What I’ve realised is that it really took becoming a mum to understand the concept of intuition. I read an article in the last few weeks before Connie was born about how a woman who had returned home to Africa after living in both the UK and America called Why African Babies don’t Cry and the overall message was to “read your baby not the books”.
I read a lot in the run up to Connie’s birth, but all I really read about was labour, birth and breastfeeding. It didn’t really occur to me to do anything else as once Connie arrived I hoped that I would be able to “read” from her what she wanted me to do. For the most part this has been the case. She is a very happy contented baby and she only cries when something is wrong. I learnt very quickly what her “hungry” and “tired” cries sounded like so the only other things were pain or a wet nappy. She then has a kind of “eh eh eh” noise that she makes if you put her down (which happens rarely!) to do something and she doesn’t want to be put down!
Connie suffered quite badly with colic in her first couple of months which basically entailed her crying from about 5-8pm as she had really bad wind. The things that would calm her were singing, the yoga hold tiger in the tree, breastfeeding and finally if none of those worked skin to skin, which to be fair we did a lot of anyway. I’m very fortunate as my Mum is trained in both baby massage and baby yoga so I was able to learn things like this very easily. I was also very grateful that my family were hugely supportive allowing Anthony and I to raise Connie the way we wanted without any judging or “shouldn’t you be doing….?”
As she’s got bigger for the most part “reading” Connie has got easier and its just been the nights where she’s not sleeping for seemingly no reason that we’ve really struggled with. Thankfully these are few and far between (apart from when its hot, then she really doesn’t sleep!) but we do still have days when she just isn’t herself and then all the tricks come out to make her smile – most successful is taking her outside, so if its raining and she’s unhappy then I’m usually pretty unhappy myself!
Trusting that I know what to do is hard sometimes and I may make the odd panicked phone call to my parents but for the most part I’ve found if I’m calm Connie will usually follow on pretty quickly and that way we have a hell of a lot of fun together.