Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Our first year experience with a baby

The first 3 months following the arrival of our first baby was the hardest. The first week was absolutely crazy. We had anywhere from 0-2 hours of sleep in the first few days and mid week we actually started to act a bit delusional. It's amazing what you can turn into with so little sleep. Emotions were also very high and I think the baby blues kicked in for both of us. When the beginning of the third week came along and Jean-Louis had to go back to work, I was scared and nervous to be alone with the baby. Then came all the crying. That lasted until at least 3 months. I can say with certainty that the first 3 months was absolutely the hardest.

We knew we were blessed with a new baby and we did our best to step up to the challenge but it was no fun. Without family or friends to count on, we were alone and it was scary. Taking care of the baby was not the only challenge. We were hardly able to take care of ourselves. We were sleep deprived and hardly had time to eat and also eat well. After we exhausted all of my frozen cooked food I had stocked up on prior to the birth, we ended up ordering pizza, or buying frozen food and canned food. We had to. We had no choice because we had to eat. Me especially because I was breastfeeding so much.

Things started to improve a lot into the 4th and 5th months. The baby got used to his routine and pretty much slept through the night (at least 5 hours straight), if we used the pacifier on him. He also became more responsive and started to smile and look and strike at toys. This feedback was really important and rewarding for us to see. At last!

At 6 months, things got even better. We introduced solid foods so Jean-Louis was able to help with the feedings. We decided to sleep train the baby and after just 2 weeks, we got him sleeping by himself. He slept through the night without any nursing, rocking, pacifier - nothing at all. Needless to say since then, we have been enjoying life a lot more :)

As the months went by, things improved even more. Tristan started to sit up, crawl, stand up, dance, and walk. Now, I find we are really starting to enjoy each others company. He laughs, he plays, he interacts with us, he is signing back and understands certain things that we say, even though he can't speak yet. He is sleeping for even longer periods during the night and that allows for us to stay up late again. But of course at this age, there are new things that we are finding frustrating such as feeding.

As it turns out, our baby is a typical baby. I wouldn't have it any other way but it's so interesting to see how much of a textbook baby he is. For example, now that he is a toddler, he is starting to show signs of throwing tantrums. Oh boy! But, whatever challenges are thrown our way moving forward, I honestly believe we can handle it because not only have we survived the first 3 months but we have also made it this far doing more or less what we were set out to do :)


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