Fatherhood – Chapter 2
The First Few Weeks
After the birth I was worn out. I was alert because of the excitement but I felt like I had just taken some antihistamine, like I was in a haze. I figured after a couple hours of sleep and something to eat I would feel a lot better. Over three weeks later I’m still waiting for it to wear off entirely.
I knew there was going to be less sleep and definitely more diaper changing. But I can’t think of anything that would have adequately prepared me for the experience. There is a lack of sleep and time starts to blur. Since he feeds at a set schedule 24/7 it was hard to tell when a day ended and the next day began. It was three hour intervals regardless of the actual time of day. So days became weeks and I lost track of what day it was much less what time it was. It seems like there would be more structure since he eats on a specific schedule but that wasn’t the case for me. At the end of the first three weeks I was ready for some structure in my day. But four days into it I still don’t feel like I know what’s going on. People always said that kids would run your life, my skepticism of that statement has faded quickly.
We have been following the suggestions made in the book Baby Wise which advocates putting your child on a schedule that you determine. So far this has worked out pretty well. It’s still a struggle but its benefits are already becoming evident. When we first started going over this book in preparation for Noahs arrival it seemed like this would be the key to not letting kids run our lives. But that’s only half the story. Yes, as the parent you can determine the actual time of day that you want to have the baby feed, sleep and stay awake. But you still have to do it in 3-4hr intervals. So there is a very limited amount of time for other activities. If Noah eats well it takes about an hour to do so. Then you have about half an hour where he is awake and content, then it’s nap time. So you only have about an hour and a half of time when he is napping to do other things. It’s pretty time consuming for Amber.
It’s nuts how quickly time is flying. It’s already nearing the end of the fourth week in Noah’s life. Almost a month old. He already looks and acts completely differently than when he was born. It is all happening very quickly. I’m worried I’m going to go to bed one night and wake up 10 years later.