Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Blackout Baby Challenge

Raphaela is almost two weeks old, and I can't remember a time before I became her mother.

Yesterday evening, my extended neighborhood experienced a blackout for close to two hours, my mother (who has been staying with me) was not at home, and it became a serious challenge to my fledgling parenting skills.

Can I breast feed in the dark? Sort of.
Did I change her diaper in the dark? Nope.
Can I get her to fall asleep when I can't even see where I am walking? Yes, with the help of a rocking chair.

I tried not to move around too much, because I could not find my flash light and did not want to trip over some piece of furniture and G-d forbid injure the baby. The darkness gave us time to bond, and while Raphaela got in a nap, I was unable to, constantly on alert.

Too bad, because last night she did not get much sleep, she was not hungry, her diaper clean. I have never imagined frustration and exhaustion on that level, not knowing what she needed and how to translate her cries.


Commenter Abbi said...

I recommend getting a fluorescent lantern that charges with a plug and automatically goes on when the power goes out. I keep mine in the kitchen and it's very handy when you have kids.

It sits on my counter and you can carry it around. You can get them at Home Center or Ace. Blackouts in J-m are frequent.

SuperRaizy said...

"frustration and exhaustion"- very common emotions when you have small children. It's normal, it's natural, it's to be expected. Hang in there- it gets easier, I promise.

koshergourmetmart said...

you get used to cries and you will be able to figure our which one is which. you should easily be able to breadtfeed in the dark. I used to do it when my kids were little. leave diapers and items you might need by your bed. next time you experience a blackout you will be able ton find these items. also leave a clear path from the crib to your bed so you do not need to worry about tripping into items. there is a expression nap when the baby naps. when she is down, try to sleep and not worry about stuff. it all works out.

Amy Charles said...

Hats off to you. You did it, and someday when Rafaela is older and nervous about having her first, you can tell her about how you took care of her through a blackout your first week home with her, on your own. You will get mad grandma propz and reassure her at the same time.

How much sleep are you getting?

Doc said...

The last two nights were relatively good vis a vis sleep, but I am still waiting for it to become consistent.

koshergourmetmart said...

it won't be consistent for a while and even when you think it is something will happen like a growth spurt or teething which will change everything.

Amy Charles said...

:) Don't hold your breath, there. Some babies are creatures of regular habits, but an awful lot of babies, toddlers, children...nope.

It's a good time to become an opportunist about sleep, and pretty much everything else that requires two free hands and/or quiet. I had a lot of moments stretched out on the living room floor when my kid was a baby.