Week 9 and 10: Busy days in return for quiet nights

by Veerle

Isolde in her Christening dress

Isolde in her Christening dress

Let me begin with some good news: since Isolde started sleeping through the night, she has done so every night, with the odd exception here and there. Every morning I literally want to pinch my arm to assure myself this is real. It’s weird though, now that we get to sleep at night, I feel more tired than ever and I also stop taking notes of Isolde’s drinking times.

During the day, I manage to put Isolde down for one long nap in the morning, and I soon discover that this has to be the time I take for myself and/or some household activities – apart from my slight addiction to a romantic German drama series I like to watch, the ideal background to a feed or some ironing. Tom mocks me with it, but I don’t care. I’m a sucker for romance, what can I say? And my German really has improved since ;-)!

Back to that morning nap: after it, most of my time goes to Isolde.

This has everything to do with her drinking habits. Isolde has taken about seven feeds a day since she was 4 weeks old: five + two night feeds. Sleepwise, her schedule has changed dramatically since then, but here’s the thing: she still takes the same seven drinking sessions, spread out over the day only now. The price I (gladly) pay for calm nights, is nursing-filled days. I don’t complain, but inevitably I compare, and at this age Daphne and Alexander were already down to 5 feeds.

As Isolde’s baptism is coming nearer and still so much needs to be prepared, I find myself looking to Tom for reassurance: with this schedule, it’s hard to undertake anything that lasts longer than an hour and a half at the most. As if she felt it as well, at the end of week nine, Isolde is finally down to six feeds, which is a lot more doable.

Nine weeks down, and the start of an eventful week ten: Isolde’s baptism and – it had to happen some time – my thirtieth birthday. The last evening feed still takes very long – I feel like a live dummy – as she takes it in bits and pieces, and she still likes to be walked around the room, high on our shoulder, as a way to settle for the night. Every evening I think maybe I’ll be able to do something else than feeding, but this remains wishful thinking.

To counterbalance the stress of the baptism in a few days, Tom takes me out for a fancy birthday lunch and Isolde sleeps in her baby car seat all through it. The waiters are very impressed with our exemplary baby. One glass of champagne and one glass of white wine is all I have, I swear. But that night, my parents come over for a drink as well. I definitely should not have had that last drink, I feel so sick afterwards. That’s when you get when you haven’t been used to drinking for so long…

Luckily, Isolde’s baptism is a success and as long as I find a nice quiet room to feed her, she doesn’t seem to mind all the hustle and bustle around her. By 6 p.m. all the guests have gone home and we enjoy a lazy, peaceful night the five of us.

The next day, for the very first time, I treat myself to a manicure and pedicure at a beauty salon: top tip for any stressed mom out there!

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