Not only did we have our triplets on a sleeping schedule when they were just a few months old, they would eat and poop at the same time, too. I suspect it's because I've crowed from the roof tops the importance of a schedule, that over the past few days, a lot of people have been asking me if I have Henry on a schedule yet.
I mean, what's taking so long?!
When the triplets came home from the hospital, they were on a 3-4 hour feeding schedule. Although I was breastfeeding the trio ... I wasn't nursing them ... I was pumping. So, I could track the exact quantity that they were consuming with each feeding.
I documented when they ate, when they slept, when they took their medicine and when they pooped ... not just because it was important to insure that each of these acts was occurring, but because it gave me the perception of control.
Even though I actually had very little control with three infants.
The difference now is that there is one baby.
And he is only 20 days old.
Quite frankly, an ice cube stands a better chance in hell than I do of getting a 20 day old baby on any kind of schedule. Especially when that baby is nursed exclusively.
Actually I can see a rudimentary pattern emerging.
When I'm sleeping, he's awake.
I had nursed Henry at midnight and again at 2 AM. When I put him in his bassinet at 2:30 AM and he started making noises like a puppy at 2: 40 AM ... I pulled him back in to bed with me. The grunting and groaning would stop, only to commence once I fell back asleep, until 5:00 AM.
I remember experiencing this with our triplets.
I remember them sleeping in our room and making noises that would keep me up all night. Not crying, just noise ... like a litter of puppies.
I remember the fear of putting them in their own room, even if the baby monitor was 2-inches from their head, because I was scared silly that they would die in their sleep.
I remember eventually that I was so tired, that I moved them in to their own room, turned the monitor OFF, closed the door and put in ear plugs.
And that's when they started to sleep through the night.
No, not really.
Truthfully, I'm not quite so scared with Henry.
He's a bigger, stronger and much louder baby.
The reason he is in our bedroom is because we don't have any place to put him.
Unless, I left him in the kitchen.
Or the bathroom.
At 5:20 AM, I
With that, I sent him off packing to the couch with our grunting newborn and a pacifier.
At 5:30 AM, Elizabeth woke up yelping for "BUNNY!!!!"
Because Charlie was with Henry, I rushed in to the nursery, hurdling the baby gate before she could wake her siblings ... and started hunting around in the pitch black for her lost bunny. Ten minutes later, once I got her tucked in and reunited with her lovey, I retreated to the bedroom. But the sun was rising and I was so tired, I couldn't sleep.
Instead, thoughts about whether or not I would ever sleep again and how to make this time easier for me crowded my weary mind.
A few days ago, I packed up my hospital grade rental pump. There was really no reason to pump, except to have a supply of milk on hand so someone other than me could feed the baby. But if I skip a feeding, I'm in pain ... and if I nurse AND pump, I'm in pain.
Maybe I should drag the pump back out and begin pumping exclusively so that: 1) someone other than me can feed the baby; 2) We can track his consumption and establish a schedule, and most importantly 3) I can sleep.
The problem with this scenario is that I have to pump. And I really hate pumping. Even with my hands free pump bra. It seems like I'm doing three times as much work to pump, feed and clean the equipment. Not to mention, I get flashbacks to having preemies in the NICU every time I hook that torture mechanism up to my chest.
Maybe I should start supplementing Henry with formula so that: 1) someone other than me can feed the baby; 2) We can track his consumption and establish a schedule, and most importantly 3) I can sleep.
The problem with this scenario is that once you start supplementing, you tap in to your production and supply. Provided your baby is getting adequate nutrition - which Henry most definitely is - if I start supplementing now, it will be difficult to go back to nursing exclusively. Especially since he is only going to be consuming more with time.
Charlie can feed Henry.
When I tried to Google a picture of Robert DeNiro wearing a surrogate breastfeeding contraption in "Meet The Fockers" but instead came to this website, I hesitated for a moment.
This MIGHT be the ticket.
The problem with this scenario is that the fact I actually considered it, shows that my lack of sleep is clearly catching up with me.
Now that I'm fully awake I'm planning to stay the course.
I'm optimistic that eventually Henry will develop a schedule more conducive to my own.
I'm hopeful that his two hour feedings, with the occasional "snack" in between will stretch to three or four hours.
I'm planning to invent a pacifier that straps on to a baby's head - like band sunglasses - so that I can hold his appetite at bay.
Until then, I'll ingest Motrin every six hours and shove burp cloths in my mouth so I don't scream when he latches on. I know I've got the form right, it's just that pumping and nursing has wreaked havoc on whatever callouses might have developed.
I'll also do my best to savor this time.
Before I know it, my little tiger will be eating corn on the cob with the rest of our troop.