If there’s one saying that you’ll hear time and again as a parent, it’s ‘this too shall pass’. I’d never heard it before having Ella, and now hear it ALL THE TIME!!!
It’s become a bit of a parenting mantra during the tough times. Yes, this is hard, but it won’t last forever, kind of thinking. And it’s a saying that has gone through my head nearly every day since Sienna was born.
It started with the constant feeding, which is nothing short of exhausting. It did pass though, and when I think about Sienna’s feeding pattern now, most days she’ll go 2.5-3 hours between feeds. And the days of a feed taking at least half an hour are gone too. She’s become a much more proficient feeder, and is done in around ten to fifteen minutes. The result is that breastfeeding has become so much easier. This has happened in the blink of an eye! One day I’m stuck to the sofa, with only mini breaks between feeds, the next we have some sort of routine emerging. And I’d barely noticed it happening.
One thing that does seem to be passing in the wrong direction is sleep! I’m getting less now than I did in the first few weeks of Sienna’s life. At around 5 weeks old, she peaked at a 5.5 hour stretch! I can’t begin to imagine how good that would feel right now. The norm is now around 1.5-2 hour stretches. I’m definitely repeating the ‘this too shall pass’ mantra, as I once again find myself feeding or rocking Sienna to sleep at night. I’m really hoping it’s a developmental leap, and she’ll manage to go for longer soon.
And then there’s the crying…! I’m sure the crying is getting less and less, but with sleep deprivation hitting me between the eyes, it doesn’t feel that way. I’m still not entirely certain why Sienna cries so much. I know the main reason is tiredness. She fights sleep and quickly escalates in to a meltdown if she gets overtired (and the time between not tired and overtired is probably about 5 minutes!!). I think she does suffer with a bit of colic, though the crying isn’t necessarily for a constant period, more spread through the day. I took her to see a cranial osteopath, who found no tension that would make her cry. She suggested silent reflux, which may explain some symptoms, like crying after a feed. She suggested that she’d probably grow out of it before around 14 weeks. She’s twelve weeks now so here’s hoping.
Sienna will often only settle on me, which I find difficult when I want to get on with stuff. Much as having a sleeping baby on you can be relaxing, I’m not someone who enjoys sitting around. And it’s definitely difficult to manage Ella at the same time as having a sleeping Sienna on me. I know this is something that I’ll miss when she hits the ‘fighting to get off your knee’ age, and I’m really trying to remember that!
Ella also is having the odd bad night. My theory is nightmares. She just isn’t happy unless there’s someone with her. It’s not every night and she’s fine during the day. Again, something that will pass soon enough.
The thing is, while it all will pass, it’s so hard to concentrate on that when you’re stuck in the moment. Nights with little sleep, followed by days filled with piercing screams can be nothing short of difficult. But I’m sure I’ll barely remember this stage a few years down the line (or when we decide to go through it all again!).
This too shall pass, and before you know it you’ll be waving them off from the family home as they leave the nest. Time to embrace whatever they throw at me, especially if it involves snuggles!!