like backpacking.

Right now she's in a growth spurt and so is doing the normal baby thing - cluster feeding. Wherein she actually EATS for up to THREE HOURS. From my research I actually don't have it too bad. Cluster feeding can and does commonly last up to SIX hours! I've been told maybe she's just soothing herself by suckling. Nope. She will easily fill four diapers during e three hours. She's actually eating, digesting, pooping, and then again, again, and again. By the end of the second or third hour normally I'm at the end of my rope.

Thank goodness for things like my iPod Touch where I can check Facebook while feeding her, or cell phones that I can text from... But depending on the time of day, there's not always someone to talk to even with the world wide web and hyper connectivity.

And just when it's in the "too bad" category, she'll stop feeding and curl up on my chest and fall asleep.
If she even makes a peep it sounds like a little kitten squeaking. Sigh.

And so we rapidly fall into the "too good category". Lily is great at night. After the treacherous cluster feed from say 9pm-11pm she falls asleep (sometimes as early as 10:30pm!) and sleeps right until 4:30am, when she wakes for a quick feed, then again until 6:30am, quick feed, and again until about 9am.
I'm a lucky Mom.

We have learned to live in cycles, knowing that even when it's hard, she's crying and feeding uncontrollably and seemingly at the most inopportune times, it will pass and not just pass, but turn into the greatest joy, watching her watch you and knowing that she needs you and God has chosen you to be her parents.

3-day-old Lily. Sigh.

1 comment:

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