It’s a hard knock life
Let me tell you about the last three months. It has been the hardest three months of our time with the boys.
People often tell you about new babies and sleep deprivation. We never had that. When our boys came home from the hospital, they slept well only waking for two feeds a night and going instantly back to sleep. As they grew and hit weight milestones they dropped the one feed and then the other and were sleeping through like champs by 4 and a half months.
What people don’t tell you is about cusp ages – 9 months being one of them – where all that hard work getting them to sleep through was for naught. Sleep deprivation doesn’t happen in the early days – it happens later – when you least expect it to – and it happens suddenly.
Out of nowhere, babies refuse to take naps, refuse to eat food, and to my horror, refuse to sleep through at night – and let you know in no uncertain terms they don’t like what you are trying to get down their gullet. More often than not, the food ends up on you, or the floor, or all over their clothes – but hardly ever in their mouths.
There is no explanation for this cusp age. My baby bible “Baby Sense” has one tiny paragraph on the phenomenon of cusp ages, but no detail on how to cope with it. And when you have two babies reaching this “milestone” at different times – it’s a living nightmare.
But that isn’t even the start of the pain of the last three months.
The cusp age of nine months was preceded by a bout of terrible illness in the family.
It first started with a visit to the paediatrician. The boys both had a little sniffle, which she told us it was nothing to worry about, but prescribed some nose drops anyway. Not two days later, Alex developed a terrible chest cold – and that was the start of the sleepless nights.
Alex was duly put onto an antibiotic, which seemed to help. Luckily our doctor prescribed a second antibiotic in case Dylan came down with it, which he did – a few days later.
After a week or so, they were still coughing, so I decided to take them back to the doctor. She told me it was just a little postnasal drip left over and they would be fine.
A few days later, Alex spiked an insane fever and I rushed off to the emergency room to have him seen to. They clearly weren’t worried about him, because it took them over an hour to see to us. So there I was, with a sick, unhappy, screaming baby, worried sick myself, and they sauntered around us like there was nothing wrong.
They told me it was an infection in the sinus and sent us home with an antibiotic. We have never had to put the boys on antibiotics before, and here we were with a second lot in as many weeks.
The next day, I noticed a terrible rash growing on Alex and called my doctor who stayed at the office long enough for me to get the baby packed up and to her. Sure as nuts, Alex happens to be allergic to penicillin, a reaction that apparently takes a few tries to start showing. So we ditched the antibiotics and breathed a sigh of relief that he didn’t have a worse reaction to it.
It was about this time when they hit nine months and the weird eating and sleeping kicked in.
Needless to say, Jon and I were wiped out. I think it was because of my now very low immune system that I picked up the gastro that was going around the office – and brought it home.
This story gets a bit graphic here, so if you have a sensitive stomach, now is the time to stop reading.
Jon, Alex and Dylan all managed to pick up the gastro from me. Alex, my little baba, got it the worst. He had the worse diarrhoea – so bad that it burned his poor little bottom. We tried everything, no wipes, new creams, no creams, more creams, no nappy, sunlight – nothing worked. It got so bad, I eventually showed the chemist who gave us an antifungal and some Cortisone cream. This worked a charm, and he is now pain free.
That brings us to now – while things seem to be settling down, they are still sleeping erratically and fussing at suppertime. We can now add a serious bout of teething to the list, with Dylan finally getting his two bottom teeth and Alex working on his top two.
But while it’s been the hardest time in our lives, the boys are equally rewarding. I can get them to laugh at the drop of a hat – literally. And they are so happy to love Jon and I that I could burst.
They have also moved into the big bath – unassisted and without seating and loving every minute of it. Interestingly – and slightly frustratingly, they are testing each other – stealing toys and throwing tantrums. But it’s still good to see how they interact.
So you have been warned – 9 months is no joke, but it’s as wonderful as it is difficult.