Oh holy jaysus. The three week growth spurt. Now that was a thing. And it was a thing that I really had not braced myself for.
I had a few friends mention this to me, but as a fair few other things on the ‘list of horrible things ahead of you’ hadn’t happened to us, I really didn’t pay much heed to this one. How this one is true. I’ve yet to meet a mum that didn’t go through some kind of moment in the first six weeks where she wondered, “HAS SOMETHING SUDDENLY GONE WRONG WITH THIS CHILD? THEY WILL NOT STOP EATING. OH MY GOD, WHAT IF THIS IS OUR LIFE NOW FOREVER. THEY WON’T STOP EATING. AN ADULT CANNOT EAT THIS AMOUNT, LET ALONE A NEWBORN….” And if that didn’t happen to you, you are so wonderfully lucky.
For me, it started like every other day. We all were all up and out for the day, even daring to go over to my sister’s house to watch some sports game together on the telly. I was the only breastfeeder (so far) in the family, so it was a bit of a new thing to be getting my boob out in front of my teenage nieces, but when it came time to feed, they were all pretty cool. A little bit red from the ‘Oh my goodness, I think I just saw part of my aunt’s boob out of the corner of my eye’ but they were good, all things considered!
Usually my daughter was a three hour cycle kind of baby which broadly went as follows: feed, burping and changing (one hour), hang out and a cuddle (one hour), bit of a nap (hour or so), so it came a a surprise that 40 minutes after a good feed, she was displaying all the signs of a baby that was in need of more food. After trying everything else, I cautiously offered a feed, quite incredulous that this could be the option she wanted. And oh boy did she want it. And thirty minutes later, she wanted more.
After that third feed, I realized that there was nothing that anyone could do. I had to do this. I went 100% Sheryl Sandberg and I Lent In. I can recall that moment when I looked at my daughter and said, “You and me. Let’s do this.” I remember looking at my mum and saying, “Get me a cuppa and whatever is going in the kitchen that can be eating with one hand. I’m going to need fuel.”
And then it weirdly felt okay – even though it was tiring and draining, it felt that once I’d made that deal with my baby, I was going to see it through. And we did – nearly 48 hours later on the button. Yup, you read that right, 48 HOURS. I really didn’t know if it was going to end, but my goodness herself and myself were in it.
That first sleep from daughter dear that was longer than 40 minutes felt like bliss. It felt like heaven on earth. The fact that at that same time, I had to bring her to the hospital for a check was completely heartbreaking but the fact that she slept through the commute, the check-up that involved her to be undressed and prodded multiple times, the well-deserved cup of tea I had (drunk with two hands!), and the drive home nearly made the last 48 hours worth it.