Giving birth close to Christmas is never easy. Two years in a row I had to sit at home nursing a baby while watching snaps of everyone else having the time of their lives during all the many many Christmas festivities. It was sad.
Of course I was glad to have a baby, but the timing though! I had to live vicariously through everyone else on my Snapchat and Instagram. What made it worse was, December 2018 seemed liked the best Christmas yet. Everyone you could think of was in Ghana *cough * Idris Elba * cough *. It’s not like I would’ve seen him anyway but I wish!!
Anyway, like I mentioned in my previous post, one of my closest friends was getting married. I initially had to drop out of her bridal team because I didn’t think I could fully recover before her wedding. (I was going by my due date then which was 12th/15th December). Now that my baby had decided to pop three weeks earlier and my healing wasn’t as gruesome as the first, I realized I could still join the team. We spoke about it and she excitedly arranged everything for me. I got my measurements taken, did my fitting, got all the extra stuff and we were good to go. The wedding was lovely and we all had so much fun! It was nice to get made up and glammed up for a change. Kobby and DJ attended but baby Drew had to stay home with my mom. I danced throughout. It was such an epic night.
Meanwhile, I also had to arrange to get Drew’s shoot done asap. I called Elom Ayayee and scheduled an appointment. He was almost a month old now and I knew she usually prefers to shoot babies earlier than that. I remember her response when I called
“Eno, I’m sure our baby is a year now”
Or something along those lines. We both laughed.
She sent her guidelines on how to prepare the baby before the shoot so he sleeps throughout. I followed it and it was pretty helpful. I had been very worried he would wake up and cry and we wouldn’t even get a single shot. However, he was in deep sleep the entire time for about 2 hours. Once he woke up, it was a wrap! We tried to get some more shots but this baby said no way. Good thing she had gotten all the shots she needed by then. Like I’ve always said about Elom, she truly is the best. You should see how calm and patient she is with these babies. The way she slowly but calmly takes off his clothes while she sturdily bounces on her exercise ball. The way she swaddles him and then places him on the warm bed. He looked so content. Her studio is so zen and soothing too. All you hear in the background is the “shhhhh” sound from the Baby shusher. I could sleep in there all day.
So on the topic of sleep! Drew hardly slept which meant I hardly slept. I always heard moms complain about not getting enough sleep but I never really experienced that with DJ so I couldn’t relate. Now I CAN! During the day, Drew was sleeping well but at night, he would wake up every 40 minutes! I never even had an hour of rest. I tried everything. I would give him a warm bath with a calming baby soap, feed him well , burp him (he would always let out two loud ones) and then bundle him up for bed. He would cry. I would turn on soothing music from his sound spa, carry him around or rock him back and forth till he nodded off and then placed him down. He would immediately be up crying. I had read about the crying out method where it’s best to leave them to cry it all out and then they sleep when they are tired. That never worked with him. He would cry till you finally give up and carry him. I knew that once he was lying on his back, he wouldn’t sleep for long. I had to wait till he was past 6 weeks to place him down on his tummy. That was the only way I knew he would sleep longer.
For now, all he wanted was to sleep on my chest the whole night and even during the day if he got the chance to. In the beginning, I just allowed him to but I quickly realized I couldn’t keep it up. I couldn’t properly rest my back and I knew I couldn’t be productive if I continued this way. I didn’t want to train him that way either. I also realized his hands were jittery and he was easily startled whenever he was lying on his own. Anytime he was startled, he would wake up and cry. I decided to swaddle him. This really worked – it kept his hands intact so it didn’t shake and he was warm and bundled up like he wanted. This also helped him sleep in his cot. Once he was wrapped like that, he didn’t really mind sleeping in there. Every mom has their own method of sleep training. I like to strictly stick to the cot. I have learnt overtime that kids usually get used to what you encourage right from the beginning. I noticed early that Drew was the kind of baby that would’ve loved to join us on the bed. I had to try my hardest not to allow that because my plan was to move his cot to the nursery so he joins his brother there once he starts sleeping throughout the night. Right now DJ is able to sleep by himself throughout the night, he’s been doing that since he was 10 months. I can’t imagine how chaotic my life would’ve been like if I hadn’t encouraged that and he was lying with us in bed. This would’ve been the scenario:
DJ, Kobby and I on the same bed. Drew’s cot in our bedroom. However, Drew would refuse to sleep in there but on my chest. So now 2 adults, a baby and a toddler (who moves around) all on the same bed. The baby wakes up and cries, the toddler wakes up too and then we all wake up. In this case, we would’ve been waking up every 40 mins with a screaming baby and toddler. I wouldn’t sleep a wink because I’m literally sitting upright holding a baby and hoping I don’t drop him, while praying my one year old doesn’t roll on any of us. NO WAY. DJ usually gets a fever anytime he doesn’t get enough rest. By enough rest I mean 12 hours of sleep (aside his 2 hour nap during the day) So just imagine this whole thing playing out.
After sticking to the cot, Drew has gotten used to it now. Nowadays he sleeps 5 hours straight. Thankfully, I have managed to sync their nap and bedtimes. They nap at 11am. DJ wakes up at 1pm on weekends. Weekdays in school he naps at 12 noon for 2 hours. Drew usually takes longer naps and wakes up at about 4pm. Their bedtime is 7pm. Some days, it goes up to 8pm but never past that. Drew wakes up twice at night to feed around 12midnight and 5am. I still stick to my old rule of never waking a sleeping baby. They just wake up when they are ready and somehow that has helped organically create a sleep schedule that we now stick to. I noticed very early how overwhelming it was going to be with two babies at home. So I knew I had to have a schedule of some sort and I had to be super organized and quick with their bath times, feeding, naps, laundry, school drop offs, pickups, play times, etc on top off all the other stuff I also had to do for myself. And this is just a little glimpse of the stuff I have to do in a day. Nowadays, the term “lazy day” doesn’t exist in our home anymore. I will address into details what it’s really like having TWO UNDER TWO and what my day with them actually entails. If you’ve ever watched my 30 second stories on Instagram and thought “awww that looks cute” “aww my ovaries” well get ready for the not so cute bits.