According to The Wonder Weeks, week eight is the start of a fussy period. This is where ‘The Three Cs’ – Clinginess, Crankiness and Crying kick in. And yep, they were right.
Clara is more alert and aware of how she feels than ever – often only upright cuddles on my chest will pause her hysterical crying. The Wonder Weeks acknowledges this phase as the World of Patterns.
The World of Patterns is when Clara, at eight weeks old, suddenly realises there’s a much bigger world out there than she knew. She’ll hear the repetitive pattern of machines beeping, she’ll see the slatted lines of the blinds next to her bed, the lights above her head.
She’s also just plain hungry. Clara had worked her way up to 50ml feeds before her first operation. She was then allowed 0.5ml to test her gut weeks later. She’s now on 5ml every three hours during the day. But she’s not stupid – she knows there’s more where that came from.
There’s another reason too. Clara takes loperamide three times a day to thicken her stools. She only takes 0.08ml but it’s been working (think ‘orange pith’ rather than ‘orange squash’ now), so we are particularly glad she has her new larger jejunostemy pipe (no more Blockages). This will cause Clara’s bowel to work hard, rather than just let liquid pass through, and will cause her to feel cramping. It’s a new pain for a little girl in a new big scary world.
The top syringe pictured is a 1ml syringe in which Clara has 0.08ml of loperamide.
Last night Clara woke at 3am but wouldn’t settle again. She was on my chest sleeping until 7am whilst I sat in a hard backed chair browsing Instagram and Pinterest to keep my eyes open.
Despite this, we’re still enjoying our daytime excursions at lunchtime. Today we visited NICU to thank the amazing nurses there for all their help getting Clara and us through the worst of times. It was the perfect day to visit as everyone was there with time to say hello to Clara (who was comfortably snuggled into her favourite nurse Ali). For the special occasion, Clara was in one of her most beautiful dresses.
The NICU team were all amazed at how much Clara had grown. Her progress is easy to see.
After all, just check out those chins!