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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sleep Deprivation

It was a great idea to have a baby. We thought it would be a symbol of our eternal love, a ickle 'minni-me/us' and we thought it would make us less selfish. However, at 3.30am, you forget those reasons and think up reasons why you should have listened a little more rather than draw humorous cartoons in the human biology books. So, for any budding or broody adults reading this, here doeth follow a few reasons NOT to have a baby:-
  1. Labour - Imagine pushing a bowling ball out through your front bottom. Now imagine it taking 12 hours. Thankfully, 12 hours did it for us, but some are not as lucky. Imagine that after those 12 hours of trying to push a bowling ball out and failing, that doctors cut a big hole in your belly to remove the trapped bowling ball. Don't believe anyone who says that they forget all about their labour in a few months.
  2. Responsibility - In comparison, there is no bigger responsibility. If you decide to have a baby, he/she must be your top priority. Your baby may remind you of this when he or she is older - "Whatever! I didn't ask to be born."
  3. Nappies - Disposable nappies DO absorb lots of liquid, and they 'shouldn't' leak. You have to change thousands of them. On average, from birth to age 4, I've worked out it's about 5840 nappy changes. Probably 1946 of those will be runnier, smellier and lumpier. Then there's potty training. I can't comment on that as yet, but I may decide to bypass that bit as it sounds quite difficult and time-consuming. It might be easier for everyone if Drew stays in nappies and in time, she will learn to change them herself. Hey presto! Job done. (Or should that be 'jobbies done!)
  4. 3.30am alarmcalls - Looking after a baby takes a lot of physical and emotional energy. What makes it harder is that babies can sleep for anything from 10 minutes to 3 hours at a time. Some babies don't even sleep through the night for years. Years! Babies do need their sleep, but so do mummies and daddies. However, mummies get used to running a household, multi-tasking and surviving on about 5 hours sleep most nights. It's nothing Ray Mears and his whittling stick taught us either!
  5. Relationships - As long as Daddy remembers that Mummy knows best, your relationship will be 'easier'. You have to remember, Mummy spends the majority of time with the baby. They get to know what works and what doesn't. They usually know what they're talking about. But Mummies, no one likes a know-it-all. Also, a reference to No. 4 above, everything seems SO much more important and 10 times worse at 3.30am and when your baby is crying. Best to remember the 'golden rule' at those times chaps.
  6. Advice - Total strangers offer advice about your baby. I have found some of the advice IS helpful. However, sometimes, it is contradictory with what you have been advised by the experts. This only adds to your paranoia. People you don't know will be much easier to ignore than your friends and family, many of whom have raised children quite successfully. My advice is pick and choose the advice you want. Try it and use whatever works for you. Every baby is different.
  7. Changed relationships - When your family expands by the addition of a child, your relationship with everyone, and I mean everyone, changes. Your child is at the forefront of most of your thoughts, and those people without children can't really relate. Those people with children are finally happy to see that you can relate. Everyone will watch how you raise your child and will at some point cluck and disapprove, including those who raised ten children and those who raised none. Some strong bonds may weaken, some friends will not been seen again. Some may improve, but with your energies and devotions directed towards your child, that is much less likely.
  8. Free time - You will have none. Most of your time, when not spent with your child, you'll be catching up on housework. Carefully plan any time away from your child as very little can be done spontaneously.
  9. Worry - Parents always worry about their children, monitoring how fast they reach each milestone and how well they grow, eat, sleep, crawl, walk, read, make friends, and so on. And yet there is little a parent can do beyond allow a child to proceed at his or her own pace. It can be frustrating and scary when your child isn't eating well, has a new spot, a new bruise...and that's ALL before they start school!
  10. Money - Children are expensive in several ways. Ask Jerry. One parent loses wages while caring for a child, but children need to eat and be clothed. They need toys with which to explore the world. They need health care, education, activities, social interaction and hobbies. They will need car insurance. However, don't let MONEY alone put you off! Just plan ahead!
If none of the above puts you off, Drew's had a cough for a while now. 10th week. Try sleeping whilst listening to the same 'double cough' coming through the baby monitor. Turn the monitor off??? Okay, now you can hear it up the hall and should you turn it off anyway and want to sleep while your baby is struggling to sleep herself? What do you do??

There is nothing you can do. Nothing. There is nothing on the market to help a baby Drew's age when they have a cough. Nothing takes it away. There's stuff to help, but that's it. Our Doc says that the cough medicines for kids on the market are more for the parents. To make them feel better about giving their child some medicine. But, so we are told, it does nothing. All we can do is comfort her, rock to sleep and be there for her. I thought the lack of sleep part was when they were newborns...how stupid am I???

The cough MUST be related to her teeth coming through. She has ALL the other symptoms. Runny sticky plops, constant runny nose, rubbing of her ears presumably because of the pain in her gums and yes...at last...the crest of what feels like her top teeth coming through. But it doesn't end there.

Only about another 17 teeth to go!

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